Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
‘A bit further up.’
Thales calmly bade farewell to the Knight of Judgment’s axe as it disappeared together with the corridor right before his eyes.
He started to slowly rise again, as if he had lost his gravity. But this time, the prince struggled to keep his mind intact in the space where the flow of time was unknown.
He tried to recall his anchor point, to stay true to himself according to the lesson he had learned.
‘I just need to go a little further. There’s no need to knock on the Door.’ He tried his best to remain composed as he said this in his heart.
Countless scenes flashed in his mind. He saw the broken walls in the Abandoned House, the simple scullery in Sunset Pub, the wide balcony in the Hall of Stars, the flying snow in the birch tree forest, the many fireplaces in Heroic Spirit Palace…
He left the Prison of Bones, he even left Blade Fangs Camp. The further away he was from Zakriel, the better.
But just as the moment he thought of this, a strange burn appeared on his back. It was as if someone had lit a torch on his back!
Thales’ face changed. ‘That’s not right.’ At that moment, he was released from the state of ‘losing control’!
It was as though he was awakened from a good dream. The indifference he felt towards all matters was gone. Surprise filled his mind. ‘No’
In a fraction of a second, the burning sensation grew stronger. It spread from his back to his whole body before it slowly turned into a painful sensation where he felt like he was being torn and cut.
In that one second, Thales involuntarily contorted his face and screamed out loud!
‘This kind familiar sensation is something I haven’t felt in a long time Could it be?…
‘Shit.’ He thought of something, then he felt a chill in his heart.
As he suffered through pain from the burning and the feeling of being shredded, Thales suddenly felt weight around him, and in the next second he fell and crashed onto the ground!
A dull sound arose. Thales could care less about the pain on his knees and forehead. He madly rolled his body over to exert strength so that he could fling away the luggage he carried on his back!
‘Damn it, damn it!’ It felt like a piece of burning charcoal.
“Damn it!” Marina’s angry voice appeared beside his ears. She sounded like she had just made intimate contact with the ground. “What happened?!”
“AAAAHHH AXE OW!” Quick Rope’s panicked screams appeared next to him in the dark.
“Hey…?” They could hear huffing and pudding. It sounded like Quick Rope just crawled up from the ground. “Is this hell’s river?”
Thales exhaled laboriously. He felt the burning sensation on his back slowly disappear. Another sensation spread to his nerves.
The Prince of Constellation spoke through gritted teeth as he panted, “Yes, this is… hell’s river. And as for me, I am your ferryman”
He touched the ground and felt its texture. He sighed in his heart. ‘So’
They were still in danger.
“Thales!” When Quick Rope heard his voice, he felt joyful, but immediately afterwards, he became even more puzzled. “But wh-why can’t we see”
In his panic, he heard a gentle scratching, then a sudden flash of light appeared in front of him. It made Quick Rope subconsciously shield his eyes.
Marina lit a small torch in the darkness. She stood up while cursing, and wiped the dust from her face. “Damn it! Where are”
But she did not manage to continue speaking. The strange smell that wafted into her nose and the area she saw allowed her to locate their position.
The swordswoman in red exercised her neck which had been seized by the Knight of Judgment. She frowned. “We’re still in the Prison of Bones?…”
Thales did not reply. His face was now pale and he shuddered.
Quick Rope regained his vision. He lowered his hands gently and stared blankly at Marina raising the torch in her hands. He turned to his side to face the teenager panting on the ground. His expression darkened. “What just happened?”
The confused expression disappeared from his face. It was obvious the prince was in a bad condition. He helped Thales up and made the latter lean against the wall.
“Where is the large man? And what about that friend of yours, with the mask?”
Thales panted hard. He bore with the increasing pain and forced out his words. “This is a ‘little magic trick’ of the Alchemy Tower. Why don’t you try to understand the contraptions in the Prison of Bones? They can transport you to different places”
Marina was somewhat shocked. Thales attempted to squeeze out a smile.
Quick Rope’s expression, however, had lost its teasing look. The novice mercenary now squatted in front of Thales as he stared at the latter silently. His gaze became profound as though he was thinking about something.
