Chapter 171: The Outcome of the Civil War
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Under the night sky, the bloody patches on Giza’s face had turned purple. In the ruined city centre, she stood with an alluring smile on the ‘slender’, pitch-black, hydra studded with sinister black thorns. It resembled a giant long-legged spider from afar.
“You will never have the opportunity to threaten our hopes again.” the Air Mystic maintained his calm expression—as light as clouds and as gentle as the wind. He watched Giza with indifference. “I will dispose of you immediately.”
“Haha.” The Blood Mystic laughed delicately, showing a dimple on her face. “Dispose of me? How are you going to do that?”
The Air Mystic’s eyes glimmered and the blue light on his face grew to a dazzling degree.
A strong turbulence suddenly exploded around Giza’s body. It caused the ‘pet’ beneath her to lose its footing. The airflow continued growing stronger in an attempt to sweep the Blood Mystic up.
The black monster beneath her was blown off the ground floated in the air. Only a sharp spike remained embedded in the ground.
The Air Mystic slowly said, “Above the sky lies an unknown land. It is a place even air cannot reach. It is cold, quiet, and flickers with light.
“There, life almost ceases to exist, even gravity loses its meaning. You will not fall, and yet, you will not fly. You will just meaninglessly revolve in an endless orbit around the sun, moon and constellations.” The Air Mystic’s voice was devoid of fluctuations. “You should just go there and have a few thousand years of slumber.
“Once we completely win this war for the survival of Mystics, a war that has lasted thousands of years whereby every one thousand years is counted as a single unit…”
Once the Mystic evolved, his rational, sombre voice quivered slight during that instant. “You will… awaken again to be in the new, prosperous and glorious world we build, one where we will have no enemies, no fear, and no running away!”
From the deathly still street came the sound from two sets of flighty footsteps.
Thales pulled Little Rascal along as they ‘ran’ across a street at almost walking speed, both were panting from exhaustion. They could not help but to stop and rest with their palms on their knees.
“Have-have we escaped?” Little Rascal’s voice trembled. She turned her head, unwilling to look at the people who had fallen dead on either side of the street.
“We’ll find out. Once we’re rested, we’ll keep walking, but don’t stop,” Thales said, gritting his teeth in perseverance.
Little Rascal bit her lip and shook her head.
“Year 346 of the Calendar of Eradication, the Allied Forces of the Eastern Peninsula invaded Dragon Clouds City during the Third Peninsular War. From Shield District, Hammer District, and Armor District, to Sword District, Bow District, Arrow District, Spear District…”
Thales raised his head and glanced at Little Rascal. He saw the little girl shiver as she murmured, “Besides Axe District and Heroic Spirit Palace still relying on the two final portcullises to fend against external attacks, the entire city was already conquered by the Night Wing King’s army. Up until Chara erected his black flag in Northland.
“But even then, the casualties in Dragon Clouds City still did not… and now,” Little Rascal’s eyes were red-rimmed as she firmly clutched Thales’ arm. She did not dare to look at the corpses sprawled all over the streets, “Dragon Clouds City… Is Dragon Clouds City going to be destroyed?”
“I don’t know,” Thales sighed with a heavy heart, “But we’re still alive and that’s enough.”
Thales straightened up. Without further explanation, he pulled Little Rascal up and continued walking.
He fixed his eyes firmly on the ground beneath his feet and carefully avoided the corpses that seemed to appear every two steps.
‘Also, Dragon Clouds City must possess a way to resist the Mystics. Otherwise…’
Thales raised his head and stared at the street, now enveloped in still silence. He gritted his teeth lightly.
‘This is what Mystics are, and this is their power? But…’
Thales lowered his head to look at a child at his right foot. He was about the same age as Thales and held a wooden stick in his hand before he died. Thales felt a wave of misery in his heart.
‘I guess no one can survive this…’
At this moment, a man’s weary voice rang from the ruins northwest of them.
“If I were you, boy… ”
Thales quivered as Little Rascal screamed in fright. Thales subconsciously took a retreating step. He held Little Rascal firmly behind him while his right hand groped for JC’s dagger. Then, he fixed his eyes unwaveringly at the place where the voice came from.
Thales scowled. He watched in disbelief as a corpse at his ten o’clock began to budge.
