Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Stake stabilized his breathing and gradually revealed a smile.
“You can make a bet, o famous Zakriel. Maybe I’m just bluffing? Maybe this is just flash and smoke?”
He shook the sphere in his hand, and it made a disturbing buzzing sound.
The Knight of Judgment stared at the sphere. The veins on his hand were about to bulge out of his skin.
Thales widened his eyes.
“I have to say that everything from earlier left a deep impression on me, Knight of Judgment,” said the smirking Stake.
“It seems that you are still full vim and vigor.”
Zakriel snorted disdainfully.
“As for you, Your Highness, you also gave me quite a surprise.” The leader of the assassins turned to Thales as he panted slightly.
“But isn’t it a pity to die here with me?”
Thales looked at Stake and bit his lower lip.
With the appearance of the sphere, the situation slipped in a direction they could not control again.
The prince looked at Yodel, but the Masked Protector just shook his head gently.
“Let him go, Stake.” Thales took a deep breath and solemnly said, “I promise in the name of Jadestar that you shall leave safely.”
Zakriel glanced at Thales.
However, Stake shook his head. His smile remained.
“No, Your Highness.
“Do you think that I’ve come to this place with great pains just to leave safely?”
Stake sneered, “Shadow Shield will not perish because we are not afraid of death.”
He gently pulled out a bottle fromhis bosom, and under Zakriel’s watchful eyes, allowed it to roll to the middle of both parties.
Stake chuckled and said, “This is a common sedative, Your Highness. I swear, there will be no side effects. Please let your legendary knight drink it.”
He shook the alchemy ball in his hand.
“Then, all of us will remain safe.”
As he stared at the sedative in the bottle, Thales’ expression went cold.
“Do you think I’ll actually do as you say?”
Zakriel also snorted coldly.
But Stake just shook his head.
“I know that this may make you a little uncomfortable, but compared to what will happen next…”
He raised his left hand, smirked, and snapped his fingers. “They have arrived. I hate doing this, but…”
The sound of footsteps rang out .
Thales and Zakriel raised their weapons. They were on guard.
However, the men who came out of the darkness made the prince pale with shock.
It was three assassins.
They escorted three bound people and walked slowly into the firelight.
“No,” Thales said dumbfoundedly.
‘How can it be them?’
Zakriel turned his head and looked at the prince. The corners of his lips curled in puzzlement.
Stake smiled. He took a step back, never releasing the alchemy ball in his hand.
“I have three hostages here… Oh, it’s four now.”
He smugly gestured at the newcomers with his chin.
Thales looked at Stake, and then at the people who just arrived. Fury and shock blazed in his eyes.
Stake could be seen laughing and taking out his dagger. He walked to the first bound hostage and forced the struggling woman to lift her face.
“Firstly, the enemy who once made you suffer.”
Stake smiled and shook his head.
Under the tip of his blade was the dual-sword-wielding Disaster Swordswoman whom Thales once stole a kiss fromLady Marina. She looked like a mess, and was mentally exhausted.
She gritted her teeth and glanced at the shocked Thales as shame burned in her. Shortly after, she struggled angrily.
With a violent hit from the assassin, Maria immediately went limp.
Thales’ heart slowly froze.
Stake went to the next person. He spun the dagger in his hand.
“Secondly, a stranger you don’t know.”
The owner of My Home, Tampa, obediently accepted the assassins’ persecution. He looked dejected, sighing as if he was in despair.
“I’m so bloody unfortunate. I guess it’s most likely that I forgot to worship the Desert God today…”
Thales clenched his fists.
Stake went to the last person and smiled as he pressed his dagger against the latter’s neck.
“Next is your loyal subordinate.”
It was Quick Rope, the novice mercenary who had been separated from them for quite some time. The mercenary with a head full of strange red hair wore a boyish and innocent smile.
He forced himself to twitch the corners of his lips in an awkward fashion. Then, he obsequiously lifted his eyebrows at Thales.
“Ahem, hey Prince Thales, remember me? I am your… your… your Wya Caso?”
Thales exhaled in agony. He stabbed his longsword into the ground.
‘F*ck you and your f*cking Wya!’
(In Dragon Clouds City, a certain attendant of a prince who was staring at a masked mute in consternation, sneezed.)
‘Why are you so stupid?!
‘Weren’t you still in the hands of Disaster Sword?
‘How can you be caught by them?’
