Chapter 1 : Strange Ruins
“It looks terrifying.” Purity hesitated. To Purity, dark and cold places were too scary.
Kaiser grunted: “Have you ever seen a place with treasures that wasn’t eerie and scary? If it were less scary, the treasures would have already been taken by now, or did you think it would wait for you? So the scarier the place the better, then other people wouldn’t come in before you. Understood?!”
Purity and Meinan nodded their heads, as if they’ve been taught a valuable lesson.
“Hurry up hurry up, the treasures await us!” Kaiser screamed, and waved his hands as if he had already gotten a hold of the treasures.
“Treasure!” Purity’s eyes flashed light beneath her huge glasses.
‘The treasure must be a legendary sword, and stuck in a rock. Liola-dage wearing elder brother’s white Knight uniform, and under a ray of light, will pull the sword out. God, that would be too cool, too handsome, and too great.’
Purity, who had always wore magical contact lenses, was afraid she wouldn’t be able to wash them properly during an adventure, so she had to wear humongous glasses. Cute girls will be cute girls. To match her dresses, she actually brought more than ten sets of glasses, and they took up more than a third of her luggage.
“Treasure!” Meinan brushed his bangs, and he was intoxicated by the various sets of white china, silverware with engraved patterns, and uniquely shaped candelabra adorned with jewelry.
‘Ah! If one could dine within such art, what an elegant atmosphere it would be.’
“Treasure!” Kaiser held his fists tightly. He dreamt of bills flying everywhere, a bed lined with money, endless amount of food, and an advanced housekeeping Maxun beside him to take care of all the chores. How wonderful!
Liola’s face was still expressionless because he was still currently using Heart of Consciousness to scout the surrounding of the palace.
The palace was a little strange. There were some places Heart of Consciousness can’t seem to penetrate. Then he saw something that could be the cause of this — a piece of rock that was emitting a strange energy. Liola was starting to get curious about this rock.
With the anticipation of running into what they each consider to be treasures, the four of them stepped into the dark path. With Meinan’s Luminescence, the shape of the palace was starting to be visible.
There was a huge corridor, and two rows of strangely-shaped demon sculptures were lined up on each side, but this was not enough to scare the three of them who had been captivated by the idea of treasures.
As for the fourth person, Liola, it would be lucky for demons if he didn’t scare them into tears.
After they walked through the corridor, there was a fork in front of their path. What’s different was that, one path was filled with candlelight, as well as many majestic armor and beautiful vases. Not to mention, many majestic armor sets, and beautiful vases. Not to mention, many other shiny decorations that were enough to turn Kaiser’s eyes into dollar signs.
The other path, however, was as dark as the corridor they had just passed, as if it was hinting at the darkness of their future.
“Which way?” Liola asked concisely.
But as soon as words left his mouth, the other three had already ran towards the bright and glamorous road.
One person stared at the armor and swords with worshipping eyes. One was fixing his hair in front of a large bronze mirror carved with various gods,while the last one was desperately stuffing any stuffing anything shiny inside his bags and pockets.
Liola frowned, and said: “There is a rock emitting energies at the end of the other road.”
Unfortunately, they completely ignored Liola. Had Liola used “gem” instead of “rock”, perhaps he would get a tiny bit of attention. But, in Liola’s eyes, rocks are rocks, be it diamonds or cobblestones.
The only thing that truly interested Liola was the strange energies coming from that rock.
However, the other three people were completely indifferent at his opinion, Liola said plainly: “I’m going to the other path and check it out.”
He thought about it. The path Kaiser and the others picked didn’t seem to be too dangerous, and Kaiser and Meinan were more than capable of handling a few small traps. So without further hesitation, Liola walked into the dark corridor.
* * *
Without Meinan’s Luminescence, the pathway was pitch-dark. For an ordinary person, it would be similar to walking with their eyes closed, and they would be practically unable to move. But for Liola, who had grown up in the dark, and spent more time in the dark than in the light, it was hardly difficult.
Liola walked as he normally would, and before long, he reached a stone door. Liola stopped two meters before the door, and also a centimeter before the contraption on the ground.
