Barker looked at Liola satisfactorily as Liola’s eyes gazed on the pyramid. Barker was waiting for the outsider to say some words of praise and exclamation.
Liola stared at the pyramid-shaped Dark Arena. Despite being used to seeing strange buildings, He had only one question in mind, which he asked directly, “What is an arena?”
Barker was stupefied. The older bodyguard widened his eyes, and the young one practically slipped. Barker had a blank expression, “Y-you don’t know what arena is?”
Liola nodded a couple of times.
Barker’s otherwise solemn face seemed to be amused, then he waved to Liola. They walked to the entrance to the Dark Arena, which already had countless excited people lined up to buy the ridiculously high-priced ticket to get in.
A buff man who tried to cut in line, was surrounded by the crowds and beaten up. People who were bored from standing in line became onlookers, and cheered as the fight went on.
Barker raised his eyebrows, and walked around the chaos headed directly to the door as if fights were a natural occurrence.
However someone was so confused because of the fight, he thought that Barker was trying to cut in line as well, so he reached his hand to grab Barker’s collar.
Unfortunately, after a sound of a gunshot, the scene fell completely silent, and the guy who didn’t know any better, lost a hand that tried to grab someone’s collar.
Barker pulled the collar of his clean suit, and glanced coldly at the guy rolling on the ground holding his arm.
With the terrified eyes of the onlookers, Barker majestically stepped into the Dark Arena Pyramid, and a few attendants hurried to him to welcome him. There were people who took his jacket, and someone brought a pail of water for Barker wash his hands in. The attendants didn’t dare to neglect Liola and the two bodyguards either, so they hurried to offer them pails of water as well.
Liola looked from the corner of his eyes, and saw Barker placing his hands inside the pail, so Liola did the same thing.
“Do you want to rest, or do you want to go check out the arena?” Barker courteously asked for Liola’s wish.
Though he was curious about the arena, his body continuously warned him with signs of exhaustion and soreness.
Liola lowered his head to look at the bruises and dried blood, thought it was best for him to get healed now that he no longer has his immense Ki to use as shields.
Liola opened his mouth to request, “I want to treat my wounds first.”
Barker nodded, indicating his agreement, “Bring my new competitor to the room we have prepared.”
The attendant respectfully agreed.
Barker laughed and said to Liola, “You go treat your wounds first, and rest well for a few days. You will fight in the arena for me in a couple of days. Don’t worry, that guy definitely not a match for you.”
Liola nodded, and walked away with the attendants.
As soon as Barker saw Liola turned into a corner, his warm smile immediately vanished. Seeing that the hallway was clear, Barker murmured to himself,
“Finally found a sacrifice. I almost thought the first match I’m responsible for would not go according to plan.”
The older bodyguard who had remained quiet all this time finally opened his mouth, “He’s strong, and the match will be exciting.”
The young bodyguard remained quiet. As he thought about the nauseating match in the Dark Arena, and with Liola’s face looking younger than his own, the young bodyguard felt sorry for Liola.
The older bodyguard looked at his apprentice’s eyes, and said casually, “Perhaps he’ll be the first ‘sacrifice’ to actually win a match.”
Hearing his master say so, the young bodyguard thought about the silver light dancing in the crowd of homeless guys, and Liola’s fluent movements. He nodded, “Maybe he’ll win.”
Barker laughed in disdain, “Win? He better enjoy his last three days.”
Liola, who had already walked away with the attendant, had no idea he had become a sacrifice.
* * *
Liola followed the attendant to the elevator, and walked to an elegant door. The attendant respectfully opened the door, allowing Liola to enter his room.
Liola was a little shocked as he surveyed the place. Everything that should and could be in a suite was there.
The moment Liola entered the room, there was a gorgeous living room. It had a pricey and soft leather sofa, and the ground was covered with white carpet. One of the walls had a large sliding door installed, allowing Liola to watch the beautiful scenery outside.
“Please rest for a bit, and a maid will come serve you immediately.” The attendant bowed towards Liola, and closed the door.
Liola frowned. He thought the room assigned to him was too elegant to the point of exaggeration. He was certain these types of room were reserved for important guests, and not for mere a competitor such as himself. He didn’t believe Barker valued him so much having only just met him.
