- Chapter 1 : Loyalty without oath
- Chapter 2 : Abnormal Magic Duel
- Chapter 3 : Project Black Hole
- Chapter 4 : The Strongest Summon
- Chapter 5 : As Brothers
- Chapter 6 : The Past
- Chapter 7 : A Dragon’s Duel between Father and Son
- Chapter 8 : Final Battle
- Chapter 9 : Kill No More
- Chapter 10 : A world filled with smile
This volume was brought to you by AnmesicCat, and StellarAshes.
Chapter 1 : Loyalty without oath
“Yizhou!” Yiyu was vexed and anxious. He didn’t not know how he could wake his brother.
“Shut up,” The Dragon Emperor suddenly yelled loudly. As Yiyu looked at him timidly, The Dragon Emperor calmed down again, “Don’t worry, when this battle is over, I will release his hypnosis.”
Yiyu skeptically glanced at the Dragon Emperor a few times. He could not believe the Dragon Emperor would openly admit he had hypnotized Yizhou. The Dragon Emperor turned his head, and his mysterious eyes stared directly at Yiyu. He said with a steady but dangerous tone, “What? You don’t believe me?”
Yiyu felt breathless while being stared by the purple eyes. He turned his face, and answered helplessly, “No… I believe you, Your Majesty.”
Satisfied that Yiyu shut his mouth tightly and stood there trembling, the Dragon Emperor returned his gaze to the arena. Though Gladiolus was now awake, there was still Yizhou. The Dragon Emperor understood well, it was impossible for Liola to kill Yizhou. As long as Yizhou stayed hypnotized, he would not surrender, and neither condition to win could be attained… other than surrendering, what other options were there?
Seeing the helpless Liola on the arena dodging left and right, the Dragon Emperor smiled and sat leisurely as he enjoyed the pain on Liola’s face.
* * *
“Liola, what do we do now?”
Daylight stood far away. With his strength, defeating Yizhou was simple, but he really did not want to harm someone who had no choice on how to act differently because of the Dragon Emperor’s hypnosis. Therefore, he had to dodge around. Nevertheless, despite Daylight’s strength being greater than Yizhou’s, he could not possibly remain completely untouched while dodging attacks.
Before long, a series of wounds appeared on Daylight’s body. Though they were minor injuries, but they accumulated to quite a number of wounds, which resulted in blood dripping from Daylight’s body. It was a horrifying sight to look at.
After failure of trying to secure victory for a long time, Yizhou’s eyes began to glow red, and he started to attack relentlessly. Daylight had a harder and harder time to dodge. In one of the attacks, he finally made a fatal mistake: he turned too quickly and sprained his ankle. With his body out of control, and when he was about to get a hit direct from Yizhou’s attack…
Liola was originally still thinking on ways to wake Yizhou, but when he saw Daylight in danger, he hurried to block his attack. With Broken Silver in front of his chest, a long time had passed and no metal collision sounds could be heard. Daylight peeked out his head from behind Liola, only realizing Yizhou’s sword stopped right before it made contact Broken Silver. Yizhou also looked like he had frozen completely.
Daylight asked curiously, “What happened to him?”
Liola shook his head. He also had no idea why Yizhou would suddenly stop.
“Su… successor… Your Highness…” Yizhou spoke with difficulty while stuttering. His sword slowly withdrew from Liola, and it looked like he wanted to perform a Knight’s salute to the successor. However, because his right hand was holding a sword, he could not do it. However, if he were put his sword down, it would go against the order the Dragon Emperor gave him. He fell into a dilemma, and his mind struggled on what he should do.
Liola, however, did not understand Yizhou’s struggle. To him, it looked like Yizhou was absent-minded. His right hand was still moving; in one moment it looked like he was holding it for battle, in the next he looked like he wanted to put it down. This thoroughly confused Liola.
In the time being, with his sprained ankle feeling much better, Daylight slowly stood up. He was also looking at Yizhou’s strange behaviors. Although Daylight had never sworn loyalty to anyone, being taught in the School of Knight for most of his life, he immediately understood what Yizhou was doing.
‘Is he trying to salute to Liola?’ Daylight realized shockingly. Right, didn’t Yiyu say something before about Yizhou being loyal to Liola and not willing to betray him, so he ended up being controlled by the Dragon Emperor’s hypnosis?
Perhaps, the only person who could help Yizhou escape hypnosis was not his brother, but the successor he was loyal to, instead — Liola!
“Liola, command him!” Daylight immediately yelled to Liola.
“What?” Liola turned his head, with a confused look on his face.
Daylight explained hurriedly, “Give him an order, like a Prince giving an order to his Knight… Liola, careful!” Halfway through his sentence, Daylight noticed Yizhou had escaped his indecisiveness, and charged straight at Liola with his sword.
Liola turned his head towards Yizhou. This time, he understood Daylight’s words a little, and he yelled with the personality of Silver Moon, “My Direct Knight, what do you think you’re doing? Are you trying to attack me?”
Yizhou’s sword stopped. His face was now filled with perplexion. The Dragon Emperor’s command was again in conflict with the successor’s orders, and the two forces were having a tug of war in his heart. One moment the Dragon Emperor was winning, and in another moment it was the successor.
“Yizhou!” The Dragon Emperor stood up, and shouted into the arena.
“Yizhou!” Knowing this, Liola also shouted at the same time.
Yizhou’s body stiffened. His face show the pain of struggle of the conflicting sides to the point where the Knights watching began to feel sympathy. Of course, they had no idea about the hypnosis, and instead naively thought the Knight was simply having issues with not knowing whom he should be loyal to.
“You are my Direct Knight, do you remember?” Liola tried to wake Yizhou, “The person you are loyal to is me!”
Yizhou looked at Liola with skepticism. To him, the successor Silver Moon was a cold and merciless person, which made him suspicious of Liola’s warm and caring attitude. To Yizhou, who was now almost fully controlled by the hypnosis, he could not “think” about looks; he could only act on his instincts, and his instincts told him…
No! The successor Silver Moon wasn’t the person in front of him.
“You’re not the successor!” For the first time, Yizhou spoke on the arena, but there was no signs of him escaping the hypnosis. Instead, he raised his weapon once again to attack.
Liola dodged the attacks while he began to think about what Yizhou meant. Why would Yizhou say he wasn’t the successor? Could the hypnosis made it impossible for Yizhou to recognize him?
Yizhou attacked relentlessly as he murmured, “Silver Moon Highness is… is…”
“Is what?” Liola was suddenly a bit curious, or perhaps the Silver Moon in him was a bit curious. How exactly did Silver Moon exist in Yizhou, the person who was once his Direct Knight.
Yizhou, however, could not say how the successor really was. Would he describe the successor as the cold and arrogant Silver Mask, the cold Third Prince, or the Silver Moon with the charm and elegance of a Prince? How could a person have so many different faces? As such, how was he to know whether this person, who claimed himself to be the successor, wasn’t simply just one more personality of the successor?
Doubts began to muster in Yizhou’s mind. Slowly and unconsciously, his attacks began to slow down. If this person really was the successor, then he absolutely must not attack him!
“Yizhou.” Liola noticed his hesitation, and felt even more certain that, even under hypnosis, Yizhou did not want to be enemies with Silver Moon, his direct superior.
Yizhou looked blankly at Liola, the one who was calling out to him.
“Are you still not willing to swear Soul’s Devotion to me?” Liola purposely spoke about the things that happened before, hoping to incite more of Yizhou’s subconsciousness.
Yizhou paused, and slowly shook his head. By now, his attacks had completely stopped, and the blank eyes began to show skepticism.
The Liola now was, after all, partially integrated with Silver Moon’s personality. To him, putting up Silver Moon’s personality again was no difficult task. His soft eyes was now getting more and more cold, and his tone felt like a chilling wind, “Then, are you betraying me?”
The expression on Yizhou’s face suddenly changed. The unique cold presence of the successor, Silver Moon, was slowly waking up his consciousness.
“Let’s forget about you being unwilling to swear to me, but attacking me with your weapon, isn’t that betrayal?” Liola’s tone became harsher, and shouted, “Do you want to betray me? My Direct Knight!?”
“No!” Yizhou roared shockingly.
“Then lower your weapon, and surrender.” Liola yelled.
Yizhou almost wanted to follow Liola’s orders, if the Dragon Emperor did not gestured to the Idojin standing by him.
“Too bad, I was originally planning on giving him freedom after this match.”
The Dragon Emperor said in a low whisper. He knew the successor’s perception would allow him to hear. Surely enough, Liola looked towards him skeptically with stern eyes. He wasn’t sure what the Dragon Emperor was up to.
“I guess now I have to make Idojin completely destroy his consciousness. Though by doing so, this Knight with a bright future will be completely destroyed after this match. However, sacrificing one Knight to make you lose this match will be well worth it.” Despite saying something this cruel, the Dragon Emperor smiled slightly.
Hearing what the Dragon Emperor said, Liola’s face suddenly changed. He did not doubt for a second the Dragon Emperor would do such a thing. The person who was willing to sacrifice his own blood would never take pity on a Knight. What should he do now? Liola instinctively looked at Kaiser, the person to resolve all the problems. Unfortunately, Kaiser did not have a perception like his, so he had no idea what the Dragon Emperor said. Instead, he frowned as he looked back at Liola, unsure why he was suddenly talking to him in “eyebrow language”.
All of a sudden, there was something wrong with Yizhou. The weapon he had been holding onto tightly had fallen of the ground, and he held his head with both of his hands. At first, his face was warped from the pain, and he initially tried to withstand it without making a sound, but seconds later, he could not refrain from yelling. He was experiencing an unbearable amount of pain: the pain of all feelings being forcefully pulled from his mind, the very same feeling Liola had once experienced.
“Ahhh—” Yizhou knelt on the ground, and moaned in pain endlessly.
Yiyu was looking with a pale face on the side, and said somewhat helplessly, “Yizhou…” But all he could do was look at the Dragon Emperor hesitantly, whose imposing manner made it impossible for him to do anything. Even so, he didn’t know what was exactly happening. To him, Yizhou was perhaps simply struggling between the hypnosis and his direct superior’s command.
He was unaware that his brother was about to become an emotionless Maxun. He was simply giving into the imposing manner of the Dragon Emperor, but he was not going to continue to sit while his brother was in pain.
“Stop…” Liola said helplessly. He had once went through the very same pain Yizhou was going through now, and he knew the horror of those feelings, so he was feeling both terrified and furious at the situation.
Should he do nothing as he watches Yizhou become the monster without feelings? Liola thought about his prior situation. Back then, he felt like his body had been emptied out by someone, the only thing he had was his skin on the outside, without anything solid on the inside. Even now, in the depth of night, he would sometimes question if he had really returned to being a human, whether he was really a person with feelings, instead of a Maxun wearing the skin of a person.
Now, the Dragon Emperor was doing the same thing again, sending yet another person in the path of emotionlessness, and that person was the Knight who was loyal to him. How could he allow such a thing happen?
“Stop, Dragon Emperor.” Liola yelled loudly.
The Dragon Emperor smiled lightly, “Do you really think I would stop just because you said so?” He paused briefly, and turned towards Idojin, “Is it still not done?”
Idojin shook his head slightly, and increased the transfer of energy from his body. By now, on the arena, Yizhou had gradually slowed his moans of pain, and the painful expression on his face had lessened. Emotionlessness slowly crept up his face. To Liola, the person in front of him was as if he was slowly turning into a marble statue.
But he could not think of a way to rescue him! Did he really have to stand by while Yizhou become a feelingless monster…? No!
“I surrender! Do you hear me? I surrender. Stop now!”
This was the only thing he could think of, was to surrender. If he were to surrender, then there was no point in turning Yizhou into an emotionless monster.
Silence befell onto the entire stadium. The situation was far too unexpected. Why would the successor, who was bound to be victorious, suddenly surrender?
Other than the Dragon Emperor’s side, no one knew why Liola would surrender. Even Liola’s own companions did not know clearly the reason because they could not hear what the Dragon Emperor said. However, they all vaguely knew it must had something to do with Yizhou.
After Liola surrendered, he suddenly realized the participants to of match on his side was more than just himself: there was still the companions who followed him without hesitation. He turned to look at Daylight, trying to find dissatisfaction on his face.
“What?” Daylight, however, showed a confused face. He could not understand why Liola would stare at him after surrendering.
“Sorry, I… surrendered.” Liola was a bit frustrated. He should have discussed it with Daylight or Kaiser. Perhaps the two would have had other better ideas. He was never one to come up with good ideas.
Daylight, instead, gave him a trusting smile, “Don’t worry, you must have your reason to surrender. If that’s the case, then I guess we have to surrender.”
Perhaps he saw Liola’s disappointing looks, Daylight immediately comforted him, “It’s all right, there are still two more matches. We will definitely win, don’t worry.”
Hearing what Daylight said, Liola could not help but look at the people who would be participating in the other two matches — Kaiser and the other, only to see him staring back with the widest eyes, while occasionally hearing the sound of teeth grinding.
After Liola shot an apologetic look to Kaiser, Daylight suddenly pulled him. He turned his head in confusion, and Daylight gestured towards the Dragon Emperor’s direction. It was not until now that Liola realized, the Dragon Emperor had already stood up, and walking towards him elegantly. Liola put on his guard, and even used his body to completely block the way between the Dragon Emperor and Daylight. Nevertheless, Daylight would not leave Liola to be the only person in front; he took a step forward, and stood firmly by Liola’s side.
Liola looked somewhat shockingly at Daylight, whom smiled deeply. This smile told Liola clearly, he would not be able to leave his companions behind and stand in the front lines by himself.
Though Liola was a bit worried the Dragon Emperor might try something funny, but he knew Daylight’s stubbornness was a big part of his personality. To change his mind… would be something Kaiser would yell “never ever”. Therefore, he had no choice but to let Daylight stand beside him. In any case, the person he was opposing was his own father. Even Liola, a trained Assassin, felt a bit uncertain, and having Daylight, a person who was stubbornly righteous, standing by him did indeed make his determination much greater.
The Dragon Emperor finally walked up the two, then courteously waved his hand, “Good work, child.”
Liola’s eyes tightened, and he said with a deep voice, “Let go of Yizhou.”
The Dragon Emperor smiled slightly, then slowly moved closer to Liola, and said carelessly into his ear, “Of course, the next two matches are the battle of Magic and the battle of Dragons. Yizhou has no more value, so it doesn’t matter if I return him to you.”
“You abandoned the bigger picture because of a single Knight. Child, you really are too immature.” After saying so, the Dragon Emperor took a step back, then began to announce to everyone, “The next match will the battle of Magic. The match will begin in half an hour.”
Even without the Dragon Emperor’s reminder, Liola knew how idiotic his actions were. This was the only match he could participate, and in some sense one could say this was the one they were definitely going to win. Instead, he gave up on this match, which means they must win both of the upcoming battles to secure the final victory.
Never mind the battle of Magic, the battle of Dragon would be… Even though Baolilong belong to the strongest race of Dragons, the Sacred White Dragons, it was still a child and could not possibly win over the matured Miluo.
Liola already began to doubt: was there a point in continuing the match? When he forfeited this match, did it mean he had already given up the entire gamble?
Daylight looked at Liola’s worsening expressions, and was originally planning on cheering him up, but Kaiser and others had already walked up onto the arena. Kaiser patted Daylight’s shoulder, and gestured in a direction. Daylight followed that direction curiously with his eyes, realizing Yizhou had already, with the help of his brother Yiyu, slowly started walking towards Liola.
