- Chapter 1 : The Attack Order
- Chapter 2 : Let’s go find Liola
- Chapter 3 : Shadow of Death
- Chapter 4 : Righteous Recovery
- Chapter 5 : Framed Again
- Chapter 6 : Rescue
- Chapter 7 : The One Who Should Be Sacrificed
- Chapter 8 : Being Lost, a Precursor to Being a Wanderer
This volume was brought to you by AnmesicCat, and StellarAshes.
Chapter 1 : The Attack Order
“… As Knights who maintain righteousness, we can no longer withstand the Black Dragon King’s cruel actions. We must take up arms against him, so the Knight’s honor and glory would not be tarnished.”
Having said this, the Dragon Emperor paused briefly, and he glanced at the Knights lined up before him. It had been a long time since the Dragon Empire had gathered such a large amount of Knights; the Knights and their mounts lined up neatly one row after another, looking like an endless ocean. At the tip of this ocean of Knights, was the Dragon Emperor with his purple robe, and behind him was Prince Silver Moon in black and his Sacred White Dragon.
The eyes of the Knights were filled with sparkles of discontent, to the point where their bodies began to tremble. The Knights had already been unhappy with the brutalities of the Black Dragon King. Had their emperor not remained silent all this time, they might have already raised their swords, charged towards Aklan Continent, and declared war against the Black Dragon King.
Seeing this, the Dragon Emperor smiled in his heart, though his face remained the same solemnity and concern for life.
The Dragon Emperor withdrew his warm smile, and his eyes could no longer cover his true desires; however, in a situation like this, any Knights who looked upon him would simply interpret it as the Dragon Emperor’s decision to finally take action.
“I hereby declare the commander in chief to my successor. We shall attack Aklan, and drive out the Black Dragon King!”
The Dragon Emperor’s dignified and deep voice echoed throughout the ocean of Knights. At that moment, the Knights remained silent, as they all looked at the Dragon Emperor, the leader of all Knights, in both disbelief and anticipation.
After the Dragon Emperor nodded with a smile, reassuring his declaration was definitely not the Knight’s hallucinations, all the Knights cheered, like the crowd of a coliseum. The cheerful and excited roar could be heard everywhere. The crowd yelled, “long live the Dragon Emperor”, and many also chanted the successor’s name.
War, was now inevitable.
The Dragon Emperor smiled, and said quietly, “Silver Moon, my son, as I’ve already instructed Miluo, you will have a fake battle with him. We cannot have too much casualties among our ranks so our true strength would not be weakened, but we must also have some casualties, or others will surely become suspicious. After the battle, Miluo will retreat to Freesia, and you will hold your ground. Using the excuse that Miluo had not been defeated, hold Aklan sturdily, and never return it to the Aklan government.”
Though the Knights had been as loud as a stampede of a thousand Dragons, to the point where even a shot from a Mecha’s cannon would be buried in the sounds of their cheer, and though Silver Moon’s face had been smiling without a single bit of change, the Dragon Emperor already knew what Silver Moon was capable of, and he was, therefore, certain he had heard and would perfectly execute the orders as given.
Soon, the Aklan Continent would fall into hands. Two thirds of the world were practically already in his pockets, and only the Commerce Alliance left… the Dragon Emperor tried to calm his beating heart. He had already waited for such a long time, and in a short while, his wishes would be fulfilled, just a little while…
The Dragon Emperor couldn’t refrain the smile on his mouth nor the avarice in his eyes. Nevertheless, all the Knights were drenched themselves in the upcoming honor and glory, no one noticed anything different about the Dragon Emperor… or perhaps, one should say, almost no one noticed.
* * *
Hearing the news of her father planning to attack the Black Dragon King, Lanski did not feel a single bit of excitement like her fellow Knights. Instead, her face went pale and she immediately dragged Jasmine off. There was no time; Liola was about to go to war. Lanski had no firm idea what would actually happen if that were the case, but she knew, if this continued, Liola would truly disappear, and Silver Moon would be all that’s left.
“Silver Moon!” Jasmine yelled angrily, “I can only see feint and disgust in that guy’s eyes. That ‘thing’ isn’t Liola!”
This was what Jasmine thought of Silver Moon after observing him. Lanski, on the other hand, remained silent; she did not feel happy at all despite seeing Liola smiling and answering questions. She never wanted to see him acting so artificial like this, and she would rather have the previously cold Liola back.
“We can’t let this go on. Let’s go find eldest brother.” Lanski grabbed Jasmine, and ran desperately towards the tower where her eldest brother lived.
The two girls ran as though they were flying. They went out of the palace, over the grasslands, but after they saw a shadowy figure, they suddenly stopped. The person wore a long robe of black and white. He was leaning against a tree, and leisurely pushed up the glasses on his nose.
Lanski and Jasmine looked at one another, neither was sure what Mizerui was up to. Judging by the looks of it, he was waiting for them. Though they were curious as to how he knew they were going to look for Mocha, but knowing the mysterious nature of this Sorcerer, it wouldn’t be too strange if he knew.
“Mizerui, what is up?” Lanski asked hesitantly. Though she really wanted to ask him directly whether he was willing to help Liola, but having thought about his father’s ears everywhere, she didn’t dare to ask.
Mizerui acted like she didn’t notice the two until now. He glanced at the girls from the corner of his eyes, acted as if he were careless, and said, “Go back. Perhaps it would be a good idea to say goodbye to the successor, for there may not be another chance for you to see him.”
“What do you mean?” Lanski suddenly felt nervous. Could it be that Mizerui also thought Liola was gone?
“Are you not willing to help him? Haven’t you always been in good terms with them? Why are you watching from the sidelines at a time like this?!” Jasmine inquired angrily.
Facing the two girls’ anger, Mizerui pushed his glasses somewhat helplessly, but he didn’t know how to explain.
Lanski said coldly, “If you aren’t willing to help Liola, then get out of my way. I’m going to go to my eldest brother.”
“Princess, Your Highness.” Mizerui sighed, then asked back, “If Liola doesn’t come back, wouldn’t it be even better?”
“What are you talking ab…” Lanski wanted to continue, but Jasmine pulled her from behind, and she suddenly shut her mouth.
She looked at Mizerui skeptically, whom then playfully blinked at her. Lanski wasn’t an idiot. She realized Mizerui’s attitude was not just standing idly by at all. Instead, like her, he couldn’t state his intentions explicitly. Lanski thought about what Mizerui said, “If Liola doesn’t come back” could very well be interpreted in another manner: it could imply that Liola had escaped her father’s control, and therefore never came back?
This would mean Mizerui did indeed plan to help Liola? After thinking about it, Lanski began to smile. After exchanging a look with Jasmine, she couldn’t hold back the happiness from her face, “You’re right. I should indeed bid farewell to my brother. Then I’ll take my leave first.”
Mizerui nodded, and watched as the girls left. He pushed his glasses again, and murmured to himself, “Such naive girls. If you could guess what my words mean, do you really think the Dragon Emperor couldn’t? Fortunately, he’s far too happy now to remember to keep tabs on us, otherwise…”
He looked afar at the place where all the noises were coming from, and he heard the successor’s voice. The successor was now speaking words of encouragement to the Knights, and waves of cheers followed.
“Dragon Emperor, Qiusi’s defeat and the world slowly falling into your hands. Hasn’t the series of victories made you anxious? You’d allow Liola to leave your sights now, which means you are indeed anxious. After all, you’ve been waiting for an eternity…”
Mizerui pushed his glasses, and light flashed across his eyes. His mouth with a smile looked unbelievably like the devil in the other world: like Gle, his smile carried a sense of a prank and sinister.
* * *
“Hey! Hey! Who is this super handsome man?”
Flower widened her beautiful eyes, and her bright red lips formed an “O” shape. Her tone sounded like a lustful woman who hasn’t seen a handsome man in hundreds of years. Had it not been a public place like this, with a bunch of Knights present, she would’ve pounced at him, and then carefully examined his face.
Standing next to her, Yizhou was the unfortunate soul she asked. He showed a strangely repressed expression, and then answered with a rigid tone, “Fourth Prince.”
Having received an answer, Flower glared at Yizhou instead, and snapped, “Duh! Of course I know he’s the Fourth Prince!”
Yizhou was a bit speechless, “You…”
“How could that Prince be so cold last time, and one day later, he suddenly turned into a handsome man who greets people with smiles?”
Flower ignored Yizhou’s speechlessness, and she began to murmur to herself, while throwing a few more looks at the eye candy she called the “handsome man”. Flower’s words made Yizhou quiet, for his obvious change did indeed make him skeptical as well, and he was certain there was something wrong. After his brother Yiyu had gotten close to the Prince, his playful smile had never seemed to change.
Yizhou tilted his head to look at his brother, and his attitude seemed quite strange. Flower had been toying with both of these brothers, but since Yiyu did not respond at all, she began to toy only with Yizhou.
It was quite strange to him. With Yiyu’s bad temperament, how could he have withstood Flower’s disgusting jokes? Yizhou, who deeply understood his brother’s personality, didn’t think this could be a normal occurrence.
Especially since Yiyu treated this whole thing as if it were classified, and he had been acting secretive. Whenever Yizhou asked, Yiyu always dismissed his brother with the “I am the only one who could know about it” look.
The only thing Yiyu would know and he wouldn’t, would be magic. Yizhou lightly glanced at the Fourth Prince; could it be magic?
This glance coincidentally was met with Silver Moon’s eyes. Silver Moon, with his delicate look, was always carrying a faint smile, and he looked elegant but not fake. There was nothing anyone could nitpick about. However, this was the exact reason that would give anyone who had actually seen “Liola” a feeling of inconsistent.
This nearly perfect Prince was not Liola.
Yizhou had only seen Liola a few times, and this was what he felt. How could people who were more familiar with him not notice? He then saw Princess Lanski running towards them. Judging from the direction she was heading, she was most likely here to see the successor.
Prince Silver Moon seemed to have noticed Yizhou’s eyes shift, so he looked in the direction of Yizhou’s eyes. He, too, noticed Lanski.
“Why are you in a hurry, sister?” Silver Moon asked with a smile.
Yizhou strangely noticed, Princess Lanski’s face was initially full of excitement, but after hearing what Silver Moon said, her body froze, and even her expression seemed to become cautious.
“Li…, brother, I heard you’re going to war, I wanted to say goodbye to you.” Lanski seemed a bit uneasy to refer to Silver Moon as “brother”.
Silver Moon smiled happily. He hugged Lanski lightly, and kissed her on her white forehead, “Then, goodbye, sister.”
Lanski seemed shy at first, and then rigid again. She said uneasily, “Goodbye… brother.”
Silver Moon smiled, then turned to walk towards Yizhou, as if he wanted to give them an order. When he turned around, he missed Lanski’s rapidly changing expression: it looked like a sad and longing expression. She mouthed a few words, then turned and ran. When she ran, there seemed to be something glittering left in the air.
“Farewell, Liola?” Flower murmured with a frown.
Yizhou heard, and looked at her, but she was also looking back at him while being puzzled. It seemed that both of them had “seen” what Lanski said, but neither could understand what it meant.
Yizhou secretly kept these ominous words in his heart.
“Yiyu, Yizhou, Flower, you all know, I am leading an army to defeat the Black Dragon King.” Silver Moon withdrew his smile, and said lightly.
Three of them realized the successor was talking in a very serious attitude. Even Flower hid her playful look, and she listened quietly to the successor.
“You have just became my Immediate Knights, and although it may seem a bit early for me to say this, the situation is indeed urgent and time would not allow me to get to know you better.” Silver Moon glanced at three of them. Though his expression wasn’t harsh, the silver eyes made three of them feel a sense of chill.
After glancing at them, Silver Moon finally said what he wanted to say, “I need your loyalty.”
Seeing their confused looks, Silver Moon added, “Absolute loyalty; Soul Devotion.”
Soul Devotion! All three of them shook a bit. Ever since the beginning of time, this was the utmost way to express one’s loyalty. Though soul was simply a vague concept, and calling it a Soul Devotion might seem a bit exaggerated, but this proved the importance of such allegiance. Many Knights spent their lives looking and never finding a person who would swear such an allegiance to them.
Nevertheless, the Dragon Empire Royalties were the exceptions. Many Royal Immediate Knights would actually swear such allegiance to them, but it often happened after knowing them for a long time, or even after the Royalties had done something that touched the Knight, would the Knight take the initiative to swear such an oath.
After swearing a Soul Devotion, there would never be room for regret. An oath of this magnitude had often been called another name outside of the circle of Knights — Devil’s Vow.
The true story of where this name came from had been long forgotten, but everyone knew, after swearing such an oath, even if the person they sworn to became the devil, ghost, or a lunatic who wanted to destroy the world, the Knight’s loyalty could not change. Soul Devotion was, therefore, a vow that basically sold their soul and consciousness.
For the three of them, who had only been Silver Moon’s Immediate Knight’s for a few days, Soul Devotion was far too much.
Having been requested to swear the Soul Devotion, all three of them were frowning. They had no idea Prince Silver Moon would request such an oath at this time, or more specifically, they did not expect him to ask for Soul Devotion. Normally speaking, an oath was something that the Knights would have to actively do rather than requested.
“Prince, Your Highness, is this really necessary? We are all your Immediate Knights, and this oath is already going to be a matter of time…”
Compared to the two men who were frowning instead of answering, Flower, who had more interpersonal experiences, was the first to respond; she began to squeamishly and tactfully speak. An ordinary person would probably had fallen head over heels with Flower’s flirtatious attitude, but Silver Moon was no ordinary person. Under his veil of smile was solid ice; he didn’t need faked kindness, nor nice words. He only wanted accurate answers, so he could accomplish Dragon Emperor’s orders.
Silver Moon still kept his smile, but his eyes were cold as he looked at the three. Even Flower couldn’t continue to act flirtatious. All she could do was shut her mouth.
“This is too fast. It can’t be done.” Yizhou answered straightforwardly. He had already known, no matter if the person in front of him was Silver Mask, Liola, or Prince Silver Moon, he wasn’t one who wanted flattery, and only truthful answers, so Yizhou gave him exactly that.
Compared to Flower’s fake and superficial words, Silver Moon appreciated Yizhou’s directness, but this wasn’t the answer he wanted. Without the answer he wanted, he wouldn’t be able to accomplish the Dragon Emperor’s order, and the prime directive of an Assassin was to accomplish his mission at all costs.
Silver Moon’s eyes looked around, and said faintly, “There are too many secrets for you to know now. If you are not willing to swear by Soul Devotion, then you never will have the right to know.”
Hearing the word “secrets”, Yiyu and Flower acted as if they had trouble containing their excitement. Ever since ancient times, anyone whom the Emperor shared secrets with had always been his true confidant, and Silver Moon was undoubtedly the future Dragon Emperor. Judging by the situations now, the Dragon Emperor’s powers would only last a short while. Becoming the Dragon Emperor’s confidant would put them in a position above all other Knights, and to them, if they could obtain such a position, so what if they have to serve someone evil?
Thinking about this, both of them fell on a knee, and answered, “Your Highness, please accept my Soul Devotion. No matter my body or soul, I will serve you wholeheartedly. No matter heaven or hell, I will follow you. No matter what comes in your way, my sword will cut them down for you. Even if I die, the flame of my soul will burn for you, to brighten your path or to ignite your enemies. My loyalty to you will remain until the day my soul dissipates.”
Getting two vows of Soul Devotion, Silver Moon smiled with satisfaction. As the Dragon Emperor knew it wouldn’t be easy to get a Soul Devotion, his orders were to obtain at least one vow, so they could be used later on. Having received two, he had fulfilled the orders given to him. Therefore, Silver Moon didn’t seem too dissatisfied about Yizhou, who had been standing there without saying anything else.
In fact, he didn’t feel anything. It didn’t matter to him if he were facing such a harsh vow, or a Knight who refused to give his loyalty, he felt no joy nor unhappiness. “Accepting mission” and “accomplishing mission” were all there were to Silver Moon.
Mission was completed, and it was time to go back to report. Silver Moon turned, and walked towards where the Dragon Emperor was.
“Brother, what’s wrong with you? Why wouldn’t you swear your loyalty to the Prince? Are you an idiot? You are going to do it sooner or later, so what does it matter if you do it now? Look at yourself! You’ve probably upset the Prince.” When Silver Moon walked away, Yiyu immediately jumped up, and began to scorn at his quiet brother.
Yizhou looked quietly at the successor’s back. Being an introvert, he had always been more observant than others, such as, the moment the successor turned away, his eyes turned completely lifeless.
Or another example: the last time he saw the Prince walking in the palace, every step he took was exactly one meter long. The reason why he discovered this was because the floor tiles in the palace was exactly one meter long, and the successor’s ankle had always landed perfectly on the line between the tiles.
What did this mean? Yizhou was actually not too sure himself, but instinctively he frowned at such actions, and he quietly took note of them. It wasn’t until he had been asked to swear his loyalty that he remembered them from the depths of his mind. After thinking about it for a while, though never figuring out why the successor acted like this, but a feeling of not serving him did indeed arise.
The feeling was far too natural to him, much like a human wouldn’t swear loyalty to a Mecha or a healing Maxun.
Maxun… Yizhou seemed to had a realization. He raised his head again to look at the successor’s back.
* * *
“Oh? Only Yizhou was unwilling?” Hearing Silver Moon’s report, the Dragon Emperor said with a surprise, “I thought he would be the first to swear his royalty, that cold and heartless Knight…”
Silver Moon stood still quietly. He didn’t have the slightest of reactions to what the Dragon Emperor said.
“Even if he’s not willing, it doesn’t matter. Having two Soul Devotees would be enough.” The Dragon Emperor smiled mockingly, “Soul Devotion isn’t really worth much nowadays. They were willing to swear to you after only knowing you for days.”
Back then, there were many Knights who were with him in many difficult times; fighting for their ideals together, and finally swearing their souls to him… The fire of his Knights souls probably didn’t even exist anymore. A distant memory suddenly barged into the Dragon Emperor’s heart. The things no one knew, now buried in the depths of history, was the only reason why the heart of the Dragon Emperor still existed.
The Dragon Emperor recovered from his flashbacks, and looked at the successor standing in front of him. His eyes were filled with mixed emotions; this should be the last one, right?
“Go rest for now, and prepare for the imminent battle.”
Silver Moon nodded, then left quietly.
“Your Highness, Idojin thinks, it doesn’t seem like an appropriate moment for the successor to leave your sight.”
Idojin, who had his head bowed behind the Dragon Emperor, finally spoke; but as soon as he did, he seemed to have felt like he said something he shouldn’t have. He then remained silent and awaited for the Dragon Emperor’s response.
“Oh?” The Dragon Emperor did not appear angry, “Do elaborate.”
“Though the hypnosis has been thoroughly completed, but a person’s heart is hard to predict. Idojin thinks we need some more time to make sure the hypnosis is stable, to ensure the plan would be foolproof.” Idojin said his thoughts calmly, without trying to persuade any further. He knew the Dragon Emperor had ten thousand years of unparalleled wisdom, and all he had to do was point it out.
The Dragon Emperor was silent for a while, before he answered, “You’re right, Idojin, a person’s heart is indeed unpredictable. Even after years, for the weakest person, he may still not surrender under the power of magic. However, do you know what would actually truly make him surrender?”
Idojin bowed slightly, “I do not know.”
The Dragon Emperor looked at the successor’s back as he was leaving, and a light flashed across his eyes. He said with an almost cruel tone, “By taking out every last place he could turn back, so there is nowhere he could go even if he turn back. Rather than forcing him to forget his companions, it would be better for his companions to forget him, to even hate him, and his companions will therefore reassure our control over him.”
“However, I do believe, his companions already know the truth of the matters, and they wouldn’t easily hate the successor.”
Hearing Idojin’s words, the Dragon Emperor suddenly burst into endless laughter, to the point where tears were visible from the corner of his eyes.
“Oh, Idojin… ever since the ancient times, hatred has always been something easy to provoke. As long as my poor successor does something unforgivable, such as injuring or killing people important to his companions, then it wouldn’t matter if he had his reasons, or if he couldn’t control it; his companions would have no choice but to hate him. This was why I made the successor kill Qiusi. Obviously, my successor didn’t naively think his companions would forgive him, so he sank into despair, and he gave up.”
“It’s just a shame, Qiusi didn’t die, and this was out of my expectations.” The Dragon Emperor closed his eyes; his fingers were quickly tapping, and his mind was calculating.
“Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter. The damage caused by a war is far greater. By that time, not only his companions would hate him. I’m going to make it so that, other than standing between the Knights of the Dragon Empire…”
“Deserted by all, no where to go!”
A piercing pain suddenly surfaced in the Dragon Emperor’s heart, but instead he began to laugh. He elegantly put his hand in front of his chest, or rather… in front of Caffey’s chest.
‘Oh, yes, Caffey, just like you.’
Chapter 2 : Let’s go find Liola
“Hey! I say, can you guys stop being so excited? I don’t care if you’re just researching, but don’t tell me you’re really going to use this magic. If you destroy this secret base, Barbalis will skin you all alive.”
Kaiser said loudly, but on the other hand, his eyes were racing. He finally realized, out of ten people who research magic, nine of them have problems in their minds. He had originally thought only his great-grandpa Gle was a psychopath who would research magic circles to destroy the world. He had never thought, after arriving at the Aklan School of Magic, he would find such psychopaths in the world weren’t rare at all.
No wonder the Magicians would be extinct, because they were all impractical lunatics! Kaiser, for the 3588th time, cursed these Magicians who had nothing but magic between their eyes and the back of their heads.
Originally, these two thousand something Magicians were still gritting their teeth at the Great Devil King Gle, accusing him as the main reason why Magicians declined, and something about him being the unforgivable culprit. However, the moment Kaiser used Gle’s magic circles, one could not imagine how fast their attitudes changed!
