Chapter 6 : The Past
“I knew it! I knew it! He walked out standing, and come back lying down. This guy must have a desire to make me worry until all my hair fall off!” Kaiser paced back and forth while murmuring to himself, and he would occasionally scratch his hair crazily.
“Kaiser, calm down a bit.” Although he was telling Kaiser to calm down, but even Meinan himself frowned.
Baolilong was leaning against the bed, and the person lying on the bed was the one Mizerui carried back — Liola. The little kid thought about it briefly, then finally crawled up to bed, peeled open the cover, and ducked inside.
“You’re not allowed to sleep!” Kaiser angrily took the blanket away.
“Gimme back the blanket!” Baolilong jumped up, trying to grab the blanket back from Kaiser’s hands, but Kaiser already threw the blanket to the side. Baolilong yelled, and hurried off to get the blanket back.
Baolilong held the blanket with its little hands, and returned to bed. When Kaiser thought it was about to go back to sleep on the bed, it laid the blanket out, and carefully covered it on top of Liola’s body, while pouting and glaring at Kaiser, “Kaiser idiot, without blanket, papa would get sick.”
Kaiser was speechless. He could not fathom this little guy was growing up so quickly, and it would even tuck its dad in bed.
“If only you would grow a bit faster.” Kaiser’s face sank again. What were they going to do about the fight tomorrow?
He turned his head and saw that, after tucking Liola squarely in the blanket, Baolilong was getting into the bed to sleep again. Kaiser quickly walked up, wanting to drag Baolilong out of bed again, but he was stopped by Daylight, “It still has to fight tomorrow, so let it rest.”
“Even if it’s awake, nothing would be any different.” Daylight shook his head, “We might as well let it rest for tomorrow’s fight.”
Kaiser glanced at Baolilong, paused briefly, and agreed with Daylight.
“What do we do now?” Kaiser turned around, and asked everyone else.
“Liola…” Meinan looked at the unconscious person, and said helplessly, “Since we can’t even wake him up right now, we might as well listen to the Dragon Emperor, and hope he would wake up unscathed tomorrow. Our most pressing question now is how Baolilong would win the match tomorrow?”
“Flames, you’re the only Dragon, do you have any good ideas?” Kaiser showed a desperate expression while looking at their only hope.
Flames said directly, “None whatsoever.”
Everyone’s face sank, but Kaiser still would not give up, “Think about it some more.”
Flames was silent for a while, then shook its head again, and said, “Judging by Highness Baolilong’s age, it is already quite strong. It’s only twenty something, and its appearance is almost the same as mine. I’m already fifty years old and I was even considered to be fastest growing one among the Dragons.”
“It’s too difficult for Highness Baolilong to defeat Miluo.” Flames frowned, “Miluo is already over a thousand years old, and Black Dragons are a powerful race. Among all Dragons, Black Dragons may very well be considered the best fighters.”
Kaiser cursed, “Damn! So he’s a thousand-year-old super old geezer.”
“Then what do Sacred White Dragons specialize in?” Daylight asked earnestly, hoping for a special power to win them the fight.
Flames thought seriously, “Healing, purifying, astronomy, and fortune telling, especially fortune telling. Legend has it the White Dragons can dream of the future. But Highness Baolilong doesn’t seem to know any of it, perhaps because no Dragon taught it.”
“Are these useful in battle?” Kaiser asked unbelievably, “Unless it could purify Miluo?”
“Of course not. Miluo is a live Dragon, not a wraith.” Flames glared at Kaiser.
Kaiser showed despair, “Then is there any other suggestion better than to push Baolilong onto the arena and watching it lose in a minute?”
“Could we try to wake Miluo? After all, he is Baolilong’s papa. Making them fight each other is too pitiful.” Purity suggested carefully, fearing her suggestion would make everyone more frustrated.
Everyone was silent for a while, then, all of their eyes flashed with light, especially Kaiser; he was close to jumping for joy. He yelled loudly, “You’re right, Purity!”
Purity was shocked, because she did not know why Kaiser would react so emotionally. By the looks of it, he seemed to be agreeing with her idea, so it was great either way. She was holding her chest, trying to stop her heart from jumping out.
“That’s right.” Meinan nodded, and said excitedly, “We should never attack this problem from Baolilong’s side. True power is true power, and it’s impossible to change it greatly in a night.”
“That’s why, we should come at this problem from our enemy.” Kaiser continued, “Miluo is not fighting out of his own will. If he wakes up, he would definitely surrender, and then we will win.”
Kaiser thought for a moment, then murmured, “Now we have to think what could possibly affect Miluo? Gladiolus woke up from seeing sister Meiji. Going with that, if we find a picture of Bairui, then we…”
Hearing this, everyone’s eyes were shining again, almost to the point of opening bottles of champagne to celebrate their victory tomorrow.
“But,” Daylight suddenly asked, “Where are we going to find Bairui’s picture?”
The crowd’s celebration suddenly stopped. Right! Bairui had been technically dead for more than twenty years. Where were they to find her picture now? Were they supposed to go knock on the Dragon Emperor’s door and as him if he kept a picture of his Sacred White Dragon?
