This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, and StellarAshes.
A World Filled with Smiles
A figure with a long black robe stood quietly in the rear garden of the Dragon Empire’s palace. A closer look would reveal this person’s slender figure, and his night-like long black hair reaching all the way to his hips. He wore a black long robe, without many ornaments on it, just a shining diamond on his collar, and he had a Turkish blue cape around his shoulder.
The simple clothes seemed to be juxtaposing the uniqueness of his coldness and pride, and a simple look would make it clear this person was no ordinary person. But what showed even more of his identity was the luxurious crown atop of his head. The only person who would wear a crown was none other than the Emperor of the Dragon Empire.
“Liola, still, you did change…”
A person walked over, wearing an ornated Magician’s robe, but with sloppily rolled up sleeves. His green and messy hair were resting on his shoulders.
The black figure slowly turned around, and his elegant face seemed to be filled with coldness. He said gently, “Kaiser.”
The person walking over was indeed Kaiser. His originally childish face had grown slightly longer, and he had matured slightly… but not enough. He no longer looked like the fifteen year old, but maybe twenty at most now.
“You would not have done this before.” Kaiser said with a hurt expression as he looked at the proud man. He shook his head and smiled bitterly.
Liola slowly opened his mouth, “A person… will change inevitably.”
“You changed far too quickly,” Kaiser chuckled bitterly, “This makes me think the whole thing was just…”
“Just what?” Liola asked subtly.
The two people stared at one another as the cold wind growled, making the flowers around the garden face away, as though they were weeping for the change in the friendship of these two individuals…
“Just, your true self!” Kaiser roared angrily, and hurriedly threw the stack of official documents on the ground in front of Liola.
“You bastard! Do you really think placing the royal seal on the desk, the documents would read over themselves then put the seal on themselves?
“My dream is to make money easily! Not busting my ass for work. I quit!”
“I’m going on a strike! I’ve been working for more than eight hours a day!” Kaiser continued to protest on the top of his lungs, not caring about the contradiction between him saying he quit and going on a strike.
Finally, he also threw down the words, “And I don’t ever want to talk to you again!”
After yelling all the words he needed to say, Kaiser breathed deeply and glared angrily at Liola. Where the hell was justice?! Why did he have to bust his ass while some bastard enjoyed flowers in the back garden, or sit in a pavillion sipping tea, while dumping all the work on him?
Dear God! He even thought Liola was not similar to that idiot Caffey even the slightest… Bullcrap! They were definitely 1000% father and son! At least on the subject of slacking off in terms of politics, Liola inherited every bit of it from his father!
Caffey and Liola were father and son, so it made sense they were alike, but why the hell did he have to take the place of Mocha when he was still alive? If he knew this earlier, he would have fought to take the knife wound for Mocha, woooo.
Liola said emotionlessly, “You’ll have a raise.”
“Bastard.” Kaiser’s face grew angrier, “It’s not something a raise would solve this time!”
“You can go to the treasury every month for a gold brick as your allowance.”
“Wh… what is one gold brick to me! I, Kaiser, am not someone who can be bought with money!” Kaiser wiped away the saliva from the corner of his mouth, and declined the offer with the straightest face he could muster.
Liola raised his index finger.
“What?” Kaiser stared blankly at the finger, and asked, “Are you raising my salary by one million?”
Liola shook his head.
“Ten million?” Kaiser’s eyes were now lit with $$.
[T/N: wan = 10,000, 1 mil = 1 hundred wan, 10 mil = 1 thousand wan. In Chinese, both of these are representable by ONE, consider changing English equivalent to one BILLION instead, to make more sense to an English audience.]
Liola shook his head again. His index finger now pointed past Kaiser’s shoulder; he shrugged and said, “I’ll ask Daylight reduce his lecture to you by one hour.”
Kaiser felt the hair on the back of his neck standing; could it be…
“Kaiser! How could you talk like this to Emperor Silver Moon?”
It was indeed… Kaiser’s face sank.
During Liola’s coronation, everyone was very sensitive of the name “Dragon Emperor,” and the thought of them calling the name respectfully made them extremely wary, so everyone decided to use a different title for Liola. Because of the lack of creativity, they decided simply to keep using successor Silver Moon’s name, so they named him Emperor Silver Moon.
Daylight wore white Knight’s uniform, lined with a light yellow decoration. He performed a Knight’s salute to Liola, and after Liola returned the salutation, he turned and began to speak to Kaiser, “Even if we’re all good friends, when Liola is wearing the crown, he is Emperor Silver Moon, and we are his subordinates. We cannot offend him, we must be polite, we have to respect Emperor Silver Moon from the depth of our hearts, after all, he #$&%*&@” (An endless lecture ensued.)
