This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and StellarAshes.
The Mystery of the Cross Necklace
“Whoa! Baolilong’s dad is catching up! God, did the three-headed hound suck that bad? It sure got taken care of really quickly.”
Kaiser slowed his pace for only just a moment to look behind him, and he immediately saw the corridor behind them was being crushed under tremendous weight of a Black Dragon with blood-red eyes, furiously chasing after them.
Suddenly, Meinan tripped. He and Purity both fell on the ground, hard. When Liola saw them, he stopped, grabbed them both, and said calmly: “Hurry.”
Meinan said breathlessly: “I… can’t run anymore…”
Purity, too, was trembling: “My legs are petrified.”
Liola turned and saw the Black Dragon was already less than 100 meters away from them, and it was clearly moving much faster than they were. The Black Dragon was going to catch up to them inevitably.
Liola yelled and stopped Kaiser: “Kaiser, take them with you to the sidelines. Meinan, use your protective shield, and if you find the chance, escape.”
“Are you really going to fight him?” Kaiser’s expression changed: “Are you confident that you can win?”
Liola didn’t reply. Logically, for him to escape from Miluo wasn’t hard. However, defeating Miluo wasn’t an easy feat, especially considering his current condition. His injuries from the previous fight weren’t fully healed, his ankle bone broken, plus he can’t kill…
“Liola, if you don’t kill him, he will definitely kill you!” Kaiser had probably guessed what Liola was thinking, and then added:
“Besides, that Dragon isn’t a person. Killing him shouldn’t be breaking your promise, right?”
‘Is that so…?’ Liola didn’t have time to hesitate. Miluo, who was hundreds of meters away moments ago, was already in front of them, in a matter of seconds.
Liola turned his head, wanting to tell Kaiser to back away… Nonetheless, Kaiser could sometimes be quite swift. By the time Liola looked at Miluo, they had already ran back to a hole in the wall, and were then surrounded by several layers of protective shield.
When Miluo opened his mouth in an attempt to swallow Liola, Liola started his Blood Fluttering Ki, and jumped using the Dragon’s whiskers as trampoline, launching himself over the Dragon’s head. Liola suddenly increased his weight, and stomped on Miluo’s head.
If Miluo was an ordinary person, the force would’ve been enough to crack his skull open like a watermelon. Unfortunately, Liola had had just about every kind of opponent, except an ordinary person.
Though it caused Miluo enough pain, to force him to let out a cry, it didn’t do much damage.
Miluo angrily swung his head against the wall, trying to crush Liola who was standing on his head. But with Liola’s agility, he would never get hurt so easily. He jumped onto the Dragon’s neck swiftly, and easily evaded Miluo’s attacks.
Miluo calmed down after failing to get rid of Liola in several hits. Miluo said suddenly: “Looks like that runt does have an eye for talent. Killing you would be a bit unfortunate.”
The Dragon’s enormous body suddenly emitted black smoke.
When Liola saw the strange event, he had already jumped down from the Dragon’s neck. However, he didn’t know whether he should take this opportunity to launch attack.
He had no idea what Miluo was up to. Though the smoke seemed harmless, but he wasn’t sure if would fall into a trap by attacking without resolve.
Meanwhile the black smoke had completely engulfed Miluo, and suddenly dispersed. Miluo, who was originally as large as a mountain, was now covered in a black smoke of only about a person’s height.
The black smoke slowly returned to Miluo’s body, and a person emerged. He was a handsome man with dark hair and blood-red eyes. His jagged face showed off his character, and it was quite the contrast, compared to Liola’s elegant face.
“Hmm…” Kaiser knitted his eyebrows and looked at Miluo, and said without holding back: “You look nothing like Baolilong, whose face is so smooth that it looks like an egg. Are you sure Baolilong is your offspring?”
Miluo’s red eyes looked at Kaiser, and a black ball of energy flew out of his hand and hit the protective shield. Meinan’s face went pale, and strengthened the shield. The black ball exploded, and the hole they had been hiding in disappeared in an instant, even the protective shield shook violently.
Kaiser, who was petrified at first, calmed down when he saw that the protective shield was still holding, pouted and said: “Getting angry just because what I said was true. You really are a Dragon without manners.”
