Chapter 2 : Barbecue Worker Liola
Liola stared blankly as he held hands with a child, while the child’s mother was incredibly busy trying to make a comfortable place for Silver Mask and his Dragon to rest and sleep.
On the side, Baolilong stood in its human form, and wrapped its body with a rag Liola gave him for a little bit of cover. It was already reaching Liola’s chest in height, but its personality was still like a child. Seeing papa holding hands with another child, it was a bit unhappy, and it was shown on its face with its lips pouted. Baolilong also tried to keep running into papa’s arms, as though it was saying “Hmph! Papa loves me more.”
“Done.” The mother finally finished, and let out a deep sigh while wiping away the sweat on her forehead. She then said with a smile, “Sir Silver Mask, what do you think of this place? Though it might not be very luxurious, but I can promise you this place is very comfortable.”
Liola nodded carelessly. He didn’t actually really cared much about where he slept; after all, Baolilong and he slept in the wildness, so whether they had a bedroom or a bed, it was of no concern.
Nevertheless, he still courteously looked around. The room was quite large, and the decoration was simple. There were two beds, and by the looks of it, they were for him and his human-form Baolilong. There was also a large basket to the side, with thick and soft clothes in side. It seemed the mother was worried Baolilong may turn back into Dragon while sleeping, so she caringly added this place for a small Dragon to sleep.
To Liola, this room was made up by someone far more picky than him. He nodded and said, “Great.”
“Then I’m glad.” The mother clearly seemed happy with her large smile.
Seeing others smiling because of him, Liola also unconsciously began to smile slightly.
“Sir Knight, you should smile more.” The mother said sincerely, “Smile can make a person seem amiable, and others would like you more, especially when your smile feels like a spring breeze!”
“Is that so?” Liola was a bit confused; didn’t Kaiser tell him to not smile? He said his smile was a smile of death… right?
Seeing the Knight confused, the mother smiled, and reached out her hand to tidy up Liola’s messed up collar while saying, “Sir Knight, please forgive me for being direct, but you really don’t look old, more like a big child, so I feel some pity for you.”
Liola didn’t know how react, so he froze as the mother straightened his collars.
“I always feel like you’re a young man who had just stepped out of your home. Though you’re happy you can be on your own, but you don’t seem to know where you should go.” The mother smiled lightly, “Don’t laugh at me, sir Knight, this was just my experience when I was still a young girl. While the small things I did were incomparable to the great things you do, but I do indeed feel, you really seem like me back then.”
Liola remained silent for a while, then asked, “Then what do you think I should do?”
Mother burst out a laughter, and gestured at Liola and said, “It’s not about what I think, but it’s about what you think. You should think about where you should take your next step.”
“Papa, Baolilong is hungry!”
Baolilong yelled only half truthfully. On one hand, it really was about “half” hungry; after all, it had been eating for far too much lately, and even Baolilong seemed to have a bit of indigestion, to the point where it changed from constantly being angry to eating only three meals a day. Of course, the sum of the three meals was about the size of a half Lesser-Dragon, and this made even Liola worry about Baolilong’s now chubby belly.
Of course, on the other hand, it had to do with its jealousy. Just by judging Baolilong’s pouted little mouth and its stare at the little boy’s hand, one could tell Baolilong was unhappy its papa was holding hands with another child.
The mother could immediately tell that Baolilong was jealous, and she couldn’t hold back a laugh. Liola, on the other hand, had little experience as a parent; he thought Baolilong was really hungry. Seeing the sky darkening, he decided it was time he should go find some food.
“I’ll go find some food.” Liola said to the mother.
“And Baolilong!” Baolilong protested loudly.
Liola glanced at Baolilong, and continued, “Baolilong and I will go find some food.”
Baolilong then nodded wildly with satisfaction.
The mother hesitated, then asked carefully, “Sir Knight, could you please bring a bit of food for the other people here. Everyone has been hungry for a long time, therefore…”
Liola nodded. He had already planned on dividing the meat to the people. No matter how much of a glutton Baolilong was, it couldn’t eat more than half a sub-Dragon in a day. As for Liola, he would be full with about a fist-sized meat. Instead of letting the other half of the meat rot, it was much better to divide it to the other people.
However, this was just Liola’s estimate. Liola knew, even if Baolilong ate all the meat, he could go hunt another Lesser-Dragon for the people.
He liked doing this, and also liked the way the people smiled after doing so; it made him very happy.
“Let’s go, Baolilong.”
Liola stepped away without looking back, and Bour was on his way in from outside. Bour greeted him warmly, and Liola nodded in return, then walked out the door.