Kaiser’s showed a painful look, as if he had been hit by a “Final Attack” Magic spell. His sorrowful eyes looked past Daylight’s shoulder, meeting with Liola’s gaze, and they spoke without words.
‘Make him shut up, I beg you, and I’ll go back to work immediately!’ Kaiser said by gesturing his eyes.
‘No, only one hour less.’ Liola looked back mercilessly.
‘Y-you cold, cruel bastard!’ Kaiser glared at Liola angrily, his gaze filled enough heat to burn a hole in Liola’s royal robe.
Such burning eyes, Daylight of course had also noticed. He frowned, and said slightly angrier, “Kaiser, you can’t use such disrespectful way to look at Emperor Silver Moon. As a Knight, we must respect our Emperor from the bottom of our hearts, otherwise, &^%@#*&@”
“AH—” Kaiser suddenly pulled his hair as he screamed towards the sky, and said crazily, “I don’t want the raise anymore! Please, just make him shut up~~”
Liola showed a hint of smile from the corner of his mouth, “All right. Knight Daylight, as my right hand man, Kaiser has much business to take care of. Let’s take a raincheck on the lecture, and help me escort him back.”
“Understood, Emperor Silver Moon.” Daylight turned around, and courteously saluted Liola.
Kaiser began to walk back in a depress manner. With his back towards the two, he did not realize Daylight suddenly showed a secretive smile, while Liola gave him a “thank you” look. Finally, they both smiled at one another as they watched Kaiser walk further and further away.
Kaiser paused, and turned his head to look, but Liola had already withdrew his smile, and returned to his former, solemn look. Daylight, on the other hand, did not care, for he always had a smile on, nor did he think Kaiser would figure out these two were cooperating with each other. Kaiser scratched his face, not realizing anything was out of the ordinary, he yelled with a lack of motivation, “Let’s go, Daylight, what are you still doing there?”
“Oh, okay.” Daylight hurried up to catch to Kaiser.
Kaiser walked as he murmured, “I’m definitely going to tell on you to Purity.”
“Oh? She’ll be here tomorrow afternoon.” Daylight replied with a smile.
“Hmmph! You don’t seem scared at all! I’m going to tell on you to Feir, and tell him you’re bullying his little sister, hehe!”
“But, the last time you did that to Feir, he came with a smile and asked me, ‘What, you finally learnt to bully my sister?'”
“Damn! Last time Purity told on me, Feir came at me with a crappy attitude to make things right. Why is it so different with you? Where is the justice in that?!”
The two walked further and further away while making small talks.
Liola stood still in the same spot as he watched his companions walk away. Hearing Kaiser say he had changed, even though it was just a joke, he still could not refrain from thinking about the time when he had discovered the Heart had already moved to his body, and how much he feared that he, too, would be taken over by the Heart, and turn into a cruel and heartless Dragon Emperor.
Fortunately, he did not choose to kill his father Caffey.
After Caffey had found out what happened, he spoke about what he finally found out after hundreds of years of struggle with the Heart — a way to destroy the Heart of the Dragon Emperor. If they could purify the souls of the thousand Knights who were sacrificed for this curse, the curse of the Heart would naturally go away…
Although it sounded easy, but considering the size of the world, and the thousands of years that had past since the event, no one would know the location where the curse was cast, other than perhaps the Heart itself.
Although Caffey had figured out a way, he did not have enough time to find the location before he was completely controlled by the Heart. Liola began to worry if he really could find the land of the cursed before the Heart took control.
“Don’t worry,” At the time, Kaiser patted his back, “The world is practically yours; all the Magicians in Aklan Republic, the Maxuns and Mechas of the Commerce Alliance, and the loyal Knights in your Empire can definitely find that damned place.”
In the end, they really did mobilize everyone in the entire world. As soon as Qiusi heard about this news, he immediately sent the entire Aklan Republic’s population of Magicians to every corner of the world to look for the cursed place, telling them not to come back if they could not find it. There was a sudden increase of homeless Magicians around the world.
The Red Commander worked with Qiusi, developing a Maxun capable of detecting negative Magic, and they “threw” out the Mecha Fighters from the Alliance, flying over the world detecting the presence of negative Magic. There were quite a rumble around the world at the time; even when someone who had cast a curse spell wanted to go to the bathroom, a bunch of Mechas would land from the air, surrounding the person who cast the curse, making them beg for mercy and swearing never to do it again.
As for the Dragon Empire, now that the Dragon Emperor (Caffey) and the successor had reconciled and gave the search order together, there was no reason why any Knight would not try his/her best to look.
All in all, the skies were quite a busy place; there were Magicians, Mechas, and Knights with all sorts of mounts. Occasionally, there would even be “air accidents” because they were all tired from searching, and ended up colliding in the air from carelessness.
But nobody would’ve imagined, the people who eventually found the cursed land, were two girls in their twenties.