Thales, who already had experience with this, instantly felt his skin crawl. Little Rascal closed her eyes in fear.
The corpse turned over and revealed from under him… a hand?
With eyes opened wide in shock, Thales stared at the hand that extended from below-ground in surprise as it pushed away a pile of gravel and lumber. It then animatedly dug a hole in the snow.
A head emerged from inside. Thales felt a chill in his heart.
‘It can’t be.’
Fortunately, it was not as he imagined.
“If I were you, I would not go there,” Under the moonlight, a filthy, bloody man wearing a battered shirt climbed out from the hole. He panted as he laid down sideways, “Asda’s trick did not do a good job at clearing the place… there are still some ‘things’ moving up ahead.”
By the moonlight, Thales saw the man’s face clearly. He could not help but tremble as he stared intently at him.
‘My god… He… He’s… ‘
“Black Sword!” The words escaped Thales’ mouth as he spoke in amazement. “You… You aren’t dead?”
Little Rascal had her eyes wide open as she looked curiously at the dying man among the ruins.
“Pulled a trick… not dead for the time being.” Black Sword laid on his back on the ground and put on a weak and ugly smile on his average-looking face. He patted his left bicep, which had layers upon layers of thick, white cloth wrapped tightly around it, but there was a terrifying bloodstain on the cloth.
“I don’t die easily.”
If he was considered ‘disheveled’ when they were escaping Asda, then the only way to describe Black Sword’s current state was ‘miserable’—judging by the large and small wounds on him. Thales frowned.
Black Sword raised his head with effort and looked at the whole street of corpses. He fell back to the ground and heaved a long sigh.
“In front, there’s a group… of those things merging together… to become tentacles… and they’re still alive.” Black Sword gritted his teeth, broke out in cold sweat and trembled uncontrollably. In that instant, he seemed to be suffering from some kind of pain. Thales even felt as if something was changing deep inside his body, “And… it is… going crazy. Best that you… don’t go.
Thales squinted his eyes and looked down the straight street. Sure enough, he noticed a frantically twitching blood tentacle. One of those… disgusting pets of Giza’s.
His heart began to worry, ‘Is there another way. If not…’
Just as he pulled Little Rascal up and prepared to see if there was another way out, Black Sword’s voice rang from behind once again.
“Wait a minute, boy.”
Thales’ footsteps stalled.
The second prince turned his gaze around and looked at the miserable Black Sword who lay on the floor.
Black Sword swiftly exhaled, as if a wave of pain had just passed him. He curled his lips, his eyes sharp. “You… Who exactly are you?”
Thales stared at him and frowned. Little Rascal glanced at the prince and bit her lip.
Black Sword gradually calmed his breath, laid on the ground and set his eyes on Thales. “Asda’s trick—the one that sucks all the air out—was really terrible. I’m afraid that all the people in this block have died. I buried myself underground, desperately inhaling the little amount of air among the rocks and soil. Eventually, I escaped and survived it.”
“You really don’t die easily.” Thales shrugged and left.
“I’m used to the race against death,” Black Sword’s deep voice rang from behind him, “But it is you, little fella, you shouldn’t be alive.”
Thales clenched his hands.
“The degree of the attack Asda unleashed is one that does not differentiate friend or foe, he still didn’t forget to protect you both, right?” Black Sword huffed a hot, white breath. “Are you really that important to him? Who exactly are you?”
Thales was stunned. His heart rate began to accelerate.
‘Thankfully, Black Sword is injured. Hopefully he has no excess energy left to deal with me. But…’
Thales raised his head.
“Those two should be dueling at the moment,” Thales coldly said, “You better escape immediately.
“If you wait until one of them wins… Well, no matter who wins, you’ll be in trouble.”
Little Rascal timidly pulled at him.
“You better be more polite, little fella.” A disturbing radiance seeped from Black Sword’s eyes and he said darkly, “I’m now your only chance for survival.”
Thales was stunned upon hearing this.
“You should look forward to me recovering quickly so that I can deal with those tentacles, and flee with both of you when those other things chase after us.”
Thales stared blankly. “What?”
Finally, Black Sword’s burning eyes no longer stung. “If the both of them start fighting, you are hoping that Asda will come out the winner, correct? You think that at least you’re still of exploitable value to him?
