Chapter 90: Awakening (Three)
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
“The descendants of Disaster Sword want to imitate a type of the Power of Eradication?” Kohen raised his eyebrow. “Imitate? Does that mean, this type of power has a prototype to be imitated?”
“Prototype…” Zedi thought about it seriously and nodded. “Yes, you can say that—there is a type of superpower that can act as a prototype, and one can imitate it.”
Kohen furrowed his eyebrows and muttered, “Superpower?”
The police officer said in a puzzled tone, “This was how we addressed the Power of Eradication a long time ago. So the prototype of the superpower first appeared before the Battle of Eradication… That was at least seven hundred years ago?”
“Longer, it was a lot longer than what you imagined.” Zedi sucked in a breath as he recalled his discussion with the other scions.
He then said faintly, “The ‘prototype’ you mentioned appeared from the Age of Feudal Kings to the Ancient Empire, but the most famous record was during the climax of the Ancient Empire’s first civil strife— there was a person who possessed that ‘prototype’ superpower, who led the army into the Capital of Triumph and cut off the supreme emperor’s head.”
‘Cut off… an emperor’s… Head?’
Kohen widened his mouth in shock.
“Emperor? I would still believe you if you are talking about the small and weak Final Empire, but that was the great Ancient Empire! Why did history class never mention this?”
“There was more than one time where an emperor was attacked by assassins during the two dynasties of the empire, and there were only two successful cases. As to why you did not know about this at all as a noble…” Zedi put on a smug smile.
“First of all, it is because of the reason that is known to everyone, Constellation has very little historic information on the two empire dynasties. If you want to find the most complete historical material and ancient books, you would have to go to Mane et Nox Dynasty’s Flourish and Decay Pavilion or the Tower of Eradication’s Truth Library.
“Secondly, the Jade Star Royal Family is the descendant of the Caros Imperial Family, after all. Even if they know about this, do you think that the supreme king would happily put the phrase ‘the emperor was beheaded by the army’ into the books?
“Let us return to our original topic.” Zedi sat down cross-legged—this was Shao’s way of sitting down. Compared to his other method of sitting on his heels, Zedi felt that this sort of Far Eastern manner of sitting made him feel particularly like an expert—and he patted his saber.
“I heard that the fellow who murdered the emperor relied on this mysterious prototype superpower and defeated almost every one of his opponents in that era. Even the wizards had no choice but to be extremely careful when they met him.”
“Every opponent?” Kohen asked in surprise, “What made this prototype so powerful?”
“I am not clear about that.” Zedi furrowed his eyebrows. “There were records written in Crassus’ own notes that mentioned this: The biggest characteristic of the superpower was that it did not have any special characteristics.
“No special characteristics?”
Zedi spread his hands and said irresponsibly, “Anyway, that was what Crassus had written over a hundred years ago.”
“It does not seem right.” Kohen furrowed his brows and said skeptically, “If this sort of superpower was indeed so powerful, would there be no one who would compete to learn and master it during the past thousand years, making it the most popular Power of Eradication now?”
“Right, why was it not circulated widely? This is the strange part.” Zedi had a mysterious expression on his face, as if he wanted Kohen to ask him about it. “We have clarified this point.”
Kohen raised an eyebrow and crossed his hands in front of his chest, refusing to ask Zedi.
The corners of Zedi’s mouth curled up and he furrowed his brows as he stared resolutely at Kohen.
But the latter was still showing no interest in knowing, as if he came to the library only for a stroll and to listen to a story.
Finally, Zedi rolled his eyes at Kohen. He still could not resist the urge to pour out what was on his mind and said resignedly, “Crassus’ notes were quite vague, but only the information on the awakening and increase of levels for this power were recorded clearly. That was the research done by him and another scion at that time.”
Kohen stared at him, filled with curiosity.
Zedi opened his mouth and quoted a phrase that sounded like a verse from the Far Eastern countries, “Experience life or death to become extraordinary, experience living and dying in order to scale a peak.”
Kohen widened both of his eyes and his mouth, then shook his head twice.