Seeing this, Daylight temporarily gave up on the idea of cheering Liola up, and waited quietly with companions to see how things unfold. Everyone seemed to have an optimistic attitude to what was about to happen.
After Yizhou walked up to Liola, he said coldly, “The Dragon Emperor is right, you really are immature, Your Highness, Direct Knights exist only to assist you. If they become a burden to you instead, then to a Knight, it is an insult to the Knight’s honor, and it is far worse than losing one’s life!”
Liola suddenly froze. No matter how much he emotionally prepared himself, he did not expect the person blaming him to not be his companions, but the Knight he saved…
“Hey, hey, do you really have any idea what’s going on? He was trying to save you! Don’t tell me you really think the Dragon Emperor really wouldn’t harm you?”
Kaiser began to shout angrily. Having lost a match that was supposedly to be certainly victorious for them, already infuriated him, but the very person who made them lose match was now blaming Liola for being mature. It was just too much! Kaiser was almost at the point of throwing a few dozen Divine Fireballs. Luckily, Meinan noticed something wrong quickly, and grabbed ahold of Kaiser. Otherwise, Yizhou would have escaped from the Dragon Emperor’s hands, only to be blown into pieces by Kaiser.
Yizhou slowly pushed his brother away, and mustered all his strength to stand up straight and perform a Knight’s salute towards Liola, then he said, “Please do your best to be a qualified King.”
Liola looked at Yizhou with confusion. He really had no idea what Yizhou’s actions meant, but without any further explanation, Yizhou’s feet gave out underneath him after the salute, and began to fall to the side. Fortunately, Yiyu caught him in time. After looking deeply into the successor’s eyes, and with his brother’s help, Yizhou slowly walked away from the arena.
“I don’t understand.” Liola was thoroughly confused. He saved Yizhou, but then Yizhou blamed him, and after doing so, he saluted and asked him to work hard to become a King. All these actions did not seem connected to Liola.
“I think I understand.” Daylight said with a thoughtful look.
Liola turned to look at Daylight, with confusion on his face.
‘Understand my ass, he’s just a nobody…’ Kaiser was furious and he was starting to yell, but Meinan and Purity worked together to cover his face, making his words nothing but muffled sounds.
“You saved him, but as a result lost this important match.” Daylight looked at Yizhou as he walked away. Because Yizhou was moving slowly, they had not gotten too far away, and Daylight believed Yizhou should be able to hear his words… perhaps? Daylight took a deep breath, using all of his lungs to say, “He must be both moved that you saved him, and angry he caused you the match. He probably hopes you would stop worrying about him. The purpose of a Direct Knight is to protect you, and not be your burden.”
“Is that so?” Liola was skeptical. He felt this was not something Yizhou would say, and perhaps only something in Daylight’s imagination.
Yizhou indeed heard what Daylight said. He turned his head, without any expression on his face. Daylight and Liola thought he was about to blame them Liola, and stood straight up as a result. However, Yizhou did nothing but nodded at the two, then continued on his way out of the stadium.
“What does he mean by that?” Daylight drew a blank.
Though Daylight did not understand, but this time Liola understood. He smiled slightly, “What he meant was, you’re right.”
“Hmm? Is that so?” Daylight was a bit surprised.
Kaiser impatiently escaped Meinan and Purity, and snapped, “Of course that is so. They’re both in the same race, so of course they share a common language!”
“Same race?” Meinan asked curiously.
Kaiser glared at him, “Ice cube race!”
“Liola-dage isn’t an ice-cube anymore. He’s laughing now! And he often talks!” Purity protested loudly.
“Yeah, Liola, you’re actually talking! And even laughing! This is a miracle.” Kaiser said sarcastically.
“Yup, Liola-dage has made so much progress.” Purity did not recognize Kaiser’s sarcasm, and instead was happy about Liola not being as cold as before.
Kaiser buried his face into his palm, and said helplessly, “If I didn’t know any better, I might actually think Purity is mocking Liola!”
Meinan was also forcing a smile.
However, “sarcasm”, being the advanced feeling it was, was not something a novice at feelings like Liola could notice. He smiled and replied to Purity, “Thank you, I will do better.”
“Mmm, Liola-dage, do your best.” Purity cheered sincerely for Liola.
“We all have to do our best.” Daylight also smiled as bright as the sun.
Kaiser looked at the three being cheerful, and all showing an idiotic smile, then turned around to ask Meinan with a bitter expression on his face, “Meinan, I’m starting to wonder, who are the abnormal ones here, us or them?”
“We are all abnormal.” Meinan answered seriously.
Hearing this, Kaiser immediately showed a vicious look. He stabbed Meinan’s chest repeatedly as he questioned, “Hey, I don’t care if you call them abnormal, but how dare you drag me into it! How the hell am I abnormal? We’re going to clear this up right now!”
Meinan protected his chest with an innocent expression on his face, “We lost the first match, and the next match begins in half an hour. It’s the Magic battle where us two would have to go, yet we’re still joking here… I don’t really think that’s normal?”
Silence ensued for a few seconds, then Kaiser bursted out with a cry of pain, “Right, we have to fight in the next match! God! I don’t know what kind of evil plans the Dragon Emperor will pull next!”
“I don’t want to fight!”
Kaiser immediately tried to run. Unfortunately, Meinan already predicted this, and the protective shield was already up in every direction. Before taking many steps, he rammed face-first into the transparent shield. His face flattened, and his body slowly slid down.
“Daylight.” Meinan pulled a rope out of nowhere. He gestured at the rope, then at Kaiser.
Daylight nodded without any hesitation.
Chapter 2 : Abnormal Magic Duel
“Let me go, let me go! You are invading my human rights! You guys are violating trafficking laws! You guys are abducting children!” Being tied up into a meat dumpling, Kaiser yelled repeatedly.
Meinan and Purity had already distanced themselves with their hands holding firmly onto their ears, to avoid having their ear drums damaged from the loud noise. Fortunately, Daylight, whose ears were as determined as his personality, was still able to carry this “source of sound pollution” of a person towards the match.
Seeing they were nearing the arena, and Kaiser still struggling, Liola suddenly stopped and said to Daylight, “Maybe we should put him down. If Kaiser really is unwilling to participate match, I don’t want to force him…”
“Who said I don’t want to participate!” Kaiser interrupted Liola loudly.
Liola asked curiously, “But you…” then his eyes looked towards the ropes.
“This is the plan to fool the enemy! Do you have any idea?!” Kaiser said with a happy face.
“Fooling the enemy?” Liola shook his head. He didn’t understand at all. He then turned his head towards his companions…
Everyone shook their heads in unison!
“Hey!” Seeing everyone shaking their heads, Kaiser explained angrily, “You idiots! Do you guys know about feigning weakness for your enemies to see?!”
[T/N: This is a famous line from Art of War. It basically means to feign being weak so your enemies would underestimate you.]
Everyone then nodded their heads in unison.
“This is my plan!” Kaiser showed a huge smile, “Think about it, if the team happened to have a person who doesn’t even want to participate in the match, wouldn’t everyone think we’re weak? Hehe, then we will have some opportunities to exploit!”
Everyone looked as though they suddenly understood.
“Wait!” Kaiser narrowed his eyes dangerously, “You guys all shook your heads… because all of you really thought I didn’t want to fight?”
Hearing this question, Daylight showed an apologetic expression, Liola nodded, Meinan suddenly had interest in the roach crawling by and turned his head to look at it, and Purity was practicing her Kung Fu move called “Moving Backwards”.
“You guys don’t trust me at all!” Kaiser roared angrily.
“I’m truly sorry, Kaiser.” Daylight put Kaiser down from his shoulder, and started to try to untie him.
“What are you doing?” Kaiser glared at him.
After a pause, Daylight said honestly, “Helping you untie the ropes.”
Kaiser widened his eyes some more. He was so angry that he almost wanted to burst the ropes open, and cut Daylight’s head open to see if there was anything at all in his head. Daylight saw Kaiser’s horrifying expression, and took a few steps back in fear. His face, however, was still filled with confusion, because he didn’t understand why Kaiser was angry again.
Seeing Daylight in fear, and innocent look on his face due to not knowing what he did wrong, Kaiser felt weak throughout his body. He said helplessly, “If you untie me, then wouldn’t the show I’ve just put on completely go to waste?”
“Ah…” Daylight suddenly understood.
Kaiser snapped, “Quickly carry me and continue walking. My limbs are falling asleep from being tied up!”
Daylight hurriedly carried Kaiser again, and Kaiser… continued his sound pollution. Everyone hurried to cover their ears with their hands while walking into the arena, as though they were doing the walk of shame… All the Knights present acted as if something disgusting had walked in.
Fortunately, all the members of the Aklan Troublemaking Squad were no ordinary person. They all had no shame, no idea what shame was, or thought this was what they did normally anyhow, and therefore was not considered shameful.
“I can’t believe even the Dragon Continent has arenas made specially for Magic duels.”
Meinan carefully examined this place. The biggest difference between the arena for a Magic duel and an ordinary one was the cylindrical protective shield surrounding the arena. If it were not for this protective shield, there might not be any audience; a place where a Magic spell might head towards you at any time was not a place many would attend.
Because Kaiser was “feigning weakness”, Meinan was the only one to approach the Dragon Emperor for the formalities. Luckily, because Meinan was the son of a Prime Minister, he diplomatically asked the Dragon Emperor, “Dragon Emperor, Your Highness, may I ask, how do you wish to proceed with this match?”
The Dragon Emperor answered courteously, “Since this is the battle of Magic, naturally Magic should determine the victor. I see you should have three people who could use Magic, then why don’t we each send three Magicians to battle?”
“Since Your Highness have decided the number of people, then can we also decide some terms?”
Meinan requested courteously, which made it difficult for the Dragon Emperor to turn down immediately. Though he was unwilling, but on the surface, he still answered with a tolerating attitude, “Do tell.”
“I believe the strength of Magic is very important; however, the cooperation between companions is also something that should be tested. Therefore, why don’t we have a team match, rather than one on one battles?” Meinan suggested, knowing it would be greatly advantageous to his side because he specialized in defense, Kaiser specialized in offense, and Purity… specialized in all things unexpected. Their combined strength was far greater than the sum of their parts.
Though he knew the Dragon Emperor would no doubt understand this as much as he did, but Meinan had to take a gamble to see if the Dragon Emperor would be willing to accept this disadvantageous term.
The Dragon Emperor scrutinized Meinan for a while, to the point where it looked like his entire plan was completely seen through by the Dragon Emperor. He basically thought the Dragon Emperor would never agree to this term, but then, a miracle happened.
“All right, it’s decided. We’ll have a team match.” The Dragon Emperor answered calmly.
Meinan was stunned. He did not think it would actually work. Could the Dragon Emperor really not know about Kaiser and him… and, uh, Purity’s combined strength was far more than the sum of their parts? Or perhaps the Dragon Emperor sent Magicians who would work well with one another? Or, did the Dragon Emperor have another sinister plan?
Could Kaiser’s plan of feigned weakness have actually worked?
“Then, let me introduce, the Magicians on my side.” The Dragon Emperor stood up slowly, with a smile on his face as though victory was already pre-determined.
With the Dragon Emperor’s call, a figure slowly emerged in the air. His looks was familiar: golden hair and small glasses. His figure was familiar: a body covered in a strange long robe of black and white… However, his expression was no longer familiar to them. Mizerui’s feigned warm smile was now nowhere to be found. Instead, it was a face devoid of all humanity.
The expression of the people on Liola’s side changed slightly, but none of them were too surprised. As soon as the secret base was under attack, everyone knew Mizerui was under the Dragon Emperor’s control. In the battle of Magic today, there was no reason for the Dragon Emperor not to send him into battle. After all, Mizerui was the apprentice of the famous wanted Magician, the Devil Gle.
“When we are in the fight, we’ll all call out to him. Mizerui is a Magician, and controlling him with Magic is not something easy.”
“Okay.” Purity widened her eyes, and nodded repeatedly.
Though Meinan heard, but because the Dragon Emperor’s attention was still on him, so he did not respond. In his mind, however, he fully agreed with Kaiser’s suggestion. Never mind how strong Mizerui might have been or whether they could defeat him, he was, after all, Meinan’s father’s companion. If it were possible, Meinan did not want to resort to fighting.
The Dragon Emperor continued the introduction, “And the Magician always serving the royal family — Idojin.”
The Magician wearing black robe had always been standing next to the Dragon Emperor. Hearing his name, he took a short step forward, and bowed slightly to everyone.
This candidate was also not unexpected, but everyone on Liola’s side was now guessing who the third person would be. After all, they had not heard of any other famous Magician working for the Dragon Emperor.
“Must be some random person they grabbed!” Kaiser concluded carelessly.
The Dragon Emperor looked at Meinan with interest, which made him feel a bit alarmed, as though this third person had something to do with him. It can’t be his father, right? Meinan’s expression was a bit strange. He felt as if Qiusi really would jump out at any moment, and yell, SURPRISE!
‘I’m going to kill him if it’s him!’ Meinan held his fist tightly.
While everyone continued to guess for a while on Liola’s side, the Dragon Emperor finally opened his mouth and said elegantly,
What?! Everyone on Liola’s side froze.
Another figure slowly appeared next to Mizerui, Barbalis, who had been long missing, suddenly appeared. Everyone glared at him. Was he being controlled? Or… was he betraying them?
“My God!” Kaiser moaned, “This isn’t a suspense fiction, why the hell is there a traitor in the end? This is too much. Barbalis, what the hell are you doing?”
Barbalis’ face remained expressionless, nor did he answer Kaiser’s question, as if he had been under Dragon Emperor’s hypnosis…
“Give me a break!” Kaiser yelled loudly, and jumped down from Daylight’s hand. He quickly got out of the ropes. By now, there was no more point of feigning weakness.
Kaiser’s eyes flashed, and he said word-by-word, “Barbalis, you’re not under control at all.”
Barbalis’s face twitched, and he could no longer continue his act. He said sadly, “H-how did you know?”
Kaiser glanced at the other people. Never mind Liola, who had been under control, but even Meinan, Daylight, and Purity did not seem surprised. They had already known Barbalis was not under control, but they were all confused as to why he was doing what he’s doing.
“Everyone already knew. Your acting skills are too terrible!” Kaiser added insult to injury, then explained, “Hmmph! We are Liola’s companions, and we have seen every kind of cold face: be it Liola’s natural rock face, Silver Moon’s acquired ice cube face, or successor Silver Moon’s hypnotized marble face… Do you really think you can fool experienced people like us with that twitching face of yours?”
Kaiser shook his head with exaggeration, “You’re too naive, old man.”
Seeing everyone nodding in agreement, Barbalis’ face sank, “Damn! Quit shaming me. I’ve been acting so much that my face is having seizures! I can’t believe how hard it is to be an ice cube.”
“Cut the crap! Damn old geezer.” Kaiser yelled loudly, “What the hell are you doing?”
“Oh.” Barbalis suddenly became serious, “I’m here because of Dragon Emperor’s request to come test your powers.”
‘All I’m hearing is you giving me bullcrap…’ Kaiser opened his eyes wide while listening to the worst lie in the history of lies. His thoughts spun quickly, trying to figure out what Barbalis was actually thinking about.
Seeing Kaiser’s face as though it was saying “Nobody would ever believe you,” Barbalis began smiling bitterly. This little runt did know him quite well. Indeed! Even if it would cost him his life, he would not want to help the Dragon Emperor. However, instead of his life, the Dragon Emperor was threatening him with Mizerui’s life.