“You think he won’t kill you?”
With a twitch of his eyebrows, Thales turned around and prepared to leave.
When Thales took a step forward, Black Sword shifted his body. The movement caused him to grimace in pain. “What a pity. The winner… will only be… that disgusting young lady.”
Thales finally frowned.
He turned towards Black Sword once again, “Why?”
“I’ve fought hand to hand against that young lady once before.” Black Sword sighed and smiled bitterly. “I survived.
“That girl has a special perception and… control over those with flesh and blood. Perhaps she also has killing moves, just like Asda does.” Under Thales’ extremely confused stare, Black Sword shook his head and flexed his wounded left arm, “But that is not the most terrifying part about her…
“She might seem crazy, brutal, and unreasonable.”
Black Sword turned his head, eyes solemn.
“But in her very bones, this b*tch really knows how to fight, and how to win. Compared to her, Asda’s like a Hercules who has never been in combat, he just has terrifying brute strength. In reality, he can’t withstand a single blow.”
Thales and Little Rascal exchanged a look. They both saw endless puzzlement in each other’s eyes.
“Why do you know this?” Thales shook his head. “You’ve never seen them fight, and they can’t even kill each other.”
“Killing is one matter, winning is another.” Black Sword snorted. “Asda and I are old acquaintances. Although I can’t kill him, I’m already used to escaping him one time after another.
“As for that young lady…”
Black Sword’s injuries seemed to taking a turn for the better, so he began exercising his right arm, “When Ramon was killed just now, I rushed towards her with the intention to flee and search for a place to recover.”
Thales sighed, “I thought you actually went forward to protect us.”
“You don’t need my protection.” Black Sword snorted lightly. “At that time, Asda would protect you.”
Thales shrugged and shifted his gaze.
“In short, I planned to pretend to be injured by her and deceive her with a piece of flesh.” Black Sword took a deep breath. “Alas, when the first strike was dealt, I realized that…
“I didn’t even need to ‘pretend’ to be injured.”
Cold sweat broke out on Black Sword’s forehead again. At that moment, Thales sensed some strange power surging from his body again. “The second time we fought against each other, she already absorbed all the experience gained during our first battle and completely overpowered me.”
Black Sword gritted his teeth and there was only a fierce glare in his eyes. “It’s different from when I faced Asda. During the second fight against her, I absolutely had no chance.
“Her battle instincts and experience… is something that seemingly powerful but actually completely harmless Air Mystic cannot imagine.”
Thales frowned again.
He remembered the people who were kneaded into balls and scoffed in his heart.
‘That’s your appraisal of Asda? Are you using the quality assessment criteria from China?’
Thales turned his head around in shock. Right before his eyes, he saw a blood-red figure suddenly dash towards them from the straight street.
Little Rascal tightened her grip over him. “Ah! It’s that… thing!”
Black Sword stared at the tentacles slithering madly towards them like snakes. As he shivered, he tried moving his feet and could not help but frown. “They lost their roots, but they can still move?!”
In the blink of an eye, the blood-red tentacle had already arrived right before their eyes.
Thales stared at the immobile Black Sword laying on the ground and sensed Little Rascal’s grip over his arm. He could not help but feel as if his soul had left his body in fear.
As the two Mystics fought against each other, Giza laughed maniacally. “New world? Hahahaha… I suddenly realized that you should be able to get along well with Lebla… Do you want to consider joining the Extremists?”
The Air Mystic did not reply her.
The next moment, the wind grew swiftly stronger.
The Blood Mystic did not drag the fight out any longer. She lowered her body swiftly and touched the gigantic, spider-like, pitch-black monster beneath her.
The latter shuddered. More black spikes shot out from its spike-riddled body. In the billowing wind, it sent those spikes piercing straight into the ground.
Faint tremors rose from the ground.
While watching his opponent attack calmly, Asda could not help the change in his expression, a dazzling blue light shone briefly on his face again.
The Blood Mystic and her pet continued swaying in the wind, but the former was still smiling while she met the Air Mystic’s gaze squarely.
A black spike shot out of the ground.
Then, a miniature version of the black monster shot out of the ground with an astonishing speed while covered in spikes as gravel flew all over the place.
It charged towards Asda from three steps behind him.
It knocked into a transparent barrier.