‘I do not understand.’
Zedi sighed. “Our usual Power of Eradication, including the Four Main Original Superpowers, all have to rely on our sword style that never faded away as well as combat practices to be awakened.
“But this type of ‘prototype’ cannot be awakened through practice, and it is also unable to have any sort of increase in power based on our proficiency with it.” Zedi narrowed his eyes in an enigmatic manner.
“As a Power of Eradication, only when its wielder is in grave danger and is about to die…
“Would it have a slight chance of being awakened.”
Kohen widened his eyes.
“Experience life or death to become extraordinary, experience living and dying in order to scale a peak—it can only be awakened in situations where its wielder will most certainly die.”
The wide Truth Library was filled with silence.
Kohen widened his mouth in disbelief only after three seconds had passed. “It cannot be real! So those who had this prototype Power of Eradication are all…”
“Yes.” Zedi furrowed his brows tightly together and spoke a few words in doubt and confusion.
“People who experienced death.”
Kohen touched his abdomen with a ghastly expression on his face. There, on his abdomen, was a wound which had been formed when he was pierced by the Disaster Swordsman of Blood Bottle Gang. It was seemingly throbbing in pain.
Zedi looked perplexed when he said, “The Awakened who had this prototype Power of Eradication were the small handful of lucky ones on the battlefield. They had to suffer fatal injuries to be able to awaken, and I guess that more than half of those Awakened died from their injuries not long after they experienced their awakening.
“Let’s say, for example, your throat has been slashed, but you do not die immediately and such a power is awakened within you. Then, you would have recuperative abilities comparable to a dragon’s. You would be able to stand up, alive and kicking after all of your injuries are healed?” Kohen’s brows were wrinkled together. “It does not sound like something a human can do.”
The police shook his head in disbelief… he could not understand the meaning of this power.
“But at the end of the day, it did appear,” his teacher hung his head and said.
“I still have another guess that Shao very much agrees with.” Under Kohen’s gaze, Zedi held his breath and slowly relayed his inference.
“The stronger the people are, like those in supreme class or supra class, the terms and conditions for them to upgrade this Power of Eradication would be harsher. The ‘deadly situation’ needed would be even more brutal, and the mortality rate would also be higher… That was why Crassus thought of imitation instead of copying it down to the very last detail.”
Kohen sighed. “I guess, that sort of frantic and ruthless vibe was a residual effect of this power, which ‘courts death’?”
Zedi nodded. “That was the reason why even after the lucky ones survived and obtained the power, they still had to go through even more devastating deaths again and again if they wanted to increase their level and become stronger… Very few people survived, the others were…
Zedi sighed. “Thus, it is absolutely impossible for it to circulate in a large-scale.”
“Do you not think that it is very contradicting?!” Kohen raised his hand and objected from the floor. “If you want to awaken that power, you must seek death! If you want to become stronger, you must also seek death! Then, what is the purpose of me practicing this Power of Eradication?”
“Haha, becoming stronger is not necessarily just for surviving.” Zedi Taffner, the Tower of Eradication’s supreme class scion, chuckled. “Do not underestimate a person’s determination in pursuing power and becoming a powerful person.
“Was ‘Disaster Sword’ Crassus not an example? Why do you think he wanted to imitate this highly dangerous Power of Eradication?”
Kohen furrowed his brows.
‘What is your purpose anyway…?’
Kohen touched his head and thought of a question.
“Other than that person who murdered the emperor, are there anymore records of the others who Awakened? Who is the first Awakened in history?”
“Did I not tell you?” Zedi scratched his head gracelessly. If Director Lorbec was here, he would recognize that this head-scratching motion was almost exactly the same as Kohen’s. “We flipped through every ancient book, Shao even went to Mane et Nox Dynasty’s Flourish and Decay Pavilion…
“The first suspected record appeared during the Uncivilized Period, during the Iron Blood King’s world famous ‘Mankind’s Final Defensive Line’. A sixteen-year-old soldier who was seriously injured awakened to a type of superpower that could not be upgraded, and he became a laughingstock for a while. The second record appeared during the Age of Feudal Kings, before the Holiness Exorcism Campaign. There was one eighteen-year-old ordinary class infantryman who came back alive from the orcs’ tight encirclement. He then mastered the superpower and became a supra class.”
