This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and StellarAshes.
The Forbidden Black Rose
Liola faintly smiled with satisfaction. He looked at Kaiser and others, and was amazed by their strength. Even without him, Kaiser and others could protect themselves. Liola turned around to walk back to the lounge, and continuing exercising his little healing magic. Perhaps one day, he could be the fifth member of the team as a healer.
Liola sat down, and practiced his healing magic. Baolilong sat wide-eyed in his arms, and looked at the little white light in papa’s palm. It could not understand what was going on so it asked:
“Papa, what are you doing?”
“I’m learning magic.” Liola answered simply, but his attention was still concentrated on the light in his palm.
Baolilong suddenly yelled, and interrupted Liola’s concentration.
Liola was slightly angry when he saw the white light disappear, then he said to Baolilong:
“Quiet, don’t disturb me.”
Not only did Baolilong not quiet down, it anxiously said:
“Papa knows magic, so hurry and learn Dragon magic with Baolilong. Otherwise bad guys will take papa away, and Baolilong won’t be able to see papa anymore.”
Liola looked at Baolilong skeptically, and couldn’t understand what it was saying.
Dragon magic? He seemed to have heard about it before, but Liola didn’t know what it meant. Besides, why did Baolilong worry that someone might take him away? It was unlike anything Baolilong usually says.
“Who would take me away?” Liola looked at Baolilong with doubt.
“Purple bad guys.” The expression on Baolilong’s little face was completely serious, but the things it said confused Liola.
“Don’t worry, no one will take me away.” Liola laughed, thinking Baolilong was afraid because it had lost its parents before.
Worry filled Baolilong’s little face, and its little chubby legs paced it back and forth around the room, as if it was concerned about something. Liola didn’t really mind what it said, for he had planned to become a Sorcerer. Whether or not he learned Dragon magic meant nothing to Liola at this point.
“Papa!” Baolilong suddenly jumped into Liola’s arm, and the yell interrupted Liola’s healing light again.
Liola impatiently looked at Baolilong, and while it was a bit timid, Baolilong said without backing down:
“Papa, didn’t Yaya say something, Six something Sins are going to kill Papa? If Papa doesn’t learn Dragon magic, how would you beat the bad guys?”
[T/N: Yaya is what Baolilong calls Yasha since it can’t pronounce her name properly.]
The expression on Liola’s face suddenly harden as he finally remembered what Yasha had told him about the Six Forbidden Sins. If they really are trying to kill him, then he definitely can’t protect himself now that he lost all of his Kung Fu.
Liola wondered, would Kaiser and others be willing to risk their lives to protect him?
‘Even if Kaiser and others were willing, could they really handle six Assassins?’ Liola’s heart sank as he thought about it.
Though Kaiser and others were strong, but only under the condition that their opponents were students like themselves. If real strength were measured, the combined power of Kaiser and others probably wouldn’t be one tenth of Lancelot, Blood Wolf, or Miluo.
It would probably be better for them not to protect him, because if they do… at least Daylight and Purity would probably do something instead of watching him die, Liola thought, then they would probably be killed by the Assassins together along with him.
Liola raised his right hand, and a dim white light appeared on his palm.
After Liola enjoyed a brief calmness from the light, he extinguished the healing magic, then he crossed his leg in order to try and manipulate his Ki to get rid of Lancelot’s seal.
Although the Ki that used to fill his body was now completely gone, Liola believed the Ki in his body was only temporarily suppressed by Lancelot’s power, instead of completely being gone.
Liola was still able to observe the powers within his body, and find where Lancelot’s seal was. This wasn’t difficult, judging from the fact Lancelot casted the seal on top of his forehead, the seal must be somewhere near there.
Liola’s consciousness wandered around his body, and indeed found a strong, white power in his forehead.
After circling around the white power and observing it, Liola decided to attack. His consciousness started resisting the white seal on his head, attempting to awake his suppressed Ki. Finally, after a strong impact, the white seal seemed to have shaken a bit, but Liola almost fainted from the accompanying sharp pain.
Liola couldn’t help but end the introspection, and his head with his hands for quite some time due to the pain. The will of an Assassin helped Liola sustain the pain, and he started introspection again. The seal from before seemed to have broken off a bit, and Liola thought this was the best chance to launch another attack, which may release Lancelot’s seal.
Liola again, focused his consciousness on his forehead. Gathering all the strength it possibly could, and putting everything in a final attack against the seal. His consciousness rammed against the seal, and a pain much sharper than before sped through Liola’s body like a bolt of electricity. Seizures happened throughout the Assassin’s body, and Liola’s mind finally went blank as he sank into unconsciousness.