Quick Rope was still blinking. His eyes were wide and innocent. He looked like he had been wronged, and was feeling very embarrassed.
Stake was not finish yet.
He raised his dagger and pointed at Yodel, who was bound by four people. He sneered while he spoke.
“And the last person, a mysterious guard who followed the prince and who would stick by his side, even if he was alive or dead.”
Yodel shook his head again.
Zakriel frowned and looked at Thales.
The prince knew what he wanted to ask, but in that situation…
“After seeing your performance, Your Highness, I have become even more confident in your kindness.” Stake used the dagger to toy with his hair. He swept the tip against some beads of sweat on his forehead.
“In this case”
He narrowed his eyes and used the dagger to point at the hostages one by one. “Who will you choose to die first?
“Your enemy? The stranger? Your subordinate? Or your bodyguard?”
‘Who will die first?’
Thales widened his eyes as he swept his gaze over those people in disbelief.
Marina twitched weakly; Tampa sighed, though the meaning behind his sigh was obscure; and Quick Rope was doing his best to send signals at Thales with his eyes, showing just how strong his will to live was.
Thales clenched his teeth tighter and tighter.
‘How can it be
‘The Alchemy Ball and the hostages?
‘Yodel and Quick Rope…
‘Even the other two…’
Thales struggled and tried not to look at Zakriel’s doubtful expression.
The wound on his shoulder was faintly aching.
“This is impossible,” the prince said with difficulty, but found himself at his wits’ end.
“Zakriel has his own dignity and choices.
“I don’t think he will be willing to drink your drug”
Stake quickly interrupted him. The leader of the assassins smiled and said, “Then we’ll settle for something else. After all, I’m someone who’s very reasonable.”
Stake lifted the metal ball in his hand. No one knew if he was doing it deliberately or not.
“Your Highness, why don’t you drink the sedative? And we’ll see how far your knight can go while you’re sleeping soundly.”
Thales was taken aback at first before he felt indignant.
Zakriel snorted. A cold sneer formed on his lips.
“You sure have the guts to say that.
Stake winked politely. He had seemingly forgotten his pathetic state when he was forced into a corner by the Knight of Judgment a while ago, thus forced to launch this desperate attempt.
Thales was silent. He did not say a word.
He suddenly found the torch behind Stake insanely glaring.
‘What should I do?
‘Where’s the way out?’
“Are you sure?”
“If you let them go now, all of you will still have a chance to escape,” Thales said bitterly.
“Your decision, Your Highness.” He completely ignored Thales’ words and shrugged wilfully.
“Or should we start with some appetizers first?”
“Let us see how far your kindness stretches, shall we?”
Thales frowned. He had a bad feeling in his heart.
Stake held his dagger and walked to Marina’s side. The edge of the blade was pressed against the blood vessels on her neck. It forced her to look up and tilt her head back.
“Settle down, lady.” Stake stood behind Marina. He smiled savagely and said, “It won’t be good if I scratch your face.”
Marina was just about to struggle when she heard those words. She went pale.
Thales’ expression became even more unpleasant.
Zakriel observed Thales’ face, and he apparently understood something. He looked pensive.
“How about we start with your enemy?”
Stake sneered. He stared at Thales, who was some distance away from him. “I’ll cut open her blood vassals to serve as a clock, reminding you to make your decision.
“Then we shall move to the stranger, your subordinate,and you bodyguard.”
Every single one of his words made Thales feel worse, and he became even angrier.
‘Calm down, Thales.
In his undeniably rich and varied life, he was always the one who had a blade against his neck and used as chip to threaten others.
‘This is really the first time someone’s used another person’s life to threaten me.’
Thales pursed his lips and mocked himself.
He felt extremely depressed.
“Zakriel, can you?” he forced those words out of his mouth.
But Zakriel already seemed to know what he was going to say. He just shook his head.
“A possibly fatal alchemy ball, plus four hostages in four different places… I can’t split myself into four to protect them all.”
The Knight of Judgment shook his head solemnly.
“No one can.”
Thales’ heart sank.
His last hope was destroyed.
When Zakriel saw how the prince reacted, he sighed slightly.
“But I can still save you, boy.”
The Knight of Judgment cast a glance at the faraway Stake and whispered, “His words are not credible, and your status is obviously more important than theirs.
“It’s not a difficult choice.”
Thales’ arm tensed. He found the sword in his hand extremely heavy.
‘Not a difficult choice?