There was no change in the Air Mystic’s expression. He had brought up the air wall in the nick of time to block the monster behind his head.
And yet, more rustling sounds came, and the cracking of ground resounded around the Air Mystic.
Dozens of spider-like black monsters covered in spikes swiftly and nimbly broke out from the earth and shot out of the ground. Almost with no blind spots whatsoever, they surrounded Asda and pounced on him.
The Air Mystic clenched his fists lightly. Boundless visible water vapor immediately manifested within ten meters around him.
Those dozens of monsters shuddered simultaneously. However, their shivers only lasted for an instant before they regained their mobility and charged at him.
The Air Mystic raised his eyebrows.
“Extracting all the air from the area won’t work.” While within the violent gusts of wind, the Blood Mystic watched Asda with an air of superiority, as if she was watching something hilarious. “They are adorable little cuties that can tenaciously survive in vacuums.”
Eventually, the Air Mystic frowned slightly. However, a second later, he unfurled his fists.
The sound of countless ruined houses shattering traveled in the air. Air pressure rushed forward in billowing waves to pounce on the circular ten-meter vacuum and forcibly suppressed the monsters.
During the next moment, layers of ripples appeared on the crack-like blue light on the face of the seemingly extremely calm Air Mystic.
An invisible stream of air erupted outwards with a shocking momentum from Asda acting as the center.
Snow and dust flew into the air. Dirt and stone shot out in all directions. A sphere formed by dirt started expanding swiftly from the small center of the circle.
The violent stream of air turned into a whirlwind—the natural phenomenon that was the most impossible to defend against—and it blew away and cleared everything in the area.
In the ball of rotating air, the Air Mystic calmly observed everything happening around him. But before the astonishing ball of air could completely erupt, the Air Mystic suddenly turned his head around and looked towards a spot in the earth.
Over there was a small black monster that was dashing towards him without slowing down, as if it had completely ignored the great, rampaging wind.
In Asda’s eyes, he could only see the monster forcefully lift a spike and point it forward while it swayed in the storm. Once it had placed its other spiked limbs behind it, it kicked its feet repeatedly, and like an octopus in the ocean, it rushed forward in a bizarre fashion.
A grim look finally appeared on the Air Mystic’s face, who previously seemed to have lost his emotions.
‘This posture and movement… it’s what she used to take care of Black Sword just now on the cliff…’
More black monsters used those strange actions to maneuver through his terrifying air streams and shot towards the Air Mystic from all directions.
In that instant, Asda curled his left index finger and he shot up with a speed skin to lightning, flying into the air.
But it was already too late.
A monster pounced into the air and an incredibly long spike shot out of its abdomen. It pierced through Asda’s left shoulder blade. Then, it dragged him down.
Reacting immediately to the situation, the Air Mystic snapped his fingers. An invisible ball of air formed, and under high pressure, was condensed into a sharp blade that would erupt upon contact when it cuts through the thin spike at a horizontal angle.
However, more monsters would either shoot those spikes out or step on their own kind so that they could obtain an extra boost and pounce on Asda.
One monster pounced on his back. Another seized his ankle. One of them released a thin spike and had it pierce through his left eye. Another fell on his head. Countless others of their kind pounced on him in succession with clear, separate targets.
Dozens of black monsters covered the Air Mystic in the air during that instant and covered the blue light on him tightly.
The next moment, their spikey limbs shuddered back and forth like a bowstring that had been released.
*Rip! Schick! Splat!*
The sounds of flesh and blood being scrapped off resounded in the air unendingly.
During the next moment, as countless monsters cut, ripped, pierced, and bit into him, the airborne Asda was reduced to a million pieces.
His fingers, elbows, arms, chest, head, thighs, ankles… The Air Mystic’s torn body fell from the sky and scattered on the ground.
The rampaging airstream finally stopped.
The Blood Mystic and her black monster landed on the ground.
“I mentioned it before: Life is great.” The Blood Mystic lifted her index finger in a bewitching manner and tucked a fluttering purple lock from in front of her face to a spot behind her ear, as if she was teaching a naughty kitten a lesson. And then, with a horrifying smile, she said,
“These cuties were born with the mission to rely on their lean, compact bodies and their senses in the air; to hunt all their prey down under that nonsensical air pressure and air flow of yours.” The Blood Mystic chuckled.