“A little magic trick?” Quick Rope’s expression made Thales unable to help but think about Quick Rope’s true identity.
“Yes, so I made use of it ah!”
Thales could not continue on. The growing pain in his chest came attacking him. It made him break out in cold sweat and his lips quivered.
Even though he lacked consultation from other Mystics, he learned something from certain experiences: the assassination in the horse carriage on King’s Street; the attack by the Mystic Gun Unit before Broken Dragon Fortress; his accidental knocking on the Door when he fought against Giza in Dragon Clouds City; the warning Asda gave him before he left.
‘When in danger, unless there is no other way, I must absolutely not let others know about my mysterious mystic energy.’
The damage and destruction on the body while he was ‘losing control’ could not be underestimated, and as the amount of mystic energy he used increased, the damage on him would also grow. Once he reached the state where he could knock on the Door, the price that followed could even be fatal.
So Thales was very grateful to Taurus. He was by far the best and most mysterious Mystic to him.
‘Thanks to his kind help and patient guidance, I can find my “anchor point”. I managed to retain my rationality while I lost control (maybe I was a bit too rational), and I managed to escape the danger of releasing my mystic energy and making things go out of control, which will inevitably lead to me knocking on the Door.’
But even if, in the past, Thales did manage to successfully avoid knocking on the Door, and avoid the pain that would surely assault him when he used his mystic energy, the price of ‘losing control’ remained as something he could not overlook.
Based on his experience from when he fought against Stake, he could only be in the magical state of “losing control” for a few minutes at most before the sudden pain would jolt him awake and cut him off from his strange power.
Nevertheless, Thales knew that the item that cut off his mystic energy as he fled from Zakriel’s axe was not the pain that came as a side effect from using his mystic energy. It was…
Thales held his chest and stared at the other side in disbelief. The luggage Marina had returned to him lay quietly on the floor, revealing a small piece of a crossbow body.
‘The Crossbow of Time, a legendary anti-mystic equipment… Damn it!’
They were still in the Prison of Bones, and he had found the reason why they did not manage to escape from the place…It seemed that he absolutely could not ‘lose control’ next time when he holds this thing in his hand.
When he thought of this, Thales felt himself twitch in pain. His face contorted.
“You look bad.” Marina noticed the prince’s unusual pain. Puzzled, she walked towards him with the torch raised. “Were you hurt by the lunatic?”
‘No… This is just a side effect of forcefully using mystic energy, along with the bow repelling my presence.’
Thales wiped away his sweat. As he shuddered, he forced himself to make his lips curl up.
“Yeah. He’s pretty rough when he attacked.”
Quick Rope stayed quiet.
Marina bent down, and picked up a silver longsword from the floor. “This is Ricky’s sword.”
Marina’s eyebrows knitted together slowly under the firelight. Thales’ heart became nervous again. Marina stared at him, and her gaze turned colder.
“I saw that brand on the lunatic’s face, it was the same as Samel’s What happened to Ricky and the others?”
Thales pursed his lips. He had to bear with the pain in him while he dealt with the person in front of him. This caused him to feel mentally and physically exhausted, and also troubled.
‘What can I say? “Sorry, your leader has a hole in his head now because of my friend”?’
“He” Thales said hoarsely.
At that moment, Quick Rope screamed loudly in surprise, “Something’s wrong!” The novice mercenary opened his eyes wide and looked Marina. He then pointed at Thales leaning against the wall before he said in a terrified manner, “He’s your nose is bleeding!”
Thales subconsciously touched his nose. Just as Quick Rope said, there was moisture on his hands.
He felt dizzy. He leaned against the wall before he slid down, shuddering. Marina frowned. Quick Rope was alarmed and took two steps forward to support Thales.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Well…” the prince said feebly with a chuckle, “Ha, I’m a member of the Jadestar Royal Family. I’m more or less unique.”
‘Jadestar Royal Family.’ When Marina heard those words, her face darkened once more.
