This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and StellarAshes.
Both of them were like statues, the only difference being one was sitting and the other was standing. They stared at each other, and they could both see the other’s mixed emotions in their eyes.
Both she and he were people whom Anise loved the most, but now they looked at each other like enemies would. After Anise’s death, Liola had ran into Long Yandi more than once, and he was also pursued by her more than once. Their enmity had been at its peak back then.
Even though, in the days following Anise’s death, Liola was in despair and had actually been rescued by Long Yandi. At the time, she said she was going to be the person to kill him and no one else.
More than a year later, both of them meeting like this, neither knew how to react.
No one else dared to make a sound. Though Auyan Dri was about to ask if they had met, but as soon as he saw Long Yandi’s complex expression, he suddenly stopped.
In Auyan Dri’s mind, the only person who could elicit such hatred and longing in a woman could be none other than a lover or an ex-lover, and Auyan Dri wasn’t someone who would ask such a private matter bluntly.
A long time had passed before Long Yandi finally sighed deeply. She then said, “Come with me, I have something to ask you.” Without waiting for his response, she turned and walked out of the building.
Liola thought briefly, and stood up to follow Long Yandi, leaving behind a bunch of people staring at each other, trying to guess the relationship between the two.
“Adulterers.” Kaiser said straightforwardly.
“Brother and sister?” Daylight guessed something no one else would agree with.
“Love rivals?” Someone said this, but they weren’t sure who.
Everyone was briefly silent, but then Kaiser interrupted the silence, “That can’t be? Were they love rivals for a man or woman?”
The silence continued. Kaiser uneasily continued his interruption, “I hope it’s not a man? Don’t scare me, I slept with Liola for a year.”
Hearing this, Auyan Dri and Yulie both looked strangely at Kaiser…
* * *
As soon as Liola walked out the door, he saw Yandi standing by herself near a small lake not far away. Liola walked over, and quietly stood next to her.
She said softly, “I knew you’re still alive.”
Liola didn’t answer. They both looked at the surface of the lake for a long while. Yandi finally said with hesitation and anticipation, “Is my sister really dead?”
Hearing this, Liola was slightly shocked, and questioned her back, “Didn’t I hand her body to you?”
“I know. And I followed what she told me before, and put her corp—… body at her old house.” Yandi bit her lip tightly, trying not to remember how she felt when she buried her sister.
“Then why did you ask?” Liola felt it strange. Perhaps someone else might not be sure, but Yandi and he were the two people who saw Anise’s corpse with their own eyes. There’s no reason for her to doubt her death.
Yandie said with a stiff expression, “I heard rumors sister has been going around the world.”
Hearing this, Liola frowned slightly, but he didn’t say anything. He knew Yandi wasn’t the type of person who would easily believe rumors. Something must have happened to force her to ask him such a question.
“Rumors kept coming. Many of them clearly described the unique style of sister’s healing. I had no choice but to go back to the place I where buried sister to make sure.” Yandi held her fist tightly, trying to hold back her eagerness and stared at Liola, “It was gone! Sister’s corpse was gone!”
‘Anise’s body was gone?’ Liola’s mind went blank, and trying to hold back his eagerness like Yandi, while trying to find an explanation.
“When you buried Anise… did you go with anyone?”
“No.” Yandi impatiently shook her head and said, “You think I didn’t think about the possibility? I’ve already checked out all the possibilities, but no one could have possibly known where sister lived. Even I took a long time. I had to look for it based on sister’s description. That place is far too well hidden. It was a cave behind a waterfall, and the cave is even high off the ground. I observed the surrounding of the place when I went, and I can promise no one had been there after sister had left.”
Liola knew, despite Yandi’s looks, she was actually a very detailed woman. Plus this involved Anise, Yandi must have done all her research and did not find any clue, to end up asking him the question.
Yandi took a deep breath, and took out something from her pocket, “When I went back, I found this.”