“Papa?” Baolilong’s crying sounds could be heard vaguely from far, far away…
* * *
“You’re finally here to find me, Liola.”
Anise didn’t even turn around, and continued playing guqin, but the music seemed to be filled with sadness and solitude?
This was far different from Anise’s usual happy self, could Anise be holding a grudge against him because he caused her death?
“Sit down, Liola.” Anise still didn’t turn around, so Liola could only see the golden long hair.
He obeyed and sat down. Anise played a few more notes as she said perplexedly:
“I’ve been having a strange dream. I dreamt of a being I’ve never seen before, it was beautiful yet very sad. It was pure white and very large. She even knows how to talk, but I don’t remember what she said, and the only thing I remember was the dream was very sad.”
After saying all this, Anise seemed to have thought what she was said was ridiculous, and she laughed lightly.
She turned around with her usual smile: “Let’s not talk about it anymore. Liola, have you finally decided you don’t want to be an Assassin anymore?”
Liola was stunned. Didn’t he already promise Anise before her death?
But Liola couldn’t ask the question in his head. He involuntarily shook his head, then used an unfamiliar heartless voice to say,
“I’m here to kill you, Anise. The leader had ordered me to do so, if you can’t be used by him, then you must die.”
Anise was stunned, but she did not seem afraid, instead she asked curiously, “Then are you going to kill me, Liola?”
No! I can’t possibly kill you! Liola yelled in his heart.
Liola didn’t understand that he wasn’t seeing Anise, but rather things of the past. His head involuntarily nodded as his past Assassin self did.
“I understand.” Anise seemed a bit sad, and took off the Dragon cross necklace from her neck.
Without fearing Liola, the Assassin coming to kill her, Anise held the necklace and, with her body against Liola’s, placed the Dragon necklace on the Assassin’s neck.
“Liola, close your eyes and carefully feel this necklace, and a place will appear in your mind. Do you know where that is?” Anise acted as if she didn’t know that the Assassin before her was about to take her life, and instead asked the Assassin questions.
The Assassin really did close his eyes, and then opened its eyes to say, “Duanchang Cliff.”
Anise clapped her hands together, and said happily,
“That’s great. You know, Liola, this necklace had always called me to Duanchang Cliff, and I have a feeling if I go there, then I probably won’t ever see you again, so I’ve always been waiting for you.”
The otherwise heartless Assassin’s heart was shaken, and he felt he was traveling back in time.
He went back to the forest, and heard Anise’s chattering. Anise was the only person who posed no danger to him whatsoever, the absolute only one, but the Assassin had to kill this only person who wouldn’t harm him.
“Once I’m dead, Liola, and if you don’t want to kill anymore, no one would help you anymore.”
Anise looked at Liola worriedly. Her eyes was filled with sincerity and tenderness:
“When that happens, then do as the necklace says. Go to the Duanchang Cliff. I believe this necklace will definitely help you.”
Anise’s hand touched the Assassin’s rigid face lightly. The Assassin didn’t feel a pair of soft hands, but instead, a pair of calloused hands burnt by utensils used to cook medicine.
Anise’s soft voice said in a calming manner,
“Liola, every person’s life has an irreplaceable, important purpose. You have to promise me, if and when you’re no longer an Assassin, then you will go find yours, okay?”
* * *
A crying and screaming voice echoed within the small lounge, and its tone was filled with terror and fear.
Liola’s eyes suddenly opened, but Anise’s voice still echoed in his head, which made Liola unclear of his current situation.
With extreme lightheadedness, Liola looked for Baolilong, but as soon as it saw Baolilong, Liola woke up in surprise.
Baolilong’s body was covered in blood, but it was still using its body to block the enemy, and constantly spitting out electric bolts to attack the enemy; however, the enemy easily evaded all its attacks with laughter and ridicule.
Liola got up, and finally had a clear look at the person Baolilong was blocking. It was a woman in a black evening dress. She had black hair, black eyes, and wore a black mask, which had some rose patterns adorned on it. Black roses also were found in many places on her dress, and her hands held a whip made out of brambles, which had quite a few black roses painted with Baolilong’s blue blood.
There were many black rose petals surrounding Baolilong.
The rose petals were dancing around as if they were alive. Although it looked pretty, it was very deadly. Whenever a petal touched Baolilong’s tiny body, a trail of blood resulted in where it touched.