Gle immediately turned into the greatest king of Magic. Though their title for Gle remained identical as before*, but their tone of voice changed dramatically, changing from a discriminatory voice to an incomparable respect. The Magicians even wanted to go to the other world to welcome back the greatest highness himself.
[T/N: Literal translation: Big, magic/devil, king. Because the word “Demon” in Chinese, can be interpreted both demon/monster or magic, their name for Gle changed from big demon king to big magic king, even though the characters are identical.]
To this, Kaiser only made one response, “You crazy?! This world is messed up enough with just a Dragon Emperor. If we add another ‘Great King’ to the mix, we’ll be close to the end of the world.”
Kaiser looked at a bunch of frenzied Magicians, and he felt quite a headache. Nevertheless, these people were indeed specially discovered by Barbalis; their potential were amazing, and they quickly learnt to handle Gle’s magics. Kaiser believed that, before long, they would definitely make a horrifying bunch of dangerous people.
However, these Magicians all seemed to share a common “illness” among Magicians: they liked research, and they had little interest in actual combat.
Kaiser even had to use his great-grandpa’s magic as bait to make these Magicians practice battle with Knights.
Could such a hurried training be enough to defeat the large Knight armies of the Dragon Emperor? Kaiser was unsure, but one thing he was sure of, whether victory or defeat, many of the Magicians and Knights in front of him would be consumed in the tides of the upcoming battles.
Thinking about this, Kaiser felt heavy in his heart. He wasn’t at all prepared for the atrocities of war, and he even believed he couldn’t possibly ever be prepared. Nevertheless, for his companions, he had no choice but bury his nervousness under the disguise of a ruffian’s smile.
Got trouble? Look for Kaiser… at least he had to made them feel Kaiser was always behind their backs! He held his fist tightly, and yelled again loudly, “Hey! You bastard, stop sneaking out for research! Go back to training with your Knight! Or otherwise you won’t be attending my next lesson on magic circles!”
Kaiser clamored, but without directing his words at anyone in particular. Strangely enough, a few Magicians ran panickedly out of the crowd, and they pulled their robes as they ran towards the training grounds, fearing that they might not be able to learn the magic circles.
Kaiser raised his eyebrows. There were more than two thousand Magicians here, only God knew he couldn’t have possibly kept track of who ran back. Nevertheless, whenever he occasionally yelled like this, there were always a few idiots who ran back to practice obediently. Tsk, these idiots were supposed to be the talented Magician geniuses. It must be a very fine line between idiots and geniuses.
Surely enough, the only true genius was the one and only Kaiser… or so Kaiser thought to himself.
Kaiser tilted his eyes, and said lazily, “What?”
Daylight sprinted over, and grab ahold of Kaiser, then began running. It was so abrupt that Kaiser almost flew in the sky like a kite in Daylight’s hands.
“What? What? Help! This guy is kidnapping me!”
Kaiser yelled loudly. Unfortunately, the surrounding Magicians backed off as they saw Daylight charging by, letting him go completely unhindered. There was no one who wanted to rescue such a noisy prisoner.
Daylight grabbed this “kite” back to his room unimpeded. After he closed the door, Daylight turned around to see, the two blue-eyed men were already staring at one another.
The gold-haired, blue-eyed man seemed to be unhurried. He looked at Kaiser with a relaxed attitude, and he would occasionally make a face, which made Daylight rather confused.
No matter how much he was unwilling to, Kaiser still spoke, and he asked depressedly, “What did that guy do now?”
“Who?” Mizerui acted as if he were puzzled.
“Who else?! That trouble-loving bastard who turned on his own words!” Kaiser was so mad that his hairs were almost standing up. He kept pacing back and forth while murmuring, “That jerk. I already have enough to worry about, and if I get anything else, I will be bald soon… If he causes me anymore trouble, I-I will go pull out all of his hair! So he can be bald with me!”
Daylight couldn’t refrain from bursting into laughter.
“Too bad! You wouldn’t be able to pull his hair this time. He’s technically not the culprit behind what’s happening now.” Mizerui smiled as he looked at Kaiser’s head full of green grass, imagining it turning into a shiny bald head. Mizerui’s smile grew bigger and bigger. Seriously, it actually made him want to cause more trouble for Kaiser.
“Technically not the culprit? So he’s the accomplice?” Kaiser grabbed his hair, completely forgetting he was just talking about his balding problems moments ago, “What exactly is happening?! Stop trying to torment me!”
“The Dragon Emperor has sent an army to fight Miluo.” As soon as Mizerui said what he said, a Magician and Knight froze next to him. He added, “And our Prince Silver Moon is the one leading the army.”
“Dragon Emperor attacking Miluo?” Kaiser frowned even more. He murmured, “They’re on the same side… Ah! I know, they’re having a fake war!”
Kaiser jumped up, and yelled loudly, “The war is just a cover up. The truth is, the Dragon Emperor was about to annex Aklan into his hands!”
Mizerui nodded with satisfaction. Kaiser indeed lived up to the best advisor Meinan trusted; he had quickly grasped the truth of the matter.
“Then it shouldn’t affect Liola much, since there’s no danger at all.”
After spending three seconds thinking about Liola’s situation, then judging it to be harmless, Kaiser decided to put that on the side, and began to think about the situation with Aklan. If Aklan were to fall into the Dragon Emperor’s hands, he figured, the lunatic would never let it go again. Truthfully, there weren’t enough people of importance on Kaiser’s side to demand Aklan back.
If Qiusi didn’t wake up, even if the Dragon Emperor were to offer Aklan, the representatives wouldn’t even dare to accept! Though Meinan might have controlled the real power of Aklan, but to those representatives, Meinan was nothing.
“We do really need Qiusi after all…” Kaiser frowned, and thought… wait! Something as important as the Dragon Emperor attacking Miluo would not take long to reach them. If so, why would Mizerui come all this way to simply tell them this?
Kaiser looked at Mizerui skeptically, and he looked up and down as he said, “You… look like you have a lot of time on your hands?”
“Me? Why would I have a lot of time? The Dragon Emperor now knows I’m a spy, and I’m busy trying to avoid being assassinated.” Mizerui said with a laugh, completely unlike a person who was worried of being killed.
“If you’re so busy, why would you come all the way to tell me something I might know in the next minute? Hmm?” Kaiser raised his voice towards the end of the sentence, to indicate his extreme mistrust.
“Aiya!” Mizerui acted innocent, “I’m worried about you guys, so I couldn’t wait to come and tell you that.”
Kaiser’s expressions changed dramatically; his face was filled with a disgust like he had just seen poop. He waved Daylight over, “Daylight! He said he’s worried about us! The wanted criminal Mizerui would actually worry about us! No one could possibly believe that. Tell me, do you believe him?”
Daylight glanced at Kaiser, then at innocent-looking Mizerui. He felt a bit helpless like he was stuck between them. He smiled bitterly and said, “I don’t know.”
Kaiser waved his hand impatiently, then turned to look at Mizerui, and said with a showdown tone, “Fine, fine, stop playing. Tell us now why you’re really here!”
Seeing this, Mizerui put away his innocent expression, and he said with a smile, “I’m here to see if there’s anyone who’s interested in sneaking the successor off during the chaos of war.”
This sentence sounded like a thunder, and it completely froze Kaiser and Daylight. A few minutes had past before Daylight finally looked happy. Nevertheless, he looked towards Kaiser with uncertainty, and the latter began to think after the shock. Sneak Liola away during the chaos? But, if Liola wasn’t willing to leave, and called in reinforcements to capture them, they might have a hard time escaping. After thinking about this, Kaiser began to frown again.
“This time, I will help you.” Mizerui said lightly.
Kaiser quickly turned his head, then yelled, “Are you telling the truth?”
Mizerui lifted his eyebrows, as if he was unhappy with Kaiser doubting him, “Yes, really.”
Kaiser jumped up, and yelled, “Then what are we waiting for?! Hurry, go bring that guy back. I’m going to pluck all of his hair!”
“Great.” Daylight cheered as well. They could finally get Liola back. He said excitedly, “I’ll go grab Meinan and Purity.”
“No!” Kaiser and Mizerui both said in unison.
Daylight, who had already turned around and was about to leave, froze and then asked, “Why? They want to go save Liola too.”
Kaiser shook his head, “They are both too important, and we can’t risk their lives. Meinan has control over the people in the Aklan secret base, and Purity is the Red Commander’s precious daughter. If they were to fall into the Dragon Emperor’s hands, everything will be terrible.
“But there’s no way they wouldn’t get involved.” Daylight frowned. He, too, knew the specialness of Meinan and Purity’s identities, but had he been in their shoes, he would never stay behind.
“That’s why we can’t tell them.” Kaiser glanced at Daylight. Undoubtedly, Daylight wouldn’t stay behind, so he said directly, “So us two will go.”
Daylight nodded, just like Kaiser had predicted, without a bit of hesitation.
“Great! Then let’s go.” Mizerui suddenly said.
Kaiser paused, and asked back, “Now?”
“Of course.” Mizerui didn’t seem to think of it as strange. He shrugged and said, “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t now.”
“W-Wait! Isn’t that way too fast? I haven’t even written a will yet… wait! What the hell am I saying?! I mean, I haven’t told them what to do if I die… Damn! Why can’t I say something not so ominous?” Kaiser frowned, with frustration on his face.
“Shut up! Are you saying you’re doubting what I do?”
Mizerui seemed to be full of confidence. Without another word, a few rays of light shone from his hand, and a bright magic circle appeared in the air. Without waiting for the two’s reactions, Mizerui walked into the circle, not caring about whether they followed.
Daylight looked at Kaiser, waiting for his response. Kaiser buried his face into his right hand and cried, “God, you’re raised by my great-grandpa Gle… who the hell wouldn’t doubt you?!”
Daylight smiled, and he had understood Kaiser’s decision. Without any further hesitation, he turned and stepped into the magic circle…
* * *
The blue skies were completely clear, and the sun rays were fierce enough that sweat was running down everyone’s back. The air was also tense, without the slightest breeze. It was as if the heavens and the earth noticed the tension of the situation. The skies were filled with mounts and Knights, and no one had ever seen as grand of a scene as this.
Three thousand Knights with flying mounts flew by. Of them, two hundred had gold lining on their uniforms, eight hundred with silver lining, and the rest had blue linings. A formation and an army like this could only be formed from the base of all Knights — the Dragon Empire. Nevertheless, before today, nobody could’ve guessed the Dragon Empire could form such an impressive army.
It was probably enough to take over the world… that is, if there were no secret base organized by Qiusi and Barbalis and their 2400+ Magicians, 900+ Sorcerers with special abilities, and if there were no Gladiolus and his Knights.
On the other side of the Knights was the airspace above the Aklan capital. It was filled with flying lesser-Dragons, and the ground was also covered by restless lesser-Dragons. This place used to be a crowded city, but now one could only hear the angry cries and footsteps of the lesser-Dragons.
On the other hand, the Knights stood by with discipline, and only sound from their side was the sound of their Dragons flapping their wings.
Though there was no sound, but one could tell from their passionate eyes, how much they wanted to raise their weapons and exterminate these evil lesser-Dragons. Some were even fantasizing whether they would be the hero who would drive the heart into the Black Dragon King.
Everyone was waiting for the successor’s voice.
“Hey, what do you think we’re waiting for exactly?”
Yiyu asked his brother with a whisper. He had already been impatient while standing on his brother’s Water Dragon. However, when no one else was moving, he couldn’t just simply charge in. It’s not like he wanted to be on a suicide mission, but waiting for such a long time had made him quite frustrated. He was looking with dissatisfaction at the successor ahead of him.
Yizhou’s patience was far better than his brother. He was practically admiring the successor. No one had ever heard stories where the commanding officer was standing at the absolute front of the army, especially when they were only one kilometer away from their enemies. To these flying lesser-Dragons, one kilometer was only a matter of a sprint.
“Ah, ah, the Prince is just way too handsome.”
Flower, despite her bad temperament, didn’t seem impatient at all. She could spend her entire life watching that handsome back.
“Bit**.” Yiyu grunted.
“What did you say?” Flower’s seductive eyes slowly turned around, but a vein could be vaguely seen on her forehead.
Yizhou quickly reminded, because the successor had finally moved. The white Dragon slowly flew around, and the successor, with a black Knight’s uniform, had a solemn expression. His thin lips slowly opened, and said lightly, “Is everyone ready?”
Despite how quiet he was, all three thousand of them heard clearly.
“Yes!” The Knights answered thunderously with their high morale, as if they were shouting with all the emotion bottled up inside from waiting.
Did they need tactics? Probably not… Silver Moon thought to himself. They weren’t here for a battle, but instead a massacre. Moments ago, Idojin had already used magic to inform him, the strongest group of lesser-Dragons had already been called back to Freesia by Miluo. The only ones left behind in the Aklan capital were simply cannon fodders, so all they needed to do here was simply perform a thorough massacre.
A massacre would allow the Dragon Emperor to acquire the Aklan continent, let the Knights awaken the boiling fighting spirit in them that had been asleep for long, and let the whole world rest, because they would think the Black Dragon King would have failed.
To Silver Moon, massacre was simply nothing but a visit to his old profession…
With a fatally beautiful shine of silver light, the Broken Silver had been unsheated. The silver light reflected off the eyes of every Knight present, to the point where a bystander couldn’t tell if the Knights’ eyes were shining or if it was the flashing light of the Broken Silver.
Broken Silver pointed straight at the place occupied by the lesser-Dragons. The silver-eyed man yelled with a crisp voice, “Charge!”
Almost at the same time, all the Knights shouted. Be it bloodlust or passion, everything would turn into a sharp sword that would make a river of blood run through the capital city of Aklan.
The Knights charged by Silver Moon, towards the restless lesser-Dragons. Silver Moon no longer had any emotions on his face. He fully understood, at this time, he didn’t need to fake anything else. The bloodthirsty Knights could no longer see him in their eyes. Other than the blood of their enemies, nothing else could attract any of their attention.
Silver Moon stayed still quietly, as if the killing and shouting around him had nothing to do with him. When the first Knight who charged up to the Aklan city plunged his sword without any hesitation into the body of a lesser-Dragon, and then pulling it out, large amount of blood spilled out. The whole world seemed to have turned black and white, and only the bright red color of blood could bring the world any bit of color. All the Knights went into a frenzy and charged forward as if it were a race. The lesser-Dragons began to counter-attack, but they were no match for the strong Knights…
As the roars of the Dragons continued, the metallic walls of Aklan city were now more like waterfalls of blood. The corpses of the lesser-Dragons had been stepped on and torn into pieces. The red from the blood and muscles of the lesser-Dragons looked as if it formed a thick, colored carpet on the ground. It was nauseating yet had a strange appeal.
“Yizhou, quickly! Let us go kill!” Yiyu yelled with excitement on his face.
Yizhou shook his head. Although he loved battle as well, he knew the mission of the immediate Knights was to protect His Highness, and they can never leave his sides under any circumstances.
“You! Whatever, I’m going to go and kill.” Yiyu didn’t seem to care about what his brother’s response. He wasn’t a Knight after all. He used his levitation, and threw out a few fireballs he had prepared impatiently.
When Yizhou frowned and was about to call back his brother, he heard the successor’s voice.
“You can all go.” Silver Moon said lightly.
Yizhou turned around to look at the successor. Since the successor had given the order, and he remembered the successor’s strength had far surpassed his, staying to protect the successor was indeed fairly pointless. Therefore, it would be better for him to follow orders and go to accumulate his combat experience.
Thinking about this, Yizhou nodded, “Yes, sir.” Then quickly flew forward to rendezvous with his brother, so they could cooperate with one another to kill.
At this time, only Silver Moon stood alone outside of the battlefield. He didn’t not receive an order from the Dragon Emperor to kill lesser-Dragons himself, so he didn’t move. He was simply waiting for the moment when this ground-staining massacre would end.
He didn’t like the smell, the smell of blood. This made him remember Qiusi’s blood… Silver Moon’s hand shook slightly. What was he thinking? He… was actually “thinking”? This was not allowed.
Silver Moon drove the thoughts out of his mind. Cold and heartless, was all an Assassin should have.
At this time, a lesser-Dragon panickedly flew away from the battlefield. Silver Moon remembered, this was a specie called Pterodactyl….
When the panicked Pterodactyl saw a Knight alone, its animalistic instinct reacted, and it charged at Silver Moon. Silver Moon’s eyes flashed, and Broken Silver mercilessly cut the Pterodactyl into two halves. The warm blood sprinkled from the air. The White Dragon did not move because it did not receive an order to do so, and the blood fell on Silver Moon and the White Dragon…
* * *
“Hmm, I saw a bunch of beasts running on the ground. They look a bit like the transformed Baolilong.” Purity said with a sniff.
“They are Earth Dragon.” Kaiser observed and concluded.
“Kaiser, what about the snake that’s about a dozen meters long with spots all over its body?” Liola asked lightly.
Meinan asked with a shake, “T-Then, the ones flying in the air, with thin wings like a bat, and a thin and long face, what are they called?”
* * *
Was this his illusion? Yizhou didn’t know what to do. At first, he saw a Dragon charging towards the Prince, and he instinctively turned around to rescue, even though he knew it wasn’t needed…
Sure enough, as soon as the lesser-Dragon reached the Prince, he had already neatly split the Dragon in half. Yizhou saw much blood spilled towards the Prince, but he did not dodge. ‘Was there something in the Prince’s eye…? It was Dragon’s blood, right? It’s not, and it can’t be, his tears.’
What reasons were there for the successor to cry in such a clear and complete victory?
Yizhou thought it was strange, so he thought he must’ve made a mistake. It must’ve been blood. He didn’t think about it anymore. Without anymore thinking, he commanded the Water Dragon back into the fray… On his way back, he suddenly felt something in his heart. He instinctively turned his head to look, and he suddenly realized, three unknown figures appeared out of thin air next to the Prince, and they were all attacking the Prince.
“Protect His Highness!” Yizhou instinctively yelled, while turning his Water Dragon once again.
Unfortunately, Yizhou did not have a presence like Silver Moon. In a situation where the air was filled with cries and chaos, not many Knights actually heard him or realize the situation. Yizhou charged as fast as he could. He saw a semi-transparent force pushing onto the successor, and the successor released his blood Aura in defense. However, another green-haired Assassin raised his gun, and a couple of white bombs were shot towards the successor. With the force upon him, the successor only barely managed to dodge the bombs.
Yizhou suddenly noticed those white bombs could actually turn. When the successor dodged them, they immediately turned around to attack again. This time, however, the successor did not manage to dodge one of them. The bomb pierced the blood Aura, and a bloodied hole appeared on the successor’s shoulder.
“A Knight is coming! Daylight, go handle him.” The green-haired Assassin yelled loudly.
‘Daylight?’ Yizhou recognized the name. Wasn’t he a student in the Aklan School of Knights? Indeed, he recognized this blue-haired Knight to be the same person as one of the successor’s companions. So why would he be here to Assassinate the successor?
Yizhou didn’t have time to think. He suddenly noticed, despite the fact that this Knight was still wearing a blue-lined Knight’s uniform, his power level was nowhere comparable to a Blue Knight…
His strength was immense, and he continuously attacked and defended at the same time. Yizhou suddenly realized, Daylight’s pike was dancing around in a perfect circle. While he was attacking, he was also defending. What kind of pike technique was this? He had never seen anything like it…
Yizhou would never think for a moment he would lose to Daylight. The fight he had with Daylight before was unfair, and he believed he was no worse than Daylight, so why was he having a hard time handling Daylight now… He ignited his unyielding spirit, and completely released his Silver Aura. His attacks suddenly had increased strength.
Daylight’s eyes still looked as determined as ever. A warm and comforting light was emitted from his body. The fluent circles kept attacking and defending, and not even a drop of water could pass through. It was just like Daylight’s personality — though not sharp, but every step he took was firm and steady.
White Aura! The Aura unique to the Paladin actually appeared on Daylight’s body!
“How is that possible?!”
Yizhou yelled in surprise. With the lapse of his concentration, Daylight’s pike accurately landed on his abdomen, then another hit landed on his chin. Yizhou grunted, and he felt dizzy. The Water Dragon realized his master’s disadvantage, and quickly flew away from the Fire Dragon.
Yizhou shook his head, trying to shake off the daze. He suddenly remembered, he was here to rescue the successor. He immediately looked in the successor’s direction, but he saw something that made his heart tremor: the successor was bound by materialized gravity, and the white fireballs were hitting him mercilessly. Though he had a Blood Aura in his defense, but the piercing abilities of the fireballs were horrific. They forced through his aura, and created blood fountains everywhere they hit.
“Sorry! This is the only way to take you away.” The green-haired youth looked quite pained. He practically said the words after taking several deep breaths.
The successor didn’t answer, and he was using his Blood Aura to resist the pressure coming from the gold-haired man. But when he was being flanked on both sides, and his wounds were increasingly severe, losing was just a matter of time.
Yizhou knew, he had no chance of rescuing the successor by himself. He couldn’t even handle just Daylight. He commanded the Water Dragon to fly towards the battlefield. He must attract other Knights’ attention onto the successor…
However, when he turned back around, he noticed a Fiery Dragon with a Knight in white uniform slowly descending in front of him. Yizhou could tell, based on Daylight’s determination, he couldn’t possibly get through.
Yizhou’s face sank. He asked with a lowered voice, “Do you know what you’re doing? You’re attacking the successor of the Dragon Empire.”
“No!” Daylight refuted loudly, “He’s not any successor. He’s our companion, Liola.”
Yizhou froze a bit, but he didn’t know how to respond. If he’s their companion, why would they be attacking him? Confused, Yizhou felt like something was wrong, but as the successor’s immediate Knight, his only choice was raise his weapon to protect his Prince.
