This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, and StellarAshes.
Meinan and Purity
“Did you find Liola and others?” Meinan held the communication Maxun and asked anxiously. It’s been more than a month since Liola and others had gone missing, but there was still no sign of them. Meinan and Purity were both going crazy.
But the other side of the Maxun, someone asked the same question with the same anxious tone. Both sides were silent for a while, and their disappointment could be sensed by one another without seeing their faces.
Meinan forced a smile, “Don’t worry! Perhaps they were afraid the Dragon Emperor would find them, so they hid themselves. No news is good news.”
A faint cry could be heard from the other side of the communication Maxun. Unlike his usual self, Meinan did not continue comfort, but instead changed topics, “I plan to actually seriously learn protective shield from my dad.”
“No matter where they are, they will be back one day.” Meinan looked at the night sky out the window and declared, as if he was both motivating himself and forcing himself, “I hope the next time we fight together, I wouldn’t become a burden.”
Suddenly, Meinan took the Maxun away from his ears, but he was too late. His ears felt as if they had just heard a bomb explode, and all he could hear now was ringing in his ear. When Meinan finally recovered his hearing, the only thing he could hear from the communication Maxun was a busy tone.
Meinan looked at the communication Maxun and laughed wryly, “Looks like I better work harder, otherwise I will be the only burden.”
“I really have to go find my father.”
Meinan looked a bit uneasy. Because Liola and others’ escape, both he and Purity returned to their homes, so the Dragon Emperor couldn’t cause them trouble, but even though they were living in the same house, Meinan had barely talked to his father each day. On one hand, Qiusi had been indeed busy; on the other hand, Meinan was purposely avoiding his father.
“Sigh.” Meinan looked depressed. In the end, he still had to go to his father.
“Why are you sighing, baby?”
Goosebumps crept onto Meinan’s back. The only person who would call him in such a disgusting manner was none other than his father. His father always called him “baby”, and his mother got the nickname “little dear” instead. What was different was that, every time Meinan heard his nickname he got goosebumps, but his mother seemed to be affectionate to her nickname, and would often return it with a “little Qiuqiu”, then the two would get all lovey-dovey.
This would often result in their child yelling on the side, “This is ridiculous! If you two wanted to be affectionate to each other, why the hell are you two in my room?!”
That’s right! These two strange parents seemed to have a fetish of being watched. They always purposely ran in front of Meinan to be lovey-dovey. Even if Meinan would move, as soon as his butt leaves a chair, the other two would move their bodies to follow. In any case, they always threw themselves at each other in front of their son.
“Qiusi! Ally! If you two keep following me, I will, I will…” The young Meinan gritted his teeth. Even though it was his parents in front of him, but if they couldn’t even act like parents, Meinan naturally didn’t respect them much, and therefore always called them by their names.
“You will what? Baby.” Qiusi asked with a smile, while running his hands through his son’s golden hair.
If he could kill people with his eyes, Meinan must’ve killed his father many times. Unfortunately, not only could his eyes not kill people, even if his eyes were more powerful than cannon balls, Qiusi wouldn’t care. His ancestral protective shield wasn’t a joke. Qiusi might not be good at anything else, but if his defensive capability was second, no one would be first.
Ally burst into a smile, “Okay, stop playing with your son. If you keep going, he might get mad again. Did you forget the time he got really angry and refused to eat?”
As soon as he heard his wife, Qiusi sported a “please don’t” look, and hurriedly turn around while saying with concern, “Fine, fine, fine, I won’t mess with you anymore. Baby, please don’t get hungry.”
After the daily father-and-son “tease”, Ally would always pinch Meinan’s face, disregarding the teenager Meinan’s protest. She would definitely kiss him on the forehead for good night, then walk away with Qiusi unwillingly.
Meinan unconsciously touched his forehead, and woke up from his flashbacks. Seeing Qiusi’s face almost next to him, Meinan reflexively swung his right fist, and created a beautifully colored, perfectly circular black circle on Qiusi’s right eye.
“You hit me…” Qiusi crouched pitifully in a corner, occasionally throwing a sad look towards him.
Although his father hadn’t made a bit of progress for such a long time, Meinan did not do what he usually would have done: go up to father and add a few more footprints to his face.
Meinan unusually requested solemnly, “Father, I want to learn as much about protective shield as possible.”
Hearing what Meinan said, Qiusi paused briefly. He scratched his head and said, “Didn’t I already teach you? After that, all you need is to practice over time…”
“According to what principal Barbalis said…” Meinan forcefully interrupted Qiusi, “Father, when you were my age, you had already been the member of something like ‘Aklan Crazy Four’.”