“I think it’s useless, because I’ve tried, but I think you guys should still have it.”
Everyone raised their head. Ever since bringing Liola back and simply stated what happened, Mizerui had been standing there quietly, but he was now holding an aging photo. The picture was of a man, a woman, and a child. The man was obviously Miluo, but this was the first time they had seen the woman. She was very pretty, with a warm and gentle smile, but the corner of her eye had a slight hint of playfulness.
“Why would you have this picture? And this woman is Bairui? Don’t tell me the child between Miluo and Bairui is…” Kaiser looked in disbelief at Mizerui.
“It’s me.” Mizerui seemed a bit embarrassed, but also nostalgic, “I met Mocha when he was around a hundred. Back then, Miluo still often lived in the palace. Those two would often come to meet Mocha, and they would always take me out for a picnic.”
* * *
“A boy should be more lively; don’t stay in your room all day.”
“Damn kid, stop being the third wheel!”
“Miluo, Mitsy, the meat is done, come eat.”
* * *
Mizerui shook his head, trying to bury the past deeper in his mind.
“If he would attack his most precious child, the child he had with Bairui, then I don’t think this picture would do anything.” Mizerui decided to prepared them emotionally, so when they notice the picture would not work tomorrow, they would not become completely clueless.
“You’re right. Not only do we have the picture, we also have Miluo’s child, and even the Dragon Cross Necklace where Bairui’s soul once resided. No matter what, we have to take this gamble.” Kaiser said firmly. He knew the necklace was now with Liola, and it had once brought Miluo out of his hibernation. Although the Dragon Emperor would obviously also be aware of this, and would most likely have ways to stop them from using it, but now they had little choice.
Mizerui thought for a minute, then nodded. He had already heard, if they were to lose, Liola must eat the Heart of the Dragon Emperor, so they had to try everything no matter what.
“Mizerui!” Kaiser snapped and pointed his finger at Mizerui’s nose, “Tomorrow you better stay here, and protect this sleeping butthead. Problem?”
Mizerui shook his head. This thing was started by him, and it was natural for him to do that.
“All right, all right! Everyone go back and sleep. We’ll all have things to worry about tomorrow.” Kaiser got off from his chair, and yelled.
Everyone got up to go back to their respective room; Purity was the girl, so she had a room to herself. Daylight and Meinan were sharing a room, leaving behind Kaiser and Liola in the same room, so Kaiser did not have to go anywhere. When everyone else had left the room, Kaiser walked up to the door and closed it.
Kaiser walked back, and carelessly lay on his bed. With his hands behind his head, his eyes on the ceiling, Kaiser began to wonder if he could even sleep at all tonight.
“Hey! Mizerui, if we lose tomorrow, would you take him away?”
Mizerui paused, and he was shocked Kaiser had the same thought he had. The reason why he stayed behind before was, other than fearing the Dragon Emperor would do something to Liola, he thought the chance for victory was miniscule… If necessary, he would take Liola and leave the Dragon Continent. Even if they had to spend the rest of their lives hiding, it would be better than eating the Heart of the Dragon Emperor.
“Mhm.” But perhaps it would be impossible to successfully take him away. It was impossible for the Dragon Emperor to not be prepared for this, and he probably had already made it impossible for them to escape… Mizerui’s heart sank.
“If you can’t take him away,” Kaiser’s tone sounded very calm, without a hint of emotion, “Then, let him sleep peacefully forever.”
Mizerui paused. Sleeping forever? Did this mean what he thought it meant?
“He has been in pain for far too long.” After saying this, Kaiser did not make any other explanation. He turned around, and stopped talking.
It was a long time before Mizerui said anything,
“Mm, I understand.”
* * *
Although it looked like he was lying calmly on the bed, but there was a whole different world in Liola’s mind. Since the moment he had his back onto that Kapok tree, the entire world had begun to change; from losing color in the beginning, to the warping of images, until the entire world looked completely different.
“Trash Lucifer, idiot Lucifer, retarded Lucifer who doesn’t know Magic, hahaha.”
A group of children suddenly appeared before Liola, and they were making fun of him. However, the name they spoke was unfamiliar, their faces were unfamiliar, and even the surrounding forests and villages were unfamiliar.
‘Lucifer? I’m not Lucifer, I’m Liola.’
Liola wanted to open his mouth to explain, only to realize he had absolutely no control over his body. His body was shaking, and a sense of fear and injustice rose in his mind, intertwined with anger. Why must he sustain such insults?
‘No, there must be a force in this world that could compete with Magic, and I will find that power.’
Wait, Liola began to frown. These were not his thoughts, so where did these ideas and emotions came from?
‘Special training! I must undergo special training! I must go through every training, no matter how much hardship I must endure.’
Liola blankly sensed the feelings that did not belong to him; the emotions were like burning passion and determination that would never falter. Though he knew not who this person was, but Liola still quietly experienced these emotions. These feelings were, for the person like him who lacked emotions, the things he lacked the most. To sense a passion like this, it was a rather unique experience for Liola.