“Bour, did you ask around for sir Knight? Did you find the person he’s looking for?” The mother asked with concern.
Bour was smiling before, but as soon as he heard this question, his expression turned to awkwardness. He scratched his head, and didn’t know how to answer.
The mother noticed something wrong, and immediately asked solemnly, “Bour, what is the meaning of this? Don’t tell me you didn’t go ask around for the Knight?”
Being accused now, Bour immediately explained, “Aiya, I did really did inquire around for Silver Mask, but how could I made much of a difference in the matter? Those people are wanted criminals! Even the Dragon Empire and Commerce Alliance couldn’t catch them, how is a small businessman like me going to do anything!”
Hearing this, the mother seemed a bit relaxed, and she said with a sense of blame, “Then you shouldn’t have promised him before. Now you can’t even get any information, what are we going to tell Silver Mask?”
“Uh…” Bour seemed to have difficulty answer; he said stutteringly, “In any case, just make him stay first…”
“What do you mean by that?” The mother asked back, noticing things might not be as simple as she thought.
“You know… if Silver Mask left, then the people in the city like us would get hungry again, so of course we have to make him stay first.” Bour’s voice got quieter and quieter as he spoke, as if even he himself thought it was shameful.
“W-wh… how could we do that?” The mother began to panic. She now realized the people on her side were actually tricking the young Knight.
Bour showed a depressed look, “We don’t have any other choice. Everyone is so hungry, and we have to even lie to our own savior to survive. You don’t want your child to end up dying in the streets from hunger, do you?”
The mother heard, and her face changed drastically. She looked at her child on her side in dismay. She didn’t know what to do; if there were other ways, she would never be willing to lie to that Knight, but if an ordinary person saw a Lesser-Dragon, they would’ve ran as fast as could, nevermind killing it and cooking its meat as food.
“Just… a little bit more. I’ll ask everyone to eat a bit less, and we could cure the meat and eat them slowly.” Bour said pleadingly, “Then, even if Silver Mask leaves, we will not go hungry.”
“Is that so…” The mother fell down into a chair depressingly. She had no choice but agree with what Bour had done, but that didn’t reduce her sense of guilt towards the Knight.
“Lesser-Dragons! Lesser-Dragons are attacking!”
A rumble came from the outside. The mother was shocked, and Bour waved his hand, “You stay here, I’ll go out and take a look.”
The mother nodded panickedly. She grabbed her child, and held him tightly in her arms, then looked as Bour ran out the doors. Bour didn’t need to ask anything; the crowd scrambling for cover, the flying Dragons in the air, and the banging noises from the walls all told him the Lesser-Dragons had indeed arrived.
“What the hell? What are the Knights doing in the capital in the north? How could they have let so many Lesser-Dragons come to the south?” Bour’s jaws dropped. Ever since he had ran away from the north and taken refuge in the south, he had never seen such a large group of Lesser-Dragons.
Last time, there were still the Aklan government holding the Dragons back, so the civilians could retreat, but this time, they had nothing! Only thing remaining was a wall that was about to crumble at any time. If the Lesser-Dragons really charged in through the walls… it would be a devastating disaster for them.
“Don’t run! You guys can’t outrun the Dragons!” Bour yelled loudly, “Quick! Go back to your basements, and use everything you can to block the basement doors!”
Though one man’s yell was far from enough in such a noisy environment, but at least some people did hear and hurried back into their basements.
Suddenly, after a bang, the walls finally fell. Everyone’s eyes widened in horror as they saw hundreds of Lesser-Dragons outside of the walls howling into the sky. Though the fearsome Black Dragon was not among them, but to the civilians, the Lesser-Dragons were no different than the Black Dragon — they were all equally deadly to them.
“Silver Mask…” Bour was now like a deer in headlights as he uttered these words. He knew this was the only one remote possibility that could save them. Nevertheless, one Silver Mask perhaps still couldn’t defeat hundreds of Dragons… maybe it would be better if he didn’t come back? At least there would be one less casualty.
‘Savior… perhaps the only way people like us could repay you, is to pray that you don’t come back in time,’ Bour really did pray over and over, ‘Please, don’t come back in time, please…’
Unfortunately, unlike other people, Liola was the terrifying Assassin who could notice his enemies from kilometers away. A formation consisting of hundreds of Lesser-Dragons couldn’t possibly not catch Liola’s attention.
In the sky, among gray Lesser-Dragons, a Dragon with glittering white scales appeared. It’s snow-white wings glided through the sky, and appeared instantly in the city. After withdrawing its wings, Baolilong elegantly stood atop of the highest building in the city. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing, including the people being chased by Lesser-Dragons, in spite of the dangers behind them.
