Are you in search of a good assassin?
If so, you should look for “Left Eye.”
You say the name is strange? Ah, assassins do not use their real name. Left Eye is merely a code name.
Left Eye has a scar on his left eye, therefore he’s very recognizable. He only accepts money or rare poisons as his reward… Oh! He also accepts information on a certain person with black hair and red eyes. If you have information, he’ll help you kill anyone you want.
But you need to remember: do not try to fool him with false information. Trust me, you do not want to know what happened to the last person who lied to him.
When did things become this way?
His hand was holding onto a sword etched with many complex designs. It was an extraordinary sword, one he completely couldn’t afford. Before, would he have desperately saved up money in order to obtain this sword? But at that moment, all he wanted to do was toss aside that blood-spattered, disgusting thing.
But he couldn’t throw it away, because he needed it to protect the people near him. The people…Black hair waved in a wild dance, making it impossible to discern the person’s face. At first glance, it appeared to be a black hole, one that devoured people. A pair of blood-red eyes could be seen inside the hole, watching the world…near him.
The enemy soldiers that surrounded them had already had their spirits broken, and many had turned to flee. There were a few soldiers that were still fighting valiantly, but soon, they met their end by the lethal vines. Or they were crushed flat into meat patties, or dragged underground, not leaving behind a trace of their existence. Even the ones that had turned to run could not escape the vines that chased after them.
Their opponent was the Danya People. They were invaders, murderers of the people of his country. This was war. There was no need for him to feel guilty or pity them.
In his head, he was reciting all kinds of justifications, but it was clear… This wasn’t war at all; it was a massacre.
“Owen, there’s someone dressed elegantly in front of us, though he’s a little far away. Should I kill him?”
Upon hearing those words, Owen felt a stab of pain in his heart. He turned to look at Gong Hua, and remembered the various instructions he had given the other: When you step onto a battleground, you need to kill everyone around us. You can’t let anyone near, and if you see anyone holding bows and arrows, kill them immediately. The ones dressed especially magnificently are the ones you need to kill first…
Every single one of his instructions was kill, kill, and kill!
Startled, Owen stopped letting his thoughts run wild. He looked up; the target truly was far away. There had to be at least a few thousand soldiers separating them. Although the distance was great, Owen could see that the figure was wearing a conspicuous, azure cloak. Even the beast the person was riding on was equipped with luxurious armor. The guards that surrounded him were even more imposing. It appeared that their target wasn’t an ordinary solider; he had to be some sort of dignitary.
If he was the one that was leading the troops, if they killed him, the enemy’s army should fall apart by itself. Perhaps they could end this battle early.
With this, they would cause fewer deaths, right? But as he looked at the thousands of soldiers in front of him, Owen couldn’t help but waver. If they had to cleave a path to reach their target, how many would they kill this time?
Owen turned around. Gong Hua was staring at him with wide eyes, reeking of the stench of blood. Gong Hua’s black hair, twined into an unruly mass and dancing about wildly, was soaked with the blood of countless soldiers. And that pair of blood red eyes; even their own soldiers were afraid to look into them. Even though Gong Hua was the one that helped them win their battles, the soldiers called “Evil Spirit” in private.
Owen alone knew that only sincerity and pureness reflected in that pair of blood red eyes, although they now also carried a hint of grief. After experiencing the events in that small town, Gong Hua came to understand more things. But even when drenched in blood, Gong Hua remained the little girl who Mila described to be incapable of harming others.
Owen reached out and rubbed Gong Hua’s head. It was an incongruous action, one that wouldn’t normally appear on a battlefield. To the two of them, however, it was the most natural occurrence. Even if Gong Hua was standing motionless, he could still control the vines. Plus, Owen’s only command was to stay beside Gong Hua. On the battleground, they often stood like this while chatting, trying to ignore the slaughter that was occurring around them.
When Owen lifted his hand from Gong Hua’s head, it was dyed red with blood. He stared at his palm, feeling as if he was only attempting to deceive himself. So what if they killed a few thousands more? They had already caused many deaths.
Owen nodded and said, “Yes, we’ll go kill him.”
Gong Hua obediently nodded in response. Vines started making a path for the two of them, a path carpeted in blood.