Liola lowered his head to look. It was an envelope, and it had “To Dear Liola” written on it. Liola’s heart skipped a beat, but he hadn’t seen Anise’s handwriting before, so he couldn’t ascertain whether it was written by her.
“Sister’s handwriting, I promise.” Yandi said impatiently, “I haven’t opened it, now you’re here, open it immediately.”
She handed the letter to Liola, and he looked gratefully at Yandi.
‘How much restraint did she have to exercise to not open it?’ Liola took it and opened it, and took out a short note from within.
Dragon Emperor’s son, if you want to know the truth, come find me, come find Anise.
Seeing the surprising note, Liola felt as if someone was suffocating him. His mind flashed with the things Blood Wolf said to him, and felt his heart sinking.
Yandi finally couldn’t hold back and grabbed the note, but saw such a strange sentence. Yandi thought it was strange, but judging from Liola’s expression, he understood what it meant.
Yandi prodded him, and asked in dissatisfaction, “What does this mean?”
Liola woke up from his daze, and shook his head, “I don’t know.”
“Are you being ridiculous? Assassin.” Yandi suddenly got angry. From his appearance, she knew it was impossible for him to not understand this.
However, Liola kept shaking his head.
Yandi suspiciously observed Liola’s expression. Liola continued shaking his head while looking away from Yandi.
She finally understood, and said coldly, “I know now, you’re running away again. Your ability to lie to yourself has always been astounding. You must have noticed something, but you aren’t brave enough to think about it.”
Liola’s mouth twitched; he was trying to suppress the question now spiraling in his heart.
“You! You’re making me really angry!” Yandi was now furious. She turned around and ran back to the building, leaving Liola standing alone beside the lake.
* * *
“Sister’s handwriting, I promise.”
Dragon Emperor’s son, if you want to know the truth, come find me, come find Anise.
In the past, inside Liola’s dream, there were a cross-shaped light, a very warm white light.
“Liola, find me.”
“Who are you? Who are you?” His consciousness kept asking.
“I am… Anise.”
‘Anise is…’ Liola grab ahold of the Dragon Cross Necklace on his chest, forcing himself to forget, but one question could not be suppressed… if everything was pre-arranged, was his meeting with Anise also planned?
Liola held onto the necklace tighter, and he didn’t realize blood was oozing out of his fingers. A white light slowly glimmered from the Dragon Cross Necklace. In the past, the white light had always brought Liola a feeling of warmth, but this time, a cold feeling brushed across the Assassin’s heart.
He didn’t know how long he stood there. Liola took a deep breath, and let go of the necklace. He turned around to return to his friends. At least, knowing them wasn’t a part of the arrangement.
* * *
Next day, they ate a large meal at breakfast again. With Yulie’s warm invitations, Kaiser and others accepted in embarrassment, without saying anything to refuse it. If they really were to reject the offer, what were they going to eat? It was either going to be Kaiser cooking the Dragon, or vice versa, the latter being the more probable outcome.
“Then Auyan Dri, we’ll trouble you some more.”
Kaiser courteously bowed, but his face was still had a sly smile, which made Auyan Dri feel uncomfortable, but he still had to answer courteously, “No problem, we’re all companions going to the Martial Arts Symposium.”
“You said you’re going to act as a host, don’t forget.” Kaiser immediately responded.
“I won’t forget.”
Even for Auyan Dri, Kaiser’s actions were making his head blow off some steam, and he even secretly counted how much money he had left.
Although, to make Yulie happy, Auyan Dri brought quite a lot of money to ensure her trip would be happy, it turned out the money Yulie spent was far less than Auyan Dri anticipated. At most, she bought a few cheap toys from the streets stall, and she didn’t seem to have much interest in expensive jewelry.
However, going at the current rate, his wallet might be emptied out by these people’s stomachs. Auyan Dri’s smile, therefore, looked a bit forced.
“Good, good. Let’s go then, and let us go witness the morality of this Martial Arts Alliance Leader.” Kaiser said happily, and at the same time, reminded Lin Jiyun to be careful.