Thales glanced at the hostages one after another: the distressed, bad-tempered noblewoman, Marina; the deceitful but kind-hearted Tampa; the free-spirited Quick Rope, who had an extraordinary status; as well as
With great difficulty, the prince looked at the dying Masked Protector.
‘Do I choose to sacrifice them all and escape alone?
‘Or do I sacrifice some of the “not so important” people and place my hopes on Zakriel ambushing them, hoping that he’ll turn the tides?
‘Stake has more than one card up his sleeve.
‘And as for me…
‘I have nothing, I’m stumped.’
Thales only felt a heavy burden settling on his shoulder.
“I don’t have all day, Your Highness.” Stake was tired of the stalemate. “Hurry up and make your decision,” he said coldly.
Very strangely, Thales was suddenly reminded of a moment six years ago.
Six years ago, when he was in Heroic Spirit Palace, he had also shouted at the five archdukes at the top of his voice and almost fell into despair.
At that time, he had even been swayed, and had truthfully wondered if he should accept Asda’s proposal to use the latter’s power to overturn the situation.
When he thought of it, Thales shivered slightly.
He clenched his teeth, and his grip around the sword gradually stiffened.
‘I’m not completely stumped, am I?
Thales raised his head laboriously, and looked around at all the people in the area.
He, Thales Jadestar, still had one last card up his sleeve.
When he thought of it, Thales gripped the hilt of his sword so hard, he almost crushed it.
The prince looked directly at Yodel’s dark purple mask. His expression was hard to read.
The Masked Protector was struck by a thought.
He realized what the prince wanted to do.
“No.” Yodel struggled as he trembled. He anxiously yelled Thales’ name.
“Don’t take the risk! You’re far more important than any of us!”
Thales closed his eyes.
Zakriel frowned. Stake glanced at all them suspiciously too.
‘I’m far more important than everyone else?’
The prince remembered the assassination that took place in Renaissance Palace a long time ago. Back then, Yodel pushed him away, disregarded his own life, and blocked three arrows with his body.
He remembered another scene in Dragon Clouds City, where people armed themselves with weapons to enter Heroic Spirit Palace. All because they wanted to fight for a chance for the prince’sunreliable plan.
‘At that time…
‘To Yodel and to those people…
‘It must have been an easy choice as well, right?
‘Because I am not just Thales, not just Prince Thales, but the heir to the kingdom.
‘But, am I, really?’
Thales remembered what Asda said to him a long time ago.
“‘If I had appeared in front of you when you were still a child beggar would you have reacted this way?”‘
The prince ground his teeth when he remembered his old self.
‘”Losing yourself in your life as a prince, or struggling and living a miserable life as a child beggar As you tread between the pain and joy of both existences have you ever thought of what you really are?
‘”A prince who’s respected because of his bloodline? A lowly and unfortunate child beggar? A child genius who matured early? A pitiful person who’s struggling and trying his best to change his fate?”‘
Thales’ breathing began to quicken again.
‘”When you’re stripped of all the definitions given to you by others, and you leave all the circumstances that have become your purpose of existence, what do you have left of yourself?”‘
‘What am I left with?’
The next second, Thales suddenly opened his eyes!
At that moment, he could feel that his voice sounded more determined and firm.
“The former Penal Officer and Watchman of the Royal Guards Sir Immanuel Zakriel, right?”
He no longer spoke in that unpleasant and airy voice resembling a drake.
His heart was extremely relaxed and filled with optimism.
He was no longer worried, no longer troubled.
The Knight of Judgment, who was observing the enemy, furrowed his eyebrows and turned his head around. “Hmm?”
“Please take action based on any opportunity you see fit and do your best,” Thales said decisively.
Zakriel was slightly stunned.
Thales did not answer. He just smiled faintly.
The detained Quick Rope thought that Thales was finally giving up on them. He became anxious and quickly spoke, “Ahem, Thales? Listen to me, we can choose a more neutral…”
But Thales shook his head.
“Quiet, Quick Rope.” The Prince of Constellation sighed.
“By the way, your sales presentation is horrible.”
Quick Rope was stunned.
Thales took a deep breath and smiled. He looked at Stake calmly and coldly.
“Stake, do you know that we are in the Alchemy Tower?
“They left behind a lot of things, most of which have been taken overby Constellation.”
Stake’s face turned cold. He suddenly had a feeling that things were about to go south.
‘What does he mean?’
The prince looked at the ruined environment in the dim underground prison before he stabbed the ground with his longsword.