“That old geezer’s eyes…” Kaiser said to himself, “He tilted 15 degrees to glance at Mizerui, this thing must have something to do with Mizerui!”
‘Wow… I better not ever peep at anything in front of Kaiser.’ Everyone thought.
“Arrogant runts! In any case, I will definitely win against you today!” Barbalis yelled loudly. This was the only way he could think of to warn these people that he must win this match.
“We will definitely win in this match!” Kaiser yelled back coldly.
Barbalis paused. As he glanced his eyes towards Mizerui, he said, “Please, for the sake of my old friend ‘Mizerui’, I have to win!” He was trying hard to hint at Kaiser and others. He had to win or otherwise, Mizerui’s life would be in danger.
“Hmmph!” Kaiser also glanced his eyes towards Liola, “Let me tell you, we have to win as well! For our companion ‘Liola’.”
Barbalis frowned. He did not know about the Dragon Emperor’s Heart, nor did he know Liola promised the Dragon Emperor that he would eat the Heart if they lost, but he still understood Kaiser’s hint. In any case, if Kaiser lost, then Liola would either die or end up in a situation worse than dying; otherwise, they would definitely care about Mizerui’s life.
Barbalis and Kaiser stared at one another, and they both thought of the same thing at the same time, ‘Did we… reach an impasse?’
“It seems like our old friends have already greeted one another.” Seeing both locking their eyebrows, the Dragon Emperor seemed quite satisfied. His smile widened, “Please, don’t let our audience wait for too long. Let the match begin.”
Both sides were hesitating, but they still had to go stand on top of the arena. The moment they had done so, the cylindrical shield around the arena instantly activated. Kaiser and the two others were still hesitating. Although, Barbalis had yet to attack, the other two on his team would not wait another moment.
Idojin knew about the dilemma on both sides, so he was going to take advantage of the time when they were hesitating to open up with fierce attacks, and defeat them in one go.
Thus, he started with his killing moves!
“Mizerui, use Oppressive Gravity.”
With Idojin’s command, Mizerui reached out his right hand, and cast the Gravity Magic he excelled in. The air began to warp, and a heavy force fell towards Kaiser and the others from above…
“Protective Shield!” Fortunately, Meinan was paying attention to his opponent’s every move. As soon as Idojin said something, he already began to summon his protective shield.
Idojin had already done his research on where the strengths of his opponents lie. He knew Meinan part of the family of Magicians specializing in protective shield. To break it, they would have to do it via attrition, until he becomes drained of power, or perhaps use strong Magic to directly overwhelm him.
If it was Qiusi who was here today, Idojin might already be in a difficult place. After all, Qiusi lived years in danger of assassination, and therefore he held a shield at all times. It was at the point as though his mana was an unending pool. Truth was, no one would have the patience to test how long Qiusi could hold up his shield… Usually the one who would give up first was the attacking side.
However, the person in the arena was Meinan, a young man in his twenties. No matter how much time he had spent researching protective shield, the lack of mana will be his fatal flaw.
Especially when his opponents were three Magician with hundreds of years of training. His mana was like a pail compared to them, so how could it possibly hold up against a sea of fire?
‘Let’s end it quickly.’ Idojin began chanting. He conservatively used Magic with high piercing property, since this was the best way to break a protective shield.
A blue ray shot straight at Kaiser and the rest of his party. Their eyes tightened. When the ray was about to make contact with the protective shield, and when the audience thought a fight between offensive Magic and defensive Magic was about to begin, the ray passed through without colliding into anything, until it hit the protective shield on the outer arena. It eventually lead to an explosion, and caused the stadium to tremble, to the point where the protective shield around the arena began to crack a little.
Luckily, all the audience present weren’t ordinary people, but were powerful Knights instead. Although they were a bit surprised by the power of the Magic, none of them panicked.
When the dust settled, Idojin’s face was filled with shock. He would have never imagined his opponents would not defend against his spell. Instead, they dissolved their shield, then dodged the Magic.
They did not even use teleport to dodge, but used their own legs to run to the side!
This practically violated the common sense towards Magic duels. No Magicians would, in a duel, dodge with their body instead of using Magic to stop the opposing spells!
Did these kids have any common sense to Magic duels?
Truth was, probably not.
As soon as Kaiser dodged, he fired from his gun. The power of the Divine Fireball made Idojin fumble around to defend himself. The shield he put up was just in time to barely perish together with the fireball. When the dust settled from the collision, a figure charged at him.
The person charging at him was not the attack-oriented Kaiser, but Meinan, who knew nothing of offensive Magic. Nevertheless, he was not using Magic to attack, instead he was using the shiny dagger he hand on his hand, a sharp one that had been passing down in his family.
Idojin had no time to cast Magic. Panicked, he yelled, “Mizerui.”
After sensing Magic nearby, Meinan suddenly jumped to the side. He lowered his head, only to see a deep crater created by gravity Magic where he stood before.
Having his life out of danger, Idojin quickly flew into the air, to prevent getting “assassinated”. As soon as he reached a safe spot, he immediately began to yell angrily, “How dare you use weapons?! Do you have no common sense about a Magic duel?!”
Kaiser quickly aimed the gun in his hand at Idojin. As he fired his gun, he gave out a sinister laugh, “Sorry! We always fight with Mechas, so we don’t have even a bit of common sense in Magic duels!”
“Whatever, as long as we take you out!” Kaiser roared, while a bunch of fireballs shot out of his giant gun.
Idojin quickly formed a protective shield, while thinking these people did not play by the rules at all. It would be better to let Mizerui handle them, while he looked for the opportunity to attack.
The shield he had up was no Meinan’s ancestral shield. It was able to stop Magic, but not a physical attack. An arrow scraped by Idojin’s shoulder, almost making him lose control and fall out of the air. Shocked, he looked towards the source of the arrow, only to see Purity holding a crossbow. When she saw the arrow missed, her face was filled with frustration.
“Crossbow?” Idojin was now really mad. This was not even a Magic duel anymore. He roared angrily, “That’s against the principle of a Magic duel!”
“Is that so?” Kaiser raised his eyebrows, “We didn’t use Aura, so it’s not a Knight’s duel, nor did we use Mechas, so it’s not a Mecha duel. We are using Magic. I also looked up the rule book, and Magicians can bring a ‘personal weapon’ onto a duel. We didn’t violate any rules!”
Idojin was speechless. He didn’t think these people would find a loophole like this. Indeed, some Magicians would bring a dagger with them, but it was mostly for counterattack when their opponent would attack in melee, but not to attack with it!
Nor would any Magician bring bow and arrow onto an arena. After all, to a Magician, the time to shoot an arrow would be enough to allow the opponent to cast several spells to blow him into pieces.
After thinking about this, Idojin threw out a fireball. According to his intelligence reports, this girl didn’t even know simple protective shield or Magic at all. This fireball would be enough to make her a charred corpse.
Facing the menacing fireball, Purity was still desperately trying to load another bolt into her crossbow, completely unaware of the fact she was about to give off a charred smell in the next second…
Chapter 3 : Project Black Hole
The fireball was about to reach her, but Purity simply glanced at it, with her eyes saying “why is the fireball so close, it’s getting so hot here, I hate it,” without any sort for fear of the spell.
Idojin stared blankly at the strange girl. He felt something strange about all this; he thought perhaps this girl might think he wouldn’t dare to kill her?
But what happened in the seconds after proved Purity was not suicidal, nor did she doubt Idojin’s willingness to kill her, because Meinan’s protective shield protected her. When the smoke arose from the fireball’s explosion that covered her, a bolt pierced through the smoke, and shot straight towards Idojin.
The moment the bolt pierced Idojin’s shoulder, he yelled out, “How is that possible! The smoke was everywhere, how could she have seen me…”
The smoke cleared, unveiling Purity in the arena. When she saw the wound on Idojin, she did not seem a bit surprised, as if she already knew this would happen.
‘Of course she couldn’t see you!‘ Kaiser and Meinan both let out a crafty smile, but they were not stupid enough to tell their opponents how Purity was able to aim.
Truth was, Purity simply remembered where Idojin was. Having controlled Mechas for years, Purity could lock on to a target after a single lock, and hit accurately where the target was.
If it were not for the fact that Idojin’s levitation skills had not been mastered yet, and therefore he would drift slightly while stopping in air, this bolt could very well have pierced his heart. One must wonder, if Idojin knew the thing that saved his life was his inability to master levitation… what would he possibly think?
Idojin put his hand on the wound on his shoulder, used a small fire spell to disinfect the wound, and sealed it to stop the bleeding.
After being in disadvantageous situation several times, Idojin finally understood: despite lacking in Magic strength, these young children were full of evil ideas. Evidence proved these ideas also were quite dangerous. He would no longer underestimate them. He looked at Barbalis, and said, “If you aren’t willing to attack, then I will make Mizerui kill them.”
Barbalis face suddenly changed. He knew Mizerui would do exactly as Idojin says. Seeing Idojin about to give the command, he immediately yelled, “Stop!”
Idojin stared at him coldly. Barbalis sighed, looked at Kaiser and others, threw his hands helplessly, and began his attacks. Countless vaguely visible Magical ropes were thrown at Kaiser and others. If possible, he really wished this move would be enough to defeat them for he did not want to harm these kids.
Kaiser yelled loudly, and in that very instant, Meinan’s protective shields were raised. However, Barbalis was one step ahead. There were already a few strands of Magic ropes reaching Meinan. These ropes quickly wrapped themselves around Meinan’s body. After a few clapping sounds, Meinan grunted a few times. The protective shield was indeed raised, separating the two sides, and broke the Magic ropes between Barbalis and them.
“Ugh…” Meinan suddenly moaned a few times in pain.
Kaiser jumped up like a startled bird. He believed Barbalis would never kill Meinan, however, Barbalis would do anything in his power to make Meinan useless in battle. After all, both sides understood, without Meinan’s iron wall of a protective shield, they would be helpless.
Meinan’s importance was even more evident in the presence of Barbalis. Barbalis rarely used any spells, resulting in Kaiser and others being completely clueless at what kind of attacks Barbalis excelled in. The only clue were the words Qiusi had said: Barbalis’ power was unfathomably high, especially in his ability to control Magic!
In a situation where they did not know what the opponents may cast, having Meinan’s protective shield stopping all the spells would be the safest plan! Therefore, Meinan must not be too injured to cast the shield… Kaiser quickly jumped to Meinan’s side. Although he did not specialize in healing Magic, but if necessary, he would still try his best!
Meinan lowered his head with a hand over his face, while the other hand… held a gold-and-silver-plated baroque mirror. He looked in the mirror while he wept, “My face… how dare you hit my face!”
‘I knew it…’ Kaiser smacked Meinan’s head hard!
The knock on his head stunned Meinan briefly, and the shield warped a bit in the mean time. It was supposed to be a great opportunity for their opponent to strike… unfortunately Barbalis did not expect they would be fighting amongst themselves, and thereby missed this chance.
“These little runts, still playing while an archenemy is before them.” Barbalis shamelessly referred to himself as “archenemy”.
Meinan held his head in pain, while murmuring complaints, “Hitting my head again, you know I’m going to turn stupid because of it. Don’t you know… Barbalis is too fast (Meinan was especially quiet when he said this)… and my beautiful face is damaged, I want out… (whispers) and I think it wasn’t his max speed, I might not be able to stop it next time… Besides, it’s not like I have to fight.”
Kaiser screamed loudly, “Please! When things are like this, who the hell cares if your face gets damaged or disfigured… (whispers) think of something, we can’t just watch Mizerui die… Try not fighting, if you dare, I’ll turn your head into a pig head… (whispers) I think maybe if we toss Mizerui into a black hole?”
“Can you two stop fighting! We’re still in a match!” Purity looked like she was trying to mediate between the two, but if one was to listen carefully, they would notice she would always speak when the other two were whispering, to cover their “extra” conversation.
Meinan roared back, “Beat me, if you dare, you think my father won’t turn you into a bigger pig’s head than me… (whispers) but, where would the black hole send Mizerui?”
Kaiser showed a gangster look, and snapped, “Your father? He only knows to hide in his shield. He’d never come out to beat me… (whispers) at least better than death. Besides, so far, the chance of falling into another world is not high.”
“Then it’s decided.” The two spoke as they looked at Purity, whom blinked, to indicate she understood.
Purity took a deep breath, and screamed loudly enough to shake the entire stadium, “Stop fighting!”
Everyone was dazed from this piercing scream. Even when the echo of her voice had stopped, their heads were still filled with the words “stop fighting”. No one noticed, the three of them already began to attack: Kaiser covered the sky with fireballs, while Meinan surrounded himself with thick shields and charged at Barbalis with his dagger.
Barbalis had to fly up in the air, but Meinan also used Levitation to follow him and began launching melee attacks towards Barbalis. Barbalis did not want to use a strong Magic spell to attack Meinan, but the lesser Magic could not even scratch Meinan’s shield. So he had no choice but to dodge around. This demonstrated his accuracy of his Magic, and Meinan could not even touch him.
Nevertheless, hurting Barbalis was not his intent. Meinan was waiting for the opportunity, until he felt they were far enough to Idojin, then he said with a low voice, “We plan on throwing Mizerui into the black hole.”
Barbalis’s eyes glowed. Under Dragon Emperor and Idojin’s restraints, they could not take Mizerui away with teleport. However, with a black hole that could travel through vast time and space, it should not be a problem.
“I’ll help you control him.” Barbalis replied quietly.
Hearing this, Meinan was absolutely ecstatic. With Barbalis’ help, the plan was definitely viable.
Purity stood on the ground by herself with a bow in her hands. She began chanting, and a faint glow began emitting from the arrow. At a glance, it looked like she was enchanting her arrow with Magic, but it was just a cover up. Truth was, the spell Purity was casting was the black hole Magic.
Barbalis saw what Purity did, and he suddenly felt a sense of his children all growing up. Originally, he was still considering what he had to use to cover up the Magic fluctuation from the black hole spell, but he did not expect Purity to have already done so herself.
He then looked at Kaiser, who was attacking carelessly at Idojin, with the sole goal of distracting him. This little runt was as cunning as he always had been.
Barbalis thought to himself, ‘Mizerui, oh, Mizerui, wake up soon, so you can watch how the children we caught back then to play have grown.’
“Barbalis! Purity’s black hole is almost done casting.” Meinan quietly reminded.
Barbalis hurriedly put away his reminiscence, and said quietly, “Meinan, I have to attack you, to draw everyone’s attention.”
“Oh.” Meinan paused, then declared seriously, “As long as you don’t hit my face.”
A bright light appeared on Barbalis’ hand, and it concentrated into a ball of light. He threw it towards Meinan’s head. Unable to respond in time, Meinan was being pushed down towards the ground, even though his shield remained undamaged. Like a meteorite, Meinan collapsed into the ground and created a crater. Although the shield was still there, Meinan realized that, along with his shield, he was now locked onto the ground without the ability to move.
When he turned, he saw a pair of feet suddenly appeared. Meinan looked up, and sure enough they were Mizerui’s feet. Suddenly, Meinan began to struggle desperately, but it was not to break himself free. Instead, it was to make everything look more real. He also tried to obfuscate Barbalis’ Magic power, to cover up the fact that it was suppressing Mizerui’s power.
As planned, Idojin did not notice anything, but Mizerui, who was under control, turned slightly to look at Meinan. If he were his usual self, he would have already known Meinan was up to something, and he would not have fallen into such a simple trap. Unfortunately, he was now a muppet who did nothing but follow orders. Unless he was given an order or under attack, he would not do anything.