Asda’s mangled body turned into glittering spots of blue light before they slowly gathered together to form the glowing outline of a human.
“Those movements, those… are the ones Black Sword used when he fought against me,” the glowing blue outline said, “You saw our fight against each other and used the lives you created to imitate him.”
“Oh, about that…” Giza’s body slowly descended. “That fellow is very powerful. He actually used a useless piece of flesh to deceive me… Since he’s so great, it’s only natural that he becomes my model for learning.
“After all, I was once a witch.” The Blood Mystic walked down from the gigantic black monster’s back, covered her mouth, and chuckled lightly. “Learning and experimenting was required in my past profession.”
The maiden gently bent her back while the purplish-red cracks on her face shuddered. She lifted a spider-like black monster that had been ‘severely injured’ by the air torrents just now and was lying next to her feet. Her gaze was so gentle, she looked as if she was caressing a kitten in her neighborhood.
However, during the next moment, a fierce look appeared on the Blood Mystic’s expression. The small monster in her hand jumped up and pounced on the Air Mystic’s blue light, which had yet to take complete form.
As if they had received an order, countless small black monsters leaped onto that blue light. Some of them exploded consecutively into broken limbs and blood, causing ripples to appear in the blue light that was about to take on a human shape.
“Mystic energy interference?” There was puzzlement in the voice coming from the glowing contour. “You know that will not be effective. At most, it will only delay my resurrection.”
However, Giza’s next answer made him fall silent.
“That will be sufficient.”
“Giza, you…” the glowing human outline spoke amid the ripples, as if he was slightly surprised.
The Blood Mystic laughed loudly. “Say, how much air do you think exists hundreds of feet, hundreds of meters, or even thousands of meters underground? How much time will you need to return to the surface using that meager supply of air?
“That amount of time should be enough for me to kill that boy.”
The glowing silhouette did not speak anymore, but he had obviously sped up his process of gaining a corporeal form, as if he had become extremely anxious.
But alas, every single black monster that exploded after they entered the blue light could scatter a portion of the blue light, greatly reducing his speed of recovery.
“Of course, you can increase the level of your power to strengthen your control and area of effect.” The Blood Mystic sighed. “But I do believe that if you want to immediately return when you are underground, the power that you’ll need…
“…Will require you to knock on the Door leading to that power, which is not yet open to you. Only then can you succeed, right?”
The glowing silhouette flashed brightly.
The Blood Mystic smiled coquettishly and said, “Now then, are you going to knock on the Door to protect the boy, or are you willing to watch the boy die for your own safety?”
The frequency of the flashes on the glowing silhouette grew more rapid.
“See? This is the tragedy of never going to war.” The Blood Mystic snorted lightly, then stroked her now blood-red hair, which had turned this way due to the evolution of her power just now.
“All of you, just a bunch of… amateurs who never went through civil war.”
A few seconds later, the glowing human-shaped outline finally spoke,
“I don’t understand. This isn’t how you do things. That so-called reason of yours is also untenable.
“Why are you willing to pay such a large price and face the danger of being sealed by anti-mystic equipment, or being discovered by Hellen to insist… on killing that boy? Just because you ‘don’t want him to suffer’, as you said?”
Asda’s voice sounded airy and indistinct since he had yet to gain physical form.
During that moment, both Mystics fell silent for a moment. Eventually, the Blood Mystic muttered faintly, “You won’t understand. No one else besides me will understand.”
In the next moment, a gigantic blood-red tentacle dragged the black monsters in the blue contour along with the blue light straight down into the bottomless underground.
Gravel tumbled down, filling up the pit which had formed when the tentacle broke out of the ground. The tremors lasted for a long, long time until they became fainter.
Eventually, they disappeared.
Giza was the only one left, and she watched the spot on the ground where Asda disappeared quietly. Her eyes were filled with a complicated emotion which would provoke much thought.
The gigantic black monster crawled forward from behind her. It stretched out its head, or perhaps it was a spiky limb, and affectionately bumped the Blood Mystic.
“That’s right.” The purplish-red spots on Giza’s face gradually faded away, and her expression returned to normal. She gently caressed the monster beside her and whispered,
“At least I still have you, Kilika.”