- Chapter 1 : Silver Moon Knight
- Chapter 2 : Direct Knight
- Chapter 3 : The Glamorous Female Knight
- Chapter 4 : The Final Tear
- Chapter 5 : Baolilong All Grown Up
- Chapter 6 : Aklan’s Sorcery Academy
- Chapter 7 : Everyone’s Standpoint
- Chapter 8 : When Caffey Was Still Caffey…
This volume was brought to you by AnmesicCat, and StellarAshes.
Chapter 1 : Silver Moon Knight
Concentrating on painting with magic elements, Kaiser was started by this yell that the Mona Lisa in his hands abruptly gained a mustache. He became so angry, he grabbed his hair and turned his head to yell, “What the hell, do you have any idea what time it is, what are you doing yelling so loudly in the middle of the night?”
Meinan, Purity, and Daylight all stood by the door, with an expression on their faces, paled and filled with terror, indicating the bad news. Even the always resolute Daylight had knitted eyebrows.
Seeing that even Daylight was there, Kaiser knew something was definitely wrong. While Meinan and Purity might do something as boring as waking him up in the middle of the night to pee, Daylight would never pull that kind of prank. Besides, their expressions were definitely not feigned.
“Fine, what happened this time?” Kaiser asked a bit helplessly. He already knew in his heart that this was no ordinary bad news.
All three looked at each other in dismay, then finally stepped aside in silence, revealing behind them a man dressed in a strange black-and-white long robe, wearing gold-framed glasses and a tightened expression. It was a rare expression to be seen on the Sorcerer who always laughed unscrupulously.
“Uh-oh, even Mizerui is here…” Kaiser moaned as he cradled his head. Under these circumstances, he knew this had something to do with that certain someone — the guy with silver eyes. Ever since Kaiser knew Liola, he had never seen Lady Luck smile upon Liola.
Mizerui sighed, and his tight expression relaxed slightly. He spread his arms, and grudgingly said, “Yup, even I am here, so you know things are severe.”
“How severe?” Kaiser suddenly asked with anticipation: “Was Aklan conquered?”
While Meinan glared snappily at Kaiser, Mizerui raised his eyebrow, and shook his head.
Kaiser continued to ask, unrelenting: “Then did Miluo’s army reach the Commerce Alliance?”
This time, Purity puffed out her cheeks.
Seeing Mizerui’s face full of the “you obviously know” expression, Kaiser finally gave up lying to himself and moaned, “Fine, fine, what’s wrong with Liola now?”
Mizerui didn’t answer directly, but instead spoke as if it were someone else’s business: “The Dragon Emperor has finally announced an heir. Fourth Prince Liola, who has just returned, is now the Crown Prince.”
“Crown Prince?” Kaiser suddenly stood bolted upright. With a frown, he tried desperately to discern the Dragon Emperor’s intentions. How could he actually keep his foretold killer, his son, by his side, and even designate him as his heir? How can this be possible… unless, the Dragon Emperor was one hundred percent sure he could completely control Liola.
Kaiser abruptly raised his head, wanting to convey to his companions his speculation, but the other three were already looking at him uneasily. Now Kaiser finally realized that he had unconsciously murmured his thoughts.
“I had just heard the news from mama, and before I even had the chance to tell you guys, I ran into Mizerui.” Purity paused, then said hesitantly, “I heard that the Dragon Emperor even bestowed Liola-dage with the title of Silver Moon Knight, could they have made peace?”
“Silver Moon?” Kaiser and Daylight blurted out in unison.
“Yeah,” Meinan interjected. “My father received the same news. Rumor has it that during Liola’s Knight rank appraisal, he scared off a bunch of people by defeating ten of the Dragon Empire’s Gold Knights, thereby becoming a new Rank-X figure in the world. The Dragon Emperor gave him the title of Silver Moon on the spot.”
“Ten Gold Knights, nine of which were severely injured, three of them had almost died. The only person with minor injuries was Cappuccino,” Mizerui stated the truth calmly.
Everyone frowned, and Purity asked with a stutter, “Al-almost died? Impossible, Liola-dage wouldn’t kill anyone.”
Mizerui’s eyes lightly glanced over everyone, “Perhaps Liola wouldn’t, but Silver Moon’s moves were all fatal.”
Meinan paused, and he immediate saw Kaiser and Daylight’s heavy faces. Obviously the two knew the answer. He asked his companions puzzledly, “What special meaning does ‘Silver Moon’ carry? What does it have to do with Liola?”
Kaiser glanced at Meinan, and pouted, as if he was unwilling to speak of the name, “Silver Moon… is Liola; it was Liola’s name when he was an Assassin.”
Meinan and Purity were both confused. Even if so, what of it?
“I don’t like the name ‘Silver Moon’.” Daylight frowned, and hesitated to speak, “My master had spoken of Silver Moon. He was the top Assassin. Everyone in the Martial Arts World would turn pale whenever they heard of his name. No matter who his target was, he never hesitated, and he always attacked fatally. Some people said he had no heart at all.”
Kaiser frowned, “Yup, even my malicious great-grandfather said, being the puppeteer that he was, even he didn’t want to look at Silver Moon’s eyes, because it made him feel like he wasn’t looking at a human eyes…”
“What are you guys talking about?” Purity asked while baffled, “Are you guys talking about Liola-dage? Why does it seem like you’re talking about someone else.”
“No, Liola isn’t Silver Moon.” Kaiser said firmly, “He isn’t anymore.”
Daylight nodded seriously. Having been to the other world, no one understood better than him and Kaiser how much different Liola was now compared to Silver Moon.
“Perhaps he is again.” Mizerui said lightly.
Kaiser and Daylight suddenly widened their eyes and glared at Mizerui. Despite how quiet his statement was, the shock value of what he said was too immense. The two opened their mouths again and again, but no words came out, especially when Mizerui’s eyes showed a deep self-blame and sadness. A foreboding feeling overcame the two.
“What happened to Liola exactly?” Meinan broke the silence, “No matter what happened, we have to at least know, so we could come up with a plan.”
“I was careless.” Mizerui sighed, and said with self-blame, “At first, Dragon Emperor wanted to use hypnosis to control Liola, but I uncovered the plan, and Liola returned to his old self. I thought if he was alert, and with the Dragon Cross Necklace with him, then it would be impossible for the Dragon Emperor to control him. Coincidentally, because Miluo seemed to be ready to make trouble, I went to help Qiusi investigate, therefore leaving the Dragon Continent…”
“I had never imagined… The Dragon Emperor would actually use a Magician’s power. The Dragon Cross Necklace only had the power to resist Dragon Emperor’s power, but it was powerless towards anyone else. I had forgotten Liola wasn’t familiar with magic, so he might not have suspected anyone using magic against him, in the end…”
Everyone’s face changed. Kaiser, on the other hand, didn’t find himself surprised. Perhaps when he heard the title of Silver Moon Knight, he had already guessed it; if he weren’t controlled, why would Liola bring back the name he was trying to avoid like the plague?
However, with a last bit of hope, Kaiser still asked, “He was controlled?”
Mizerui didn’t answer, but instead frowned, until the eight eyes staring at him were about to burn through his robe, then he said with uncertainty, “Should be, but his situation might be a bit more severe…”
“Does he not remember us?” Kaiser frowned. Since things had already happened, all he could do now was ascertain what happened, then devise a plan.
“He remembers. He remembers me, you, and everything that happened.” Mizerui answered eloquently, as if he thought remembering wasn’t something good.
“Was only his body controlled?” Kaiser relaxed his eyebrows. If that were the case, things would be much easier.
Mizerui suddenly became quiet. This silence felt like a heavy weight on everyone’s hearts, until Kaiser couldn’t take it anymore; he suddenly jumped up and yelled, “Mizerui! I don’t care what you’re thinking about. Tell us quickly and clearly what happened.”
“Problem is, I don’t know how to tell you!” Mizerui suddenly yelled back, and everyone was stupefied. They had never seen Mizerui lose control like this, and even Mizerui, himself, seemed surprised. He bit his lip tightly, and there was tightness about his face as well. His otherwise careless attitude had now turned into an unapproachable coldness.
“Mizerui-dage, d-don’t get angry. We’re just really concerned about Liola-dage. It’s almost been two weeks and he hasn’t came back at all. Now with the news of him being controlled, we’re really worried…” Purity’s eyes were filled with tears. Her voice choked more and more as she spoke.
Hearing what Purity said, Mizerui’s tightened face relaxed a bit. He sighed, “Sorry, I really don’t know how to describe his situation. He didn’t lose his memory, nor was he following simple orders as if his body was controlled. However, he does indeed obey the Dragon Emperor now, and he never mentioned anything about you.”
Mizerui paused a moment, then hesitantly continued, “In fact, after I found out something was wrong, I’ve only observed him, but I never spoke to him. I, I…”
“You don’t want to get close to him?”
Daylight finished his thought for him. Everyone, including Mizerui, all turned their heads to look at him. He stated calmly, “It is an nonexistent existence, to the point where one couldn’t even call him cold. His eyes had no coldness, or I should say, there is nothing in his eyes. It’s a kind of “void” eyes. He no longer acts like a living person, but instead a statue, one moving statue no one wants to get close to, never mind talking to it.”
Hearing such a description, Mizerui’s eyes seemed surprised. This was indeed the feeling Liola gave him now.
“This is the description of Silver Moon.” Daylight was silent for a while, and continued, “This is what has been said by the people from the other world who had seen the true Silver Moon.”
In fact, this was what Yulie relayed from Yandi. These words had, at the time, gave Daylight quite a shock. He had thought Liola was cold enough, but it wasn’t until hearing what Yulie had to say about Liola, did he know that Liola’s coldness had already made plenty of progress. At least he was like a living person rather than a statue.
“A moving statue?” Meinan frowned, trying to imagine what Liola looked like, but he couldn’t possibly associate a moving statue and void eyes to a person.
Though Kaiser had not heard Yandi’s words, but out of these companions, he was the first one to see Liola. Although Liola had already been “personified” by Anise, but his eyes were still missing the fluctuations of a normal person; therefore, he could imagine what a walking statue would be like.
“Let’s go bring that guy. If it was the work of magic, perhaps I have a way.” Though having said this, Kaiser didn’t feel confident at all. Despite his progress in magic, he still specialized in attack magic. He didn’t have the slightest grasp on magic that controlled people. But seeing everyone’s faces, he bit the bullet and said it first.
Everyone nodded. Truth was, everyone was worried sick in the past week. Now that they’ve received the bad news, their determination to bring Liola back was stronger than ever.
Mizerui’s face suddenly changed, and he hurried to stop them, “No, you can’t go…” Before he even finished, everyone looked at him with determination, as if the looks carried the meaning of “don’t try to stop me”.
Mizerui felt a serious headache coming onto him. He paced back and forth impatiently, while his thin finger constantly tapping his forehead, hoping to think of a good way to bring Liola back. However, no matter how much he thought, he didn’t see even the slightest possibility of taking Liola away from under the constant eye of the Dragon Emperor.
Mizerui sighed, “No…” Seeing their eyes and their unwillingness to give up, Mizerui added immediately, “At least not yet.”
“It’s impossible for you to take Liola out of the Dragon Continent, even I couldn’t do it with teleportation. Dragon Emperor isn’t to be underestimated. I guarantee that the moment you take a step onto the Dragon Continent, you will have no chance of escape. I think, perhaps the Dragon Emperor even hopes for you to go there, so he could catch you to threaten Qiusi and the Red Commander.” Mizerui said as he looked at Meinan and Purity, and sure enough, their expressions changed.
“Then Kaiser and I will go. Even if we’re caught, we can’t be used to threaten anyone. As long as we could see Liola, perhaps we could wake him up.” Daylight said with determination.
Now, even Mizerui began to examine this possibility. After thinking about it for a while, he raised his head and looked at Kaiser and Daylight, “Are you sure you won’t regret this? If you are caught by the Dragon Emperor, even I wouldn’t have any way of saving you. You may end up in jail, or tortured, or even dead…”
Kaiser’s face sank, and then he murmured, “It’s probably all of them. We’ll be thrown in jail first, woo, I hope their jail has decent food. Then we will be interrogated and tortured… What kind of torture would they use? Whips, pulling off nails, hot iron, slow slicing, woo, but what do they want to know anyhow? I don’t know anything, so there is nothing I could say, and as such, I will definitely end up killed. I wonder how I will die… I hope they don’t bury me in the sand, then cut open my scalp and dump cement in it, that would be a horrible way to die. Getting disembodied by horses pulling on my limbs wouldn’t be much better either. In that case, perhaps getting decapitated would be the best way to go…”
“K-Kaiser…” Daylight dumbfoundedly stopped Kaiser from continuing.
Mizerui also had cold sweat running down his back. Fortunately, Kaiser wasn’t the lead prison guard in the Dragon Empire, otherwise he would seriously reconsider his own undercover missions. He said with a bitter laugh, “So you’re unwilling to go?”
“I’m going! Do I even have a choice?” Kaiser snapped back, then added abusively, “I don’t believe those stereotypical Knights could think of more intense tortures. Worst case scenario is having my corpse cut up or skinned, I, Kaiser, fear nothing!”
“Kaiser, go and save Liola-dage.” Purity movingly grabbed Kaiser’s hand, and promised with seriousness on her face, “Purity will definitely learn sewing. When the time comes, I will be able to sew you back together to a complete Kaiser.”
Meinan heavily nodded, “Mhm, it wouldn’t matter if you get skinned either. I’m good at drawing, and I will definitely draw a super-duper handsome face on top of your bloodied muscles that can be used as your face.”
With a hideous look on his face, Kaiser held up his giant gun and approached the two. Meinan and Purity immediately ran behind Daylight’s back.
Acting as the “meat shield”, Daylight didn’t know what to do. Kaiser was so angry now that he suddenly went to the other extreme and burst into laughter.
Kaiser said with sincerity, “I also know how to barbecue. Do you want to try how it feels to be cooked by a cannon? It should be very fun. You know, my white flame can, in an instant, cook your entire body; crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and even your bones will be soft enough to chew. Tsk tsk, I heard a man’s meat is chewy, and women’s meat melt in your mouth.”
With a pale face, Meinan gulped, imagining his meat being chewed. Purity, on the other hand, was about to cry, and her face was full of repent, “K-Kaiser, we were just joking!”
“It’s too late…” Kaiser laughed sinisterly, then walked closer and closer to the two…
“Okay, stop playing, don’t forget Liola is still being held by Dragon Emperor.”
Daylight solemnly interrupted the three in the heat of it. Hearing Liola, all three of them went quiet, and all their eyes returned to Mizerui. Daylight looked at him seriously, and said firmly, “We must go save him.”
“Of course, us four must go save him.” Meinan especially emphasized “four”.
“You and Purity can’t…”
“Of course we can!” Purity immediately interrupted Mizerui, “At least if I can go, we can use black hole to escape.”
“Or use black hole for suicide.” Kaiser added with a bitter look on his face.
Purity touched her head in embarrassment, “That’s the last resort.”
Meinan also said calmly to Mizerui, “I must go. If Liola really turned as emotionless as you said, then he will likely attack us. I believe none of us could be comparable to Liola in terms of speed, so only my comprehensive shield could block him, then we could think of ways to return him to his senses.”
Mizerui frowned; it did seem like a reasonable plan. Even if they had no choice but to push Liola into a black hole, it would be better than leaving him by the Dragon Emperor’s side. However, how could he possibly sneak these four into the palace to see Liola? Mizerui unconsciously said his question out loud.