Daylight raised his pike again. The duel between the two Knights was again in motion. This wasn’t the first time they fought. The last time they did was for their own academy, and this time was for the same person. Different names, but the same person nevertheless: his Prince, and his companion.
Daylight held tighter to his pike. This time, he decided to be the one to attack. Flames seemed to have sensed its master’s determination, and it quickly charged. When it was just about to collide with the Water Dragon…
A solemn yell could suddenly be heard. It was enough to cause the earth to tremble, which revealed how powerful the source of the voice was.
“The Knights of the Dragon Empire! What are you doing? Can’t you see your Prince is under attack?”
The Knights who were focused on killing suddenly paused. They all instinctively looked towards the place where the successor was. Their faces instantly turned pale as they saw the successor being flanked by two people, and he was seriously injured with blood dripping from his body. He was also under heavy pressure with many white bombs circling him, and they looked like they were about to attack at anytime.
And this angry voice came from the person in the air; he was riding a white unicorn, with the title of all Knights’ role model — the Paladin Lancelot.
Lancelot mercilessly glanced at the Knights, then immediately turned to rescue the successor. The unicorn quickly flew towards the successor.
Yizhou finally relaxed. With the Paladin here, and successor’s own incredible strength, the successor’s safety shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Yizhou looked towards Daylight, because now, he thought, he could give his all in a duel without having to worry about the successor’s safety…
Daylight looked up towards the Paladin. Without any hesitation, the Fire Dragon flew towards the Paladin.
“Wait, what are you doing?”
Yizhou yelled. Daylight simply turned and smile, then said, “We’ll have our fight some other time.”
“You really plan on fighting with him?” Yizhou paused, then said, “You know… that is the Paladin, right? You can’t possibly win.”
The Paladin was one whom all the Knights looked up to. Never mind fighting with him, even having a friendly spar with him was considered an idiotic act… Wasn’t this common knowledge among all the Knights? Why would this Knight charge up to him without any hesitation?
At this time, the fiery Dragon had already left with its master, and the only words left behinds were, “I never thought about winning, as long as I can hold him off, for my companion…”
‘For his companion…’ Yizhou looked towards the successor, and he understood it wasn’t a fight he could join. He could only quietly watch and observe. What exactly was companionship… Could it have been more important than a Knight’s loyalty to his superior?
The Fiery Dragon was flying practically at its limit, and it appeared in front the unicorn in an instant, which caused the unicorn to panic as it tried to stop. When it realized it was a Dragon in its path, the unicorn, which was even more prideful than Dragons, let out an angry cry, and its crisp sounds of anger roared through the skies.
Lancelot was visibly surprised, because of both the fact that someone was blocking his way, which he thought only Blood Wolf would do something like that as a prank, and the person blocking him was a familiar face who had, in the short timespan of a year, attained the Aura unique to him.
Indeed, this Aura belonged to only Daylight. Lancelot clearly knew, this wasn’t like his Aura. What was different was that, if Lancelot’s white Aura was a blinding sun, then Daylight’s white Aura was more like comfortable sun under which people would want to lie down for a sunbath.
To someone like this, Lancelot’s eyes were actually filled with appreciation, but Daylight’s actions made it impossible for him to give him praise. His face sank and he yelled, “Why are you attacking the successor? Didn’t he used to be your companion?”
Hearing this, a sense of pain flashed across Daylight’s eyes. Be it him or Kaiser, could any of them want to hurt Liola like this? But with them being surrounded by Dragon Empire’s Knights, other than seriously injuring him and taking him away, did they have any other choice?
Daylight held his fist, and yelled loudly, “Do you seriously not understand, Paladin?! Do you seriously think the Silver Moon now is the same person as Liola before? Are your eyes completely blinded that you can’t see Liola’s changes? He had already turned into the thing you hated the most — an Assassin!”
Lancelot’s body shook. How could he not have known? But…
“Don’t think you can shake my resolve! As a Knight of the Dragon Empire’s Royal Family, I will not allow you to continue your offenses against the successor.” Lancelot yelled loudly, but no one knew if the words about his resolve was aimed at himself or Daylight.
Daylight held his pike tightly. He didn’t think his powers were enough to defeat the Paladin, but even if it were to cost his life, he would use his body to stop the enemy for his companions. Having never served the Dragon Empire Royalty, this was Daylight’s own way of the Knight!
“This is bad… Why didn’t you guys act faster? Lancelot and I are both here, and you guys still aren’t done?”
A lazy voice could be heard from the other side, but his actions were vague at all. The Dark Knight’s legendary black pike was already in his hands, and the giant black wolf under him was also showing its teeth, ready to attack.
Kaiser growled. Liola wasn’t far from collapsing, and they would’ve been able to take Liola away in a moment… But now the two rank-X Knights appeared, and all the Dragon Empire’s Knights also realized the situation. If they don’t run now, he thought they could then go have a free lunch in the Dragon Empire jail. Or worse, they could go see how the death sentence was carried out in the Dragon Empire.
“Daylight! Come quick!” Kaiser yelled loudly.
Daylight turned to look, and saw the Dark Knight arriving. Now, he knew the plan couldn’t be continued. His eyes turned towards Liola, and saw him covered in blood…
‘Ah! I’m really sorry, turning you like this, but still not being able to take you away.’ Daylight’s eyes were apologetic.
Daylight gazed at Liola, and realized his silver eyes were looking at Kaiser with a bit of coldness. He sensed something wrong, and he wanted to say something to remind Kaiser, but a red light already exploded without any warning. Daylight’s heart tightened, and immediately flew towards Kaiser.
However, Liola was faster, and the black figure had already reached Kaiser, with Broken Silver shining a silver light mercilessly…
In that instant, Kaiser knew he couldn’t have used any magic to save him… no, perhaps one magic can!
There was no need for immense magical abilities, or anything else. This magic was simply a name. Kaiser knew, to the Assassin, this magic was more terrifying than anything else. He didn’t believe he would completely abandon this name.
Silver Moon’s body froze, and he said, word by word, “I am Silver Moon.”
“You idiot! Silver crap is more like it. Why are you changing your name? Liola is Liola!” Kaiser snapped, though he wasn’t confident whether Liola would really stop his attack, but he may never get this chance again. He forcefully suppressed the fear in his heart, and talked to Silver Moon like how he acted around Liola back then.
Silver Moon’s body trembled. The emotionless silver eyes were now filled with anger. He yelled back, “I am Silver Moon, Silver Moon!”
“You’re Liola! Liola!” As if trying to compete to see who could yell louder, Kaiser used every last bit of strength he had to yell as loud as he could.
After he yelled, everything went quiet. The Knights didn’t know what was going on. Why would the Assassin and the successor be arguing? This was not right…
“Oh! Right, Liola, I almost forgot, Meinan asked me to tell you something.”
Blood Wolf showed the smile of a ruffian, and Lancelot raised his eyebrows, but still didn’t say anything. He already knew his old friend had the weird habit of helping their enemies, and he would never change no matter what he said. Luckily, Lancelot’s personality was rather righteous, so he didn’t think there was anything that couldn’t be said.
Silver Moon turned, and emotionlessly looked at Blood Wolf, as if he was trying to convey his lack of interest. Blood Wolf smiled, and said straightforwardly, “Meinan said, he doesn’t blame you, that’s all.”
Such a short phrase, without any sort of moving tone or atmosphere, and Blood Wolf even said it like a ruffian, but it was enough to make Silver Moon completely freeze. Meinan… doesn’t blame him? Was that possible?
“Meinan, he, he’s not mad…? Qiusi…” Liola raised his head, and asked with some difficulty.
“That guy is lying on a bed, sleeping his ass off, and just waiting for you to go wake him.” Kaiser interrupted Liola, and quickly explained Qiusi’s situation.
“Qiusi… Meinan… I… I’m sorry…” Silver Moon’s body began to tremble, and Broken Silver landed on the ground with a crisp clang.
Chapter 3 : Shadow of Death
“Why are you sorry? It’s not your fault.”
Seeing Liola returning to his old self, Kaiser felt a bit relaxed. Their mission might be a success. Even if there were thousands of Dragon Empire’s Knights present, who would dare to defy the successor’s orders?
“Kaiser… thank you for coming to rescue me.”
“Why are you thanking us? When have you turned so mushy…?” Kaiser hesitated. Right! Liola never did something this sentimental! This wasn’t him…
Kaiser was surprised. When he raised his head once again, the heartless and emotionless silver eyes were already in front of him, and Silver Moon’s right hand was already emitting a red light. It was about to collide onto Kaiser’s body…
Kaiser yelled in panic, “Anise would be heartbroken!”
Silver Moon paused briefly, but then his right hand still headed towards Kaiser. This gave Kaiser just enough of a window to use a short-distance teleport to move to Mizerui. Silver Moon’s hand missed, but the ground now had a giant crater on it. With the smoke coming out of it, nobody could tell how deep the crater actually was…
Seeing this, Kaiser’s face went a bit pale. He asked in disbelief, “Do you really plan on killing me, Liola?”
Silver Moon didn’t respond at all. He slowly turned, and gave orders, “Paladin, Dark Knight! As the successor, I command you, catch Mizerui alive; as for anyone else, KILL-AT-WILL!”
The two Knights heard the successor, immediately answered solemnly, and began to move. The two had been good friends for years, so cooperation between them was naturally very good. They charged at Mizerui. Catching someone alive was obviously harder than killing them, especially when Mizerui’s powers were above them, so capturing Mizerui was definitely the first thing they should do.
Kaiser’s face turned even more pale. At first, with Mizerui’s presence, he thought even if they failed, they could at least get away. However, now he was being harassed by two X-ranked Knights. He might not even be able to save himself, let alone protecting him or Daylight.
“Run!” Mizerui yelled immediately.
Kaiser’s heart tightened, and he looked at Daylight from afar, “No, Daylight…”
Seeing two Knights charging at him, Mizerui said angrily, “Damn, just leave first!”
Kaiser’s lips pouted, and flew a few meters back, leaving the burden of stopping the two Knights to Mizerui. He began to chant a teleportation spell, and his body slowly began to disappear…
Daylight frowned. He wasn’t sure what he should be doing; should he be helping Mizerui, or using the opportunity to run?
Silver Moon didn’t give Daylight any time to think. After seeing the two Knights went to surround Mizerui, he immediately charged at Daylight. He held his Broken Silver tightly. Despite having sustained quite a number of injuries, they would not obstruct his movements.
‘Flames, could you out-fly Baolilong?’
It was impossible. Baolilong was too fast. In the air, no living creature could possibly out-fly it.
The only thing left was to fight. Daylight tried to prepare his mind to it. Even if his powers were already no match for Liola’s, and even if there were thousands of Knights surrounding him, Daylight had no plan on giving up.
As soon as he raised the pike in his hand, Silver Moon drew nearer, but Daylight suddenly felt the air around him had change…
“Duh! Do you really think I would abandon you and run?” Kaiser suddenly appeared behind Daylight. He snapped, but then immediately added, “Ah ah! Silver Moon is almost here. Quick, hold him off for now while I channel a teleport.”
Daylight turned around, but suddenly realized… his body couldn’t move at all! He was in shock, and he wanted to warn Kaiser, but his lips couldn’t move. All he could do was think in panic, how could it be?
‘Flames! Hurry and fly away! I can’t move.’
‘Master… I can’t move either.’
Kaiser chanted, but he saw Daylight standing still without moving an inch, while Silver Moon was charging at him… The channel could not be stopped, or they would both be dead, but Daylight…
Daylight could finally make a noise, but by then, Broken Silver had already pierce through to the back of his chest. Warm blood spilled out onto Kaiser’s face. Kaiser widened his eyes, but Kaiser’s channel didn’t stop, nor could it stop.
“Why didn’t you block?”
Silver Moon looked even more surprised than Daylight. He froze, and he looked at Broken Silver, with only its handle visible.
“Hmm, for some reason, I couldn’t move just now.” Daylight smiled bitterly, “I’m really sorry, I let you hurt me.”
Silver Moon’s hand shook. This situation was actually quite similar to what happened with Qiusi… should he pull Broken Silver out, or not?
Kaiser finally finished his channel. He reached out and grabbed Daylight. Naturally, Broken Silver left Daylight’s chest. Another similar scene happened: Daylight’s blood rained towards Silver Moon much like Qiusi’s before. The teleport then activated, and the two people and the Dragon began to fade in the air.
There was still time to stop them… Silver Moon’s battle instincts told him as such.
“Ah, right.” Daylight smiled and said, “I forgot to tell you. I don’t blame you either. Come back soon, Liola.”
Silver Moon didn’t move. He quietly watched as the two disappear. But what wouldn’t disappear, was the blood of his companion covering his body.
‘Why do they all not blame me?’
‘Why would they wait for me, whose hands are stained in blood? I’ve already hurt too many… How many more must I hurt before it’s enough?’
Two streams of tears rolled down his face. Silver Moon roared into the sky, “Why——”
“Kill!” The tears rolled out of cold eyes, rolling past the face that was once again emotionless. Exploding with a blood Aura, Silver Moon gave commands to his Dragon, “Kill! Kill! Kill!”
Baolilong was surprised. The command was far too vague, and it didn’t say who to kill… Baolilong pouted, and flew towards the fleeing lesser-Dragons below.
Before reaching where the lesser-Dragons were, the Blood Aura had already impatiently extended out. Like a fatal poison, everywhere it reached, death followed. The lesser-Dragons cried as they continued to run desperately, trying to escape this fatal God of Death, but they couldn’t possibly outrun the king of the skies — Sacred White Dragon.
The Knights stared blankly as their successor chase and kill thousands of lesser-Dragons. The Broken Silver in his hand was obviously no longer than half a meter, but the silver light coming off of it reached several meters. With every swing, a few lesser-Dragons were diced up into pieces. It was even more brutal than the Knights in their earlier slaughter. This made the Knights feel cold in their hearts. They then stopped to think, did their faces looked this blood-lust before?
Seeing the successor chasing and killing lesser-Dragons, Yizhou frowned. His earlier negligence now made him unwilling to leave the successor’s side. However, despite how much his Water Dragon tried, they could not catch up to the successor in his killing frenzy. They could only keep up a dozen or so meters behind him, but this was enough for Yizhou to see the successor’s situation.
‘Why are you killing with tears rolling down your face, successor?’
* * *
“That was quite dangerous.”
In the air not far away from the Aklan capital, the Dragon Emperor held his hands on his back, and said leisurely with a laugh.
Hearing the dissatisfaction in the Dragon Emperor’s words, Idojin tried to catch his breath as he responded, “I deserve to die; I let the successor break free of control back there.”
The Dragon Emperor smiled for a while, and said, “I don’t blame you. If it weren’t for Blood Wolf’s message, the successor wouldn’t have broken free of control. Fortunately, we predicted Mizerui would never let this opportunity to take the successor away pass, so we were waiting on the side… Otherwise, I might have lost a great successor, but now, haha, we’ve hit multiple birds with one stone. We will conquer Aklan, catch Mizerui, and got the successor to hurt another one of his companions.”
Idojin quietly waited for the Dragon Emperor to stop laughing before he asked, “Your Highness, the successor’s personality seemed to have changed, and now his killing intent is immense. Should we order him to stop killing?”
The Dragon Emperor threw a look at Silver Moon. After being silent for a while, he said, “It doesn’t matter, let him go kill. The more he kills, the harder it would be for him to turn back. It just so happened that an all out war is drawing near. Caffey’s loving image isn’t suitable for war, so it is time to change the Dragon Emperor’s image, to reassert the dominance of the Dragon Emperor in the Knights’ hearts Their performance today was terrible.”
“Understood.” Idojin courteously bowed.
The Dragon Emperor looked down; the lone Sorcerer seemed to be crumbling under the siege from the two legendary Knights. Who knew such a lawless Sorcerer would end up like this? The Dragon Emperor reached out his hand to cover the smile on his face, “Looks like it’s time to go have a talk with Mocha. Idojin, head back.”
Idojin followed orders and activated a magic circle, knowing the Dragon Emperor’s destination was the Eldest Prince’s tower. He opened the circle to a place near the tower, then stepped into the circle. As soon as they did, the strange atmosphere of the tower surrounded them. The Astronomy Tower was already strange before, but now it looked like the living quarters of Satan with its gloom and darkness.
Despite the strange atmosphere, the Dragon Emperor didn’t seem to mind. He said lightly, “With everything happening now, child, do you still not want to talk to father?”
Strangely, as soon as these words were spoken, the surrounding strange atmosphere suddenly felt like it froze. This suffocating sense of freezing maintained there for a few minutes, then in an instant, it completely dissipated, much like a stormy skies suddenly turned completely clear.
Seeing this, the Dragon Emperor put on a triumphant smile. He gestured towards Idojin to tell him to stay, and walked alone into the tower. When he saw the strange graffiti on the wall, his eyes were filled with greed. He refrained the desire in his heart, and continued to walk up, until he saw the skies once again, and the Prince dressed in robe with his back towards him.
“Long time no see, my child.” The Dragon Emperor smiled faintly.
“Don’t call me that, I am not worthy of it, Your Highness.” Mocha didn’t appreciate it even slightly. His tone was cold, unlike that of a child towards his own father.
A sense of coldness flashed across the Dragon Emperor’s eyes, but he then immediately returned to normal. He said as though he didn’t care, “Child, you seemed to have gotten yourself a bad friend. Mizerui dared to work with bandits, and they tried to kill your younger brother. Luckily, the Paladin and the Dark Knight both arrived in time, and prevented a tragedy.”
Hearing the Dragon Emperor say this, Mocha obviously wouldn’t believe the superficial meaning of these words. He was quiet for a bit, then said, “What do you want?”
“Future.” The Dragon Emperor practically answered emotionally, but then immediately went back to his previously elegant posture, “Child, are you still unwilling to predict the future for your father?”
Hearing this, Mocha slowly stood up. He turned around, with pity on his face, “The future you don’t have? Your Highness.”
“Stop, I don’t care if you’re father or the Dragon Emperor.” Mocha looked sadly at the father who was no longer a father.
“I can see, the path to your future has nothing but endless sorrow and pain, just like the path you’ve paved up to this point. The shadow of death covers the path ahead of you, with endless regret and tears…”
Mocha stopped, with refrain and pain on his face. He sighed, and practically begged, “Please stop, father, please. Death is already too near, and it’s covering the person even you wouldn’t want to send to hell…”
The Dragon Emperor yelled loudly, losing his elegant presence. His face was almost turning blue, and the good mood he had for what happened before had now dissipated. His chest rose and fell with anger, and his body trembled. He had to hold his fists tightly to suppress the anger in his heart.
“Don’t think you can be imprudent simply because I’ve tolerated you over the years!”
Hearing this, Mocha sighed quietly. His words of persuasion hadn’t worked for hundreds of years, so why would it work now the situation was advantageous to the Dragon Emperor? He could only do what he could, to save those whom can be saved, and the ones he cared. However, his hard work… with the tragedy of his younger brother, Mocha couldn’t help but ask himself: in all these years of his hard work, who did he really save?
“Child, are you still unwilling to predict for your father?”
Saying this, the Dragon Emperor’s face was now completely purple, and the killing intent in his heart had risen. Though Mocha’s ability to foretell the future was indeed very useful to him, but in the years past, he hadn’t given the Dragon Emperor a single prediction. The Dragon Emperor had long wished to rid of him. The only true reason he hadn’t killed Mocha was simply to leave a backup body.
Caffey didn’t have many children, and not many successors could be chosen, especially when Latte wasn’t truly Caffey’s descendant. Though Lanski’s talent for martial arts was quite high, but she’s a girl. Not that the Dragon Emperor hated the girls, but the heart of the Dragon Emperor had been passed down from the body of a man, and he would naturally choose a man to succeed him.
Before Liola’s appearance, the only successor to the Dragon Emperor’s heart was Mocha and Cappuccino. Cappuccino had always acted like a wild horse since birth. Even if he were to suddenly hear about Cappuccino’s death, the Dragon Emperor wouldn’t find it strange. Under a such situations, to ensure there would be a successor, naturally Mocha couldn’t be killed.
However, there was Silver Moon now. A powerful, cold, yet obedient puppet. If Mocha wouldn’t predict the future for the Dragon Emperor, then he would be useless!
Mocha put up his guard as he and the Dragon Emperor looked at one another. The former seemed to have realized the latter’s intent. After thinking briefly, Mocha said, “Understood. Let Mizerui go, and I will predict the future for you.”
The Dragon Emperor’s irises shrank. He didn’t know if Mocha was trying to fool him, since the content of the prediction depended on no one but Mocha. Even if he’s lying, the Dragon Emperor wouldn’t know.
“However, my predictions won’t just be things you want to hear, and they will only be truths. Truths are often hard to swallow, so you must promise me, no matter what my prediction is, you wouldn’t kill Mizerui out of anger… or me.” Mocha carefully added him. The Dragon Emperor had never displayed such obvious intent to kill, but the situation now was obviously different.
Hearing this, the Dragon Emperor’s doubts mostly went away. He thought briefly, then nodded.
Without saying another word, Mocha crossed his legs and sat down. The magic circle drawn on the ground began to emit a faint purple glow, which made Mocha’s figure blurry. At this time, like the Dragon Emperor, he had his eyes only half opened. If one were to look closely, they would see something strange: the images reflected in his eyes were completely different than the surroundings. Despite the fact that Mocha’s eyes remained still, the images reflected off them were quickly scrolling.
The Dragon Emperor waited quietly while staring at Mocha’s eyes, but he was unable to see the images reflected off it. Nevertheless, the Dragon Emperor knew Mocha was indeed performing his prediction. As such, greed had once again filled his eyes. Knowing the future… was more precious and hard to get than anything else.
As he looked, the Dragon Emperor suddenly noticed, pain began to surface on Mocha’s face. At first, he locked his eyebrows, and then his whole body began to tremble. After that, two streams of tears actually rolled down… As far as he could remember, the calm and quiet Eldest Prince had never lost it like he had now. At that moment, the Dragon Emperor actually didn’t know what he should do.