Huge vines sprang from the ground, charging violently into the wall of soldiers. They had no way of dodging the vines, much less scream before they were turned into puddles of blood.
To prevent their target from running away, Owen specially instructed Gong Hua to let the vines rampage wildly instead of aiming straight ahead. But because of this, the death toll grew higher and higher.
Their pace was quite slow. As they walked, Owen focused on the man in the azure cloak. Had the man decided to retreat?
Although Gong Hua’s ability to manipulate plants was strong, there was a limit to how far he could send them. The farther the vines got, the weaker they became. If they passed a certain distance, he would lose his control over them. So the two could only move forward at a slow pace. Owen prayed that their target wouldn’t see through the situation and decide to escape.
The beasts the Danya People rode had astonishing speed. Even Gong Hua’s vines had trouble keeping up with those beasts. If the man decided to leave, there was no way they could catch up.
Contrary to Owen’s expectations, however, not only did the man in the azure-cloak not escape, he directed his beast in their direction and started galloping towards them.
As the distance between the two parties shortened, Owen finally made out their target’s appearance. The man had white hair shot through with streaks of blue, which surprised Owen. During this whole war, the Danya People he had seen typically had five different colors in their hair—white, blue, gold, red, and black. Even if someone didn’t have all five colors, they had at least three or four. It was rare to see someone from the Danya tribe with only two different colors in their hair. It seemed like the man truly wasn’t of ordinary status.
The man in the azure cloak suddenly roared in the human language, “You will not massacre my people any longer!”
At the same time, he pressed closer towards Owen and Gong Hua. The guards that surrounded the man shouted in alarm. They moved in front of him, obstructing his way, and yelled in worried voices. Although Owen didn’t understand the language of the Danya People, he could guess that the guards were trying to persuade their master to flee.
But the man riding the beast would not listen. Instead, he reached to the side of his beast and pulled out a massive sword. To a human, the size of that sword was inconceivable. Even for a two meter Danya, it was still enormous. It had to be the same size as a fully-grown human.
The man jumped down from the back of his beast, and roared at the guards surrounding him. Even though the guards were concerned, it appeared that the man’s words carried weight. The guards had reluctant expressions on their faces, but they moved to the side, making a path for their master.
Carrying the giant sword on his shoulders, the man in the azure cloak walked towards Owen and Gong Hua. His face was already full of anger, but as he walked across the ground covered in blood and flesh, his expression became even more terrifying. Adding on his two meter sturdy physique, and the giant sword on his shoulders, he truly appeared to be invincible. The imposing aura he exuded was awe-inspiring.
Hearing those words, Gong Hua couldn’t help but hide behind Owen, even unconsciously grasping onto the other’s clothes. He was terrified. The huge man’s expression was like… was like the one Cedric had on before!
After the man had finished speaking, Gong Hua couldn’t resist asking quietly, “Owen, what’s a monster?”
Owen’s expression darkened when he heard the question. He didn’t want to explain, but even if he didn’t, Gong Hua could guess at the meaning. The child was getting to know the ways of the world better and better although Owen preferred him to be ignorant.
If Gong Hua was ignorant, then he wouldn’t feel guilty when he killed someone and after he killed someone, he wouldn’t feel sorrow.
Unfortunately, after the events of the small town and Mila’s death, Gong Hua came to understand many things. He became quieter by the day, grief could be seen in his expressions, and smiles had stopped appearing on his face. The one thing that hadn’t changed was that he was as well-behaved as ever… He always obediently slaughtered people.
Owen felt another stab of pain in his heart. He turned towards the two meter Danya and snarled, “You people are the cause of this war! Do you think your hands are clean? The monsters are you people!”
Indigo let out a loud snort, and sternly replied, “War is commonplace between two opposing countries! As a soldier, I have no complaints dying in battle. However, dying in battle does not mean being massacred by that monster!”
Although Owen said nothing in response, he secretly agreed with the other’s words. He was a soldier himself. If the situation was reversed, and there was an unimaginably formidable enemy killing their own soldiers like plucking weeds from a garden, he might be even more resentful or fearful. This Danya, who was courageous enough to walk up to Gong Hua and curse at him, was truly impressive. Unfortunately…
“Gong Hua, kill him.”