It was a common mechanism. When weight is put on the stone pressure plate, it will slowly sink deeper into the ground, and it would activate something bigger.
Liola thought, ‘Would this trigger a fatal trap, or open the door?’
He had already sensed the area around the door. Other than the contraption on the ground, there was nothing else.
In other words, unless he wanted to break open the door with brute force, he would have to step onto the pressure plate before him.
Ever since he came to this world, he felt like he had lost the alertness he had before. While Liola thought of his circumstance, he stepped on the pressure plate, and prepared to face all kinds of dangerous situations.
However, nothing happened other than the stone door in front of him slowly opening. It led to an empty room. No, it was technically not completely empty. There were buttons on the wall, and a large screen covered with layers of dust.
To Liola, who couldn’t fully comprehend Maxuns, these buttons and screen were no more than patterns on the wall.
Other than curiously pushing a few buttons, Liola didn’t do anything else. Finally, he headed for another door in the room, and continued his journey to find the strange energies emanating from a rock.
* * *
At this time, on the other side…
“I’m rich! I can really lie on a bed for the rest of my life and still afford food.” Kaiser hugged a strange statue that was a bit taller than him.
It was standing upright, with crossed arms in front of its chest. Though Kaiser didn’t understand why the statue was so simple and completely different from Meinan’s idea of beauty, but what mattered the most was, it was completely made out of gold.
“Dear goldman, I’m never letting you go for the rest of my life life.” Kaiser repeatedly kissed the golden statue.
Kissing gold seemed like a strange thing to do, but compared to the guy blowing on the mirror and wiping it clean, and the girl rubbing a sword with her face… Kissing gold seemed quite normal.
Even if the three were in their own fantasy world, they couldn’t ignore the clear sound of metal colliding. Meanwhile, after the clanging sound vibrated throughout the area, it was followed by a sound of a heavy stride. Only one thing appeared in all three of their minds — armor!
Kaiser laughed wryly: “Don’t panic, armor cannot walk. Maybe the stand fell.”
Purity froze on the spot and tears filled her big eyes. The sword she was touching moments ago was slowly raised itself in the air. The cold sword swung merely centimeters away from her face, and the metallic foot got off the stand it was on, clanging the ground below it.
Meinan backed his face away from the mirror, and trembled as he looked at the reflection in the mirror. There seemed to be a bunch of metals that ‘shouldn’t be able to move’ but were up and about, running around.
“D-don’t panic.” Kaiser said with a trembling voice: “Even if the armor moves, they may not be harmful to us… But… Has anyone seen Liola?”
“Uwaaahhh, Liola-dage said, he was going to go check out the other path.” Purity was crouched on the ground, held her head and cried.
“Defense Shield!” Meinan yelled hurriedly, shielding himself and the bronze mirror behind him.
As soon as the shield formed, a scary greatsword brutally slammed itself against the shield.
Meinan sweated and said in relief: “Lucky! Luckily my mirror is okay.”
“Don’t touch my goldman! You pieces of metal trash.” Kaiser held up his gun, and turned its setting to the highest.
He fired at will towards three sets of armor, and they were riddled with holes, becoming pieces of metallic trash.
“AHHH!” Purity screamed on the top of her lungs, and her trembling finger was pointing somewhere.
Somewhere… If Kaiser and Meinan remembered correctly, wasn’t there a super large armor standing in that direction? And the clanging sound that resembled earthquakes seemed to have confirmed their fear.
Kaiser frowned, looked at goldman, then back at the valuables he carried, and said with anguish:
“My goldman, I’m sorry. I can’t give up the treasures on me for you, nor my dream of eating on my bed for the rest of my life.”
After he moaned, Kaiser immediately backed up ten meters. With tears in his eyes, he saw goldman being flattened into a sheet metal by the huge armor.
Seeing the huge armor charging at him, Kaiser quickly ran toward the exit, meeting Purity and Meinan on the way.
They ran as fast as they could, and they were followed by a long line of walking armor, including one that was destroying the ceiling and walls as it walked. The place where they were before had immediately turned into shambles.
