Chapter 3 : Pink Big-Eyed Child
This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and StellarAshes.
“Liola, get undressed quickly. Hurry!”
Before he finished what he wanted to say, Kaiser pounced on Liola like a monkey, and started stripping the white Knight uniform off Liola.
“Wow, s-so the relationship between the two dages is like this…” Purity covered her eyes, but peeked from the crack.
“I think, it’s because Kaiser wants to sell the clothes…” Liola calmly concluded.
“What?!” Purity immediately joined Kaiser, and started stripping Liola:
“You can’t do that! It’s my elder brother’s clothes. It’s Purity’s precious treasure. You can’t sell it!”
Facing two people who were forcefully stripping him, Liola didn’t have much of a reaction. Instead, he let them do whatever they wanted.
The only question he raised was: “The dorm has been destroyed. What do we do?”
The two stopped after hearing that. Kaiser looked the other person, who had been in the school for a while:
“The dorm has already turned into a hazardous building. The principal will at least do something now, right?”
“Principal Barbalis has always been…” Purity gulped, and continued: “Strange. What he’s going to do, I have no idea.”
“Who cares; the boss is going to take care of our accommodations.” Kaiser carelessly answered.
Purity seemed to have mustered all her courage and said: “I-if you sell my older brother’s clothes, then I won’t hire you as bodyguards!”
“What!” Kaiser heard this, and his face turned pale. He immediately let go of the half of the shirt that he held, and his speech became extremely flattering.
“Boss, I was just kidding with you. I would never sell the boss’s precious treasure.”
“Good,” Purity sighed with relief, “But Liola-dage looks really good in older brother’s Knight uniform, so dage should keep it to wear as the Silver Mask.”
Liola and Kaiser both looked at Purity. Kaiser started flailing:
“Why do we need the Silver Mask? That troublesome guy Jetter is already blaming the School of Knights. Now that the Silver Mask is gone, they will have no one to dispute with. Let the School of Knight and Mecha Fighters duke it out, and we can even watch the show.”
“But… the Silver Mask was REALLY cool!” Purity lowered her head, disappointed.
“What’s so cool about such a silly name?” Kaiser rolled his eyes. But when he saw that the boss was starting to pout, Kaiser immediately changed the topic: “It’s already past noon. We should go to school now; if we get expelled from school, there will be deaths involved.
Liola was planning to change his clothes, but Purity looked at him with disappointed eyes.
Liola unfastened a button, and Purity’s disappointed eyes started tearing up. And when Liola was done taking off his shirt, Purity was already crying in a corner while doodling on the ground.
‘Three black lines‘ descended onto Kaiser’s face, and he helplessly said to Liola: “I think you should just keep it on, and just wear your School of Sorcery robe on top of it. Otherwise, the boss might not be giving out dinner tonight.”
Purity immediately turned around and looked at Liola with sparkly eyes, who, after looking at Purity, put on his gray robe, took off his mask and then put it in his pocket.
To avoid the class ending before they even arrive, they all hurried toward the classroom.
“Purity, what are the characteristics of the three schools?” On the way, Liola asked Purity, which was unusual for him. After having experienced it a few times, he finally understood that, if he didn’t want an answer to something, all he had to do was ask Kaiser.
“Oh, Liola-dage you didn’t know?” Purity explained excitedly:
“School of Knight specializes in training knights. There are all sorts of Knights inside. Paladins, Dark Knights. The most famous Knight would be Dragon Knights. But there aren’t many Dragon Knights in the School of Knights. After all, most Dragon Knights come from the Dragon Empire, so there aren’t many in Aklan Academy. Last I heard, I think there’s only three or four.”
“What’s their…” Liola mainly wanted to know the Knights’ characteristics, such as moves and weapons.
Kaiser flung his finger, and carelessly said: “Knights value honor, bloodline, and their weapons. Their strength comes mainly from their fighting spirit and their martial arts.”
Purity nodded desperately and added: “The students from School of Knights are cool and handsome!”
“As for the School of Mecha Fighter, I think you’ve already seen it?”
“What are rank-D and rank-C mechas?” Liola pointed out what he didn’t understand.
“Mechas are also put into ranks of A through D. A signifies the best and D the worst. Ordinarily, rank-C mechas are already pretty good. But with a pilot like Jetter, rank-C and rank-D probably don’t seem all that different; I felt sorry for that rank-C mecha.” Kaiser sighed.