Gong Hua was still hiding behind Owen, but that didn’t prevent him from controlling the vines. A vine the width of a human shot towards Indigo. The man leapt aside and swung his huge sword, cutting it into two. He then swiftly dashed forward, slicing again at the vines. Gong Hua stared in surprise. Up until now, he hadn’t met anyone from the Danya Tribe who was able to retaliate.
Seeing that Gong Hua was startled, Indigo charged forward; he wasn’t about to waste the rare opportunity he was given. His attack speed was astonishing. Fortunately, Owen was well prepared. He raised his sword to block the other’s strike. He was holding a one-handed sword, and reason dictated that he shouldn’t be able to face a two-handed sword head on as his sword would certainly break into two. But the sword he was holding wasn’t ordinary. Although Owen’s arm was numb from the force of Indigo’s strike, his sword was completely unscratched.
It appeared that Indigo didn’t plan on getting into a long fight with Owen. Every move he made was a straightforward slash towards the head or waist. The power of his fearsome sword was extraordinary; it raised powerful winds every time Indigo hacked down. What was even more surprising was that his enormous two-handed sword had the speed of a one-handed sword!
Owen did not have any strength to counterattack. All he could manage was sidestepping and ducking to avoid the other’s swings. Occasionally, he had the chance to strike back, but he did not manage to injure Indigo. On the other hand, he had already been grazed by the huge sword numerous times, leaving several cuts on his body.
Seeing Owen injured, Gong Hua yelled out in alarm, but Owen didn’t hear him. Besides the thudding of his heart, which was as loud as drums, Owen couldn’t hear anything else. Likewise, the only thing he could see was his opponent.
“Step aside!” Indigo furiously snarled.
Luckily, Owen was strong enough to keep the other interested. If he was just a bit weaker, Indigo would certainly have ignored him and turned to attack Gong Hua instead. If he was just a bit stronger, then Indigo would truly see him as a worthwhile opponent.
As Indigo was currently matched up with Owen, the guard of the black-haired monster, he felt he had to defeat him first before he had the right to go after the one standing behind him.
But both sides were not what they seemed. Indigo felt only irritation at this.
He’s so powerful that he could defeat me in just a few strikes. However, Owen wasn’t scared. Instead, he felt carefree and unrestrained. Whenever he stepped onto the battlefield, he had to lead Gong Hua around to slaughter people. Enemy and friend alike looked at the two of them as if they were monsters. The atmosphere was simply too oppressive!
“I know I’m not the one you want to fight, but why don’t you stick around and play with me for a bit?” Owen cracked a smile. Then, he turned and shouted, “Gong Hua, don’t interfere! Go take care of the other soldiers!”
“B-but, Owen…” Gong Hua didn’t know what to do. He wanted to obey Owen’s command, but that giant two-handed sword terrified him. He feared that if Owen didn’t dodge in time, he would be split into two… just like Mila.
Owen turned his head and fiercely glared at Gong Hua. He growled, “Go, now!”
Gong Hua was startled, and took a few steps backwards. But he didn’t obediently leave like he was told, though he knew Owen would definitely be unhappy. In any case, it wasn’t the first time Owen yelled or got angry at him. Ever since they were on the run, Owen had been unhappy.
Standing on the side, Indigo saw everything. He had a strange feeling in his heart, especially upon seeing Gong Hua’s cowering manner. He didn’t appear like a heartless slaughterer who had killed countless people on the battlefield. Instead, he was like… a child?
Indigo hesitated for a moment and looked around at the situation. Although the battlegrounds were chaotic, neither Danya nor humans dared to approach them. A circle of empty land surrounded the three of them. It was a spectacle rarely seen on the battlefield.
“Alright, then let me have a battle with you!”
Hearing this, no one would attempt to offer assistance to the two men. After putting his thoughts in order, Indigo decided to not beat around the bush, and straightforwardly said, “Let’s battle.” In any case, for him, defeating Owen wouldn’t take much time. Instead of wasting his breath, it would be better to quickly defeat his opponent.