“Did I just run into more trouble?” Liola thought with a headache.
At this time, there was a knock on the door.
After Liola had said “come in”, a middle-aged cougar looking woman waved a feather fan, and led a group of women with varying styles of clothes into the room. Every woman looked fairly pretty. All of them showed Liola their most beautiful side and stare at Liola, which made him even more confused, unaware his current situation.
The middle-aged woman flirtatiously laughed, “Aiya, the guest this time looks so good, even I want to serve you.”
The all women stared at Liola’s delicate face. A few of them looked at Liola with flirtatious eyes while smiling to try to show their interest.
Liola frowned. The cougar woman who could read people clearly, understood Liola didn’t like to be checked out.
She immediately asked the girls to settle down, then turned her head to Liola,
“Honored guest, I’m the leader of these maids, and I’m bringing them to you, so you choose. I promise to you that every maid under me are definitely the prettiest, best tempered, and good with their hands and feet. You can pick whomever you want, and she will serve you.”
Liola finally understood what these maids were. Without even looking at the group of beautiful women, Liola casually said, “Anyone would do.”
Liola then he walked towards the sliding door, surprised to he was able to see the stadium where Kaiser and others were. Though it only looked like a small circle, it was enough to garner Liola’s interest, so he stood at the sliding doors without moving.
Hearing Liola’s response, the cougar woman’s smile froze.
‘How could there be a man who isn’t even a bit interested in her daughters! What a joke.’
In the Dark Street, she was known as the Mama Sang who had no ordinary girl under her. If someone wasn’t an important guest, they wouldn’t be able to touch her daughters!
[T/N, the middle-aged woman would be like a pimp, and the maids would be prostitutes; in China, it was common for the pimp to call the prostitutes her “daughters”]
“Aiya, guest, are you sure you don’t want to pick carefully? Every baby under me is extraordinarily beautiful, and very obedient. You can do anything you want.”
Mama Sang smiled with her teeth showing, and blinked suggestively at Liola. Unfortunately, even though Mama Sang blinked so much that her eyes were close to having spasm and smiled so much that her facial muscles hurts, Liola was still deep in thought, and completely ignored anything she said.
Seeing a person so young, Mama Sang thought he wouldn’t be as picky as her older guests. She hit her palm with her feather fan, and yelled irritably at her daughters,
“What are you all still doing here? The guest isn’t satisfied with you! Go away, and tell my Seven Fairies to come here!”
The women felt cheated and left, and a few of them turned around to peek at Liola, with disappointment all over their faces.
Mama Sang anxiously paced at the door, waving her feather fan repeatedly as she waited for the arrival for her trump card.
Liola was still standing next to the sliding doors, looking at the small stadium, thinking of things like ‘Are Kaiser and others still fighting in a match?’ or ‘Did Baolilong obediently stay with Jasmine?’
They wouldn’t abandon the match to look for him, right? Liola felt uneasy, but then tried to comfort himself: no, they won’t, even if they try looking for him, and if they fail to find him within a couple of days, they would probably give up.
After all, they had only known him for a couple of months, and Daylight only knew him for a few days. There’s no reason for them to be very worried about him…
Liola suddenly touched his face, remembering Meinan’s punch.
“Dear guest, guest… Bastard! Turn around!” Mama Sang called Liola more than ten times, but Liola didn’t give even a slightest of response. She finally lost her temper and released her lion roar.
“Mama Sang?” The Seven Fairies were in shock, seeing Mama Sang being so discourteous to a guest. She was at the point where her make up was practically falling off her face piece by piece, and her fake eyelashes were half hanging on her eyelids.
Liola turned around, and stared blankly, “Something’s up?”
Mama Sang’s angry face froze, and she forcefully twisted her ferocious face into a smile. Along with her make up falling off due to her facial muscles moving too much, she looked almost like “Flowery”; even Liola, whose heart was like still water, twitched his face a little after seeing such terrifying face.
[T/N: “Flowery” was a common female name. Literally “like flower”. Its current usage was popularized by Stephen Chow in one of his movies, in which a character with this name was played by a cross-dressing man with terrifying looks and manners (often seen picking his nose)].