Kohen scratched his own head. “I guess, apart from ‘experiencing death’ and also the fact that they were all very young, you have not managed to find anything else, right?”
Zedi stared at him for a really long time.
“No, we did find something,” Zedi muttered.
“All of these people shared a common characteristic.”
“What common characteristic?” Kohen’s spirits were immediately lifted as he widened his eyes.
Zedi gave him a mysterious smile. “The two people mentioned just now fought against the orcs. It was before a period of time when mankind and orcs went into battle where they would awaken to this prototype superpower.
“The crucial point is right here.”
“Wait a minute, you!” Kohen looked at his teacher’s evil grin and recalled his teacher’s horrid interests. He became wary and could not help but gulp in difficulty. “I recognize this expression…”
“One person was within the tight encirclement, another was on the defense line.” The police raised both of his hands and crossed them in front of his chest as he made an exaggerated defensive motion. He continued to furrow his brows tightly. “Are you going to say…”
Zedi raised his eyebrow and stared at him.
“It was compulsory to do some indescribable things with the orcs… in order to awaken to that prototype, right?”
After Kohen had finished speaking, a familiar sound of the wind suddenly attacked him, just as he expected!
Kohen raised his hands proficiently and blocked Zedi’s hand strike.
Kohen snorted and laughed. ‘As expected, the same move used twice would be ineffective against me…’
Kohen’s face went pale as he placed his hand on his abdomen. He stared at the scabbard in Zedi’s left hand in disbelief.
“What have you been thinking all day long?!” Zedi pulled back the scabbard he thrusted out and said exasperatedly.
“In the West Line Battlefield, the soldiers were all crude and large.” Kohen rubbed his abdomen in pain. “You had to be proficient with some of their nonsense in order to blend in.”
“Back to the topic!” Zedi said, exasperated.
Kohen gave a dispirited smile and sat back up again.
“Remember the fellow who beheaded the emperor? We have records on that person who murdered the emperor.” Zedi sighed. “He was also a knight and a Northlander.”
Kohen looked confused.
Zedi narrowed his eyes. “The knight whom he served as his master already died when he was still a page. All along, no one taught that he was the person who murdered the emperor…”
Kohen shook his head. “So?”
Zedi exhaled. “That person who murdered the emperor only learned a basic sword style.”
Under Kohen’s curious gaze, Zedi’s eyes shone with a bright light.
“The ancient sword style to defeat the orcs.
“The sword style that is the origin of superpowers…”
Kohen came to a realization as he widened his eyes in shock. They could not have been any wider.
Zedi gently held onto the hilt of his sword and said, “The Northland Military Sword Style.”
Thales lifted his head.
“If I die here, war between Eckstedt and Constellation would certainly erupt,” he said steadily and calmly. “Constellation would be too busy to care for itself, let alone travel across the ocean to invade your country.”
“Two hundred years of prison life taught me one thing.” The vampire lightly pulled her cape tighter around her body, making her curvy figure even clearer and more alluring. However, her tone was very scary. “The greatest wealth is the power in my own hands.
“Do not underestimate the temptation of power,” Serena said indifferently, “It can turn people crazy.”
“Do you know how many casualties this will cause?” Thales asked calmly.
Serena seemed like she was grieving when she sighed. “Yes, all those precious lives and blood sacrifices… but it is as a Far Eastern saying goes: The great general will achieve outstanding battle achievements on ten thousand dead bodies and skeletons.”
Thales lifted his head and his gaze was filled with determination. “Lives are not toys that you are allowed to simply knead and play around with, ugly-faced woman.”
“Do not call me that, I will get angry,” Serena said quietly.
Thales ignored her. “You do not have the right, no one has that kind of right.”
“Too bad.” Serena’s eyes sparkled with exotic colors. “Since ancient times, many people have had this kind of right.”