“Where the hell is Liola?” Kaiser screamed.
“My bronze mirror is gone, uwaaahh.” Meinan was sad beyond belief, and with two rivers of tears streaming from his eyes, he ran for his life.
Purity responded to Kaiser’s question: “Uwaaahh, we went the wrong way. We’re dead, and I will never see Liola-dage wearing another Knight’s uniform.”
‘Wrong way?’ Kaiser looked at ruins behind him. If they turn back, they would most likely become corpses embellishing the shambles.
“I-I have never missed someone so much in this life. Liola, where the hell are you?!”
* * *
Compared to three people missing him, Liola was leisurely examining the new room.
He deduced, the other three would spend a long time being intoxicated in that room, so there was no point for him to hurry back.
To Liola, the room he was in was yet another strange place.
There were many coffins laying around, and a portrait was found on every coffin. Liola opened a coffin, and found a corpse wrapped in bandages. It was quite extraordinary!
* * *
Kaiser took a deep breath, and looked at these ‘boxes’ with portraits. His instinct were alerting him of the possible dangers. But considering the way they came from had walking armors, they couldn’t turn back.
“Kaiser, I-I’m scared.” Purity was trembling so much that Meinan, who was carrying her, was swinging back and forth.
“Don’t look. Shut your mouth, and don’t scream.” Kaiser turned his gun to the highest setting.
“Kaiser, I… I’m scared too!” Meinan turned pale and said: “I’d rather take my chances with the armor, than to run into rotten flesh.”
“What the hell are you saying!” Kaiser grunted in disdain: “Corpses don’t walk!”
“Didn’t it sound like a box that hasn’t opened in a long time, was being opened?” Meinan asked with a strange expression on his face.
Kaiser’s irises dilated as he saw every box cracked open one by one.
He screamed: “RUN!”
* * *
The shape of the coffin was very similar to the cross Anise had given to him.
With some hesitation, Liola took the cross from Anise out between the collars of his shirt, and started wondering who was really responsible for him sending him to parallel universe.
Liola walked in front of yet another door, but he couldn’t find any levers to open this door. The only thing he saw, was an indention on the door in the shape of a cross.
Although crosses were fairly common, this particular cross had a pair of Dragon’s wings in the center, which was uncommon.
This was the reason why Liola had started wondering. ‘Could it be this uncanny? That this ruin had something to do with Anise?’
“Should I put Anise’s necklace on it?” Liola hesitated and could not make up his mind. This was, after all, the only thing Anise had left him, and he didn’t want to destroy the necklace.
* * *
“Liola, do you believe in fate?” Anise asked leisurely, as she had always had.
“Really?” Anise laughed playfully:
“You don’t think that our meeting was destined? If someone didn’t order a commission to kill me, I wouldn’t have gotten caught and brought here. And if I didn’t know how to heal, the organization wouldn’t have kept me. That day, If you hadn’t been injured for the first time in your career, you wouldn’t have come to me for healing.”
Anise suddenly held Liola’s hands, and she said emotionally:
“I believe in fate, Liola. I believe that our encounter was very significant. I hope, that you won’t run away from that significance, okay?”
* * *
At that time, he didn’t give Anise an answer. Back then, he could only do as the organization asks of him, he didn’t have the ability to give Anise an answer.
But now… Liola put the cross into the wall, and said firmly: “OK!”
The stone door slowly lifted, and a huge Dragon statue appeared before Liola’s eyes. It was a giant Black Dragon, whose statue looks somewhat similar to Baolilong, but far bigger, probably more than ten times bigger. There was also a huge horn on its forehead that Baolilong didn’t have. From far away, this statue looked practically like a black mountain.
Liola started to wonder if this was really a statue. It looked too life-like. The huge Dragon was made up of shiny black scales, and they made it look darker than the hallway behind Liola. It made him feel that if he gets close to this Dragon, he would never be able to see light again.
“My destiny seems like it has something to do with Dragons?” Liola shook his head. First it was Baolilong, now he meets another one.