As for what Lucifer’s special trainings entailed, it was strict enough to scare every single Dragon Emperor who had ever obtained the Heart’s memory for thousands of years… except this one. No matter how strict the training was, it always had the goal of becoming stronger, rather than death. In comparison, Devil Gle’s method of training was more aiming for death than to become stronger.
In fact, if he could talk, Liola really did want to guide Lucifer on harsher ways of training.
Luckily, this was just an excerpt of memory. Otherwise, if Lucifer could really hear Liola’s words, he might have followed the advice and died in training, then Knights would not have been born into this world. Or perhaps, he would be so angry at Liola’s words that he would spit out three liters of blood.
[T/N: Typical “comical” Chinese belief: if someone gets extremely angry, they would end up spitting out blood.]
‘I found it! My power, the power that comes from within my body.’
‘It’s decided! I will name it, Aura!’
The person who named it Aura… Liola began to sense Lucifer may be that person… or perhaps one should say, “that Heart”. Was the Heart of the Dragon Emperor trying to make him understand what happened in the past? In order to change his mind?
Though he had guessed the intent of the Heart, Liola still did not know what he could do. He did not think these memories could affect him, so he decided to watch quietly for a while before deciding on what he would do next; perhaps he could even find a way to save Caffey within these memories.
‘…It should represent a higher order. It represents honor, obedience to rules, and righteousness, it… no, we should represent all those things, and our name will be Knights!’
Lucifer was similar to Daylight back then: he was full of passion, sense of righteousness, and he was bound by honor and the Knight’s code.
Since he was living within Lucifer’s body, Liola obviously couldn’t see how “his own” face looked like. After thinking Lucifer was like Daylight, he began to imagine Daylight’s face when he thought of Lucifer’s appearance.
Liola paused a moment, and quickly rid his mind of that thought. If he were to treat Lucifer like Daylight, by the time he woke up, he might feel sympathy towards the Heart… No! No matter what kind of person he was at the start, the Heart of the Dragon Emperor in the present deserved no sympathy.
‘We followed good conduct, why?’
‘We used Aura to maintain righteousness, why?’
‘We did nothing wrong, why?’
These words echoed again and again in Liola’s ears. Unknowingly, he began to doubt: was Lucifer really wrong? All he wanted was to receive equal treatment compared to the Magicians, but he was persecuted. Was he wrong? Or were other people wrong?
‘No! I can’t be affected.’ He thought about Kaiser, Baolilong, Daylight, Meinan, and Purity, then about Anise and Bairui… When Liola thought about these people, he suddenly felt warmth in his heart, and his mood calmed down again, escaping Lucifer’s influence.
He would definitely be able to survive through these illusions without a problem!
* * *
Mizerui suddenly woke up. With a frown, he looked at Liola on the bed whom was still lying there peacefully and fully asleep. He paused a moment, then thought he must had been too tense, and that’s why he had such a rude awakening.
He looked up at the clock for the time; it was about time to wake them. He got up, and planned to wake the other three people who were easier to wake before coming back for Kaiser.
He walked out the door and closed it behind him.
When Mizerui left, Baolilong turned, putting itself back into papa’s arms, but flashing light made it impossible for it to sleep. Baolilong pouted as it opened its eyes, trying to figure out where the lights that disturbed its sleep were coming from.
Baolilong got up, and curiously looked at the light flashing on Liola’s chest. It reached under Liola’s shirt, and grabbed around, getting the necklace out from in front of Liola’s chest. The source of the flashes was the Dragon Cross Necklace. Baolilong stared blankly at the necklace, pondering why it would suddenly begin to glow.
Baolilong tilted its head, and asked, “Mama?”
“What are you doing?”
Kaiser’s voice could suddenly be heard, and surprised Baolilong. It turned around, and sure enough, it saw Kaiser with his messy hair; he kept yawning, and his eyes were only half open.
Before Baolilong answered, Mizerui was back in the room. Seeing the hardest two people to wake were already awake, even having seen the world, Mizerui was a bit stunned.
Kaiser stretched his back, and finally opened his eyes completely. He saw Baolilong was holding the Dragon Cross Necklace, and he said, “Baolilong, keep your papa’s Dragon Cross Necklace on you. When you fight today, you will find it useful.”
Baolilong nodded, took the necklace from papa’s neck, and put it on its own. It had initially thought its mama would continue talking, but the Dragon Cross Necklace’s lights stopped flashing. Nevertheless, Baolilong did not seem to mind much. If mama wanted to talk again, she would reach out to it.
“Okay, Baolilong, let’s go! Kaiser will take you to fill your stomach up, so you will have the strength to fight!”
Kaiser yelled. Hearing about food, Baolilong naturally agreed loudly. These two gluttons held each other’s hands, planning on showing the royal chef what the meaning of “bottomless stomach” was.
“Liola’s safety is in your hands!” Kaiser closed the door as he said to Mizerui, “I will take some food back for you before the match.”
Mizerui nodded towards him, turned his head back, and stared at Liola once again.
Suddenly, he sensed a bit of haze on Liola’s face, but when he looked it carefully again, there was nothing to be seen; Liola still seemed to be sound asleep.
“An illusion, maybe?” Mizerui murmured to himself.