“Ohaha.” After a moment of Mama Sang’s awkward laugh, “Guest, you are quite the insightful one. Those few lowly girls weren’t good enough for you, then why don’t you take a look at my seven precious daughters and see if any of them fit your taste better?”
Liola glanced at the seven girls expressionlessly. He thought, didn’t he just say anyone would do? Liola was a bit baffled, which ever girl it was didn’t matter to him, so Liola gave the same answer as before, “Anyone would do.”
Mama Sang’s feather fan was swiftly broken into two. The smile on her face froze, the veins on her forehead popped. Her whole face started twitching, and her mouth seemed to be forming the words “you son of a—”…
“Go find your eldest sister.”
Mama Sang finally got a hold of her mouth. Spitting these words out seemed to be more tiresome to her than running a marathon.
Mama Sang gasped for air, and the Seven Fairies finally seemed to have relaxed a bit. They then realized Mama Sang actually told them to find their eldest sister?
“Is that really necessary, Mama Sang?”
“Stop nagging! Bring the girl here, tell her it was my idea.” Mama Sang angrily yelled at the daughters. At this point, she would do anything just to see this guy enthralled by one of her girls, and let him know every daughter trained by Mama Sang would be an exquisite beauty.
In fact, each of the Seven Fairies were indeed beautiful, some were dignified, some charming, and some cute… Unfortunately, they ran into an unprecedented Iceberg.
Technically speaking, Liola had seen his share of beauties: his apprentice was Yasha, the prettiest female Assassin in the organization. He later ran into the beautiful, warm, and the godliest healer Anise.
Liola even went so far as standing up the Dragon Empire’s princess Lanski, who was famous for her incredible beauty.
To Liola, Mama Sang’s seven girls left no impression other than simply a few “female humans”.
“Mama Sang, were you looking for me?”
A soft, girly voice called out, and a pair of snow-white hands wearing jade bracelets opened the door. Then, half of an immaculate and beautiful face appeared from the half-opened door. Her eyebrows curved like the moon, and her eyes sparkled like the stars, even the corner of her eye looked gentle and lovely. Strands of her dark-as-night hair playfully hanged beside her cheek, and in contrast made her face seem even whiter.
“Meiji.” Mama Sang’s heart felt anxious. Meiji was the best daughter under her; she had countless fans, and even Mama Sang wouldn’t dare to force her to serve a guest she didn’t like.
“I heard my sisters say that our guest is really picky?”
Meiji said as she laid her eyes on the man by the sliding door. Upon seeing him, Meiji finally understood why her sisters told her she must have a look at him.
Growing up in the Dark Street, Meiji had seen countless men in her life: old, young, fat, thin, ugly, handsome, etc. No matter what kind of person they were, in her eyes, there were only two kinds: rich and poor. Facial features was never something she cared about. Besides, in her experience, the handsome men were often penniless.
But she had never seen such clean and pretty man. Though his face wasn’t technically handsome, but it was clean and pleasant to look at, and even his temperament seemed clean. His whole person felt like a pail of clean water.
Originally she was only here because her sisters asked her so, but after looking, Meiji couldn’t help but walk into the room, wanting to extend her hand into this pail of water, and see if she could cause a ripple through his otherwise calm face.
“Meiji, are you interested in serving this guest?”
Mama Sang was satisfied when she saw that Meiji seemed to be intrigued by the guest, otherwise she really had no idea how she would get Meiji to agree.
At this time, Mama Sang turned to look at Liola. She didn’t believe for a second that Liola could remain still in the face of Meiji’s beauty. And surely enough, Liola did look at Meiji. Though he remained expressionless, but he was indeed looking at her. Mama Sang opened her mouth and screamed in her heart, “Lucky me!”
But honestly, in reality our protagonist Liola was just thinking, ‘Do all maids wear these kinds of silk nightgowns to mop the floor?’
“Mama Sang.” Meiji smiled lightly, and she seemed even more girly and beautiful. Her pink lips opened slightly, “I’ll serve this guest.”