When he heard Indigo’s declaration, Owen’s eyes immediately brightened. He growled and let out a “Good.” He then immediately raised his sword and attacked. His sword was light, allowing for agile movements. Although Owen’s strength couldn’t compare to Indigo’s, with his sword, he could at least parry a few strikes before his defeat.
Indigo was surprised. Before, whenever his opponent carried a flimsy, one-handed sword, it would break after enduring a few blocks. Right now, even though their swords had already clashed more than ten times, Owen’s sword was completely undamaged; there was not the slightest chip on the blade. He couldn’t resist praising, “That’s a good sword! Does it have a name?”
Of course, Owen knew he had a good sword in his hands. After all, it was a sword he got from Nightclaw! The price he paid for it was huge; Gong Hua had been badly injured that time…
“You’re facing me, yet you can afford to be distracted?” Indigo growled.
Owen was startled out of his reverie. He saw the giant sword aimed at his head, which brought forth a huge gush of wind. He had no way of blocking it in time, so he quickly stepped back. But not even a half-step later, the huge sword was already above his head.
“Owen!” Gong Hua yelled in fear.
When the sword struck the earth, it let out an earsplitting sound. Even on the raucous battlefield, the sound could be heard, making people’s hearts tremble in fear. Upon closer inspection, Owen saw that the force of the sword had split the ground.
Owen had fallen onto the ground. He was still in one piece, but he didn’t completely dodge the blow. The huge sword had grazed his shoulder, which was dripping with blood. His own sword had also been knocked away.
After that one blow, Owen knew he had been defeated. The difference between their strength was too great. There was no reason for them to prolong the fight. How unfortunate…
Owen slowly stood up, and walked over to where his sword had fallen. The whole time, Indigo did not make a move to attack him. He truly was a man of honor. Owen looked hard at the other. Although the latter was a Danya, Owen sincerely admired him. Be it courage or fighting skills, Indigo excelled in all of them!
He picked up his sword, and suddenly an idea came to him. Owen turned around and replied to the question Indigo had asked earlier, “This sword is called Nightclaw!”
“Nightclaw? That’s a good name.” Regrettably, the owner didn’t match up to it,but Indigo didn’t say the last sentence out loud. Even if he had already defeated Owen, he did not want to humiliate the man.
“Gong Hua, do it.” Although he was unwilling, Owen gave the command. No matter how admirable Indigo was, he was still the enemy.After receiving permission, numerous huge vines exploded out from the ground. Gong Hua planned on killing Indigo immediately, lest Owen wanted to battle by himself again. If he got injured yet again, he would surely die!
Indigo brandished his sword, a single slash of it cut apart dozens of vines, but there were simply too many. Even if he slashed furiously, like he was holding a light sword, he could not clear the vines. Plus, the vines regrew even after they were cut; there was no way they could be cleared!
Gradually, Indigo’s hands and legs became entwined with numerous small vines. He paid them no attention, as countless other dangerous vines were currently attacking him.
At that moment, Indigo’s guards abandoned their posts, disobeying their master’s previous command. They rushed forward to rescue their lord, but their path was immediately blocked by a huge wine. They roared in rage, and furiously hacked at it. But they were too slow: the small vines had already wrapped Indigo in a tight cocoon. He couldn’t even brandish his sword.
Seeing that Indigo was about to be pierced by dozens of vines, a person gracefully leapt over the vine that was obstructing the guards’ path. He stood in front of Indigo, shielding him.
The person was holding a sword, and was waving it about incredibly quickly, turning the blade into an indistinguishable blur. What could be seen were only flashes of silver. Afterwards, most of the vines that encased Indigo fell onto the ground, slashed to pieces.
Though he saw what had happened, Gong Hua wasn’t too worried. The reason he used the small vines to attack was because most Danya carried heavy two-handed weapons. Those kinds of weapons were good in handling single, strong opponents. However, they weren’t as capable when facing countless numbers of nimble small vines. The person that had jumped out to protect Indigo looked the complete opposite of a regular Danya. His stature was small, and his weapon was a one-handed sword. He also appeared to be extremely agile. But since he was agile, his strength couldn’t amount to much.