Baolilong’s originally chubby and white body now was appalling: blue blood were dripping from countless wounds, and its clothes were already torn into shreds.
But Baolilong didn’t have any sign of backing off. It firmly stood in front of its papa, and continued to use electric bolts to stop the black rose woman.
Liola reached his hands out to Baolilong; as a result, his hands were cut in many places by the petals. Liola didn’t care, he took Baolilong in his arms, letting the petals to cut his skin as they would.
“Who are you?” Liola ignored the red blood oozing out of his body, and asked calmly.
The black rose woman waved her hand in a flirty manner, and the petals cutting into Liola’s skin flew back towards her body. It continued to dance around her without doing her any harm.
The woman held a whip provocatively, then coiled it around Liola’s neck. With a slight grunt from Liola, a trail of blood appeared on his neck.
“I am Black Rose, one of the Six Forbidden Sins.”
Black Rose looked at Liola’s bloodstain on his neck with satisfaction. In juxtaposition to his white skin as it presented some twisted sense of beauty to her.
“Assassin from The Flowers?” Liola’s heart sank deeply.
He couldn’t believe how fast an Assassin came to attack him right after he lost his Kung Fu. Liola used a part of his consciousness to quickly perform an introspection. He tried to find out if the impact before released the seal, and he thought it was best to use questions to delay the Assassin.
“Correct. Little brother is quite clever.” Black Rose laughed charmingly as she looked up and down at Liola with a sinister smile:
“And quite good-looking too. You would make satisfactory prey for sister Black Rose.”
While he was still trying to suppress the pain, Liola couldn’t ascertain whether he released the seal, so all he could do was attempt to call for his Ki, while using questions to delay Black Rose’s fatal blow:
“Who hired you to kill me?”
Black Rose laughed ominously, and the dancing petals fly towards Liola once again.
Liola crouched and held Baolilong, using his body to block the petals. Liola’s sweat from his face dripped onto Baolilong, who couldn’t do anything except weep and seeing its papa bleeding all over its body.
‘The seal was not broken!’
Liola felt that he couldn’t start a single bit of Ki.
‘This is bad.’
Liola used the corner of his eye to look at the entrance to the lounge, hoping Kaiser and others would be back, then perhaps they can delay the Assassin for him and Baolilong to escape. Not to mention that the best people from Aklan Academy and even its instructors were all there, and they should be able to defeat this Assassin.
“Hm, little brother, don’t look anymore. Sister Black Rose already surrounded the lounge with an enchantment. No one outside can come in at all.”
Black Rose giggled as she used the whip to hit Liola’s shoulder.
Liola’s heart sank. With his powers sealed, Liola couldn’t tell if what Black Rose said was true, but it probably was. Otherwise, Baolilong’s Dragon roar would have been heard by now.
Liola felt helpless, and he lowered his head to look at Baolilong.
“Who wants me dead?”
Liola raised his head to ask. If it were Miluo, then it would be great, because Miluo can’t possibly kill his own offspring, and Baolilong wouldn’t have be buried with him.
Black Rose said nonchalantly,
“It doesn’t matter if I kill you because a dead man can’t spill the employer’s secrets. But, little brother, you might be disappointed when you hear the name. Ordinarily, employers don’t like to use their real name.”
“The employer is Miluo.”
Liola actually felt a sense of relief, “Then you can’t harm Baolilong. He’s your employer’s son.”
Black Rose swung her whip, and brambles wrapped around Liola’s neck, and the sharp thorns sank into Liola’s skin.
Black Rose pulled Liola towards her, and said as Liola painfully tried to pull the brambles off his neck to prevent himself from suffocating,
“Too bad, little brother, the order sister Black Rose received was, sending you and the child next to you to hell.”
“But since you’re so good looking, sister Black Rose won’t let you die in such a horrid manner. Even though most of my prey are normally killed by suffocation.”
Black Rose loosen her whip, which allowed Liola to breathe again, and he was no longer in danger of suffocating.
Liola coughed in pain. Baolilong’s sharp Dragon teeth began to appear, and its body began to slowly grew.
Fierceness flashed in Black Rose’s eyes, and her whip was suddenly wrapped around Baolilong’s growing body, and then squeezed tightly. Baolilong yelled in pain because it couldn’t get any larger.
Black Rose kicked Baolilong to the side in disgust, then used her hand with black nail polish and held Liola’s chin, and pulled his face up close to her face.