“Kaiser, when we are at the Symposium, please… mind your words. If you offend a powerful man in the Martial Arts world, even Auyan Dri would not be able to help you.” Auyan Dri laughed bitterly.
The man had already questioned the morality of the Alliance Leader, could Auyan Dri really expect he would be respectful to anyone else?
Kaiser waved his hand impatiently, “I know, I know. Let’s go already.”
As they walked, Kaiser frequently grabbed hot buns, candied fruits, and Dragon’s beard candy. His hands were soon full with food, but his eyes were still staring at dumplings.
[T/N: Dragon’s beard candy is a type of chinese cotton candy]
Baolilong, on the other hand, grabbed food and stuffed it in its mouth, then continued to grab the next food. The life span of food in its chubby hands was never more than five seconds.
This made Auyan Dri very busy with paying for the food, to the point where his mood turned rotten. He also saw Yulie busily chatting and laughing with Daylight. Auyan Dri felt bitter, and half of his face darkened.
Liola and Long Yandi walked silently shoulder-to-shoulder in the back. The atmosphere between them was extremely cold, to the point where Lin Jiyun had to walk faster in front of them, so he doesn’t freeze to death before he had his revenge.
As they walked, the number of common folk had steadily decreased. Almost everyone carried a weapon, and they looked like Martial Artists. Many of them even wore matching uniform with their own special icons.
Void continuously explained to Kaiser, “That’s the Mandarin Duck Faction, they excel at swords, especially a sword formation with two people. They are the Kenpo Faction, they excel at palm strikes…”
Daylight relished in Void’s detail explanation, and kept observing people around him. At first, the people he looked at all looked back at him unhappily, but as soon as Daylight saw them looking back, he would smile and nod earnestly.
Seeing the sincerity of his smile and the admiration of his gaze, most of them would nod back respectfully; some of the older folks would even secretly praise the young hero.
They walked and walked until they were near the edge of the city. The streets became more and more crowded, to the point where people were standing shoulder to shoulder. Suddenly, someone yelled out loudly.
“I’m burning!” Everyone looked, and saw a buff man trying to extinguish the fire on his body. Since the fire was on his back, the man ran around anxiously but still could not put his hand on the disaster on the back.
Everyone saw the man running around in an embarrassing manner and started laughing. With the help of his companions, the man finally put out the fire, and then turned around and yelled with a blush, “What are you laughing at?! This is the dark magic from a demon. That damn demon dared to harm people.”
The man pointed with his finger at the small Flames on the ground. Everyone looked at what he pointed. In fact, everyone had already noticed the strange creature, but no one wanted to point at it out of fear of showing their own ignorance, so nobody spoke first even though they were all waiting for someone to ask.
After being pointed at, Flames angrily growled. Daylight frowned, and scolded Flames, “Perhaps he didn’t mean to step on your tail. You can’t just throw your fireballs at will and hurt people.”
Flames felt wronged and growled a few more times.
Seeing Daylight talking to Flames, everyone looked strangely at Daylight and his demon. The man saw the demon’s master was just a young man, and suddenly felt brave.
He yelled loudly, “Little runt, your demon burnt my clothes. How are you going to resolve this?”
Daylight smiled apologetically, “I’m very sorry. Flames has a bad temper. I’ve already scolded him.”
Daylight answered straightforwardly, but the man seemed to want to cause trouble. He said, “You have to at least pay me for a shirt.”
Hearing about money, Daylight froze. He didn’t even have a cent, so what was he going to use to pay the man?
Daylight looked worried. Yulie saw and knew he had no money. She quickly looked towards her senior brother apprentice. Auyan Dri originally wanted to see Daylight being embarrassed, but Yulie’s eyes forced him to come forward.
As the young master of the Sun Faction, when had Auyan Dri ever paid money to a hooligan like him? And now he had to do it for his love rival.
Auyan Dri impatiently took out some money and threw it at the man, “This is the money for your clothes.”
