Chapter 163: Monster and Monster
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Your reaction isn’t quite right.” Leisurely massaging his long and slim fingers, Asda observed Thales’ reaction. “The air pressure in your body is changing rapidly…”
“Giza Streelman,” the Air Mystic repeated flatly. “Why, does this name trigger some memories?”
‘The Blood Mystic.’
Thales’ expression varied as recalled his unusual experience in the birch tree forest. It was a combination of anxiety, fright, terror, disgust, abnormality and mania.
There was also what that unreasonable woman said before disappearing into the darkness.
‘”I definitely will not let you suffer.”‘
Pale-faced, the Prince of Constellation was jolted out from the past. Raising his head, he looked at Asda as he sighed and nodded.
“Not long ago, I had a relaxed and friendly conversation with your dearest Miss Giza, who is widely rumored to be one of Blood Bottle Gang’s bosses,” Thales said listlessly.
Asda narrowed his eyes a little. Thoughts made up of mystic energy surged slowly within his body.
‘So, she’s already safe from the threat of the Blazing Wind Cannon; no longer weak or in deep sleep. She’s also regained consciousness once again.
‘Perhaps, she has even recovered her ability to eat.’
Asda’s thoughts fluctuated slightly.
‘Ever since I recovered my physical body, I’ve travelled a long distance to search for this boy, following his peculiar breath.
‘I never cared about affairs related to Blood Bottle Gang at all.
‘Compared to this boy, Blood Bottle Gang is practically a worthless pawn.
‘However, since Giza has returned…
‘Perhaps, it is time to talk to her after such a long time.
‘After all, because of this boy’s appearance, Blood Bottle Gang’s plan may have to be delayed…’
However, what Thales said after that recaptured the Mystic’s attention.
“Seeing a fellow Mystic, Madam Giza expressed uncontrollable joy.” Observing Asda’s expression, Thales took a deep breath and exhaled with force.
“She then decided to kill me…
“To celebrate our first meeting.”
Having said that, Thales noticed that Asda was furrowing his brows. It was a rare sight.
The Air Mystic, who had been nonchalant as well as unmoving rested his right hand on his left arm and pinched his chin. He contemplated for a moment.
Thales raised his hands and gestured two quotation marks with his fingers. He raised his brows and mocked, “Quoting her original words, ‘This is for your own good’.”
Asda’s expression was solemn.
“You mean to say…
“Giza knew that you’re a future Mystic, but still tried to kill you?” The Air Mystic cleverly got the point.
Gazing into Asda’s eyes, the second prince nodded slightly.
“She obviously did not welcome my identity as a Mystic,” Thales shrugged and spoke in a mocking manner, whether it was intentional or not. “I reckon that competition is tough in the field of Mystics to the point that she needed to beat down a newbie?”
Asda continued muttering to himself and Thales could feel that he was contemplating things carefully.
“I was fortunate that day.” Thales shook his head. “I can practically imagine my next meeting with her…”
After some time, the Air Mystic raised his head solemnly.
“Hmm, this is a problem,” Asda’s tone became cold once again, his eyes were bright and piercing. “As her partner, I will have a talk with her, just as we did in the past.”
Watching Asda’s expression, Thales assumed that their conversation was about to end.
At the very least, the enmity between them was starting to dissipate.
‘It’s time to discuss my future plans with him.
‘Although it sounds tempting, becoming a Mystic and obtaining great power… it’s too risky. It would be better for me to observe for a bit…
At this moment, the Air Mystic got up from his non-existent ‘chair’, and interrupted Thales from his thoughts without any expression.
Thales’ face immediately changed.
“Go?” Thales’ gaze flickered and his breathing became rapid. “Where are we going?”
“I’m taking you away from this place, of course.” The Air Mystic raised his hand and blew open the bedroom window, revealing the darkness outside. Cold air seeped into the room non-stop.
Sleeping soundly beside the bed, Little Slick unconsciously curled up and licked her lips. She tightened the blanket around her body.
“Now?” Thales shuddered. Clenching his fists, he stared at Asda in disbelief. “Isn’t this a bit sudden?”
“Right now, there are two complete and powerful legendary anti-mystic weapons in Dragon Clouds City,” Asda said slowly. “They are in this palace.”
Thales froze and looked outside the door.
The Air Mystic sighed. “Surely you didn’t think that I took such a risk to find you here… just to sit down and have a chat with you?”
Thales furrowed his brows and his breathing became unstoppably rapid.
His worst fear had come true.
“Get ready to begin your new life.” Asda nodded nonchalantly and said, “As a Mystic, your journey is just beginning, and there is still a long way to go.”