With a heartfelt roar, Mocha jumped up. At this time, his face was covered in tears, and both of his hands held tightly to the clothes in front of his chest, as though his heart would’ve beaten out of his chest had he not done so.
The Dragon Emperor called out hesitantly. Though he thought of the possibility Mocha was perhaps faking it, but the Dragon Emperor knew the Eldest Prince was way too prideful. Back then, he’d rather separate himself from the world and live alone, than to serve the Dragon Emperor who was no longer Caffey. Would such a prideful Prince now act to the point of endless tears? Even the Dragon Emperor found this hard to believe.
Mocha’s hands were still trembling as they held on, but his face seemed to have gradually calmed down. He slowly relaxed his hands, then smiled weakly, “Sorry, I lost it. Fortune telling is something rather unstable. Sometimes I would see things I don’t want to see.”
The Dragon Emperor remained silent. Fortune telling wasn’t something common, especially for someone as powerful as Mocha. Even if there may be one better later on, he had far surpassed any fortune tellers before him. Therefore, the Dragon Emperor couldn’t judge his words.
“My prediction remains the same; you will be killed by your son.” Mocha said lightly.
The Dragon Emperor laughed coldly and said, “Every Dragon Emperor was killed by his son. You know that’s not what I want to hear.”
“After you, the power of the Dragon Emperor would reach an unprecedented peak.” Mocha said calmly.
Hearing this, even the Dragon Emperor couldn’t refrain from quicker breaths. Mocha had never said such a clear prediction, but his mind was still uncertain. With a forceful tone, he asked, “Be clear! What do you mean an unprecedented peak?”
Mocha forced a smile, “The thing you wanted, the whole world.”
If Mocha said this before he lost it, the Dragon Emperor would most likely doubt it, but seeing Mocha looking like he nearly crumbled, the Dragon Emperor actually believed this prediction. He couldn’t refrain the happiness in his heart, and he began to laugh into the sky, with the word “finally” repeated between laughs.
Hearing such a clear answer, the Dragon Emperor didn’t care about Mocha any more. While laughing, he turned to leave without any desire to stay. Knowing the result, he couldn’t wait to finish the journey to get to the end, nor did he want to waste any more time on such an useless Prince.
The Dragon Emperor left, and only a lonesome figure remained atop of the tower. Mocha laughed, almost mockingly, and said, “But the way won’t be something you like.”
Mocha stood still for a while, and then began to walk down the stairs. When he walked near the door, he stopped, and looked at the pictures on the wall; it was a doll with an X on it. Mocha reached out his hand to touch the picture, and his face was filled with loss and helplessness. If Mizerui were here, he would know this expression was the same one he had on when he was deciding whether he was going to speak out about the fortune of his brother killing his father.
No one knew what Mocha was thinking about. As he looked, a drop of tear fell off his face.
* * *
“Brother! Where are you? Brother— Ah!”
Hurrying like the wind, Lanski barged into the Astronomy Tower. She climbed the first set of stairs she saw, but she didn’t expect her eldest brother, Mocha, would be standing only a few steps away from the bottom. When she noticed, it was already too late for her to stop. Jasmine, who was running in behind her, didn’t know what was happening, and ran straight into Lanski. It caused Lanski to collide with her brother like a cannon ball. Because Mocha didn’t think this would happen either, he didn’t have enough time to react. All three of them formed one “body” and rolled down the few steps of stairs.
“Ah! It hurts.” Jasmine was the first to rub her shoulder that hit the ground. She got up halfway, and looked towards Lanski with blame.
Lanski also fell heavily onto the ground, scratching her arm in the process. As soon as she got up, she saw Jasmine’s blaming eyes. She said timidly, “I didn’t think someone was on the stairs.”
“Someone?” Jasmine suddenly realized that, below her butt… it was rather soft; it didn’t seem like the floor?
When she lowered her head, her eyes collided with a pair of purple irises. Reflectively, Jasmine jumped up and yelled loudly, “Sorry, Dragon Emperor, Your Highness! I didn’t intentionally sit on you like a cushion!”
Lanski also lowered her head to look. Coincidentally, the person below was struggling to get up. Their faces were no more than a dozen centimeters apart, but she couldn’t really see his face entirely. She did, however, see the purple irises clearly. She then also jumped up, and yelled in shock, “Sorry! Father, I didn’t know you were here.”
Mocha didn’t know how to react. Not everyone with purple eyes was the Dragon Emperor, okay? His hair color was obviously far different: one was black and another was silver. These girls were thoroughly confused to mix the two.
“Look closer, I’m not father.” Mocha stood up, and said with a bitter smile.
“Huh?” Jasmine, who had instinctively bowed her head in fake respect, immediate raised her head. She saw a face and eyes much like the Dragon Emperor, but his hair was black, unlike the Dragon Emperor’s shiny silver hair.
Jasmine widened her eyes and stared. She then realized the person was the eldest brother, Mocha, whom she had seen only a handful of times. Since they had already drifted apart, and she had caused him to fall down the stairs after seeing, she didn’t know what to do or what to say.
“The Eldest Prince looks quite like the Dragon Emperor, no wonder you are father and son.” Jasmine sighed. If Mocha had a head of silver hair, they would’ve looked like twins.
Mocha smiled. He couldn’t help but remember the time when he had stood with Caffey, many of them thought he was the Dragon Emperor, and Caffey was his son. It wasn’t something he could do; Caffey’s expressions were always naive, which was quite unfitting for the ruler of an Empire.
Every time it happened, Caffey would scratch his face, and say with a smile that he was the Dragon Emperor. Then, the person commenting would always reply with, “Aiya! The Eldest Prince look too much like the Dragon Emperor, and we can’t tell the difference…”
It was full of crap. Just the difference in hair could would’ve allowed people to distinguish them. Mocha couldn’t help but laugh; his father had always acted like a child, and at the time, he actually complained about this quite often. Now,… no matter he wanted to see Caffey’s confused expressions, he would never get the chance.
“Brother?”, “Your Highness?”
Lanski and Jasmine glanced at each other. They were both confused as to why the Prince was laughing and then sighing.
Hearing the two girls calling out to him, Mocha finally put away his nostalgia. He withdrew his facial expression, and asked solemnly, “What brought you two to the Astronomy Tower?”
Seeing Mocha’s solemn look, Lanski also straightened her look, and said seriously, “Brother, I just saw Mizerui being held captive by the Paladin and Dark Knight.”
Though he had already known Mizerui had fallen into the Dragon Emperor’s hands, Mocha still sighed again regardless. He turned and walked up the steps, “Follow me.”
The two girls looked at one another in shock. They had originally thought Mocha would be surprised by this news. With their skepticisms, they had no choice but to follow Mocha up the stairs.
“Huh?” Jasmine suddenly turned. Looking at the graffiti on the wall, she asked with confusion, “Isn’t this Lanski? Why is there an X on it?”
Hearing this, Mocha, who was walking in the front, paused. Lanski stopped and turned to look. There was indeed a doll with an X over it, but the doll’s shape was simple, so how could Jasmine tell it was her? Lanski asked Jasmine skeptically, “Is that me? I can’t really tell.”
“It’s definitely you. Look,” Jasmine pointed at the bowtie belt on the doll, “This was the belt I gave to you as a gift on your twelfth birthday. At the time, you really liked it, and you wore it everyday. Look, there is a small star on either side of the bowtie. It was the belt I gave you, and I’m sure this is the one.”
Lanski stopped and pondered a bit, remembering that this was indeed correct and there was a belt like this. It means, this doll did indeed represent her, but why would there be a drawing of her on the walls of the Astronomy Tower?
“Huh? Is this Liola’s Broken Silver?” Jasmine ran up a few more steps. With her mind always on Liola, she immediately noticed another picture.
Jasmine brushed her hand over the walls, and a large amount of dust collected on her fingers. She said after a pause, “These pictures don’t look like they’re new…”
Mocha suddenly grabbed ahold of Lanski head, which made her jump. She then looked blankly at him.
“Don’t look at those things any more…” Mocha said with a bit of a tremble, “You are here because of Liola, right?”
“Yes…” Lanski looked at Mocha with hesitation. After all, he was the person who predicted Liola would kill their father. She wasn’t certain if Mocha would help Liola at all.
Mocha was silent for a while. When he looked up again, his eyes were filled with sadness. He lightly touched his sister’s soft hair, and asked tentatively, “If I ask you to not mind this anymore, would you be willing to?”
“No!” Lanski’s eyes widened, and answered immediately.
“Prince Mocha, what do you mean by that?” Jasmine immediately asked. She felt something was wrong. The crossed out doll gave her a very ominous feeling.
Mocha looked down again, then turned. He said coldly, “I’m asking you two to forget about this. This whole thing always had nothing to do with you two.”
Lanski immediately refuted loudly, “Liola is our brother! How can you say it has nothing to do with us? Brother, can you really not care about your own brother at all?”
“Of course I care about him!” Mocha suddenly turned and replied angrily, “But I’m more worried about you, my sister! I will not exchange your life for Liola’s!”
Lanski and Jasmine both widened their eyes, not sure of what Mocha mean. After a long while, Lanski grabbed Mocha’s hand. A pair of blue eyes stared directly at her brother, and she pleaded, “Brother, please tell me. How can we wake Liola, and how can we save him?”
As if he didn’t expect her to act like this, and the blue eyes made him panic a slightly. Mocha wanted to try to break his hand free, however, Lanski grabbed it firmly and wouldn’t let go. Mocha had to turn his head to avoid Lanski’s eyes, and said, “I don’t know.”
“You do know.” Lanski pressed on.
Jasmine suddenly interjected, “Is it because Lanski may get into trouble if she continues to be involved?”
Mocha’s body froze as soon as Jasmine finished. She turned and looked at this girl. He remembered Jasmine as Lanski’s best friend, and perhaps she could help him change the mind of his stubborn sister. He thought about it, then nodded his head and said, “Yes.”
“Would she… die?” Jasmine asked with hesitation.
Mocha was silent for a while, then answered again, “Yes.”
Jasmine was now nervous. As much as she was worried about Liola, but if Lanski would die because of it….
“What about Liola?” Lanski didn’t seem to care about herself at all. She asked hurriedly, “W-would my involvement help him at all?”
Mocha froze, and said in disbelief, “You will die, do you not understand that? You will die!”
“Oh… then I’ll take that as a yes.” Lanski smiled, “No wonder you said you wouldn’t exchange my life for Liola’s.”
The person knowing she would die wasn’t worried, but the people around her were. This was indeed a typical example of eunuchs being more worried than the Emperor. Both Mocha and Jasmine both became nervous, and began to try to talk to Lanski out of it. No one would want to see anything bad befallen onto such a beautiful girl with a bright future.
Lanski turned and looked at Jasmine, then asked, “If you knew, you could save Liola, but you might die because of it, would you give it up?”
Jasmine paused, and then she was silent. She knew, and Lanski also knew. No, she wouldn’t have given up… Just like how Lanski wouldn’t give it up.
“Tell me, brother, even if you don’t tell me, I will still go fumbling around, and perhaps it would be even worse?” Lanski glared with the blue eyes Cappuccino would’ve named the “most terrifying bio-weapon”, and continuously sent out pleading vibes towards her brother.
Mocha was silent. This was yet another situation where he didn’t know how to choose. This time… No, not just this time, ever since Mocha gained the power of prediction, he had constantly been pulled into a constant dilemma: should he say it or not?
“Brother! Please, I promise I would pay close attention to my safety.” Lanski continued to plead.
Mocha finally sighed, and left without turning his head.
“Go find Lancelot. Only he possess the capability to wake Liola.”
Lanski hurriedly yelled, “But the Paladin obeys father!”
“If Lancelot were to ‘accidentally’ press the Dragon Cross Necklace against his own forehead, then things might be a little different.”
Chapter 4 : Righteous Recovery
“Lanski!” Jasmine lunged forward, and grabbed her good friend. The latter did stop, too, and stared with her big blue eyes back at Jasmine, already knew what the other was going to say.
Nevertheless, Jasmine was still going to say it, “Lanski, how about this, I’ll go steal the Dragon Cross Necklace, while you find a way to put it on the Paladin’s forehead. Just don’t…”
“Jasmine.” Lanski said softly.
Jasmine felt goosebumps on her skin. Lanski, in her gentle posture, was the hardest for Jasmine to handle, but this was a matter of her friend’s life! How could she possibly standby and watch when Lanski’s life was in danger, act as if she didn’t know, and ask her to go save Liola?
Lanski smiled, then grabbed the other girl’s hand. She obviously knew Jasmine was worried about her. If the situation was reversed, and Jasmine became the person whose life was in danger, Lanski felt her reactions would’ve been far more emotional. Perhaps she would’ve knocked out Jasmine, then drag her into a prison cell. As such, Lanski knew, it was her duty to first convince her good friend.
“Jasmine, we both saw what Liola had become. If you have to look at Liola like that from this point on, would you not be willing?” Lanski asked softly.
Jasmine was quiet. If she had been willing to do that, she wouldn’t have grabbed Lanski and ran to the Astronomy Tower to see Mocha the moment she saw Mizerui being captured.
“You’re not willing to, and neither am I.” Lanski continued firmly, “If I have to watch the face of the person I love, but not see a strand of the expression I once knew, I’d rather risk my life to return Liola to how he was before. And I believe, if you were the one in danger today, you would be even more determined, nor would you ever turn back, so you have no reason to stop me.”
Hearing this, Jasmine’s shoulders dropped. It was correct, it was precisely the reason why she didn’t have any reason to stop Lanski. Knowing full well no words could stop her, Jasmine had no choice but let her good friend continue. Nevertheless, she did strangely insisted on one thing.
“Go find Cappuccino for help.” Jasmine said firmly.
Lanski was actually quite surprised, “I thought you always disliked my third brother?”
Jasmine looked awkward for a moment, and explained, “That was before, but now I realized Cappuccino doesn’t seem as stupid, and instead, he seemed to know quite a few things. If we can get him to help, we should be able to avoid many dangers.”
“You are right.” Lanski nodded, “Judging from what happened before, third brother really didn’t seem as stupid as he looked…”
“You’re wrong. His brain is stupider than his looks.” Little Fireball poked its head out and said coldly.
“Can we not talk about idiot this, idiot that? Do I really look that stupid?” Cappuccino crouched in a corner while doodling on the ground.
“No, your looks are fine. At least the blood of the Dragon Emperor is helping you a bit.” Little Fireball held Cappuccino’s face seriously and said, “Unfortunately, lights of stupidity seep through your eyes, exposing the truth about your brain.”
“There’s no such thing as light of stupidity…”
“Oh really? If it weren’t for Mocha’s warnings, you would’ve dragged the Dragon Emperor to see beautiful girls, and then get KO’d 100 times when he gets annoyed.” Little Fireball glared at Cappuccino.
Cappuccino complained, “How would I have known father suddenly changed? He used to only look at me and laugh, and he would never get angry…”
Lanski widened her eyes, staring at the two who jumped out of nowhere. She couldn’t believe they could just sit here and joke.
“Sister.” Cappuccino held a bitter face, and asked sadly, “Do my eyes look really stupid?”
“Uh…” Lanski hesitated. After a careful look, she did think they looked a bit stupid. But as his sister, she couldn’t very well say her brother was stupid, right? She said tactfully, “They don’t look that stupid.”
A light of hope emerged in Cappuccino’s eyes, but then his own Fiery Dragon rained down on his parade, “Not that stupid, still means fairly stupid.”
Cappuccino fell to the ground, quietly crying.
“If you’re still not willing to help save your own brother, then you would really be the stupidest person in history!” Jasmine crouched next to Cappuccino and said seriously.
Cappuccino’s body went rigid. He raised his head, and said bitterly, “If I didn’t want to save Liola, did you really think Little Fireball and I are here only to joke with you?”
Jasmine asked back in shock, “Aren’t you?”
“Nevermind. Little Fireball, let’s go, since nobody thinks anything of us…” Cappuccino said in a depressed manner, and turned around to walk, with clouds glooming over him.
“What do you mean no one thinks anything of us! The author has always been thankful we were able to provide comic relief in tense situations…” Little Fireball said as it followed.
“Wait! Third brother, we need your help!” Lanski yelled anxiously.
Though he had a depressed face and wanted to leave, but Cappuccino’s was walking at the speed of ten “meters” per hour. At same time, his ears were sharper even than the legendary Elf. As soon as the first syllable of Lanski’s “wait” was said, Cappuccino’s right foot stopped in mid-air.
And before she finished the word “help”, Cappuccino had already zoomed back to his sister’s side, with a face that said, ‘I’m a good brother, and I’m willing to do anything for my baby sister.’
“Sister! Just tell me, no matter what you ask me to do, I’m willing to…”
“Go capture Lancelot?” Lanski’s eyes glared with innocence.
‘Did I hear this right? She’s asking Cappuccino to go capture Lancelot? Or let Lancelot capture Cappuccino? It sounds like it should be the latter…’ Little Fireball observed coldly.
Cappuccino’s smile froze, and asked to confirm, “Who did you ask me to capture? Blood Wolf? No problem, I’ll just put some drugs in his wine…”
“The Paladin.” Lanski said seriously.
“Huh? I think you made a mistake? You meant the Dark Knight, right?” Cappuccino still wouldn’t let this go.
“Third brother!” Lanski yelled, slightly angry.
Cappuccino’s face turned bitter, and his voice trembling, “S-sister! Lancelot, do you know what the word “Lancelot” represents? He’s a legendary Knight, the idol of all Knights! Other than our own father, he’s probably the guy we don’t want to mess with the most! D-do you want to see me spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair?”
“However, if we don’t capture him, how would we press the Dragon Cross Necklace on his forehead?” Lanski was worried.
Hearing this, Cappuccino didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry, “Sister! If you want to put the necklace against his forehead, we don’t really have to tie him up, right? As stubborn as Lancelot may be, he is reasonable. It’s more feasible to convince him. To capture him… I think I have to train a few hundred more years before I can help you.”
‘Might as well wait until Lancelot dies and capture his corpse. Capture him in person? Don’t even think about it.’ Little Fireball thought coldly.
Cappuccino coughed loudly, then showed a determined look, “That will be our plan! Let’s go to brother’s room and steal the necklace first.”
It looked like he actually enjoyed doing something covert; Little Fireball slowly shook its head.
* * *
“Lancelot, how about a drink?”
Having sent his colleague Mizerui, who also served the royalty, into jail and giving him free prison food, Blood Wolf still acted like his usual carefree self. He laughed as he asked Lancelot to have a drink.
Lancelot shook his head. He couldn’t be as chic as Blood Wolf. Seeing Liola… no, the now Silver Moon, the successor, and his strange actions, plus Daylight’s words, all these made Lancelot sense something was wrong, but he had no idea what exactly the problem was.
“Blood Wolf, don’t you think Silver Moon is completely different than before?”
Lancelot’s blue eyes stared at Blood Wolf. He had always known Blood Wolf knew about Silver Moon better than him, just that he had rarely asked.
Blood Wolf raised his eyebrow, “So what? No matter how he is, when he becomes the Dragon Emperor, we would all have to follow his orders. Unless you tell me, you would stop obeying the Dragon Emperor just because of his strange personalities?”
Lancelot looked deeply at Blood Wolf, and said slowly, “Isn’t this a bit more than just a strange personality? Blood Wolf, you’re hiding something from me.”
Blood Wolf frowned, and joked, “Of course, there are many things I’ve hid from you. For example, a while ago, I got with a super hot girl, but I didn’t tell you. Also, Cappuccino and I had a bet whether you’re a briefs or a boxers kind of guy, and I never told you, but I lost the bet.”
Despite Blood Wolf’s ridiculous reply, Lancelot remained quiet, and his blue eyes still fixed on Blood Wolf. However, the latter was considerably more shameless, so all he did was looked back innocently.
“Why won’t you tell me?” Lancelot said with a bit of frustration. He was sure Blood Wolf knew of many things, but was simply unwilling to tell him.
Hearing this, Blood Wolf laughed bitterly in his head. ‘Lancelot, bro! Could I really just tell you that, in the past hundreds of years, you’ve been fooled by the Dragon Emperor? If I did, I’d either be slaughtered by the Dragon Emperor, or my old friend, you.’
Tsk! Blood Wolf deeply believed living shamelessly than dying honorably.
Lancelot saw Blood Wolf kept his innocent look, and he knew there was nothing he could do to get Blood Wolf to spill the truth. Nevertheless, he was now even more certain, there was something he didn’t know.
Daylight, that young Knight, Lancelot could practically smell the righteousness coming off the young boy. So why would such a righteous Knight be on his opposing side? Righteousness had always been the opposite of evil, could it mean that he himself represented evil?
No! This was something he would never allow to happen. He had to find out the truth. If Blood Wolf wouldn’t tell him the truth, he might as well go look for Silver Moon.
After deciding on it, Lancelot immediately turned to leave. Blood Wolf immediately grabbed him, and Lancelot surprisely turned while inquiring with his eyes. Blood Wolf asked helplessly, “What are you doing?”
“To go speak to Silver Moon.” Lancelot answered simply.
“Why would you go talk to him? He’s still in Aklan continent, and we’ve just returned from there. How about a drink with your old friend first?” Blood Wolf widened his eyes. Wouldn’t speaking to Silver Moon be the same thing as talking to the Dragon Emperor? What a joke! Plus, even a blind person could tell, Silver Moon was in a craze… In any case, he must stop him first.
Lancelot ignored Blood Wolf. He summoned the unicorn and was about to go. He knew full well that his friend’s mouth was quite powerful, so if he didn’t want to be affected, the best way was to completely ignore him.
