TLC : Miki
Editors: LosThantos, some m2t5
“Do not worry, Royal Father, I will try to complete the task. Do you know roughly which area this phenomenon occurs in?”
The Beast Emperor smiled, “Child, please value your life over the completion of this mission. No matter what, you must come back safely. The Beastman race cannot survive without you! According to my spies, the colourful glow occurs near the White Smoke Mountain region of the Dragon Empire.”
“White Smoke Mountain?” The name seemed familiar, and it dawned on me that this was the first place I had started my secluded cultivation in, where I broke through the third layer of the Demonic Arts. “Rest assured, I am familiar with the area, when should I leave?”
The Beast Emperor said, “As soon as possible, who do you need to take with you?”
I shook my head, “Royal Father, I will go alone. Please look after my family while I am gone.”
The Beast Emperor smiled, nodding, “I knew that Layhu was causing trouble for you last time, but I didn’t want to disregard your father’s face, so I didn’t interfere. Do not worry, this time nobody will dare touch your family. Are you sure you want to leave alone? Your two sworn brothers could go with you to help.”
I shook my head, “No they are currently cultivating in seclusion, I don’t want to disturb them. Additionally, they need to revert to their original forms to bring out their strength, but their original forms would attract too much attention in the Dragon Empire.” I couldn’t bring them along for a mission, Gin and Silvy’s personalities would just cause more trouble than their strength was worth. It was better to let them cultivate and become more powerful at home.
“Well, that is alright. When are you planning to leave?”
I pondered for a second, “I will leave early tomorrow morning. Unless you have any instructions for me, I must take my leave to pack and prepare for the journey.”
The Beast Emperor nodded with satisfaction, “My only order is that you must come back safely. The millions-strong Beastman Army rely on you to command them. Besides that, you are allowed to take as much money as required from the ministry of finance. Do remember, do not unnecessarily use force within the Dragon Empire, after all, it would be bad if they figured out you were a beastman. Your royal father will await your return.”
“Yes, Royal father, then I will retire first.”
“Well, you need not come over tomorrow when you leave, oh, and this for you.” The Beast Emperor picked up a small item wrapped in brocade cloth from the table and handed it to me.
I took it, surprised and asked: “What is this? I can not accept it!”
The Beast Emperor laughed, “Do you, the commander, not want your official seal?”
I unwrapped the brocade. Inside it was an engraved jade official seal. A cute lion was engraved on the seal along with the following four words below it – the seal of the commander! These all blended together into the seal very well, it clearly was a seal with good jade carving. Upon the seal, it was as if there is a hint of white light that was slowly moving about. Since it was mine, I no longer refused it, and instead, I put it away in my pocket and said: “This son asks permission to leave.”
The Beast Emperor said, “When necessary, as long as you show the seal, I can dispatch the great Beastmen army to your side.”
Back to the prince’s mansion, I went directly to see Mother. Mother and Paigean were together practising magic.
“Mother, I’m back.”
Mother stopped practising and asked, “Why was the Beast Emperor looking for you?”
“Mother, I may have to leave you for some time. This time I’m going to Dragon Empire to complete a task. I am afraid I will be gone for a long time.”
Mother frowned, “You are to go to Dragon Empire? What for?”
I smiled and said: “You don’t worry, I will not do any harm to Dragon Empire. I am going this time, just because inside Dragon Empire’s territory there appeared some strange things. The Beast Emperor told me to investigate and find out what is happening because I look like a human. Also, I have some other matters to resolve. Mother, you train at home properly by yourself, so that after I come back, I will try to ask the Beast Emperor to let us leave. Ok? ”
Mother heard me say that I would not to destroy the Dragon Empire, and was obviously relieved; after all, that is her hometown. “Are you going alone?”
I nodded, said: “First brother, second brother and second sister, are all in their retreat. I do not want to disturb them. Even If they went it would still be inconvenient, because even if they are disguised, they would still not look like I do. Do not worry, I will be careful.”
Mother nodded and said, “How long will you be gone?”
I shook my head and said: “I do not know, this trip’s destination is far away, and also the situation there remains unclear, so I am afraid it will take a long time, Mother. While I am not here you have to take care of your health. I’ve told the the Beast Emperor, and he’s going to have more people protecting the palace.
Mother told, “You can rest assured and go. This home you do not have to worry about, go soon so that you can return soon, and you must pay attention to your safety.”
While I was promising Mother, I looked at Paigean, who had been learning Chi and magic along with Mother. Her complexion looked better than before, with a little blush staining her cheeks. I went to her and bow: “Jean-er sis, I will be relying on you to take care of my mother during these days. If the eldest brother and others appear, let them wait for me at home and inform them that I went on a mission.”
Paigean nodded, faintly said: “I understand, I will take good care of our mother.”
I smiled, and said: “Thank you.” Turning to Mother, I said: “Mother, then I will go back to pack things up so that I can leave tomorrow morning.”
Mother was surprised: “So soon, huh? Well, allow Jean-er to help you pack, you boys are always unclear on what to pack, after you’ve already left you start to recall that you have forgotten this and that.”
