Chapter 1 : Soul’s Binding
“Warriors are simply meat shields.”
“Only idiots without the talents of magic would become Warriors, such low lives!”
“Warriors can only swing their swords stupidly. They are practically unevolved Barbarians. Magic, on the other hand, is the true art.”
NO! That’s not how it is! Lucifer desperately swung his sword, trying to prove Warrior wasn’t just a lowly profession, or a profession only people without Magic talents would enter. Warriors can and should be a more important profession.
This was an era for Magic; it was so common that it could be seen everywhere. Though not everyone knew the kind of large-scale Magic that would bring destruction to the world, but almost everyone could cast the simplest of spells. Waterball and Fireball spells had became the basic necessity of life.
Those who did not know Magic were treated no differently than a disabled person.
Swords could never block the terrifying power of Magic. A simple fireball could melt a sword, and an ice bolt wasn’t something a thin blade could block. All in all, swords were practically paper in front of Magic. Unless the sword-wielder ambushed the Magician like an Assassin, otherwise they could never harm the Magicians.
However, Lucifer often fantasized, how great would it be if there were a power everyone could achieve through training? Never would there be tragedies of people trying but not being able to cast a spell. Anyone, as long as they were willing to put in the efforts, could see the fruits of their labor.
Once again, Lucifer was beaten to the ground by a child with a simple waterball spell. He lay on the ground, unable to cast even the simplest of protective shields, and he had to desperately use his hands to cover his vital areas.
“I have to, I must find my own power!”
Lucifer thought of every way possible to increase strength: swinging his sword until he passed out, carrying heavy things to climb the steepest of hills, etc. After training with his swords, slowly but surely, his body became more and more fit, until the neighboring children could no longer bully him. But he wasn’t satisfied with it; he knew if he spent the amount of efforts he had into Magic, he would probably have been at least an intermediate Magician by now, but truth was, he might not be able to win against a novice Magician at this point.
The reason was, even the strongest body couldn’t resist a hit from a low level Magic. He had to use his speed to dodge Magic spells raining out of the sky, then catch an opportunity to defeat the Magician.
Everyone told him he had already gotten very strong, and he was the best among the Warriors, so there was no need to compare himself to Magicians.
“Could this be the limit for Warriors? Is that all I can do? No! There must be some power, with enough training, that could resist Magics. It must exist within our bodies, unlike having to use outside force like Magic.”
Perhaps a blessing from the Gods, or perhaps it was the result of Lucifer’s relentlessness, he did indeed finally find a power, that existed within his body, and it became more and more powerful with practice. Lucifer decided to name the power “Aura”.
At first, the Magicians looked down upon Lucifer’s Aura. So what if this Aura thing could block low level magic? There were still intermediate, advanced, and even higher levels of Magic; they thought the child’s play thing called Aura couldn’t possibly block Magic.
As such, people still paid little attention to Lucifer’s Aura, but he didn’t care; he was only happy about finding a way to gain power proportional to the efforts put in. He didn’t keep this method to himself either: he taught Aura to anyone who wanted to learn.
However, one time, Lucifer found out, to his surprise, a person who learnt Aura from him was using it to bully others. In an instant, the thought of him being bullied by Magic when he was a child flashed across his mind. He bitterly taught that person a lesson, and he also realized, this kind of power can’t fall into the wrong hands.
“If people who learn Magic are called Magicians, then there should be a name for people who study Aura. However, this name can’t be a simple name; it should be something more noble, and it should represent honor, discipline, and righteousness, it… no, I should say we, we will be called, Knights!”
More and more people wanted to join Lucifer’s ranks of Knights, but he didn’t get greedy; he picked the people who had good character and were willing to follow the Knight’s conducts, then taught them the way to train their Auras. He hoped they would bring honor to the name of Knights, and make more people respect Knights.
Though it was still the era of Magic, but Lucifer deeply believed, this would all one day change, and Knights would be active on this stage of life.
Magicians became more and more scared; the possibility of Aura seemed endless, and the founder, Lucifer, had became unfathomably powerful. He was already at the point of going toe-to-toe with advanced Magicians. This kind of power was strong enough to threaten Magic.
“We can’t let this power continue to exist; if this power continue to expand, it will affect the survival of Magic. We must extinguish it, get rid of Aura, and kill everyone with Aura!”
Lucifer and the people who learnt Aura from him found themselves condemned by the entire world. They were arrested, posted as wanted people, assassinated, framed, and all kinds of ridiculous crimes were pinned against them; there was even a saying that Aura was an evil type of Magic.
‘We follow good conduct, why?’
‘We use Aura to maintain justice, why?’
‘We didn’t do anything wrong, why?’
As each of his comrade Knight die, they would always hold Lucifer’s hand before their death: ‘Don’t give up; this world will eventually recognize Knights’ rightful existence.’
Finally, only Lucifer remained, and he had been tossed into a corner in the world. He had lost all hopes he had in the world. He knew there was no where he could go; other than being extinguished, the only other choice he had was to fight back!
He traveled to the ends of the world and found a legendary species — Dragons.