“Wizards… before they disappeared, had all sorts of tricks, and the alchemy ball was just one of their most insignificant creations…”
With complex emotions, Thales stared at the polished longsword decorated with precious stones in his hand.
“The Jadestar Royal Family knew some of their tricks, and even mastered some of them,” he said absentmindedly. Then, snorted again, as though he was talking to himself.
“Of course, I’m not talking about the sparkling golden blood…”
Zakriel narrowed his eyes and scrutinized Thales again.
Stake made a silent gesture, and his assassins bound the hostages even tighter.
The prince looked up. He stared at the assassins before him.
Thales shifted his gaze away as if he did not see Yodel shaking his head violently.
‘Who am I?
‘I am Thales.
‘From the first day I came into the world until the last day of my life, I will be Thales,’ he thought.
‘No one can change it.
‘No one can deny it.
‘No one can question it.
‘Because I am and can only be Thales.
‘No one else.’
Thales clenched his sword hilt with his hands and felt calm.
“Don’t blink.” The prince chuckled when everyone stared at him strangely.
“This may be the most interesting, magical, and gorgeous magic show you have ever seen in your life.”
Thales quietly moved his left hand and gently placed it above the sharp silver blade on the longsword.
Stinging pain shot up through his palm. There was also a warm sensation from it.
There was a time when he had done such a thing while he was incredibly worked up.
But now, he was calm.
Would he succeed?
Stake instinctively felt that something was about to go wrong. He pushed the dagger against Marina’s throat and threatened the prince through gritted teeth. “Your Highness, I swear, once you play any tricks, I will immediately slit…”
However, Thales could not hear anything anymore.
Even Yodel and Zakriel disappeared from his senses.
At that moment, he was already wandering about in an endless stream of light like someone who had attained transcendence.
The Eastern Peninsula.
It was evening in an unknown small fishing village.
In a simple seaside hut was a pretty woman with brown skin and a quiet, polite face. She was washing the wooden bowl in her hand silently.
She listened to the sound of the waves by her ears. Her hands kept moving, and she had a calm, serene expression.
It was as if nothing could interrupt the peaceful and pleasant scene.
But at the next second…
A wooden bowl fell to the ground, and it spun continuously.
The woman did not pick it up.
Instead, she slowly looked up, and her face was full of surprise.
It was as if she had seen the most unbelievable thing in the world.
The next moment, the beautiful woman decisively left everything. She walked out of her hut and stared at the sea in the distance.
The last bits of the sun stayed above the sea, like a child taking a bath in the bathtub. It was about to sink completely below the horizon, but not quite yet, making it appear lazy and mischievous.
The woman looked at the sparkles of golden light above the horizon, but her expression grew more and more solemn.
A dry voice traveled into her ears abruptly like a heavy dash of ink that was suddenly spilled over a painting!
The dry voice spoke quickly, and it sounded very anxious. “This is… it!”
The woman nodded, her expression remaining tense.
“I know.” The woman named Freuland nodded slowly. Her voice was low and steady. It imperceptibly appeased all the anxiety in the things around her. “I felt it. That one has arrived at the edge of knocking on the Door again.”
The woman furrowed her eyebrows slightly.
The visitor in the air seemed to be in a hurry to do something. Before she finished speaking, he swiftly cut her off.
“He must be crazy-Quick! Where is he or she?”
Freuland did not answer immediately. She just stared solemnly at the surface of the sea.
The next moment, something unusual happened.
A purple light appeared.
An endless purple glow shot out from the depths of Freuland’s eyes!
The light crept onto the woman’s face like branches of a tree, spreading out.
As the light grew brighter, the woman’s facial features were gradually obscured. Her features were no longer soft, and she appeared to be more majestic and terrifying.
All things in the heavens and the earth seemed to lose their color. From that moment on, only she alone shone.
However, the woman was still looking at the surface of the sea without moving.
The voice in the air did not speak again. He knew what she was doing.
After a few seconds, the purple light shuddered.
The woman whispered her question, “Zarkel, where are you?”
The voice in the air rose again. It sounded as empty as before, but this time, there was a barely-noticeable hint of wariness.
“Dragon Clouds City. I heard that Gizaappeared there before, and she had a fight with that evil witch, Clorysis, so I went to find clues. It’s quite lively here… ” the guest said dryly.
Freuland did not intend to listen to what he had to say next. Her face swayed slightly as it continued to shine in purple light.