“No, we must do something, he doesn’t look good.” Quick Rope turned to Marina with a worried face. “Lady? Please take care of this side, I’ll look for something in his luggage”
Marina looked at Thales with a complicated expression before she looked at the sword in her hand. In the end, she sighed, raised her torch, and walked forward.
“Jadestar prince.” When she stared at Thales who was in pain, Marina whispered, “You saved me just now. Why?”
Thales tried his best to twitch his mouth. As cold sweat trickled down his skin, he squeezed out a few teasing words. “Maybe it’s only because I don’t like to kill? Maybe it’s because you’re a woman, and a pretty one to boot? So, according to the stories about knights, I decided to be merciful”
‘…and take you into my harem.’
Thales’ chest hurt again. The pain stabbed at him until his facial features contorted. The joke that would probably have him killed died in his mouth.
But Marina did not pay attention to his teasing, neither did she become angry. Her temper had been bad earlier, but now she only stared at him quietly.
“You know, we have a grudge between us, regardless of whether it’s the past events which happened during the Bloody Year, or the event that transpired in the tavern.”
Thales snorted coldly. He did not care much about his tone because of the torturous pain.
“So I must kill you? Or should I look on happily while you get killed?”
Marina was stunned. Conflict appeared on her face.
“But your father will.” The swordswoman in red said hesitantly, “Just like how he sentenced my family to die eighteen years ago.”
This time, Thales was speechless. However, in the next moment, Marina seemed to have decided on something. She lifted her head suddenly and looked at the prince with bright, sparkling eyes.
“Seiberg Novork,” the lady said softly. “He was my uncle, a member of the Starlight Brigade, and the personal guard of the late Duke of Star Lake. He was also the person who killed the duke.”
Thales was suddenly surprised. ‘Seiberg Novork… and the Duke of Star Lake. What does this mean?’
Thales stared at her in a daze. Since his attention was split, the pain in his body no longer seemed that unbearable.
“Listen.” Marina stared at him with eager eyes as though she was staring at her savior.
“If you do return to the Eternal Star City, Prince Thales; if you are really different from your thrice-cursed father; if you really do care about the blood shed by innocents
“…please investigate this matter and find out the truth.” Marina’s eyes started to become red, making Thales feel at a loss. “Find the truth of Duke John’s assassination in Zodra during the Bloody Year.”
‘Duke John’ Thales frowned.
“My father, Lanzar Novork, was supposed to be the heir to the title of Honorary Duke of Novork. Before he went to the gallows, he secretly served the Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department.” Marina gritted her teeth and said with a quivering voice, “The third day after King Aydi was assassinated, which was the day before Duke John was killed, my father released a messenger crow in secret. This was the only lead I found after so many years.”
Thales shivered slightly. ‘Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department. The third day after King Aydi was assassinated Which also means’
“I have been wandering for years, my power is weak. I can only rely on every single force of power and use every method at my disposal to find the truth, but I still couldn’t figure anything out. I could do nothing.” Marina’s lips quivered. Her chest heaved like she was suppressing her emotions.
“But you are the prince, the future king. You can definitely do much more than I can. I’m begging you!”
Marina’s eyes had practically turned bloodshot when she said the last few words. The words were hissed through her teeth, and there was no telling how many battles and struggles she had gone through in her mind before she managed to say those words.
At this moment, Quick Rope’s voice came from the luggage. “I found something, Thales, maybe you need this”
Another sharp pain wracked his body. Thales closed his eyes tightly and tried hard to wave his hand. “I’m fine, it’s just some ailment I’ve had since young, I just need to rest for a”
In the next second…
A loud noise suddenly appeared, making Thales involuntarily snap his eyes wide open.
The light of the flame shuddered and the torch fell to the ground along with his longsword. Marina lost consciousness and collapsed in a lump on the floor. By her side was Quick Rope. With a serious expression, he retracted the palm that hit her.
Thales was stunned. At that moment, the torch shone from the floor, making Quick Rope’s face appear scary, cold, and profound.
“Quick Rope, you”
Quick Rope did not answer, he just silently bent down and yanked up the unconscious Marina.
“Are you okay?” Quick Rope asked calmly. He dragged Marina to one side. “Or are you going to die in the next second?”