Liola wanted to also ask about the School of Sorcery, because it was rare for Kaiser to answer seriously. But he thought that, as soon as he gets to the classroom, he will understand what Sorcerers do, so he didn’t bother to ask.
Quietly walking to school down along the broad road lined up with trees, Liola never imagined he’d be living so peacefully.
After deserting the organization and falling into an alien world, he felt that everything had turned out quite well for him. No matter how powerful the organization was, they can’t chase him across dimensions.
But does falling into an alien world have something to do with Anise?
He remembered when the organization had cornered him, the necklace Anise gave him started to shake… Then a crack appeared in mid-air. With no alternatives left, he stepped into the crack and found himself in another world.
If this had something to do with Anise, then he owed her yet another favor that he couldn’t possibly ever return.
“Wow, Kaiser-dage, Liola-dage, look over there!” Purity suddenly screamed surprisingly.
“Just call me Kaiser. It’s strange for you to call me Kaiser-dage.” Kaiser always felt there was something funny about calling him dage.
He then looked at where Purity pointed, and his eyes shone.
“Damn, a Dragon.”
A green, enormous creature was imprisoned within an electrified cage.
The creature was about ten meters, and covered in a beautiful, white scales that shone under the sunlight. The pair of wings on the back, though restrained by the electrified cage, had large sharp ends that drove fear into the hearts of its enemies.
Its body full of muscle was also driving people away. This was the most famous creature from Dragon Empire — a Dragon.
“Dragon? Does this have to do with Dragon Knights?” Liola instinctively connected the dots.
‘Can it be that this huge creature was actually a mount? This would be a bit too astonishing.’ Despite that, Liola’s face still remained calm.
“Yup. This is my third time seeing a Dragon, and this white Dragon is the most beautiful one that I’ve seen. The Dragon Knight who entered this year must be a handsome guy too. I want to see how cool he is.” Purity held her cheeks and began to daydream about the Dragon Knight.
“Uh, I think you might see him sooner than you think.” Kaiser painfully raised his head: “This guy has almost broken out of the electrified cage.”
“What?” Purity stared at the Dragon dumbfoundedly.
For some reason, the beautiful yet fearsome Dragon seemed to have gone crazy, and it repeated rammed at the cage around it.
Liola frowned, the cage’s bars suddenly broke off, and the huge Dragon flew out unobstructed, and landed in front of everyone. It stretched its muscular hind legs, and it shook the ground with every step.
“W-what do we do now? I’m scared!” Purity grabbed Liola’s leg, as if doing so would mean the Dragon couldn’t step on her.
“Just don’t worry about it.” Kaiser watched as if he were watching a movie. Besides, the Dragon was fairly far away, and he saw that there were a few students in Knights’ uniform around the Dragon.
According to what he knew of the Knights’ spirits, those people would stop the Dragon from harming innocent people like himself, even if it costs their lives.
“Wow, another one got flattened.” Kaiser clicked his tongue and shook his head.
“What?!” Purity panicked and stared at the Dragon.
With the Dragon’s ferocity, there were already a few School of Knights students on the ground in a pool of blood. But everyone still standing held their swords, trying to prevent the Dragon from leaving.
Purity was so scared that she felt her heart beating out of her chest.
If this continues, the casualties would be too great to the School of Knights. Was there any way to help those knights…?
Purity paused, and looked at the leg she was holding onto, and the white uniform underneath the robe… the Silver Mask!
“Liola, please!” Purity mustered her courage, and said, trembling, in front of Liola.
“No.” Liola said decidedly.
Purity was surprised by Liola’s cold face, and she lost the courage to ask Liola again. All she could do was turn around to ask Kaiser, who was the only one who could make Liola do anything. But instead Kaiser ignored her, and continued to enjoy the show.[T/N: want some popcorn? E/N: Yes plz, you got buffalo flavor powder?]
With no one else to turn to, Purity took off her brooch and yelled:
“This brooch was given to me on my eighteenth birthday. It is adorned with three rubies, and several diamond pieces; it is also made out of the so-called strongest metal — adamantium alloy…”
Before Purity could finish explaining, Kaiser’s eyes were shooting out blinding lights:
“That’s the compensation for beating that Dragon?”
“Yes,” Purity held tightly brooch, “If you beat that Dragon, it’s yours.”
Kaiser did not say anything else. He took out his gun, and fired it at the Dragon’s head. And then… he grabbed the boss and ran off, and all he left behind was:
“Liola, the rest is up to the Silver Mask…”
Liola was planning on rejecting Kaiser, but when he turned around and saw the Dragon already angrily charging towards him.