“The target is not in Dragon Clouds City, or at least, not within a hundred miles from where you are.”
The woman narrowed her eyes a little, as though she was experiencing something. “Well, this time, the feeling’s much more obvious compared to the last time…”
After a moment, she suddenly opened her eyes.
“He’s in the Western Peninsula!
“The Great Desert!” she said decisively.
The voice in the air remained silent for a while. When it sounded again, there was a hint of happiness in it.
“Can you be more precise? Your ability is much better than the others when it comes to conducting searches, as long as we act before”
However, in the next moment, Zarkel’s voice was suddenly cut off like had taken a sharp breath!
He was not the only one! The light on Freuland’s face trembled as well!
The woman appeared to notice something. Her expression suddenly changed, and she looked up at the sky.
Everything was normal. The clouds were quiet and the sky was silent.
Only a few seagulls flew lazily over the sea at dusk. They crossed the waves to return to their nests.
But that was not the point.
The purple light shining from the woman’s eyes became more unstable.
The voice in the air suddenly became wary. There was a slight quiver in it.
“No, no, this is…”
The woman nodded gravely.
“It’s Blood Spike and Hellen.” An unprecedentedly complex expression appeared on Freuland’s face.
“They are knocking on the Door.”
There was only silence in the air.
The silence lasted for a while until the woman sighed deeply.
“Perhaps they’re just like us. They prepared countless methods and waited for six whole years for the newcomer to show himself or herself. They’ve been waiting for him or her to knock on the Door again.”
The dry voice in the air slowly spoke falteringly. There was a doubting tone in his voice, filled with uncertainty and a great unwillingness to admit defeat.
“So, if the new person… Once he or she successfully knocks on the Door and enters his or her basic form…”
Freuland sighed and nodded dejectedly.
“He or she will walk right into their trap, and it will be impossible for him or her to escape.
“The person will become a prize for the Two Empresses.”
The sea at dusk was pleasantly quiet with just the sounds of the waves and the cries of the seagulls.
Two-thirds of the sun had already set. The golden color of the sea slowly turned deep red.
The woman stood quietly. Her face was sad.
The violet light on her face became fainter. Her gentle and pretty looks returned to her face.
Then, Zarkel’s voice appeared again.
“No, that is no longer the point.”
Freuland looked up indifferently.
“What do you mean?”
The guest in the air was silent for a while before he spoke with great worry.
“Blood Spike and Hellen are wary of each other, and their hatred of each other runs deep like the sea. Once they have a chance, they’ll tear each other apart.
“If they find the new person at the same time, I don’t think they will be willing to share…”
‘And that means’
The dry voice was slowly getting softer.
Freuland frowned slightly and shook her head.
But Zarkel was obviously immersed in his own words. He continued.
“Six years ago, they ran into each other in their basic forms because of that newcomer, and they fought against each other brashly. The aftermath of their battle stirred up a huge tsunami around the Eye of the Sea of Eradication. It was one that happened only once a century. If the Sovereign of the Abyss had not awakened in Hell’s River and come over to control the situation…”
The dry voice grew weaker again.
The woman frowned. There was worry on her face.
“For this encounter, they must have made full preparations,” the disembodied Zarkel said gloomily.
“Be it for the newcomer or for each other,” he muttered.
The woman faced the sea. In the face of the empty space, a sympathetic and disbelieving expression appeared on her face.
‘Two Empresses who are fully prepared?
‘And the newcomer has to face the Two Empresses who are coincidentally arch enemies of each other?’
Her heart suddenly clenched.
The brown skinned woman closed her eyes and sighed.
“They are the best Mystics in the world. They wouldn’t be so reckless and short-sighted to destroy the world, right?”
This time, the empty voice in the air laughed emotionlessly. There was a gloomy tone in it.
“More than six hundred years ago, he said this to us too.”
The woman tightened her grip on her forearm.
The visitor in the air slowly sighed and uttered a strange phrase, “The Holy Sun.”
Freuland was slightly stunned.
‘The Holy Sun.
‘How long has it been since I last heard that name?’
The mysterious person in the air spoke softly, “During the last fight in the Battle of Eradication, he personally descended to the Final Empire’s Capital of Triumph to speak to the Truth Brothers, who had been driven into a corner…
“It happened before the final negotiations.”
Freuland did not answer.
Another wave rose. The setting sun in the west completely sank below the sea’s surface, leaving the quiet and comfortable world with a bleak future.v