Seeing Lancelot ignoring him, Blood Wolf was now anxious! The Dragon Emperor now obviously had a useful and obedient Knight as a son and, truthfully, he probably didn’t care much about the Paladin now. Blood Wolf didn’t wish to see his old friend turned into a “person in the legends”, and then disappear from this world.
Though the power of the Paladin wasn’t to be underestimated, but the Dragon Emperor would never give him an honorable fight!
Lancelot paused, and he turned to look at Blood Wolf, with doubts on his face. Even Blood Wolf thought it was strange, he hadn’t even said anything.
“Sir Paladin, please, wait a moment.”
Lanski and Jasmine ran over while trying to catch their breaths. They saw the Paladin about to leave from afar, and they were also very anxious. Who knew when this Paladin would return if he were to leave?
Lancelot’s mind was full of questions now. He looked as the two girls ran to him. Truthfully, he was quite surprised; he had never had much interaction with the Princess, so why would she suddenly come to look for him? Though Lancelot was skeptical, he still got off the unicorn to wait for the Princess’s arrival.
“Hold this for a moment.”
Lancelot’s eyes were fixed on Princess Lanski. When he heard this, his reached out his hands instinctively, but felt a burning pain on his hand. He immediately withdrew his head, and decided he was under attack. His white Aura exploded from his left hand as he attacked with it.
However, a black Aura blocked him. Blood Wolf yelled anxiously, “Wait! It’s Cappuccino.”
Lancelot paused. He looked over, and sure enough, it was Cappuccino with a pale face. It was obvious that, because the attack almost connected on him, he was deep in shock.
“Third Prince, why would you attack me?” Lancelot’s lips were tight, and his face showed unhappiness. Even as a royalty, he shouldn’t have attacked a Knight at his will.
Cappuccino was now hiding behind Blood Wolf. With only half of his body showing, he quibbled, “I didn’t attack you, I just asked you to hold a necklace. See! The necklace is in Blood Wolf’s hand, and he’s just fine!”
Lancelot looked towards Blood Wolf, whom scratched his face. He opened his palm, and a necklace was indeed lying on top of it, and it was the Dragon Cross Necklace Lancelot had been familiar with. Blood Wolf looked completely fine; there was no signs of him being burnt.
‘Only I would get burnt by it?’ Lancelot’s doubts grew. Long ago, when he was retrieving the necklace, he knew it would burn him. But at the time, he thought it must be others putting magic on the necklace that caused it, but now… why? The Dragon Cross had long been back with the royalties, and neither Blood Wolf nor the Prince were burnt by it.
An elegant, white hand lightly grabbed the Dragon Cross Necklace from Blood Wolf’s palm. Lancelot raised his eyes, and realized it was the Princess who was running towards him.
“Sir Paladin, can you please put this necklace against your forehead?” Lanski pleaded directly.
“Why?” Lancelot’s doubts grew even more, but Lanski pleaded him in front of so many people, he couldn’t believe the Princess’s intentions were anything malicious.
“A-are you guys crazy?”
Blood Wolf was in shock that his tears almost fell out of his eyes. It was understandable to him that Lanski would do something this stupid, after all, she had only recently found out something wrong with her own father. But Cappuccino… why would he do this as well? He should had long known that the entire palace fell within the Dragon Emperor’s fingertips.
Cappuccino squinted, and said quietly, “Don’t worry, eldest brother asked me to help Lanski with this.”
Mocha? Knowing the eldest Prince sent them, Blood Wolf became quiet. He knew of the Eldest Prince’s power, and if he was the one who sent them, they must be able to hide it from the Dragon Emperor.
“Blood Wolf, what’s going on?” Lancelot saw Blood Wolf being silent, and he was even more puzzled.
Hearing Lancelot’s inquisition, Blood Wolf scratched his head, and yelled, “Who cares about all that! After all, Lancelot, living like this isn’t really bad, you don’t really have to know everything, do you?”
“Blood Wolf!” Cappuccino didn’t expect for Blood Wolf not to help them, and he yelled anxiously. He had originally hoped Blood Wolf would be able to help them convince the Paladin, but why had the reversed happened?
Hearing Blood Wolf’s words, Lancelot instead reached out his hand, and grabbed the necklace dangling from the Princess’s hand without any hesitation. In a moment’s notice, a smell of burnt human flesh came out of Lancelot’s tight fists, to the point of nauseating. Everyone widened their eyes, staring at the legendary Paladin.
Lancelot slowly relaxed his fist, and looked at it. His palm was now charred, and looking to the side, there was blood. The Knight’s face was skeptical, but was not warped because of the pain. He slowly raised his head, and said,
“I don’t mind if I know absolutely nothing, other than righteousness, and that’s the only thing I insist on knowing.”
Having said that, he put the entire Dragon Cross Necklace onto his forehead without any hesitation. Every looked as the Paladin’s clear forehead slowly turning red. After a smell of burning flesh, his skin slowly turned black.
Lancelot did nothing but bit his lip. Other than the sweat running down his face, he didn’t make a single sound. Suddenly, the Dragon Cross Necklace emitted a blinding light. Without closing their eyes in time, everyone were temporarily blinded by the light. Before Blood Wolf covered his eyes, he heard Lancelot’s grunt.
“Lancelot? Lancelot?” He immediately yelled anxiously, but he didn’t receive any sort of response after several calls. Worried, he forced his eyes open, and he could vaguely see Lancelot on one knee, with his hands covering his face.
Could he be hurt? With a blurred vision, Blood Wolf forced himself to walk up to Lancelot, and then put his hand on the Paladin’s shoulder.
“Lancelot? Are you okay?”
Lancelot, however, could not hear Blood Wolf’s call, because the Dragon Cross Necklace had not only rid him of the Dragon Emperor’s hypnosis, but also made him “see” everything clearly. A series of images barged into Lancelot’s minds, which tested the endurance of both his soul and mind.
Blood Wolf shook his head, trying to shake off the daze. His sight had returned to normal now. He looked at Lancelot, whom still had his face buried in his hands. Nevertheless, from what Blood Wolf can see between Lancelot’s fingers, he was unharmed. Blood Wolf now felt slightly relaxed, but then he suddenly heard the man ask,
“Blood Wolf… am I really stupid?”
“Uh… just a tiny bit.” Blood Wolf scratched his face. Now, he understood Lancelot might have already known the truth. After knowing he had been fooled for several hundreds of years, this impact was probably going to be quite severe.
Lancelot slowly lowered his hands, and his face was covered with a bitter smile, with tears running down his cheeks, “Blood Wolf, Knights may not lie.”
Blood Wolf’s mouth went into an O shape. He would have never imagined that Lancelot would shed tears over this. How could this… if anyone were to tell him Lancelot would cry for five minutes, he would’ve bet every single cent he had against that person. The Paladin, Lancelot, was one to bleed before he would shed a tear, but now… Damn! Luckily there was no bet, or he would’ve been penniless by now.
“Do you really have to be this exaggerated?” Blood Wolf asked with a stammer.
Lancelot slowly stood up, while holding his face tightly, he said word for word, “Exaggerated? I actually served Caffey’s enemy* for hundreds of years. This is no longer something exaggerated can describe. Although I, Lancelot, was oblivious of it, but I would never use negligence as an excuse to escape my punishment. As soon as I help Silver Moon… no, Liola recover his sanity, I will ask him for my punishment.”
[T/N: Lancelot is referring to the Dragon Emperor’s heart, which took away Caffey’s personality.]
Everyone froze as they couldn’t understand what Lancelot was talking about. Blood Wolf murmured to himself, “What’s the situation now? Could the Dragon Cross Necklace be so hot that it cooked Lancelot’s brain? Why is he talking even more ridiculous things than me now?”
Lancelot noticed everyone’s shocked looks. He knew something was off, and asked, “You guys don’t know?”
Everyone shook their heads. It was now Lancelot’s turn to be confused. Through the Dragon Cross Necklace, he knew about all the truths, including the secrets of the Dragon Emperor’s heart, but he thought everyone else knew. Judging from the situation now, he was the only one who knew about it.
Seeing everyone was confused, Lancelot began to explain the truths the Dragon Cross Necklace told him…
* * *
“I see, no wonder! No wonder father would turn into how he is now! Damn, I a-actually let him cause Susanna’s death!” Cappuccino practically held his fists and yelled, with anger on his face.
Lanski had never seen Cappuccino act like this. To Lanski, her father had always been like this. Though she had heard her third brother talk about how their father used be, but she had never thought much of it. After all, their father was now nothing like the clueless idiot her brother had talked about.
“Lucky…” Jasmine’s face was pale, “If Liola also ate the heart, t-then…”
“Never! I, Lancelot, swear on my honor, I will never let the successor fall victim to it.” Lancelot’s blue eyes shone, showing his determination.
Blood Wolf had a strange expression. He asked hesitantly, “Lancelot, although His Highness was possessed by the Dragon Emperor’s heart, it still is the ‘Dragon Emperor’s heart’. In other words, it’s still the first Dragon Emperor, and the person who founded Knights. All in all… he still seems to be our boss?”
Everyone made various different expression after hearing. Cappuccino looked like he had an impulse to beat Blood Wolf up, but Little Fireball held him back. Lanski and Jasmine seemed a bit loss. As for the person Blood Wolf spoke to, Lancelot turned around, and his blue eyes stared directly at Blood Wolf. Surprisingly, he began to smile and said, “Stop pretending, Blood Wolf.”
Blood Wolf raised his eyebrows. Lancelot continued, “If you really cared about the title of Dragon Emperor, you wouldn’t have opposed the Dragon Emperor so often. Now that I think about it, the time when you started to purposely oppose the Dragon Emperor was exactly when Caffey…” Lancelot paused, with sadness on his face.
Blood Wolf tilted his head uneasily, and he still tried to act tough, “I was just doing whatever I wanted; I didn’t think about all that.”
Cappuccino, who was holding his fist up moments ago, paused and put down his fist, but then immediately raised it again, and punched Blood Wolf’s shoulder as hard as he could. He yelled, “You damn wolf, I really want to tear your big mouth up!”
[T/N: Pun-ish in Chinese, it really carries very little actual meaning. Cappuccino called Blood Wolf a wolf and then a big mouth (author used duck mouth here), so his response had something to do with him being both a wolf and a duck, or some weird mix of the two.]
“Do it then! I dare you to!” Blood Wolf snapped back, but he didn’t know, his face was completely red from blushing.
“Anyhow, the job of awakening Liola will definitely be yours, Blood Wolf.” Cappuccino yelled loudly.
“Yes, Your Highness!” Blood Wolf answered like a hooligan with a disrespectful tone.
Chapter 5 : Framed Again
After the failure to rescue Liola, Kaiser thought the odds were against Mizerui, so he stayed as far away as possible, especially when blood continued to flow out of Daylight’s wounds. Kaiser had to try something he had never tried before: continuous teleportation to go back to the Commerce Alliance. However, by taking Daylight and Flames with him, he exerted his magic force too much. When they were about halfway through, he could no longer hold on, and Kaiser blacked out and fell.
When Kaiser woke up with a pale face, he looked incredibly weak. After being blank for a moment, he suddenly remembered Daylight was still bleeding! ‘Crap, I hope he didn’t…’
He suddenly jumped up, but couldn’t see Daylight anywhere. He found himself in a room he hadn’t been in before. Kaiser paused briefly; since he didn’t see anyone, it meant Daylight could still run, which meant he wasn’t dead. Having concluded this, Kaiser lied down again, because he didn’t worry as long as no one died.
‘Growl…’ Hmmph! Kaiser covered his stomach. Though he didn’t want to open his eyes, his stomach couldn’t handle it anymore. He moaned in pain, “So hungry! Who can get me some food!”
After moaning for a long while and no one responding, with his stomach being empty, Kaiser had to slowly crawl off the the bed. When he was slowly moving to the door and reached out his hand towards the door…
“Hmm, I wonder if Kaiser likes steamed buns more or rice balls?” Daylight was looking at the foods in his hands with frustration.
“Steamed buns… ah! You stepped on my feet!’
Daylight jumped back. After looking, Kaiser bend over like a shrimp, with a painful look on his face like someone just forced something bitter down his throat.
“Kaiser, your sleeping habits are quite bad. How did you end up here while sleeping?” Daylight was confused. He looked at the bed, and it was far away from the door. How could Kaiser have been lying here.
Hearing this, Kaiser immediately jumped up. With a grotesque face, he yelled loudly, “How dare you! It was because you suddenly opened the door and it beat me up, so I fell to the ground!”
“Ah… I see.” Daylight suddenly realized.
“I’m so hungry! Give me my steamed buns!” Kaiser snatched the hot steamed buns out of Daylight’s hands. He then sat down and began to stuff his face.
Daylight smiled, and sat down with Kaiser, while eating the rice balls left in his hands. After swallowing a few buns, Kaiser’s stomach finally stopped growling. He wiped his mouth, and asked, “Hey! How are your wounds?”
Daylight nodded, “It’s fine. Liola didn’t hit anything vital.”
“He didn’t?” Kaiser touched his chin and thought, could this mean Liola was still somewhat conscious of what he was doing?
“I think it was because of Baolilong.” Daylight chewed his rice balls slowly while analyzed, “Flames told me, it yelled to Baolilong during that time, and Baolilong seemed to have heard. It then purposely flew to the side, so Liola would miss.”
Kaiser thought briefly, then said, “No, that’s not just it. Liola was someone who could stand firmly on a Dragon doing 360 degree turns. Just a slight tilt in the flight probably wouldn’t have affected him. I still think he was actually being merciful.”
Daylight nodded as well.
“Speaking of which, where did that Flames go?” Kaiser looked around, and he was surprised he was unable to find the little Flames who would never leave its master. It was really strange.
“I asked it to stay in the Commerce Alliance.”
“Huh?” Kaiser paused, and asked, “Then why aren’t we in the Commerce Alliance? And where the hell is this?”
Hearing Kaiser’s question, Daylight smiled bitterly, “I’m afraid we won’t be able to return to the Commerce Alliance for the time being. We’re the top wanted criminal across the world, and our crime was assassinating the Dragon Empire successor. Rumors say he was seriously injured, and even healing Maxuns couldn’t heal him right away.”
“Bulls—t!” Kaiser widened his eyes, and yelled, “Liola is a freaking cockroach. He wouldn’t care a bit about the wounds we inflicted. Even if I shot him a few more times, he would still be one to jump around.”
“Yeah…” Daylight smiled bitterly. Having strong companions is a good thing, but under the current circumstances, Daylight had really hoped Liola wasn’t as strong.
“Wait!” Kaiser suddenly jumped up, and yelled loudly, “Who cares if Liola is a cockroach! That’s not the main point. Did we seriously turn into wanted criminals?”
“My God! I’m going to faint.” Kaiser held his head exaggerated, and wailed for a long time before he asked with a bitter face, “What exactly happened? Tell me quick.”
Daylight nodded, and began to retell the things happened after Kaiser fainted.
“After you passed out, I had Flames carry us back to the Commerce Alliance. As soon as Flames reached the Commerce Alliance, Purity stopped us. She said to me nervously, the Dragon Emperor had just announced a request for our arrest, and we had to leave quickly.”
“I didn’t have a choice, so I had Flames carry us back to Aklan Continent for now… but as soon as we got on land, we almost got spotted by a bunch of patrolling Knights. In the end, I had to ask Flames to change form into its human form, and we ended up walking. The communication Maxun Purity gave me didn’t work either. Since I was very worried, I asked Flames to go by itself to look for them in the Commerce Alliance.”
“Later on, through Flames, I found out, the three Commanders had already been suspecting that Purity and Meinan had been harboring us. Purity already broke her communication Maxun, so they wouldn’t be able to discover our whereabouts.”
“Now Flames is in its human form, and hiding with Purity, so we could still keep contact. That’s how things are.”
Hearing this, Kaiser was so angry that he almost had an aneurysm. ‘Damn Dragon Emperor! Do you have an addiction for framing people?! We haven’t even reached the Commerce Alliance before the arrest orders for us to reach it, that’s just crazy!’
“Whatever! At least we could both return to the underground base.” Kaiser grunted, and asked again, “How is the war?”
Daylight thought about how Meinan put it as he tried to repeat it, “Silver Moon had retaken the Aklan capital, but due to the injuries he sustained from Assassins, he lacked the strength to pursue the escaping Black Dragon King, which resulted in him retreating his forces back to Freesia. This also meant the crime of the two Assassins was absolutely unforgivable…”
“Stop!” Kaiser was now having a headache. They had now became public enemies #1.
Daylight glanced at Kaiser, and added, “Meinan asked us to return to the base first, and he said he will think of a way to clear our names.”
Hearing this, Kaiser frowned. After thinking for a while, he said with determination on his face, “No! The two of us aren’t important. You tell Meinan, what’s most important now was make the Dragon Emperor’s wild ambitions clear to the Commerce Alliance.”
* * *
“The Dragon Continent is firmly the Dragon Emperor’s, and now Aklan may be, on the surface, divided between Miluo and Silver Moon, but we all know, both of them are subordinates of the Dragon Emperor. Therefore, Aklan had practically fallen into the Dragon Emperor’s hands.”
“The Commerce Alliance has already fallen into a tricky position. If they continue their passive stance, they will surely be unprepared for the Dragon Emperor when he attacks.”
Flames in its human form slowly repeated the words from Daylight. The more it said the more Meinan and Purity’s faces sank.
Flames paused, making sure Daylight didn’t say anything, then said, “Master finished.”
Meinan lightly rubbed his temples. He had already thought about this before. Problem with that, was making the Commerce Alliance believe them was like trying to make pigs fly, especially when Kaiser and Daylight were now wanted criminals because of the assassination. Truth was, they were in quite a bad place.
Purity was at least fine, because she was from the Commerce Alliance, but Meinan wasn’t as fortunate. Had it not been for their respect for Qiusi, the Commerce Alliance might have already tied him up and send him to the Dragon Emperor, to demonstrate they had nothing to do with the Assassins.
Meinan stood up, and paced around the room with frustration. He became more and more vexed the more he thought. In the end, he actually grabbed the golden hair he had always treasured and yelled loudly, “Those two damn idiots! I can’t believe they went to assassinate the successor! And now they put us in such a predicament!”
“Meinan, there’s no way Kaiser and Daylight would go harm Liola-dage. They must’ve been framed.” Purity tried hurriedly to clarify on their behalf.
Meinan looked even more furious, “Of course they were framed! These two idiots. How could they have not brought us along if they were going to rescue Liola?!”
“Kaiser and Daylight went to rescue Liola-dage, but didn’t bring us along?” Purity blankly repeated, and finally understood what the words meant. She screamed, “How could they do that?! Purity wants to rescue Liola-dage too!”
“That’s right! They left us behind! I’m never letting them off this~” Meinan’s golden hair was now completely messed up, and his face looked warped like a reincarnated Asura*…
[T/N: Asura is a kind of Demi-God in Buddhism.]
“Despicable! Purity will not forgive them, AHH—” Purity shrieked again and again. The glass cup on the desk began to tremble a bit, with cracks vaguely visible…
‘Master, please never come to the Commerce Alliance…’ Covering its ears, Flames crouched under the table and communicated.
‘Hmm? I know Kaiser and I are now wanted, so we can’t return, or we will definitely be tied up and sent to the Dragon Emperor…’ Daylight responded via telepathy.
Flames felt a bit helpless, and it didn’t know how to tell its master. ‘Master, there are many things in the world more terrifying than the Dragon Emperor. For example, your companions.’
Suddenly, a faint sound could be heard, and Flames was alarmed, “Someone is here!”
However, the door had already been opened. Flames was a bit frustrated, because it was busy talking to its master and had forgotten to observe his surrounding. If the Commerce Alliance see Meinan with his messy hair and the shrieking Purity, they would definitely not believe anything these two say…
“Hello, three Commanders.” Meinan showed a dignified smile, but if one were to examine closely, this smile was mixed with a faint sense of despair and worry.
Flames stared blankly, ‘S-such orderly gold hair…’
“Woo, woo… that’s impossible. It might be possible for Kaiser to go try killing someone (Kaiser: What do you mean by that?!), but Daylight, how could he do something like that? I don’t believe it…” Purity lay on the desk, and tears fell out of her eyes like rain, like a teenager crying for her boyfriend.
Flames continued to stare blankly at the glass on the desk with a crack going through it.
The three Commanders were originally planning on interrogating them, but after seeing Meinan’s courtesy and Purity’s crying face, the Red Commander went up and ran her fingers through her daughters hair and said, “Dear Purity, don’t cry, mommy doesn’t believe Daylight would do something like assassinate either. Mommy has lived many years and only seen one such admirable Knight. How could a such chivalric Knight go to assassinate someone?”
“Mommy, t-then why would you help the Dragon Emperor to try to arrest him?” Purity pouted. She began to blame her mother as she wept.
Hearing her daughter’s blame, the Red Commander glanced at the Yellow and Green Commander, and they both flinched back a bit, especially the smaller Green Commander. It was he who issued the arrest warrant. When he couldn’t take the glaring, he began to explain, “I didn’t have a choice! Three thousand Knights all said in unison that those two attacked the successor, even if this was fake, we had to act as if it were real.”
“Is this a joke?” Meinan’s face sank, and yelled, “Did it only take three thousand Knights to make you lose your ability to judge right from wrong? Then we might as well hand the rest of the world to the Dragon Emperor, because he has no shortage of Knights.”
“You can’t put it like that.” The Yellow Commander frowned, “The Dragon Emperor had just conquered Aklan capital from the Black Dragon King, and he has his momentum going. Even if he were to call a deer a horse, we might have to just accommodate it.”
Meinan was quiet for a while, and when the atmosphere was frozen, he said lightly, “Isn’t that dangerous?”
“What?” All three Commanders asked skeptically.
“The Dragon Continent and the Knights have always belonged to the Dragon Emperor, and now… he has control over half of Aklan Continent.” Meinan paused, and he looked at the politics-focused Green Commander as his face sank. Though Meinan’s face was full of worries, he was laughing in his heart.