Scratching his head, Thales desperately thought of excuses to buy time. “Wait, but I-I still have a lot of questions like what’s the relationship between wizards and Mystics, what do I do to become a Mystic, and what Giza said about the faction of Mystics. Oh, yes, there’s the legendary anti-mystic equipment as well…”
Seeing through his plan, Asda shook his head heartlessly. “Child, both of us know very well that stalling for time is pointless. Even if your subordinates notice something wrong and come to rescue you…
“It will just be their misfortune, even for that seemingly supreme class elf, whose breathing is balanced and steady,” the Mystic replied flatly.
“We’ve proven it a thousand years ago, that even the gods can’t do anything about us.”
He glanced at the open window and felt the chilly air against his skin.
‘What do I do now?’
“Wait…” Thales raised his head. He looked worried and anxious.
‘It’s one thing to become a Mystic, but letting go of everything and leaving with Asda is another matter altogether.’
He had to find a way to stay.
“The circumstances of Mystics in this world are horrible, aren’t they?” Thales stared at the Air Mystic and sighed. “From the destruction of the Ancient Empire to the Battle of Eradication and the separation of the peninsulas… Perhaps, it is not a good idea for me to leave with you? Perhaps, I should stay here. We can regularly…”
Unexpectedly, Asda stared at him from above with an indecipherable gaze.
Thales felt his heart clench from Asda’s stare. He could not help but swallow his remaining words.
Asda spoke slowly with an undulating tone. However, his words somehow sent a chill down Thales’ spine.
“The world chose to control our numbers by forgetting about magic and the past. Therefore, most people don’t know who we are, like those idiots under me in the gang.
“Even the Battle of Eradication that everyone ought to be very familiar with became a legend where humans fought against unknown calamities.”
The Mystic put his hands behind his back. “Nonetheless, those with status as well as power are still vigilant about us, and they see us as the biggest threat.
“Both magic and mystic energy are deeply loathed.” Asda narrowed his eyes slightly. “However, this is exactly why you must come with me.”
Thales stared at Asda, his blood froze.
Asda’s gaze was grim. “The moment your identity comes to light, they won’t care that you’re a prince. You will be treated worse than those orcs who fell into human hands.”
A little stunned, Thales stared at Asda.
Pursing his lips, he recalled the play about the Battle of Eradication, which was staged in Dark Night Temple; what Gilbert said about calamities; the disconcerting Black Prophet, Ramon who kept himself out of the public’s sight; and Yodel’s mask.
More than ten seconds later.
“No, I can’t just leave like this…” Gritting his teeth, Thales shook his head.
“I am-I am their prince. I have responsibilities, and I know a lot of people… Some things cannot be abandoned that easily. There is conflict between Eckstedt and Constellation. If I go missing, war… war will—”
However, he was cut off by the Mystic again.
Asda flashed a little smile, but his gaze was a mocking one. “Are you refusing to become a Mystic because you’re worried about your safety…
“Or, are you reluctant to leave your esteemed life as the Prince of Constellation?”
Hearing that, Thales froze a little.
The Air Mystic snorted coldly and said, “Even though two months ago…
“You were only a lowly child beggar?”
At this point, Thales was truly shaken.
‘Reluctant to leave…
‘Prince of Constellation…
He recalled the night he first arrived in Mindis Hall, when that robust figure announced that he was the only remaining heir to Constellation’s throne.
How Gilbert and Yodel kneeled on one knee before him…
Wya pledging his life with his hand on his chest…
Ralf clumsily signalling, “As you wish.”
Last but not least, the surging crowd below the Hall of Stars along with their deafening cheers.
Thales subconsciously curled his hands into balls of fists.
“If I had appeared in front of you when you were still a child beggar… would you still react like this?” Even though Asda was not speaking rapidly or loudly, Thales felt strangely pressured.
Thales took a deep breath.
He recalled the child beggars, who were shivering in the sixth house…
How he struggled amid the cold and hunger every year…
Morris’ fierce wolfhound…
Quide’s hideous expression, and Rick’s mysterious smile.
“Losing yourself in your life as a prince, or struggling and living a miserable life as a child beggar…” Asda stared coldly at him. “As you tread between the pain and joy of both kinds of existences… have you ever thought of what you really are?
“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?
“A prince who is 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?” Asda lowered his head to look at Thales’ expression.
Thales’ breathing became increasingly rapid.
‘A respected prince.
‘A lowly child beggar.
‘The magnificent palace where I’ve lived comfortably without having to worry about food and clothing, with subordinates at my beck and call.
‘The dilapidated Abandoned House, the cold and hungry days, as well as the swearing thugs who beat us regularly.
‘The difference is like heaven and earth.’
“I…” Without realizing, he opened his mouth to retort.
However, he realized that he was unable to say anything.
Thales stared at the floor in a daze.
‘Is this really what I’m thinking?
‘Unable to leave, because I’m reluctant to leave the honored life of a prince?’
“Child, you have to understand that to become a Mystic… you will have to wave goodbye to your past, no matter how magnificent or unforgettable it is, and no matter how reluctant you are.