“Oh, someone could help us.” A smile grew on Kaiser’s face. Seeing Mizerui’s skeptical eyes, he added, “There are people we can absolutely trust. I can even guarantee they would want Liola return to his old self, and they would even oppose the Dragon Emperor because of it.”
Kaiser’s eyes were brimming with light, “Lanski and Jasmine.”
Chapter 2 : Direct Knight
Jasmine held the little guy in her hand while feeling helpless and distressed. Ever since the day Liola had his Knight examination, Baolilong had been curling its little body into a ball. It spent most of its time curled up next to the door, and it would occasionally peek outside, waiting for a certain someone to arrive. This would continue until the night, and the little figure would walk sadly with its head lowered, back to Jasmine’s room, and then continue to curl up in a ball on the bed, quietly letting its tears flow on the sheets.
Jasmine’s heart ached in seeing the situation but, there was nothing she could do. This all started on the day of the Knight examination…
Baolilong transformed into a large dragon and carried Liola to kick-off the test against Cappuccino and Little Fireball. Although Liola’s strength had far surpassed Cappuccino, things were a different when Little Fireball came into the picture. The tacit cooperation between Cappuccino and Little Fireball had unexpectedly caused Liola and Baolilong some struggles.
Because Liola had been too strong, they had always been able to defeat their opponents with Liola’s strength alone, so Baolilong’s mission was, at most, carry Liola into the sky. Therefore, their combat coordination was practically non-existent. This had never hurt them much before, but now during aerial combat, and running into Cappuccino and Little Fireball, who had countless battle experiences, their lack of coordination was a fatal weakness.
During one of the confrontations, not only did Baolilong’s lightning not able to put a scathe on Cappuccino’s dragon, Little Fireball, it was burnt by it. Baolilong fell to the ground, and returned to its human shape, hoping to run back into papa’s arms to cry, but it was tossed away.
“Useless thing, scat!”
The papa in Baolilong’s heart was looking at it with emotionless eyes, and spoke with a cold tone.
“Papa, papa…” Baolilong cried as if it had been maligned. Every time it had done something wrong, as long as it cried, Liola would always walk over it quietly and carry it in his arms.
Liola did indeed walk over, but instead of carrying Baolilong, he swept with his feet, kicking the little figure out of the arena, so it wouldn’t obstruct him in his test.
“What are you doing?!” Jasmine and Lanski, who had been watching from the side-lines, screamed in unison, then ran towards Baolilong.
Baolilong struggled to sit up, stared at its papa, who was still in the arena, as thought it had no idea what happened. Tears still stained its cheek, but Baolilong didn’t dare to bawl now. Instead, it said timidly, “Papa?”
Liola slowly turned his head, and then said coldly, “You should call me ‘Master’.”
Hearing Liola’s cold tone of voice, Baolilong pouted and started crying. It still didn’t dare to bawl, so it sobbed and said desperately, “Don’t want master; papa is papa…”
Practically at the same time, Liola’s figure warped, and suddenly appeared in front of Baolilong, with his left hand raised high.
“Stop!” Noticing he was about to do something, Lanski rushed up to protect Baolilong.
A crisp slap sound echoed in the arena, and Lanski practically flew off. When she turned her head around, half of her face swelled, with blood oozing out the side of her mouth. She tried to shake off the dizziness, but she couldn’t believe such a heavy slap was originally aimed at Baolilong.
“Liola!” Jasmine yelled angrily, and she reached out her hand to slap Liola, but instead, Liola grabbed ahold of her wrist.
Liola’s emotionless cold eyes stared back at her, and slowly bent her wrist backwards. Jasmine’s face suddenly turned pale, because she couldn’t believe the man in front of her would hurt her like this.
“Stop!” Lanski stood up, and yelled with a refrained voice, “Sovereign brother, Jasmine is my friend, so you shouldn’t hurt her.”
Liola slowly let go of Jasmine’s arms, but she was already in so much pain that cold sweat ran down her back, however, didn’t dare to scream, so she gritted her teeth. She raised her head, trying to gaze into the eyes of man in front of her. Those pair of silver eyes that had once moved her, was now filled with a piercing cold, and his tone was even more heartless,
“Unless you don’t want to live anymore, never, ever, attack me.”
* * *
Remembering what Liola had said, Jasmine tightened her grasp on Baolilong. The little guy in her arms refused to adjust, and stubbornly called Liola “papa” rather than “master”. Liola’s response was even simpler: just a word, “Scat”.
This was the result of Lanski and Cappuccino desperately stood in front of Baolilong. Otherwise Li… that man, might not have even said a word, but gave it the knuckle treatment, instead. Jasmine pouted.
“Papa, papa… doesn’t want Baolilong anymore?” Baolilong curled up some more, and cried quietly.
“Oh, no.” Jasmine felt bad. She put her face against Baolilong’s head, and kissed its hair, while comforting it, “Liola would never abandon you. He cares deeply about you, even though he never says it, but he really does, right?’
Baolilong cried, and then opened its big eyes to look at Jasmine, while answering assuredly, “Papa cares about Baolilong the most! He would touch Baolilong’s head every time. If Baolilong did something wrong, crying would immediately stop papa from being angry, and he would even hug Baolilong.”
“Yes, I know. Even though he doesn’t speak much, and sometimes he even looks cold, but he is truly good to you. He is a gentle and good father.” Jasmine said with a hoarse voice. She wasn’t sure if she was telling those words to Baolilong or herself.
Baolilong suddenly began to struggle, and then jumped out of Jasmine’s arms. It began to move its little feet towards the door.
“Baolilong, where are you going?” Jasmine seemed hesitant.
Baolilong answered while it continued walking, “To go find papa.”
“No!” Jasmine panicked as she rushed to stop Baolilong, but Baolilong desperately struggled and yelled, “Baolilong wants papa! Papa…”
“No, did you forget? If you aren’t willing to call him ‘master’, he will beat you.” Jasmine advised painstakingly, while holding her arms even tighter, fearing that it would begin to struggle once more.
“Papa wouldn’t beat Baolilong!” Baolilong puffed its cheeks, and angrily refuted.
Jasmine buried her face into Baolilong’s white hair, and her voice was incomparably miserable, “Liola wouldn’t beat you, he really wouldn’t. Then… who exactly is that man? Why does he have Liola’s silver eyes, appearance, memory, but he’s definitely not him.”
Baolilong seemed to have noticed the sadness of the person behind it. It stopped struggling, and clumsily turned around. It patted Jasmine’s head, then sincerely comforted, “Jasmine, don’t cry…”
“Baolilong…” Jasmine hugged Baolilong’s little body tightly. She could no longer hold back her tears, “I’m scared, scared that Liola may never change back. If he stays like this forever, what do we do?”
Baolilong tilted its head, and its puffed cheek looked like it was thinking hard, but in a few seconds, Baolilong seemed to have given up; it said naturally, “Baolilong doesn’t know, but Kaiser knows. Baolilong waits for Kaiser.”
“Kaiser…” Jasmine raised her head. Although teardrops marked her face, her eyes were filled with hope, “Right, his companions would never abandon Liola. Hmm, I think I know what I can do: I should try to find a way to contact Kaiser.”
Baolilong nodded desperately in agreement, “Find Kaiser, find Kaiser!”
(“Leave It to Kaiser Disease” had proved, through its symptoms, it was a contagious disease that could be spread among humans and dragons, and its epidemic continued to spread…)
* * *
“Little Fireball, I need to ask you a serious question.” Ever since that day, Cappuccino had been bored. There were only a handful of times when he was serious, but now, he was solemnly asking his own dragon a question.
“No.” Little Fireball denied it without a second thought.
“Hey… I haven’t even asked the question I wanted to ask?”
Little Fireball shrugged, and apologized without being sorry in the slightest, “Sorry, it’s a habit I’ve developed from spending a long time with you. Continue, then.”
Cappuccino looked afar, and he had the same look on his face as the first time he went to challenge a Dragon alone. When he saw the Dragon’s strong body, he fell into a trance, then into another trance, and finally asked the person next to him, “My mission is to defeat this Dragon? You’re joking. Is today April Fools, and you’re tricking me? Maybe my mission is just to take a picture of the Dragon?”
But now, Cappuccino was more than willing to wrestle barehanded with three giant Dragons than… to speak with his own brother, who was a tenth the height of a dragon. Unfortunately, this the mission his baby sister gave him: to chat with Liola, and to find out what exactly was wrong.
Seeing Liola walked while emitting a freezing presence, and thereby causing a whole road to be filled with Knight Ice statues, Cappuccino seriously thought wrestling with three Dragons wouldn’t be so bad. He took a deep breath and said, “Actually…”
“Today isn’t April Fools.” Little Fireball rudely interrupted.
“Oh, Princess Lanski wouldn’t want a picture.” Little Fireball glanced in disdain at his own Prince.
Cappuccino’s lips trembled, and gestured at the magnificent Knight ice statues, then said painfully, “L-Little Fireball, I’m going to freeze to death.”
“Don’t worry, master, your Dragon is a Fiery Dragon.” Little Fireball pointed at itself, “I’ll be in charge of melting you.”
Remembering his baby sister’s pleads, then seeing the Knight ice statues his brother made, Cappuccino’s face warped. Finally, his sister’s tearful eyes barely won over his brother’s freezing presence. Cappuccino pitifully dragged Little Fireball’s clothes, “Then come with me!”
Little Fireball’s mouth twitched, and then said with disdain, “You’re not a child anymore, go by yourself!”
“It’s fine if you just accompany me on the side.” Cappuccino blinked like a little child with tears in his eyes.
Little Fireball’s shoulders twitched uncomfortably, then earnestly rejected, “No, go by yourself.”
“H-How could you be so heartless, you cold blooded animal!” Cappuccino yelled emotionally.
Little Fireball nodded, “Yup, or are you going to tell me you’ve heard of a warm blooded Dragon? Normally speaking, reptiles are cold blooded.”
Hearing this, Cappuccino blinked, as though he realized something. He examined Little Fireball, “You actually admitted you’re a reptile? Don’t tell me you… are also afraid of my little brother? To the point you’re willing to admit you’re a reptile?”
Little Fireball glanced at the Fourth Prince from the distance, then decided right on the spot to use a tone that infuriated Cappuccino and admitted, “Yup, master, I have scales, so no matter how you categorize me, I belong in the reptile family. Even though you flunked Biology — and just about everything else for that matter — you should at least know that cold blooded animals couldn’t live in a too cold or too hot of a climate, right? So… you have to chat with the Fourth Prince by yourself.”
“I… I am a reptile, too!” Cappuccino held his fist, and announced loudly and shamelessly.
“You’re a mammal.” Little Fireball glanced at his master. Clearly, even a Dragon learnt Biology better than Cappuccino.
“I can’t breastfeed! So how could I be a mammal, but…” Cappuccino crouched, got on all four and crawled a bit. He then raised his head and said triumphantly, “Look, I can crawl; therefore, I must be a reptile!”
But as soon as he raised his head, Cappuccino suddenly realized, while he was crawling on the ground, Little Fireball had actually backed up a dozen meters away, and continuously spitted out fireballs to warm his hands, while looking at his own Prince with sympathy.
“Why is it so cold?” Cappuccino felt the hair on his back standing up. Unless….
He turned his head only to find a pair of cold silver eyes staring at him. Cappuccino screamed on top of his lungs, “Ah~~~ I’m dead! I’m dead! I’m going to freeze to death!”
“Sovereign brother, Father asked me to find you, so you could take me to pick some Knights.” Liola stated coldly, as if he didn’t hear Cappuccino scream, nor did he see the strange sights of his own brother crawling around on the ground.
“Pick Knights?” Cappuccino blinked, he then got up from all fours and stood in his two feet. He asked skeptically, “Why all the trouble? You’re already the successor, does it really matter if you pick some or not?”
“This is father’s command.” Liola answered as such.
Cappuccino paused a moment. He didn’t understand the intent of his father’s command, but he sighed. Why would he bother guessing? No matter what his intent was, could he really disobey it?
“Let’s go. At this time, the Knights should still be practicing, so we will definitely find them on the training grounds.” Cappuccino shrugged, thinking this was also a chance for him to see if Blood Wolf was there. Having traveled the world, Blood Wolf had always been more knowledgeable, and perhaps he could immediately determine what the Dragon Emperor had done to Liola.
Thinking this, Cappuccino’s spirits had lifted and began to walk almost impatiently, to take his brother towards the training grounds. On the way, he didn’t forget his sister’s orders, and he kept talking.
“I wonder what Kaiser and others are doing right now? They might even be confronting the Black Dragon King right now, and that would be bad. Rumor has it, there are countless Lesser Dragons under his control, and even Qiusi couldn’t formulate a plan… right, you still remember Kaiser and others, right? ” Cappuccino pretended to be relaxed, and asked casually.
“… Yes.” Liola was quiet for a while, but still answered.
What was up with the hesitation? Perhaps there’s hope… Cappuccino tried to suppress the excitement in his mind. He asked carelessly, “Where did Kaiser, Daylight, and you disappeared to? I don’t think you went to the Commerce Alliance. I heard Purity and Meinan looked for you non-stop for more than a year, and the only place they didn’t look was the Dragon Continent.”
Liola stopped, and Cappuccino stopped with him, and looked with anticipation. Liola said coldly, “Don’t mention them. Father doesn’t like to hear about them.”
Hearing this, Cappuccino replied with a bit of disappointment, “Oh.” However, he thought that it was better he had gotten a response at all, which meant he still cared about his companions.
“Right.” Cappuccino suddenly thought of an actual question he actually wanted to ask. Seeing training grounds weren’t far away, he hurriedly asked, “Why did Father give you the title of Silver Moon?”
Without waiting for Liola’s answer, Cappuccino began to talk to himself and guessed, “Lancelot’s title is Paladin because he’s a Holy Knight, and he has always been honorable, so Father gave him that title, hoping him to be the idol for all the Holy Knights. Blood Wolf was the opposite. He is a Dark Knight, and his personality is quite weird, despite him being very strong. Father also gave him the title of Darkness. However, as for your ‘Silver Moon’, I don’t really understand it. ‘Silver’ makes a bit of sense, since your eyes are unique and they’re silver. ‘Moon’, on the other hand, is strange. I can’t fathom what ‘Silver Moon’ means.”
Cappuccino was just far too curious; to the point that even Liola’s frozen aura did not seem to damper his curiosity. He stared at his brother, hoping to get an answer, “Why exactly ‘Silver Moon’?”
Liola stopped. Because it was a question his sovereign brother had asked, he habitually thought it was something he should answer. Nevertheless, this question wasn’t so easily answered as it wasn’t a yes or no question, but Liola knew the answer to it.
Many memories pierced through Liola’s thoughts, and he said as if he were reciting, “Silver Moon, a name of my past, a name of an emotionless top Assassin who would always obey orders.”
Hearing this answer, Cappuccino’s pupils dilated. “Emotionless, always obey orders, top Assassin” …Are these really what their own father want his child to turn into? So when he gave Liola the title of Silver Moon, was his intention to turn Liola back into the original Assassin?
“Father, you are his and Susanna’s son…” Cappuccino’s face suddenly turned pale. When he saw Liola’s still expressionless eyes, Cappuccino’s heart panicked even more.
“Sovereign brother, the training ground?” Liola couldn’t understand why Cappuccino’s face turned pale, but all he wanted to do was carry out Father’s commands.
Cappuccino took a few deep breaths, and decided in his mind. For his brother, for Lanski, and even for the dead Susanna, he would do everything in his power to help his brother escape, from this place he should be calling home.
“Training ground is ahead. How many Knights will you be choosing?” Cappuccino began to walk forward again, while advising him, “The problem isn’t really with how many you choose. More importantly, you have to choose compatible ones, especially since you are the successor, so all the Knights must obey you. As long as you feel compatible with them, even their strength isn’t really an issue.”