With his sharp eyes, Liola could already see that the person reflected in the Dragon eyes was himself. Since the actual culprit ran off too quickly, the Dragon probably assumed that Liola was the one who shot it.
Without any delay, Liola put on his mask, threw his gray robe toward the forest around him, and became Silver Mask for the second time.
At this time, the Dragon was already in front of Liola, and opened his enormous mouth to attack Liola. But Liola used this opportunity to jump on top of the Dragon’s head, and utilizing the momentum of his body to punch the back of the Dragon’s head with his elbow.
The blow was definitely felt by the Dragon, because it started shaking his head wildly, and ran around crazily . It also tried to stick its head into the forest, trying to get the unwanted guest off his head.
But Liola already predicted its intentions. After he attacked the head, he slip down along the Dragon’s spine to attack the Dragon’s back, but… Wings!
Liola suddenly remembered this creature had a pair of wings.
Unfortunately, the Dragon spread its wings and took off. Dragons were, after all, the kings of sky, and in the blink of an eye, it was high up in the air.
“Ugh, too careless.” Liola was a bit frustrated, thinking that his awareness had deteriorated.
But in actuality, it’s not really his fault. In the world Liola came from, there wasn’t many things that could fly, much less to such an attitude, so fast that he couldn’t jump off.
The Dragon obviously knew that what’s on its back could not fly, and it would fall to its death as soon as it detaches from the Dragon’s body.
The Dragon started to accelerate and stop suddenly, trying to throw the invader off. It even started circling in the air.
At this time, more and more people gathered to watch, including the culprit and his accomplice.
Seeing Liola’s tragic plight, Purity was at the point where foam was about to come out of her mouth:
“Silver Mask.” Kaiser corrected with a straight face.
There were too many people around them, and it was difficult to ascertain if someone was listening in on them. It’s better off to call him Silver Mask for now.
“S-silver Mask… is he going to be okay?”
At this time, the Dragon started flying figure eights.
Purity was close to fainting, and had Kaiser not been holding her, she would’ve already been making out with the ground.
“Well…” Kaiser was looking into the sky.
Although he hadn’t met Liola for long, the best assassin in the world, who could even take on a rank-X criminal, should be able to handle a simple Dragon.
Though judging by the circumstance, it does not bode well.
The situation with Liola in the air wasn’t great. In order to not fall off, Liola had to hold tightly onto the Dragon. But the Dragon’s scales were extremely sharp and, before long, Liola’s hands were full of cuts, and his white shirt were starting to be covered with blood.
Liola wasn’t going to give up, and when the Dragon was doing aerial stunts, his feet repeatedly kicked the Dragon’s spine. The Dragon roared in pain as a result, and Liola knew it wasn’t feeling too great either.
After circling for a while, Liola was getting impatient:
“I only promised to not kill any sentient creatures. If you can understand what I’m saying, then let’s go back to the ground; if not, then you’re not sentient.”
And with his threat, Liola finally took out the weapon that had never left his side — a silver stick of about forty centimeters long, with fine-patterned carvings.
With one hand holding onto the Dragon’s spike, Liola held one end of the stick in his other hand, and biting onto the other end.
With a slight twist, the silver stick cracked open at about a fourth along its length; Liola pulled,
and he pulled out a dagger as wide as his thumb, from the silver stick.
After some contemplation, Liola chose to stab at near the Dragon’s tail. This shouldn’t affect the Dragon’s flight, because, after all, he’s not ready to plunge to the ground along with the Dragon.
When blue blood erupt from the Dragon, it roared again in pain.
Liola knew, however, that this bit of pain wasn’t enough for the Dragon to surrender. He stabbed a few times more.
The Dragon’s tail was now covered in blue blood, and Liola’s white uniform was no longer white — it was red and blue.
“Descend now! Or I will kill you.”
Liola no longer concealed his murderous intent, and his eyes were filled with ruthlessness. And his left hand that was originally simply holding onto the Dragon’s spike, mercilessly turned the spike around and jabbed it into the Dragon’s body, and twisted the spike to tear Dragon’s flesh.
The Dragon was in severe pain. It turned around and, without caring whether it would harm itself, spat out several sharp Frostbolts toward Liola.
Despite the close distance, and his hand in the flesh of the Dragon, Liola quickly flipped and landed on the wing of the Dragon. Going with the flapping of its wings, Liola fearlessly broke a bone on the wing.