“Ohehe, then he’s yours, Meiji.” Mama Sang narrowed her eyes, and waved her broken-in-two feather fan. She swayed her hips from side to side as she walked out of the room, and still manage to throw a smile at Liola before she left.
* * *
After Mama Sang had gone, Meiji carefully calculated in her head, thinking the guest before her eyes would probably preferred reserved girls.
Meiji hid her sexy smile, and replaced it with a blushing smile. It was strange, even though only her expressions changed a bit, her temperament felt completely different. Her previous attractiveness turned into more of a naive shyness. The only thing that remained the same, was her eyes still sparkling like stars.
“What is your name?’
Meiji laughed playfully. Liola suddenly realized her smile was quite similar to Jasmine’s. Liola answered honestly, “Liola.”
“Strange name for a strange guest.” Meiji blinked, and stood next to Liola by the sliding doors.
She curiously looked out the sliding doors, “What are you looking at? Do you care for something far away?”
Liola’s gaze returned to the small stadium, and a bit of worry unconsciously manifested between his eyebrows.
Meiji greedily look at the ripple on the water she caused, and she even had a thirst to see even more emotions on Liola’s face.
“Is it friends?”
Liola’s heart felt touched. Of course he knew the word friends, but what exactly were friends? Liola couldn’t tell exactly. Was he friends with Kaiser, Meinan, and Purity? What about Anise? And Lanski, Jasmine? Finally, what about the Baolilong who always called him papa?
“What exactly are friends?” Liola murmured.
Meiji said with a meaningful smile, “Those whom cry with you, laugh with you, and remain at your side through the obstacles of life. The people who really care about you can probably be called friends.”
Liola fell silent, trying to think of Meiji’s definition for “friends”, and thought of anyone who really cared about him.
Although Kaiser always seemed to act as if he didn’t care whether Liola dies, but… Liola remembered the time that he was almost killed by Lanski, and Kaiser had a “cold war” with him for a week.
Purity probably didn’t even need mentioning. When Liola was almost killed by Miluo, Purity kicked Meinan so she could run out of the protective shield. Liola had never forgotten about that time.
As for Meinan, he only punched Liola not long ago, just because he said he wanted to leave. He also remembered Baolilong’s little body blocking Black Rose’s way to protect him. Finally, there was Jasmine’s worried look before Liola left the stadium.
“Liola, do you have friends?” Meiji asked softly.
Liola looked at the stadium again. He couldn’t go back there, he can’t let the people who really cared about him suffer the same fate as Anise.
“Yes, I have many friends.”
Meiji’s eyes widened as she desperately tried to capture the expression on Liola’s face. The silver eyes were no longer cold, but instead filled with…
The door was suddenly knocked on heavily. Before Meiji responded, Mama Sang had already barged in, and said as she tried to catch her breath, “Hurry, hurry! There’s someone important, very important, and you must serve him.”
Meiji tilted her head, and Liola’s face seemed to be returned to the peaceful water it once was.
Meiji felt disappointed and grunted with dissatisfaction, “I already have a guest, let him wait no matter how important.”
“No!” Mama Sang waved her feather fan vigorously, “Let him wait? Are you joking?! It’s that, that guy!”
Meiji’s face changed. Who could make Mama Sang act this way, except one of her two powerful guests? Meiji frowned slightly, and looked at Liola reluctantly.
Liola smiled towards her, nodded with understanding and said, “Go welcome your guest. Thank you for telling me the definition of friends.”
Meiji’s heart skipped a beat, and said, “Mama Sang, please go appease that guest, I will be right there.”
Mama Sang laughed. She understood her message and left. She thought knew guests like Liola didn’t come often, and it wasn’t strange for Meiji to be reluctant to leave.
Seeing Mama Sang leave, Meiji immediately turned and said to Liola, “You must leave, now!”
“What?” Liola was baffled. He still had to participate in the arena, how could he just leave?
“You idiot! You were lied to and you didn’t even know. This room has always been for the sacrifice of the exhibition match.” Meiji saw Liola had no intention of leaving, and hurriedly explained the truth,
“Before the real arena matches begin, there is always an exhibition match to catch the crowds’ interest for gore. The sacrifice will be thrown into an arena surrounded by electric fences, and duel to death with a Dragon.