I glanced at Paigean and shook my head. “Do not bother with me, I’ll do it myself. I do not take much with me every time I go anyway, so I will just take some pieces of clothing and personal items.”
Mother, with faux anger, said: “Layson, you are being disobedient. Listen to me, Jean-er, you go to help him clean up, do not let him forget anything. Mother will go and prepare you something delicious to eat. It will also be like a farewell dinner for Layson.”
Mother has said as such so it would not be good for me to refute it. I also saw that Paigean was not resentful, and nodded my head in agreement.
Paigean followed behind me into my room, I have always been disorderly, and because I had been cultivating without break for the past few days, I had prohibited the servants from disturbing me, so my quarters were extremely chaotic. I said, feeling slightly embarrassed, “You sit, I will tidy up my things and pack.” I gathered all the messy clothes on the floor together, from the cupboard casually took a few pieces of clothes to be used to bundle up the clothes on the floor.
Paigean came up and whispered, “I’ll help you.”
I shook my head, “No. Actually, it does not matter if I take one or two small things with me or not but it will be too troublesome if instead, I bring too many of these things with me.”
Paigean, while helping me to fold clothes, indifferently asked, “Will you be in danger during this trip?”
I gave a self-deprecating smile and said: “Which trip of mine is not dangerous? I have gotten used to that, and it does not matter anymore, but you must not tell my mother, I do not want her to worry.”
“Well, safety is more important, so be careful. What are you going to do about that thing from last time?”
I looked at her, from this side angle, her face appeared expressionless, and I sighed. I said, “I have thought it through clearly, I will try to find the girl that I hurt. Though I do not know what she wants now, but I will try to do what I should do.”
Paigean stopped and looked at me and said, “What about those whom you like?”
“What else can I do, I can only go to ask for their forgiveness. If they do not forgive me, I can only leave. With their circumstances, they will be able to find someone better than me. Who told me to do wrong? I do not think they will forgive me now, no matter who it is they would still find it unacceptable.”
In Paigean’s eyes flashed a trace of pity as she whispered: “In fact, with your present achievements, having three wives and four concubines is also very normal.”
I shook my head and said, “Originally, I just wanted to have one wife, but sometimes these things are not under my control. I’m shameful to say, I like a pair of sisters, and till now I do not know how they are ready to accept me. Now my enthusiasm for such matters is already waning, why are the matters of the heart so difficult for me?” At these words, I felt a bout of despair causing my shoulders to slump as if all the power in my body has been lost. I sat down on a chair, with my breathing becoming harried.
Paigean said: “Those that should be faced up to must be faced up to, running away doesn’t solve anything. Perhaps, all is not as lost as you are imagining it to be.”
I gave a wry smile. “I simply can not think positively. Who would want their own man to be rated lower than a beast? I now feel that I must be classified as an entity below that of a beast, otherwise, I would not have done such a thing. I will not make the unreasonable request that they forgive me immediately, but I hope that they will be able to slowly forgive me. I will be satisfied with that. There is nothing here for you to do, you go and help Mother, she is no longer so young, to be cooking all alone will be stressful for her. I want to be alone.
Paigean tied the knot in the bundle and said, “I’ll leave first.”
I nodded and looking at Paigean as she left, my heart was full of an indescribable gloominess. I really would like to find a place wherein to give vent to all the pain I was feeling, but I do not know how to vent. My airways were stifled, rendering me short of breath, as I was filled up with all these pent up feelings. I really love Jisue and Jiyan, but I also understand that they will not find it so easy to forgive me.
In the early morning, with just a cloth-wrapped bundle, I alone left the mansion, without alerting anyone as I left. I did not want Mother to experience the pain of separation, it is something that I naturally do not wish to see. I did not take Black Dragon with me but left all alone by foot. I was clear that the Beast Emperor hadn’t any expectations of my current mission; after all, it would take place in a region in Dragon Empire. I, too, do not consider this as a mission, rather only as an opportunity to relieve my boredom. Calmly, I walk on, feeling wholly weary.
I decided to first find Jiyan and Jisue and explain to them clearly. After that, I would go to look at that multi-coloured glowing treasure. Otherwise, I do not have the mood to do anything for anyone. Out of the Imperial City, I, like driving a light cart on a familiar path[I] , I walked in the direction to the Dragon Empire. Because of my human-like reputation, I had some reputation within Beastmen Country. Therefore, I had brought along a conical bamboo hat. On both sides of the road, it was full of lush vegetation. It seemed as if we would have a bumper harvest and seeing this made me feel slightly warm on the inside as this was all my idea.
(TL Note: [I] Another idiom which means doing something routinely and with ease / make easy progress from experience. )
This trip was different from my previous one; I did not run into any bandits on my way. All of the Beastmen seemed to have turned over a new leaf. Also, the power of the Beast Emperor’s command was very strong. I believed that with no bandits, Beastmen Country would surely flourish and be prosperous.