“Even if I fall, I will only get hurt.”
Liola coldly stated his final threat, and broke yet another bone on the wing. The two broken bones had already made the flight quite unstable.
With two broken bones and several holes in its back, the Dragon sadly howled. It probably knew that it no longer had the advantage, and stopped performing stunts. It flew smoothly, and the fierceness it once had was now replaced with a pitiful moan.
Liola saw this, and stopped with his attacks. He was no longer destroying the poor Dragon’s wings.
The silver dagger was also sheathed back to the silver stick, which was put back into his boots.
After having been through the killing career for many years, Liola knew that, unlike humans, animals won’t have any evil plans. As long as they were tamed, they were no longer dangerous.
Liola said soothingly, “It’s okay, I won’t harm you anymore.”
This time around, the Dragon seemed to have understood Liola. It turned around to look at him, and it wasn’t until now that Liola realized, this white Dragon actually had pink eyes. With the white scales and pink eyes, had Purity been here, she would been shaking and screaming, “cute!”
Liola touched the Dragon’s neck lightly. He originally wanted to touch its face, but the neck was far too long for him to do so. So he just had to settle with the neck.
Who knew that the Dragon actually turned his head around, and desperately nodded his head, as if it wanted Liola to touch his head. Liola laughed, and climbed up the Dragon’s neck, to touch its head and to comfort it.
But, when Liola’s bloodied hand touched the Dragon’s head, it felt like he was electrified.
Liola felt a strong pain, and he heard a loud sound. Liola lost consciousness, and fell out of the sky…
That loud sound seemed to have been…
“I look forward to learning from you, my strong master.”
* * *
“Liola, can you stop being an assassin?” A blurred yet familiar person stood in front of him, looking at him with hopeful eyes.
“The day I stop being an assassin is the day I die.” Because other than dying, there was no way that the organization would let him go.
“If, hypothetically, one day you won’t have to be an assassin anymore, what would you want to do?”
Liola remained quiet. He was raised to be an assassin, and his career was a killer. Even in his spare time he practiced killing. What else could he do in his life, other than being an assassin?
“Liola, when you don’t want to kill anymore, come find me, okay?”
Liola faintly answered: “… Okay.”
Anise eventually left. She left the organization, left that bamboo forest, and left him, thanks to other martial arts organizations ceaselessly trying to rescue her.
The organization could not defend itself against everyone, and did not want to make an enemy out of the entire world; so they eventually let her go.
Anise was really happy to finally be free again, as shown on her face. But, she was also really worried about him.
The Anise who had always hoped he could live like a normal person and not an assassin, with happiness intertwined with sadness, she faded away in front of his very eyes.
* * *
Suddenly opening his eyes, Liola’s mind was blank, “Where am I? Where is Anise?”
There’s someone behind him!
The alertness that Liola had trained since a boy made him jump up, and reflexively grabbed the person’s neck, about to break it. It was then when Liola suddenly heard in his head…
“Don’t kill anymore, okay?”
Liola suddenly let go, and remembered everything.
Anise was dead, and the organization chased him. He also fell into another world, and then some bastard with a gun got him into an aerial battle with a Dragon…
Right, where is that Dragon? It was then when Liola heard a quiet sob from the direction of his hand.
He turned around to look, and two pink eyes stared at him, with his shadow reflecting in them.
Although they look far different, Liola still blatantly stated: “You’re that Dragon.”
A cute child nodded desperately.
Those pink eyes and pink cheeks, along with soft, silver hair, would make anyone’s heart melt.
But the child’s body was spotted with a strange blue liquid, and the young body had plenty of wounds. The child didn’t seem to mind, but instead searched around Liola with curiosity.
Liola touched its forehead.
How would another person react when they see a ten-meter Dragon turn into a cute, five year old child?
Liola was confused.
(A normal person would probably be eaten when they see a Dragon, why would they even have a reaction to it?)
“Do you know how to talk?” Liola frowned. Compared to a young child, he was better at handling a Dragon.
The young child smiled and nodded, and desperately tried to run into Liola’s arms: “Papa, papa… pa…”
“Never mind, you shut up.”
Liola was having a headache.
What should he do now? If this were the old him, he would’ve definitely killed it without a second thought. Now… All he can do was give the child to Kaiser.
Grabbing the naked young child, Liola’s body felt as if it grew wings.