The person responsible for finding the sacrifice will always skillfully find an outsider who could fight reasonably well but still can’t possibly win against a Dragon. That way, it would increase the crowd’s interest in the match.”
Meiji grabbed Liola’s shoulder, “YOU are that sacrifice!”
Liola’s expression changed slightly. So that’s how it was. No wonder there were services and the room was so luxurious. Was this “payment” for him being the sacrifice? So everything Barker said about the money after matches was also a lie.
Meiji anxiously looked at the door, and then pointed out to Liola, “With that man being here, more than half of the guards will be assigned to ensure his safety. This is your best chance to escape, and don’t ever come back to the Dark Street, this is not a place someone with friends should come to.”
Liola said after a moment of silence, “What about you?”
Meiji obviously didn’t expect Liola to ask such a question. She was shocked for a moment then asked back, “Me?”
“You care about me, right?” Liola thought of it briefly, “You tell me I’m in danger, and ask me to escape, doesn’t that mean you care about me? Then you are my friend.”
Hearing this, Meiji burst into laughter, “Don’t worry about me. I was born here and grew up here. Other than this place, I have no where else to go.”
Meiji could not stay any longer considering the rumbling noises outside of the door. After telling Liola again to escape, Meiji couldn’t neglect that person anymore. She grabbed her long skirt and rushed outside.
Liola quietly stood where he was. His eyes were still looking at the stadium, but his ears were listening to the sounds outside. When it gets quiet outside, Liola planned to leave this place.
Gradually, the outside returned to its quiet state. At the same time, a female voice said,
“I’m sorry, Meiji suddenly had some business to attend to, so I will be your servant today. I hope you will be satisfied.”
Liola slowly turned and said calmly, “It’s noisy outside.”
The girl courteously replied, “I’m sorry, there was a guest who arrived unexpectedly. We had to allocate guards to protect him. Because he is in a room not far from yours, so it got a little noisy.”
Liola quickly extracted the information from the girl’s reply: that important guest was near, which meant there would be many strong guards nearby, and leaving here quietly wouldn’t be possible. Therefore, he could only leave his room in a proper manner.
“I want to heal my wounds.” Liola said to the girl calmly.
The girl glanced at the wounds on Liola’s wrist and neck, then courteously replied, “Yes, guest, the healing room is on the third floor; please follow me.”
Liola nodded, and followed the girl out of the door. There was a person leisurely standing against the wall. Liola took a good look, and it was the young guard next to Barker. As soon as he saw Liola walk out, he immediately cautiously straightened his body.
“I’m bringing this guest to the healing room.”
The woman explained to the young guard, who nodded. The girl said to Liola, “this way”, then walked into the elevator, and Liola followed. Though Liola had no expression on his face, but he thought quietly, that perhaps the bodyguard was sent to be his prison guard.
“Is there any match I can watch right now?”
Liola tilted his head to ask the guard. The guard was obviously shocked, but answered honestly, “Yes, but they are mostly privately held matches. The formal ones don’t start for another three days.”
“Can I go watch? I have to go to a match in three days, but I still don’t understand what an arena is.”
Liola looked back at the time when he entered the Dark Arena Pyramid. There were emotional people who were easily angered. With a little provocation, those people would be the best cover for Liola to escape.
Luckily Liola had already stupidly asked what arena was, the young guard didn’t think much of it, and nodded his head in agreement. Concerned, the guard asked, “How are your wounds?”
“Fine, just some scratches.”
The guard nodded. The wounds shouldn’t take too long to heal,
“Go treat your wounds, then we will go watch some matches after.”
Liola nodded, and followed the maid to the healing room. The scratches on him didn’t more than ten minutes to heal. Liola climbed out of the healing Maxun, moved around to ensure that his condition was good enough for escape. He then nodded towards the guard as if he was bored.
The guard shrugged, and said to the maid, “I’ll just take him to the arena. You go and wait back in the room.”
The guard led Liola towards the arena, and asked on the way, “I heard you saw Meiji? Is she beautiful?”
Liola was silent for a moment.
