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Operation Rescue Liola
“Liola… is in the Dark Street?”
Barbalis nodded with difficulty. According to his information network, someone saw the conspicuous boy walking into the entrance of the Dark Street, and didn’t come out.
Kaiser was acting very strangely. His body was practically frozen, then his entire body fell over onto the sofa like a statue. He held his head and tried to squeeze himself into the sofa.
Purity was anxious, and forcefully dragged Kaiser off the sofa. She desperately shook the lifeless Kaiser,
“Since we know where Liola-dage is, then why don’t we go and get him back? I don’t want the Assassins to find him first.”
Hearing this, Kaiser turned his head away, not wanting to answer Purity’s question.
Meinan frowned, and he backed Purity up.
“Purity is right. We should go to the Dark Street now and bring Liola back. If we take too long, I fear Liola’s life might be in danger.”
Daylight, who was also worried, began to open his mouth to persuade Kaiser, but Kaiser spoke before he had a chance to. As soon as Kaiser opened his mouth he started cursing.
“You spoiled brats, do you have any idea what kind of place the Dark Street is? Across the entire Aklan Continent, the darkest, most dangerous, and dirtiest things all converge at the Dark Street. Even the headquarters of the best Assassin organization, Adorning Flowers, is there.”
Barbalis, who received words that Liola was at the Dark Street, also had a long face. According to the information he received, Liola’s situation was far worse than Kaiser had even imagined. Not only was Liola at the Dark Street, he was inside the Dark Arena Pyramid, preparing to pit his life against a Dragon in three days.
Barbalis actually felt helpless. Originally, he planned to fetch Liola himself no matter where he might be. After all, Kaiser and others still had a match to win. Who knew, out of all the places he could have gone, Liola had to choose another rank-X person’s territory. He and the rank-X person had always had a silent agreement: He won’t touch Aklan Academy, and Barbalis wouldn’t step into the Dark Street.
Barbalis couldn’t do anything except held a long face and said to his four students.
“I-I’ve already gotten the word of Liola’s current situation. He’s inside the Dark Arena Pyramid, and he will be dueling a Dragon in at most three days.”
Purity, Meinan, and Daylight seemed frustrated, they wanted to rush to the Dark Arena to save the Assassin. Only Kaiser understood what Barbalis actually meant; he said coldly,
“Three days at most, you said? Do you really think the Adorning Flowers wouldn’t realize the person they want to kill is in their own headquarters in the span of three days?”
“Headquarters?” Purity and others couldn’t understand.
“Dark Arena Pyramid is The Flower’s headquarters.”
Kaiser answer coldly.
Purity and others took a deep breath, while Kaiser seemed rather carefree, not caring where the Assassin was, or whether he was alive.
“T-then what do we do, Kaiser?” Purity’s big eyes blinked. There were unshed tears inside her eyes begging for release.
Daylight thought carefully, “Kaiser, I’ve heard about the dangers of Dark Street. I think we best be fully prepared before we rescue Liola…”
Kaiser slammed his hands hard on the table. His face was dark and cold, and he said ruthlessly, “I’m not going to save him.”
Kaiser cross his arms and lazily went back to sofa, as if the had nothing to do with him,
“This isn’t my business. He’s throwing his life away by going to the Flower’s headquarter, why should I risk my life to save him? He’s nobody to me, I don’t care about him.”
“Kaiser! How could you say that?!”
Purity strongly protested, but Kaiser tilted his head to look out the window, and said coldly,
“Why can’t I say that? Tell me, what is Liola to you? What reasons do you have to risk your lives to save him?”
Purity was speechless, and Meinan frowned. It seems natural to them to be with Liola, so they never actually took the time to think and realized they had no actual relationship with Liola, not until Kaiser mention it. Two of them were at a loss, but it was also impossible for them not to do anything about Liola.
Daylight scratched his head, and curiously looked at the three people descent into chaos. He answered it for them as a matter-of-fact.
Purity and Meinan seemed suddenly enlightened by Daylight, and Kaiser was still watching the window, but darkness flashed across his face.
“Go prepare. Since Dark Arena Pyramid is the headquarters of an Assassin Organization who wants Liola dead. We shouldn’t waste even a second. If we’re one second too late, perhaps Liola would be dead.” Daylight said solemnly.
“Are you an idiot? You only knew Liola for days. It’s not necessary for you to risk your life.”
Kaiser finally snapped. He jumped up and shook Daylight’s shoulder, trying to awaken the righteous idiot.
Daylight, however, answered as if it were obvious, “He had saved me before, now it’s my turn to save him. Is there something wrong with that?”
“Liola saved you?” Kaiser was suspicious. When did this happen? How come he hadn’t heard of it?