“Don’t let your past tie you down. Only by decisively letting it go will you be able to ascend.
“The moment you become a Mystic, you will understand everything I’m saying right now…”
Thales subconsciously put his hand on his chest.
The burn wound inflicted by the Mindis Silver Coin seemed to be aching dully again.
The inscription on the silver coin appeared in his mind again: A king does not gain respect by virtue of his bloodline.
“Being a Mystic is not an occupation, or a title,” Asda said resolutely. “Its significance exceeds your wildest imagination. It is a turning point where you can find, understand and remold yourself.
“Right now, you have the opportunity to make your own choice.” The Mystic went up to Thales and extended his hand towards Thales’ face. “You can choose between going back to your original life, which seems real and earnest, but is in reality without choice, freedom, aim and direction…”
Asda’s hand stopped right in front of Thales’ nose. He turned his palm over, and a ray of blue light flashed out of it, swirling continuously around the Mystic’s palm. In the end, a dark blue ball of light was formed.
Just like that night in Red Street Market.
“Or you can choose to listen to your inner voice,” the Mystic continue saying. “And choose to see, see how far you can go, and what you can achieve.
“Discover who you really are.”
Staring at the ball of light in Asda’s palm, Thales furrowed his brows tightly.
‘How far I can go…
‘What I can achieve…
‘Discover who I really am…’
Asda clenched his fist softly. With that, the ball of light in his palm was extinguished.
A surge of air then blew past Thales’ cheeks.
The Mystic’s gaze changed. “This was what my guide told me a thousand years ago as he led me down the path of being a Mystic. I was lost at that time.”
Thales listened to Asda’s words with an unpleasant expression. He dug his fingernails deeper and deeper into his palms.
“And a thousand years later, as your guide, I will lead you into becoming the most miraculous creature in this world.” Asda nodded slightly. “Believe me, eternal life and infinite power are not the only things you will gain as a Mystic. Those are just additional perks.
Slowly raising his arms, the Air Mystic’s tone was distant and mysterious. “The world we see, the view we have, and the things we feel are far greater than what the other creatures can imagine. In the face of that, the glory of the gods, the pride of the priests, and the honor of the kings pale in comparison.”
The miserable Thales lowered his head.
‘Do I just leave with him like this?
‘True. Right now, even though I am of honorable status, the road ahead of me is full of dangers. Even if I stay in Constellation, the fact that I’m a Mystic is a hidden peril…
‘Why don’t I just…’
At this moment, Thales’ heart jumped, and many faces flashed across his mind.
Gilbert’s hopeful gaze.
Jines’ contradictory gaze.
The masked protector who held his shoulders tightly.
Jala’s nonchalant expression.
That night, Thales recalled everything that happened and how because of him, thousands of people in Constellation as well as Eckstedt could continue to enjoy peace and safety from war.
Asda put down his arms and stared at Thales. With a firm gaze, he slowly nodded.
“We should go now.”
Thales took a deep breath and raised his head to look at Asda.
“I need time,” he said earnestly. “You can’t just appear like this all of a sudden and ask me to go with you; let go of everything and forgo my life right now to become some… inhuman creature that everyone hates.”
Asda narrowed his eyes.
“And you didn’t even tell me what Mystics and mystic energy are… No matter how mysterious and justified your reasons sound, they weren’t able to convince me to let go of everything and embrace an unknown future.”
Thales clenched his fists and gritted his teeth softly. “At least, not this way.
“You have to at least give me enough time to think before making a choice.
“Or, we can take a step-by-step approach. For example, you can stay in the dark and teach me the relevant knowledge… instead of going far away…”
The Mystic did not say a word for a good ten seconds.
He then shook his head slowly as he stared at Thales.
“What a pity. I’ve been patient enough with you.” He sighed. “However, my patience has now run out.”
Before Thales could react, he realized that he was floating in the air!
Pale with fear, Thales was about to open his mouth when he felt a surge of dizziness!
Soon, he noticed that the view before his eyes was spinning, flashing and changing rapidly!
Amid the rustling wind, coldness seeped into Thales’ exposed skin, and the chilly air poured into his mouth as well as his nose.
Thales wanted to say something, but he was unable to. He felt himself starting to spin, and he could not tell the sky apart from the ground anymore.
Carrying him, Asda flew out of the window.
High up in the air, Thales gritted his teeth from the pain. From a tiny bedroom, the view before his eyes became that of hazy snow under the moonlight and majestic mountains.
Heroic Spirit Palace got increasingly smaller and farther away in his eyes.
The Star Killer, Nicholas stood in the Hall of Heroes with an unpleasant expression.
His gaze was fixated on a hideous pike on the wall shelf.
It was the Soul Slayer Pike.
A low and rapid vibration could be heard.