A Lesser-Dragon opened its mouth, planning to swallow the dazed people in front of it… When suddenly, a bolt of lightning flashed, and the Lesser-Dragon turned into a charred object, and slowly tipped over. Unfortunately, the place where it was falling had a few dazed civilian standing there.
“Hurry and move! You idiots!”
Bour yelled in panic, but those people stared at him with the same daze, instead. When they realized they were covered in a shadow, it was already too late…
A few civilians who lowered their heads and thought they were dead for sure, but after a loud noise, they realized the anticipated pain did not come. They slowly raised their heads, and the first thing entered their eyes was the sight of a layer of red, and the charred corpse of the Lesser-Dragon was stopped by this layer of blood red. Though ordinarily this blood-red color would have instilled fear, now it actually brought them a sense of warmth.
Other than the blood red light, there was a black figure standing in front of the civilians. With the Silver Dragon embroidered Black Knight uniform, the thin black figure was able to stop the giant Dragon, and saved the civilian’s lives.
“Silver Mask!” Someone yelled loudly.
Liola turned his head slightly, and nodded, then said, “Go to where Bour is, I will protect you.”
The few of them nodded. Their eyes were wet, and after wiping them, they ran towards where Bour was, while yelling, “Come here quickly! Silver Mask told us to get to where Bour is, he will protect all of us. Don’t be afraid! Come here quick!”
After the yelling from the crowd, everyone ran towards Bour, which made him quite nervous… he quickly ran towards the plaza in front of the clocktower. He thought it was the best choice because the White Dragon was defending there, and it was the only place that could hold so many people.
Liola saw people heading to the plaza, so he communicated with Baolilong via telepathy, “Baolilong, you stay there, don’t let the Dragons harm anyone. Also, you handle the flying Dragons, but be careful that the ones you strike don’t land on people.”
“Okay!” Baolilong responded, but then couldn’t refrain from asking, “Papa, can Baolilong roast a Dragon to eat?”
Liola frowned. He had originally wanted to tell Baolilong to fight seriously, but then he thought, they were originally going to hunt a Lesser-Dragon for food; now that the city was overrun with Lesser-Dragons, it would be a shame not to roast them. After thinking, he answered towards Baolilong, “You can roast them all, but protecting everyone is your priority.”
“Okay! Baolilong understood!” After answer, it casually threw a lightning ball and roasted a Lesser-Dragon. In compliance with what papa said, Baolilong purposely increased the momentum of the lightning ball; while it roasted the meat, it also send the meat flying into the distance, so it could await for Baolilong later.
Baolilong was now like a Dragon-shaped tesla coil, constantly spitting out intense bolts of lightning. Its accuracy was also beyond believe. Baolilong seemed to be having fun, and its head was filled with nothing but thoughts of being able to eat. If it were Liola’s words, Baolilong would have probably forgotten to protect the civilians.
‘Ah! This one is too charred. It’s fine! Next… hmm? It’s still moving, not cooked enough. Another one, just right, sooo much meat to eat~~’
Liola quickly took out Broken Silver, and charged towards the place where the wall was breached, planning to cut them off there. If too many Dragons charge in, even Baolilong wouldn’t have time to stop them. Liola himself wouldn’t be able to take care of everyone in a chaotic situation like that either, so he decided to stand where the walls fell, and operated as an attacking wall.
Liola’s thoughts were quite simple. He stood at the breach, facing hundreds of Lesser-Dragons.
“MY GOD! I hope he’s not planning on just standing there?!”
The civilians exclaimed. Panic appeared on many people’s faces, some couldn’t even look, as if they feared their savior would sacrifice himself for them like this.
What they didn’t know was, this man was one who had single-handedly killed thousands of Lesser-Dragons to vent his anger. If he didn’t have to worry about the safety of the civilians behind him, Liola could have chosen to kill a few to eat as a meal, then leisurely escape. Or he could turn this place into the largest Lesser-Dragon cemetery; none of this was a problem to him.
A silver light quickly flashed around. Though Liola was fast, electric even, but facing hundreds of Lesser-Dragons alone, it was a bit difficult to not let any through. He moved around quickly, and the silver light in his hand also swung around faster and faster. It was only possible to see lines of silver light rather than the weapon itself.
The crowd was in shock. This kind of speed… no matter how much they rubbed their eyes or stare, they couldn’t’ see it clearly. The only thing they saw were silver lines acting like a net, spanning over the entire area where the wall fell. As soon as a Lesser-Dragon touched the silver net, its skin and flesh would’ve busted open as if it just charged into the sharp edge of a giant sword.