Miluo narrowed his eyes, raised both hands, and created black balls three times the size of the previous one.
Meinan was sweating profusely as he finished his incantation to increase the layers of the shield. The originally transparent shield had so many layers, it now looked like a giant glass sphere.
Kaiser was still itching to ridicule Miluo more, so he put his face near the protective shield. With the glass-like shield magnifying his face, Kaiser’s face looked like he really ought to be taught a lesson.
Miluo’s veins popped out of his forehead, the two black balls doubled in size again.
Without any hesitation, Miluo threw them at the shield. But just as they left his hands, two throwing stars suddenly appeared in the black balls’ trajectories. They collided and a giant explosion ensued. The explosion caused the entire palace to collapse into ruins, and the dust formed a mushroom cloud.
* * *
“Wow, what a giant explosion. The shield lost three layers in the explosion, Meinan hurry up and put them back. We might be facing Baolilong’s dad playing bowling again.”
Kaiser playfully looked outside, and looked to see if Liola was still in one piece after the explosion, or if he was already shattered into pieces.
Meinan turned and looked at Kaiser. Meinan’s face was completely pale, and as soon as he opened his mouth, blood oozed out the corners. Meinan looked at Kaiser with sad eyes.
Even for Kaiser, he couldn’t turn a blind eye to these gazes, so he grudgingly said: “F-fine, I’ll say less.”
“You really are crazy. With such a short distance even you will be swallowed by the explosion.”
Miluo was hurt by his own magic, and he got angrier as a result. However, seeing that his opponent wasn’t in a much better situation than him, Miluo started smiling.
Liola quickly examined his own wounds: medium internal injury, a twenty-centimeter cut on his left arm, and his sprained ankle seemed to have fractured, not to mention plenty of bruises and cuts… But it felt like it wasn’t too severe.
Compared to his opponent, Liola closely examined, he seemed better off. Miluo’s hands were severely burned, and there was a thirty-centimeter red mark on his chest. Liola was satisfied, at least his opponent’s situation was as bad as his — they were both seriously injured.
“Hmm, Meinan, look at them with those bloodied wounds. If we go out with a few bullets, shouldn’t we take care of it?” Kaiser pushed his face against the shield again, and saw the two people facing each other, both covered in blood.
Purity trembled: “Uwaah, the entire palace disappeared. What horrifying magic…”
Meinan said with a pale face: “And with such a large explosion, it’s more horrifying that there are two people standing up like that….”
“That IS horrifying, then I should just stay behind the protective shield.” Kaiser carefully concluded.
Miluo finally ran into a worthy opponent, so the smile on his face got wider. He reminded Liola:
“Stop caring about that little runt’s feelings and summon him already. Use your Dragon magic and let’s have a good fight!”
Liola remained quiet. He couldn’t even feel a bit of magic element, let alone using Dragon magic. He even had trouble using the “Summon Dragon” that Baolilong and Purity spent a night trying to teach him.
“He wants Liola to summon Baolilong?” Kaiser’s eyes flashed: “It would be faster to call that geezer Barbalis and ask him to bring Baolilong with him.”
Miluo’s cold eyes scanned the shield, Purity and Meinan immediately used all four of their hands to cover Kaiser’s mouth. Kaiser, who still wanted to talk, could only make muffled noises.
Miluo turned around towards Liola, and asked unbelievably: “You don’t know how to summon a Dragon? Are you really a Dragon Knight?”
“I’m not a Dragon Knight.” Liola answered simply and honestly.
“Oh? You are not a Dragon Knight?” Miluo smiled coldly: “Then is the cross around your neck fake? Only the Dragon Emperor’s bloodline has the necklace to enter the room that imprisoned me. Twenty years ago… the Dragon Queen was pregnant, so you are the Dragon Emperor’s son?!”
“I don’t know who the Dragon Emperor is. This necklace was given to me by someone else.” Liola calmly stated the truth. ‘Anise’s cross… has something to do with Dragon Emperor bloodlines?’