“Though it was half of Aklan Continent, but rumors say, when the successor was attacking the capital, he was nearly unimpeded… if it weren’t for the assassination that caused him to stop chasing, perhaps the entire Aklan Continent would be under the Dragon Emperor’s control by now.” Meinan’s long fingers touched his chin calmly, and said as if he was murmuring to himself, “And that leaves the Commerce Alliance…”
The three Commanders faces turned immediately; clearly they all understood what the words meant. The Yellow Commander even looked a bit worried.
‘No way you guys won’t fall for this, hehehe…’ Meinan put on a pleading face. With his knee bent, he knelt before everyone. Seeing this, Purity yelled out in surprise, “Meinan! What are you doing?”
“Three Commanders, despite Meinan’s incompetence, Aklan is still, after all, my father Qiusi’s life’s work. We can never, ever allow it to become the Dragon Emperor’s possession. Please, take Aklan Continent back from the Dragon Emperor.” Meinan spoke emotionally, with the last few syllables choking. He looked like he refrained himself from letting his tears fall.
All three Commanders looked hesitant after hearing. The Yellow Commander sighed, “Though I don’t disagree with you, but Aklan doesn’t even have a person who could take the responsibility of leading. If we take over, the Dragon Empire would never agree. Sigh! If only Qiusi was still here, we would definitely help retake Aklan capital without a word.”
Purity seemed unconvinced. She stood up and said loudly, “Meinan isn’t much worse! He’s the Prime Minister Qiusi’s son, so of course he has the right to retake Aklan!”
The Yellow Commander’s eyes flashed with hesitation, but he still shook his head and sighed, “You’re too young, nor do you have any experiences with ruling. You might not be able to convince the people you rule over, and it’s a shame.”
“Right, but at least we can try suggesting it to the Dragon Emperor, so at least we can see the Dragon Emperor’s attitude.” The Yellow Commander clapped, then turned around and left like a gust of wind.
The Red Commander looked at the two other Commanders leaving, then turned to touch her daughter’s head and asked, “Purity, did you have a fight with your brother Feir?”
Purity’s shoulders shook a bit, and said with grievance, “I didn’t!”
The Red Commander smiled and lightly smacked her daughter’s head, “Yeah right, your brother Feir has been depressed these few days. I heard you didn’t even eat the snacks he bought you?”
With a guilty conscience, Purity lowered her head. A few days ago, Feir happily brought the roasted chestnuts his sister loved to eat so much, but she greeted him with “no eating if you don’t tell the truth”. In the end, Feir didn’t say anything. He left the chestnuts on the table and walked out sadly.
Then, those chestnuts were eaten by Kaiser! Purity got angry at the thought of it, that damned glutton Kaiser.
“Seriously, you’re quite grown, you shouldn’t be temperamental with your brother.” The Red Commander looked at her with an indulgent smile.
Purity lowered her head even more. She thought about how much her brother had always cared about her, and she probably shouldn’t make her brother angry.
“Fine, Purity will go and apologize to brother.” Purity pouted, and said a bit unwillingly.
“Hmm, wait for him to come back before you go apologize.” The Red Commander smiled, and rubbed her daughter’s head with satisfaction. Remembering she still had some businesses to take care of, she turned around to leave.
Purity asked curiously, “Where did brother go?”
“He’s in Aklan Continent.” The Red Commander answered directly without turning around, “Your brother went to look for his Knight friends.”
Purity widened her eyes. She thought, perhaps her brother would run into Liola-dage? When he comes back, she planned on asking him about Liola-dage. She and Meinan exchanged a look, and saw the same plan in each other’s eyes.
“Also, little Qiusi, not bad!”
Meinan paused. When he looked in the direction of the Red Commander, she had already left. ‘Little Qiusi? Is she talking about me?’
Meinan scratched his face, unsure if he heard incorrectly. No matter what, he had finally made the Commerce Alliance raise their guards against the Dragon Emperor. Now, they had to wait and see Kaiser and Daylight’s work in training those Knights and Magicians in the secret base, and wait… for war!
Meinan suddenly realized, the war was already this close. Before he thought, as long as Qiusi woke up, he must be able to prevent the war. However, after the Dragon Emperor had practically controlled two thirds of the world, even if Qiusi woke up, he probably couldn’t stop it now.
“What do we do now?” Purity tugged Meinan slightly, and asked with confusion.
Meinan paused, right, now wasn’t the time to stand still; there were still much for him to do: he had to communicate with Gladiolus and Barbalis, so they could provide assistance to Kaiser and Daylight, and help them escape the Dragon Emperor’s eyes. Plus, he had to go gather information about Liola’s situation. No matter what, if Liola could wake up, then things would be much better.
“Purity, please, when Feir comes back, ask him about Liola.”
“Okay!” Purity nodded earnestly.
* * *
“Your Highness, how are your wounds?”
Flower was extraordinarily concerned about Silver Moon’s wounds. Her reason was identically to Yiyu’s: not noticing that the successor was in danger was already a crime, what’s worse was that, they were the successor’s Direct Knight. With such a serious offense, even if Silver Moon wanted to chop them apart, probably no Knight would even step in and say a word in their favor.
Despite the complete victory, among the three thousand Knights, no one could keep their heads high. Their negligence caused the successor to be in danger, and they were all yelled at by the Knight’s idol, the Paladin Lancelot. This was enough to make all the Knights feel shameful.
Yizhou, however, was the only exception. Originally, the other Knights didn’t even think Yizhou was worthy of being the successor’s Direct Knight, but at that time, he was the only Knight present who noticed the successor in danger, and the only one who fought with the Assassins. Even though he didn’t win, but at least it was an glorious defeat..
Nevertheless, the only person who didn’t think it was glorious was Yizhou himself. More than a year ago, he had been evenly matched with Daylight’s power. He had thought he made plenty of progress, but he would’ve never thought, Daylight made even more. This inevitably dented his spirit a bit. Ever since that day, he began to train himself even harder than before.
But he didn’t know, his actions caused other Knights to feel even more shameful. Not only did they accept Yizhou’s position as a Direct Knight, they followed in his footsteps and trained themselves. From then on, the sound of Knights training could be heard in every corner of Aklan, and the sound of them preparing for battle.
Silver Moon answered lightly. In fact, when he stepped into the healing Maxun and come out after a few minutes, his wounds had all been healed. The Maxun’s effects outer wounds were obviously amazing, and no one had better abilities to heal their inner injuries than Silver Moon. As long as he had a healing Maxun, it wouldn’t be outrageous to say Silver Moon was the person whose recovery capabilities were the greatest in the world.
“Your Highness, there is a crowd gathering outside of Aklan’s gates, requesting to come back to the city.” The Knight on the side hurriedly walked up and reported.
“No.” Silver Moon answered simply.
The reporting Knight paused, obviously not expecting the successor to refuse those people entry. He asked with a frown, “But these are the citizens who had originally lived here, refusing to let them into the city seems a bit inhumane…”
Freezing lights shot out of Silver Moon’s eyes, and the cold atmosphere filled the room. He shot out the words harshly, “I said, no!”
The Knight had already froze, seeing the smiling successor a moment ago had suddenly changed. As soon as he heard these few simple words, he immediately stood at attention, and answered, “Yes, sir! I will go send your words now.”
That Knight’s body froze. He awaited for the successor with fear.
Silver Moon seemed to have calmed down, and said lightly, “Don’t ever make me repeat myself.”
“Yes, sir!” The Knight yelled, then turned around to leave as if he couldn’t wait.
Flower and Yiyu saw all of this, then looked at each other and gulped. Neither of them dared to say anything. Silver Moon didn’t seem to pay attention to them, and he looked like he was in a trance, but truth was, he was receiving the Dragon Emperor’s orders via Idojin.
‘Control Aklan Capital firmly, and do not let anyone in. Otherwise, if and when Qiusi wakes up, these people would help him from the inside.’
‘I will make Miluo send Lesser-Dragons to harass you. When that happens, you must go fight them a few times yourself. I want all the Knights to see your true power, so they could both be in awe and fear.’
‘If you think anything or anyone might be on Qiusi’s side, we would rather kill one hundred innocents, than to let one of them loose!’
Hearing this, faint silver light reflected from Silver Moon’s eyes. Flower and Yiyu could only stare blankly, with their bodies trembling.
‘Kill innocents before letting a traitor through!’
“Flower, Yiyu,” Silver Moon said lightly.
The two acted like frightened birds, and answered loudly and quickly, “Yes, sir!”
Silver Moon elegantly yet slowly turned his head, “Go! Look for any powerful person that does not belong to the Dragon Empire. If this person has anything to do with Qiusi, kill at will!”
Chapter 6 : Rescue
“While Silver Moon is holding the Aklan capital, his investigation revealed that his assassins were connected to the Black Dragon King, which meant the Black Dragon King’s influence had reached past simple lesser-Dragons into the humans. To avoid any potential danger, Silver Moon rejected any request for the citizens to re-enter the city. He had also sent out many Knights in search of the Assassins. Anyone found to be in connection with the Black Dragon King will be killed on sight. Suddenly, even Aklan Continent’s winds were filled with weeping. The vicinity of the Aklan capital was almost a complete ghost town, if it were not for the Dragon Empire Knights…”
Lanski looked at the newspaper in her hand, and her hand kept trembling. The only thing she could think of was, when Liola recovers, how much pain and regret he would be in, even if none of this was his fault…
“Damn the Dragon Emperor!” After seeing the news, Jasmine said emotionally, “If this continues, even if Liola were to recover, he would definitely be hated by everyone! H-he would have nowhere to turn to, other than being a Prince in the Dragon Continent…”
Lanski took a deep breath. She could only think of Liola’s regret and pain, but she did not think about how people, who didn’t know the truth, would treat Liola, and how bad Liola’s situation would end up.
“We have to hurry up and rescue him!” Jasmine looked up, and said anxiously.
“No!” Lanski panicked a bit. She didn’t remember until now, they were actually having such a public discussion. God! Her father had always had his control over the palace, and she immediately made a “shh” sound.
“You two are rather slow, realizing this now when it’s too late.”
Lanski and Jasmine paused, then turned around to see the person who spoke was the one nobody would imagine seeing in the palace: Eldest Prince Mocha.
With his long robe reaching the ground, Mocha walked over slowly, and said nostalgically, “It’s been a really long time since I’ve walked here.”
“Eldest brother! Why are you here?” Lanski asked in surprise.
“I’m here to tell you, tomorrow noon, a situation would suddenly arise with Miluo, and the Dragon Emperor would be forced to go resolve it himself. During that time, his communication with the outside world would be completely severed for three hours. These three hours will determine anything.” Mocha said calmly, but he didn’t say anything about the end result.
The two girls took a deep breath, and said in unison, “I’ll go tell everyone immediately.”
“Sister, wait.” Mocha suddenly spoke to stop Lanski.
The two girls who had always done everything together stopped, and turned around to look at Mocha. He smiled and said, “Let Jasmine go and tell others, I want to talk to you, sister.”
Jasmine paused, but she immediately understood why Mocha wanted to speak to Lanski alone. His goal… was far too obvious. It must had something to do with what Mocha said before about Lanski’s life being in danger. Jasmine thought Mocha must be trying to convince Lanski to do otherwise, and even Jasmine herself had really hoped Lanski wouldn’t risk her life. As such, she nodded, then left by herself, to tell everyone else about this.
There were only Mocha and Lanski left, and the latter smiled then said, “If sovereign brother is trying to convince me not to go, then can you tell me first: if I don’t go, would it be successful?”
Mocha obviously didn’t expect Lanski would ask this. After pausing, he sighed deeply, then said, “Lanski, I want to ask you, even if Liola recovers, how do you think he would react when he found out that you died because of him?”
Lanski’s body froze. She said, “He would feel self-guilt… but at least then, he could still feel guilt, right? Instead of being like now, completely emotionless.”
“Emotionless is, sometimes, a kind of bliss.” Mocha said with a vague sadness, “I saw… his tears. Sister, you don’t understand, to him, your existence is far more than just yourself; it also includes Anise, Bairui’s incarnation. Your death would be the biggest blow to him.”
“But he still stands up, doesn’t he?” Lanski shook her head. She thought Liola could definitely get on his feet again.
“Yes.” Mocha looked in the distance, as if he was looking at some picture, and his tone was rather vague, “And then, he will again drive a sword through father’s chest, the real Dragon Emperor… Caffe. With that image, the silly smile, I’m certain of it, it was indeed Caffe and not the Dragon Emperor.”
“And on brother’s face, was an insurmountable pain and tears.” Mocha slowly closed his eyes, and said painfully, “Every time I think about the look on his face, I’ve wondered if not having any emotion to him would be a kind of bliss…”
Lanski became quiet. After a long while, she finally said,
“Sorry, brother, if I really can’t come back, please tell Liola for me, that I was too weak, and I’m not willing to see him without emotions like this. Therefore, I’m going to transfer my pain to him. Tell him not to blame himself too much, because I chose everything myself.”
“You chose everything yourself?” Mocha looked at his sister gently, “Alright, I understand, and I won’t stop you anymore, but just be careful. I really do hope my prediction would end up unfulfilled.”
“Understood, brother.” Lanski raised her face, her smile bright like the sun, “Don’t worry, your sister isn’t that fragile. Brother, you must’ve made a mistake this time!”
Mocha nodded, “Yes, I must’ve made a mistake. Then, I look forward to seeing you again, my dear sister.”
Lanski suddenly ran up and hugged her brother. This surprised Mocha and he couldn’t move at all. This was the first time she had been close to him. In the past, she had always felt apprehensive towards the brother who spent all his time in the Astronomy Tower, to the point where she might even feel a bit of disgust. But now, she finally understood her brother’s pain and difficulties, nor did she find Mocha repulsive anymore; she even felt a bit guilty about her attitude towards him before.
“Sister…” Mocha slowly rubbed Lanski’s head. A beautiful girl with such cream hair shouldn’t be the person to fall…
“Brother, I’m going to go. I’m afraid if I don’t go now, Jasmine and others may abandon me and leave by themselves.”
Lanski stuck her tongue out playfully. After leaving her brother’s arms, she waved at Mocha, then sprinted away, fearing she really would be left behind.
Mocha stood quietly still for a long time. When he finally left, he left one simple question behind in the air,
“Sister and brother, who should be the one to be sacrificed?”
* * *
“I want to see His Highness, the successor.”
Yizhou frowned; he thought it to be strange. For someone to ask to see the successor, they should be looking for Flower and Yiyu instead. Everyone knew, he had always focused on training, and rarely did he actually step into the Aklan meeting room, where the successor was.
As soon as he turned, Yizhou immediately put his right fist on his left chest, and performed a Knight salute. Though he was only a Silver Knight, but as a royalty’s Direct Knight, he had the specially permission to not salute to Knights higher than his rank, because Direct Knights would often carry out commands for the royalty, and their presence represented the will of the royal family, so saluting to other Knights seemed unfitting.
However, the people in front of him would definitely be an exception. Even the Prince and Princess would often pay each other respect through a Knight’s salute.
They were the Paladin Lancelot and the Dark Knight Blood Wolf.
Blood Wolf smiled like a ruffian and said leisurely, “You’re Silver Moon’s Direct Knight, right?”
“Let me tell you, we’re carrying out the Dragon Emperor’s secret command, and the less people know about it, the better.” Blood Wolf raised his eyebrows, and warned with narrow eyes, “In other words, no one other than you may know anything about our arrival! Including the other two Direct Knights, understood?”
Yizhou frowned, and instinctively looked towards the Paladin.
Seeing this, Blood Wolf immediately yelled, “Hey! What are you looking at Lancelot for? Just trust me, okay?”
Yizhou hesitated a bit, then nodded.
“Damn! You really did nod, such a hilarious Knight.” Blood Wolf put on a sad face. Could he really be that untrustworthy? Even though, he really was lying just now…
Lancelot shook his head. This Blood Wolf, he knew they were pressed for time, but he still was messing with this Knight, sigh!
“Do as Blood Wolf says.” Lancelot said to Yizhou.
“Did you hear? Just do as I say!” Blood Wolf acted like a fox pretending to be a tiger, “You go tell Silver Moon, His Highness the Dragon Emperor has a secret plan against the Black Dragon King, so he ordered us to come find Silver Moon and go to Freesia together. However, this plan must be completely kept in secret. You go tell Silver Moon, we’ll be waiting for him dead north of the capital.”
Yizhou thought about it briefly. Despite the strangeness of the command, but the appearance of both the Paladin and the Dark Knight extinguished his doubts. He thought perhaps the Dragon Emperor wanted the two legendary Knights to go and assassinate the Black Dragon King together.
“Hurry, time is of the essence.” Lancelot frowned a bit, and said.
“Yes, sir.” Yizhou performed a Knight’s salute, then turned around to leave quickly.
When Yizhou was out of his sight, Lancelot asked, puzzled, “This lie seemed a bit crude. Would the successor really fall for it?”
“Of course not.” Blood Wolf answered lazily. “Silver Moon is emotionless, not brainless. Even though he may not be able to contact the Dragon Emperor right now, it’s impossible for him not to be skeptical of this.”
“I can’t really say whether his strength really matched ours or not. However, his speed and alertness are incomparable in this world. If he is alarmed, then there’s no way we could catch him.”
“To subdue him, we have to use the only thing he’s not familiar with: magic, and subdue him instantly. Otherwise, even if he can’t win in a fight, he could definitely escape.”
“So?” Lancelot listened for a long while, but he seemed to have missed the point; what did this lie have to do with magic?
“So I placed a teleport magic circle on that hilarious Knight just now, and I’ve set the activation phrase to be word ‘Paladin’. As soon as Yizhou speak the word ‘Paladin’, everything living thing in a ten-meter radius will be teleported to the other magic circle in my hand. Isn’t it interesting?”
Lancelot was briefly silent, “This is dozens of kilometers away from where the Third Prince and the Princess had hid themselves.”
“Of course I know, I’m not terrible with directions.” Blood Wolf raised his eyebrow.
“However, this is only at most one kilometer away from the Aklan meeting room.” Lancelot was trying to suppress his anger.
“I know, we can even see the roof to the meeting room from here.” Blood Wolf answered seriously.
Lancelot’s patience seemed to be reaching some sort of limit; his tones sounded like he was about to spit fire, “Then do you really think we can possibly rush back to the Princess and the Prince before Yizhou speak the word ‘Paladin’?”
“Oh!” Blood Wolf showed a serious expression, “That depends on what kind of transportation we use, ‘Lancelot-stinky-and-stubborn-like-a-rock’!”
Lancelot paused, unsure why Blood Wolf would suddenly say something like that… however, a bright light exploded and swallowed both of them. After the light dissipated, Lancelot noticed the surroundings had completely changed. He looked around and found Cappuccino and Lanski staring at them with wide open eyes, clearly showing their surprise at the sudden appearance.
“Tsk, so interesting.” Blood Wolf smiled like a hooligan. As for Lancelot confusion, he was happy to explain, “I forgot to tell you, Cappuccino lost two magic circles to me. Before we left, I gave him the other end to one of them, and ‘stubborn as rock’ was the activation phrase.”
Lancelot shook his head. Blood Wolf was indeed the joking kind, acting this relaxed in a situation like this.
“All right, I saw that Yizhou guy’s walking speed, and he should have made it to Liola about now, so it’s time that we get set up.” Blood Wolf frowned, and murmured, “Too bad we don’t know where the Dragon Emperor is holding Mizerui. His gravity magic is practically Liola nemesis. If he could restrain Liola speed, we’d be able to catch him like a cat catching a mouse.”
Lancelot didn’t waste time talking to Blood Wolf, and he unsheathed his sword, with a serious look on his face. Blood Wolf scratched his face, and took out his black pike, spun it a few times in the air, then grasped it tightly in his hand.
“All right! Cappuccino, you go up in the air. If Liola tries to run, ask Little Fireball to spit a few fireballs to slow him down.”
“As for the two girls, honestly, you two aren’t quite at the fighting level to intervene, so stand far away.” Blood Wolf saw the anger surfacing the girls’ faces, so he immediately added, “Don’t worry! There will be things for you two to do. After we catch Liola and when Lancelot tries to break the hypnosis, we’ll need you two for an emotional attack.”
The two girls eased a bit, but they still felt unhappy; if only they had been a bit stronger…
* * *
Yizhou walked quickly towards the Aklan meeting room. Though he was indeed not skeptical before, but in the short distance he walked, a few doubts were raised in his mind. Why did they look for him? The Paladin and the Dark Knight could’ve very well went up to His Highness as if there was no one there, and nobody would dare to question them.
If they’re trying to hide from Milou’s spies, then why couldn’t he tell the other two Direct Knights? After all, they were the successors Soul Devotees.
Many doubts circled themselves in Yizhou mind, but he would’ve never guessed, the two Knights were only trying to trick the successor out. After all, the two Knights’ prestige were well known, and it was unbelievable for them to do anything like betrayal.
Yizhou decided to tell the matter directly to His Highness, and he could decide for himself.
He walked into the meeting hall. After the assassination attempt, the meeting hall was always patrolled by dozens of Knights. When they saw it was the successors Direct Knight, no one said anything, and he was free to move through, until he arrived at the room where the successor stayed.
As soon as Yizhou came to a stop at the door, Silver Moon’s voice could be heard from inside. He wasn’t surprised the successor had already noticed him, so he pushed open the door and went in.
Silver Moon had his back towards Yizhou. Without turning around, he asked lightly.
Yizhou nodded and said, “Your Highness, the Paladin and the Dark…”
No matter how alert Silver Moon was, magic had always been his blind spot. Also, no matter how many doubts Yizhou had, he would’ve never expected it would happen before he even finished the first sentence. Blood Wolf was indeed good at lying. He put the emphasis on meeting outside of the city. Any ordinary person would think that even if something was wrong, it would happen outside of the city; how could he have known that the true lie was hidden on himself?