He jumped through the forest without making any sound, and returned to the dorm before long.
He saw that there were no one around, so he jumped through the window to his room, and surely enough, found two people waiting for him.
“Looks like it’s going to be hard to go to class today.” Kaiser lazily laid on the desk, two eyes gazed on the ruby brooch in his hand.
“Liola-dage, what do you have there… cute!” Purity began to talk, but when she saw the cute child, she immediately ran up to try to pinch the child’s pink cheeks.
Liola was more than happy to pass off the child, and immediately gave Purity the ‘hot potato’ in his hands.
He then grabbed a chair and sat next to Kaiser, and said coldly: “Don’t do this again.”
Kaiser smiled and answered: “Well, I can’t guarantee that.”
Liola frowned, but really wasn’t angry. Being with a guy who was obviously going to bring him trouble was far better than being with a backstabber, although Liola found himself angry more often now than he did in the past twenty odd years.
“But, pregnancies take nine months; you were only gone for ten minutes, how come you brought back a child?” Kaiser asked, but he had an idea what the answer was.
Liola was gone with a Dragon, and then came back alone with a child; Kaiser could easily guess where the child came from.
Liola ignored Kaiser’s nonsense and asked:
“What was the response from the School of Knights?”
Kaiser flung his finger and shrugged:
“Someone was really mad! Though this Dragon caused many casualties, I heard that a newcomer in the School of Knights shipped it from the Dragon Empire to be tamed later. But now it’s missing, and if it’s not returned, things may turn ugly.”
“But at the same time, many people admired Silver Mask for his bravery, and his aerial struggle with the Dragon, especially among the female students.” Kaiser laughed intently.
Liola coldly glanced at Kaiser, and looked at the pink-eyed child:
“Bring him back, and there will be no trouble.”
“Heartless!” Kaiser said, but at the same time looked as if he agrees.
“What, you’re going to take this child back?” Purity’s ears were quite sharp.
“Yeah, what else can we do? Keep him and cause more trouble?” Kaiser exclaimed.
Purity knew in her heart that the child in her arms was trouble, so she was reluctant to keep the child, and played with the child’s cheek while she had the chance.
Then as she looked at his face, she suddenly realized that, on the child’s forehead, there was a red oval mark, and according to what she remembered from ‘Dragon Knight’s Glory and Honor’…
Purity immediately threw the child into Kaiser’s arms, and then ran to Liola, as if she had forgotten what being afraid was.
Without caring about her brother’s clothes, she tore off the Knight uniform’s left sleeve, and was stunned at Liola’s left arm.
Kaiser, who had been fumbling around, now finally grabbed the pink-eyed child, and examined Liola’s arm with Purity.
Then Liola, too, looked at his own arm. He too, was stupefied. There was a silver scale growing out of his left arm.
“Liola-dage… Has turned into a Dragon Knight.”
Kaiser and Liola were both stunned. Purity repeated what she could remember from ‘Dragon Knight’s Glory and Honor’.
“Not everyone who wants to be a Dragon Knight could become one. Even at the Dragon Empire, the origin of the Dragon Knight, there are many Knights who could never gain the approval of a Dragon to become a true Dragon Knight.”
“To be a real Dragon Knight, one must first accumulate enormous strength; then they must beat a Dragon by themselves. Finally, they must acquire a Dragon’s approval. Only then, could they become a real Dragon Knight. In other words, Dragon Knights are powerful not just because of their Dragons, but also because they themselves are powerful.”
Finally, Purity stared at the scale on Liola’s left arm:
“The book says, when one acquires the Dragon’s approval, they must then drop their own blood on the Dragon’s forehead. And then the Dragon will take the scale from the center of its forehead and adorn it on the Dragon Knight’s left arm, to show its loyalty and to link its spirit to the Dragon Knight.”
Kaiser was petrified:
“You can also tell us, a Dragon who has linked its spirit with a master can’t change its master.”
The pink-eyed child, as if to show his intentions, wobbly walked up to Liola, and then climbed up Liola’s body like a lizard, and then stayed at Liola’s back.
The child even made a lowly snore, indicating that he was sound asleep.
“Right.” Purity somewhat hesitantly said: “Don’t let anyone know that Silver Mask is Liola-dage. Jetter from this morning is a son of the leader of Commerce Alliance — the origin of Mechas. And the leader is v-very influential.”
“Liola, I seriously beg you.” Kaiser showed a dignified expression: “Please don’t tell anyone you know me.”