“When I lost to Yiyu and Yizhou, wasn’t it him who came to protect me and Purity? Though it was all a blur, I vaguely remember hearing some of his words.”
Daylight smiled as he reminded Kaiser of what happened that day when the Violet Academy came to provoke them.
The moment Kaiser heard Daylight’s response, he yelled furiously,
“To him, that thing was as simple as moving a pinkie. But now, here you are preparing to go to the Dark Arena, risking your life to rescue him. Do you really understand?”
Daylight scratched his face, and stood firm, “I know, but I still have to go save Liola.”
It was Meinan’s turn to be curious, “Daylight, why are you so determined? Even more so than the three of us who had known Liola the longest? Do you really not fear death?”
“I’m just more honest than all of you. I feel the three of you would never leave Liola to die alone, so no matter how dangerous, I believe that you will still eventually go save him. But when you’re all hesitating, it’s a waste of time; time Liola doesn’t have.”
Daylight said as he looked worriedly out the window. Then he turned around, and looked at Kaiser and others with his usual determination, “We should get going now. You can hesitate on the way there.”
‘Hesitate… on the way there?’
Purity and Meinan were dumbfounded, but his honest ways seemed to have affected the two. Although Purity was very afraid, she herself knew she would never leave Liola alone in a time like this.
Meinan, on the other hand, scratched his face and stole a glance at Kaiser, then murmured to himself, “Liola also saved us, and he risked his life for us too, like that time with Miluo.”
Hearing Miluo’s name, Kaiser’s face faltered. He did indeed remembered what took place in the ruins.
When Liola was facing the powerful Miluo, Liola did have a bit of hesitation. When Kaiser saw Liola looked at them with hesitation, he practically thought the Assassin had decided to abandon them. With an Assassin’s speed and stealth, avoiding Miluo was definitely not a problem for him.
Liola’s eyes did reflect he planned on escaping. Kaiser believed he understood what Liola was thinking.
‘But why did that damn guy stay for? And he got beaten to the brink of death. Did he feel the wounds he had sustained hadn’t been enough?’
Kaiser clenched and released his fist over and over.
“Kaiser.” Purity tugged Kaiser’s shirt with hesitation, and timidly begged, “Go with us to save Liola-dage, please?”
Kaiser’s face became unsightly and kept his eyes to the front, not wanting to look at Purity’s face. With an emotionless sounding voice, he said “I’m not going.”
Hearing this, Purity’s original timidness was completely gone. She was so angry her body was trembling.
Purity screamed, “I can’t believe how heartless you are, Kaiser! It’s regrettable for Liola-dage to have helped you.”
Purity angrily grabbed Daylight and Meinan’s arms and dragged them out,
“Let’s go! We will go save Liola-dage, who cares about this heartless guy Kaiser.”
Before being forcefully pulled along by Purity, Meinan turned his head to look at Kaiser, and he kept having a feeling that Kaiser’s response this time was a little strange?
Miluo, Sorcerers sent by Miluo, and Six Forbidden Sins had all tried to kill Liola, and which of them could they fight and win? But no matter what, Kaiser had never abandoned Liola before, so why was his response this time so strong?
* * *
After Purity and others left the room, Kaiser coldly opened his mouth, “Dear principal, you sure have a ton of free time. Since you have time to watch students fight, why don’t you go do what principals do for Aklan Academy?”
Finally someone remembered there was a principal in the corner. Barbalis walked out, and smiled with intent.
He opened his mouth, “The problem isn’t with saving Liola, but instead with entering Dark Street, right?”
Kaiser’s face grew as dark as the sky before a violent storm. He pointed the door with his finger, “Get out!”
Used to Kaiser’s informal nature, Barbalis was not at all angry at Kaiser’s discourtesy, but instead smile slyly, and actually followed Kaiser’s order to leave the room.
Barbalis thought, ‘So Kaiser was born in the Dark Street, no wonder even his information network couldn’t find where Kaiser was from. Now… a guy born in the Dark Street would be forced to go back to save a guy? Interesting, all too interesting.’
The instant Barbalis closed the door, Kaiser finally showed signs of fatigue. He buried his face in his hands, and a voice could be heard from the cracks between his fingers,
“I don’t want to… go back to that place.”
* * *
“Kaiser is a bastard!”
Purity yelled again and again with a very high decibel, which made the two men sitting next to her cover their ears repeatedly. Luckily, Purity didn’t drag on the last syllable this time around, otherwise the two men might not withstand it anymore and push the woman off the Dragon in midair.
After yelling over and over, Purity was got tired, so she buried her face into the Dragon’s back.
Sighing in relief, Daylight turned to ask Meinan, “Do you really know how to get to the Dark Street? I heard the entrance is very hard to find.”