Liola closed his eyes, and murmured gently, “Lanski and Jasmine… I owe you far too much.”
“Blue Mountain, Macchiato has sent a letter.”
A loud calling to him interrupted Liola’s thoughts. His face immediately become expressionless, even to the point where he did not want to turn to see the person running towards him.
“Blue Mountain? Blue Mountain?”
Caffey noticed his son did not react, and decided to grab him by the shoulder to turn him. He then took out the envelope, and put it up to Liola’s face like it was some sort of treasure. He said excitedly, “Look! Look at these pictures! Macchiato and Jasmine ran off to some strange land again. Looks like they really love adventures.”
Liola sighed, and again reminded his father despite its uselessness, “My name is Liola, not Blue Mountain, and your daughter is called Lanski, not Macchiato.”
“Nonsense!” Caffey’s face turned rigid, but seconds later he returned to his former self; he complained as if he had been wronged, “You two are my children, and I should be the one deciding your names. Besides, I promised Bairui, I would name all my children after coffee.”
Liola frowned. Changing his name really should not have been a problem, and Lanski had already stopped fighting it after getting used to Caffey calling her over and over. However, calling Liola “Blue Mountain” was far too… too troublesome. Because every time Caffey calls him like this, if there was anyone standing near, their first reaction was to widen their eyes, and then say with shock, “Blue Mountain?” Then, they would look at Liola, and finally… they would burst into laughter and would not be able to stop.
“Speaking of Bairui, has father taught Baolilong healing Magic yet?” Liola suddenly remembered an important matter.
Caffey’s jaws dropped, then answered straightforwardly, “I forgot.”
Liola sighed helplessly. Who said he did nothing but enjoy flowers and drink tea in the back garden? In fact, he felt like his work was extraordinarily difficult. Not only did he have to handle all sorts of strange problems Cappuccino caused around the world (mainly paying back things he had broken and deal with all kinds of complaints), he also had to take care of Baolilong, who had just turned into a “male Dragon,” stopping him from running around while naked. Baolilong even liked to hug Daylight’s Flames while not having any clothes on, resulting in Flames leaving burnt marks here and there on Baolilong.
Speaking of which, perhaps Flames had gotten addicted to wearing Mandarin gown, or for some other reason, Flames had, contrary to everyone’s expectations, chosen to be a girl. Thus, she attracted a pervert (whose master was Blood Wolf) who was always hanging around her, until all the hair on its body had been burnt by the Fire Dragon. Then, it would go back to its master and cry. But the moment its hair grew back, it would return to get burned once again.
There was also a young and silly Dragon who did not understand reasoning and love to get jealous (whose master was Liola). Every time he got burnt, or see that Blackie did not get burnt, it would vent by breaking things, starting small from things like tables and vases, going all the way up to walls and towers or the like. Every time Liola looked at the destroyed things, he would have a headache thinking how he would tell the Secretary of Treasury, Kaiser, so that he would not get far too furious.
Liola continued to think about his work details without an expression on his face.
And, he would have to look after Caffey, otherwise he would run into all sorts of unimaginable troubles. One time he was abducted by a human trafficker. When Liola rushed to the site of his auction, he saw Caffey standing on the auction stage, arguing with the trafficker about how their starting price for him was far too low, especially since he’s the (ex-) Dragon Emperor…
“Let’s go find Baolilong.” Liola sighed, and thought he could not leave Baolilong alone for too long; otherwise, he did not know how many of the once useful things would turn into trash metals again, followed by Kaiser going crazy…
“Yes! Yes! It’s been a long time since we’ve had a picnic. Let’s also take Blackie and Flames along.”
Caffey casually grabbed his son’s hand, and began to drag him along.
With a long robe, Liola almost fell from Caffey pulling him forward, and after catching his footing, Liola got dragged a few more steps, but suddenly the person in front of him stopped, causing Liola to almost run into his back.
“Ah! They’re already here.” Caffey yelled happily.
Liola raised his head to see Flames running towards them angrily, and it seemed she was about to tell on Baolilong again, while Blackie and Baolilong were running behind her, occasionally trying to trip each other. The wolf and the Dragon both looked so angrily that smoke was coming out of their heads… Wait! Smoke really was coming out of their heads! It seems like they were both burned by Flames.
Following them was Kaiser, who was walking leisurely with his hands behind his head, and Blood Wolf, who was forced to stay in the palace because Blackie went off to chase after Flames. He even had a bottle of wine in his hand, and was walking while talking to Daylight, who was bitterly smiling. Although Liola did not hear what they said, he was able to guess Blood Wolf was trying to force Daylight to drink again despite Daylight’s avoidance in alcohol.
Although there were not many people who were truly smiling, perhaps only Daylight’s forced smile would kind of count as smiling, but everyone he saw here… made Liola feel warmth in his heart, as if…
The whole world was smiling.