Miluo suddenly covered his face with one of his hand, and burst out laughing: “Y-you don’t know who Dragon Emperor is? Dragon Prince, your deception has gone too far. Who in the world would not know about one of the three biggest kingdoms: Dragon Empire, and its ruler?”
“I’m an Assassin.” Liola frowned slightly, confused as to why he was mistaken as the Dragon Prince, something he couldn’t comprehend.
Miluo suddenly stopped laughing, and his eyes were filled with hate. He didn’t believe anything of what Liola said, and thought the Dragon Empire’s Dragon Knights were becoming less and less chivalrous.
‘To save his own life, he would lie as far as this… that runt couldn’t be given to someone like this!’
Miluo lifted his bleeding arms, his eyes narrowed, and his arms began to change: skin turned into scales, muscles doubled, and fingers became sharp claws. Miluo said with hatred: “Die!”
Broken Silver was already in Liola’s hands, and it was already unsheathed, revealing a sharp dagger.
Liola had temporarily put the promise of not killing in the back of his mind, because he didn’t think that under the current circumstances, it was possible for him to kill Miluo at all. Or perhaps he should run?
Liola’s mind flashed with the most intelligent choice, but… Liola scanned the protective shield. If he were to run, what would happen to Kaiser and the others?
But why should he care about those three? He had only met them for a bit over a week.
While Liola stood where he was, fending off Miluo’s ferocious attacks, his instincts wanted him to run. An assassin would never fight his opponent head-on, nor would they attack when they are at a disadvantage.
Instinctively, Liola wanted to run, but his feet stood firmly on the ground. Liola’s conscious thought, he had already let Anise die, and he couldn’t let it go even now.
If he were to let Kaiser and the others die here, then perhaps he would never have the courage to speak to anyone else again.
“Dragon Blaster!” Though Miluo didn’t understand what Liola was struggling with and why he was distracted, but he wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass. When his Dragon claw was in front of Liola’s chest, Miluo used Dragon Blaster without hesitation.
When Liola realized what was happening, it was already too late. His body already flew off and blasted through several walls, only to be stopped by a large pillar.
He didn’t need to examine his wounds to know that his internal injuries had turned from mediocre to severe, but without having time to recuperate, Liola instinctively raised Broken Silver to block Miluo, who had flown over and was following him.
This block made Liola’s blood boil. Facing his enemies head-on was a disadvantage to him, but with his ankle fractured, Liola couldn’t use his speed to evade Miluo’s horrifying power. Every time Liola blocked Miluo’s attack, he felt as if his arm was going to break.
“Liola-dage!” Purity screamed. The white clothes she had specially prepared for him had already turned red. Everyone could see Liola was in bad shape.
Liola finally couldn’t hold onto Broken Silver any longer. When Miluo attacked, he hit Broken Silver out of Liola’s hands, and it flew and got stuck in the protective shield.
Liola could only use his arms to defend for a few more attacks, however, he couldn’t even raise his arms. They were deeply cut by Dragon’s scales, and his bones were vaguely visible in various areas.
Without being able to use his arms, Liola could only use his legs to defend.
Miluo let out an evil laugh. Ten black arrows appeared in his claw, and shot them with a wave of his hand.
Liola used Blood-Fluttering Ki to block the attack, and the dark arrows collided with his Ki, making Liola’s blood-drained face even paler.
Liola’s body went numb, and he no longer had the strength to stand up. He knelt in front of Miluo, with blood dripping out of his mouth to the ground.
Miluo looked down at Liola. With one arm, he grabbed Liola’s thin neck, and raised him high in the air as if to show off. He even laughed evilly toward Kaiser, while purposely waving Liola’s body back and forth.
“T-this is too ridiculous!” Purity had tears covering her face, while her body was trembling.
She kicked Meinan at the back of his head, making the “Protective Shield Generator” unconscious. Thus, the layers of shield instantly disappeared.
“Uh, Purity, do you know what you’re doing?” Kaiser gulped as he backed away a few steps. He even kicked Meinan in attempt to wake him up.
Meanwhile, Purity was unusually calm, and without any signs of fear.
She started making various gestures with her hand, and started chanting some indecipherable incantation. The presence of magic forced Purity’s black hair to fly in the air.