With Cappuccino’s nagging, the two stepped into the training grounds. The Dragon Empire’s training ground wasn’t something that can be compared to those in Aklan Academy, since the majority of the Knights were Dragon Knights, and because the large size of Dragons, the training grounds were considerably larger. At a glance, one can see many giant circular arenas on top of the plains, and many Knights were dueling on top of them.
The training grounds were so large that they looked like track fields circling the arenas, and one could not judge the length of the fields around each. There were many Knights wearing armors standing in formations, running uniformly on those tracks.
What’s even more were Knights who were holding weapons, practicing how to pierce, stab, swing, etc. They all looked spirited, and their war cries pierced the skies.
Cappuccino and Liola stopped at the training grounds’ door. Technically speaking, the “door” was nothing more than an outpost made of stones, with guards standing on either side of it. As soon as the guards saw Cappuccino, they started smiling a bit indecently, as if to imply they had an idea of what Cappuccino usually did here. However, when they see Liola’s silver eyes, they obviously panicked a little, then formally saluted and yelled, “Greetings, Fourth Prince, Your Highness… and also Third Prince.”
Cappuccino didn’t know where to hide his shame, but this was already better than he expected. Had he been alone, not only would the guards not salute to him, they might even start warning this Prince that training grounds forbid alcohol, picnic, flirting with female Knights, etc.
Liola returned the formality coldly, and then went in ahead. After all, he only asked Cappuccino to lead him to the training grounds. Since he was already here, there was no longer a need to follow Cappuccino.
When Liola walked into the training grounds, the two guards finally relaxed. They looked at Cappuccino, who pretended to be solemn, and the two began to chatter, “Why are they so different when they’re both Princes?”
Cappuccino pouted his mouth with dissatisfaction. Although one of the guards saw him, he didn’t seem to fear him, and began to shake his head, “Look! Look! That Fourth Prince, he is a successor after all. He doesn’t even need to be angry to appear imposing, but look at our Third Prince… sigh!” The guard sighed exaggeratedly.
“Oh, our Third Prince, he doesn’t seem imposing even if he’s angry.” Another guard knocked his head as though he was vexed by something. A moment later, they both burst into laughter.
“Hey! You two, at least when I’m here for a picnic, I did bring you two some drumsticks. Do you really have to make fun of me?” Cappuccino protested loudly.
“Right, right.” The guard nodded, then added, “Afterwards, when Second Prince came and saw the picnic baskets on the ground, who yelled, ‘I didn’t come here for picnic! It was the guards who ate it. Look, there’s still oil on their lips, and there are chicken bones on the ground’?”
“Uh…” Cappuccino’s face suddenly changed, and smiled, “Well… Ah! My sovereign brother went in, I better go help them pick a Knight. You guys continue what you’re doing, I’m going in.”
The guards refrained from laughing while they saw this unscrupulous Prince walk into the training grounds.
As soon as Cappuccino walked into the training grounds, he saw the trail of ice statues Liola left behind. Cappuccino thought it strange. In under normal circumstances, the Knights training in the training grounds could ignore inspecting Royal Members or High Ranking Knights, as this was an order from the Dragon Emperor, to prevent interference on the Knight’s training. However, this order clearly was completely useless in Liola’s presence.
“Even without having to salute, such a cold creature would cause their skins to freeze, even if his eyes didn’t land on him.” Cappuccino signed, not knowing whether this was evidence of the cruel nature of his brother, his qualifications to be a King, or perhaps even the mercilessness required to be a King?
Seeing Liola getting further and further away, Cappuccino panickedly jogged up to his brother. The Knights’ responses were also quite strange: when Fourth Prince walked by, everyone froze on the spot, but when the Third Prince yelled, “Brother, wait for me,” and then jogged by, everyone felt a warm breeze pass by and defrosted them. The Knights seemed to smile helplessly, shaking their heads at this indecent Prince.
Cappuccino caught up to Liola, and secretly observed him. He noticed his brother was continually walking forward emotionlessly, nor did he look at the Knights around him. Cappuccino scratched his head; how would he possibly find a suitable Knight like this?
He knew suitable Knights weren’t an easy thing to find. Rumors had it, when their eldest brother was still a Knight, before he became a fortune teller, he only had two Knights following him, and they were both his friends growing up. Second brother Latte… Cappuccino frowned upon this brother of his. He had his own army of Knights, but he only paid attention to Lancelot and ignored all his other Knights.
As for himself, Cappuccino scratched his face; he was on good terms with most of the Knights. However, the most loyal one was probably none other than Blood Wolf. That guy and him were practically… in others words, one was an indecent Prince, and the other was an indecent Knight; together their indecency endangered the world… Wait, how could he even include that last thought from those guards?!
Why wasn’t there a good example for his brother to follow? Cappuccino bitterly thought about the reality of it all. He couldn’t use himself as a role model, right? Could one… below freezing Prince plus one below freezing Knight end up creating a new ice age, and freeze the rest of the Dragon Empire’s reptiles to death?
Cappuccino awoke from his daze, realizing his brother had gotten far again; he hurriedly caught up, and then asked, “Brother, what kind of Knight are you looking for?”
Liola stopped, and his eyes glanced across the Knights, as if freezing rays had been swirled by. The sound of things freezing could be heard continuously. He went silent, and continued to walk forward.
Seeing this, three black lines fell down Cappuccino’s forehead. He laughed bitterly, “Looks like we’ll be looking for the Knight who doesn’t freeze…”
Seeing Liola walking away, and his quick footsteps seemed to indicate his intention to walk a full circle around the training ground, Cappuccino sighed at his labored life, then followed him.
“You… are Silver Mask?”
A hesitating voice asked. Liola stopped quickly, so fast that Cappuccino almost couldn’t brake in time and rear-ended him. Liola turned his head, looking at the person who spoke. It was a Dark Knight. Liola examined the person: he had deep purple hair and black eyes, and somewhat cold expressions… he looked familiar, but that was it.
“Do you know this Knight?” Cappuccino asked curiously.
Liola’s mind drew blank. He didn’t know who it was, but since this person called him Silver Mask, it should be someone who knew him.
The purple-haired Knight seemed to have guessed what was going on, and he said directly, “I’m Yizhou.”
‘He even said his name, so now you should know who he is, right?’ Cappuccino looked back at Liola with hope, but the latter, regardless of whether he recognized him, remained emotionless. Not being able to judge whether Liola recognized the man, Cappuccino had no choice but to ask again, “Do you know him?”
“…” Liola continued to remain silent. It seemed like, regardless of whether he was Silver Moon or Liola, his habit of forgetting would never change.
Cappuccino scratched his face. His brother had probably forgotten the man completely. He shrugged at the Knight, “Never Mind whether he knew you before, he forgot you now. Describe how you knew him, and perhaps he would remember.”
Yizhou looked at Liola strangely, as if he couldn’t believe how much Liola had forgotten. He reminded Liola, “I have a twin brother, his name is Yiyu, and he’s a Sorcerer.”
“Violet Academy.” With such a reminder, Liola finally remembered.
Yizhou nodded, and Liola didn’t say anything else. The two remained quiet, and they looked remarkably similar. The only difference was the degree to which they were frozen. At least Yizhou was within the tolerance of a normal person, while Liola was the absolute zero, who was practically holding a sign that says, “Don’t get close, or else you have to be responsible for your own safety”.
“Yizhou, ah, I’ve heard about you. Aren’t you the genius Silver Knight who just got here? You’ve already reached silver rank at such a young age, it’s quite something.” Cappuccino broke the endless silence, and asked excitedly.
Yizhou glanced at Cappuccino, as if he was thinking about how he should answer. He finally nodded, and rigidly thanked him, “Thank you, Third Prince, for your compliments.”
“Hahaha, no problem… hahaha…” Cappuccino laughed, but the two people in front of him sank into silence again, which made his laugh more and more awkward. He cursed in his mind, thinking that he jinxed it, and now there really was an icy Knight. No! He could never let his brother be matched up with this Knight; otherwise even Little Fireball couldn’t defrost him!
“Brother, I say, let’s go find your Direct Knight. I know many talented Knights…” Cappuccino thought to himself, they have to at least find a Knight with a burning passion, so he could at least bring the temperature around his brother back to humanly tolerable levels.
“He will do.”
Who would have known Liola would point his finger at Yizhou, who was standing in front of him, completely stupefying Cappuccino.
“Why pick me?” Yizhou was even more shocked than Cappuccino, and he was also confused. Anyone could see his situation with the Fourth Prince was terrible. In addition, they used to enemies; so theoretically, Liola should have never picked him. In fact, in the silence just now, Yizhou had thought of the possibility of being kicked out of the Dragon Empire for angering Liola in the past.
Instead, he ended up being a Knight working under Liola, which would make him the successor’s Direct Knight, and also the future Dragon Emperor’s Direct Knight. This was practically the highest honor among Knights.
Liola glanced at him, and said, “You’re very quiet.” Since he had chosen a Knight, he had also finished his Father’s order. Liola walked away without turning his head and, towards the exit to the training grounds, without giving the Knight he had just chosen any instructions.
Yizhou, who had won the highest honor for Knights by being “quiet”, was now even quieter. He didn’t know if he should be happy or…
Cappuccino, on the other hand, began to panic, and he yelled loudly, “Wait, brother, let’s pick a few more. You want quiet ones, no problem, I know many mute Knights, and even if they aren’t, I’ll beat him until they are…”
Liola completely ignored his brother, and continued his quick footsteps toward the exit. Cappuccino dropped his shoulder in a depressed manner. He covered his face with infinite sadness, “My God, my God. Two frozen guys were put together. My spring, summer, and autumn will now all be gone. Does it mean the only thing left is a never-ending winter?”
“Don’t worry, master, I’m coming!” Little Fireball, in his small Dragon form, used all of its power, shooting out a long stream of fire, then asked while trying to catch his breath, “Are you melted now?”
A human-shaped charcoal spit out some black smoke, and then fell to the ground.
Chapter 3 : The Glamorous Female Knight
Cappuccino crept to the outskirts of the palace slowly, with his back glued to the wall. He took a deep breath, mustered all his courage and peeked his head over, then immediately withdrew it. He then gestured panickedly with his hands at Little Fireball, who was walking over leisurely.
Little Fireball glared at its master strangely, and asked jokingly, “What?”
Cappuccino used the quietest voice he could, “Go help me scout ahead for any obstacles.”
“What kind of obstacles?” Little Fireball raised its eyebrows.
“You know, the one, the very cute…” Despite saying the word “cute”, Cappuccino’s face was filled with fear.
“With those watery blue eyes…”
“Blue eyes?” Little Fireball raised its eyebrows again. Though as soon as its Prince uttered the word “cute”, it knew very well what he was talking about, but it didn’t want to fulfill its master’s wishes.
Cappuccino finally added the last hint with a painful voice, “The one who kept calling out ‘brother’ with a pleading voice…”
With this much description, Little Fireball realized it couldn’t play dead anymore. At that instant, he suddenly noticed a few thin cream white strands of hair. It was silent for a bit, then finally, with whatever little sense of duty and responsibility it felt towards its master, it opened its mouth, “Are you talking about the girl above us, who is looking down from her window, named Lanski?”
Cappuccino suddenly looked up, and he was shocked to see her sister on the window frame, using the most terrifying bio-weapon he had known — the cute blue eyes. She looked at him with grievance, while Jasmine was standing next to her with a snappy attitude. She held a small Baolilong in her hands, who was sleeping soundly in her arms.
“Sister, good morning.” Having reached this point, Cappuccino had no choice but bite the bullet and force a smile to greet his sister, while acting as though he had never asked his Dragon to go scout ahead for some terrifying obstacles with blue eyes.
Though she knew Cappuccino was referring to herself, Lanski didn’t seemed to be bothered by her brother’s usual strange behavior. She asked with a pouted mouth, “Third brother, where is Liola?”
“Strange, I am Third brother, yet you don’t call Liola Fourth brother…”
Cappuccino murmured, but then he was shot by the cute blue rays. Cappuccino had to answer her while trembling, “He went to the the training grounds to pick a Direct Knight, then I don’t know where he went. He probably went to see father, to report on a successful mission.”
Hearing Liola went to see father, Lanski frowned. She looked at Jasmine on her side, and realized she had the same worried look. Nevertheless, there was little they could do; the Dragon Emperor wasn’t someone these two could go up against.
“Third brother, did you chat with Liola? Did you find out anything about why he’s acting like this?” Lanski looked down at Cappuccino again, and asked anxiously.
“Technically… yes.” Cappuccino forced a reply, even though he said 9.5 out of 10 sentences spoken between them. He didn’t know whether his brother heard his words or not, considering Liola’s answers were mostly “yes” and “no”.
Hearing this, Lanski’s spirit seemed lifted. She asked hurriedly, “Then, do you know what happened with Liola?”
Cappuccino crouched, and answered with a stutter, “Well, yes and no, but truthfully you and I both know, he’s under someone else’s control, right?”
Of course Lanski knew, but she kept trying to comfort herself by telling herself that perhaps her father had only been temporarily unhappy… But in the past few days, she had felt helpless towards Liola’s changes, and plus Baolilong would constantly cry, hoping papa would come and hold its crying face. Lanski felt very sad, and she could no longer lie to herself.
Her face sank. She could no longer suppress the boiling anger in her heart. She stood up and yelled emotionally, “Who controlled him? Why don’t you just say it straight? Everyone knew, Eldest brother know, you know, and I know; it’s father! Father controlled Liola, controlling his very own son!”
“Princess Lanski, don’t say that!” Cappuccino suddenly changed his expression, and he yelled solemnly. Lanski didn’t expect her Third brother with such a casual personality would yell at her so seriously. She suddenly froze, and instead, it was Jasmine who spoke, “Are you really that afraid of him? So much that you wouldn’t even speak of the truth everyone knows?”
Cappuccino glared at Jasmine, and answered with a gloomy tone, “You don’t understand!”
“I really don’t!” Jasmine’s body was trembling from anger, and she held Baolilong closer in her arms.
“I don’t understand what kind of family you have. Children afraid of the father, and the father harming his own child. Plus, you guys can witness your own brother being harmed, but wouldn’t dare to stand out to help.”
Cappuccino’s face suddenly went warped. He spoke word by word, “Do-not-talk-like-that!”
“I am going to talk exactly like that! You…”
Jasmine was interrupted by the quiet Little Fireball, whom spoke calmly, “You think there’s no one else here just because you can’t see anyone, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there really is no one there.”
Jasmine paused, and a scary thought went through her head. She sat down slowly, and she pulled Lanski down as well. After taking a few long breaths, she finally said, “Sorry, we’ve had something wrong to eat, and that put us in a bad mood, so we said a bunch of nonsense.”
“Reeeally?” Cappuccino dragged the syllable like a scumbag, “I think it’s because ‘that’ is here. I heard the days where girls loose blood, they always get moody.”
Though she knew Cappuccino was probably trying to change the topic, but Jasmine was in no mood for jokes. She snapped back, “Scram!”
Faced with opposition even with his good intentions, Cappuccino touched his nose and left quickly with Little Fireball.
* * *
Jasmine looked worriedly at Lanski, wondering how she would react to what they just found out. She believed that Lanski heard the other meaning in Little Fireball’s words. Perhaps… the Dragon Emperor had always knew what his children were doing. If he finds out they wanted to go against him, would they have the same ending as Liola? Thinking about this, Jasmine felt a spinal shiver. She really couldn’t believe, a father would turn his own children into such a cold machine.