Thales stared at him in a daze.
“Why” The prince only managed to ask part of his sentence before he saw the thing in Quick Rope’s hands.
It was a special, black crossbow. An arrow had been nocked to the string, ready to fire.
“You ask me why?” Quick Rope picked up the torch with one hand and walked forward coldly. “So, are you going to tell me the truth, Thales Jadestar?”
Thales gritted his teeth. ‘The truth’
He only saw Quick Rope holding the torch alone. He shook the crossbow in his hand and stared at Thales coldly.
“Just what is that power of yours?”
At that moment, Thales felt his body become stiff, and his tongue was heavy. In his daze, even the side effects of losing control was no longer that unbearable. He just sat quietly and stared at Quick Rope who had a stern look on his face.
Quick Rope also stared back at him in silence.
After a while, Thales sighed. He turned his head away and forced out his answer under the dual pressure: the ache in his body, and the gaze of his companion.
“I mentioned it earlier. This is a type of magic that is rarely seen. Once Constellation occupied this place and claimed this place as their own”
Quick Rope laughed coldly. “Magic? What bullsh*t. According to what I know, no magic can suddenly move us from one place to another, even if it was six hundred years ago.”
His cold retort made Thales’ remaining words die in his mouth. Quick Rope stared at him.
“Listen, Thales. I may have lived a ridiculous life when I was young, but I still received the education given to the children of suzerains as I grew up, and I’m older than you by about ten years, perhaps even more. Once I became the heir, I gained even more unusual knowledge.”
Quick Rope squatted down slowly. His eyes were exceptionally serious. The light from the flame drew closer to Thales, and the scorching heat made him slightly uncomfortable.
His heart, however, was cold.
“I know who that man was, and I also know what the things he said meant,” Quick Rope said nonchalantly. It was as if this was a normal conversation… but only Thales knew just how hostile Quick Rope currently was in that moment with his fierce tone and terrifying gaze. “I even know why you suddenly turned from a weak teenager into a cold-blooded killer… I know the reason why you are now in pain.”
At that moment, Thales appeared as though he did not know the person in front of him; it was like the optimistic, humorous mercenary Quick Rope had turned into this sad and resolute prince of the enemy kingdom who abandoned everything.
Moriah Walton had returned.
“There wasan exceptionally scary calamity six hundred years ago, during the Battle of Eradication. Whenever it was on the battlefield, our ancestors would suffer repeated defeats. We did not have any hope of winning… because that calamity could foresee the future and the unknown.”
Moriah laughed coldly.
“It could tell from which angle the sun would rise on the second day, each of its enemies movements, and the future of the world. Everything was under its control.”
‘Foresee the future?’ Thales breathed absent-mindedly. ‘There’s such a person among the Mystics?’
Moriah shook his head and said, “How can you defeat an immortal monster who could see the future, and had everything under its control?”
At that moment, Thales’ breathing froze.
“We had no answer… until the birth of this weapon.”
Moriah examined the black body of the crossbow in his hand. The emotions in his eyes were unclear.
“Its user was a Northlander. After the war, he pledged his loyalty to King Raikaru and Eckstedt. So, after many years, this crossbow was passed onto King Nuven. It served as testimony to ‘Raikaru’s Pledge’, and was given as a gift to the City of Faraway Prayers which was, among the ten great territories, located furthest from the capital. It was also the territory where its citizens lived the hardest lives.
“I only just recognized this to be the most unique legendary anti-mystic equipment in the records of the Dragon Spear Familythe Crossbow of Time.”
In the next second, Moriah coolly stood up. He held the trigger, raised his slightly shivering arms, and pointed the crossbow at the teenager before him.
Thales’ face was ghastly pale. He could only cover his chest desperately.
“You are a Mystic, Thales.” Moriah’s eyes were shining. He uttered his words with a cold voice. “A calamity. Just like the ones who destroyed everything six hundred years ago.”
Thales gently closed his eyes. ‘Finally, this day has come…’
Moriah’s voice quivered when he said,
“Just like the calamity who destroyed Dragon Clouds City and killed my father six years ago.”