Miluo realized something was wrong. He threw down the dying Liola, and rushed towards Purity.
When his claw was just about to reach Purity’s face, a gunshot sound occurred.
Miluo didn’t care much about an antique weapon, for the handgun couldn’t do enough damage to him. However, a strong wave of magic and flame made Miluo duck. A white bomb brushed across Miluo’s face, which made him scream in pain.
The white bomb crashed into the side of a rock. Though the hole it made was only half a meter wide, and its power seemed nothing compared to Miluo’s black spheroid, but if someone were to measure the hole, they would find a surprising depth of the hole…
‘Compressed Fireball?’ Miluo’s iris contracted. The fireball was white.
‘How long had it been since someone used a white fireball?’ Miluo thought of Kaiser as another threat, so he immediately raised his claw to kill Purity and get rid of her first.
“Kyaaa, so ugly!” Purity finally finished her incantation. However, as soon as she opened her eyes, she saw Miluo’s face, which was already half destroyed by Kaiser.
Because of the surprise, Purity immediately used her magic, and Miluo’s whole body was surrounded by her terrifying magic.
Miluo felt a strong pull behind him, confused, he turned around only to see a black hole behind him. He finally understood what was going on, and he let out a scream louder than when he was hit by Kaiser: “Damn! Space Magic.”
A strong gravity pulled Miluo’s body into the black hole.
Miluo struggled with all his might, and he even left deep claw marks on the ground. He finally realized that there was nothing else he could do, so he screamed at Liola, who was lying on the ground:
“Dragon Prince, just you wait. I, Miluo, will never forgive any Dragon Empire royalties!”
As he finished his last word, his last claw could no longer hold on, and he was sucked into the black hole. After the black hole had “swallowed” Miluo, as if it had been satisfied, it obediently closed its mouth. Everything went back to normal, as if nothing had happened.
And the ruins were even more in ruins. Everything that should or shouldn’t have been destroyed, had all been in shambles.
* * *
“What’s going on?” Meinan finally woke up, but he didn’t see Miluo, so he asked his friends what had happened.
Purity and Kaiser didn’t answer Meinan, they simply looked at each other. Finally, Kaiser pointed at Purity with blaming eyes and yelled:
“You had this kind of magic but you didn’t use it earlier? Why did you wait until Liola was almost dead?! You obviously wanted to see how Liola looked when he was covered in blood, you vicious woman!”
“Ridiculous! Purity would never want Liola-dage to die.” Purity protested profusely:
“Besides, why didn’t Kaiser use that white bomb earlier, then Liola-dage wouldn’t be hurt by Miluo. Kaiser is the vicious one.”
“Are you joking?” Kaiser wouldn’t back down either:
“Do you know how hard it is to successfully cast that magic? Last time I tried, I almost blew myself up, and I had to spend a fortune just to patch my wounds. Do you really think that I would use it all the time? You really think I have too much money for hospitals?”
‘Hey… The most important thing is your life, right?’ Meinan thought while black lines covered his face.
Purity pouted and said:
“At least you would only kill yourself. The last time I used this magic, I almost sent the entire Aklan Academy into the black hole, so do you think I should use it all the time? And then they would have to find more students to accept, how troublesome it would be!”
Of course, after the incident, she never admitted that the space magic was her doing, although she had always felt that principal Barbalis already knew…
‘Hey… The important thing is the students’ lives, right?’ Meinan was already on the ground, speechless and crying.
He wept towards Liola: “Liola, we are still alive. How miraculous!”
“Can you tell me about Dragon Empire?”
Liola turned his head toward Meinan, but as he tilted his head, blood gushed out of his mouth like water out of a facet, but in his eyes, he still showed a desire to know the answer, though that too was diminishing. Then Liola tilted his head, and went unconscious.
‘This guy isn’t normal…’ Meinan realized that despite his strange habits, he’s probably the most normal person out of the four.
“If you argue like this, Liola is really going to die.” Meinan placed Liola on his back, and anxiously yelled at the other two who was still screaming at each other.