Lanski forced her lips together tightly. Having seen Cappuccino’s serious face, she finally realized perhaps she herself had been too naive. She began to think about things she had never doubted before, and many thoughts raced through her mind.
She didn’t realize until now; she had been doubting many things, but because of the fear for the truth, she unconsciously buried these doubts deep in her heart while lying to herself. Now, however, these doubts were uncovered. Lanski began to shiver uncontrollably. She wrapped her arms around herself, but no matter what she did, she couldn’t drive the cold sensations away from her heart.
Jasmine couldn’t help but shake her sister’s* shoulder. Lanski still bit on her lips, and her face was filled with hesitation and struggles. Finally, she wanted to look for some comfort; she turned and asked Jasmine with a bitter smile, “Jas… how did you think my Second brother died?”
[T/N: Sorority Sister.]
“Killed by Miluo!” Jasmine answered almost without thinking.
Lanski didn’t expect Jasmine would answer without any hesitation. She thought the latter didn’t know the truth. When she wanted to speak her thoughts, Jasmine suddenly hugged her, with a voice that was, though trembling, filled with certainty, “Miluo killed him, Miluo killed him, it must be…”
Lanski felt Jasmine’s tremble, and realized that perhaps her sister had already knew the truth about her father, but didn’t knew how to say it, or perhaps could never say it. With tears, she hugged back, no longer denying what she said, “Yes, Miluo killed him…”
“But, Jasmine, I’m scared… Scared Liola would also get killed by Miluo.”
Jasmine’s body suddenly went rigid. When she pulled her head up again, her face was as pale as Lanski’s. The two looked at each other. Within each other’s worried faces, an even stronger emotion was there — a flame of determination to protect someone. They no longer needed any more words. The two, who had lived together since childhood, already knew what the other was thinking.
After a long while, Lanski acted like nothing had happened. She murmured, “Ah, well, I must be thinking too much; Liola couldn’t possibly get killed by Miluo in the palace. Let’s not think about that. Is Baolilong about wake up? Let’s go find some lunch.”
“Mhm, otherwise baby would yell hungry again when it wakes up.” Looking at the cute sleeping face of Baolilong in her arms, Jasmine finally smiled slightly.
* * *
As Cappuccino had guessed, Liola was indeed going to see his father. After receiving orders from the Dragon Emperor, he went back to get Yizhou to go back with him.
In the hallway, the Dragon Emperor sat on the throne, with only Idojin under his cloak next to him. The Dragon Emperor’s purple eyes stared at the Knight his successor had chosen. Truthfully, he didn’t really care if Liola had a Direct Knight or not. Like what Cappuccino said, all the Knights must obey the Dragon Emperor, so it made little difference whether he had chosen a Direct Knight.
He just wanted to see what kind of person Liola would choose, and therefore, determine if Liola’s emotions had been completely wiped or not.
Other than “Greetings, Your Majesty”, Yizhou hadn’t said anything else, but the Dragon Emperor could tell, from his cold eyes, that this Knight wasn’t some passionate, kind man. The Dragon Emperor seemed satisfied.
“With his age and corresponding strength, he is indeed a Knight with potential. Nevertheless, his present strength wasn’t enough. Child, why don’t you pick some more powerful Gold Knights. Isn’t it better to have strong companions?” The Dragon Emperor was actually very satisfied with Liola’s choice, but he wanted to hear it in his own words.
“I don’t need them.” Liola answered.
“What don’t you need?” The Dragon Emperor smiled slightly.
“I don’t need companions.” Liola answered straightforwardly.
“Ah… right, you don’t need companions.” The Dragon Emperor’s smile grew, but his tone changed. He said, “But lately, father wants to send you to do a few things, and having a few Direct Knights would make it easier to accomplish your task.”
Liola didn’t answer. He was waiting for the Dragon Emperor’s command, not advise.
“Father helped you choose a Knight, tell me if you’re satisfied.”
Of course, the Dragon Emperor knew his successor would never say he’s not satisfied. Sure enough, Liola didn’t say anything, nor did his expression change. Instead, it was Yizhou who looked slightly unhappy.
At this time, sounds of footsteps could be heard from the door to the hallway. Liola didn’t turn his head, but instead instinctively judged the person’s strength from the footsteps. Judging from footsteps on the marbled floor, they were firm, but it wasn’t the usual deep sound from a Knight. Instead it was crisp, which indicated the person was probably not a man. The crisp sound didn’t suggest she valued dexterity, or otherwise the sounds would be far quieter. The firm steps further suggested the person would be a power-focused Knight.
A woman who focused on power, Liola concluded. Though this conclusion was a bit strange; ordinarily speaking, a woman’s physical strength was less than that of a man, so most of them focused on dexterity; Lanski was the best example of this, but Liola didn’t think his conclusion was wrong.
The footsteps stopped right behind Liola. A tender and soft voice could then be heard, “Greetings, Your Highness the Fourth Prince.”
Liola turned around and nodded. Like what the Dragon Emperor predicted, he didn’t seem to object. It was Yizhou who seemed to pause at the sight of this person: this Knight was a woman, one whose appearance could be described as voluptuous. Her seductive green eyes were electrifying, and her wavy hair reached her chest.
As soon as she saw Yizhou was looking at her, she flirtatiously tilted her head, and pouted her fiery red lips. She played with a strand of her blonde hair in front of her chest, trying to attract Yizhou’s attention to it. Her white busty chest looked like they were about to burst out of her low-cut vest. Even the cold Yizhou turned his head awkwardly, trying to look away.
“Hehe.” Seeing Yizhou turn his head, the glamorous female Knight began to giggle, with a sense of tease in her green eyes.
Yizhou tilted his head slightly to look at Liola. He was curious: how would the Fourth Prince, who was even colder than himself, react. He saw Liola’s eyes glance past the female Knight’s entire body.
What made Yizhou’s eyes almost pop out was, Liola actually went up and touched the female Knight’s arms, waist, and thighs. These actions even shocked the female Knight. According to her research and what she had seen, she thought this Prince was someone who kept his distance from all the girls.
Then Liola reached back, and grabbed the female Knight’s weapons from her back: they were duo axes, 1.5 persons in length, and 3 times wider than Liola. He elegantly turned it in his hands. The axes looked extremely heavy, and an onlooker would probably worry whether Liola’s thin arms would break. However, he easily swung it around, nodded, then gave the axes back to the female Knight.
The female Knight used both of her hands to receive the axes with a surprise. She knew, these giant axes couldn’t even be held up by non-power-focused Knights. She didn’t expect such a thin Prince could easily swing them around with one hand, as if the axes were thin swords. The female Knight blinked, and immediately understood the successor wasn’t someone she could mess with.
“What do you think?” The Dragon Emperor looked at the successor’s actions curiously.
Liola nodded, “Strong arms and thighs, and flexible waist. Her overall strength is acceptable.”
So he was touching the female Knight to feel her muscle, Yizhou suddenly realized. Truth was, this explanation was far more believable than the ice cube Fourth Prince flirting with female Knights.
“Acceptable?” The female Knight seemed angered, and her originally tender voice began to raise, “Sorry, Prince, Your Highness, though I wouldn’t dare to say I’m comparable to the Paladin or Dark Knight, but among the Knights, I dare to say the amount of Knights stronger than me can be counted with the fingers on two hands. My kind of strength is only just acceptable?” She said mockingly.
Liola didn’t answer her question. To him, there were only a few people he had to respond to, and it definitely didn’t include this female Knight, who was about to become his subordinate.
Flower actually regretted it the moment the words left her mouth. No matter what, the person in front of her was the successor, the future Dragon Emperor, and her immediate boss. She couldn’t afford to anger such a person, so she had to quickly make it up. Flower showed a flirtatious smile, “But the Prince’s lesson is correct. Flower should train more. How could the successor’s Direct Knight be weaker than the Paladin and the Dark Knight?”
Flower said with a stutter, but her eyes did not forget to pay attention to Liola’s reaction. However, his expression hadn’t changed a single bit ever since she walked in. He really couldn’t tell if he was mad or not. Could this person be an ice cube? Flower thought angrily.
“Enough, Flower.” The Dragon Emperor waved his hand to stop Flower, and said to Liola,
“Since you think Flower is not bad, then take her as a Direct Knight. Two Knights don’t seem enough…” The Dragon Emperor pondered.
At this time, Idojin walked a step forward in his cloak, and whispered a few things to the Dragon Emperor. The Dragon Emperor tilted his head to listen, then smiled, “Is there really such a coincidence?”
“Sir Yizhou.” The Dragon Emperor suddenly said quietly.
Yizhou shook a bit, then took a step forward and replied, “Yes, Sir.”
“Do you have a Sorcerer twin brother?”
“Yes,” Yizhou’s gaze looked towards Idojin, and said, “My brother is master Idojin’s apprentice.”
The Dragon Emperor smiled with satisfaction, “Then it’s decided, Yiyu will also become the successor’s direct subordinate.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Yizhou nodded. This was a good news to him. He had been used to fighting with Yiyu, and one could say that their combined power was more than double of his on his own. This was indeed useful to Yizhou, who was a Direct Knight to the successor but only with a Silver rank.
“Then all of you may leave. Child, stay for now, Father has a mission for you.”
The two Knights saluted to the Dragon Emperor and the successor, then left quietly.
* * *
As soon as they stepped out of the hallway, Flower began to complain, “What the hell? Is that really a Prince? He’s a big ice cube. Third Prince is far more interesting.”
Yizhou remained silent, but the same concern was raised in his mind. When he saw Liola before, he was cold, yet not freezingly so like now. Plus, he used to hang around several Aklan Academy students, but now he was always alone.
“He has no reaction to salutes either, looks like our days will be terrible. I have heard originally that the successor looks great, and I was so happy.” Flower pouted, showing her dissatisfaction.
Yizhou was thinking of a way to tell his brother the news. As for his coworker’s complaints, they went in one ear and out the other. He didn’t even bother to glance at her. His foot turned, and he was about to leave when…
Bang! A giant noise later, Yizhou widened his eyes. He looked down at the right foot he put forward. About a centimetre away from his toes, a giant axe clashed with the ground, creating a crater of about ten meters long and five meters wide, and its depth could not be determined.
Yizhou’s eyes slowly raised from the crater. An arm full of muscle with veins popping was holding the handle of the axe. Flower slowly raised her head; her originally seductive face had now two veins showing on her forehead. Under her eyebrows, the two originally water eyes now looked like they were two pots of boiling water!
Yizhou’s eyes suddenly grew to twice its size. His body froze as he looked at his coworker, who suddenly turned hostile.
Flower raised her index finger and waved it; with her ferocious and dangerous eyes, she said, “Never, ever ignore me.”
Being suppressed by Flower’s imposing attitude, Yizhou couldn’t move, and he had to nod. He had to admit defeat in front of someone with greater power; he had no intention to be the guinea pig to test out exactly how strong Flower’s vein-popping arm was.
Flower used her strong arms to returned the axes to her back. Her hands rubbed on her face, and when she raised her head, it revealed that seductive face again. She twirled her hair with her finger, and complained somewhat unhappily, “Such a bother! My hair is all messed up! Ah, but maybe a messy hair looks even more sexy. Zhouzhou, don’t you think so?”
“Yes…” Yizhou’s mouth twitched a little, and he held his fist a bit tighter. He had never heard anyone calling him like that, but when his eyes were fixed on the crater on the ground, he suddenly relaxed his fist.
“Aiya, did my makeup got smeared?”
“Ah, ah, such a bother, my boobs are too big, and the zippers are bursting open. Zhouzhou, help me pull it up~”
Yizhou looked as Flower showed her back unreservedly. He suddenly thought, perhaps the ones who would have terrible days from now on would be him and his brother.
* * *
The Dragon Emperor looked at the successor, who was standing below him quietly. Liola’s recent performance had made him quite satisfied. During his Knight certification, the strength he demonstrated had actually surpassed the Dragon Emperor’s expectation. That cold, terrifying presence was very befitting of an Emperor. Though he was somewhat unamicable, so it was disadvantageous for winning over the Knights’ loyalty. It didn’t matter, though, when he succeeds with the Dragon Emperor’s heart, Liola would change eventually.
Then, there was only one thing left: completely severe Liola’s bonds with his companions!
The Dragon Emperor already had a plan for this. He smiled lightly and said, “Child, are you familiar with the battle situation in the Aklan Continent?”
Liola slowly shook his head. The Dragon Emperor didn’t ask him to pay attention to the northern continent’s war. Naturally, Liola paid no attention to it, and therefore knew nothing of it.
“Miluo had already led the Lesser Dragons to attack Aklan. Their war path had been successful, and they’ve almost made it to where Qiusi is.” The Dragon Emperor pondered, while observing the successor from the corner of his eyes. Liola didn’t seem to act like he cared after hearing this. The Dragon Emperor continued satisfactorily, “Though we’ve heard rumors about Qiusi not being able to defend and planning on retreating, but I do not believe Qiusi only had such measly amount of forces.”
“Even after cornering him like this, he still isn’t willing to show his true hand. This person is surely more complex than I thought…” The Dragon Emperor smiled, but his smile was frosty, “He is a worthy opponent, who stopped me for hundreds of years.”
The Dragon Emperor said lightly, “I feel he’s too dangerous.”
Liola’s face had been emotionless, but now his eyes flashed with a cold light. Having long been an Assassin, his instincts told him the Dragon Emperor had already given him a mission. Liola answered directly, “Understood.”
“Slow down, my understanding child.” The Dragon Emperor’s purple eyes became deep and dark, and he revealed a smile, then said word for word, “This time, I will go myself, to get rid of this dangerous factor.”
Then, the Dragon Emperor tilted his body slightly towards Idojin, and said, “Idojin, is everything ready?”
“Yes, Your Highness.” Idojin bowed slightly, then took out a staff adorned with a giant jewel at the end. He began chanting some mysterious incantation. A magic circle began to tinkle in the air, and the light grew brighter and brighter. Its size also went from about the size of a fist to eventually about the height of a person. The light also turned more gentle, no longer blinding.
“Go in, child, and help father get rid of anyone who may pose a threat.” The Dragon Emperor stood still, and his thin, long finger pointed directly at the magic circle. He smiled as he gave the kill order to his child.
Liola’s expression was cold as always. He elegantly pulled out Broken Silver and, with a familiar twist, unsheathed the weapon quietly. The Broken Silver shined with a silver light; like its master, the thin blade seemed to be filled with a sense of cold.
With his years of training to step silently, Liola stepped into the magic circle, to carry out the mission ordered by his father. The goal of this mission was, to thrust Broken Silver into the chest of his companion’s father.
Chapter 4 : The Final Tear
“Prime Minister, the Black Dragon King is already not far from here. Our front lines can’t hold on for much longer, so please, Prime Minister, please leave the capital as soon as possible.”
The representative from all over Aklan were protected by Soldiers surrounding the borders. The recent defeats they’ve suffered and the fact that they would soon be forced to leave their homes, had filled their faces with despair. Only a few of them still acted normally, and these were the people who were worriedly pleading their Prime Minister to leave.
“I’ll be fine. You guys leave first. My teleport is far faster than Maxuns.” Qiusi answered with a smile, with an expression unbefitting of a Prime Minister who was about to be forced out of the capital of his own country.
Hearing Qiusi’s answer, these people relaxed a bit. Even though they knew little of Magic, but Prime Minister Qiusi’s immense magic strength was well known. To ask such a Sorcerer who excelled in teleportation to use a transportation tool seemed a bit… redundant.
They nodded, “We understand, then we will leave first. Please, quickly retreat to the city behind the capital.”