Silver Moon had pulled out his weapon the moment the light appeared. When he sensed two powerful presence, they had already began their attacks. However, he never expected that it was a coordinated attack from the two legendary Knights, so he was at a disadvantage from the start.
Yizhou paused, but with a dozen of moves had been made in that brief moment. It only took three seconds for the light to dissipate, but a dozen crisp sounds of weapons colliding could be heard.
It wasn’t until now that Yizhou finally realized, the successor was in danger!
His reaction time was already fairly fast. He took out his sword, preparing to defend the successor; but when he turned around, he froze once more. Although it was unforgivable for him to freeze when his direct royalty was under attack, perhaps no Knight could blame Yizhou for it, because the people attacking the successor was actually the Paladin and the Dark Knight.
Two legendary Knights fighting together was a force no one could stop. Besides, practically everyone would agree, the person they would attack would be undoubtedly an evil person for them to both be involved.
But, this was the successor! The future Dragon Emperor, the person all Knights must obey. Yizhou was now thoroughly confused.
No matter how confused he was, Yizhou still kept his eyes on the battle. In the short time that passed, Yizhou was thoroughly entranced in the battle. The successor was so fast that, no matter how much Yizhou tried to concentrate, he could only see a black shadow flying around, as well as the occasional flash of Broken Silver’s light.
The two legendary Knights seemed to be having a headache to such speed. The white and black Auras both locked down a side, and this made the red Aura bounce around like a leaf on a turbulent sea. If Silver Moon didn’t have such amazing speed, he would probably have lost long ago.
Nevertheless, this fight wasn’t based on “what ifs”; speed was the Assassin’s biggest advantage. Plus his ability to disappear, an Assassin could often kill an opponent two times his power.
Unfortunately, this Assassin was the one being ambushed. Being at a disadvantage from the start, Silver Moon had to use his speed just to hold his ground.
However, the two legendary Knights lived up to their names. The Paladin used his flawless sword techniques. Even though it may not be as dexterous, but it was as solid as a tall stone wall.
The Dark Knight Blood Wolf was completely different; his moves seemed unfathomably random. He would often dodge, then attack randomly, but he made it look like it was the natural thing to do. He looked like a thin wall, but when you touch it, your hair would stand up as if you had just touched a wall of electricity.
The two legendary Knights’ cooperation formed such a seamless barrier; the tall walls were fully electrified, and it was impossible to break through.
Silver Moon was almost like he was using his speed to run on the wall. Although he may not receive too much damage in the short-term, electricity would occasionally strike his toes, and if he were to slow down a bit, his body would tremble from the electricity. Even if he wanted to break out of the walls, they were far too high for him to climb.
As such, despite knowing he would lose if this continued, Silver Moon had no other choice, so he was using his speed to sustain himself as much as possible.
Yizhou was practically watching this battle with greed. Because of his inferior strength, he had been watching a long while before he saw the terrible predicament the successor was in. Nevertheless, Yizhou knew, this was not a battle he could join. Even though he might not want to admit it, his involvement in the fight would be over in a fraction of a second.
What else could he do other than watching his direct royalty being surrounded? No Knight could handle an insult like that.
After thinking about it, Yizhou put his hand firmly on the handle of his sword, planning on joining the fray…
Yizhou paused, and looked towards the source of the sound. He then realized the person who spoke was the successor’s Sacred White Dragon. Its deep red eyes stared directly at him, while saying with a deep voice, “Look over there, do you see Princess Lanski?”
Yizhou looked in the direction the Dragon pointed, and suddenly realized the Princess was also present. Could this be a battle for the throne?
“In a bit, I will feign a retreat. You go and take the Princess hostage, and threaten the two Knights to stop their attacks with the Princess’s life.”
What? Yizhou completely froze; take the Princess hostage?
Chapter 7 : The One Who Should Be Sacrificed
Yizhou had never been the one to follow the chivalric code closely, but he did receive years of Knight’s morality training. Holding someone hostage was not something a Knight should do, let alone when the target was a female, especially when she was a Princess.
Even the most un-chivalric Knight would hesitate on receiving a mission like this, and Yizhou was no exception. Baolilong didn’t seem to give him any time to think; it bit the corner of Yizhou’s clothes, and roared, “This is master’s orders, you must obey!”
Yizhou frowned. He raised his head to look in the direction of Silver Moon’s fight. Though he couldn’t see Silver Moon clearly, but he realized the area surrounded by the white and dark Auras was getting smaller and smaller. Perhaps in a moment, Silver Moon would really become a bird in a nest, getting captured after being exhausted.
Seeing this, Yizhou nodded and agreed with the Dragon. After Baolilong see Yizhou nod, it received an order from Silver Moon, then it transformed into a large Dragon, and began to fly in the direction of Aklan capital.
In that instant, other than the three people currently in combat, Cappuccino, Lanski, and Jasmine’s attentions were all caught by Baolilong. Lanski and Jasmine began to panic and called out to Cappuccino, whom immediately tried to go intercept Baolilong with Little Fireball.
When everyone’s attention was focused to the air, an attack surrounded with a silver Aura sent Jasmine flying to a few meters away. Of course, she was not the real target; Yizhou spun around, and put her sword on Lanski before she react. Lanski didn’t not realize the attacker was Yizhou until now, and she completely froze.
Know Mocha’s prediction, Jasmine was already yelling panickedly, “Let go of Lanski!”
There was no way for Yizhou to do that. He held the Princess hostage, and yelled loudly into the battle, “Stop attacking the successor, or otherwise I will… I will attack the Princess.”
Yizhou’s words sounded awkward. “Kill” was something he could never say, so he replaced it with “attack”. Any person with common sense would know, Yizhou probably didn’t have the guts to really do it.
However, his actions did indeed draw Lancelot and Blood Wolf’s attention. They both frowned, and Blood Wolf said, “Ignore him, he wouldn’t dare.”
Lancelot frowned, and he still looked in the direction of Lanski out of worry. Sure enough, he saw Yizhou awkwardly holding Lanski hostage. He knew in his heart that Blood Wolf’s judgment was correct, so he planned on ignoring Yizhou…
“Lancelot!” Blood Wolf roared.
Lancelot’s eyes were only off Silver Moon for an instant, but little did he know, this was the exactly the kind of opportunity Silver Moon had been waiting for. He raised his speed to its limit, and it was so fast that neither legendary Knight’s Aura could stop him. With a flash, Silver Moon managed to escape out of their siege.
Crap! Lancelot and Blood Wolf both knew the situation was dire. If Silver Moon mounted the King of the Sky — the Sacred White Dragon, then the only thing left for them to do was chase after him from behind.
When he was about to call forth his mount to intercept Baolilong, Blood Wolf instead yelled strangely, “No! His target is the Princess!”
Lancelot’s heart felt a shock. When he turned his head, the black shadow had already arrived at where Lanski and Yizhou were.
Yizhou felt nothing but a gust. He then found himself pushed onto the floor. He raised his head to look, and realized the successor Silver Moon had already replaced him, with Broken Silver pressed against the Princess’s thin neck.
Everyone took a deep breath. Though the person who was holding her Princess was her own brother, but no one would doubt for a second that the Silver Moon now would cut the Princess’s neck. The silver eyes sparkling with coldness had already told everyone present to never doubt this person’s cruelty.
“Back up, all of you.”
Silver Moon said coldly. While he did, he applied pressure onto Broken Silver, and a thin red line immediately appeared on her white skin.
“Stop! Liola, don’t do this.”
Jasmine had already been deeply frightened. She might have been originally half skeptical about the prophecy, but she was certain of it now. She was very afraid that in the next second, Broken Silver would break the neck of her best friend.
“Back up!” Silver Moon suddenly yelled loudly.
Jasmine immediately stood up, and ran towards where Lancelot and Blood Wolf stood. She looked at them with pleading eyes, and the latter had no choice but sigh and slowly backed away.
‘Baolilong come back!’
Cappuccino also didn’t dare to chase Baolilong anymore. The giant Baolilong slowly landed besides Silver Moon, who went and stood on Baolilong’s back with the hostage still in his hand.
“Wait! Let Lanski go.” Jasmine yelled anxiously.
Silver Moon’s silver eyes coldly glanced towards her, but he made no response to Jasmine. Instead, he looked towards Yizhou, and commanded, “Summon your dragon, and follow me.”
“Yes, sir.” Yizhou obeyed.
Baolilong slowly began to lift off. Silver Moon was now sure, no one could possibly catch up to Baolilong. His cold lips went up against Lanski’s ears, and said, “Don’t worry, sister, I will bring you back to father, and he will be the judge on what to do with you.”
Lanski was shocked. She was now in panic; this was different than what Mocha said! Didn’t Mocha mean, she could help? That she could wake up Liola, right? Why had she become a burden instead? If Silver Moon escaped, no one present could stay in the Dragon Empire any longer, and there would be no more chances to wake Liola up.
“No…” Lanski’s face became pale. She could never allow this to happen.
Silver Moon frowned. Ignoring Lanski, he commanded Baolilong, “Let’s go! Back to Aklan.”
Lanski suddenly realized what it meant. She completely ignored the fact that an razor was held on her neck, and she turned to hold Silver Moon and wouldn’t let go. If it weren’t for Silver Moon’s alertness and his ability to move the weapon quickly away, Lanski’s neck might have already been cut by now.
“Let go!” Silver Moon frowned; he thought this action might affect him, because it would be disadvantageous to him now if the Paladin and Dark Knight used this opportunity to attack him.
Nevertheless, Silver Moon was worrying too much. Everyone was standing far away, and with Lanski hugging Silver Moon, their distance was even closer. With his speed, no one would dare to see which would be faster, Silver Moon’s blade or their running speed.
“Never!” Lanski held tightly to Silver Moon, and yelled, “Liola! Liola, please, wake up, don’t be like this anymore.”
Silver Moon’s silver eyes darkened.
“Do you still remember Kaiser! Haven’t you two always been friends?” Lanski said hurriedly.
“Kaiser?” Silver Moon’s face was gloomy, “You are on Qiusi’s side?”
Lanski shook her head desperately, “No, Liola, I just want you to wake up, I’m not on any sides.”
“Don’t call me Liola!” Silver Moon’s eyes flashed, and yelled with frustration, “I am Silver Moon!”
“No!” Lanski bitterly shook her head, “You can be Liola, or you can be Silver Mask, but I will never call you Silver Moon.”
Hearing this, Silver Moon’s irises suddenly contracted. His hand that was holding Broken Silver trembled, “Why wouldn’t you call me Silver Moon? You always used to called me Silver Moon.”
Lanski froze. When did she ever call him Silver Moon? Always used to?
“Have you given up on me? Anise?”
Lanski suddenly raised her head. From what Lancelot told her, she knew about the previous Sacred White Dragon, Bairui, transforming into Anise, a girl who looked identical to her, and a girl who taught Silver Moon how to have feelings; but wasn’t Anise dead? Why would Silver Moon call her Anise…
By now, Silver Moon had already reached out his hands to touch Lanski’s hair. Lanski could feel, his hands were shaking, as if they were trying to hold something back.
“Please call me again, Anise.” Silver Moon said practically pleadingly.
Lanski didn’t know how to react. She finally understood now, Silver Moon thought she was Anise, but she really wasn’t. Also, Lanski had also decided, she would never call him Silver Moon, fearing that if she did so, Liola would never come back.
Lanski’s silence seemed to have infuriated Silver Moon. He suddenly shouted violently, “Call me Silver Moon!”
Though Silver Moon’s eyes and personality drove fear into Lanski, but a Princess’s pride made her hold her stance. She answered firmly, “No, you’re Liola, not Silver Moon.”
Silver Moon slapped Lanski onto the ground. After doing so, he kept trying to catch his breath, as if the slap caused him every last ounce of his strength.
Blood dripped from the corner of Lanski’s mouth, and she felt a burning pain on his cheek, but her expression was now even more determined. She raised her head, and said word by word, “The person I knew before, was Liola, the person I know now, is still Liola, and the person I will know from now, will always be Liola!”
“Is that so?”
With his head lowered, Silver Moon seemed to have calmed down. When he raised his head again, his eyes were as calm as lake water without the slightest of ripples, so calm that not a single bit of emotion could be seen. He said lightly, “You said Kaiser, and father told me to kill anyone in connection with them. Therefore, sister, farewell.”
Lanski froze, and a strand of silver light was already stabbing towards her. The only thing she thought was, ‘Did I fail? I didn’t wake Liola, but I’m about to die, then will there be anyone who could wake him?’
Though the people far away could tell something had happened, they didn’t dare come closer. It wasn’t until when Silver Moon slapped Lanski into the ground did everyone react and ran up, but it was already too late. They saw Silver Moon raised Broken Silver high in the air, then intertwined with a red aura, and striked towards Lanski.
“Liola, I-I really want to see you again with your mask, waiting for me underneath the moonlight…”
At the brink of her death, the thing Lanski remembered was the failed first date: the silver moonlight landing on his tall and thin body; with his eyes closed, he seemed so relaxed and free, aloof and arrogant, almost like… a silver solitary moon. Lanski suddenly realized, Silver Moon?
Even though she had some doubts, but Lanski didn’t have time to think anymore. The silver light had already arrived. In an instant, darkness befell in front of Lanski’s eyes…
Blood spilled everywhere! Everyone screamed in shock! The scene seemed to have froze: Silver Moon stopped, and everyone stopped running; they all froze as they looked at this destined tragedy…
“I’ve thought about it a lot, brother, can a person really be emotionless? If you really were emotionless, then how did Anise move a person without emotion?”
“Why would you be so stubborn about the name ‘Silver Moon’? Silver Moon is emotionless and cold; everyone hates Silver Moon, and even cast him aside. They only hoped Liola to come back quickly, and hoped Silver Moon would forever disappear; however, we seemed to forget, Silver Moon indeed exists. Silver Moon is Liola’s true, original form, and it’s the personality you’ve used before to escape from pain…”
“Nevertheless, when Liola had companions, even when in pain, there was no need for Silver Moon anymore. Silver Moon… therefore became an orphan, an existence that was hated. Even your companions don’t like Silver Moon.”
“The only person who had ever accepted ‘Silver Moon’, was the one and only Anise.”
Silver Moon’s body had completely froze. These words stroke the pain and hunger hidden deepest within Silver Moon’s heart, and then unearthed all of them. He no longer knew what he was feeling; was it happiness, unwillingness, or perhaps anger? It was as if all emotions had been mixed together, and he felt his chest was about to explode.
“My brother, Silver Moon, can you call me ‘brother’? I’ve never heard you call me that, even until now.”
Silver Moon raised his head, and asked with a trembling voice, “What did you call me?”
“Silver Moon, my brother.” Mocha smiled lightly.
With the words “Silver Moon” and “brother”, Silver Moon seemed to have completely broken down. All the intertwined emotions seemed to have became tears and ran down his cheeks. Looking at the blood running down Mocha’s body, Silver Moon’s face turned pale. He fell to his knees, with tears streaming down, he wept, “B-brother… sorry, sorry!”
Mocha didn’t answer. After a stagger, his bloodied body fell down…
Everyone ran up, but Mocha seemed to have mustered his strength, and maintained a kneeling position. He waved his hand towards them, gesturing them not to come up.
“Brother, I am the one who should be sorry.” Mocha’s words were mixed with bitterness, “If it weren’t for my predictions, you wouldn’t have landed in strange lands; if it weren’t for my negligence, you wouldn’t have been controlled by the Dragon Emperor; if it weren’t…”
“No!” Silver Moon suddenly raised his head, and shook it desperately, “Brother, don’t apologize, don’t!”
Mocha smiled lightly, and spread his arms. He encircled his brother with them, and whispered to his ear, “You are Silver Moon, you are also Liola. You don’t need to withhold your emotionless side, and you definitely should never cast away any of yourself.”
A hug… other than Anise, no one had ever touched Silver Moon. Most people would hurriedly avoid him after seeing Silver Moon’s eyes, or their faces would be filled with disgust. Now, there was finally another person who would treat Silver Moon with warmth and hug. He couldn’t help but hug Mocha back with his trembling arms; he hugged tightly, unwilling to ever let go.
“Brother, I’ll listen to you.”
Silver Moon — or perhaps Liola, now that there was no longer a distinction between the two — slowly let go, hoping to see his brother’s smile again. But as soon as he had done so, Mocha’s body slowly fell down…
Silver Moon froze. When he woke from this daze, he couldn’t catch Mocha in time. Mocha slowly fell to the ground, with his black hair spread on the ground, and his purple eyes half closed. His breathing was labored and hurried, and the pool of blood underneath him slowly spread.
Liola didn’t know what to do. He hurriedly climbed up. He transferred his Ki into Mocha’s body, while not caring whether or not it would actually help; he also pleaded while doing so, “No! Please don’t die like Anise!”
Receiving the support of Liola’s Ki, Mocha’s breath became slightly smoother, but he knew, this was the brief moment of clarity before his death. Before he would undoubtedly fall, Mocha still had a few things to say. He smiled as he look towards Liola, whom was no longer his cold former self, but he did not have Liola’s blank expression either; his face was filled with panic and fear, like a child who had just stepped out of his home for the first time.
“Liola… or Silver Moon… now I don’t even know what to call you anymore.” Mocha slowly reached out his hand towards Liola, whom immediately grabbed it and held tightly in his hand.
“Liola, brother, call me Liola.” Liola said timidly, like a child who had just learnt of his own name.
“Promise me something, okay?”
Liola nodded immediately. The person who would obey the most at this moment would be none other than Mocha. Even if Mocha were to ask him to kill someone, he might not be able to say no.
“From now on, live for yourself.” Mocha’s purple eyes stared directly at Liola, and said slowly, “Only you can decide the path you walk, brother, you have to live for your own happiness, and don’t let anything stand in your way.”
Living for himself? Liola froze, and nodded instinctively.
“You!” Mocha smiled bitterly, “Didn’t I just tell you, you have to live for yourself? Why would you promise me so easily?”
Liola frowned. So should he promise or not? He was clueless as to what he should do.
Seeing his brother frustrated, Mocha couldn’t help but laugh a bit. However, he suddenly felt empty in his chest, to the point where he couldn’t feel his heart. He knew, by now, his time was almost up…
“Liola, just do what you want to do,” Mocha murmured, at a voice so quiet that almost nobody could hear him, “I truly hope that… you wouldn’t be in pain again, and I truly hope that you wouldn’t kill Caffey… not just for Caffey’s sake, but also for your own…”
Mocha slowly closed his purple eyes. No matter how much Ki Liola kept sending, the practically non-existent breaths ceased to exist…
Younger brother and younger sister, the person who should’ve sacrificed… was the elder brother…
“Eldest brother!” Lanski climbed up hurriedly. After staring Mocha for a long while, her trembling hand reached up towards Mocha’s nose. Before her finger moved away, her tears had already rolled down her face. Her tears were obvious enough to everyone else that Mocha was no longer breathing.
“No——” Liola gave out a roar like a wounded beast.
Lanski wept quietly. Other people slowly walked up; Lancelot and Blood Wolf’s faces were dark, but Cappuccino’s face was pale as snow, for he was the one who spent the most time with his eldest brother. His death impacted Cappuccino the most, to the point where he didn’t even know how to react.
Without saying anything to one another, Lancelot and Blood Wolf both lifted their right fist and held it on their left chest, performing a Knight’s salute with the utmost respect towards the eldest Prince.
After the blow had finally sank into him, Liola was completely absentminded, to the point where things blurred in front of his eyes. He had, once again, killed someone who was important to him. He slowly raised his hands, and the palms were covered with Mocha’s warm blood. He couldn’t help but remember his brother’s warm smile.
The things he want to do… Then, what did he want to do now? Liola’s eyes slowly focused around the people around him. He saw Mocha quietly lying on the floor, quiet as if he were asleep, this was his eldest brother; he saw Lanski putting her head against Mocha’s chest and crying, this was his twin sister; and he saw Cappuccino burying his face in his palms, trying desperately to refrain from crying, this was his elder brother.
Everything, was caused by him.
Jasmine was the first one to pay attention to Liola. After seeing his face horrifically pale, she called out to him with worry. Liola looked towards her, eyes filled with self-blame and helplessly. Jasmine’s heart pounded; her senses told her that Liola was about to do something she didn’t want to see. As that thought entered her mind, Liola did a backflip, and jumped onto Baolilong’s back.
Jasmine took a deep breath, and panickedly ran towards Liola. With the Sacred White Dragon’s speed, there was no way for her to catch up. In the blink of an eye, the Dragon had already lifted off and bolted away.
Though she knew it was useless, but Jasmine still had to yell as loud as she could towards what was now a small dot in the air.
* * *
‘Master, where to?’
Baolilong asked with confusion. Though it obeyed its master and immediately left, but Liola didn’t give it a specific destination, or even a direction.
Liola paused, and answered irrelevantly, “Don’t call me master anymore; you can call me like how you used to.”
“Can I really? I can call you papa?” Baolilong was shocked, and its tone was clearly happy.
“Papa! Baolilong can call papa now. Baolilong hates saying master, so strange, papa is better.”
Having received Liola’s approval, Baolilong seemed to have noticed Liola’s difference again, and it immediately began to become chatty again, with “papa” here and there. Its originally stable flying under Silver Moon’s control had become unstable again: tilting left, then right; after seeing Liola didn’t seem to have any unhappy reaction, Baolilong returned to its former self with its 8 shaped flying again, and its “roller coaster Dragon” mode had activated again…
“Papa, papa, where are we going?” After flying happily for a long while, Baolilong finally remembered to ask Liola where they were going.
Hearing this question, Liola said blankly, “I-I don’t know; I just didn’t want to continue to stay there. Eldest brother said I could do what I wanted to do… I just wanted to leave.”