The crowd couldn’t refrain from the feeling of terror. Even if the person in front of them were protecting them, this was far too… scary, sanguinary, or some other adjective the people couldn’t think of. Nevertheless, they were having trouble holding their breaths at the sight of all this.
“It’s so pretty!” The boy the mother was holding naively yelled while pointing at Liola, “Older brother looks like a Silver Dragon! Amazing, go brother go!”
Hearing the little boy’s shouts, the civilians finally remembered this person was protecting them. Bour, especially, felt ashamed at the thought of being scared of Silver Mask; he finally remember, Silver Mask was protecting them. How could he possibly be afraid of him? It shouldn’t ever happen!
To make up for his shameful thoughts, Bour immediately yelled loudly, “Go Silver Mask! Go Silver Mask…”
Since there was someone who took the lead, the crowd had no reason not to follow. In an instant, everyone began shouting on top of their lungs, and everyone were cheering for Silver Mask like a madman.
Liola did indeed hear. Although he wasn’t one to like noise, the clamor behind him gave him an indescribable warm feeling in his heart. Even he didn’t realize it himself, as if he didn’t want to disappoint the crowd, his speed was actually getting faster and faster.
In the few minutes that followed, Liola lost track of how many Lesser-Dragons he had killed. Though they’re not sentient, Lesser-Dragons still had the animalistic instinct of recognizing a strong threat. When they finally realized the tiny being in front of them was a beast who could kill them easily, the speed and amount of Lesser-Dragons charging up had slowly decreased.
Liola felt a pressure relieving, and he thought the Lesser-Dragons were probably letting up, then it would be great. Though Lesser-Dragons weren’t sentient beings, but he still didn’t like the feeling of driving a knife into a blood, nor the feeling of being covered in their blood, because this made him remember the people he had hurt before: Qiusi and Mocha.
“Eldest brother, you don’t like it when I kill… but, I am killing to protect everyone, and I’m very happy. So, you won’t get mad, right?” Liola thought quietly in his mind. He knew in his heart, Mocha wouldn’t be mad, and would instead smile and pat his shoulder.
Now, the pressure on Liola had decreased to the point where he had time to turn around to see the situation with Baolilong. Because the flying creatures had long been wiped out of the sky, and the Lesser-Dragons that charged in while the walls were unguarded had now been turned into meat hills, the city was now secured. Baolilong also ran off and dragged a Dragon and starting biting the meat off. Perhaps it was afraid its large body would accidentally hurt the people, it decided to turn into human form, and began to eating happily.
As it was eating, a small figure suddenly appeared next to it. Baolilong narrowed its eyes, and turned around to see — it was the boy who dared to hold hands with Liola before. Baolilong gave out a low growl from the throat, trying to drive this boy away.
“Older brother, I want to eat meat too!” The boy didn’t seem scared at all, and smiled as he asked for some meat from Baolilong.
Hearing this response, Baolilong paused, and yelled with a pouted mouth, “I’m not your older brother, Baolilong doesn’t have a younger brother!”
“Baolilong?” The boy seemed confused.
“My name is Baolilong, my papa gave me that name!” Baolilong said proudly, then used its hands to point at Liola, who was still fighting valiantly, and then loudly announced, “That’s my papa!”
The little boy was even more confused, “You’re older brother’s little child? But, everyone says you’re brother’s Dragon.”
“Baolilong is papa’s Dragon.” Baolilong said naturally, as if there was nothing strange about it.
The little boy answered with an “oh”, perhaps he had now been thoroughly confused, but he didn’t really care. He gulped, then asked, “Older brother, can I have a piece of meat? I’m so hungry.”
Baolilong was a bit hesitant. It pouted and looked at the meat in its hand, then looked at the person calling it older brother. Baolilong wanted to ask papa, but papa looked like he was busy and didn’t have time to answer, so it had to decide whether it should give some meat to the boy.
Seeing the anticipation in the boy’s eyes, Baolilong decided to tear off a piece of meat, then threw it at the boy, “Here!” Then it turned around and continued to eat its food.
“And my mama, can you give me a piece for my mama?” The boy held the meat, and asked somewhat timidly.
Being interrupted again and again while eating, Baolilong seemed a bit angry. It turned around and yelled, “You’re really annoying!”
The boy was surprised, and tears circled in his eyes. His little shoulder also fell down. He held the only piece of meat he had, and slowly walked towards his mother.
“Wait, Baolilong has a question.” Baolilong pouted, “Why don’t you have a papa? Are you trying to take Baolilong’s papa?”
The boy heard, turned around, and yelled, “I’m not trying to take your papa! I have a papa, but mama said he went to somewhere far, far away.”
“Is that so? Then would he run into my mama?” Baolilong said naively, “My mama also went to somewhere far, far away.”