Black Rose laughed viciously in satisfaction: “Sister Black Rose has a poison that will let you die slowly, and your corpse will never decay. It would look like you’re just sleeping. Then sister will take you back and put you in sister’s collection. It will be great!”
“Let Baolilong go. He’s your employer’s son.”
Liola completely ignored Black Rose’s evil words, and used the corner of his eye to check on Baolilong.
Black Rose ignored Liola’s request. Many thorns suddenly came out of the ground, and was wrapped around Liola’s body, which completely immobilized Liola. Then, Black Rose took out a black rose used as a hairpin. The root of rose was actually a metal spike, with its tip shining a strange, green light. Black Rose took the spike, and slowly jabbed Liola’s shoulder with it.
Liola hopelessly looked at Black Rose as she did so, and used telepathy to say to the screaming Baolilong,
* * *
“Haha, Kaiser, I knew sending you was the best decision, and letting Purity be the backup was the best choice known to men. I, Barbalis, am indeed the wisest principal, ahaha.”
Barbalis laughed loudly, with his hands on Kaiser and Purity’s shoulders.
Kaiser wasn’t interested in commenting on the most hilarious lie in history, instead he asked Purity curiously:
“Hey, since you’re the Commerce Alliance leader’s daughter, and you can control Mechas so well, why the hell aren’t you in School of Mecha Fighters? What are you doing in the School of Sorcery?”
Everyone was all ears. Feir laughed in a helpless and bitter manner, while Purity pouted,
“I don’t wanna be a Mecha Fighter. Purity is a fair maiden, so of course a weak Sorceress is a good choice. Besides, in Knight’s Glory and Honor, Knights either fall in love with Princesses, or the beautiful Sorceress in their teams. Purity can’t be a princess, so becoming a Sorceress is the only remaining choice.”
Cold sweat ran down everyone’s face; this reason was a very… “Purity-like” reason.
“Nevertheless, Sir Lancelot’s decision was indeed correct.” Daylight said with excitement,
“If Silver Mask was here, we would rely too much on his power. Even though we would still win, we definitely wouldn’t have the perfect result from our cooperation.”
Kaiser pouted, “I’d rather have Silver Mask come with us, then I could at least bring a teapot and drink tea with Meinan during the match.”
“I think it takes less time for Silver Mask to beat down the enemies than for us to boil water.” Meinan carefully estimated.
Everyone nodded, it was correct after all…
Barbalis’ thought was suddenly interrupted, and a solemn yet heavy expression appeared on his face. He knitted his eyebrows, and quietly yelled, “Crap!”
Barbalis hurriedly ran to the entrance to the lounge, and his face suddenly changed as he started chanting an incantation.
Kaiser and others curiously followed, but they only saw an empty lounge. Everyone thought Barbalis had gone crazy again, but with his incantation getting louder and louder, the magic powers in the surrounding space began to shake, and the space near the door began to twist, and then it looked like a crack appeared in the dimension.
“… Break!” Barbalis angrily roared, and a huge crack appeared on the door, showing what was really happening.
Everyone took a deep breath: the tiny lounge was covered with blue and red blood. Baolilong gave out an earth-shaking Dragon roar, but it was tightly wrapped by a whip, and sat immobilized in a corner.
Liola’s situation was worse, a woman in an evening dress had one of her hands on his face, and the other hand trying to carry him. Judging from Liola’s powerless hands, he was either unconscious or worse, dead!
Without any hesitation, Barbalis waved his hand, and ten silver strings shot out of his palm. They wrapped around Liola’s body, preventing the woman in black from taking Liola away.
At the same time, Silver Knight Feir also unsheathed his sword without hesitation and ran towards the woman, not letting her have any opportunity to harm the person she was carrying, whether he was dead or alive.
“Dammit!” A distortion appeared on her evil face, and she looked incredibly ugly.
She looked at Barbalis, and decided to leave. A dense cloud of black rose petals surrounded her, making it impossible for Feir to get close.
Finally, the rose petals faded, and the Forbidden Assassin, Black Rose was nowhere to be found.
Without the brambles holding him, Liola fell to the ground. Baolilong, who finally escaped from the whip, cried as it ran towards papa. Kaiser and the others also quickly ran up to determine Liola’s situation.
Kaiser hurriedly turned Liola’s body over. They saw that Liola’s eyes were closed, and his face was calm. it was as if he was sleeping.
Kaiser nervously put his finger on Liola’s nostrils, and everyone anxiously awaited for Kaiser’s response.
“H-he’s not breathing!” Kaiser said with a trembling voice.