Purity and Kaiser both turned their heads around, and saw blood gushing out in every areas of Liola body, despite the fact that Meinan had already bandaged parts of him. The blood from Liola’s mouth and his pale face indicated that, if they don’t get some help soon, there would be an additional corpse here in the ruins.
“Purity, use your space magic and send us back to Aklan Academy.” Kaiser said immediately.
Purity instead said with tears: “I don’t know how. I have no idea where my space magic would send people to.”
“What?!” Kaiser screamed in surprise: “Then where the hell did you send Miluo? Don’t tell me you only sent Miluo back to the Yaron Plains?”
Purity shook her head, because she had no idea where Miluo was sent to. Perhaps he’s in the next room, or perhaps he became an interdimensional traveler like Liola.
“Purity, can’t you at least try?” Meinan asked anxiously: “Yaron Plains is too far from the city. Liola will never live long enough for us to reach the city.”
Purity was just as anxious, but she was too afraid to try because she didn’t know how to position her magic. If she uses it to send Liola and the rest of her group away, no one would know where they could end up.
Seeing that Purity had no confidence in positioning, Meinan and Kaiser were both helpless. Judging from Liola’s wounds, perhaps they would be visiting his grave the next year…
“Kaiser, tell me about the Dragon Empire.” Liola, who was unconscious seconds ago, raised his head and asked.
“…Someone is dying and you’re still asking questions?” Kaiser was surprised, and snapped. But he was worried that this might be Liola’s last moment of consciousness before he dies.
“Someone is dying?” Liola asked, confused: “Who’s dying? Is anyone hurt?”
Kaiser, Purity, and Meinan all yelled unbelievably: “You are the one dying!”
Liola was stunned. He’s going to die? Liola frowned, wondering if he missed any fatal wound in his last scan. To make sure, he checked his wounds again. Though he did confirm that he had sustained heavy injures, but they weren’t enough to kill him.
Liola asked skeptically: “Why am I dying?”
“Your arms are almost similar to a skeleton!” Meinan pointed the arms around him that were covered in blood.
“Hm, I can’t move my arms for now.”
“You are covered in blood!” Purity observed that his white shirt had turn red.
“I’ve already stopped the bleeding.”
“You are f—ing spitting blood like a water faucet.” Kaiser yelled.
“I have internal injuries, so I’m spitting out the clotted blood.”
Kaiser and the others stared at Liola, who should be “near death”. After a long moment of silence, Kaiser said calmly: “Okay, actually… It’s because we want to kill you!”
Liola replied calmly after observing: “Even with my disabled arms, fractured ankle, severe internal injury, and severe loss of blood, the chance of the three of you succeeding in killing me is less than 10 percent.”
Upon hearing this, Kaiser laughed coldly, and raised his gun. A small white bomb slowly materialized.
“Stop! Kaiser, calm down, you are going to blow yourself up…” Meinan and Purity quickly held Kaiser.
Kaiser struggled and said: “Let me go! Let me butcher this ungrateful bastard!”
Liola frowned, and with a light jump, he got off Meinan’s back, and landed with his left foot. He bent over, and with his mouth he took out the dagger from his boot. As the three stood still, stunned by his actions, Liola disappeared where he stood, and then the blade of Broken Silver appeared a centimeter away from Kaiser’s neck, with Liola standing behind Kaiser like a ghost.
Kaiser’s face was immediately changed to a flattering smile: “Liola, you know, we’ve always been best buds! Why would I really want to harm you? I was just kidding, just kidding!”
Liola moved Broken Silver away, and accurately spit it back into his boots. He seemed indifferent towards Kaiser’s lack of humor, and said plainly: “Didn’t you guys want treasure?”
Treasure! Lights shone again in the other three pairs of eyes.
Liola nodded towards the right: “Over there.”
“What kind of treasure?” Kaiser asked curiously.
“A stone with energy.” Liola answered directly.
“Is it a art piece/sword/gem?” Three of them asked together, but each with what they wanted.
Without responding to any of the questions, Liola said softly: “Behind that pillar.”
Though each of them three were disappointed that it was just a rock, but even if it’s not what they wanted, simply because Liola said that it was ‘emitting strange energies’, it meant that, even if it’s just a rock, it was definitely not an ordinary rock.