Standing beside Nicholas, a few members of the White Blade Guards stared at the pike in shock.
‘The legendary Soul Slayer Pike is… vibrating?’
Narrowing his eyes, Nicholas walked forward and placed his palm on the Soul Slayer Pike.
The commander of the White Blade Guards felt the sensation beneath his palms.
He then heaved a loud sigh.
“Activate the alarm in Heroic Spirit Palace now.” Nicholas raised his head abruptly. His expression was solemn and grave. “This is of the highest priority!
“We are in deep trouble.”
Next to him, a subordinate furrowed his brows.
‘The highest priority?’
Still, he nodded respectfully and left.
“Seal off the palace portcullis that leads to Axe District and Spear District. Make an inventory of all the men who are patrolling, whether they are palace guards or members of the White Blade Guards.” Nicholas turned and from his back, he removed a knife, which had a white handle.
It was a special knife.
The body of the knife was bright silver and its tip was grayish. On the other hand, the spine of the knife was dark and brassy.
The curve of the knife was different from that of the white blades exclusive to members of the White Blade Guards. The knife had two curves and a tiny spike rose from between those curves.
“I want everyone to report back every five minutes. In case anyone goes missing, I want to know the position where he was last seen within five minutes.” Holding his knife, Nicholas’ expression was as cold as ice. He ordered his subordinates as he walked, “We are heading to His Majesty’s bedroom immediately.”
The guards who were responsible for passing down orders left immediately. Soon, emergency whistles could be heard everywhere.
“What’s going on, Boss?” Beside Nicholas, his assistant asked with furrowed brows. “The Soul Slayer Pike…”
“Well, things are not looking good.” The Star Killer quickened his footsteps. There was a hint of crimson on his pale face. “The Soul Slayer Pike would not display a warning for no reason.
“Based on records in the ‘Legend of the White Blade Guards’, the last time it rang like this was more than six hundred years ago.
His assistant’s expression froze.
“More than six hundred years ago?” the assistant repeated in disbelief.
As the orders were transmitted, more and more soldiers, who were walking around passed the order. Their tone was increasingly hurried and the atmosphere became progressively tense.
“Yes, more than six hundred years ago…” Nicholas walked calmly towards the king’s bedroom.
As he raised the knife in his hand, he sternly said, “When the Soul Slayer Pike was still in King Raikaru’s hands during the Battle of Eradication…”
Thales struggled desperately amid the rustling wind, trying to look clearly at the scene before his eyes.
However, he could only see Asda and his fluttering clothes.
A few seconds later, he felt that they were descending at a rapid pace.
An intense and sharp sound rang in the thick of the wind.
A dull thumping sound followed.
Before Thales could figure out what was going on, his vision blurred.
The next moment, he tumbled onto the soft, snow-covered ground.
He felt pain in his shoulders.
Coughing furiously, Thales lamented his misfortune in his heart and rose from the ground with much effort.
‘What’s going on?
‘Why did he stop all of a sudden?’
He shivered from the cold.
Shortly after, the Prince of Constellation froze.
He strained his neck to look up.
Under the moonlight, he realized that a gigantic statue had appeared before his eyes.
It seemed to be a few storeys high.
The statue was one of a heroic warrior. He was wielding a long pike, and he had a valiant as well as compassionate expression on his face.
It was Raikaru Eckstedt’s statue.
Thales realized with a start that they were at the Cliff of the Sky, the highest point in Dragon Clouds City.
Looking around, he realized that the entire of Dragon Clouds City was below his feet.
‘That statue of Raikaru the Hero looked so small from down there.
‘But, now that it’s right before my eyes—’
Asda’s voice rang at this moment and it jolted Thales out of his thoughts.
“Did you really think that I wouldn’t notice you?” Asda sighed. His tone seemed to be filled with dissatisfaction. “Whether in Heroic Spirit Palace or up here in the air, I was deliberately avoiding you.”
In shock, Thales turned his head back and saw that Asda was standing below the statue.
He was standing face-to-face with a dark silhouette, who was a distance away from him.
Thales narrowed his eyes and stared at the silhouette. “Who… is that?’
“I’m really not in the mood to play around with you today… Monster who never dies.” Asda shook his head. His gaze was sharp.
The Mystic narrowed his eyes and smiled.
Thales suddenly trembled!
Thales took a step forward and stared at the silhouette in disbelief.
From what he could recall, this nickname signified…
The silhouette stepped out slowly beneath the moonlight.
He raised a strange, fully-black long sword.
“Such a coincidence.” The expressionless man turned his body a little. His head was slightly lowered, and under the moonlight, only his black garment could be seen.
In the darkness, a pair of eyes that shone with a bright light stared back at the Mystic.
“I am not in the mood either…
“Monster who never dies.”
Uttering his words softly, the man called Black Sword had an icy cold gaze.