Hearing this, Qiusi’s smile disappeared, and a stunned look replaced it. The father and son looked at one another quietly for a long while, until Qiusi grunted, “How much had Barbalis told you?”
Meinan finally saw his father being serious, and said with a more relaxed tone, “Pretty much everything. What the Crazy Four had done, Susanna was the Dragon Queen, and Gle was also one of them. Finally, the eldest Prince had a prophecy that the Dragon Emperor would be killed by his own son.”
“He’s quite honest.” Qiusi narrowed his eyes dangerously.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Meinan was suddenly infuriated. How much had his own father hide from him? Meinan suddenly remembered when his mother had been killed, Qiusi had a strange reaction.
He said without thinking, “What exactly happened with Ally? Why did you get so familiar with the Six Forbidden Sins who killed her?”
Facing Meinan’s questions, Qiusi looked at him hesitantly, as if he was trying to form the words he was about to say. Under Meinan’s glare, Qiusi sighed, and sat down as if he was exhausted.
“Ally’s true murderer was not the Six Forbidden Sins.”
After remaining silent for a long time, Qiusi finally said something. This made Meinan widen his eyes, and asked with a stutter, “B-but, weren’t you the one who said the Six Forbidden Sins killed Ally?”
“What can I do other than saying that?” Qiusi asked in return, “Could I really say this was all a part of the Dragon Emperor’s conspiracy?”
“Dragon Emperor?” Meinan froze completely. How did this involve Dragon Emperor too?
Ignoring Meinan’s surprise, Qiusi turned around, and slowly said with a calm voice, “Looks like Barbalis didn’t tell you the whole story. Gle was framed by the Dragon Emperor to become the devil, did you know?”
“N-no.” Meinan answered in a shock. He thought his father was good friends with Gle before Gle changed.
Qiusi’s figure looked lonely, but his tone was filled with laughter, “Even though that guy did have quite the potential to be a devil, but he really didn’t care much about his social status. To him, instead of oppressing people with a fake title, wouldn’t it better to swing a magic spell at them instead?”
Meinan frowned, “Perhaps he didn’t care about titles and status before, then he ran into something, and began to care…”
Qiusi laughed vaguely, “It’s possible, that guy had always done things in the spur of the moment. However, what you said was impossible. At the time, he was extremely busy. If it weren’t so, he wouldn’t have been so oblivious to everything that had happened. He didn’t notice it until the rumors of the devil had practically became the truth.”
“Hahaha, you wouldn’t believe what it was that made him so busy that he didn’t even know he had become the devil.”
Qiusi laughed, but it wasn’t a warm laugh like usual, but instead with a wry tone, “He had already married by then, but he loved the most beautiful lady at the time, Maylee. His wife found out about his adultery, and kicked him out of the house. So he continued to court Maylee while trying to beg his wife to let him back in his house… Haha, he was a guy who deserved quite a beating.”
Qiusi laughed for a while, then gradually stopped, and he fell into silence. Meinan would rather stay in the silence than to hear his father laugh in such a manner again. The laughter sounded too bleak, and it would make his heart colder than the sound of crying.
“I think you know about what happened next, which was the Dragon Emperor’s crusade against the ‘devil’, and expose the devil’s intent to destroy the whole world.”
Qiusi remained quiet for a while, then explained with an emphasis, “You know, he wouldn’t want to destroy this world; whether it be for his wife, for his daughter, for his lover Maylee, or for companions like us, Gle would never even have the thought of destroying the world.”
As if he was proving he believed Qiusi’s story, Meinan solemnly nodded.
“Finally, Gle lost. He wasn’t one to stand up against such conspiracy.”
“He died?” Meinan asked with a bit of sadness. He finally understood now, the friendship between the Aklan Crazy Four was no different than the friendship of the Troublemaking Squad now.
“No. Barbalis, Mizerui, and Maylee saved him by sending him to another world to take refuge.” Qiusi seemed to be sighing in relief knowing his good friend had lived.
Hearing this, Meinan suddenly straightened his back and interrogated, “You didn’t go save him?”
Qiusi acted as if he didn’t expect such a question; his back froze, and he remained silent for a long time before he opened his mouth bitterly,
“Whether or not you believe me, I couldn’t go save him. My protective shield is far too unique. The moment people see me use it, they would recognize I’m Qiusi, but in order to protect others, I must not be recognized. Although we had already graduated for a long time, and not many people knew of the Aklan Crazy Four anymore, the Dragon Emperor knew, and he will think of ways to get rid of people who knew the truth like us.”