Qiusi smiled and nodded, then looked as all the representatives leave one by one under the guard of the Soldiers, until finally, he was the only one standing there.
It wasn’t until now that Qiusi withdrew his smile, and his brows frowned at the same time. He turned around to look deeply at the meeting room of the Aklan Republic. The broad meeting room was in the shape of a fan, with a podium in the center of it. Facing the podium, were ascending levels of seats. Qiusi’s position was on the side of the podium. As Aklan’s Prime Minister, this was a place he visited everyday.
Most of the time he came here to see the representatives as though he was coming to see a show: they argued about everything ranging from national matters to whether they should put garbage cans on the streets. Occasionally, after an argument with his son and being in a bad mood, he would come here and yell at the representatives, calling them bad examples for the society, and using their apologetic feeling to balance the hurt his son had caused him…
“Is it right or wrong to abandon this place?”
Qiusi thought carefully. What made him feel helpless was how the Dragon Emperor almost never acted as expected. Sometimes, the Dragon Emperor would indeed devise a sinister plan, but some other times, his actions seem to convey a sense of kindness. Qiusi had always thought it was a way to make him lower his guard, but strangely enough, the end results of those times proved that the Dragon Emperor really wasn’t malicious at those times.
This characteristic of the Dragon Emperor had always made Qiusi felt helpless. If everything the Emperor did was malicious, he would actually feel slightly better, but this two-sidedness actually made Qiusi grow tired from guessing.
Thinking about Dragon Emperor’s volatility, Qiusi suddenly remembered his old friend, Susanna. Susanna stood by the Dragon Emperor at the time, and due to the nature of their confrontation, Qiusi and his companions could never ask why their good friend would betray them. Gle had always thought she simply treated lovers better over friends.
But, ever since they sent Gle to the other world, the Dragon Emperor had been quiet for hundreds of years. Although sometimes he would come up with various plans, Qiusi determined the plans didn’t seem to have taken much thought, such as framing Gladiolus. Despite being the top Assassin in this world, Gladiolus lacked much strength. If Qiusi really were infuriated by his wife’s death and used all his powers as a Prime Minister, leveling the Dark Street wasn’t out of the question for him.
Qiusi had been thinking for many of years and he had always thought the Dragon Emperor’s quietness must have something to do with his good friend Susanna, but could Susanna’s death turned the Dragon Emperor’s volatility into purely evil?
“Whatever, whether you’re evil, or switching between good and evil, I must rid you while I’m still alive. I will never allow my child to sink into… the same fate as me — to struggle against the Dragon Emperor throughout his entire life.” Remembering his son, Qiusi forced out any thoughts about his past, and held his determination to fight to the death against the Dragon Emperor.
Suddenly, a strong and powerful magic fluctuation appeared behind him. Qiusi was shocked. He didn’t think there would be such a powerful Magician in this world he didn’t know about. At this point, Qiusi knew without guessing the appearance of such a strong person must have something to do with the Dragon Emperor, but he didn’t really care — he was too confident in his own comprehensive protective shield, since it was the reason he had lived for the hundreds of years of struggle against the Dragon Emperor.
Truthfully, Qiusi’s attack power was absolutely nothing in the face of a rank-X person, but his defense… let’s put it this way, Qiusi had been faced with Assassins under every strange situation one could think of: eating, showering, sleeping, etc. In one of the worst cases, he was suffering diarrhea when he ran into a damned female Assassin. That time, he was sitting on the toilet, accompanied by varying water sounds as well as the smell of his food poisoning. Because it was far too stinky, the female Assassin had covered her nostrils with toilet paper. She jumped from every angle to attack, but she could not break his protective shield.
Finally, Qiusi slowly stood up from the toilet, wiped his butt, flushed, washed his hands, then walked past the female Assassin’s body who was vomiting blood from being far too furious. He then yawned, and climbed on the bed to sleep… And then, rumors were, the female Assassin had since then quit the profession of being an Assassin.
After that, the Dragon Emperor had never sent anyone else to assassinate him, probably because he didn’t have too many Assassins under his commands, and he couldn’t afford to lose them like this.
Could it be the assassination attempts he hadn’t seen for a long time be starting again? Qiusi was actually facing the situation with an attitude of wanting to watch a good show. He turned leisurely and saw a magic door fluctuating before him. Qiusi guessed this may very well be another assassination attempt. A familiar figure emerged from the magic circle, then the figure staggered a few times, then fell to the ground, and stopped moving.
Qiusi opened his eyes wide, and looked shockingly at the unmoving body on the ground, then yelled in shock, “Liola?”
The person on the ground struggled a bit, then raised his head. Painful expressions filled his face.
“Are you… being controlled by the Dragon Emperor?” Qiusi remembered what Mizerui said, and put up his guard. He didn’t forget this person used to be top Assassin of the other world who could get his way unhindered.
“M-Mizerui was… by… the Dragon Emperor…” Liola struggled to get up, but with a frown, he spit out a mouthful of blood. He forced his body up, but he was powerless to move again.
‘Mizerui? Damn! Didn’t I tell him to be careful, and don’t act rashly by himself?’ Qiusi had a rough expression on his face. Truth was, when he heard Mizerui say that Liola had completely sunk under the Dragon Emperor’s control, he advised Mizerui to leave the Dragon Continent. After all, the Dragon Emperor couldn’t possibly have not known Mizerui’s true intent by now, but he refused to go. Qiusi could therefore do nothing but ask him to be careful.
“What happened to Mizerui?” Qiusi walked towards the Assassin on the ground. As usual, his protective shield surrounded his body every second of the minute.
Liola shook his head disgruntledly, and this action made Qiusi knit his brows even more, but all of a sudden, a purple figure flashed out of the magic door. The sword in his hand were intertwined with powerful purple aura, and the target was Liola on the ground. Qiusi didn’t have time to think, nor did he have the time to run over, so he had to extend the range of his comprehensive shield, so he could include Liola into the shield.
The protective shield successfully blocked the Dragon Emperor’s attack. When the purple aura collided with Qiusi’s shield, it created a beautiful purple fireworks, but the protective shield remained unscathed by this beautiful purple aura.
“This plan is surely dirty enough.” Qiusi’s voice was unusually dry.
The Dragon Emperor ignored Qiusi’s accusation of being low, and instead walked curiously around Qiusi’s shield, carefully observing this legendary shield that stopped him for hundreds of years, as if he was waiting…
“Is Mizerui okay?” Qiusi suddenly remembered.
The Dragon Emperor answered casually, “Mocha is in the way, so it’s not easy for me to attack.”
“I see how it is.”
Qiusi nodded, so Mizerui must be out of harm’s way for the time being. Qiusi couldn’t help but laugh bitterly. What a joke! Mizerui, who had always carelessly walked around in the Dragon Emperor’s presence, was going to outlive Qiusi himself, who was always careful and scared of being assassinated by the Dragon Emperor. Blood oozed out of Qiusi’s mouth, and it dripped past his neck, until it colored his chest.
“Sigh, looks like I can’t see my baby, Meinan, marry a girl. It’s all his fault; he looks perverted. It’s not like he hadn’t gotten himself a girlfriend, but he still couldn’t get me a daughter-in-law.” Qiusi sighed, and couldn’t help but reminded Liola, “You have to remind Meinan, when he marries a girl, remember to bring her to me to see. It would be best for them to burn a few wedding photos. Also, when they get me a grandchild, don’t forget to bring the child to my grave to call me grandpa.”
[T/N: in traditional Chinese beliefs, burning things for loved ones will make them receive it in the afterlife, hence the common practice of burning paper (fake) money; so Qiusi’s dialog for them to bring her for him to see was by burning pictures]
Liola’s body trembled slightly, and the hand holding onto Broken Silver could no longer continue to stay at the same place. He suddenly pulled Broken Silver out of Qiusi’s chest, knowing full well that this action could make Qiusi, who was still smiling lightly, lose much blood from his wound. Qiusi, who was covered with blood, suddenly lost more blood, turning his face completely pale. His body, like autumn leaves, shook a few times then fell face-first towards the ground.
Liola, practically out of reflex, threw down Broken Silver, and reached up to catch Qiusi’s falling body. At the same time, he felt the warm blood from Qiusi, Broken Silver had fallen onto the ground, making a crisp metallic sound.
Compared to the warmth of the blood, Qiusi’s face against Liola’s neck was deathly chill. Had it not been his weak breathing, Liola would’ve thought he was holding a dead man. Nevertheless, he knew, if the man wasn’t treated soon, he would not be far from a dead man.
Liola didn’t realize until now, he actually missed. Had his attack landed on the heart, Qiusi wouldn’t still be alive.
“D-don’t worry, cough cough… You didn’t do it willingly. Meinan… he will forgive you.” Qiusi said while coughing blood. The attack probably hit his lungs.
The words shot through Liola’s heart like an arrow. He suddenly understood, just now, using the opportunity of Qiusi putting himself within his shield, he jagged Broken Silver through Meinan’s father’s chest…
Qiusi, who was nearly unconscious at this point, suddenly felt Liola’s body shaking. He struggled to raise his head, only to find two streams of tears running down from the silver eyes. The pain in the silver eyes was obvious to anyone who would set their eyes on it. Qiusi tried to force himself conscious, and comforted him, “Don’t worry, it’s okay, everyone will understand, nobody would blame you.”
Hearing Qiusi’s comforting, Liola’s eyes were nearly covered by the raging tears. He no longer hesitated. He held Qiusi with one hand, and used his other hand to quickly tap the Qiusi’s pressure points across his chest. Qiusi felt something refreshing coming out of Liola’s fingers, and suddenly, the pain sensation dropped quickly, and the taste of death he had sensed was slowly fading.
[T/N: This refers to a previously noted topic: In Martial Arts novels, hitting different pressure points usually have various effects. In this case, it’s implied that tapping Qiusi’s chest pressure points would stop/slow his bleeding.]
“What are you doing? My successor!”
The Dragon Emperor seemed to have noticed something was wrong. He was already very unhappy with Liola catching Qiusi’s body, and now he was sensing Qiusi’s life stabilizing, so he knew Liola had something to do with it. This made Dragon Emperor so furious that his tone was filled with anger, thereby completing forgetting his usual elegant tone. His purple eyes were practically spitting fire, and he yelled, “Kill him! Liola, you must kill him for me!”
Liola’s body trembled, but no actions were taken. Although he was still under the Dragon Emperor’s control, instincts continuously told Liola he couldn’t kill the man in his arms, absolutely not!
Seeing Liola not moving an inch, the Dragon Emperor’s body began to shake. Having seen Liola went with the plan to assassinate Qiusi, he thought his successor was complete without any problems, but now it was failing mere centimeters before the finishing line, how could the Dragon Emperor not be enraged?
However, thinking about Liola’s recent “good behavior”, such a good successor was not easy to find. As such, the Dragon Emperor forced down the anger in his mind, and decided to have Idojin increase the control when they get back. As for now, he decided to kill Qiusi himself.
Sensing father’s anger, Liola felt so bad, as though someone was squeezing his heart tightly, and he had to rely on his instinct to disobey the order. However, he quickly noticed father was already walking his way. His immense murderous intent clearly told Liola he decided to handle Qiusi himself, and this made Liola panick to the point where he couldn’t breathe.
“Leave quickly! Use your teleport.” Liola whispered.
Though Qiusi heard Liola’s reminder, but losing so much blood had made him unable to even talk, let alone using advanced magic like teleport. He could only smile bitterly while being only half conscious. He had thought he might’ve come out with this life, but it looked difficult now. Nevertheless, forcing the Dragon Emperor to do it himself was better, at least it would reduce this pitiful child’s guilt.
The person in his arms didn’t respond and looked like he was about to pass out, Liola understood it was impossible for Qiusi to use teleport to escape. He put Qiusi on the ground gently, then turned to walk towards the Dragon Emperor, hoping to plead for mercy on Qiusi’s behalf. Liola saw his father’s cold purple eyes, and a gust of emotionless wind blew on the successor’s heart and made it colder again.
Though tears were still on his cheeks, but teared silver eyes quickly returned to the emotionless state. Liola quietly chanted again, “Kill, kill, kill…”
The Dragon Emperor stopped, and looked suspiciously at the change that occurred in the successor’s attitude. However, he was unsure; should he go up and end Qiusi’s life, or wait to see if his successor would return to his control, obey his order, and kill Qiusi? He glanced at Qiusi, who had obviously sank into unconsciousness. Despite getting Liola’s help, he could tell, without treatment soon, Qiusi still could not escape death’s grasp.
Seeing Qiusi like this, the Dragon Emperor calmed down. He playfully looked as the successor sank into his own struggle. Liola repeated “kill” quicker and quicker, and his colder and colder eyes both told the Dragon Emperor, the emotionless side of him was winning.
The Dragon Emperor found this interesting, so he casually sat down on a chair near him. Coincidentally, this was Qiusi’s Prime Minister chair.
Liola bitterly struggled between being controlled and his instincts. Suddenly, his body froze, and he yelled angrily, “Kill!” Then turned around and flew towards Qiusi’s body.
The Dragon Emperor’s interest piqued; he had originally thought that, by the looks of it, the successor was going to struggle for quite some time, but Liola’s suddenly change made Dragon Emperor skeptical. When he looked towards Qiusi, he noticed another person appearing next to Qiusi. Had it not been Liola’s yell, the Dragon Emperor honestly didn’t realize the arrival of this other person.
“Barbalis.” The Dragon Emperor showed a smile on the corner of his mouth, “So it was your arrival that reaffirmed the successor’s determination to kill. How ironic.”
Truth was, Barbalis had already sensed it when Qiusi was seriously injured. When he rushed here, he struggled to find an opportunity to save Qiusi. Fortunately, Liola sank into a struggle, and the Dragon Emperor had disgustingly put his attention on watching the successor struggle. Barbalis decided to use this time to take Qiusi away without anyone noticing, and he did indeed do a good job because, after all, the Dragon Emperor didn’t notice him, but it wasn’t enough to conceal from himself from Liola, an Assassin who could determine the number of enemies from hundreds of meters away.
It was too fast!
Although Barbalis had immediately used teleport the moment he touched Qiusi, Liola’s speed was far too quick. Before he even fully finished pronouncing “kill”, he had already appeared next to Qiusi. Without a weapon, Liola’s right hand exploded with his blood aura, and threw it at Qiusi without. Qiusi was immediately covered in blood, and then teleport finally activated, making both Qiusi and Barbalis disappear.
“Purple Tornado?” The Dragon Emperor suddenly stood up in shock. Although it wasn’t a purple aura, it was indeed a red aura laced with the color of blood, but the move was indeed Purple Tornado, the very move he once used on the successor.
The Dragon Emperor began to laugh loudly. He knew, despite the fact that Liola did not die from receiving a hit, he was a peerless Assassin with a strong body whereas Qiusi was simply a weak Sorcerer with a serious injury before the attack. Even an idiot would know, Qiusi was gone, and his successor had successfully completed the mission.
Qiusi was dead… Liola knew it well in his heart. The man whom he injured and who desperately tried to comfort him was dead. Meinan’s father was dead, killed by his own hands!
Everything was over!
Liola felt as though he saw Meinan’s vengeful eyes, Purity’s unbelievable tears, Daylight’s disappointing headshakes, and Kaiser’s rigid face, never smiling again. He had felt himself falling into an abyss, one he could never climb out of, and no one would ever come rescue him.
There was no one named “Liola” in the world, because the person who gave him this name would no longer call him with a smile. The only thing that remained, was a heartless emotionless Silver Moon Knight!