The man opened his mouth, as if he had something to say. But the vines’ attacks were swift and fierce; he had no time to finish his words, or make sure his words were clear. His broken sentences were no different from frenzied shouts.
Gong Hua switched to using huge vines to deal with his new opponent. As expected, the man’s flimsy sword couldn’t cut apart the huge vine. In vain, he slashed at it, but was sent flying with a single attack. He slammed against Indigo, and coughed up blood from the impact.
Indigo let out a heart-wrenching roar. The veins in his face and arms bulged out, and he struggled frenziedly against the remaining vines that bound him. Even as they tore open his skin and dug into his flesh, he prevailed stubbornly, ripping apart the vines on his hands by strength alone. He then used his sword and slashed through the rest.
After he broke free, Indigo tossed aside his sword. He pulled the injured guard into his arms, letting the other rest against him. He inspected the guard’s wounds, but he only saw a badly mangled chest. Indigo felt a heavy stab in his heart, and he cried in panic, “Aqua-!”
The person in his arms struggled to take off his helmet, revealing a delicate and beautiful face, along with a head of clear blue hair… He was actually a woman!
Obviously, she was not of the Danya tribe, who were built strong and large. Her face was thin, and her neck was slender. After losing so much blood, she looked even frailer.
When Gong Hua glanced upon her face, he froze in shock.
The woman’s face was also filled with surprise. Her chest was a bloody mess, and she was suffering from the pain of her wound, but the expression on her face was far more surprised than in pain.
Although Indigo was asking if she was alright nonstop, her eyes were fixed solely on Gong Hua. It appeared she had something to say. But every time she opened her mouth, she would choke on her own blood and start coughing, so much that she almost fainted.
“Aquamarine!” Indigo hurriedly patted her on the back, his hands extremely gentle. But he had no way of making her comfortable. The big and strong Danya was so anxious his voice was starting to get choked up.
“Indi-Indigo,” Aquamarine said with difficulty. “Look after…”
Indigo was taken aback, and then he quickly asked, “What?”
Aquamarine took a ragged breath. The air she was taking in was far less than she was losing, but she was determined to finish her words.
“…Look, look after our Flower!”
“Flower?” Indigo didn’t understand. Aquamarine suddenly sucked in a breath, her face deathly pale, and lips purple. Indigo immediately said in distress, “Don’t speak anymore, rest! I’m going to bring you to a healer!” He then turned and shouted at his guards in the Danya language.
Twenty or so guards rushed forward. They stacked their shields on top one another’s, and positioned themselves around Indigo in a protective wall. The wall of shields blocked Gong Hua’s line of sight. He could no longer see the injured woman. He worriedly shouted, “Move, I can’t see!”
He shouted again and again, but those guards paid no him no attention. In reality, most of them didn’t understand the human language. So they were even more vigilant towards Gong Hua.
He waved his hand, and small vines sprouted from the ground around the guards’ feet. The vines wrapped around their ankles, but as they were all wearing armor, they did not notice the vines. All of their attention was fixed on Gong Hua; they did not have any to spare for the vines beside their feet.
Pull them aside. Just when Gong Hua was about to command the vines, a piercing roar sounded behind the wall of shields.
When he heard the roar, Gong Hua’s hands and feet went cold. Heaviness weighed down his heart, making it almost impossible for him to breathe. By then, he had already understood what kind of situation a person would make a sound like that…
“Gong Hua, kill that Danya. His rank should be very high. If you kill him, we can end this battle.” Resisting the pain from his shoulder, Owen gave the order. But when he finished speaking, he did not see any vines moving. Puzzled, he turned to look at the other and asked, “Gong Hua, why aren’t you moving?”
An uncontrollable shaking had overtaken Gong Hua’s body. For a long time, he couldn’t speak a word.
“Gong Hua?” Seeing this, Owen couldn’t help but feel worried. He had rarely seen Gong Hua act this scared. The most recent time was when… he first massacred the Danya People.
Gong Hua raised his head, and said, “Owen, sh-she’s… I killed, killed… I killed a Leaf!”
Next: Chapter 01: Racing Flames… The Day I Dived into Those Flames
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Proofreaders: PiKairi, Natas