Purity shouted, and the arrow was unleashed. The black Magic on the arrow suddenly expanded, and pounced towards Mizerui like a mouth of a predator. Though he determined he was under attack and he should dodge, but the teleport spell he cast had fizzled, and when he wanted to move away using his feet, he realized he couldn’t even take one step away because there was a transparent wall around, stopping him.
The person stopping him, of course, was Barbalis.
When the black mouth was about to devour Mizerui, a giant wall of ice appeared just in time to stop the mouth. It was a spell Idojin had cast to block the black hole.
Kaiser roared, and a Divine Fireball soared from his giant gun to break the wall, but it was knocked out of its trajectory by a series of ice bolts. It ended up breaking the protective shield. Luckily, it headed towards the sky, otherwise there might be a skewer of Knight meat as a result.
The giant mouth took some time to chew through the ice walls. In the mean time, Mizerui’s power surged, and struggled desperately against Barbalis’ constraint without caring for the consequences. Barbalis was afraid to keep pressuring because the Mizerui now would not care whether his body would be damaged in the process, nor would he care if his mind breaks down from overexerting his mana.
In fact, the last time when Mizerui was sent to attack the secret base, dire consequences almost happened due to his overexertion.
The giant mouth charged towards Mizerui, but in the last moment possible, Mizerui used a short range teleport to move to the black hole’s side. The black hole “took a big bite,” but other than the rocks on the arena, it gained nothing at all.
It failed… Panic filled everyone’s heart, especially Barbalis. He looked towards the Dragon Emperor, wondering if his betrayal would break the promise to let go of Mizerui if he won the fight.
The Dragon Emperor elegantly extended his index finger to gesture “1”, and Barbalis finally felt relaxed but heavy at the same time. He understood the Dragon Emperor meant he would have one more chance, and therefore he relaxed. However, this also meant he had no other choice but win this match.
But if Kaiser and others lost, what would happen to Liola? Barbalis couldn’t help but think. Before the match, Kaiser’s eyes glanced towards Liola as a hint. Liola looked like he would be fine, and that he had escaped the hypnosis, so what exactly still tied him back to the Dragon Emperor?
Barbalis’s eyes floated towards Liola, only to see Liola was staring blankly into the arena with his expression like he just saw the devil…
He could not resist looking in the direction of Liola’s eyes, until he saw the black hole. It was still completely dark, with nothing to be seen. Why would Liola look like he just saw a ghost?
Barbalis was too concentrated to analyzing Liola’s expressions, while the battle had already resumed next to him. Idojin already made Mizerui join the battle. Other than Meinan’s protective shield, no one could possibly stop Mizerui’s gravity magic. Suddenly, the three of them were forced to stand together, and Meinan desperately used his shield to protect everyone.
Although Barbalis was seriously slacking, Idojin and Mizerui would be enough to give Kaiser and others a serious headache. Albeit they had been advancing greatly, mana took time to build up. Mizerui was already a “centenarian” with hundreds of years under his belt, and never mind Idojin. No one knew what kind of artifact he would be to be following the Dragon Emperor for so long.
If nothing unexpected happened, the three of them were further and further away from victory.
“Kaiser?” Purity panickedly looked at Kaiser, not knowing what else they could do. They had already lost the first match, if they lost this match again, Liola would have to eat the Heart… and it was no different than dying.
‘We can’t lose!’
All three of them thought that, though they might feel helpless, they still could not afford to lose!
Kaiser paused, ‘Who’s calling me? The voice sounds really familiar… but that person shouldn’t have such a panicked tone?’
Yet another calling, and this call seemed even more panic than before. Kaiser turned towards the person he thought of with confusion — Liola.
Liola was using the “saw-a-ghost” tone of voice to call out to Kaiser.
“What! What the heck is wrong with your face?” Kaiser paused, and asked strangely.
Liola pointed towards black hole, and everyone’s gaze landed onto it. After all, there were very few things that could make Liola act as disgraceful as this, and it would be a shame not to see it. Thus, something strange happened in the stadium: the match was going half way, but everyone was staring blankly into a black hole.
“There’s nothing there?” Kaiser said skeptically. After looking for a long while, it was still as pitch black as before… Could Liola be afraid of the dark? That would be strange, considering he was always wearing black, so how could he be afraid of it?
No one saw anything, but Liola clearly “felt” it — the kind of oppressive terror from the only person whom Liola dared not to resist, there was only “him.” B-but, how could it be? It was just a black hole…
However, the only reason they ended up in an alien world was none other than the black hole…
Could it really be him? The person whose name would make people tremble in fear, the famous (infamous?) devil whose name went down in history?
“I say, what the hell are you guys doing? Throwing ice in one moment, and rocks in the next; do you think I run a trash bin?”
Barbalis, Kaiser, and Daylight all froze. The voice was far too familiar. It was one they wanted to forget but couldn’t!
“Why are you not talking? Are you ignoring me? Li?”
Kaiser yelled loudly. He finally knew who it was. There was only one person who would call Liola like this! And this person was already something past what “terrifying” or “horrifying” could describe.
“Why are you screaming? Do you really have to yell like this when you see your own grandpa?”
The blackness of the black hole was suddenly erased, and shone like a bright light instead. In it, a person was lying lazily. The clothes this person was wearing was rather strange. It was similar to Mizerui’s long robe, but seemed more luxurious. He was looking at the people outside of the black hole as though he was somewhat curious in regards to what they were doing, but he also felt a bit annoyed, as if he did not want to bother with them.
“Devil Gle!” The Dragon Emperor suddenly stood up, and roared angrily.
Chapter 4 : The Strongest Summon
“Why are you suddenly here?” Kaiser asked unbelievably.
Gle raised his eyebrow, and said leisurely, “Strange, I didn’t open the hole. I haven’t even blame you for opening a hole in my house, and you’re already blaming me for it? Don’t tell me that, nowadays, I can’t even lie in my own house and nap?”
“Gle!” The Dragon Emperor roared after gritting his teeth.
“Aiya! Dragon Emperor, you haven’t changed a bit, still being a hypocrite and feigning kindness.” Gle sat up, and looked at the Dragon Emperor.
“What nonsense are you saying?” The Dragon Emperor yelled, with his chest rapidly going up and down. He had no idea the Devil would suddenly appear now. Since Aklan and Commerce Alliance were obviously opposing him, if the devil were to join them, his plans might not end up well.
“What are you so angry about?” Gle lazily leaned back on his chair, “I don’t plan on going back.”
The Dragon Emperor was so angry he could not hear anything Gle said, “The Aklan Prime Minister was indeed harboring you.”
“Hmmph! What the hell does it have to do with them? I, Devil Gle, need them to harbor me? Ha.” Gle’s eyes suddenly looked spirited. Although he had lost against the Dragon Emperor back then and had nothing to say, but if the Dragon Emperor were to involve other people into this, he would not continue to submit to such humiliation.
Seeing Gle might have been angered by him, the Dragon Emperor suddenly realized he might have done something idiotic: Gle did not seem to want to intervene in this matter, so why would he illicit his anger and force him to be involved?
Thinking about it, the Dragon Emperor calmed his agitation. After all, he had living for thousands of years, and there were very few things to make him lose control completely. He asked calmly, “Devil Gle, do you plan on intervening the succession between the successor and I?” The Dragon Emperor cleverly disguised this match as a problem of succession. If it were a succession issue within the royal family of the Empire, then outsiders naturally should not intervene.
“Between you and the successor?” Gle, however, asked with interest. At the same time, his eyes were fixed on Liola. He looked and there was no other Princes or Princesses, but how did this guy become the successor? Li being the successor? Interesting.
“Right, right! Liola can only be the Dragon Emperor if we win the match, understand now?”
Kaiser suddenly started yelling loudly, to attract Gle’s attention. Gle was fully aware how cunning his descendant was. He knew Kaiser would not want to attract his attention if there was nothing important. Now, the runt was actively trying to catch his attention, so it must mean Kaiser was up to something again.
“Sigh! But Mizerui is just far too strong, and we don’t stand a chance.” Kaiser sighed exaggeratedly and said.
‘Mizerui?’ Gle frowned. ‘Why would that guy ever oppose Li and his friends? Didn’t he want to kill the Dragon Emperor and take his place?’
Gle’s eyes were now fixed towards Mizerui, only to see him standing expressionlessly on the arena, and had no reaction after seeing Gle. There was was obviously some big problems. Gle only paused for a moment before he understood; Mizerui must be under control, otherwise he would not dare to ignore him.
Rage suddenly overcame Gle. As his eldest apprentice! How could he have fallen into the Dragon Emperor’s control? This was very shameful to him!
Gle stood up from his chair, with fire still burning in his eyes. Having always believed in violence, he reached out his right hand, and a drill-shaped spell shot towards Mizerui. But during its trajectory, gravity Magic caused it to land onto the ground. Because he was getting attacked, Mizerui counterattacked instinctively, and a dozen black balls were shot towards the black hole Gle was standing in.
“Mizerui! You wanna die?”
He waved his hand to defuse the black balls, but Gle was now truly infuriated. How dare Mizerui attack him? Mizerui must be… must be…
TIRED. OF. LIVING!
Gle had a Blue Dragon on his left and White Tiger on his right… Or rather! A Fire Dragon coming from his left hand, and an Electric Tiger on his right. Both of these Magic Animals were comparable in size to a real Dragon, and the heat from the Fire Dragon was even felt by the Dragon Emperor, who was standing far away. The electric tiger was even more awe-inspiring; just the sight of the bolts of lightning would drive fear into the hearts of anyone who would look at it, and the arcs were as tall as a person. Though Meinan had casted a protective shield, he still kept backing up away from Gle.
“Damn! Is all this even necessary?!” Kaiser’s jaws dropped, and yelled, “Crap! Is Mizerui going to end up getting killed by Gle instead of the Dragon Emperor?”
“AHHH!” Purity screamed, “D-Dragon… T-tiger…”
Although Purity’s cries sounded tragic, no one would say a word because by now, the Dragon and Tiger from Gle’s hands already charged out of the black hole. In that instant, the entire arena was shrouded by these two spells — fires and lightnings were everywhere. Kaiser and Meinan were also yelling an octave higher than usual, “AHH—”
When their lives were threatened, everyone had seemingly unlimited potential. Meinan’s protective shield instantly reached a strength he had been unable to obtain before. The Fire Dragon and the Lightning Tiger finally exploded in the arena. In that instant, other than red and blue lights, nothing could be seen. In addition, other than hearing continuous explosions, none of the screams could be heard.
“Crap, are Kaiser, Meinan, and Purity in danger?” Daylight was as anxious as ants in a hot pan*. His eyes drifted frequently between the arena and Liola’s face, hoping to read the situation from his face.
[T/N: This idiom is used to describe a person’s anxiety and restlessness just like how ants would behave on a hot pan.]
Although there was nothing to be seen or heard, but Liola did not need any of that. Since he was already able to sense Gle when the black hole still had nothing there, he was obviously able to sense the presence of Kaiser and others from the not so far away arena, and that they had not changed much.
“They’re fine.” Liola nodded as Daylight turned towards him again.
Daylight finally felt a bit better, and returned to calmly observing the situation in the arena. Albeit the explosion and the lights had passed, the stadium remained perfectly silent because smoke now shrouded the entire arena, and no one could see what was going on.
“It’s master! Bastard.”
“Why would you be here?” Mizerui asked, completely surprised.
“It’s because you’re digging holes in my house! One open holes, and the other dared to attack me. You little runts, bastards! Bastards! I’m pissed.”
As the smoke slowly cleared, the situation could finally been seen. Kaiser and others were already cowering on the ground, and Mizerui was lying on the ground pitifully. His black-and-white robe was now ripped and dirty, to the point where it looked more like a gray robe. His body also had plenty of wounds, though luckily none of them seemed too serious.
The important thing was, he no longer looked expressionless. Instead, he was blankly looking at Gle, who was inside the black hole, with confusion. He then looked at where he was, confused why he was in such a strange place.
“Long time no see, Gle, looks like you’re still as recklessly as you were before.”
Barbalis slowly descended from the air. When the Fire Dragon and Lightning Tiger charged, he did the simplest thing he could think of — fly higher so he would not get hit.
“Who the hell are you?” Gle looked at the old geezer coldly, unable to remember how he would know such an old man.
Veins popped out of Barbalis’ forehead, “I am Barbalis!”
“Barbalis!?” Gle paused, then began to examine the old man facing him, “Why did you make yourself look like an old man?”
“I am already an old man.” Barbalis shook his head, “I’m not interested in maintaining my face to look like a young man.”
“Hmmph!” Gle raised his eyebrows, and attacked back, “Only weird people would want to make themselves look like they’re on the brink of death.”
Barbalis laughed for a while, and said with feelings, “You still act as mischievous as you were before, but no matter how silly you have been, you’ve always been able to solve the problems of others. In the hundreds of years I’ve known you, I still can’t figure out if you’re really just causing trouble or you’re actually helping.”
Gle replied rudely, “What the hell are you saying? You look like an old man, has your brain also succumb to old age?”
“Never mind. The black hole is about to close again, you should go speak with the others.”
“I thought you would try to convince me to come back, but you didn’t even try; so heartless.” Gle pouted, and said unhappily.
Barbalis smiled as he shook his head; ‘This man’s awkward personality didn’t change at all. He and Kaiser really do seem alike.’
By now, Mizerui was already slowly standing up, and his eyes were fixed on Gle. His body… on the other hand, was slowly backing away. He finally remembered he was being controlled by the Dragon Emperor, and he even attacked Gle; it was pretty much a suicidal act.
Gle narrowed his eyes dangerously, and said coldly, “What are you doing! Are you trying to run?”
“No…” Mizerui’s face went bitter, and said a lie even he wouldn’t believe himself, “My legs are cramping, and they’re backing me out by themselves.”
Gle grunted and said, “Better scram! If I keep seeing you, I might blow you into pieces thinner than my nails!”
Mizerui smiled bitterly. With Barbalis’ help, the two of them slowly flew into the sky.
Barbalis said casually, “Almost forgot, we both surrender.”
Hearing this, even though the Dragon Emperor was infuriated, but under Gle’s cold gaze, he could do nothing but hold his fists tightly and hold his anger back. He sat still in his throne, did not say anything, and watched as the two of them flew away.
Seeing this, Barbalis smiled slightly, threw out the last sentence, and slowly faded away, “Although you really are awkward and never want to say things clearly even after helping others, but I still have to thank you, old friend.”
By now, the black hole was only the size of a head, with only Gle’s cold face visible. He turned to looked at Kaiser and Liola, and threatened, “I don’t care what you are doing! However, if you dare to lose, nevermind the fact that I’m in another world. Even if I’m in hell, I will climb up and get you two. Do you hear me?!”
“Understood.” Kaiser and Liola answered in unison.
From the fading black hole, one could vaguely see Gle yawn, lie down on a chair with one hand behind his head, and continued his nap. While he was falling asleep, he was pondering how he could cause disturbances in the Martial Arts world. Perhaps create a type of Kung Fu, hide it, and make a treasure map to it, so he would see everyone fighting each other endlessly for it…
The black hole closed completely, leaving only Gle’s laughter behind with some unknown meaning, which made everyone’s hair stand. People began to wonder, if one day Gle would suddenly come back and start creating chaos again?
