Chapter 8 : Leader
When they heard the voice, everyone carefully looked around. A peculiar man appeared out of thin air not far away.
The man’s silver hair was fluttering in the wind. His deep, blue eyes were looking at them with disdain. The people who he gazed upon felt as if they were pigs being picked by a butcher.
The man was not how Kaiser imagined him to be. Instead of an old man, he was a handsome man who looked not a day past twenty eight. There wasn’t a hint of modesty in his appearance. The man looked as if he considered himself unparalleled in the world.
He was wearing a strange robe, but his robe only reached down to his waist, and also he wore leathered clothes*, much like what an Assassin would wear at night.
[T/N: It is similar to a ninja-yoroi.]
This man imposed about the same feelings as Auyan Dri, however, Auyan Dri at least bothered to look humble. This man, on the other hand, did not hide anything. His face had the “I’m the Emperor, kneel before me” expression.
“You’re the Leader?” Kaiser couldn’t help but ask. ‘Damn. Doesn’t this guy look more like Mr. Stubborn Pants? Why does he not feel all that powerful?’
“And what the hell are you?!” The Leader frowned, then said, “Why is the magic fluctuation around you so familiar?”
Hearing about “magic fluctuation”, Kaiser’s jaws dropped. Until now, he didn’t realize the magic fluctuation around the man in front of his eyes was extremely powerful.
Kaiser was under the impression the man must have been Liola’s master, and therefore thought the power he felt was not magic.
“Who, who are you?” Kaiser asked with a stutter.
“Me? Since you already call Li brother, then you should call me the Leader.” He raised his eyebrows.
“I’m asking, why would you know about magic?” Kaiser also raised his eyebrows. The two looked remarkably similar.
“Why can’t I know about magic? Hahaha, if I don’t know magic, no one else possibly could!”
The Leader laughed in a frenzy. This laugh caused everyone pain in their hearts, especially the less powerful Yulie and Kaiser, whose faces turned completely pale. It wasn’t until now that everyone thought things had gone terribly wrong. The stubborn pants in front of them was actually unfathomably powerful.
After laughing for a while, the Leader said without any worries,
“I’m planning on replacing the trash of an Alliance Leader and becoming one myself. I even had to sell a lot of summoning magic circles so I could test my poison on those idiots. But you, little runt, picked the right time to come back, just when my plan was underway, and you even brought some strange friends with you. So I had to pause my plans just to come find you.”
“Haha, well then you better hurry back to be the new Martial Arts Alliance Leader.” The pale Kaiser laughed dryly a couple times, “You know, it’s not a hurry. It wouldn’t be too late to catch us another day, right?”
The Leader sported a slightly unhappy expression. He pouted a little, and a dozen fireball appeared in midair, all headed towards Kaiser.
Kaiser’s expression immediately changed. He raised his giant gun, and used every last bit of his power to fire the same amount of fireballs, each hitting the incoming fireball. Kaiser’s speed couldn’t possibly match the Leader’s, so the fireballs was just a warning shot from the Leader.
Ten or so explosion happened next to Kaiser, but two of them flew past him. Liola exploded his aura and blocked the two fireballs. Liola’s action made the Leader interested.
Liola’s face went pale. Whenever the Leader showed an expression like this, it had always been the start of a strange experiment. Unfortunately, the guinea pigs for his experiments were often children he caught, and after multiple experiments, there was only one survivor — the person who became the top Assassin.
“You learnt aura?” The Leader laughed, “Don’t tell me you learnt it from the Dragon Emperor? Hmm, the little child next to your feet also looks suspicious. He doesn’t look like an ordinary person.”
As soon as Liola heard the Leader’s words, his eyes widened, and Kaiser’s mouth also formed a big “O”.
They both, especially Liola, thought‘Who the hell is the Leader? How would he know about these things?’
Liola suddenly realized, despite spending twenty years with the Leader, he didn’t know who the Leader really was.
The Leader’s mouth formed an inscrutable smile. He slowly reached out his left hand, and pulled his sleeve back. An eagle-claw like hand slowly opened towards them.
Everyone all took a deep breath and held it. Those fireballs just now were caused by his pouting mouth, and now he even reached out his hand.