Liola decided instantly that, regardless of whether this was a statue or a real Dragon, considering his injuries hadn’t fully healed and his ankle bone was broken, he wasn’t interested in forfeiting his life against a Dragon ten times the size of Baolilong. So he decided to leave without waking the Dragon.
Taking back Anise’s cross, Liola walked as if he were a ghost, and without making any sound he walked across the Dragon and reached the door on the other side.
He planned to continue his journey of fate, but who knew that as soon as he opened the door, there was definitely something he had been destined for. After he had opened the door, water came flowing in, together with three other people.
Liola side-stepped lightly, and dodged the stream of water coming from the door he just opened. He also fished out three people in the water, to prevent them from being pushed by the stream and collide with the Dragon’s skin. The three were completely wet, their clothes were torn, and they were gasping for air.
Liola was quiet for a second, then asked: “Were you guys looking for me?”
The three discomposed people raised their heads, and Kaiser even hugged Liola’s leg and cried:
“Uwaaahh, I will never leave you again. Not only did we get chased by armors, surrounded by mummies, we even almost drowned by water. Had you not opened the door, we would’ve all drowned outside. What’s even worse was that all my treasure was washed away, uwaaahh.”
“Liola-dage, sorry, Purity should’ve followed you obediently.” Purity bawled.
“Cough, cough…” Meinan couldn’t say anything. Purity was on his back, and she held onto his neck so tightly that she nearly broke his neck. This was the reason why he couldn’t use his shield to save their lives.
Liola didn’t say anything, but instead remembered something Kaiser murmured before:
“We may be last two people on the world that should have met. One causes trouble, another makes the trouble worse.”
Liola remembered those words because he was now certain the Dragon in front of him was definitely not a statue, and the eyes of the Dragon were blood-stained red.
Kaiser probably realized there was something wrong with Liola. He gulped, and he was wondering what the hell it could be to upset Liola, who would remain expressionless even if the sky falls.
Kaiser slowly turned his head back, saw what was behind him, and immediately stood up.
“I’m sorry, I was wrong. I think we should go separate ways!”
Kaiser took less than a second to say his parting words, while running in the direction of mummies and walking armor.
He’d rather help bandage the mummies and oil the armor, than to stand in the sight of this Dragon.
Meinan and Purity had also finally seen this mountain-like Dragon behind them. Purity climbed back onto Meinan’s back again, while Meinan continued doing what he was doing before — carrying Purity, and ran behind Kaiser.
Liola and the Black Dragon stared at each other, and neither of them blinked. It had almost felt as if it were Baolilong playing a staring game with him.
‘This Dragon really looks like Baolilong… other than the color. Could it be…’
The blood-red eyes of the huge Dragon stared at the small body of Liola.
A terrifying Dragon mouth slowly opened, showing sharp teeth not unlike those of Baolilong, and then the room thundered with the Dragon’s voice:
“You have my child’s smell.”
Liola was stunned briefly, then said: “You’re black, it’s white.”
“Its color is white.”
Liola was quiet again. ‘This place was related to Anise, and Baolilong’s father… Was this all fate?’
“Do you want Baolilong back?”
The Black Dragon, who had not moved, slowly raised its head: “Baolilong? You named it?”
Technically speaking, Kaiser named it, but Liola nodded.
The Dragon let out a thunderous laughter, and the dust from the ceiling fell as a result of the laugh. Liola dodged a few of them, without making any sounds, and he waited until the Dragon’s deafening laughter stopped.
“You want Baolilong back?” Liola asked again.
The Black Dragon grunted in disdain: “Why would I want that runt back?”
“I’m leaving then.” Since the Black Dragon didn’t want its child back, Liola was planning on looking for Kaiser, so that they wouldn’t lose their lives here.
“Leave?” The Black Dragon laughed coldly.
Hearing the murderous intent of the Dragon, Liola stopped and, without turning back, asked: “Are you planning to kill me?”
“You are very direct, I kind of like you.” The Black Dragon narrowed its eyes:
“Unfortunately you are that runt’s master, so you have to die. But before you die, I will let you know the name of your killer. My name is Miluo. Tell me your name, runt’s master.”