Better than nothing, was what they thought. So they all ran as fast as they could to the pillar Liola pointed.
A bright ‘rock’ quietly laid on a pedestal, waiting for them.
Judging from the snow white light that the ‘rock’ is emitting, they all knew, this ‘rock’ was hundreds of times more valuable than the treasures they’ve seen before.
Kaiser even gulped continuously, then murmured to Liola: “Liola, next time, if there’s any rock emitting energy… no, no, if anything emits energy, please tell me first, and as soon as possible.”
“Such a pretty gem!” Purity had already forgotten anything about swords. Her feet walked towards the rock as if they had minds of their own, and her eyes had only the reflection of the rock.
However, Kaiser was faster than Purity, and suddenly ran to the rock and held it in his hands. Purity, on the other hand, also seemed to show a woman’s natural desire for gems.
When Kaiser held up the gem, Purity also put her hands around the gem; her pouting face indicated that she was determined not to let go.
Liola turned to see why Meinan didn’t line up to grab the gem, only to see that Meinan had gotten a huge mirror out of nowhere, together with a comb, and was combing his tousled, gold hair carefully. He then pulled out his bottle of cologne, carefully sprayed it around his body. The carefully grooming Meinan didn’t seem to care at all about the gem.
While Kaiser and Purity were each trying to grab the gem for themselves, they didn’t realize that the pedestal on which the gem sat, flashed some strange pattern, and then slowly disappeared.
But Liola noticed something was wrong. Something was moving around the ruins. Something that shouldn’t be moving.
Even though the fight between Miluo and him had caused many loud explosions, ‘they’ hadn’t moved, but why would they now…
Liola looked at the gem in Kaiser and Purity hands as if something was on his mind.
‘Perhaps that gem was some sort of seal?’
“Uh… Purity, Kaiser…” Originally Meinan was about to put two strings of hair back to where they belong, but what he saw in his mirror made him decide otherwise.
Meinan took a couple of steps toward Liola, and trembled as he tried to remind the two friends of his, who didn’t notice the surrounding dangerous due to the allure of the gem.
A few headless ‘people’ walked past Liola and Meinan, completely ignoring them. Their target was obviously that gem… Or perhaps the two people who were trying to take the gem.
Seeing that the two had already been surrounded by corpses, Meinan couldn’t hold back anymore and yelled: “Purity, Kaiser! Look around you! Stop fighting!”
The two finally seemed to be woken up.
After being stunned briefly, Purity and Kaiser finally realized the situation they were in. Purity immediately screamed, and let go of the gem. She ran back to Liola, while trampling a few corpses on the way. She then held onto Liola tightly.
Only Kaiser was left.
He gulped, and carefully put his arms around his precious gem. He wanted to run back to Liola like Purity, but he wasn’t successful like her. Wherever Kaiser went, all the corpses moved in that direction.
Finally, Kaiser was just about buried by corpses. He got angry, and pulled out his gun and fired at will. For corpses that had heads, he shot the heads, as for the others, he shot the legs.
However Kaiser quickly realized it wasn’t helping his situation. The corpses didn’t seem to mind that they didn’t have heads, and the ones with broken legs crawled on the ground towards him.
With more and more corpses coming out of the surrounding rooms, Kaiser finally started calling for help: “Liola, help me! If you want, I’ll share 0.5 carat with you!”
Liola said plainly: “Put the gem back to where it was.”
“What are you saying?!” Kaiser ground his teeth: “No! This is my darling. I’m never letting it go.”
“Put it back, and the corpses will stop.” Liola calmly determined.
“Never! Not even if I die!” Kaiser screamed.
“Let’s go.” Liola said straightforwardly, and at the same time turned around to leave this strange ruins.
“Wait, are you really going to leave your friend behind? Damn you, Liola, we are friends, how can you possibly leave me behind! Remember when you first came to this world, who took care of you? Who answered your questions?” Kaiser cried on the top of his lungs.
Liola thought quietly. All he remembered was someone telling him to go the shelter.
And by now, the corpses had already gotten a hold of Kaiser. The decomposed and smelly hands had grabbed Kaiser’s ankle, shoulder, arms…