Everyone present were confused what had happened, but they could see the Dragon Emperor’s face being completely frozen. However, moments later, he began to laugh again, stood up, and announced loudly,
“You lost. You are only allowed to send three Magicians to the match, but instead you had a fourth, and this seriously violated the match’s rules.”
“Bullshit!” Kaiser immediately refuted instinctively, “This is just Purity’s ultimate.”
‘My ultimate?’ Purity’s eyes widened. She forced herself not to show fear, and nodded with her rigid face, cooperating with Kaiser’s super lies.
“Nonsense!” The Dragon Emperor frowned, and yelled in disdain.
Kaiser, who had just been warned by Gle, would not abandon his victory because of the Dragon Emperor frowning. He said coldly, “Do you not even have common sense, or are you going to tell me you don’t even know about summon spells?”
“Summon spell?” The Dragon Emperor was actually stunned. How did this involve summoning spell?
“The so-called summoning spell means opening a door to another dimension, and call forth a creature from this world to help the Magician.” Kaiser explained carelessly, “Didn’t you see that black hole? It was another dimension. In fact, Purity was just using her unstable ‘random summoning spell’ to call a ‘summon’. But, it just so happened that we hit the jackpot, and summoned the Devil to our aid. How is that violating the rules?”
“That cannot possibly count!” The Dragon Emperor was about to explode from anger. It was practically a fallacy; the devil Gle was a summon? Who would actually believe that?
‘You actually said Gle was a summon… if he heard it, you will rest in pieces, ones thinner than his nails.’ Daylight and Liola both thought at the same time.
“Why don’t you go look it up?!” Kaiser raised his chin, and said arrogantly, “No matter what kind of Magic duel, summon spells are always accepted, and no rules said we can’t summon the Devil to fight for us!”
“We could summon the Devil because of our luck! What? Are you going to be a sore loser?” Kaiser purposely looked at the Dragon Emperor with contempt, and said, “Wouldn’t that be too disgraceful, Your Majesty?”
The Dragon Emperor looked towards Idojin, who, after a moment of thought, shook his head back. Indeed, the black hole Purity opened was a type of summoning spell that opened the door to another dimension… However, it was the most unstable, and one very few would use. This spell, under normal circumstances, was not something one would use in real combat, but no rules stated one could not do such a thing.
Seeing Idojin shake his head, the Dragon Emperor’s face darkened. He looked towards Kaiser, and said blankly, “Then, let’s suppose your summon defeated two of my Magicians. However, my side still has a Magician in the arena, and therefore the victory is not yours yet.”
Kaiser blinked, and did not realize until now, ‘Oh! Right, there’s still Idojin, I almost thought we won already…’
“Then… let’s start the fight again!” Before Kaiser even said the word “fight,” a giant fireball already soared out of his giant gun… To be more precise, he was taking advantage of others not being prepared. To be even more precise, he was ambushing Idojin!
Idojin did not expect his opponent to try ambushing in front of all these Knights. With no time to cast a spell, he embarrassingly rolled to the side, barely escaping this ambushing fireball.
Everyone gave Kaiser a disdainful look.
“Tsk, too bad.” Unfortunately this person had little care for self contemplation, and he even rolled his eyes towards everyone, “What are you looking at?! I’m not a Knight, can’t I not be righteous?”
Though everyone felt this person was extremely shameless, but as he said, he was no Knight, and the Knights had no right to demand him to follow their code of honor. Thus, all they could was look at him in contempt.
Another bolt was suddenly shot towards Idojin. Luckily for him, after being ambushed so many times, he had a fireball ready to diffuse the bolt. Idojin relaxed a bit, and his eyes saw that there were only two people remaining on the opposing side; Meinan was nowhere to be seen.
‘Hmm…’ Idojin wanted to take a moment to think, but Kaiser already shot another fireball at him. The moment he put up a shield to block the fireball, Purity shot another bolt at him. Since his shield could not stop physical attacks, Idojin had no choice but cast another spell to handle Purity’s bolt.
While fumbling to defend himself, Idojin threw a look to where Kaiser was, noticing a figure with golden hair in a corner. He thought, perhaps after using his protective shield to stop Gle’s attack, Meinan ended up being exhausted, so he had to go hide in order to not become a burden.
This was perfect for him. Without Meinan’s shield, he would be able to attack without worrying. Idojin saw an opportunity while Purity was reloading, and used a large-scale attack. Pieces of beautiful snowflakes began to descend onto the arena. Unlike its appearance, however, the snowflakes were very deadly, leaving behind a scar every place it touched on the arena ground. Some of Kaiser’s fireballs collided with them, and it exploded in the air.
Fireballs and snowflakes filled the arena, and they would explode when they occasionally collided, covering the sky with what seemed to be fireworks and snow dust. It looked like a dazzling scenery… as long as you weren’t in the arena. By looking at Kaiser and Purity, neither of them knew how to cast a shield, and seeing the sparks land on their clothes, igniting it, or when the snow dust touched them, they would sneeze endlessly. One would know the beautiful things were better seen from far away.
Idojin was surrounded by three people, and he was a bit fumbled, because he did not excel in Magic duels, in addition to Kaiser having endless amount of cunning ideas, but not because he lacked in strength. For him to follow the Dragon Emperor for such a long time, his true strength was definitely there, and this spell also demonstrated his extraordinary power.
The transparent snowflake Magic did not seem to slow down, but instead it became more and more intense. Kaiser had no choice but to cover the sky with fireballs to stop the beautiful yet fatal snowflakes, but being showered by the aftermaths of the collision did not feel great either. Purity kept dodging, without being able to shoot, and Kaiser could barely stop the attack, never mind attacking back.
This was Idojin’s golden opportunity. He used levitation up in the air, and began to chant another large scale Magic. He wanted to blow up the three people, along with this arena, into pieces.
Idojin was in the second half of the spell; he thought, he was close to succeeding, and the legacy of the Dragon Emperor would not end here…
While chanting, his eyes noticed a strange scenario: a small spark fell onto Meinan in the corner where he hid, but Meinan did not seem to react. The fire grew more and more intense, and his entire body was now practically a fireball… How could that be…
Fake! Idojin finally understood. That was not the real Meinan, but where would the real Meinan be?
Idojin looked left and right, not paying attention his spell. However, he did not see Meinan around him, so where would Meinan be?
Kaiser saw Idojin looking around him, and began to smile. He said, “What? Do you really think Meinan only carry a dagger?”
Meinan was higher in the air than Idojin, and he held a crossbow in his hand. After pulling the trigger, a bolt shot out, hitting Idojin squarely in his chest. Because Meinan did not want to kill him, the bolt missed the heart, but it did still pierced his lung.
Idojin fell out of the sky. Before he hit the ground, Meinan protected him with a spherical shield. Otherwise, with a pierced lung, the impact with the ground would have taken his life instantly.
Meinan slowly landed on the ground. Idojin turned to look at him, noticing his originally long golden hair had been cut short. Judging from the messy looks, he must had cut them off with the dagger before. He was also wearing only undershirts, with his robe nowhere to be found.
‘Did they fool me with hair and a robe?’ Idojin thought to himself, but how would that be possible? Did they plan on doing something like this from the start? No! Impossible, they could not have been able to guess beforehand that only one of their opponents would remain. If they had planned this, they would have prepared a wig beforehand, instead of cutting off his hair on the spot.
Kaiser and Purity walked over, both with a victorious smile on their faces.
“This world runs on being despicable!” Kaiser showed a contemptible smile that would make everyone want to slap him on sight, “Unfortunately, the only person more despicable than me, Kaiser, had just returned to the other world!”
“W-when did you guys discuss to go with such a plan?” Idojin really did not understand, these three people obviously had not talked, but Kaiser and Purity’s actions were obviously covering for Meinan. Without having talked, how did these three cooperate?
“What discussion…” Kaiser scratched his face, and shrugged, “I just saw Meinan suddenly go hide in the corner. Although I didn’t know what he was up to, I thought to cover him first.”
Purity also nodded wildly.
“But I really didn’t expect you would be willing to cut your own hair off…” Kaiser looked at Meinan with his comically horrid haircut.
As soon as he heard “hair”, Meinan’s entire face sank. He almost did not have the courage to take out a mirror to look.
“But… it’s gorgeous.” Kaiser smiled, giving Meinan the thumbs up.
“Really?” Meinan was shocked, and hurried to grab his mirror to see how beautiful he was.
Bang! Purity punched the small mirror out of Meinan’s hand, breaking it in the process.
“You don’t need to look at it, Meinan, you really are very, very beautiful.” Purity smiled innocently.
“Then, why did you break my mirror?” Meinan widened his gaze, staring at the pieces of glasses from the second mirror he wanted to pass down to his son as an heirloom.
“Because she’s afraid your narcissism would double after seeing how beautiful you are.” Kaiser explained with a serious face.
Meinan brushed his hair with his hand, and smiled narcissistically, “I knew it; no matter what I do, I’ll still be the most beautiful thing ever! Hehehe…”
Kaiser and Purity looked at Meinan’s hair, and both gulped. Originally, his messy hair could be called a “passable” look, but after Meinan brushed it, the bizarre look of his hair was now apparent, and they could barely look…
“Nevertheless, we won, right? Dragon Emperor, Your Highness?”
Kaiser said as he threw a provoking look to the Dragon Emperor, whose blue face made Kaiser feel… ha! The best feeling he had ever felt for causing trouble!
Chapter 5 : As Brothers
Since the Knight and Magic duels took too long, it was decided that the Dragon duels would take place the day after. This decision made Kaiser and others feel slightly relaxed, since they now had at least one night to come up with ideas, although they were beginning to feel it was perhaps unnecessary after all…
Everyone stared at each other, and surrounded Baolilong, who really did enjoy being in the center of everyone, eating meat while playing a staring contest with Kaiser.
“Are you sure this little runt even understand the word ‘duel’?” Kaiser gestured at Baolilong, who, despite being grown up, was still holding meat and ate all day. If they were having an eating contest tomorrow, they were bound to win, but unfortunately, it wasn’t… If they were to send these little glutton Dragon to battle, they would definitely not win!
“…” Liola looked at Baolilong speechlessly, but he felt no confidence in it. Although Baolilong appeared to have grown and had gotten more articulate, its personality was still like a little child. He really did not want to ask Baolilong go up to fight, especially when the opponent was likely Miluo, Baolilong’s father.
“I know!” Baolilong swallowed the meat, and protested loudly.
“Ha!” Kaiser was shocked, “You actually learned to say “I”. You used to always say ‘Baolilong wants meat’ or ‘Baolilong is hungry’? When did you learn to say ‘I’?”
“Baolilong really did learn.” Baolilong said proudly, even not realizing it was back to saying “Baolilong” again.
Kaiser scratched his head, and said with a little ounce of hope, “Do you know to fight?”
Baolilong yelled loudly, igniting a bit of hope in everyone’s heart. They thought, despite being a little Dragon, but it was a Sacred White Dragon, the Prince of all Dragons!
Baolilong spoke loudly of the battle experience it had obtained from the small town, “Cook it with lightning and eat it.”
Hearing this, everyone fell to the ground.
“Such a straightforward answer.” Kaiser wiped away his tears, and interrogated, “Then, do you have any ultimate to cook Miluo?”
Baolilong looked with confusion, unsure of what Kaiser meant.
“Ultimate means a powerful move, and Miluo means old papa.” Liola knew what Baolilong did not understand, so he explained directly.
Although it unsure of why it would have to cook its old papa, Baolilong still explained obediently, “I know Dragon Magic, but papa also needs to know, otherwise Baolilong can’t cast it.”
“That’s it! Dragon Magic! I almost forgot that thing existed.” Kaiser jumped up. Dragon Magic was their key to victory; legend had it, it was the greatest Magic among the Dragons. If it could cast Dragon Magic, Baolilong would be able to defeat Miluo… uh, or at least he hoped?
“Quick! Baolilong, hurry and teach your papa!” Kaiser said anxiously.
Baolilong looked at Kaiser blankly, then at Liola, but it did not know how to explain.
Kaiser suddenly had a bad feeling, “Didn’t you say you know Dragon Magic?”
“The truth is…”
Daylight opened his mouth, pulling everyone’s attention. He said with a forced smile, “The one who should really ‘know’ Dragon Magic is Liola, not Baolilong.”
Liola paused. Him? Knowing Dragon Magic?
“What are you talking about? Liola is practically an idiot when it comes Magic, so how could he possibly know?!” Kaiser asked back, but he then suddenly remembered Daylight was also a Knight, with the Dragon, Flames! He asked with hope, “Daylight, you are a Knight too! Then, you know some Dragon Magic, right? Hurry and train Liola!”
“Uh…” Daylight smiled helplessly. It looked like these people knew nothing of the Dragon Magic.
“You guys have seen a lot of Knights, right? And seen them in battle?”
Daylight tried to remind everyone, and they naturally nodded. Obviously they had seen Knights, they were even sieged by Knights!
“Then have you seen any of these Knights use Dragon Magic?” Daylight asked carefully.
Everyone shook their heads in unison.
Daylight smiled bitterly as he dropped the last bomb, “It’s a Magic exclusive to the Dragon Emperor.”
The faces of everyone present were as if… they saw a delicious steak, and when they want to cut into it to enjoy the food, they saw the most grotesque cockroach crawling out from underneath it. In other words, the situation was a dilemma; they knew they could not eat the steak, but their noses still smelled the aroma of the food…
Kaiser’s mouth twitched a bit, and asked with a tiny spark of hope, “Do you think, it might be possible the Dragon Emperor happen to write this Magic down, and put it in a library for others to read?”
“All the Dragon Emperors to date shared the same Heart, so there is no reason to write it down, is there?”
“I knew it. God! The only hope is now gone again!” Kaiser moaned loudly, even to the point where he grabbed Daylight’s shoulders and started shaking it violently, “Hurry! You’re the only ‘other’ person with a Dragon here! Hurry and think of a way to increase Baolilong’s power in a short time! If it continues with these random small electric bolts, how could it possibly win against the mountain-like Miluo?”
“Kaiser.” Daylight said with a bit of shock, “I didn’t say anything just now.”
“Huh?” Kaiser was somewhat confused.
“I didn’t say anything about the Dragon Emperor’s Heart.” Daylight frowned. He was certain it was not his companions’ voice.
A person slowly materialized in the air: golden long hair, and sky blue eyes. Without even changing his severely damaged black-and-white robe, Mizerui’s familiar face slowly appeared in front of everyone.
“I know, you guys are trying to think of something, but this thinking process doesn’t require Liola to be present, right?” Mizerui smiled lightly.
“What do you mean it doesn’t require his presence? This match is his match, and the Dragon is his, he…”
Kaiser suddenly shut himself up, because a dozen black balls were circling the room, and these black gravity balls were Mizerui’s forte. Without even having to guess, everyone knew where these came from. Everyone began to be on guard, especially Meinan, because only his protective shield could stop these gravity balls, and he was already prepared to put up the shield at any time.
“Mizerui, are you in hypnosis again?” Kaiser asked carefully, fearing he might provoke this horrific wanted criminal. Although he asked, but according to his observation, Mizerui did not look like he was under hypnosis at all.
“No.” Mizerui answered calmly, “I just need to speak with Liola.”
Kaiser frowned. Mizerui was practically using this threatening method to speak with Liola? What exactly did he want.
Unfortunately, without giving Kaiser time to even object, Liola said while nodding, “I’ll go with you.” He then stepped out of the door by himself.
“Wait, Liola…” Kaiser’s eyes widened. ‘Does this guy have any sense of what dangers are?’