‘What kind of ultimate was he going to use? Would they come out of this alive?’
Their minds were filled with the certainty of death…
The Leader’s eyes flashed, and he looked towards his left wrist, “Hmm, it’s 12:45, it’s almost time to go back. If I don’t, the poison will wear off.”
A jewel-adorned watch was hanging on the Leader’s left wrist.
Everyone was stunned.
Kaiser, on the other hand, started swearing, “Hey, are you f—ing serious?! This is a Martial Arts World! Martial arts! What the hell are you doing with a watch? Are you not respecting the world at all?”
The Leader’s face flashed with impatience, “I’ve already used fireballs, what’s so strange with taking out a watch? Didn’t you also pull out a gun? What, you can shoot a gun but I can’t look at my watch?”
Kaiser scratched head, and looked at the gun in his hands. ‘He does have a point…’
“Be quiet! Coma Magic Circle.” The Leader had grown impatient, and cast a sleep spell.
When the complex incantation descended, most people fell to the ground. Even Kaiser, with his magical abilities, couldn’t stand for more than a few seconds, and fell. The only ones left standing were two people and a dragon.
“Li, where is Yasha?” The Leader asked again impatiently.
“In the other world.” Liola unconsciously resumed his cold tone of voice, which made Baolilong feel uneasy, so it held onto Liola’s robe.
The Leader frowned, but he didn’t look like he was troubled. He pointed at the people on the ground and said to Liola, “Bring them all back.”
Then, the Leader’s figure disappeared.
* * *
Liola finally snapped out of it and remembered something. Although the Leader had never used magic before him, such as Fireballs or the Coma Magic Circle, but wasn’t his sudden appearance and disappearance identical to Mizerui or Qiusi? He had never thought about what kind of person the Leader was. Liola’s face turned pale.
“Shalong… Hall…” Kaiser next to him suddenly said something. Liola was shocked, but when he looked, Kaiser still had his eyes closed and was drooling. It looked like he was sleeptalking.
After Liola took three trips to carry everyone into the small building, the Leader waved at him, and he walked up to the balcony. At this time, the Leader was already sitting in Xin Jietian’s chair, and was talking to all the martial artists about how the Symposium would proceed.
Seeing Liola was back, the Leader was not surprised, and smiled, “My apprentice is back…”
Everyone began to sing praise, “Ah, Hero Liola is back.”, “He must’ve been off doing chivalric deeds and that’s why he’s late…”
Hearing these compliments, Liola’s expression faltered slightly, but then resumed his previous expressionless face.
The Leader turned, with a cold face, “Look friendly. Are you trying to ruin my plans?!”
Liola smiled, while waving at the people under the balcony. He practically looked like a girl who had just won Miss Universe and was returning to her country.
The people under the balcony began to cheer. In the crowd, despite looking slightly puzzled, Auyan Dri still clapped his hands.
“I hereby declare, the start of the Martial Arts Symposium.”
The Leader yelled in his deep voice, but then used his normal voice and said coldly towards Liola, “Follow me.”
Liola quietly walked into the small building. The leader seemed to ignore the fact that the ground was covered with sleeping people, and simply walked over them.
When he reached a table, the Leader waved his hand, and the dull-eyed Xin Jietian walked over, and began to make tea for them.
“Tell me! What did you do in the past year or so over there?” The Leader said lazily, as if he was prepared to listen to a story.
Liola acted like an obedient child, and began to tell him everything he had done since he reached the other world… or perhaps not everything.
Everything Liola deemed unimportant, he forgot very quickly. The Leader probably knew his personality, so when his story was halfway through, he extended his foot to kick Kaiser who was still happily sleeping on the ground.
“Stop bugging me.”
Kaiser turned a few times away from the foot, trying to keep sleeping… “OMG! Hot, hot, hot… my mouth is burning!”
Kaiser jumped up, with his tongue out and his hand fanning it. He charged towards the table and picked up the tea Xin Jietian made, and poured it down, then he spit it all out, “Hot, hot, hot!”
The Leader seemed to be happily enjoying the show. He raised his head and laughed.
“Wh-what are you doing?” Kaiser knew his abrupt awakening by spices was undoubtedly caused by this laughing guy in front of him.