“At the time, Barbalis still wasn’t Aklan’s principal. Out of all of us, I held the highest position. Other than me, no one could shelter Barbalis, Maylee, and Gle’s wife and daughter.”
“At the time, to protect my companions, I had to stabilize the entire Aklan. Later on, I realized the reason why the Dragon Emperor wanted to frame Gle — he wanted to conquer the entire world!”
“What?” Meinan widened his eyes and dropped his jaws. Conquering the world… this reason sounded completely ridiculous.
“Ridiculous, isn’t it? When I first began the investigation, I was skeptical for a long time too, but now I’m about 100 percent certain.” Qiusi’s tone sounded helpless.
“The Dragon Emperor has been using the same move over and over. He had originally wanted to frame Gladiolus of the Six Forbidden Sins to be the second devil. To affect my judgment, he purposely entrusted Gladiolus to kill Ally.”
Hearing Ally’s name, Meinan’s body froze.
“Ally did indeed die in the hands of Gladiolus, but he wasn’t the true murderer, because that person is the Dragon Emperor!” Qiusi’s back shook, and his tone was so cold. Meinan had never heard him like this before.
“The Dragon Emperor framed Gle, killed Ally, and even Susanna ended up… For as long as I live, I will never let the Dragon Emperor harm anyone else close to me! Never!”
Seeing Qiusi’s enraged figure, Meinan finally understood why his father had his back to him; it was because he knew he couldn’t hold back the emotions on his face, and as a father, he probably didn’t want his child to see his weak side.
“Me, too, Qiusi.” Meinan said firmly, “I also will never let anyone harm my companions, so please allow me to learn the true protective shield.”
“You haven’t called me Qiusi in a long time. I’m actually not used to you calling me ‘father’.” Qiusi’s tone seemed a bit comforted.
He sighed, “I originally didn’t want to involve you in all this, but who knew you found Kaiser and Liola yourself.”
“Kaiser is Gle’s descendant.” Meinan suddenly wanted to laugh. Could the Troublemaking Squad be the successor to Aklan’s Crazy Four?
“And Liola is Susanna’s son, if Barbalis and I guessed correctly.” Qiusi shrugged.
‘Susanna? Wasn’t that the Dragon Queen’s name? If Liola was the Dragon Queen’s son, doesn’t that mean…’
Meinan tilted his head for a moment, then murmured, “Then could Liola be…”
“Dragon Emperor’s son, that’s right.” Qiusi answered casually, “Although I don’t know what the deal with Anise is, Liola should be the Dragon Emperor’s son, otherwise the Dragon Emperor wouldn’t have tried to kill him again and again. Plus, when he was crossdressing, he looked practically identical to Susanna.”
Meinan’s head was in a mess. Things have already gotten more complex than he had imagined: Kaiser was Gle’s descendant, Liola was the Dragon Emperor’s son, and himself… was Qiusi’s son. Aklan Troublemaking Squad was practically the group that would go head-to-head with the Dragon Emperor.
Meinan suddenly jumped out and, without caring whether Qiusi was trying to uphold a father’s dignity, forcefully turned him around by the shoulders, then yelled loudly, “Hurry and teach me the real protective shield! Otherwise we’ll all be dead.”
Seeing his son so emotional, Qiusi felt as if he had seen the Crazy Four back then. He felt comforted yet helpless, and said, “Understood, baby.”
* * *
“Meinan! Did you find Liola-dage and others?” Purity asked anxiously, but when she heard the same question coming from the other side, she immediately knew Meinan didn’t find them either. Purity’s lips were trembling, and the silence continued.
A few more comforting things came out of the communication Maxun, but Purity could not feel even slightly relieved. It was her who opened the black hole and sent them away.
‘Could they really be sent to somewhere really, really far away? Or perhaps they were torn into pieces by the black hole… No!’ Purity forcefully covered her own ears.
Even with her ears covered, she could still hear Meinan’s voice. About not wanting to be a burden…
Purity suddenly raised her head. ‘Right! Liola-dage is so strong, Kaiser has tons of sinister plans, and Daylight isn’t a weakling. Nothing bad could happen to them!’
‘I have to wait for them to come back…’ Purity held her fist, and yelled loudly into the Maxun, “Purity will definitely become strong and an useful companion, and never a burden!”
As soon as she finished yelling, Purity slammed down the communication Maxun. ‘Now, I must go find mama!’
Purity turned around, and suddenly realized a person was standing behind her. She was so shocked that she took several steps back, only then did she realize who the person was.
She patted her chest, and complained, “Feir-dage, why are you standing behind me? And you didn’t make any sound, you almost scared me to death.”
Feir smiled helplessly, “You were talking to someone, and I can’t just interrupt you, right?”