“Really!?” The boy yelled with surprise, “Perhaps my papa really would run into your mama.”
“I don’t know either if they’ve met…” Baolilong tore off another piece of meat, and handed it to the boy, “Here! As long as you don’t try to take my papa.”
The boy grabbed the meat, and happily smiled, “Thanks!”
Baolilong nodded, and began to eat again.
Truth was, Liola saw everything that happened. He wasn’t actually very busy, but he wanted to see if Baolilong would give the boy meat. Seeing Baolilong did indeed do so in the end, Liola smiled. Although even he, himself, had no idea why he would be this happy simply because his Dragon would give food to the boy.
By now, there were only a couple of Dragons around the breach. Liola thought, perhaps this crisis was about to be over…
However, at this time, the sound of walls being hit came from other places. Liola immediately understood, the Dragons planned on creating another breach because this one was being blocked by him.
“Baolilong! Go handle those Lesser-Dragons hitting the city walls, don’t let them break the walls!” Liola yelled immediately.
Baolilong threw down the meat, transformed into a large Dragon, and flew towards the place where the clashing sounds were coming from.
And then, there was another sound of clashing, one, two… until finally there were countless number of places in the wall that were being destroyed.
Baolilong didn’t know which direction it should fly, and it asked panickedly, “Pa-papa, what do I do?”
Even Liola didn’t know what to do. No matter how strong he was, he was simply one person, and he couldn’t protect so many civilians here. However, looking at the trusting eyes from the civilians and Baolilong, Liola knew he could never say something like “I have no plans” at a time like now.
He quickly left the breach, and ran towards the plaza, while communicating with Baolilong with telepathy, “You fly into the air and use lightning to strike the Dragons. I will use Aura to stop them from harming the civilians.”
Baolilong immediately flew into the sky, and used his lightning attacks to attack the Dragons outside the city walls.
Liola returned to the plaza. He looked at the few thousand of people in the plaza, and he was worried whether his Aura could shield such a large area. Though he had now gained a deeper understanding of his Aura, but he had been using it more for offense and seldom for defense; now that he had to use it to create a giant shield to protect thousands of people, Liola felt uncertain.
“Please come closer.”
Liola said solemnly to the crowd. He didn’t forget to add Ki to his voice so everyone could clearly hear his words.
Bour immediately began to yell, “Hurry! You lazy asses, come closer! Forget about helping, just don’t burden him any more than you have to!”
Liola blinked a few times, and thought Bour’s actions were quite interesting: he would occasionally kick the men in the butt when they moved slowly, and the people getting kicked didn’t seem angry, instead they moved faster than before. Eventually, the crowd squeezed together like a can of sardines, and formed a tight circle. The area was almost two thirds less than what it was before.
Liola closed his eyes, and breathed deeply. Now it was his turn to hold up a shield. There were no longer any flying Dragons in the sky that could threaten Baolilong, so Baolilong could simply roast the Dragons on the ground with electricity.
When he closed his eyes, there were already walls beginning to crumble. The whole thing seemed to be happening in slow motion. There were four or five places in the wall falling within seconds of one another. The giant Lesser-Dragons charged in like water through a broken dam, and as soon as they saw the people congregating on the plaza, they all converged towards that location. The civilians saw they were surrounded and were obviously terrified, so they all fixed their gazes towards Silver Mask.
Liola still held his eyes close, and his hands were casually behind him. His attitude seemed carefree, and this made everyone relax a bit, thinking the situation wasn’t as dire as they thought. If it were very serious, Silver Mask shouldn’t be as relaxed as he was now.
The civilians unconsciously became more calm. The Lesser-Dragons had already reached them, but even the people on the outer ring didn’t seem to panic at all, only because the man stood carefree in the center of them all.
The moment the Lesser-Dragons stepped into the plaza, Liola opened his eyes, and the blood-red Aura shot out radially, shooting past the Lesser-Dragons that had gotten close. As soon as the Aura passed them, the Lesser-Dragons all turned into ashes. Liola saw the effects of his experiment turned out great, he finished the dozen or so Lesser-Dragons around the civilians, then contracted his Aura to a shield shape to protect all the civilians.
The rest were given to Baolilong to handle, while Liola thought he could probably sustain the shield for a long while. Even if he couldn’t hold it until Baolilong could kill all the Lesser-Dragons, as long as there weren’t many left, then he wouldn’t have to worry about the safety of the civilians due to the number of enemies.
‘What is it?’ Liola asked quietly.
‘There are a lot more Lesser-Dragons coming, so many, even more than what’s here.’
‘What!’ Liola was in shock.