* * *
In the broad bedroom, where there were only a few simple furnitures: a bed large enough for four or five people to sleep on it, a desk and chair that, despite its simple designs, were made out of the finest wood; next to the desk, it was a bookshelf as large as a side of the walls, and the opposing wall was full of weapons and armors. Had it not been for the fact that there was a dressing table in the room, with make up and jewelry boxes lying orderly on it, one could never tell this was actually a girl’s room. Or to put it more accurately, two girls’ room.
Even though, as the Princess’s playmate since she was young, Jasmine had her own room, but the two girls had shared common interests and had grown used to living in the same room. According to them, living in the same room meant they could share clothes, make-up, and books, and they would save the trouble of having to borrow from one another.
At the time, neither of the two girls could be seen in the room, but the sound of water could be heard coming from a door, and one could vaguely hear girls talking.
“Baolilong, take off your clothes and come here, I’ll wash your head.”
Jasmine smiled as she crouched next to the path, and her body was covered in a healthy, light bronze color. She looked as Baolilong clumsily pulled the clothes on its body. Though Jasmine really wanted to go up and help, but Baolilong insisted it would take its own clothes off, because Liola had always demanded that of it.
Jasmine looked as the white chubby Baolilong pouted its mouth despite the seriousness on his face, and struggled to take off the clothes on its body. Jasmine couldn’t help but scream in her heart, “It’s so cute.”
“I have never known before, our Jasmine liked children this much. Your expression is practically like a mother looking at her own child.”
Lanski was already lying in the bath, and only her white shoulders were still showing above the water. Her cream-white golden hair was also tied up above her head, showing her long heck. Despite her liking in Baolilong, she wasn’t close to Jasmine’s near passionate love. Even after knowing Baolilong was the little Sacred White Dragon from before, Lanski only acted surprised but her affection towards it had not grown.
Finally, Baolilong took off the clothes on its body. With a bare white chubby body, it walked towards Jasmine, while murmuring complaints, “Don’t wash head, don’t like washing head.”
“No, then your hair would get dirty, and it would itch.” Jasmine would never allow Baolilong to get dirty. Jasmine was far more strict on the matters of cleanliness compared to Liola, and she was at the point of wanting to spray some perfume on the baby.
After Jasmine washed Baolilong, she put him in the bath. She then put two plastic toys in the shape of a steak and a chicken drumstick for Baolilong to play with. Now, Lanski finally couldn’t wait anymore. She took a lipstick in her hand, and wrote on the wall, “Can we start discussing now?”
Jasmine didn’t seem surprised. She took out another lipstick she had prepared, and wrote back, “Mhm, but truthfully, I can’t think of any good ideas. We aren’t strong enough, and the only person who could rescue Liola might be that weird Sorcerer, Mizerui. But we can’t even talk openly now, how could we avoid your fathers’ ears and find him in the Astronomy Tower?”
With Cappuccino and Little Fireball’s advise, the two finally understood the Dragon Emperor might be monitoring his children 24 hours a day, but they had no idea how exactly he did it. To play it safe, they decided to communicate via writing in the bathroom.
They thought the Dragon Emperor wouldn’t come spy on the girls in the bath, right? But to prevent anyone from eavesdropping, they each smuggled a lipstick into the shower. On one hand they could use writing to avoid eavesdropping; on another, lipstick written on the glossy bathroom walls could be completely wiped away without a trace by using a wet towel.
Lanski thought briefly, then wrote, “And even though Mizerui looked quite close to Liola, he is, after all, eldest brother’s subordinate. Would he really help Liola escape? Eldest brother… was the very person who prophesied Liola would be the one to kill father.” Lanski could never let go of the fact that her eldest brother had told this prophecy and it led to Liola being exiled at such a young age. She didn’t believe such a thing as a prophecy, nor did she believe Liola would kill their father.
“But I think Mocha shouldn’t be on the Dragon Emperor’s side. Rumors are, Mocha moved out of the palace into the Astronomy Tower due to a big fight he had with the Dragon Emperor at the time.” Jasmine wrote. Because of her outgoing nature, Jasmine was close to many of the Knights within the palace. Though the Knights would never disobey or betray the royal family, they still would gossip among themselves. Jasmine had heard quite a lot of rumors ever since she was young, and this was the reason why she was more familiar with the Dragon Emperor than Lanski.
Lanski hesitated, but at least there was hope. Without thinking for long, she wrote, “All right, then let’s go find eldest brother, and ask him to let Mizerui take Liola away. However, how could we avoid father finding out?”
Jasmine began to laugh, “Let’s say our Princess wants to find her eldest brother to predict who her future husband would be; wouldn’t that work?”
Seeing Jasmine’s words, Lanski didn’t play around like she had done before. She was only bitterly laughing, and this laughter immediately reminded Jasmine, the person they were trying to find a way to save was the person Lanski liked, who also happened to be Lanski’s twin brother…
Jasmine cursed to herself, thinking she was quite the idiot! She could’ve poked fun at anything but this. Recently, due to Liola’s changes, they both had been busy trying to find the reason or think of a way to rescue him, so neither had time to think about their feelings, and therefore Lanski could finally shrug off the shadow of falling in love with her own brother. In the end, Jasmine couldn’t believe she reminded her of it… Jasmine really wanted to drown herself in the bath.
Seeing Jasmine’s gloomy look because she had said the wrong thing, Lanski burst out a laughter, then wrote elegantly, “This reason isn’t bad; let’s use it.”
Jasmine looked at Lanski apologetically, but Lanski’s face was full of determination. Jasmine knew, nothing could change her mind, so there was no more point in saying anything else, because doing so may have the opposite effect.
Though Jasmine didn’t seem to argue back, Lanski could still tell, on her uneasy expression, she indeed felt guilty. To change her mind, Lanski looked towards Baolilong, thinking about grabbing it to play with Jasmine. But when she looked, she realized Baolilong was standing there frozen, and it was not playing with its toys.
“Baolilong, what’s wrong? Is the water too hot? Are you dizzy?” Lanski asked caringly.
Baolilong turned its head, and its originally pink eyes had now turned deep red. Both Lanski and Jasmine were deeply shocked by the blood-colored irises. Jasmine immediately grabbed ahold of Baolilong, and asked anxiously, “What’s wrong? Baolilong, are you okay?”
Wrapping itself in Jasmine’s arms, Baolilong trembled fearfully, with tears filling its eyes. Because of its connection to Liola telepathically, it had sensed something very wrong with Liola: Liola’s heart was filled with pain and despair, and it was indirectly affecting Baolilong. Being young, Baolilong had no idea how to handle such intense negative emotions, so it had no choice but held its body rigidly, except it couldn’t hold back the trembles.
“Baolilong?” Jasmine had sensed the terror in the child she was holding. She knew this couldn’t be simply the longing for its father. Baolilong had never looked so terrified, or perhaps, the young Baolilong didn’t even know how to be terrified.
Lanski knew there was no point in guessing. She suddenly jumped out of the bath, and yelled at Jasmine, “I’ll go look for Liola! You look after Baolilong.” After that, she ran out of the bathroom without turning back.
Jasmine could only helplessly nod and hold the child even tighter in her arms, hoping to reduce its fear. She was praying to herself, ‘Liola, Liola, please don’t be trouble again!’
Chapter 5 : Baolilong All Grown Up
Jasmine held Baolilong tightly and sat in the bedroom. She would occasionally raise her head to look at the door, hoping Lanski could find Liola quickly. On one hand, it could abate Baolilong’s strange actions, and on another, she was worried about how Liola was doing.
Truth was, Jasmine had a faint foreboding feeling. Even though Liola had turned cold in recent days, it hadn’t affected Baolilong like this. Now, even with the distance between them, Baolilong acting this terrified must mean Liola’s situation was even worse now.
However, Jasmine could not fathom any kind of situation that would be worse than a cold Liola.
At this time, the door was barged open. Lanski practically charged in; as a Princess, she had never lost her calm like this before. Though she was trying to catch her breath, she quickly explained the situation, “I-I finally found Liola’s Direct Knight. He told me, he had just left Liola. The Dragon Emperor asked Liola to stay in the great hall, and it seemed like he was giving Liola a mission.”
“I went to the great hall, and the only person there was father’s Sorcerer, and a magic circle, but the Sorcerer wouldn’t tell me what happened, and even warned me against touching the magic circle. I-I don’t know what to do…” Lanski was anxious to the point of almost falling into pieces.
“Mission?” Jasmine suddenly felt very scared of this single word. With the amount of Knights under the Dragon Emperor, there was absolutely no lack of people who would help him do things. If he looked for Liola, then it must be intentional, and now Jasmine didn’t think for a second that the Dragon Emperor would do anything kind to Liola.
When Jasmine was about to discuss this mission with Lanski, she saw Lanski staring towards her arms. She instinctively lowered her head to look, and her eyes widened. Baolilong was was emitting a red light all throughout its body. If it were just red light, perhaps the two wouldn’t be so surprised; after all, its eyes had changed to a red color, so emitting light wasn’t too far off from it. However, the red light felt like it was thick and sticky, and it made them very uncomfortable. Had Jasmine not liked Baolilong as much as she did, she would’ve already pushed it away.
“Baolilong? How do you feel? Tell me, okay?” Jasmine asked very patiently, while trying everything in her power to control her tone so there would be no tremble in voice, and Baolilong wouldn’t be able to hear the fear in it.
Baolilong didn’t answer Jasmine. Its body shook more and more, almost to the point of escaping from Jasmine’s arms. She held her hands tighter, as though she wouldn’t let go even if it would cost her her life.
Baolilong suddenly let out a piercing Dragon roar. Lanski was the first to cover her ears in pain. Jasmine, who was holding Baolilong, was in even more pain. As soon as the roar went off, her ears went deaf almost immediately. Her head felt like there were a thousand bells ringing inside. She was almost purely sustained by the determination not to let go, or else she would’ve already fainted. Nevertheless, she wasn’t in a good situation; her consciousness was virtually consumed by her headache from the roar, and she could only hang her hands around Baolilong.
While covering her ears, Lanski, who was crouching on the floor, suddenly noticed the disgusting red light was expanding outward, and it had already reached her foot. Lanski looked worriedly towards Baolilong and Jasmine. She saw Baolilong mercilessly pushed Jasmine off to the bed, and it endlessly roared towards the sky, while crazily ripping off the clothes on its body.
Lanski screamed, trying to get Baolilong’s attention, but her scream could not be heard over the Dragon roars. With no other choice, she stepped into the red light. As soon as she did, Lanski took a deep breath; an evil cold rushed into Lanski’s body from her feet, and reached all the way to her heart. At that moment, Lanski nearly felt her heart froze.
Luckily, Lanski immediately realized the cold was purely psychological and not physical. Even though this psychological coldness was no easier to bear than a physical one, but at least it did not impede her movements.
Lanski quickly stepped up, and grabbed Baolilong, hoping to stop whatever it was doing. Her hand did indeed grab Baolilong’s shoulder, but as soon as it noticed someone was touching it, it immediately shrugged off the hand, turned around, and roared angrily, “You should never touch a Dragon with a master! Especially a Sacred White Dragon, you damn human!”
Lanski could barely breathe under the imposition of the Dragon. When she finally recovered, Lanski suddenly remember, the voice sounded nothing like Baolilong’s tender child tone, but instead, it was a more matured, solemn voice. ‘What exactly was going on?’
At this time, Baolilong’s clothes were mostly gone, but it continued to tear it from its body. After a painful roar, a large piece of something was thrown onto the ground. Lanski looked carefully, and she almost fainted: it was a large piece of skin. Lanski was out of it by now, and she asked helplessly, “Baolilong, what’s wrong with you?”
Baolilong who had sunken into frenzy would obviously not answer her. Tearing off a large piece of skin didn’t seem to satisfy it, and it desperately tore off more of its skin. Every piece of skin it tore off was accompanied by another loud, painful roar, but that didn’t seem to stop it from continuing.
Before long, Baolilong’s body was a horrifying sight: its body was covered with torn skin, and its red muscles could be seen at various places. Strangely, however, there was not a single drop of blood.
Seeing Baolilong like this, Lanski didn’t even know if she felt pity or fear. Along with the coldness reaching to her heart, the once prideful Princess was now in tears while hugging her own shoulders, despite not crying as much as before.
While Lanski was crying with her head lowered, she suddenly heard a sharp yell. She raised her head, only to see Jasmine passing out after screaming, and a little person with its red muscles appeared. Its white long hair was fluttering behind it, which made a terrifying contrast with its red muscles. The only thing redder than its muscles was its demonic pair of eyes.
Bang! Lanski passed out as well.
* * *
When Lanski opened her eyes again, she saw the familiar ceiling she was used to seeing. However, she was a bit lost and did not know what had happened. Out of habit, she looked to her left; sure enough, Jasmine was lying on her left, but now she was frowning and talking in her sleep, “Baolilong…”
That name made Lanski remember everything. She seemed to have seen Baolilong tearing off all of its own skin? Lanski immediately sat up and looked around, but Baolilong was nowhere to be seen.
She was confused again. Could everything she thought she saw be a dream? Lanski got out from under the sheets, and walked off her bed. She walked back and forth around where she remembered Baolilong was, but she did not see a single piece of skin, nor the heart-chilling red light. Although everything in the room was in order, Lanski still couldn’t relax, because, most importantly, Baolilong still was nowhere to be found.
Lanski went back to the bed and woke Jasmine up. After a brief period of absent-mindedness, Jasmine was even more anxious than Lanski. She grabbed Lanski and ran out of the room to begin their search for Baolilong while calling its name. The star filled skies and the lack of any human being other than Knights who were standing at their posts told them it was far past midnight.
The Knights on guard duty looked at the two girls strangely, but because one of them was a Princess, they didn’t dare to tell her to quiet down at night. Even if she were to suddenly want to burn down the palace in the middle of the night, none of these guards would dare to stop her, and perhaps they might even go find wood to help her light the fire.
“Let’s go to Liola’s room.”
An idea suddenly dawned on Jasmine. Without hearing Lanski’s response, she grabbed her and ran off in a hurry. After rushing to his room, the two women were about to kick open the door, but the doors suddenly opened by itself. The one opening the door was not Liola, but instead a young, beautiful teenager.
The two women stared blankly at the child. The child had the white hair they were familiar with, but instead of the short hair style they were used to, the child had dense white hair reaching all the way to its waist. Its oval face looked as clean as a piece of white jade, and two red eyes were hanging on it like rubies, plus it had lips just as red to match.
The contrast between the red white showed the unique beauty of the child. In addition, its slender body, despite being only as tall as Lanski’s shoulder, but judging from the body’s proportion and its age, when this child grows up, it would undoubted be a person who would put everyone into a trance… regardless of their gender.
“Baolilong?” Jasmine tried to ask. Though the child was different from Baolilong, but the white hair, oval face, and the face all seemed to be a shadow of Baolilong.
The child frowned, pouted unhappily, and then asked in a tawdry tone, “What’s the matter? It’s the middle of the night. Isn’t it rude to come to our room right now?”
The two girls paused after hearing. The expression on its face and its tone was far different than Baolilong. Was this child really Baolilong? Jasmine was about to ask something else when another voice interrupted her.
“What’s going on?”
Liola got up from the bed, and walked over while asking. When Lanski saw Liola was actually back in his room, she asked anxiously, “Liola, are you okay? Did father do something to you?”
Compared to Lanski’s panic, Liola seemed very calm. He stated, “Father helped me change my name.”
“Changed your name?”
Lanski would never have imagined this answer. It was strange to suddenly change his name, and if it were simply changing a name, how could it have affected Baolilong so severely… Wait! Wasn’t Liola a bit different? Lanski suddenly had a strange feeling; Liola didn’t seem as cold and heartless as before?