Liola turned around, shook his head, and said, “Don’t worry, I will be back soon.”
Mizerui withdrew the black balls in the room, and followed Liola out without saying another word. When both of them left the room, the wooden door was closed forcefully, emitting a deep bang as it closed.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” Kaiser’s face sank.
“It should be fine, right? Mizerui isn’t a bad person.” Daylight was slightly confused what Kaiser was worried about.
Kaiser rolled his eyes, and answered mockingly, “Yes, the top ten wanted criminal would, of course, be a good person. Or maybe he was such a kind person and that’s why he made it onto that list. Besides, he was using a dozen gravity balls, perhaps to add decorations to our boring room!”
Daylight stared blankly, but could not think of anything to refute him.
“Forget it, he should be fine.” Kaiser looked towards the door uneasily. ‘He should be fine… right?’
* * *
Although Liola was walking ahead, he did not know where to go. When he was living in the palace, he was in a state of hypnosis for most of the time. After a brief moment of thought, the only thing he remembered was the Kapok tree and Susanna’s grave. Unconsciously, his feet began walking towards that direction.
Mizerui followed quietly. His eyes, hiding behind his glasses, were fixed on Liola’s back. As far as where they would go to speak, he did not seem to care.
After exiting the palace, their feet were met with grass. The Kapok tree and Susanna’s grave were vaguely visible from the distance, but Liola suddenly discovered shockingly; there seemed to be one more tombstone underneath the tree? The last time he was here, there was nothing like that. He suddenly stopped, and stared blankly at the tombstone. His heart already had a vague idea of the truth, but he felt like he could not get close to it.
“You’ve guessed it; that’s Mocha’s tombstone.” Mizerui said coldly.
Although he already had an idea, but when he did indeed hear Mocha’s name, Liola was still deeply shocked.
Mizerui walked past Liola’s frozen body, and began walking towards Mocha’s tombstone. Liola watched as Mizerui walk up, paused a bit, but then followed.
Mizerui walked up to Mocha’s tomb, and stood quietly. Liola walked up and stood to his right. He looked at the tombstone, and the epitaph was as simple as Susanna’s:
Grave of Beloved Son — Mocha
‘Is this where older brother Mocha lies?’ Unknowingly, Liola’s eyes softened as he stared at the tomb, and he even began to fantasize. If he were to open the grave, would he end up finding that Mocha’s corpse was not inside? Or perhaps Mocha would walk out from behind the tree with a smile, give him a warm hug, and tell him this was all a bad dream?
Liola obviously knew this was impossible, but he could not refrain from thinking about it, until a voice interrupted his thoughts…
“You killed Mocha, right?” Mizerui’s voice was slightly shaking. Although Mizerui had his back towards Liola, making it impossible for his face to be seen, Liola did not need to see his face to know how he was feeling — it was the same, deep pain he had felt before.
Liola was quiet for a moment, then said, “It is I who killed older brother Mocha.” When he said this, he felt the pain of a scarred wound being cut open once again.
Mizerui bitterly shook his face, without being able to say a word for a long while.
“You know, I’m a Magician, one brought up by Gle! I’m not easy to hypnotize, and the Dragon Emperor had never been able to succeed. If it were for the news of Mocha’s death, I wouldn’t have…”
Liola paused, and then listened quietly, to Mizerui describing everything that had happened with his choking voice.
“I always thought you and I are alike. We were both brought up by Gle. Gle is a powerful Magician, but not skilled in raising a child. We then both ran into Mocha. Mocha guided me in many things: neither Magic nor fortune telling, but instead in the principles of being a person. I believe, he also guided you in the same ways… So, I always thought of you like, like my own… brother.”
Hearing this, Liola finally understood the feelings Mizerui held towards Mocha. The warm feeling between a father and son or brothers was just like his feeling towards Mocha.
Even though Gle might not have meant it, but his ways of teaching indeed warped the young hearts of Mizerui and Liola. Coincidentally, their twisted hearts both received the corrections they needed from Mocha.
“If you are my brother, why did you kill Mocha!” Mizerui finally turned around. Sure enough, his face was covered with tears, his eyes with rage.
“Sorry…” Liola’s hands trembled. He could not think of words to refute Mizerui. Mizerui had spent much more time with Mocha than him, so their feelings must run way deeper than his, and much harder to relinquish.
“It was just hypnosis! Even if I were under hypnosis, I would never have killed Mocha.”
Liola felt his body taking one step back, and his voice began to shake, “Sorry.”
“Mocha has always lived in pain because of his ability to foresee the future; he only wanted to live quietly in the tower.” Mizerui smiled bitterly, “Such a simple, simple wish, why couldn’t he have it! I used to think you would crush the Heart of the Dragon Emperor, freeing Mocha from all the pains of his predictions.”
“But why would you kill him instead?!” Mizerui roared, as if his sanity had collapsed.
“Sorry.” Liola said nothing except repeating the same thing.
Being criticized again and again, Liola backed up again and again. He began to panic as he did not know how to respond to Mizerui. The wound of his heart was slashed again and again like a knife, leaving him with the inability to face Mizerui, even to the point of burying his face in his hands to escape from this reality.
Mizerui pulled Liola’s hands away, grabbed his chin, forcing their eyes to meet. He roared, “Look at me!”
Seeing Mizerui’s unreserved hatred in his eyes reminded Liola, the person whose hands were stained in his brother’s blood could never be happy. The only thing Liola could do was helplessly repeat himself, “Sorry, sorry…”
“Do you really think Mocha would live again if you say sorry enough times?” Mizerui yelled angrily, “Do you? Tell me, Liola!”
After yelling with all his strength, Mizerui was catching his breath. His head was lowered, and all he saw was his hand reaching Liola’s thin neck. Such a thin neck… as if a light squeeze would make it snap. Would it? Unconsciously, he began to grip harder and harder. Truth was, he was not doing this consciously, but rather he was simply venting his anger, not knowing he could one day regret this.
Liola painfully grabbed Mizerui’s hands, but the hands seemed shockingly tight, or perhaps even Liola himself did not actually want to push the hands away. If… he were to die in front of Mocha’s grave, it wouldn’t be a bad ending, right?
Liola even closed his eyes, slowly waiting for death and the permanent darkness accompanied by it… However, when he closed his eyes, his companions’ faces slowly drifted into his mind. They willingly followed him to the Dragon Continent, going into one unfair match after another. They could lose their lives at any moment, but not one of them backed down…
‘I can’t back down either!’
Liola suddenly opened his eyes, and forcefully pushed Mizerui aside. This push made Mizerui take several steps back. After all, the difference of physical strength between a Warrior and a Magician was obvious, and there was no way Mizerui could be stronger in terms of physical strength. The only reason why Liola felt Mizerui was stronger before was purely because of his state of mind, and because of Mizerui’s anger and Liola’s guilt, causing him not wanting to fight back, rather than Liola really not being able to break free.
Initially, after being pushed aside, Mizerui was now even more furious, but when he raised his head to look towards Liola, he saw his face turned red because of lack of air, and was now coughing endlessly after finally getting air again. Mizerui froze.
He finally realized what he was doing. He… was actually trying to strangle Liola?
“I…” Mizerui blankly took a step towards Liola, wanting to explain what he did was not intentional.
Liola cautiously took a step back, and explained apologetically, “S-sorry… I can’t die just yet.”
No… Mizerui panickedly walked a few steps again, but he could not find the words to explain himself. He didn’t want to kill him, no!
As Mizerui closed in, Liola took steps back again, until he had his back against the trunk of the Kapok tree. He still thought Mizerui wanted to kill him, but he knew he could not die. He began to plead, “At least let me finish tomorrow’s match. After the match, you can kill me in any fashion you want.”
Mizerui paused, and it was a long while before his found his voice again and was finally able to explain, “That’s not it. I don’t want to kill you. I-I just lost control for a moment there…”
Liola paused, and a strange feeling suddenly arose in his heart. He looked suspiciously at Mizerui, thinking he may be under attack again. But strangely, all he saw was Mizerui’s mouth opening and closing, as though he was talking, but no words could be heard at all… No! It was not just Mizerui’s words. He usually could hear every kind of noise around him; the sounds, no matter how faint, could not escape his ears.
However, now he could not hear anything. The whole world was now suddenly completely silent to him. He panicked a little bit, wondering if he had gone deaf.
When he looked around, Liola realized the entire world seemed strange to him. The colors of everywhere he looked seemed to be slowly fading away, leaving behind only white and black. Then, the images he saw began to warp. He had no idea what was going on, and he wondered if he was even still in the same world.
‘Where is this place? What is happening?’
Mizerui talked for a while, both explaining himself and apologizing for his actions, but Liola did not have the slightest response. When he was getting a bit curious about the strange situation, Liola’s body slowly slipped along the trunk of the tree, until he fell down to the ground next to the root. He lied on the ground, with his eyes closed, as if he had passed out.
Mizerui was deeply shocked. He thought he might have held Liola’s neck for too long, and caused him to pass out now. When he wanted to go up to check on Liola, an unexpected person stepped out from behind the Kapok tree.
A purple, elegant figure walked out from behind the tree slowly, with a faint smile on his handsome face. He lowered his head to look at the unconscious Liola.
“What are you doing! Don’t touch him!” Mizerui roared loudly, as a dozen gravity spheres materialize around him, surrounding both of them. If the Dragon Emperor tried anything funny, he would attack immediately.
The Dragon Emperor looked at Mizerui, and said with a smile, “Don’t worry, he will wake up tomorrow morning, and he will be completely unscathed.”
“What did you do to him?”
Mizerui’s rage continued to rise. He already knew, the cause of Liola passing out could be none other than the Dragon Emperor, and the Dragon Emperor would never be do anything good.
Mizerui held his fists tightly. If it were not for Mocha’s warning to him to never face the Dragon Emperor, because he was an opponent he could not defeat… He would have already attacked! Because, after all, the Dragon Emperor was the person who actually caused Mocha’s death!
The Dragon Emperor chuckled loudly a few times, “Do you really think I would tell my enemies?”
“You!” Mizerui’s eyes were now bloodshot.
“However, you need not worry.” The Dragon Emperor showed his tolerant and warm smile, and said lightly, “I won’t take him away. I’ll leave him right here. You can take him to wherever you like, or… you can even strangle him to death if you want.”
Mizerui’s momentum stagnated a bit. He did indeed try to strangle Liola just now, and he could not refute the statement.
Seeing Mizerui showing a sign of guilt, the Dragon Emperor smile grew. Ah! What a pleasure it was to see his enemies kill one another!
In any case, he need not push any further than this. The Dragon Emperor did not want to fight with Mizerui here either, not that he would be afraid of losing. Instead, this fight would be completely meaningless, and he did not like to do anything meaningless.
When he was about to leave, the Dragon Emperor suddenly turned his head, and said with malice, “Oh, right, I really have to thank you for weakening the successor’s heart to such a fragile state. Otherwise, I might not have been able to invade into his thoughts.”
Mizerui’s face suddenly sank. When the Dragon Emperor left with his happy pacing and laughters, Mizerui finally knelt before Liola, and softly held him up.
“Liola? Liola? Please wake up…” Mizerui called out endlessly, but Liola never opened his eyes. Mizerui looked more and more panicked, and he continued to call out without stopping…
“Why wouldn’t you wake up?”
Mizerui was now anxious and did not know what to do. He did not excel in mind Magic, and had no idea what the Dragon Emperor actually did to Liola. He thought, the point of what the Dragon Emperor did must not be simply making Liola unconscious… because it was the Dragon Duel tomorrow, and unless Liola would suddenly figure out Dragon Magic, his presence in the battle would not affect the outcome of it.
However, Dragon Magic was exclusive to the Dragon Emperor… or perhaps one should say, the ultimate of the Heart of Dragon Emperor. There was no reason for the Heart to come and teach Liola Dragon Magic so he would defeat the Heart, right? Without guidance, Liola, who had very little knowledge of Magic, could not possibly gain the insights of Dragon Magic himself in the short span of a night.
Then, what exactly did the Dragon Emperor do?
Why would he do something to Liola, right before a match he was almost undoubtedly going to win?
Mizerui’s thoughts were now in chaos, and now, Dragon Emperor’s words began to ring his mind again,
‘I really have to thank you for weakening the successor’s heart to such a fragile state. Otherwise, I might not have been able to invade into his thoughts.’
Mizerui tiredly buried his face between his hands. When he finally raised his head, he was facing Mocha’s tombstone directly. His guilt made it near impossible to face Mocha. Mocha must had wanted Mizerui to take good care of Liola, instead of venting all his anger onto him.
Even if the Dragon Emperor was kind enough to not have done anything, Liola was the type of person to easily blame himself on things. Now that Mizerui provoked him, he must not be able to forgive himself again… No, just judging from what Liola said about letting Mizerui kill him in any fashion he wanted after the match, Mizerui knew this little runt had never forgiven himself for killing Mocha.
‘Damn! Why did I continue to provoke him!’
“Sorry… Liola. I knew it wasn’t your fault, but I really needed to vent. I’m like you, we both love Mocha. He was warm like a father, and you must feel the same the way. Right, Liola?”
Mizerui put his forehead up against Liola’s, and said lightly, “My brother, I’m sorry!”
Chapter 6 : The Past
“I knew it! I knew it! He walked out standing, and come back lying down. This guy must have a desire to make me worry until all my hair fall off!” Kaiser paced back and forth while murmuring to himself, and he would occasionally scratch his hair crazily.
“Kaiser, calm down a bit.” Although he was telling Kaiser to calm down, but even Meinan himself frowned.
Baolilong was leaning against the bed, and the person lying on the bed was the one Mizerui carried back — Liola. The little kid thought about it briefly, then finally crawled up to bed, peeled open the cover, and ducked inside.
“You’re not allowed to sleep!” Kaiser angrily took the blanket away.
“Gimme back the blanket!” Baolilong jumped up, trying to grab the blanket back from Kaiser’s hands, but Kaiser already threw the blanket to the side. Baolilong yelled, and hurried off to get the blanket back.
Baolilong held the blanket with its little hands, and returned to bed. When Kaiser thought it was about to go back to sleep on the bed, it laid the blanket out, and carefully covered it on top of Liola’s body, while pouting and glaring at Kaiser, “Kaiser idiot, without blanket, papa would get sick.”
Kaiser was speechless. He could not fathom this little guy was growing up so quickly, and it would even tuck its dad in bed.
“If only you would grow a bit faster.” Kaiser’s face sank again. What were they going to do about the fight tomorrow?
He turned his head and saw that, after tucking Liola squarely in the blanket, Baolilong was getting into the bed to sleep again. Kaiser quickly walked up, wanting to drag Baolilong out of bed again, but he was stopped by Daylight, “It still has to fight tomorrow, so let it rest.”
“Even if it’s awake, nothing would be any different.” Daylight shook his head, “We might as well let it rest for tomorrow’s fight.”
Kaiser glanced at Baolilong, paused briefly, and agreed with Daylight.
“What do we do now?” Kaiser turned around, and asked everyone else.
“Liola…” Meinan looked at the unconscious person, and said helplessly, “Since we can’t even wake him up right now, we might as well listen to the Dragon Emperor, and hope he would wake up unscathed tomorrow. Our most pressing question now is how Baolilong would win the match tomorrow?”
“Flames, you’re the only Dragon, do you have any good ideas?” Kaiser showed a desperate expression while looking at their only hope.
Flames said directly, “None whatsoever.”
Everyone’s face sank, but Kaiser still would not give up, “Think about it some more.”