Just as Thales was about to continue speaking to delay time, Serena decided not to bother wasting her breath on him again. In the next moment, she only said one sentence slowly, “I finally succeeded.”
In his heart, Thales was puzzled.
But he understood it shortly after!
He suddenly realized to his surprise that he was unable to move a single step.
Thales suddenly broke out in a cold sweat from fear.
‘What is going on?’
Thales wanted to use a wood chip to cut off the rope tying his hands, but even his fingers were stiff!
“Generally speaking, my ‘Halting Gaze’ only requires a few seconds to take effect on weak people.” Serena walked nonchalantly towards Thales and took away the wood chip in his hand under his shocked gaze.
“But you are indeed a real descendant of the Empire. It took me such a long time to freeze you.
“Compared to my younger sister’s power, this is not really a useful power in battle.” Serena sneered.
“Why was I wasting my breath? Did you really think you were the only one who was stalling for time?” Serena said coldly, “Every second that I have to speak with you disgusts me, little sh*t.”
Thales’ face was pale as he stared at Serena, but his neck was extremely stiff.
Serena smiled faintly.
“Are you ready to welcome your death? Second prince?”
‘How-how did it become this way?’
Thales could slowly move now, but he had already lost his trump card.
His heart was filled with incomparable remorse.
‘If only I had…
He suddenly came to a realization.
‘It is still not too late now!’
Thales clenched his teeth and squeezed out a few words from the gaps between his teeth. “Ugly… faced… woman…”
Serena no longer concealed her expression. She blatantly revealed her hatred and disgust.
“Damned little sh*t, I really want to suck you dry…”
Thales suddenly had an idea.
‘Quickly, come and suck my blood.
‘If that is the case…’
Serena’s face got closer to him, and she sniffed him deeply as if she was smelling a delicacy. Her long lashes scraped his eyebrows.
Yet, Serena did not do as he wished.
“No worries, I will not let you bleed and allow you to use that psionic ability… Such a shame, isn’t it?” Serena caressed his face and slowly blew air into his ear. “But still, I have spoken the truth…
“Your blood is really nutritious.”
The next moment, Thales’ neck was forcefully gripped by Serena and he was lifted up into the air!
‘Why is it this again!’ Thales cursed in his heart!
He was not able to breathe once more.
“Do you really think that I like to disguise myself as a little girl who cannot speak properly, and that I like holding back my disgust towards acting like a spoiled child in front of you?”
In the blink of an eye, Serena’s gaze became cold. “Or maybe, you thought that I would be really patient and wait for the day you become king. Then, I would wait until you become old and greying to give me a team of mercenaries, which would be of no use in restoring my throne?”
Her grip became even tighter!
“Serena? Little girl?
“How dare you address me like that? I have lived longer than the sum of all your ancestors’ lives!” she said fiercely, almost crushing Thales’ throat.
“For your rudeness,” she said coldly, “I will let you taste the pain of being on the verge of death.”
Thales kicked his legs in pain.
But, his hands were still tied firmly together and they could not even put up an effective struggle!
‘I have gone too far,’ he thought in pain.
“A very long time ago, Hestad told me that there was a Darkhan from a tribe who was proficient in battle, and he once said something like this to his best ally,” Serena stared at Thales’s struggles nonchalantly while she said coldly, “For the sake of our former friendship…
“I grant you a death without bleeding.”
“Oh! That silly ‘Get Thrashed Sword Style’, which fell into ruin over the course of a few thousand years?” Kohen placed his fist on his palm in realization.
“I thought no one ever practiced it again ever since the Quiquer’s Holiness Exorcism Campaign over three thousand years ago, which was during the Age of Feudal Kings and after we thoroughly defeated the orcs!”
“Be more respectful!” Zedi said sternly.
“Even though many of its sword moves, which had the initial purpose of resisting the orcs and Great Dragon seemed childish and ridiculous in the subsequent wars,” the Tower of Eradication’s scion stood upright before Kohen’s eyes, then seriously and solemnly said, “It was after all, the ‘origin sword’ for superpowers. Since all Four Main Original Superpowers were born from this, it would not be impossible for it to give birth to a fifth foreign type.”