After explaining, he asked curiously, “Were you talking to Meinan? Why did you look so emotional?”
Determination was on Purity’s face, “Meinan said, he wanted to improve his protective shield and wait for Liola and others’ return. Purity also decided to understand Mechas better, so I’m going to go find mama to help me assemble the best Mecha.”
“Ambitious! You are definitely my sister.” Feir gently touched his sister’s head.
Purity smiled with a slight blush. She then parted from her brother, planning to go find her mom.
“Purity.” Feir called out, “Where did Liola and others go exactly? Do we need to go visit them? Or perhaps bring some resources to them?”
Purity replied with a bit of sadness, “I don’t know either, and Meinan couldn’t find them either.”
“Oh, that is quite worrying.” Feir frowned, “When I have time, I will help you look for them. If you have any news about them, tell me as soon as possible.”
Purity smiled brightly, and kissed her brother on the face, “Thank you, Feir-dage.”
Feir smiled as he looked at his sister anxiously running off to find their mother. He took up the communication Maxun, thought about something briefly, then dialed a number.
* * *
Purity ran through a long hallway. As she ran, automatic doors open one after another; after she passed them, they all closed automatically. There were also many people strolling along the hallway, and they were all wearing short-sleeved military uniform fit for moving around. The colors of their uniform were always either blue, red, or yellow. Out of the three colors, most uniforms were blue, and least were red.
Everything in the visible radius were made out of synthetic alloy, and everything seemed to be automatically controlled by Maxuns. Purity rushed into an elevator, and it was already full of people. However, as the indicator for the current floor lowered, more and more people left the elevator, until after a “ding”, it displayed “Floor B205.”
The only few left in the elevator were Purity and two men wearing red military uniforms. At this time, all three of them stepped out, and the other two looked curiously at Purity and said, “Purity? Didn’t you aspire to be the beautiful Sorceress next to a Knight? Why are you here in the Mecha Development Department?”
“What? Could you be heartbroken, and decided to drive a Mecha to teach a Knight a lesson?”
“O-of course not.” Purity refuted with a pout.
The two men burst into laughter, and one of them said while thumping his chest, “What do you think? Mecha Fighters are better, right? What are Knights, anyways? Purity, if you give up on those soft-footed shrimps they call Knights, I will definitely introduce you to a handsome and strong Mecha Fighter.”
“Knights aren’t soft-footed shrimps! I’ve met with very good Knights: Jasmine is a good Knight, and so is Lanski.” Purity protested loudly.
“Jasmine? Lanski?” The two men glanced at one another, and showed a smile only men could understand, “I can’t deny that female Knights are indeed not bad, hehehe.”
“That’s not what I mean, male Knights are good too!” A warm and sincere smile flashed across Purity’s mind.
She said without thinking, “Daylight is a very, very good male Knight. He’s handsome, kind, and gentle. He always cares about his companions. If there’s any danger, he’s always in front of me… his companions.”
As she spoke, the two men’s smile became more and more ambiguous, while Purity’s voice shrank more and more. Even though she didn’t know what she did wrong, but she felt shy, and her face blushed to a fiery red.
When Purity finally couldn’t continue, the two men burst into laughter, while one of them patted Purity’s head and said, “Fine, fine, we will stop criticizing your Sir Daylight. Just remember to bring him here so we can ‘appraise’ him, I don’t want our princess Purity marrying a bad Knight.”
Purity froze in shock. What did they mean, her Sir Daylight, or marrying Daylight?
“Purity is marrying who? Who did you say my precious daughter is marrying?”
The three of them raised their head to look, and saw the Red Commander walking their way, with an obviously nervous look on her face. The two male Mecha Fighters glanced at each other, then ran away with a laugh, leaving behind a confused Red Commander and a blushing Purity.
“Baby, who are you marrying? Has mommy seen him before?” The Red Commander asked seriously, and without even waiting for her daughter to answer, she had a worried look while murmuring something about how a parent shouldn’t keep their grown daughter.
Purity anxiously denied, “No, mommy, I’m not marrying anyone, they were just being ridiculous.”
The Red Commander seemed even more worried, “What? You’re not marrying? I thought I let you go out to find a Knight? What about that guy last time, what’s his name? The boy with blue hair and always smiling? He even danced with you, and he seemed like a nice guy. You don’t like him?”
“Mommy!” Purity was angry and her face became even redder.
Seeing her daughter on the verge of turning hostile, the Red Commander coughed twice, and changed her demeanor from a neurotic mother who feared she couldn’t marry her daughter off to a responsible commander.