Flames was silent for a while, then shook its head again, and said, “Judging by Highness Baolilong’s age, it is already quite strong. It’s only twenty something, and its appearance is almost the same as mine. I’m already fifty years old and I was even considered to be fastest growing one among the Dragons.”
“It’s too difficult for Highness Baolilong to defeat Miluo.” Flames frowned, “Miluo is already over a thousand years old, and Black Dragons are a powerful race. Among all Dragons, Black Dragons may very well be considered the best fighters.”
Kaiser cursed, “Damn! So he’s a thousand-year-old super old geezer.”
“Then what do Sacred White Dragons specialize in?” Daylight asked earnestly, hoping for a special power to win them the fight.
Flames thought seriously, “Healing, purifying, astronomy, and fortune telling, especially fortune telling. Legend has it the White Dragons can dream of the future. But Highness Baolilong doesn’t seem to know any of it, perhaps because no Dragon taught it.”
“Are these useful in battle?” Kaiser asked unbelievably, “Unless it could purify Miluo?”
“Of course not. Miluo is a live Dragon, not a wraith.” Flames glared at Kaiser.
Kaiser showed despair, “Then is there any other suggestion better than to push Baolilong onto the arena and watching it lose in a minute?”
“Could we try to wake Miluo? After all, he is Baolilong’s papa. Making them fight each other is too pitiful.” Purity suggested carefully, fearing her suggestion would make everyone more frustrated.
Everyone was silent for a while, then, all of their eyes flashed with light, especially Kaiser; he was close to jumping for joy. He yelled loudly, “You’re right, Purity!”
Purity was shocked, because she did not know why Kaiser would react so emotionally. By the looks of it, he seemed to be agreeing with her idea, so it was great either way. She was holding her chest, trying to stop her heart from jumping out.
“That’s right.” Meinan nodded, and said excitedly, “We should never attack this problem from Baolilong’s side. True power is true power, and it’s impossible to change it greatly in a night.”
“That’s why, we should come at this problem from our enemy.” Kaiser continued, “Miluo is not fighting out of his own will. If he wakes up, he would definitely surrender, and then we will win.”
Kaiser thought for a moment, then murmured, “Now we have to think what could possibly affect Miluo? Gladiolus woke up from seeing sister Meiji. Going with that, if we find a picture of Bairui, then we…”
Hearing this, everyone’s eyes were shining again, almost to the point of opening bottles of champagne to celebrate their victory tomorrow.
“But,” Daylight suddenly asked, “Where are we going to find Bairui’s picture?”
The crowd’s celebration suddenly stopped. Right! Bairui had been technically dead for more than twenty years. Where were they to find her picture now? Were they supposed to go knock on the Dragon Emperor’s door and as him if he kept a picture of his Sacred White Dragon?
“I think it’s useless, because I’ve tried, but I think you guys should still have it.”
Everyone raised their head. Ever since bringing Liola back and simply stated what happened, Mizerui had been standing there quietly, but he was now holding an aging photo. The picture was of a man, a woman, and a child. The man was obviously Miluo, but this was the first time they had seen the woman. She was very pretty, with a warm and gentle smile, but the corner of her eye had a slight hint of playfulness.
“Why would you have this picture? And this woman is Bairui? Don’t tell me the child between Miluo and Bairui is…” Kaiser looked in disbelief at Mizerui.
“It’s me.” Mizerui seemed a bit embarrassed, but also nostalgic, “I met Mocha when he was around a hundred. Back then, Miluo still often lived in the palace. Those two would often come to meet Mocha, and they would always take me out for a picnic.”
* * *
“A boy should be more lively; don’t stay in your room all day.”
“Damn kid, stop being the third wheel!”
“Miluo, Mitsy, the meat is done, come eat.”
* * *
Mizerui shook his head, trying to bury the past deeper in his mind.
“If he would attack his most precious child, the child he had with Bairui, then I don’t think this picture would do anything.” Mizerui decided to prepared them emotionally, so when they notice the picture would not work tomorrow, they would not become completely clueless.
“You’re right. Not only do we have the picture, we also have Miluo’s child, and even the Dragon Cross Necklace where Bairui’s soul once resided. No matter what, we have to take this gamble.” Kaiser said firmly. He knew the necklace was now with Liola, and it had once brought Miluo out of his hibernation. Although the Dragon Emperor would obviously also be aware of this, and would most likely have ways to stop them from using it, but now they had little choice.
Mizerui thought for a minute, then nodded. He had already heard, if they were to lose, Liola must eat the Heart of the Dragon Emperor, so they had to try everything no matter what.
“Mizerui!” Kaiser snapped and pointed his finger at Mizerui’s nose, “Tomorrow you better stay here, and protect this sleeping butthead. Problem?”
Mizerui shook his head. This thing was started by him, and it was natural for him to do that.
“All right, all right! Everyone go back and sleep. We’ll all have things to worry about tomorrow.” Kaiser got off from his chair, and yelled.
Everyone got up to go back to their respective room; Purity was the girl, so she had a room to herself. Daylight and Meinan were sharing a room, leaving behind Kaiser and Liola in the same room, so Kaiser did not have to go anywhere. When everyone else had left the room, Kaiser walked up to the door and closed it.
Kaiser walked back, and carelessly lay on his bed. With his hands behind his head, his eyes on the ceiling, Kaiser began to wonder if he could even sleep at all tonight.
“Hey! Mizerui, if we lose tomorrow, would you take him away?”
Mizerui paused, and he was shocked Kaiser had the same thought he had. The reason why he stayed behind before was, other than fearing the Dragon Emperor would do something to Liola, he thought the chance for victory was miniscule… If necessary, he would take Liola and leave the Dragon Continent. Even if they had to spend the rest of their lives hiding, it would be better than eating the Heart of the Dragon Emperor.
“Mhm.” But perhaps it would be impossible to successfully take him away. It was impossible for the Dragon Emperor to not be prepared for this, and he probably had already made it impossible for them to escape… Mizerui’s heart sank.
“If you can’t take him away,” Kaiser’s tone sounded very calm, without a hint of emotion, “Then, let him sleep peacefully forever.”
Mizerui paused. Sleeping forever? Did this mean what he thought it meant?
“He has been in pain for far too long.” After saying this, Kaiser did not make any other explanation. He turned around, and stopped talking.
It was a long time before Mizerui said anything,
“Mm, I understand.”
* * *
Although it looked like he was lying calmly on the bed, but there was a whole different world in Liola’s mind. Since the moment he had his back onto that Kapok tree, the entire world had begun to change; from losing color in the beginning, to the warping of images, until the entire world looked completely different.
“Trash Lucifer, idiot Lucifer, retarded Lucifer who doesn’t know Magic, hahaha.”
A group of children suddenly appeared before Liola, and they were making fun of him. However, the name they spoke was unfamiliar, their faces were unfamiliar, and even the surrounding forests and villages were unfamiliar.
‘Lucifer? I’m not Lucifer, I’m Liola.’
Liola wanted to open his mouth to explain, only to realize he had absolutely no control over his body. His body was shaking, and a sense of fear and injustice rose in his mind, intertwined with anger. Why must he sustain such insults?
‘No, there must be a force in this world that could compete with Magic, and I will find that power.’
Wait, Liola began to frown. These were not his thoughts, so where did these ideas and emotions came from?
‘Special training! I must undergo special training! I must go through every training, no matter how much hardship I must endure.’
Liola blankly sensed the feelings that did not belong to him; the emotions were like burning passion and determination that would never falter. Though he knew not who this person was, but Liola still quietly experienced these emotions. These feelings were, for the person like him who lacked emotions, the things he lacked the most. To sense a passion like this, it was a rather unique experience for Liola.
As for what Lucifer’s special trainings entailed, it was strict enough to scare every single Dragon Emperor who had ever obtained the Heart’s memory for thousands of years… except this one. No matter how strict the training was, it always had the goal of becoming stronger, rather than death. In comparison, Devil Gle’s method of training was more aiming for death than to become stronger.
In fact, if he could talk, Liola really did want to guide Lucifer on harsher ways of training.
Luckily, this was just an excerpt of memory. Otherwise, if Lucifer could really hear Liola’s words, he might have followed the advice and died in training, then Knights would not have been born into this world. Or perhaps, he would be so angry at Liola’s words that he would spit out three liters of blood.
[T/N: Typical “comical” Chinese belief: if someone gets extremely angry, they would end up spitting out blood.]
‘I found it! My power, the power that comes from within my body.’
‘It’s decided! I will name it, Aura!’
The person who named it Aura… Liola began to sense Lucifer may be that person… or perhaps one should say, “that Heart”. Was the Heart of the Dragon Emperor trying to make him understand what happened in the past? In order to change his mind?
Though he had guessed the intent of the Heart, Liola still did not know what he could do. He did not think these memories could affect him, so he decided to watch quietly for a while before deciding on what he would do next; perhaps he could even find a way to save Caffey within these memories.
‘…It should represent a higher order. It represents honor, obedience to rules, and righteousness, it… no, we should represent all those things, and our name will be Knights!’
Lucifer was similar to Daylight back then: he was full of passion, sense of righteousness, and he was bound by honor and the Knight’s code.
Since he was living within Lucifer’s body, Liola obviously couldn’t see how “his own” face looked like. After thinking Lucifer was like Daylight, he began to imagine Daylight’s face when he thought of Lucifer’s appearance.
Liola paused a moment, and quickly rid his mind of that thought. If he were to treat Lucifer like Daylight, by the time he woke up, he might feel sympathy towards the Heart… No! No matter what kind of person he was at the start, the Heart of the Dragon Emperor in the present deserved no sympathy.
‘We followed good conduct, why?’
‘We used Aura to maintain righteousness, why?’
‘We did nothing wrong, why?’
These words echoed again and again in Liola’s ears. Unknowingly, he began to doubt: was Lucifer really wrong? All he wanted was to receive equal treatment compared to the Magicians, but he was persecuted. Was he wrong? Or were other people wrong?
‘No! I can’t be affected.’ He thought about Kaiser, Baolilong, Daylight, Meinan, and Purity, then about Anise and Bairui… When Liola thought about these people, he suddenly felt warmth in his heart, and his mood calmed down again, escaping Lucifer’s influence.
He would definitely be able to survive through these illusions without a problem!
* * *
Mizerui suddenly woke up. With a frown, he looked at Liola on the bed whom was still lying there peacefully and fully asleep. He paused a moment, then thought he must had been too tense, and that’s why he had such a rude awakening.
He looked up at the clock for the time; it was about time to wake them. He got up, and planned to wake the other three people who were easier to wake before coming back for Kaiser.
He walked out the door and closed it behind him.
When Mizerui left, Baolilong turned, putting itself back into papa’s arms, but flashing light made it impossible for it to sleep. Baolilong pouted as it opened its eyes, trying to figure out where the lights that disturbed its sleep were coming from.
Baolilong got up, and curiously looked at the light flashing on Liola’s chest. It reached under Liola’s shirt, and grabbed around, getting the necklace out from in front of Liola’s chest. The source of the flashes was the Dragon Cross Necklace. Baolilong stared blankly at the necklace, pondering why it would suddenly begin to glow.
Baolilong tilted its head, and asked, “Mama?”
“What are you doing?”
Kaiser’s voice could suddenly be heard, and surprised Baolilong. It turned around, and sure enough, it saw Kaiser with his messy hair; he kept yawning, and his eyes were only half open.
Before Baolilong answered, Mizerui was back in the room. Seeing the hardest two people to wake were already awake, even having seen the world, Mizerui was a bit stunned.
Kaiser stretched his back, and finally opened his eyes completely. He saw Baolilong was holding the Dragon Cross Necklace, and he said, “Baolilong, keep your papa’s Dragon Cross Necklace on you. When you fight today, you will find it useful.”
Baolilong nodded, took the necklace from papa’s neck, and put it on its own. It had initially thought its mama would continue talking, but the Dragon Cross Necklace’s lights stopped flashing. Nevertheless, Baolilong did not seem to mind much. If mama wanted to talk again, she would reach out to it.
“Okay, Baolilong, let’s go! Kaiser will take you to fill your stomach up, so you will have the strength to fight!”
Kaiser yelled. Hearing about food, Baolilong naturally agreed loudly. These two gluttons held each other’s hands, planning on showing the royal chef what the meaning of “bottomless stomach” was.
“Liola’s safety is in your hands!” Kaiser closed the door as he said to Mizerui, “I will take some food back for you before the match.”
Mizerui nodded towards him, turned his head back, and stared at Liola once again.
Suddenly, he sensed a bit of haze on Liola’s face, but when he looked it carefully again, there was nothing to be seen; Liola still seemed to be sound asleep.
“An illusion, maybe?” Mizerui murmured to himself.
Chapter 7 : A Dragon’s Duel between Father and Son
Baolilong turned into a beautiful and elegant Dragon, and carried everyone towards the largest training ground. Although the Dragon Emperor had not announced who their opponent was, Kaiser and others had already guessed it would be Miluo. Since Miluo’s body size was no different than that of a small mountain, so of course they needed a large arena.
“Baolilong, listen to me. You must not lose, understand?” Kaiser really could not think of a good way to make Baolilong, with its childish personality, to take this fight seriously, so he had to use a harsher tone… Truth was, the situation was rather serious, so he was simply being completely honest.
Baolilong flew as it stared at Kaiser with its pink eyes, but to be covered in confusion.
“Baolilong…” Kaiser was a bit hesitant to tell the consequences of the situation to a child, but if Baolilong gave up easily, then Liola would be in a terrible situation.
He took a deep breath, and said, “If you lose, your papa will die.”
The flying suddenly became very unstable, but luckily everyone was already expecting it. Purity was already sitting on Flames, but strangely Daylight was not on Flames’ back. Baolilong was carrying the two Magicians who knew Levitation: Kaiser and Meinan. However, even though they could fly, their faces were still a bit pale from the unstable flight.
“Why would papa die? Papa won’t die. Kaiser is lying!”
As Baolilong asked the question emotionally, its snow-white Dragon body also began to shake left and right. Kaiser tried to hold back his nausea as he thought to himself, ‘The little runt actually knows to ask for reason; it has really grown, but now it’s harder to fool, tsk!’
“Baolilong, did you see how hard we tried to win yesterday?” Meinan suddenly opened his mouth.
“I did see.” Baolilong nodded with its long Dragon head.
“That’s because this match is very, very important to your papa.” Meinan said with a very serious tone. He believed Baolilong was old enough to discuss the complications of the matter truthfully. Rather than lying to it, Meinan decided it was better to speak the truth.
“If he loses this match, he will… become not himself anymore.”
“Baolilong doesn’t understand.” Baolilong pouted. Papa was papa, why would it become not papa?
“Do you like the ice cold Liola?” Kaiser asked, “The personally he had when you were both living inside the palace?”
Baolilong pouted, “No, that papa is vicious, and even beats Baolilong.”
“If you lose this match, your papa might even… become worse than back then.” Kaiser suddenly remembered what he said to Mizerui; it was a decision he was hesitant to make, because he did not want to see “Liola not being Liola”.
Baolilong frowned, and its voice already sounded like weeping, “No! I don’t want papa to get worse.”
“Then, please, you must win. You can’t lose!” Kaiser held his fist tightly. He really did not want to demand this of Baolilong; after all, it was only a child, and its opponent was far too strong. But if he did not talk like this, how was it to make the childish Baolilong face this seriously?
“Okay, Baolilong will definitely win.” Baolilong nodded seriously.