“Then let’s go find Kaiser! Baolilong misses Purity, and also Flames.” Baolilong said naturally. When it mentioned Purity, for some reason, its mouth began to water.
Kaiser, Purity, Daylight, and Meinan… Liola hesitated, just for a brief moment. He immediately nodded. The reason was simple: he missed them, and now, he could do what he wanted.
‘Then let’s go find Kaiser and others.’
Chapter 8 : Being Lost, a Precursor to Being a Wanderer
“Papa, which direction is Kaiser?” Baolilong flew a while, but suddenly stopped perplexedly; it didn’t seem to know where Kaiser was..
Liola paused, and asked with a lowered head, “I thought you knew.”
“Baolilong doesn’t know!”
Baolilong turned its head and looked innocently at him with its pink eyeballs at the size of Liola’s head, while Liola also stared blankly back at it. He was never the one to be the pathfinder. After thinking for a while, Liola looked up at the boundary-less land and clear skies, and noticed the winds had changed directions.
“Let’s go with the wind.” Liola decided easily.
Baolilong yelled “okay” loudly, and happily began to play a game of gliding in the wind. There were countless number of wind changes in their journey, and Baolilong naively thought: no matter how many times the wind would change, because papa said to go with the wind, that would be exactly what it would do.
A Dragon who knew nothing about the concept of path, plus a person who never had to find a path, both allowing the wind to determine the direction they would take…
The two also didn’t seem to care much. If they got thirsty they would find a river for water; if they got hungry they would land and cruise around the bushes and trees; Liola could always find some form of food. Besides, they didn’t even need to start a fire; he could just release his aura, and the meat would be cooked.
Also, these meat were usually taken from gigantic animals, such as a three-story tall Lesser-Dragon. In the end, Baolilong ate even more satisfactorily than before, and therefore it didn’t miss Purity as much.
They continued as such for days, to the point where they lost track for how long, and lived carefreely and leisurely, until one day, when Liola suddenly saw a strange city. He thought for a moment… in fact, more like was put in a daze for a while. After Baolilong suggested getting some desserts, they decided to enter.
Because he didn’t have clothes for Baolilong to wear, Liola asked Baolilong to resume the form of a small Dragon to enter the city. As they walked through the streets, the small city looked very crowded. Everyone seemed to be carrying luggages of varying sizes, as if they were carrying all of their wealth on them at all times. Some of the bags were even so full of gold and silver that one could see them from the outside. Nevertheless, no one’s eyes showed any signs of avarice, instead…
Liola frowned; it seemed like all their eyes were towards him? He looked to the side, other than Baolilong chewing a piece of meat, there was nothing else there. Could Baolilong stand out too much? Liola thought about it a bit, and felt relieved; after all, a Sacred White Dragon was a rare sight to be had.
The more Liola walked, the stranger he thought it was. Everyone he saw in Aklan capital used to be glamorous, but this city was the complete opposite: their clothes were torn and dirty, and the sides of the streets were littered with pale and thin people. The whole city looked like a giant refugee camp.
“Yo! Yo! There’s a Knight here. Look at him, such beautiful clothes, he looks like a Prince or something.”
A refugee who looked somewhat alive said loudly; his tone was obviously mocking, but no one knew his words hit spot on: Liola was indeed a Prince.
Liola looked confusedly at that person, not sure what he meant. He thought, could this person had already recognized he was the Dragon Empire’s Prince, Silver Moon?
“Mama, I’m really hungry, I want meat!” A child on the side suddenly began to cry loudly.
“Don’t cry, there’s still a piece of cracker here. Here, hurry and eat it.”
The mother who held the child’s hand reached into her bag and painstakingly took out something so broken that it looked nothing like a cracker, then handed it to the child. The child took the cracker, but his eyes were fixated on the meat in Baolilong’s mouth. Had it not been his mother holding him back, the child might have already ran up to fight the Dragon for the food.
Seeing this, Liola seemed to have realized something, and he walked towards the child. The mother immediately threw the child panickedly into her arms, and looked at Liola’s approach with fear on her face. Some of the refugees dashed off, but some of them inched closer with a gloomy look; out of the crowd who drew near, the person who spoke mockingly before was the one leading them.
In an instant, there were a dozen or so people blocking Liola’s path to the mother. Liola thought it was strange; he said with a frown, “Please let me through.”
The person leading seemed to be surprised, most likely with the word “please”. He thought briefly, then asked carefully, “How come your clothes don’t have lining? What rank of a Knight are you?”
Liola lowered his head and looked at the black Knight’s uniform he was wearing; the uniform did not have the lining other uniforms usually would have, but instead it had a Dragon pattern indicating his royalty in the Dragon Empire. If the person looking at the uniform was from the Dragon Empire, just by looking at the Dragon pattern, they would have known this person had the Royal Family’s blood running through his veins, and they could determine which of the royalty this person was.
The current Dragon Empire had a Purple Dragon as his pattern, while the Eldest Prince used Black Dragon. The Second Prince was dead, but used to use a Gold Dragon when he was alive. Third Prince used red, to represent his Fire Dragon. The only Princess, Lanski, loved blue. The one on Liola, was Silver Dragon; not only did it reflect his unique eye color, it represented his title as Silver Moon.
However, the Dragon Empire’s royalties rarely appeared in front of the general public. Even the Dragon Empire’s peasants wouldn’t recognize the looks of the royalties, they would have only heard about the Dragon pattern colors, but the Aklan peasants would know of no such thing.
Liola frowned, unsure of what he should answer. The Knights who have their own unique auras have always been recognized as Knights who have surpassed ranks, and they were often famous, such as the Paladin and Dark Knight. They would only call out their titles, and no one would ever ask them about ranks.
“I… am Silver rank.” Liola didn’t know why, but for some reason he stated the rank far below his true power. Perhaps it was because Silver Mask had been a silver Knight for a while.
Silver Knight… everyone present spitted. They clearly knew a Silver Knight’s power was more than enough to handle a dozen of these people. The dozen or so people standing in front of the mother and child looked hesitant.
“You are a Knight, you wouldn’t hurt a peasant, would you?” The person in lead clearly knew what code of conduct a Knight should follow, and he took off his hat towards Liola.
Liola shook his head. Of course, he wouldn’t harm any ordinary person without a reason.
The person in lead was hesitant for a moment, then slowly backed away. The others following him saw and slowly backed off as well. There were nothing else blocking between Liola and the mother and son. Seeing this, Liola began to walk again towards the mother and child.
The mother clearly was panicking, and she apologized hurriedly, “S-sorry, sir Knight, my child didn’t mean to stare at your Dragon.”
Liola had already reached the mother. He was confused about what the mother said, but he continued to do what he wanted to do: he took out something wrapped in lotus leaves from his pockets, and slowly put it in front of the child.
By now, the crowd didn’t know what this Knight wanted to do, and they looked timidly at the lotus leaves wrapped bag. The child scaredly went further into his mother’s hug; the mother also seemed timid and unsure on how to react.
“For you.” Liola pushed the wrapped bag forward a bit more.
The mom was at a loss, but the child seemed to have noticed something. He hurriedly struggled out of his mother’s arms, and grabbed the bag out of Liola’s hands. After quickly tearing off the leaves, he began to bite into the thing inside. The mother saw, and panickedly grabbed it from the child’s hands, fearing that her child would have mistakenly eaten something fatal. As soon as she had done so, however, she realized it was a juicy piece of meat with the same size as three adult fists.
“Mama! I want to eat.” The child was hungry. He grabbed the meat from his mother’s hands, and began biting into it again.
The mother and the crowd looked surprised. Seeing the child happily eating, everyone seemed to have relaxed, and they thought the Knight had, after all, no malicious intent. At the same time, however, their mouths watered as they looked, but they had to suppress their own hunger. On one hand, they didn’t want to snatch food from a child, on another, the Silver Knight was still present. If they snatched food he had given to a child, it would be no doubt a slap to his face, and no one would do something that stupid.
After the child eating for a while, he raised his eyes to see his mother looking hungry. He felt a bit guilty, then handed the meat to his mother and said, “Mama, this meat is delicious, I’ve never had anything so delicious. Have a taste.”
The mother gulped, then said, “You eat first, give it to mama if you can’t finish.”
“Mama, I already can’t eat anymore.” The child said so, but he still couldn’t refrain from the hungry look on his face.
Liola saw this, and he felt an indescribable feeling in his chest. It was just like the warm hug he had gotten from the blood-covered Mocha — a warmth with a sense of sadness.
Yet another lotus leaves wrapped bag appeared in front of the mother and child. When the two raised their heads to look, the young Knight offering the bag was smiling slightly. It was a smile so clear that it felt like the soft moonlight guiding the travelers home, and everyone couldn’t help but smiled as well.
The mother reached out her hand to receive the bag. She opened the bag, and sure enough it was another piece of meat. With lights reflecting off tears on her face, she began to slowly eat the meat. She didn’t know if she had been so hungry or what, but the meat tasted especially delicious, juicy, and tender. Before she knew it, she began to eat faster and faster, until she had forgotten everything else except eating. It wasn’t until she heard the gulping sounds surrounding her, did she finally stop biting.
Seeing everyone around, she remembered the dozen or so people in front of her just now. After a slight of hesitation, she looked towards Liola, and asked carefully, “E-excuse me, can we divide the meat among others? They’ve also been hungry for a long time.”
Liola looked around at the crowd, finally understanding that the expressions on their faces represented hunger. He thought for a moment, and said, “Not necessary.”
The mother paused, not necessary? She was just about to ask what he meant, but the young Knight gestured to the little white Dragon next to him, then the Dragon flew into the air and suddenly transformed into a large Dragon. Everyone stared at awe at this scene, and the mother was no exception. When she got out of the daze, the Knight and Dragon were now only a small dot in the sky.
She didn’t know what she should do. She wanted to give some of the meat to others, but she was afraid of the Knight being mad. She thought, would the Knight come back?
The person in lead also saw the mother’s indecisiveness. After gulping, he said, “Don’t worry, that’s the meat the Knight gave you, we wouldn’t snatch it.”
Hearing this, the mother felt even more guilt. She pushed the guilt, and suggested, “Let’s divide this between everyone, us two couldn’t possibly eat such a large piece of meat.”
Everyone heard, and no matter how much they wanted to act like a hero, their stomachs disobediently began to growl. The crowd looked at one another awkwardly. The mother smiled, and handed out the meat, then said, “Come, let’s all eat.”
The crowd finally decided not to resist. The leading person took out his knife, and divided the large piece of meat into smaller pieces. Only the dozen or so who tried to protect her got a piece, and they only each got a piece of meat about the size of a finger. If they were to divide this to everyone on the streets, they might not even get a sliver of meat.
Everyone seemed to have treasured this little piece of meat, but the leading person still acted with alacrity; he threw the entire piece of meat into his mouth, but he kept chewing it, and didn’t want to swallow it. He said as he chewed, “I can’t believe there are still some good people among the Knights.”
Another person heard, and sighed while shaking his head, “The Knights now are far different than before. Once upon a time, a Knight was always willing to help, and us folks would always ask him if he’s married. If not, then any of us with a sister would grab her, or if not then cousins, hoping they would join the family…”
“Hmmph! If my sister wants to marry a Knight, I will break her leg.” Someone shouted this from the crowd. As soon as this was said, everyone else seemed to agree.
“Everyone, don’t say that, the Knight just now seemed to be good.” The mother hurried to the Knight’s defense, only because this Knight gave her and her child two pieces of meat.
“Yes, at least a few hundred times better than the Knights who drove us out of our homes.”
When they mentioned their homes, everyone was quiet. This city was not too far from the Aklan capital, and that was why it was populated by many people who used to live in or around the Aklan capital. When the people living here heard about the news of the Dragon Empire taking the capital, they were so thankful that they were going to knee before the Dragon Emperor to thank him. However, when they returned to the gates of the capital, they were not allowed in, and even the people of the surrounding cities were forcefully driven out of their homes.
Though the reason they claimed was spies of the Black Dragon King among them, but many people questioned back:
“Isn’t it the Knight’s duties to protect us? Instead they drove us out because of spies, what the hell is this?”
“They drove us out and left us here without an ounce of care. If the Black Dragon King sends a few flying Dragons to massacre us, what are we going to do?”
The bigger problem for them now was a source of food. By now, the commerce and agriculture of Aklan Continent had practically came to a complete stop. Because the Black Dragon King had taken the north, so there were countless refugees going into the cities to the south. The amount of food in the storage in the south had been emptied by the refugees, and food was now so scarce that it was difficult to buy with money, which was the reason why there were people dying in the streets from hunger while still holding gold and silver.
“Sigh, when will these days ever end? I really miss Prime Minister Qiusi…”
Everyone began lamenting about the good times they had while Qiusi was still the Prime Minister.
“Mama, the Dragon is back.”
The child naively and happily pointed into the sky. Everyone raised their heads and sure enough, they saw an eye-catching White Dragon. Now, everyone was in a hurry to stuff the piece of meat into their mouths, fearing that the Knight might get angry when if he found out they ate the meat he gave to the mother.
The mother herself was afraid as well, but she was worried the Knight would mistake others for snatching her food. She mustered her courage, planning on clarifying it for others. When the Dragon flew near, however, all she could do was drop her jaws.
The White Dragon was biting on a Lesser-Dragon. The Lesser-Dragon was not moving, and it clearly looked like it was dead. The White Dragon slowly landed, giving enough time for the people underneath to scatter. As soon as it got near the ground, the White Dragon threw the Lesser-Dragon to the side, and instantly transformed back to a small Dragon.
The Knight with the black uniform, on the other hand, elegantly jumped off the Dragon as it transformed, and landed squarely right next to the Lesser-Dragon. His unique silver eyes then looked towards where the mother and other stood.
“Ah, ah!” As soon as the silver eyes fixated on her, the mother acted like she had been electrified. She quickly explained, “I, uh, it was me who divided the meat to others, they didn’t forcefully take it, please don’t misunderstand.”
The Knight frowned at the mother’s explanation, and this made everyone else nervous again, but then the Knight nodded, which calmed everyone’s nerves…
The Knight took out a silver stick from his long boots, and with a click, he unsheathed a thin blade. Everyone stared blankly at the Knight, unsure of what he was going to do. The Knight began to float, yup, indeed, float. Every raise of hand he did looked like a virtuoso dancer on the stage. A faint red mist began to surround him, almost like a light red veil covering him. It also continuously sparkle, which made it look all that much more pretty.
Everyone were entranced by such a sight. It was a long while before they were awakened by a delicious smell. They then realized, as the silver lights flashed from the Knight, pieces of meat the size of a person’s head had been chopped off from the Lesser-Dragon’s body. The pieces of meat slowly started to build up to a small hill. When the meat hill was about half the height of a person, a red light would shine from the Knight, and cover the meat hill for a few seconds. When the red light disappeared, the meat mountain emitted an alluring smell. Even idiots would know from the smell that the meat was cooked and delicious.
But no one dared to move. If anyone weren’t familiar with Silver rank before, they have completely understood now. The Knight possessed unseen speeds, and their aura could instantly cook meat… If he were to use it on a person, that person would probably become a cooked meat hill as well.
The little Dragon suddenly climbed up the meat hill, and began to bite into the meat with its mouth, but then it seemed to think it was a bit inconvenient. After a flash of a white light, the little white Dragon disappeared, and in its place was a naked and pretty adolescent person, but it was eating indecently.
Everyone’s jaws dropped; the Dragon turned into human?
Lioa yelled unhappily. It’s not that he didn’t want Baolilong to eat, but Baolilong ate while sitting on top of the meat mountain, and it was far too rude.
Baolilong knew what it did wrong. After saying “oh”, it obediently jumped off the meat mountain, and sat next to it while continuing to chew pieces of meat.
Liola didn’t realize until now, all the other people were staring at him. While keeping a few meters of distance away, as if they were scared to get any closer. Liola gestured at the meat mountain, and said simply, “For you all.”
Everyone froze, as if they couldn’t believe something like this could happen in this world.
Liola originally planned to continue slicing and cooking meat after saying so, but seeing no one moved, and their eyes looked even more fixated at him than before, he thought they didn’t understand what he meant, so he elaborated, “These are for you to eat. Lesser-Dragon meat is edible, it’s not poisonous.”
At first there were silence, but in an instant, an excited yell broke the silence. Everyone acted as if they were in a craze, and all charged up to grab meat. The situation quickly descent into chaos. The leading person saw the situation getting worse, and yelled immediately, “What are you doing?! What are you doing?! Don’t make ourselves a joke in front of the Knight. Order! Give some meat to the old, weak, pregnant, and children first.”
After his yell, everyone seemed to have calmed down. A few muscular lads looked at the meat on their hands, and guiltily handed them to the older people next to them who didn’t have enough strength to get meat. Everyone began to form a line, and if they saw a weaker person behind them, they would all start to send the person up in line.
Liola saw all of this, and felt another strange sensation in his heart — it was a warm feeling, and he found himself really liking such a feeling. He turned and began to slice and cook meat again, until the Lesser-Dragon slowly turned into nothing but bones. When all the meat were taken off the bones, Liola thought to himself, was this enough meat to make everyone full?
Liola stopped, and turned to look at them. He realized there were still quite a few meat mountains left, but the speed at which they ate was slowing down. Many of them had already stopped eating, and patted their full bellies with satisfaction.
The leading person saw Liola had stopped cooking and stood still, then he walked towards the Knight while picking his teeth with his finger nails, and asked strangely, “Knight! Why are you helping us?”
Liola looked at him with a tilted head. He thought for a moment, and said, “Because I want to, and because this makes me feel happy.”
The “want” and “happy”, were exactly what Mocha requested.
“There aren’t many people like you nowadays.” The leading person shook his head and smiled bitterly, then continued, “Knight, you have no idea how many people you saved with your happiness. Tell us, what’s your name? Even if we can’t ever repay your debt, we will always remember the name of our savior.”
‘My happiness saved people?’ Liola was very shocked. He always thought of himself as a burden to others, even to the point of killing others.
“Are you not willing to tell us?” The leading person scratched his face, “If you don’t tell us your name, can you at least give us a nickname to call you?”
‘Nickname?’ Liola was still thinking about why his happiness could save people, and as soon as he heard “nickname”, he answered reflexively, “Silver Mask.”
Everyone’s jaws dropped. To them, this name was not strange at all. They still remembered, more than a year ago, the Paladin’s apprentice, Silver Mask, had been quite active on the Aklan Continent. Of course, to these peasants, it was just a topic for them to gossip about, they only heard rumors about how strong Silver Mask was and how righteous he was.
However, like the Paladin, Silver Mask was like a person in heaven to them, and it was fairly unrelated to their everyday life. No matter how righteous or strong he was, it was still just a legend. After they finished gossiping, the people returned to their lives. Silver Mask had nothing to them with them in the end.
But now, Silver Mask actually appeared in front of them and delivered meat to them in times of need. To these peasants, these delicious meat was far more practical than defeating the devil.
“Where’s your mask? Didn’t you always wear a silver mask?” The leading person asked confoundedly.
Liola thought with a tilted head, then answered, “I forgot where I put it.”
The leading person slipped, almost to the point of falling on his back from such a simple answer. With a bitter face, he smiled loudly and put his thumb up for Liola, “Your answer is extreme enough! I like you, Sir Silver Mask, call me Bour.”
Liola went silent for a moment, then said, “Bour, strange name.” This was always something people had said to Liola, and he’d never thought he would be the one saying it one day.
“Haha, yeah, it is a bit strange. Blame it on my parents, it’s not like I wanted to be called that.”
Bour found this Knight quite interesting, and he didn’t have the arrogance other Knights had. Having always been easy going, he began to relax a bit. Had it not been Silver Mask’s pretty and clean clothes stopping him, Bour might have already put his oily hands, thanks the Dragon meat, onto Silver Mask’s shoulder.
“Silver Mask, you’re quite famous, so why did you end up in this little city?” Bour inquired curiously, while the surrounding people also began to eavesdrop on the conversation.
“I’m looking for someone, but I’m lost.” Liola frowned. He had absolutely no clue where he was. Also, he didn’t know where he should go to look for Kaiser.
Bour asked reflexively, “Who are you looking for?”
“Kaiser, Daylight, Purity, and Meinan.” Liola answered straightforwardly.
“Kaiser and Daylight? Isn’t that…” Bour and the people around him looked awkwardly at one another, then asked skeptically, “Aren’t those the two people who are now on the wanted list for attempting to assassinate the Dragon Empire’s successor? Are you trying to capture them?”
“They’re wanted criminals?” Liola paused. Because the arrest was ordered by the Dragon Emperor, he didn’t even know they had now became wanted criminals.
“Yes, didn’t you know?” Bour seemed surprised; this was the most recent earthshaking news.
Liola shook his head, and said, “We’re friends.”
As soon as the words were spoken, everyone froze. Being friends with wanted criminals, wouldn’t that make him an accomplice?
“I have to go find them.” Liola locked his eyebrows. Originally, he thought Kaiser and others should be fine, and that’s why he had been a bit lax in his search. But now he knew they became wanted criminals, he began to panic a bit.
Bour paused, “Where would you find them?”
This was exactly what Liola was wondering, too. He shook his head, “Don’t know.”
Bour frowned, and suggested, “How about this, stay here for now, and we’ll ask around for you. You won’t be able to find them while running around like a headless chicken.”
Liola thought for a moment; indeed, he probably could never find Kaiser like this. More importantly, he really liked here, and he did indeed want to stay here for a bit longer. Just with the “want” was enough of a reason for Liola to stay.
Wanting to stay here, wanting to see Kaiser and others, and wanting to use his happiness to save people; for the first time, Liola realized, the reason to do something was as simple as wanting to.
‘Eldest brother, thank you for teaching me how to ‘want’.’