“I want you to tell me a story. Hurry, Liola doesn’t know how to tell a good story.” The Leader seemed to be impatiently waiting for some “story”.
“A story?” Kaiser was stunned, not sure if the guy in front of him was the master of the terrifying Assassin, or a bored stubborn pants wanting to hear a bedtime story.
Liola reminded slightly, “Our story.”
Kaiser glanced at Liola, then at the impatient Leader, and he suddenly gave out a sly laugh, “Want to hear a story? Sure! People call me the Story King, every story I’ve ever told has been brilliant, and my listeners always want to hear more.”
“Oh?” The Leader raised his eyebrows, “Then tell me, now.”
“I, Kaiser, have a principle. I would never do anything that doesn’t benefit me!” Kaiser grunted, then tilted his face away from the Leader.
Liola’s irises dilated. He would’ve never imagined Kaiser would be this bold to threaten the Leader.
“Benefit? If you don’t tell me a story, I will take your life!” The Leader said with a cold face.
“Then take my life if you want!” Kaiser continued to act like a brute, “But then you would have to listen to Liola tell the story. This guy, ha, I know him too well. His story must be full of holes, and you would be baffled by it, and it will be boring to the extreme.”
The Leader stood up angrily. His hand patted heavily on the wooden table, and it was pulverized in an instant.
Liola, at this time, practically flashed in front of Kaiser, confronting the Leader in the process. The Leader’s frozen face seemed to soothe slowly. His blue eyes curiously looked at Liola and Kaiser, then he began to laugh.
“Looks like your story will be very interesting. In simply a year or so, you’ve caused Liola to confront me on your behalf? Looks like you did better than Anise.”
The Leader sat down again, and asked if nothing had happened, “What kind of benefit are you looking for?”
Kaiser’s face looked a bit complicated, he asked, “Who are you? And why do you want to be the Alliance Leader?”
The Leader raised his eyebrow, showing a mysterious smile, “That’s all? Okay, then let me tell you, the reason why I want to be the Martial Arts Alliance Leader was for fun.”
‘F-fun?’ Kaiser was stunned.
But Liola was not surprised. The Leader had always been self-absorbed. To “create” the top Assassin, he forced his subordinates to find children with good bone structure. Out of the hundreds of children picked, only one survived, the one the Leader found himself.
“Now, your turn.” The Leader raised the corner of his mouth, “But be careful, if I’m not satisfied, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting the other answer, because even Li could not help you save your life.”
Kaiser shrugged, and began to talk about once upon a time, a black hole suddenly opened in his house, and thus a troublemaker was entangled in his life…
Kaiser’s memory was surely much better than Liola’s, and at the same time, he included many different people’s point of view. Even if he wasn’t there for parts of the story and asked Liola to tell it, Kaiser would remind him on the side with “Did so-and-so happen?”, “You seem to be forgetting…”, etc. He let Liola remember quite a few “unimportant” things, which made the story much more complete.
Kaiser also carefully observed the Leader’s response. He initially relished the story. When he heard Mizerui’s name, a light flashed across his eyes. Kaiser felt this man must know of Mizerui.
Barbalis’ name also made the Leader raise the corner of his mouth. When they talked about Blood Wolf and Lancelot, the Leader’s face had a disdained look. Finally, the most obvious sign had to be when they spoke of the Dragon Emperor. The Leader’s face was cold like an ice cube, and his blue eyes looked like they were about to shoot fire.
‘There must be hatred between the Dragon Emperor and him, definitely! Even a blind person could tell based on the change of temperature around them.’ Kaiser thought.
After they were done with the story, Kaiser asked anxiously, “How’s that, wasn’t it a good story?”
The Leader frowned, as if he was deep in thought about something. He grabbed the Dragon Cross Necklace from Liola’s chest. The necklace emitted a slight white light.
Liola was a bit worried, but when he saw the Leader was simply examining the necklace and had no intention of destroying it, Liola had no choice but to let him do so. Unless it was the last resort, Liola did not want to start a fight with the Leader.
It would be a fight where he was not confident on winning.