“How come you seem different?” Even Jasmine thought it was strange.
“Is that so?” Liola asked with some confusion.
Of course! Lanski was rather happy. Had it been the cold Liola before, he would not have replied with another question. Instead, majority of the time he would simply answer with “yes” or “no”. Could Liola have really returned to how he was before?
“What did the Dragon Emperor change your name to?” Jasmine asked with a frown. Though she also noticed a change in Liola, but she wasn’t as happy, because she did not believe the Dragon Emperor would allow Liola to escape from his control. At the same time, Jasmine was now certain, the young teenager must be Baolilong, and the changes with Baolilong were real as well. There was no way the things that caused Baolilong’s terrifying changes were a good thing.
“Silver Moon.” Liola… no, Silver Moon answered it as such.
“Silver Moon? Isn’t that your title? Why would you replace your name with your title?” Lanski felt like a bucket of water had been poured over her head. The two words were filled with chill. When Liola turned cold, this was the title the Dragon Emperor gave him. Now, even his name changed? Wouldn’t this mean this was a situation even worse than before, even though Liola seemed okay now?
Lanski was still worried. She began to ask again, “Lio…”
“Silver Moon” Silver Moon calmly interrupted Lanski.
Lanski paused briefly. After exchanging skeptical glances with her friend, Jasmine tried to ask, “Li… uh, well, aren’t you planning on looking for Kaiser and others? Weren’t you good friends with them before?”
“The situation is different. Now that I am the successor, I shouldn’t leave the palace on my own without father’s permission.” Silver Moon smiled lightly as he explained, “Plus father doesn’t really like those people. So I have no choice because I don’t want father to be unhappy.”
If anyone had seen Silver Moon’s smile, and his dignified look despite being in pajamas, everyone would probably praise the Dragon Emperor’s successor for showing a royal demeanor. However, these people would never include the people who knew Liola before. When Lanski and Jasmine hear him calling Kaiser and others as “those people”, they immediately understood — Liola did not return to his old self.
‘But at least this is better than being cold, right?’ Lanski tried to comfort herself.
“Are you going to leave or not? I want to sleep!” Baolilong yelled loudly, while angrily eyeing the two girls, but it still couldn’t help but yawn a few times. Although it had grown up, its oval face still made it cute nevertheless; it was just changed from a baby’s cute to an adolescent cute.
Jasmine didn’t have time to guess Liola’s situation, because her attention was pulled towards Baolilong. She couldn’t resist asking, “Baolilong, why did you suddenly grow up? We saw you tearing off your own skin, and I fainted because of it. Are you really okay?”
Baolilong didn’t show an ounce of care towards Jasmine’s concern. Seeing the two weren’t willing to leave just yet, and asked more questions instead, it yelled angrily, “None of your business! Leave now, I want to sleep.”
Jasmine felt she couldn’t handle such a blunt retort. How could the cute little Baolilong she remembered say something like this to her? In the past, no matter how angry Baolilong was, at most it would pout and say something like “Baolilong is getting angry”.
“Baolilong, you’re acting impolitely.” Silver Moon blamed lightly.
Being told by its master, Baolilong held back its sleepiness, lowered its head, and acted as if it was in regretful. Nevertheless, judging the fist it held on its sides, and the angry looks on its face, one could tell its regret wasn’t even 1/100 as much as its anger.
“Is there anything else? If not, it’s getting late…” Silver Moon tactfully reminded the two they should leave.
Though knowing there was nothing she could do by staying, Jasmine still was reluctant to leave Baolilong. It wasn’t until Lanski tugged her did she withdraw her stare and said her goodbyes, “Then Liola, we’ll be off now.”
“Silver Moon, it’s Silver Moon. Please don’t call me by the wrong name again. Good night.” Silver Moon reminded Jasmine of her mistake, nodded, and courteously said good night.
“Mmm… Good night.”
Jasmine was careful not to say the word “Liola” again, but for some reason, she didn’t really want to call him Silver Moon, as if doing so would mean Liola would never return.
“Good night, brother.” Lanski unconsciously chose another name. Though she was not as stubborn as Jasmine towards the name “Liola”, but she still wanted to avoid the name “Silver Moon”.
The two girls exchanged a look, quietly agreeing to discuss this after they go back to their room, so they turned to leave. What they didn’t see, however, was Silver Moon face turning completely blank the moment they turned. Had it not for his hand moving to close the door, one would mistake him for a statue, and his elegant and courteous expressions before was now completely gone.
* * *
Baolilong raised its head. Despite its arrogant attitude towards the two girls, when it was looking at Silver Moon, it carefully and quietly asked, “Master, can we sleep now?”
Silver Moon didn’t speak, but thought about it, and Baolilong got the answer via telepathy. Having matured, it was now extremely tired, and it quickly ran to the bed and began to snore.
Silver Moon quietly stood still, without any sign of wanting to go to bed. A few minutes later, the Dragon Emperor’s purple figure appeared in the room, and Silver Moon naturally performed a Knight’s salute towards the Dragon Emperor, as if he had already been waiting for his arrival.
“You did very well.” The Dragon Emperor praised him without holding back, although he knew Silver Moon didn’t care a bit about it.
Sure enough, Silver Moon had no reaction. Unless the Dragon Emperor wanted to see a reaction, Silver Moon would never do something he didn’t have to.
The Dragon Emperor had lived for such a long time, plus the knowledge accumulated over the years by the heart of previous Dragon Emperors, there was practically nothing he didn’t know. However, after seeing Silver Moon, he finally understood what it really took to be a true Assassin.
“Assassin must use various different ways to kill, and impersonating another identity is but a basic skill.”
The Dragon Emperor remembered. After Qiusi was taken away, Liola’s humanity seemed to have completely dissipated. Even the Dragon Emperor thought, had he closed his eyes, he wouldn’t be able to notice Liola from a centimeter away.
When the Dragon Emperor impatiently called Liola a few times but didn’t get a single response, he yelled angrily, “Silver Moon Knight!”
Liola responded. He turned, with his eyes looking at the Dragon Emperor, looking… The Dragon Emperor wasn’t sure if he really was looking back. He felt that Liola’s eyes had practically no reflections.
What the Dragon Emperor didn’t know, the Assassin Silver Moon had his Heart of Consciousness active all the time. He knew everything that was happening within a dozen meter radius of him, even the slightest wind couldn’t escape from Silver Moon’s Heart of Consciousness. As such, Silver Moon would take notice of everything without ever looking directly at anyone… except perhaps one — a woman named Anise, and also named Bairui.
The Dragon Emperor quickly noticed, the successor would only respond to the name “Silver Moon”, and the word “Liola” seemed to have nothing to do with him anymore. The Dragon Emperor decided on the spot, and changed his successor’s name to Silver Moon. He knew this was the top Assassin’s name, and he could vaguely notice, that after his successor had killed Qiusi, he had lost every last bit of hope.
Abandoning the name Liola, meant he also abandoned anyone who would call him Liola.
The Dragon Emperor was not too satisfied with Silver Moon’s lack of humanity. This colder-than-ice feeling would make it hard to be around him, and all the Knights working in the palace wouldn’t be happy that his successor was no different from a corpse. When he was about to impatiently tell Silver Moon to act a bit more normal, Silver Moon began to speak,
“Assassin Rule #7, use every method available to kill. Impersonating someone else to close in on the target is a basic skill. Who do you want me to impersonate?”
The Dragon Emperor paused, and commanded somewhat skeptically, “A Prince.”
Then, he received a flawless Prince: his actions elegant, his strength amazing, yet within him, he was a cruel and heartless top Assassin. At the same time, he would only obey the Dragon Emperor’s orders. It was simply perfection!
The Dragon Emperor slowly closed his eyes, and murmured, “Gle, oh Gle, as much as I hate you, I must thank you. I thank you for creating such a perfect future Dragon Emperor for Dragon Empire.” After saying that, the Dragon Emperor sensed the irony in his words, and he began to unleash a crazed laughter.
Chapter 6 : Aklan’s Sorcery Academy
To save Qiusi, Barbalis had activated teleport as fast as he could, but he still underestimated Liola’s alertness and speed, and therefore caused Qiusi to sustain yet another attack. Barbalis knew Qiusi’s wounds meant there was not a second to waste. However, due to the limited distance of teleport, he had no choice but to continuously activate teleport, and rush towards the Commerce Alliance, hoping they have recently invented even better healing Maxuns.
To avoid wasting any time, Barbalis teleported directly to the room where the three Commanders meet with their subordinates. When he completed casting the last teleport, the two of them appeared directly in the center of the meeting room — the spot where the three Commanders were.
The three of them were frowning as they listened to their subordinates’ report on the battle situations in Aklan, and they were in the middle of the dilemma of whether they should contact Aklan’s Prime Minister Qiusi. Little did they know, after a flash, an Aklan Prime Minister with a foot in hell’s gate appeared in front of them.
“Hurry! I want the best healing Maxun!” Barbalis immediately yelled at the three.
The Red Commander was the first to react. Even though shock was still visible on her face, she said immediately, “Follow me!”
Barbalis didn’t waste any time on pleasantries. He carried Qiusi and followed. Even though the Red Commander’s footsteps were quick and hurried, Barbalis felt the warmth quickly draining from Qiusi’s body. He wished she knew teleport as well, so she could take Qiusi directly to the Maxun.
Luckily, the place the Red Commander was heading to was not far from the meeting room. A large metal door with an “X” marked on it. The Red Commander swiped her badge, and the door opened. The room was giant, perhaps because whatever inside was enormous.
It was a giant healing Maxun Barbalis had never seen before. Its volume was quite possibly larger than a matured Dragon. A normal healing Maxun was usually made of a simple cylinder with liquid inside, a control panel, and a base. This healing Maxun, however, had more than two dozen tubes coming out of the liquid chamber, each connecting to a complex instrument standing at a person’s height. The Maxun’s control panel almost made Barbalis dizzy: it had hundreds of buttons, dozen or so knobs, and many switches.
The Red Commander pressed a few buttons on the control panel. A robotic metal arm held a stretcher reached up to Barbalis, who immediately placed Qiusi onto the stretcher. The robotic arm moved again, putting the patient on the stretcher into the liquid chamber.
The Red Commander performed a series of healing tasks. She first stabilized the patient’s wounds, and then began to analyze the injuries so she could come up with a best plan of action.
The Maxun quickly stopped Qiusi from bleeding. When the analysis result was displayed, the Red Commander began to stare blankly at the screen, because the situation was worst of its kind!
The Maxun was, undoubtedly, great at treating physical injuries; even if the patient had all of his bones broken, it wouldn’t be a big problem for the Maxun. For a normal healing Maxun, organ damage usually would be a problem as well, but to this Maxun, which was the result of the Commerce Alliance’s highest technology and tremendous amount of money, it was also a piece of cake.
The only problem remaining was a damage method that even the highest of Knights may not know: sending aura directly into the opponent’s body to damage them. The healing Maxun had no way of expelling the aura. All it could do was repair the body the moment the aura would cause any damage, and when the aura finally dissipates on its own, then the patient would be cured… assuming, of course, the patient would be still alive by then.
“Go look for Meinan.”
The Red Commander said, then focused her attention back onto the control panel, trying to find a way to save the Prime Minister. Nevertheless, because she wasn’t completely confident it were possible, the Red Commander had to ask Barbalis to look for Meinan, so he could see his father for what may be the last time.
Hearing this, Barbalis’ face was filled with despair. He wanted to remind the Red Commander with something like “try your best”, but when he saw the Red Commander focusing all her attention on the control panel, and her hand, despite it being not very fast, was nervous to the point of sweating, he knew the Red Commander was indeed already trying her best.
Barbalis walked to the door to the room, with a heavy heart, to look for his good friend’s son. Who knew that, as soon as he opened the door, he would see Meinan standing outside trying to catch his breath, with Kaiser, Daylight, and Purity were standing behind him, as they always have.
“Qiusi, he…” As soon as he said those words, he saw Qiusi in the giant healing Maxun. Meinan could not believe what he saw. He walked, step by step, towards Qiusi. He looked through the thick glass at the person inside. His head was completely in a mess now. He had never seen his father through a layer of glass, because his father would never get hurt, right?
Wasn’t his almighty comprehensive protective shield protecting Qiusi at all times? How could he have gotten hurt?! And he’s almost dead? Impossible!
“How did you guys know…?” Barbalis asked Kaiser quietly.
“Today’s meeting was about the issue with Aklan Republic, so Purity asked us to use the surveillance Maxun to spy on the meeting.” Kaiser explained quickly, then worriedly glanced at Meinan. He turned his head towards back towards Barblis, and asked as quietly as he possibly could, “What’s Qiusi’s situation?”
Barbalis didn’t answer; he didn’t want to reply with that answer. Simply by looking at him frowning and refusing to answer, Kaiser immediately understood, the situation was far worse than they could imagine, or perhaps even…
Kaiser turned around to look at Meinan, who acted as if he didn’t even know where he was, or what he was doing. He could only stare blankly through the glass, at his father. When Purity saw Meinan like this, she felt bad in her heart. When she wanted to go over to comfort him, Kaiser stopped her. She looked at Kaiser in confusion, who shook his head, because it wasn’t time to comfort Meinan yet.
Kaiser turned around, with anger in his eyes, as he asked with a refrained voice, “Who hurt Qiusi?”
Hearing this question, Barbalis’ face instantly changed colors. He had been worried sick about Qiusi’s condition, and had forgotten about this serious question: the person who injured QIusi was Liola, but how could he tell Kaiser and others this?
Seeing the changes in Barbalis, Kaiser immediately felt doubt in his heart. Barbalis must know who it was, but he didn’t want to tell them. Why wouldn’t he? Could it be because he was afraid they might go against their judgment for revenge? So the answer might be… Dragon Emperor? Shouldn’t be; Kaiser immediately opposed his own conclusion; the answer would be far too obvious, and even if Barbalis did not say so, they would have guessed the same.
Could it be Lancelot? Blood Wolf? Kaiser almost guessed even Cappuccino. But he thought again, if Cappuccino could beat Qiusi, he would already have been the Dragon Emperor by now, and he wouldn’t still be a Prince.
No matter how much Kaiser guessed, he never thought once “Liola” might be the answer.
“Barbalis, do you really plan on not telling us? You know Meinan would never let this go. Despite how much he says he hates his father, but even an idiot knows how close those two are. So you better tell us now, otherwise…” Kaiser began to threaten.
“Maybe later!” Barbalis interrupted Kaiser’s threats, and his eyes focused on Qiusi in the liquid chamber. He was screaming in his heart, ‘Qiusi, oh Qiusi, I really hope you’ll be okay. As long as you live, then this issue with Liola injuring you could be told as a joke later on, but if you…‘ Barbalis didn’t even dare to think about what would happen.
The Red Commander finally stopped, but her face was full of sadness. Meinan seemed to have woken up from a dream, and asked hurriedly, “How is my dad? Is he okay?”
The Red Commander was apologetic, “I’m really sorry. We can do little for Prime Minister Qiusi. This is a move very few Knights know: the attacker sends Ki into the body to continuously cause damage. The healing Maxun cannot expel the Ki, so it can only heal where the Ki damages the body, until the Ki dissipates on its own.”
“However, Prime Minister’s Qiusi’s condition is not very good, and the Ki that entered his body was stronger than anything I’ve seen before…” The Red Commander tried to say it as tactfully as she could, “I’m afraid the Prime Minister may not be able to outlast the Ki.”
“Is there any other methods?” Meinan forced himself to calm down. The teaching of the Glory family was to always keep calm; impulse wasn’t something that could resolve problems.