“Why did you suddenly come find mommy? You’ve already been back to the Commerce Alliance for a whole month, and you’re only saying hello to mommy now?” Although her face remained solemn, one could hear the jealous tone in the Red Commander’s voice.
Purity touched her head with embarrassment. Since she’s been back, on one hand she had been trying to avoid the Dragon Emperor, and on the other, she feared Liola and others might have been transported into the Commerce Alliance. Therefore, as soon as she got back, Purity was busy running everywhere trying to see if Liola and others were here, which lead to the Red Commander missing her every time she went to her room.
“Sorry, mommy, Purity is just too worried about Liola-dage and others.” Purity acted like a baby as she explained; she knew her mother couldn’t stay angry at her acting as such.
Of course, the Red Commander already knew of this, so she didn’t really make a fuss to her daughter. All she did was dearly pinched her daughter’s thinning chin, and reminded her, “Mommy knows you’re worried. But even if you’re searching for them, you still have to mind your health. Your companions wouldn’t want to come back and see a sick Purity, would they?”
Seeing her mother worrying about her, Purity nodded like a well-behaved child. She then remembered the reason why she’s looking for her mother; she suddenly yelled, “Ah! Mommy, I want a set of very, very powerful Mecha!”
The Red Commander was shocked at first, then she looked deeply at her daughter. She asked solemnly, “Why? Didn’t you want to become a Sorcerer?”
“Mommy, Purity didn’t really want to be a Sorcerer. J-just that, if Purity didn’t say so, you wouldn’t have allowed Purity to go to Aklan Academy.”
Purity flinched as she explained, but as she saw that the Red Commander was not angry, she became braver, and said firmly, “But it’s different now. Liola-dage and others are in a dangerous predicament, and Purity doesn’t want to be a burden. I want to help Liola-dage, and I a-also want to become their real companion!”
“I would be happy to be the Sorceress protected by the Knight, but…” Purity raised her head, and her black iris were shimmering with strength and independence, “But Purity really really likes my current companions, and I want to protect them with my hands, just like how they have always protected me.”
The Red Commander burst out laughing, “In other words, you want to be the one to protect your Knight?”
Purity blinked her eyes and, for some reason, a strange scene came up in her mind: Daylight was lying weakly on the ground, and Purity was, without any hesitation, standing in front of him. Daylight was screaming behind her, “Leave me here, and run…” No! Such a terrifying scene! Purity almost wanted to cry as she tries to wipe away this thought from her mind.
“What is this little girl fantasizing about now?” The Red Commander murmured, then habitually grabbed her own daughter by the back collar. Usually, when she begins fantasizing, even if the world fell around her, she wouldn’t wake up from it.
Purity fantasized Daylight with an apron cooking in the kitchen, while she returned home tired, dressed in a military uniform. Daylight would walk to her with a warm welcome, tell her he had prepared a bath for her, and also he cooked her favorite food — roasted duck… ‘Oh oh oh! This was quite a good feeling.’ Purity seemed to be drenched in happiness.
“Purity! Purity!” The Red Commander called again and again futilely. Without any other options, she yelled loudly, “Crap! Your Liola-dage is being chopped into pieces!”
“What! Who dares to bully Liola-dage?!”
Purity suddenly jumped up, and looked around her. Of course, Liola was nowhere to be found, but in the broad factory room, an angel-shaped Mecha was standing upright.
Unlike the white one, this angel-shaped Mecha was completely black and even the wings on its back was covered in a shiny black paint. A few simple lines with a golden color ran down the Mecha’s forehead to its chest, waist, and hands. Other than black and gold, the only other color seen on the Mecha was the sword on its waist. The Mecha’s size was comparable to the enlarged Baolilong: other than the wings, about a dozen meters high.
“S-so pretty…” Purity covered her mouth. She was moved to tears; she had never seen such a beautiful Mecha.
“The only rank-X Mecha in the Fallen Angel series, Dark Lucifer.” The Red Commander proudly introduced one of her best works as she turned to face her daughter.
“Rank-X Mecha?” Purity’s jaws dropped. Weren’t there only three rank-X Mechas in the world?
“Mhm.” The Red Commander looked warmly at her daughter, and her eyes seemed prouder than when she was looking at Dark Lucifer.
“Purity, you are the best genius Mecha Fighter I’ve seen. Other than a rank-X Mecha, what else could possibly suit you? When you passed the most advanced level of Mecha controls at the age of fourteen, mommy had already began designing Dark Lucifer.”
“Mommy…” Purity was moved as she ran into her mother’s arms. She sworn with determination, “Purity will definitely use Dark Lucifer to protect all my companions.”