Meinan nodded, and answered without hesitation, “I used to go there often when I was young.”
After he answered reflexively, Meinan kept his mouth open, and suddenly realized he had just revealed a secret. For a normal person, when they were young… they probably wouldn’t go there often, right? Meinan suddenly had the urge to slap himself.
Fortunately, Purity had her face in the Dragon’s back, busy thinking about something, and thus ignored what Meinan said. Daylight simply nodded to signal he understood, and then continued guiding Flames.
Meinan wiped away his sweat, not knowing whether he should feel lucky that his companions were absent-minded, or should he be sad he may be dying with the said absent-minded companions?
Daylight suddenly patted Meinan’s back, and pointed at below, “Meinan, is that where you said it was?”
Meinan looked down.
A few dark and dirty streets intersected each other in a mess. The surrounding buildings were so damaged, if a tourist was to be told they were in Aklan’s capital, they would not believe it.
Meinan used his amazing memory to carefully recall what he remembered from when he was young, and then he compared it to the streets below.
Meinan nodded at Daylight assuredly, confirming the location of the place. Daylight then commanded Flames to land on the street.
Meinan jumped off the Dragon’s back.
After Daylight helped Purity get off and commanded Flames to become a small Dragon, Meinan had confirmed the entrance, it was a narrow alley.
Just as Meinan was about to beckon Daylight and Purity to go into the alley, a familiar thing came into view: a few homeless guys with wounds on their body were kicking and punching a scarecrow, and the thing on the scarecrow’s left chest was actually Aklan School of Sorcery’s jeweled staff school badge.
“Where did you find this?”
Daylight noticed the badge even faster than Meinan. He had already rushed up and yelled at the hobos.
When they heard the yell, the hobos who were already angry, became even more enraged. They turned to look at Daylight, but as soon as they saw Daylight’s blue-lined Knight uniform and the Dragon next to him, their faces all turned pale.
They wouldn’t even dare to mess with the lowest rank Knight, Green, let alone a Blue Knight, especially when the person was a Dragon Knight.
“I asked you, how did you get this badge?” Daylight pressed forward, snatched the badge off the scarecrow, and interrogated at the hobos.
Knowing they couldn’t escape, the leader of the bunch bit the bullet and said, “I found it.”
“Oh?” Meinan had a cold expression on his face, and said solemnly,
“Is it necessary to hate something you’ve randomly found? Even to the point where you would put it on a scarecrow and vent your anger on it? Daylight, looks like they won’t tell us the truth until we teach them a lesson. Let’s use your Dragon to burn a few of them alive before we ask again.”
Daylight turned his head to look at Meinan in shock. Though Meinan’s face was somewhat frozen, he secretly winked at Daylight, and Purity was on the side trying to hide her laugher.
Though Flames was small, but it was more than enough to scare a few hobos. The leader hurried waved his arms, “W-wait, wait. We’ll tell you the truth, please don’t burn us!”
Daylight nodded with a dim expression on his face.
The leader of the hobos said in a hurry, “This is something from a man who passed by here before. B-because we took a beating from him, we put his badge on the scarecrow imagining it’s him.”
“Where did the man go?” Purity interrupted.
The homeless guy wanted to yell something like ‘go away, little girl’, but since the girl looked like the Dragon Knight’s companion, he swallowed his anger, and answered honestly,
“Barker took him to the Dark Street.”
“Barker?” Meinan asked with suspicion.
“He’s one of the hosts at Dark Arena Pyramid, he often comes here to look for new competitors.”
Meinan carefully thought about it. ‘Could Liola, who can’t kill, possibly agree to go to the arena?’
Meinan asked with some confusion, “Was he forced, or did he go willingly?”
The homeless guy answered carefully, “He was threatened by Barker’s bodyguards, but that boy didn’t seem to resist.”
A thin homeless guy joined the conversation, “The boy said he can’t kill anyone, and Barker told him there won’t be any killing. Who is he kidding?! Everyone knows competitors in the arena often lose their lives in just a few matches, otherwise why would they come out to look for new competitors so frequently.”
So he was tricked, Meinan sighed. He wondered, how can the best assassin be so naive?
Meinan tried to confirm it for the last time with the homeless guy, “You are sure that, after he was brought into the Dark Street, he never got out?”
The leader nodded, “He’s been in for more than two days. We’ve been sleeping here. He definitely hasn’t come out.”
Meinan nodded, and threw a few coins at the homeless guys.
He beckoned his two companions, and walked towards the alley.
When they were at the entrance, Meinan stuck Liola’s badge on the wall, then walked into the alley.
Meinan turned his head to look at the badge. With Kaiser’s observational skills… he should be able to notice it.
“Let’s go to the Dark Arena Pyramid, and get our Assassin back.”