“There is another way. If you could find someone with even more powerful aura, enough to expel the Ki in his body, then the Prime Minister’s wounds aren’t that bad at all… but there are no Knights in the Commerce Alliance.” The Red Commander said straightforwardly.
“Mommy! What do you mean there are no Knights? Brother is a Knight.” Purity yelled loudly, then hurriedly rushed out, “I’ll go look for brother.”
The Red Commander, however, smiled bitterly and helplessly. Her daughter was rather impulsive. If Feir could heal Qiusi, she would’ve already asked her son to come, but she knew, Feir’s strength was miles from that of Qiusi, so how could he have a more powerful aura than the person who beat Qiusi?
“An even more powerful Knight? Lancelot is probably out of the question, but what about the Dark Knight Blood Wolf?”
As soon as Kaiser spoke this hypothesis, Barbalis suddenly yelled in shock, then immediately disappear. Seeing him like this, everyone guessed he must be gone to look for Blood Wolf, and this calmed everyone down. After all, Blood Wolf had always been on good terms with them, and with his strength… although they haven’t seen it, Blood Wolf was supposed to be on par with Lancelot, so he couldn’t be much worse, right?
Meinan felt as if someone was calling out to him. He turned to see Qiusi, despite being in the liquid chamber, had opened his eyes some time ago, and was looking at him with a weak smile. Meinan hesitated, and then walked next to the liquid chamber, but in that instant, he did not know what he should say to his own father. He began to talk whatever came to his mind, “H-how are you feeling? Is it painful? Ah… Barbalis is already on his way to look for Blood Wolf, who will be able to treat your wounds shortly.”
Qiusi kept looking at Meinan with a smile, and his lips seemed to have opened and closed. However, there was no way Meinan could hear what he said through the liquid and thick glass.
The Red Commander patted Meinan’s shoulder, gesturing him to look at the screen on the control panel. Only one word appeared, “Really…”
Meinan blinked, and asked with uncertainty, “This is what Qiusi said?”
The Red Commander nodded. Another sentence appeared on the screen, “Sorry, Commander, could I speak to my child alone?”
The Red Commander nodded, and beckoned Kaiser and Daylight to leave the room together, leaving Meinan standing by himself.
* * *
To suppress the uneasiness in his heart, Meinan yelled out blame the moment he opened his mouth, “What are you doing? Can’t you wait until your wounds are treated if you have something to say? Do you find it funny to talk while lying inside a healing Maxun?” However, he didn’t realize his voice was trembling.
Qiusi smiled. Even though Meinan’s tone was quite bad, but Qiusi could see the sorrow and shock on his child’s face, and he really wanted to say something to comfort his own child, like “I’ll be fine”. However, Qiusi knew, whether he could make it was still anyone’s guess, so he had many things he must tell his son first.
“Meinan, do you remember what I’ve told you before, the enemy who killed your mother is the Dragon Emperor?”
“I know, I won’t hate Gladious, don’t…” Meinan was going to say “don’t worry”, but he suddenly closed his mouth before he finished. He was unwilling to say that because, if his father really had nothing else to worry, then, then…
“Meinan, you have to remember, you must remember; the Dragon Emperor isn’t just the enemy who killed your mother, he’s also the person who killed your fa…” Qiusi suddenly stopped, and changed what he was going to say, “The person who harmed me was also the Dragon Emperor.”
“Understood.” Though Qiusi did not finish what he said, but the letters “fa” was clearly written on the screen. Meinan had to take several deep breaths before he could calm down, and he said with a smile, “When you’ve recovered, we will avenge mother together.”
Qiusi sighed deeply, “Originally, I didn’t want you involved in this battle, but now, I have no choice anymore.”
“Of course you don’t have a choice. The Dragon Emperor killed my mother, and harmed my companions again and again. Even the Aklan Republic has been torn by the flames of war. Even if you don’t let me join, I would jump in myself; I will protect my companions and country.” Meinan said with a firm tone.
Qiusi looked deeply at his child. He felt the child was practically a clone of him; what he said now was practically no different than what Qiusi said himself years ago. Seeing his child like this, as a father, Qiusi felt both proud and yet sorry, because Qiusi knew very well the heavy responsibilities this child would have to shoulder.
“The protective shield I taught you last time, have you made any progress?” This was what Qiusi cared about the most. If Meinan did not learn the shield well, he might not even be able to protect himself, let alone his companions and country.
Meinan nodded and said, “I’ve been practicing constantly with Purity. Ever since Kaiser and Daylight came back, other than eating and sleeping, we’ve been constantly practicing all forms of battles. I dare to say, although I’m not up to your level yet, but I’m at least 60% there. In a few years, I will definitely surpass you.”
Seeing his child could say he would surpass his father in a few years without shame, Qiusi smiled. Even though there might be a degree of exaggeration in what he said, but Qiusi believed his child wasn’t one to lie, and him saying a declaration like this must mean he was quite confident.
“Then now I can tell you.” Though saying he was about to tell Meinan something, Qiusi instead asked a question, “In your opinion, what do you think of the battle situation between Aklan Republic and Miluo?”
Meinan’s face sank. He had spent his recent days learning how to fight, but it was impossible for him not to care about his home country. He had always known Aklan had losing one battle after another, but the more Aklan lost, the less Meinan worried. Because he knew, his father was not an incompetent Prime Minister; Aklan had stood still under his control for hundreds of years, and there was no way it could be wiped off so easily.
Qiusi must have his plan, perhaps, a trap. Meinan had always thought of it so.
After a few thoughts, Meinan finally said his guess, “Aklan has been losing badly, but I think, that’s only what it looks on the surface, and you must have your own plan.”
Qiusi smiled; probably because nobody understood a father better than a son… suddenly he felt an intense pain coming from his chest, and blood oozed out of his nose and mouth, which made the liquid chamber red.
“Qiusi? Father?” Meinan couldn’t help but yelled loudly. The blood covered up his vision, and he could no longer see how Qiusi was doing, this made him even more nervous and terrified.
Before long, the liquid chamber cleared out the blood, and the wound caused by the Ki in Qiusi’s body was also healed, but the already weak Qiusi was now even worse. He knew he did not have much time left, so he said to comfort his son, “I’m fine, don’t talk for now, listen to me.”
Meinan had originally wanted to prevent his father from continue talking, so it wouldn’t take away his already fading strength, but seeing Qiusi’s pale yet determined face, he knew he couldn’t possibly stop him, so all he could do was carefully listen to everything his father had to say.
“I did indeed have my own plan. I’ve been Aklan’s Prime Minister for hundreds of years. I know the Dragon Emperor loves to assassinate, and I’ve encountered many of them before. Of course, the Dragon Emperor found out later that it was pointless to assassinate me, so he stopped trying.” After saying that, Qiusi looked somewhat proud.
“However, I could only save myself, and no other.” Qiusi’s face darkened, “One time, I openly recruited many talented individuals, but they all died, one by one, in the hands of the Dragon Emperor.”
“Finally I understood. I could not show my true strength on the surface, otherwise the Dragon Emperor would take them out one by one. I secretly nurtured quite a number of people, and of those, the most helpful ones were Barbalis and Gladiolus.
“In the Dark Street, Gladiolus had helped me train many Knights, powerful ones who are not loyal to the Dragon Emperor, including Assassins. Even though I don’t like this method, but at least, when the Dragon Emperor sends for Assassins, there will be people who knew how to counteract them.”
“I see, so Dark Street is the secret strength you are talking about.” Meinan finally understood.
“And Barbalis, he helped me built Aklan’s School of Magic.”
“School of Magic?” Meinan was shocked. He had always lived in Aklan Republic, but had never heard anything about a School of Magic. The only school that came remotely close to magic was the School of Sorcery.
Qiusi smiled, “Didn’t you all call Barbalis expulsion madman? Plus, in the years, isn’t the School of Sorcery’s graduation rate terrifyingly low?”
Meinan nodded. This was the truth: Aklan School of Sorcery wasn’t a place where a normal person could graduate.
“In fact, those people who were expelled, despite not having graduated, they were sent to the School of Magic to ‘further their education’.” Qiusi looked with satisfaction at Meinan’s dropped jaw, then continued, “Barbalis had been acting crazy for many years, and he made Aklan School of Sorcery look completely messed up. Many people believed it was his friendship with me that kept him in the principal seat of Aklan Academy… But truthfully, because of this, we were able to evade the Dragon Emperor from finding out the truth.
“Barbalis’ magical prowess is actually quite high, but he never liked to show off his magic. The only person who possessed stronger magical abilities than him was none other than Gle, but on the subject of magic controlling techniques, perhaps even Gle wouldn’t be a match for Barbalis. After all, because Barbalis couldn’t match Gle in raw power, he had spent much time on control.
“In these years, he relied on his sharp senses toward magic, and picked out the students with the potential to be Magicians, and then find all sorts of excuses to expel them from school. On the surface, those students would then leave with disappointment…
“But in fact, after that, Barbalis made all those people go into the School of Magic… cough, cough!”
Qiusi started coughing again, because the Ki in his body was beginning to act up again. Although it was not as severe as the outbreak before, he still felt horrid having a Ki rolling around in his body. With every cough, a few strands of blood could be seen near his mouth.
“Don’t say it anymore, rest first.” Meinan saw this, and hurriedly advised.
Qiusi shook his head, and continued, “Just a bit more. Meinan, to hide the power, and to force the Commerce Alliance into this matter, I chose to let go of most of our land, even if it includes the capital. I wanted to use this as an excuse to make the Commerce Alliance fear they may be Miluo’s next target, so most of the people in the Alliance would choose to support us. The three Commanders promised me before, if the majority of people in the Alliance agrees, they would definitely ally with us. When that happens, even if I show my hand with my secret force, the Dragon Emperor couldn’t do anything about it.
“Unfortunately, the Dragon Emperor seems to know this well, so…” Qiusi smiled bitterly, so the reason used Liola to get rid of Qiusi.
“Meinan, you have to help me lead those hidden powers.” Qiusi had sensed his heart beating slower and slower, and he could almost no longer feel his hands or feet. He tried to hold down his discomfort, and continued to explain, “Though Gladiolus and Barbalis are both stronger than you, they aren’t the people who could plan and organize everything. You must be the commander behind them, but you mustn’t appear anywhere on the surface, and use everything you could to make the Dragon Emperor ignore you, otherwise you won’t be able to stop his assassinations…”
Other than that, there was another reason he could not speak: the Assassin may very well be Liola, and Qiusi would never want to imagine the scene of companions killing one another.
“I understand, I will definitely do as you say, father…” Meinan solemnly accepted his father’s request, and then smiled bitterly, “However, can I not say ‘don’t worry’? You know, in stories, whenever someone says this, another person dies right after, so it’s far too ominous… father?!”
Before Meinan finished, he saw Qiusi close his eyes, and then slowly lowered his head… Scared, Meinan charged up, and hit desperately at the glass, yelling desperately, “Father! Qiusi!”
“Father! Please, don’t die. Didn’t you always say you want to see your grandson?” Meinan smiled dryly, “There are many pretty female Mecha Fighters, and they all have great bodies. I’ll go find one now and marry her, and you will have a grandson in ten months… please, don’t die now, I still haven’t told you how sorry I am, because I’ve misunderstood you about mother’s death, I… sorry…”
Meinan put both of his hands against the glass, but he couldn’t touch his father inside. He knew, he lost his only relative, the father who had always loved him. Meinan choked a few times, and yelled from the bottom of his heart, “Papa!”
“I seemed to have heard just now, that you’re getting married?” Qiusi suddenly opened his eyes, and looked left and right, “Who is it? Who is my daughter-in-law? Is she pretty? Does she have a good body? Is her butt big enough? She has to have a big butt in order to give birth to…”
Meinan’s forehead suddenly rammed into the glass, and his eyes stared at Qiusi, who blinked as though he was innocent. However, while he was doing, he began to cough again. Seeing this, Meinan’s eyebrows knitted again.
At this time, Barbalis finally brought Blood Wolf back. No one knew where Barbalis had dug Blood Wolf out of, because his Knight uniform didn’t even look like a uniform anymore, but instead, a rag that was put onto his body with ropes.
* * *
Blood Wolf, who was dragged here by Barbalis without so much as a “hi”, looked at Qiusi inside the liquid chamber. He scratched his head then greeted, “Hello, Qiusi, how did you end up like this? I can’t believe someone broke through your “shell”! That can’t be? Your turtle shell is the strongest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Qiusi smiled bitterly, but he couldn’t say his “shell” was not destroyed from the outside, but instead he was attacked from within.
“Heal my father quickly!” Meinan was too anxious to care about courtesy, so he yelled directly.
Being commanded by a youngster, Blood Wolf didn’t seem to care; he shrugged and replied, “Whatever, but at least you have to tell me what the situation is, right? Though the Knight uniform I’m wearing is broken beyond recognition, I don’t even remember where my Knight badge is, and everyone says I don’t look like a Knight… but even if so, you can’t possibly assume I’m a healer, right? Why would you look for me to heal him?”
Meinan hurriedly pulled open the doors, and saw others waiting outside as they were before, including Feir, who had arrived later. He quickly asked the Red Commander to explain the situation to Blood Wolf. The Red Commander nodded, and then repeated everything she had said before to Blood Wolf. Truth was, because Blood Wolf was a Knight after all, when the Red Commander mentioned the Ki damaging Qiusi from within his body, he had already understood everything.
“Damn! It’s the most troublesome wounds.” Blood Wolf knew things would be difficult, and he said straightforwardly, “Hey! Who attacked you? If it were the Dragon Emperor, how much of your funeral money do I have to pay?”
“… Can’t you be a bit more subtle?” Qiusi didn’t know how to react; he’d never thought someone would ask a dead man how much of his funeral one should pay.
“Who cares about subtlety?! Do you really think you have a lot of time to waste on talking? Tell me quickly, who did it?” Blood Wolf snapped.
Qiusi couldn’t say anything, and then he glared at Barbalis; couldn’t he have told Blood Wolf on the way? How could Qiusi possibly say it now?
“It was probably Liola who did it.” Daylight said as a matter-of-fact.
As soon as this came out, everyone froze: Qiusi and Barbalis’ mouths both became O’s; Kaiser paused briefly, then murmured, “So that’s who it was, no wonder no one was willing to say anything”; Purity had disbelief all over her face; the most important person, Meinan, had his mind completely blank upon hearing this, and he didn’t know how to react.
Sure enough, Purity’s voice raised a whole octave to emphasize her doubt, “How could it be Liola-dage? He would never do something like this!”
“However, this Ki indeed feels like Liola’s.” Daylight was simply speaking his observations honestly, and he didn’t feel a single bit like he was accusing Liola for injuring Qiusi.
“Liola?” Blood Wolf paused, and then frowned, while murmuring, “Crap, now we really will have a funeral…” He didn’t seem to notice he was rubbing salt into the wound.
Hearing what Blood Wolf said, Meinan didn’t have time to care who injured his father, and asked quickly, “What do you mean? You’re not weaker than Liola, right? Why don’t you save my father?!”
Blood Wolf frowned and answered, “Whether I’m stronger than Liola, I don’t know, but sending aura into others’ body to damage is a move very few Knights actually know. Those who do not know this move could not possibly drive out the aura; after all, it’s harder to drive it out than to put it in.”
“You don’t know it?” Barbalis’ face turned pale.
“I don’t know it.” Blood Wolf admitted openly, and explained, “This move isn’t exactly easy to learn. And by the way, even Lancelot doesn’t know it. He thought this move was too evil, so he wasn’t willing to learn it. I do know of one Knight who knows this move, but his strength is far below Liola’s, so he can’t drive out the aura in Qiu