He came to an agreement with the Sacred White Dragon, the king of the Dragons; the Dragons would do everything in their powers to assist Lucifer in establishing his own nation. Likewise, the land acquired by the Knights would also be owned by Dragons. Dragons and Knights became the best companions, and thus began their long journey for conquest.
Lucifer’s code of Knights attracted more and more people dissatisfied with the arrogance of Magicians. Lucifer’s power grew from having to hide around to gloriously dance on the world’s stage, and began to take over the lands.
Lucifer’s empire had finally established. To thank the Dragons, he changed his last name to Zhuogen, and called himself the Dragon Emperor, with his empire being called the Dragon Empire!
[T/N: Zhuogen is Chinese phonetic translation of Dragon]
The world was going to have a regime change; no longer would it be the Magician’s world, and instead it would become an era for Knights…
However, the dream was broken, by the terrifying that could’ve shattered the world… Lucifer again experienced the nightmare of his companions dying one by one. The world began to change, and the atmospheric change was horrific. Sometimes when he lied down at night, he would find himself atop a mountain in the morning instead of a plains, and he couldn’t even find the corpse of his companions.
‘You despicable Magicians…’ Lucifer lost his loyal friends who swore their souls to him one by one. His hatred was as powerful as the Magic that shattered the world.
“Dragon Emperor, on our behalves, and in the name of Knights, please conquer this world.”
Countless shouts and endless anticipations. Pairs and pairs of hands fell out of his grasp and stopped moving after saying so to him…
“I promise! No matter what it takes, I will let Knights take over the entire world!”
* * *
Dragon Emperor suddenly opened his eyes. He climbed up from his bed. In that instant, he couldn’t actually figure out who he was; was he Lucifer, Caffey, or someone else?
And then, his pounding heart reminded him: he was none of before; he was only the Dragon Emperor’s heart, determined to take over the world. What exactly happened? Why would he be sleeping here, and dreamt about Lucifer… his heart quickly pounded a few times.
The Dragon Emperor frowned, and gently touched his chest and said, “Is that you, Caffey? You let me remember Lucifer’s past? Do you really think this would change my mind? Unfortunately, you’re wrong; you’ve only reaffirmed my decision to take over the world!”
He stood up, finally remembering why he was here: he noticed the Black Dragon King’s hypnosis had gotten weak, so he came to investigate. He didn’t expect Miluo to pretend the hypnosis was still active; when he was investigating, Miluo suddenly attacked him.
However, he wasn’t going to be taken down so easily. Though he was taken by surprise, but he still counterattacked, and he was sure Miluo’s wounds would be worse than his.
The Dragon Emperor looked around; surely enough, Miluo was still passed out on the ground in his human form.
He slowly walked in front of Miluo, and put his hand on his forehead, planning to reinforce the hypnosis. When the light of hypnosis slowly shone, Miluo opened his eyes, and he looked like he was his own self, but the Dragon Emperor wasn’t worried: he had already immobilized Miluo.
Sure enough, Miluo didn’t move at all; he even asked lazily, “Dragon Emperor… or should I say, the heart of the Dragon Emperor, how many years have you lived?”
“Time isn’t important.” The Dragon Emperor answered lightly.
“Nonsense. Time is very important. Time will take many important things away.” Miluo grunted coldly, and then said in a lamented tone, “For example, the sharp pain of losing Bairui back then, has been mostly taken away by time. For another example, my friendship with Caffey back then has now been washed away by time.”
The Dragon Emperor still didn’t react. These words held no meanings to him.
“Plus, you’ve lived for that long.” Miluo said as if he was pitying, “Your everything has been taken away by time; you don’t even have much humanity left in you.”
The Dragon Emperor froze, and the light in his hand suddenly became very bright, while Miluo’s eyes had now suddenly dulled. Though he was still alive, but his eyes looked no different than those of a dead man.
“You think time took away my humanity? Wrong!” The Dragon Emperor roared. “It was me who abandoned my own humanity!”
The Dragon Emperor lowered his head, and murmured, “If you knew how the heart of the Dragon Emperor survives, you must not think I still have any humanity left!”
He suddenly raised his head, and roared wildly into the sky with every ounce of strength he had, “It was a thousand lives! A thousand people who were willing to drain themselves of blood to activate the forbidden Magic; a thousand people who were willing to take out their hearts as sacrifice; a thousand loyal Knights who swore their souls to me!”
The Dragon Emperor suddenly stopped. After a while, he asked calmly as if nothing had happened, “What’s the matter, Idojin?”
“The successor escaped the control of hypnosis, and escaped.”
The Dragon Emperor’s body shook, anger flowing out of his eyes again.
“Prince Mocha is dead. Prince Cappuccino, Princess Lanski, and the two legendary Knights are all missing. According to Yizhou’s report, the Prince and Princess, along with the two Knights, lured the successor out, then attacked him. In the chaos, the successor killed Prince Mocha, then ran away. Others then left, now nowhere to be found…”
A purple Aura suddenly exploded from the Dragon Emperor’s body, destroying everything in the immediate vicinity. As the dust settled, a roar could be heard:
“I want to conquer the world. I can’t let them down… I must not fail!”