Kaiser, standing next to them, was curiously looking at what the Leader was doing. He sensed the Leader sent a bit of magic into the necklace, and the necklace responded with a bit of magic as well.
‘They are communicating?’ Kaiser had a strange thought, ‘A person communicating with a necklace?’
The Leader’s eyes suddenly changed. It changed so quickly that Liola didn’t even have a chance to react when the Leader sent him flying with a palm strike. When Liola was about to break through the wall and fly out, the Leader immediately grabbed him back. The sudden change in movement made Liola fall to the ground, with blood oozing out of his mouth.
“Papa!” Baolilong, who had been unusually quiet, was shocked. But surprisingly, it didn’t try to bite the Leader. Instead, it was holding the Assassin’s shoulder, with large tear drops coming out of its eyes.
“What are you doing? If you think the story was bad, you should be hitting me. Why are you hitting him instead?”
It seemed like the Leader was going to continue the beating Liola, so Kaiser immediately yelled at him. Knowing who the man was, Kaiser knew it was pointless for him to fight, so he had to try talk him out of it instead.
The Leader glanced coldly at Kaiser, while his feet continued to kick Liola. Although Liola could have dodged, he knew he shouldn’t. He knew the Leader was just giving him a lesson due to an unknown reason. But if he fights back, it would become a battle to death, and Liola firmly believed he would not be the victor.
“Because he is the Dragon Emperor’s son. I actually saved that bastard’s son, and even taught him Kung Fu!”
The Leader became even more furious, and began to punch and kick the Assassin at the same time. Every attack carried Ki, so he wasn’t faking. Liola had to use his Ki to protect himself, although it may infuriate the Leader, because if he didn’t, Liola was worried that he might die from it.
Kaiser looked anxious, but he knew if those attacks landed on him, he would’ve already died. His mind scrambled for a plan, and finally he yelled,
“Stop! How do you know both magic and aura? Are you a Sorcerer or a Knight?”
This certainly caught the Leader’s attention. He reached out a hand and grabbed Kaiser’s neck, then said coldly, “Neither! I am a Magician, understood? Magician!”
“Then what’s with the aura?” Kaiser was suffocating, but he continued to speak. For some reason, Kaiser knew if he shut up he would die even faster.
The Leader let go of Kaiser, but did not forget to kick Liola a few more times. On one hand, a white fireball appeared, and he played with it by throwing it up and down. On his other hand, a blue aura was emitted. This blue, of course, was different from the signature of Blue Knights. It looked like an ocean blue that could drown anyone who looks at it.
The Leader gave out another frenzied laugh, “Because I am the real genius! There are only things I don’t want to learn, and nothing I couldn’t learn!”
Kaiser coughed as he glanced at Liola on the ground. He was certain he saw despair in the Assassin’s eyes.
Kaiser glared at Liola, then spun his mind again. ‘Liola is the Dragon Emperor’s son? Where did that conclusion come from?‘
Kaiser asked with difficulty, “Liola… how can he be the Dragon Emperor’s son? His age doesn’t fit, and he doesn’t look like him either.”
“Idiot!” The Leader replied coldly, but still answered Kaiser’s question, “The age does fit. This man is not really twenty-five, but twenty. The five years had been aged by the thing in the necklace.”
“So… they were triplets?” Kaiser pondered.
“No, twins.” The Leader explained impatiently, “Idiot! There was no Anise. There were only the person on the ground and a girl named Lanski.”
Liola froze on the ground. His entire body was trembling, hoping he had never heard of it, and prayed the Leader was lying…
“How can it be possible for there to be no Anise?”
Kaiser was shocked, while worriedly glanced at the Assassin on the ground. He thought it was over. Would Liola kill himself before the Leader even bother to kill him?
“Because Anise is the White Dragon inside the necklace, an illusion designed to fool the idiotic Dragon Emperor!” The Leader said with gritted teeth.
Because he hadn’t given much thought to Anise’s identity, he even sent Liola to find her. Now that he thought about it, perhaps the person who ordered a hit on Anise was actually Anise herself! He was furious.
“You are lying!”
Liola suddenly stood up, rage and disbelief filled his eyes. But if one would look deeper, they would see the deep despair in his eyes…