Seeing this, Meinan and Kaiser both began to tell it what to do, “Baolilong, take the Dragon Cross Necklace and your mother’s picture, then…”
Baolilong listened seriously while answering, “Mm, mm, okay…”
Before they spoke for long, the Knights before them began to fly downwards. Were they already there? Kaiser looked forward, but he did not see any black mountains; so where was Miluo?
Baolilong would not think that much; instead it simply followed the lead to fly down, and slowly landed on the ground. As soon as it landed, Kaiser and Meinan got off Baolilong’s back. The two of them looked left and right, even raising their heads to look at the sky. However, they were not able to see a trace of a Black Dragon even after the necks started to get sore.
“If you are looking for a Black Dragon, try looking back on the ground.”
The Dragon Emperor’s elegant voice could be heard, and pulled the two people’s attention. They looked towards the Dragon Emperor, only to notice a man dressed in black standing next to the Dragon Emperor. His hair was dark as night, and his red eyes that should have been filled with a burning flame was now nothing but cold and aloof. If one were to look closer, they could see a vague familiarity to Baolilong’s looks.
A figure suddenly collided into Kaiser’s chest. The momentum made Kaiser grunt, and then he had “intimate contact” with the ground. Seeing Kaiser suddenly fall to the ground, Meinan was surprised. When he looked, he finally realized, the human-shaped Baolilong was sitting on top of Kaiser. It looked at Kaiser and Meinan with innocent eyes, even though it knew it had done something wrong.
“You little bastard… no, you’re not little anymore, you big bastard.” Kaiser gritted his teeth as he pushed Baolilong aside. He sat up, rubbed his wounded chest, and yelled, “Do you really think you’re still a little child?! I almost got flattened by you.”
Baolilong pouted. It was just forgetting it had grown up “again”.
Kaiser coughed a few times, and thought about the little guy who would be the going on the arena soon, so it was not the time to make it mad. He immediately threw a smile on his face, “It’s fine! It’s fine! Just a light tackle; I, Kaiser, am strong a sturdy, and this little collision won’t stop me, cough, cough… Uh, I just choked on my own saliva, hahaha cough…”
Baolilong looked at Kaiser with confusion; Kaiser was laughing strangely. He was laughing while coughing and his face was getting red from it. Baolilong went over to pat Kaiser’s back like a good little kid, but because it accidentally patted too hard, it almost caused Kaiser to face-plant into the dirt again. Kaiser angrily grabbed Baolilong’s face, and began to pull it to the left and right…
“Mm… Mm it hurts.”
Baolilong protested with tears in its eyes, and its hands would not rest either; it grabbed Kaiser’s face. Kaiser yelled loudly, and began to pull even harder.
Purity said worriedly, “Kaiser, don’t pull it so hard; Baolilong’s face is turning red.”
Kaiser rolled his eyes, and thought, ‘Why don’t you tell Baolilong to go easier? I feel like my face is about to be pulled off.’
Meinan looked helplessly at the man and child… or rather, someone who was a teenager. They were already at the stadium, but still bickering like this; how childish of them!
“Dragon Emperor, Your Highness, how do you want this match to be decided?” Meinan had no other choice, so he left the human the Dragon play the face-pulling game, while he went and took care of business.
The Dragon Emperor smiled and shook his head, “There are no rules; they can be either in the Dragon form or the human form. If a side lands on the ground and not able to get up within ten seconds, or if the side surrenders, then that side loses.”
“I understand.” Meinan forced a smile. This rule was far better than surrendering or death… but did this mean the Dragon Emperor was completely confident he would win, so he did not need any sinister plans?
“Then let’s have the two contestants have a friendly handshake.” The Dragon Emperor suggested.
Meinan looked towards Miluo, whose face was still devoid of expression. He yelled at the two who were still playing, “Baolilong, come greet your papa.”
Baolilong looked over; with red cheeks, it pouted and complained, “No, he’s old papa, not papa.”
Although it was still complaining, Baolilong still obediently walked towards Miluo and did what Meinan and Kaiser asked it to do: it tried to hug Miluo while yelling, “Papa, I am Baolilong.”
First attack, family love, the call of his own child. Kaiser and others secretly thought, ‘Go Baolilong, go! Use your pure and cute looks to wake Miluo up!’
Unfortunately, Miluo already took a step to the side while Baolilong was trying to hug him, which made Baolilong grab nothing but air. With a bang, Baolilong fell face-first into the ground.
‘God…’ Meinan shook his head, and Kaiser buried his face into his palm, trying not to look.
“Mm… it hurts.” Baolilong struggled to get up, and its pink eyes were filled with tears. It blinked a few times, and shook its head. After wiping away the tears, Baolilong stood up firmly.
Baolilong took out the Dragon Cross Necklace on its shoulder, and held it up to Miluo like it was offering him some rare treasure, then it said, “Papa, look! This is mama.”
Miluo looked at Baolilong from the corner of his eyes, but did not speak a word.
“And, and…” Baolilong took out a wrinkled picture from its pocket, “This is papa and mama’s picture, but the one in the middle is not Baolilong.”
Baolilong reached out its hands but then pulled it back immediately. It looked at the picture and pondered, wondering why the one in the center was not itself. It raised its head and asked curiously, “Old papa, why was Baolilong not in it?”
‘You’re doing great, Baolilong!’ Kaiser cheered in his mind. This was not something he or Meinan or taught it, and he did not expect Baolilong to adapt this well.
“Mama never comes out of the necklace. And this morning, after calling Baolilong, she stopped talking again.” Baolilong pouted, and kept complaining, “Old papa is a big idiot. You never hug Baolilong, and always run off quickly.”
Baolilong… Kaiser, Purity, and Meinan were all staring at the pouting and tearing Baolilong. So… this was not it adapting to the situation, but instead how it truly felt. It made sense, considering it was abandoned in the Dragon Empire, without the company of its father or mother, it must have been lonely.
Miluo’s eyes flashed a hint of softness, but because everyone’s attention was drawn by Baolilong’s words, no one noticed this change.
“Such touching love between father and child.” The Dragon Emperor smiled lightly, “But the match must go on. Have the father and child spent enough time talking yet?”
Meinan glared at the Dragon Emperor. Having only a father, he was fully aware of how Baolilong must have felt, and that was also the reason why he could never forgive the Dragon Emperor for forcing Baolilong to fight with its father.
Seeing Miluo still was emotionless, Baolilong mustered the last of its courage, and yelled, “Old papa.”
Kaiser and others were all cheering for Baolilong in their hearts. ‘Hurry and take out your most pitiful and cute side, so Miluo would be reluctant to let you g. Then, he can escape the hypnosis… and we would win without fighting, hehehe!‘ The three began fantasizing the same thing without talking to one another about it.
“Old papa…” Baolilong raised its head to look at Miluo, and complained while pouting its mouth, “Why haven’t you surrendered! Baolilong already did everything Kaiser and Meinan said, old papa should surrender now.”
If Miluo had a bit of softness before, it was now completely gone. He flew a large distance back, and stared coldly at Baolilong. The latter saw such cold eyes, and cringed a bit, and turned around to look at Kaiser and others bewilderedly.
Kaiser and Meinan were also clueless. Since the attack with family intimacy failed, other than a real fight, there seemed to be no other options.
“Is there anything else we could do…” Meinan began to ask Kaiser. He really did not want Baolilong to have to fight with its biological father. Baolilong was still a little child, and despite it having the appearance of a teenager, its mindset was still that of a seven year-old.
Asking a seven year old child to battle and the opponent was its biological father; this was far… far too cruel.
“Baolilong is too pitiful.” Purity’s wept.
Truthfully, Kaiser was a bit hesitant, but this was Liola’s last chance, so should they really give up without even trying?
“Baolilong, i-if you really don’t want to fight…” Kaiser yelled with hesitation.
Baolilong said instead, “I’m going to fight now!” Its tone was as if it was about to go play.
Unlike Miluo’s agile leap, Baolilong walked onto the arena steadily. Miluo stood still quietly, its prideful stance seemed to have no weakness.
Kaiser and Meinan turned to look at Baolilong. Baolilong seemed like it did not know what it should do: in one moment it scratched its face, in another it would look at Miluo, in yet another moment it would look at the ants crawling by on the ground, and when it reached its foot out, it stepped on the ant. All in all, it was as though Baolilong had ADHD, and could not settle down.
“I-I’m really worried.” Purity looked at Baolilong in the arena, almost felt sorry enough for it to rush up and bring it back.
Meinan also locked his eyebrows.
Kaiser, on the other hand, had already buried his face in his palm, because he could not bear to watch, hoping that Baolilong would not lose in just one move…
“Then, let’s start with the match.” The Dragon Emperor today seemed unusually laid back. He did not seem to be in a rush to begin the match, and even after the match began, his eyes would often look away from the arena.
After Baolilong heard the signal to start, its little brain did not think about anything. Things like when it should attack and what the opponent’s weaknesses might be were not at all in its head. As soon as it heard “start”, Baolilong naturally began to attack.
It opened its mouth, and a bolt of electricity shot out.
Miluo quickly jumped, and easily avoided the attack. A black ray came out of his right hand, but the attack did not seem very powerful. It was probably used to gauge Baolilong’s abilities.
“Ahhh! Baolilong, dodge!” Purity grabbed her cheeks and screamed, almost having to close her eyes to stop watching.
However, Baolilong did indeed dodge the attack like a master, and also it was just in the nick of time, missing the attack by the most miniscule of distances. Kaiser vaguely felt this action looked familiar, as if he had seen it before.
“Baolilong’s Highness seemed to be stronger than we imagine; it is indeed the Dragon with a master such as Liola.” Flames was now standing next to Kaiser in its human-form.
“Ah! Right, that looks just like Liola!” Kaiser suddenly realized. Didn’t that Assassin love to use this scary way to dodge? So Baolilong was imitating him!
“The Dragon and its master affect each other quite a bit.” Flames knew these three did not have a Dragon, and therefore did not understand such matters, so it took up role of explainer, “Especially the bond between Liola and Baolilong’s Highness, because they both signed a Dragon bond, the effect they have on each other runs even deeper.”
“Are you saying Baolilong might have learnt Liola’s Kung Fu?” Kaiser asked with extreme anticipation. If that was the case, then there might still be some hope for this match.
Flames broke everyone’s hope by shaking his head, and said, “Kung Fu isn’t something you learn by simply affecting one another, just that Baolilong’s Highness might try to imitate Liola’s way of fighting and his moves.”
Kaiser and others’ faces sank again, but as soon as they heard something happening in the arena, their eyes were immediately fixed on the arena. On one hand, they were worried about Baolilong losing, but on the other hand, they were worried Baolilong might get seriously injured.
Baolilong was actually performing even better than Kaiser had thought. Under Liola’s influence, Baolilong’s dodging skills were excellent. Even though Miluo’s black rays were incredibly fast, Baolilong was always able to dodge it in the nick of time.
Perhaps Baolilong did not know Liola’s Kung Fu, nor understand things like Ki or Windborne Blade, but dodging depended on basic attributes like perception and speed, and basic attributes… were exactly the things the master would have the most influence on the Dragon.
With Liola’s influence, Baolilong, who had evolved once already, was developing unconsciously towards speed and agility. In addition, having thin and elegant bodies, Sacred White Dragons were indeed fit to develop this way. This was why Baolilong, despite not being completely grown up, would have unsurpassable flying speed compared to other Dragons.
Although Baolilong could avoid defeat by relying on its speed, but it was also because Miluo was not completely serious yet. Miluo was simply trying to see where Baolilong’s strength lies, and by now he was more and more certain that speed was the advantage Baolilong held.
‘It’s time to take this fight seriously.’ The Black Dragon King’s red eyes tightened, and suddenly raised both of his hands. A dozen black rays shot out from each of arms, and headed towards Baolilong, surrounding it. Baolilong was initially a bit nervous, but it thought about papa. To papa, this was nothing, if it was papa…
‘Dodging requires perception and reflexes. When Baolilong grows up, I’ll teach you.’ Liola rubbed Baolilong’s soft white hair.
‘Papa, Baolilong won’t let you get worse.’
Baolilong’s eyes shone with determination. It concentrated all of its attention on the black rays, and it felt the darkness within the black rays. Gradually, everything around Baolilong seemed to become grayscale, and only the black ray was of a different color, which made it seem very obvious in such a gray world.
Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Crouch, dodged three rays, back tumble, and another five rays. The place it landed had two more, so it changed postures in mid-air, making it land slightly back. It lowered its waist, and dodged the ray headed towards its head. There were many more dodging actions that followed. Unknowingly, Baolilong suddenly realized, the many black rays that looked impossible to dodge were now successfully dodged.
“Wow, damn… a-am I looking at Liola?” Kaiser’s eyes widened and jaws dropped. He thought these kinds of tricky moves could only be seen in Liola’s fights.
“Baolilong’s really great.” Purity had her hands covering her face because she did not want to watch, but she could not help herself from peeking through the cracks of her fingers. Coincidentally, she saw the trick moves Baolilong did to avoid all the rays.
Miluo was obviously a bit surprised as well. He had thought this move would have been enough to defeat Baolilong, but he did not expect Baolilong to come out of this completely unscathed, and even using faster speed and more agile moves than he had observed before.
“More powerful than I imagined.” Miluo licked his lips, beginning to think this match had gotten more interesting.
“Ah! He’s talking!” Kaiser suddenly turned his head to ask Meinan, “Is he awake?”
Meinan rolled his eyes at Kaiser, “Liola still knew how to talk when he was under hypnosis.”
“Right, almost forgot.” Kaser scratched his face. He must have wanted the victory far too much.
Two intense black shadows emitted from both of Miluo’s hands, and the black shadows spread around the surroundings like lightning. Miluo revealed a sinister smile, “Little runt, the big moves are coming. Surrender now if you want to live.”
Baolilong glanced at the black shadow in Miluo’s hands, and did not think anything about whether it could dodge the attack. Instead, it hurled a lightning ball towards Miluo, forcing Miluo to change position, and the black lightning in his hand seemed to have stagnated. The moment he moved, a few more lightning balls headed towards where he stood. Because lightning balls weren’t a large-scale Magic, Baolilong almost did not need any time to create several of them, but Miluo’s spell would take at least a dozen of seconds to prepare.
The crowd looked at Baolilong, with an innocent look on its face, crazily threw lightning balls. Miluo, while preparing for the large-scale Magic, could do nothing but dodge, and he could not catch a break while he was dodging to continue charging the black lightning in his hand. At that moment, it looked like Baolilong was forcing Miluo into a corner on the arena.
After a while, Miluo looked infuriated. A Dragon roar came out from his throat, completely abandoning the black lightning in his hands, and decided to use the same strategy as Baolilong had used. Black rays appeared again, and this time, he was serious and no longer underestimating his opponent. The black rays exploded, and the whole arena was covered densely with the rays.
“Since you’re good at dodging,” Miluo smiled sinisterly, “I won’t even give you room to dodge.”
Baolilong was indeed stuck: there were black rays next to his hands and feet. Never mind dodging, it could not even move!
“Baolilong!” Purity saw Baolilong acting like a bug falling into a spider’s web, trapped within the black rays, and she almost fainted.
Miluo seemed to be intentionally toying with Baolilong. Instead of making all the black rays attack Baolilong at the same time, he playfully made the rays around Baolilong’s leg collide with its calf. Long blood marks immediately appeared on Baolilong’s white legs.
“Ow…” Tears filled up in Baolilong’s eyes, but seeing Miluo’s sinister laugh,