Seeing Auyan Dri’s impatience, the man got angry and yelled, “Little runt! What’s with your attitude? How dare you talk to me like that?”
Hearing someone call him a runt, Auyan Dri’s face sank. He had already been in a rotten mood, and no longer cared to resolve the situation peacefully.
He yelled back, “You were the one who stepped on Daylight’s… pet, let’s forget you didn’t apologize, but now you want payment because of it?”
The man got angrier, and he unsheathed his sword. Everyone around him had also done so.
Auyan Dri’s side, however, held still while he looked at the man in disdain. Daylight hurriedly tried to solve the argument and said something about how it’s all his fault, and they shouldn’t get into a fight because of it.
While the confrontation between the two sides ensued, Kaiser pinched Baolilong’s cheeks, and said with a sly smile, “Little pet, come shake hands… AAHHHH!” He then let out a tragic cry as Baolilong bit his hand.
Both sides were furious, and neither listened to Daylight. With another disdained look from Auyan Dri, the man drew his sword and charged with a dozen or so people around him.
Auyan Dri’s also decided to vent the anger he had accumulated in the past few days. He drew the sword from his waist. He charged towards the dozen of people and began fighting.
Seeing Auyan Dri facing a dozen people, Yulie jumped into the fray with her whip, “Senior brother apprentice! Let me assist you.”
Originally, Auyan Dri looked at the buff man, and thought little of his power. Little did he knew, although it did not match Auyan Dri’s, the man’s power was not far off, plus he had a dozen helpers.
Auyan Dri wanted to use them to vent off anger, but now he was in a situation where the only thing he could ensure was his own safety, and had no power to attack back.
Yulie joining the fight may have lessened his pressure slightly, but her power was far off from Auyan Dri. With three, four people surrounding her, she panicked.
“Please stop. Stop fighting.” Daylight had become anxious, but he didn’t know whether he should join the fight. Although Auyan Dri is on his side, Daylight had to admit this fight was started by Auyan Dri. Seeing the fight being evenly matched, Daylight had no idea what to do.
However, Yulie suddenly staggered, and a few swords were swung directly at her. Daylight saw it and immediately charged to her side. He didn’t even have enough time to take out his pike, so he unleashed his aura, forcing the swords back. The silver-lined blue aura caused everyone around him to stop fighting, and they all stared at the strange light.
Daylight slowly withdrew his aura, but he didn’t know how to resolve the situation. Almost everyone was staring at him, and some of which would look at him suspiciously while also glancing at Flames.
“What kind of witchcraft is this?” Someone from the crowd asked suspiciously, a question everyone was wondering about.
“Aura.” Daylight answered honestly.
Everyone began to murmur among themselves, “Aura? Never heard of it… Must be some sort of sorcery…”
“Hahaha, releasing your Ki outside of your body for defense. This method is quite special, but runt, your usage of it isn’t matured yet. You lack more practice.”
A loud old man’s voice echoed in everyone’s ears. Despite the noisy environment, it was crisp and clear to everyone, but it wasn’t a loud yell either. His laugh also sounded vigorous, like the sound of a large bell chiming. By simply judging by his voice, one could deduce he had unimaginable power. Even Liola, as the top Assassin, frowned slightly when he heard the voice.
While everyone was looking around for the source of this voice, the old man slowly walked out from a corner. Other than his face being ruddy, he looked no different than any other ordinary old man.
Upon closer examination, however, one would realize his eyes looked far more spirited than ordinary person. There was also a silver cane at the man’s waist, and it was made out of stone. The shape of it didn’t look very elegant, so it wasn’t a sculpted rock, but rather one produced from a slash of a sword.
“Wanyuan old man! It’s actually him!” The more insightful Martial Artists yelled in surprise.
[T/N: his name literally means ‘Stubborn Rock’, not sure if this becomes significant later on.]
Old Man Wanyuan was the master of the previous Alliance Leader. Even when the Alliance Leader was killed, he did not show himself. His sudden appearance had made many guess his intentions.