“Wait a minute!” Kohen came to a realization and furrowed his brows. “According to this, we can already deduce the necessary requirements for such a prototype Power of Eradication to be awakened?”
“Yes.” Zedi nodded seriously.
“Firstly, you must be very young. Maybe above twelve years old and below twenty years old. Also, you cannot have awakened to any form of Power of Eradication before.
“Secondly, you must have completely inherited the foundation of the Northland Military Sword Style.
“Next, and this is the most important part. You must experience death but you cannot die immediately.
“Finally, you must have—what you said, a powerful recovery ability that is comparable to the Great Dragon’s—to come back alive from deadly injuries to ensure that your awakening is not the last scene of your life.
“And then, you have to repeat the entire process again.”
The scion lifted his head and took a look at the sky outside the window.
The sun had almost set.
Zedi recalled the figure who carried his sword in silence, and also the oath he took when he left.
“I will find that power.
“No matter how difficult it is, and what kind of price I have to pay.
“If this is the path that has been set before me…”
Zedi Taffner lowered his head and sighed.
“But this is absolutely impossible.”
After a long period of silence.
Kohen’s expression was serious. He was not impolite this time around, but he used honorifics as he spoke, “Teacher, does this prototype Power of Eradication have a name?”
Zedi paused for a moment before he slowly nodded.
“That person who murdered the emperor gave it a name.”
Kohen’s expression became grave. “What is it called?”
“It is related to the legend that you are very familiar with, having heard it for many times,” Zedi said faintly. “It is about death.
“It is the legend of the Bright God Church during ancient times. After people die, if their souls could not return to the Kingdom of God, they would then go down to hell.
“At the gateway of hell, before the seven kings’ residence, a dangerous and scary river would flow. Above the river was a crafty ferryman who rowed his boat all year long. He was in charge of receiving and guiding these souls of the dead.
“That river is called… Hell’s River.”
Kohen secretly trembled.
That was the story he heard from his mother, teacher, and even servants since he was young.
‘Maybe… that is not just a legend?’
“So, when you see Hell’s River, you also see death.
“However, the person who murdered the emperor believed that, inevitably, there would be some people possessing souls that not even Hell’s River would be willing to receive. The ferryman of Hell’s River would then send those souls back to the human world.
“They had seen Hell’s River, but returned from their deaths.”
Zedi enunciated each word clearly.
“The Power of Eradication obtained by coming back from death was named by the person who murdered the emperor as…
“The Sin of Hell’s River.”
Thales was struggling against the rope binding his hands.
His blue lips were trembling as he resisted powerlessly despite doing everything he could before this unmatched power.
Goosebumps rose on his skin due to the great pressure. His bones were chafing ruthlessly against each other due to his tight joints, and blood flowed to the surface of his skin. His heartbeat became increasingly faster as his heart throbbed under great pressure.
Stars and darkness emerged before his eyes as his vision slowly faded away.
It was as if there was a huge layer of glass between the air and his nose and mouth, which was stopping him from breathing.
His grey eyes trembled as he watched Serena’s grip become tighter and tighter.
Thales was still struggling as hard as he could. His legs would not stop kicking as he wanted to struggle free of this dark and despairing shadow of death.
But things became increasingly darker before his eyes.
Until he lost his vision.
Brain activity became exponentially tougher, harder, and slower because his mind was lacking oxygen.
His thoughts were no longer clear.
His memories started to become jumbled as numerous fragments of memories emerged prominently in his mind and gradually intersected with each other.
His heart was throbbing like crazy as it wanted to deliver more oxygen to the brain.
Yet, it was all futile.
Then, Constellation’s only heir, Thales Jadestar, stopped struggling.
His eyeballs turned upwards and his legs slumped down powerlessly. His shoulders went slack and he became still, like a calm atmosphere that appeared when dead silence filled an area.
Serena put on a satisfied smile.
The sun had set in the east, and the dark night finally arrived.
Thales TherrenGirana Kessel Jadestar…