Stelu fort was still in its place, lying still like a divine dragon. The fort was not covered with the sounds and smells of battle, but instead, there was only silence. There wasn’t even a blade of grass within a 10km radius of the fort which is related to the fact that many wars have been waged here perennially. Now that I am back here, how am I to gain entry into the fort? Perhaps Liwa is here with his father, to guard the fort? His beloved Jiyan had already become my woman. I must not casually reveal identity. After all, within Dragon Empire, I am still a student of Tian Dou Academy, although perhaps my name has been revoked from the list of the school’s students.
I order to prevent needless troubles, I decided to stealthily enter Stelu City. After a long wait, nighttime descended, I sat cross-legged on the ground and circulated all of the Dark Magic in my body and utilised all 6 senses to the limit, listening to the activity in the surroundings. After ensuring the absence of any living organism nearby, I stood up.
I picked up the package and put my upper garment into the bundle. The idea behind my stealth entrance was simple: to fly in using the wings from my fallen angel transformation. Although I can already use the wind magic’s flight ability, but it consumes a lot of magic power, and I can not guarantee that I would be able to last till I am within the safe zone. Moreover, Stelu City has Dragon Knights patrolling it, and I want to avoid them, and for that, I must have more speed than them. For this the wind magic alone is insufficient, so I chose to transfigure myself. This is also the first time that I attempt to transform into a Fallen Angel after I reached the seventh layer of Demonic Arts.
I focused on my spirit, as I chanted: “Darkness condensed in mine soul. To have fallen is to be freed. The myriad magical powers that hath slumbered in mine blood, awaken!”
After chanting the spell, I felt the blood in my body rapidly started to boil. A trace of iciness was felt from within the space between my eyebrows. An explosion rang out. The surrounding seemed to have changed. Countless vaguely viewable dark elements frantically gathered towards me and entered through the pores of my body. They rapidly fused together. While I hastily circulated the dark powers, an unprecedented feeling hit me. A powerful chill was suddenly felt from my forehead, making me subconsciously tilt my head backwards. The tingling cold extended all the way through my body till my feet.
My hair began to change colour. The dark magic in my body had already liquefied due to the excessive absorption and condensation of power. Numerous meandering rivers were flowing through all of my meridians. Suddenly, I felt a strong tearing sensation. The bones in my entire body crackled. The pain I was currently experiencing was much greater as compared to the first time I transformed into a two-winged Fallen angel. My whole body feels as if it had been cracked apart by that powerful Dark Magic. A huge purple hexagram discreetly appeared beneath my feet. I couldn’t help, but to shriek from the pain as four wings that were even larger than the large wings I previously had slowly protruded out from my body. Even more dark elements constantly surged out from the newly formed black feathers to gather towards me, filling up my body. I was enclosed by a thick black fog as it slowly infiltrated into my body. It was an extremely strange feeling. It was as though I had become another person, a matchless devil.
Finally, everything gradually calmed down, and the black mist disappeared. My original bronze skin becomes unusually fair, a light glow was continuously being emitted from under my skin. If not for the black hair and eyes and the 4 wings, perhaps I would believe myself to be a gemstone engraved jade. I knew that I have succeeded in becoming a four-winged fallen angel. The world becomes clear at this moment, I can easily see and hear those that are very far away. (Ash : This is like what Bella feels in Breaking Dawn after she became a vampire, except that she had red eyes and no wings! )
Within the Marshal’s mansion in Stelu fort, while looking at a map, Dragon General Liwer was suddenly alarmed. A slight chill suddenly invaded his body and he became alerted as he thought aloud, “A powerful dark aura. Perhaps the Demon race have launched a sneak attack?” Thinking till here, his body broke out in cold sweat and he yelled, “Guards!”
“Sir Marshal, what are your commands?”
“Instruct all the Dragon Knights to go and patrol the city walls and report back if they notice anything odd.”
“Yes, Sir Marshal!”
After the guard retreated, Liwer sighed, “I just hope that I was too sensitive. It has been rather calm these past few days and I do not want to fight again.”
After a while, a clear and sharp voice echoed, “Marshal Father, what is the matter? Why have you gathered everyone?” A handsome Liwa, dressed in silver armour, walked up.
Liwer looked at his hard-working son and there was a hint of a smile on his face, as he said, “I just suddenly felt a dark aura, therefore I stated that you go out to patrol and report back if there is anything or anyone strange.”
Liwa smilingly asked, “Father are you not too cautious? Just a few days have passed since the open warfare between the Beastmen and the Demon race. Where from would they get sufficient power to attack us?”
Liwer sternly said: “Being careful enables one to sail his ship for thousands of years[I]. When you are asked to go you must go, what need is there for so many nonsensical questions? You still have lots more to learn(Ash: Mada mada dane! As the prince of tennis says). Being a commander, strategies and tactics are important, but caution is also an essential quality. Do you understand? ”
(TL Note: [I] It is an idiom which means that if a fisherman handles the rudder of his boat carefully, he would be able to sail that ship for ten thousand years. It implies that if we are careful, our things will last and our lives will be safe.)
Liwa stopped smiling and adopted a solemn expression as he said, “Yes, Marshal Father. I will leave at once.”
“Ok. Be careful. If you find any abnormalities, immediately send a signal to the fort!”