Liola’s eyes grew cold as well…
“Liola!” A scream came from afar. Kaiser and the others ran back to Liola. Kaiser hurriedly asked:
“Liola, what’s outside of the door on the other side?”
Liola looked at the door he came from, and answered truthfully: “Nothing at all.”
Kaiser bowed: “Thanks, then I’m going to run for my life. You have a nice chat with Baolilong’s dad.”
In fact, Miluo’s voice was so loud that even Kaiser, who was running further and further away, had heard him, including the declaration of killing him.
Kaiser was only forced to turned back because the things that were chasing him were far too many and appalling.
Liola felt an abnormal heat behind him. His instinct told him to move away from the door. A fiery three-headed hound jumped out of the door. The center head looked at Kaiser, and shot out a stream of flames directly at him.
Seeing this, Kaiser jumped behind Baolilong’s dad, and caused the flame to land on Miluo’s body. Miluo had finally moved, and his enormous wings flapped, trying to extinguish the flame with the wind. But this instead angered the three-headed hound, whose heads all shot out flames, but this time it wasn’t at Kaiser.
Dragon vs. Hound, who would win?
Dragons and hounds were on different levels, and just judging by the size difference, anyone would know that the flaming hound losing would be just a matter of time. However, Miluo seemed to hate flames, and as long as he was avoiding the flames, they seemed to have been evenly matched.
“Liola, hurry, let’s go.” Kaiser waved his hand beckoning, gesturing Liola to flee.
Liola didn’t hesitate, and he left with Kaiser. Liola wasn’t interested in this Dragon-hound war, he was just a bit curious: “Where did you guys find this hound?”
“That you’ll have to ask our great magician, Mr. Meinan.” As he fled, Kaiser said snappily.
Liola was in shock. The hound was the result of Meinan, who had never gotten into any trouble?
“I…” Meinan showed an innocent expression: “I accidentally stepped on a hound statue’s tail; who knew it would become a real hound and started chasing us.”
“This place is really strange.” Purity had already cried her tears dry, and she weakly said on Meinan’s back.
“If this was wilderness survival, then who in the world could survive in this kind of wilderness?” Meinan said, with a pale face.
“Damn that geezer Barbalis. He obviously wanted us to die here.” Kaiser swore, outraged: “When I get back, if I don’t pull out all of his beard, I’m going to change my name to ‘Kaiter’*.”[T/N: Kaiter would mean ‘Kai-Idiot’.]
* * *
“Barbalis, the Yaron Plains shouldn’t be hard to Liola, but wouldn’t it be too hard for others?”
Mizerui stretched comfortably and continued sunbathing: “Liola could get careless, and then…”
Barbalis sipped his bubble tea, and waved his hand:
“It’ll be fine. We won’t lose a single one of our toys. The strongest thing on Yaron Plains is the Leikesi Dragons, which is just 15 meters tall and 20 meters wide.
Meinan’s protective shield is as thick as the skin on his face, and Leikesi Dragon will never break the skin on his face… I mean, never break his protective shield.
Though Kaiser’s true strength is unknown, but at least this guy has mastered the Kung Fu of running for his life.
As for Purity, if she gets ferocious, then you will understand how much of a human weapon she actually is…”
Mizerui listened with increased interest, but these four interesting guys were sent so far away for a month, which means he won’t have any toys to play with for a month.
“A month is a long time. Why did you send them to the far away Yaron Plains?” Mizerui complained.
“Mi-ge, reconstructing the dorm would take at least a month, right?”[T/N: Mi is the short form for Mizerui, while ge (bro) is the short form for gege (brother).]
Mizerui looked at Barbalis skeptically.
‘Constructing the dorms takes a month? A week would be already too long.’
If all Maxuns in Aklan Academy were utilized, the construction could be done within a day. Even a Dragon Prince’s palace wouldn’t take more than three weeks.
“This definitely won’t be a simple dorm!” Mizerui already saw Barbalis’ sinister grin, and soon, the smirk on his face as well.
‘Fine then, let Liola and the group rest in the Yaron Plains for a month, then they can resume playing after.’
Mizerui leisurely turned, and imagined many fun scenarios in his head.