‘Was Meiji beautiful? She doesn’t seem to be as good-looking as Anise or Lanski, but compared to the girls brought there by Mama Sang, she was prettiest.’
Liola assessed, “Not too bad.”
The guard almost tripped. He turned his head and asked in disbelief, “Just ‘not bad’? I heard she’s the prettiest woman in the Dark Street.”
Liola had an idea, “Weren’t you standing outside? Didn’t you see her?”
The guard said dreadfully, “It wasn’t me, but my master. It wasn’t until he was assigned to protect that important guest was I assigned to where you were. Ah, so I missed Meiji by just a little bit.”
Liola’s silver eyes flashed again, he got yet another new piece of information.
The guard took Liola to the first floor. This place was unlike the quiet floors upstairs, instead it had many people coming and going, and it was very noisy. Liola thought to himself, should he run now, or wait until the arena?
The guard walked up to the reception desk, and winked at the pretty female receptionist, “Hey, tell me which arenas have fights currently.”
The receptionist laughed, and her hands quickly pressed buttons on the Maxun. She flirtatiously answered, “No. 2, 8, and 19 all have fights. Go to the one in 19, it’s the best one to watch.”
The guard smiled at the receptionist, then tapped Liola’s shoulder, “Let’s go, we’ll go see No. 19.”
Liola hesitated. He could see from the corner of his eyes that the door still had ten or so guards, and he decided to go take a look at the arena. Perhaps he could find a chance to escape there.
Liola followed the guard, and quietly assessed the guard’s steps and muscle distribution. His steps were heavy, so he was not the light, dexterous type. His arm muscles were sturdy, so he was probably quite strong, and not someone he could deal with without his Ki.
“Have you heard about Dragons?”
The guard asked suddenly, and asked about Dragons as soon as he opened his mouth, which made Liola unsure how he should respond.
Liola answered, “Heard about it.”
“I heard Dragons could also be either strong or weak. In fact, not every Dragon is equally terrifying. My master said, if I can face it calmly, even I could win against a Dragon.”
The guard was casually mentioning, and Liola frowned because he didn’t understand the intent, so he simply grunted in reply.
The guard seemed to have remembered something else, he turned his head with interest and asked, “You were quite fast, and that stick of yours were dancing like butterflies. Every action you did was like a step in a dance. What is it called? Even my master hadn’t seen it.”
‘Had I not been sealed, then it would actually be a lot faster’ Liola thought to himself, and answered, “Windborne Blade”
“Windborne Blade?” The guard carefully searched through his mind, but found nothing. A little discouraged, he said,
“Haven’t heard of it. The art of Kung Fu is really boundless like the sea. There are endless things to learn.”
‘Unless you’re also from another world, no matter how much you learn, you wouldn’t have known about Windborne Blade,’ Liola thought to himself.
Windborne Blade was something created by the organization’s leader, who personally taught Liola the skill along with Heart of Consciousness and Fluttering Blood Ki. But his Ki had been completely sealed away by Lancelot. Without the massive support of his Ki, Liola could be, at best, a strong ordinary person.
“But seriously…” The guard hesitated to ask, “Why did you come to Dark Street?”
Liola answered honestly, “Just by wandering around.”
The guard’s left foot tripped his right foot, and he almost fell face-first onto the ground.
He said with disbelief, “Just from wandering? Are y-you lucky or unlucky? To get to the Dark Street, one has to cross many strange pathways and zig-zag through countless unknown alleys. Even I had to be lead several times before I remembered how to get here.”
“I think I was unlucky.” Liola answered plainly. He came to the hard-to-reach Dark Street, then got tricked to be a sacrifice. It can’t be luck, can it? Come to think of it, this all started back when he went to the ruins and let Miluo out, then all sorts of troubles followed… seriously unlucky!
The guard awkwardly patted Liola’s back to comfort him, “Don’t think of it like that. Perhaps it’s an opportunity destiny has given you.”
‘Fate…’ Liola fiddled with the Dragon Cross necklace in front of his chest, thinking back to the scene in Duanchang Cliff where Anise desperately pleading him…
* * *
“Go, Liola, I can’t be saved. I am a doctor, I know.”
An arrow had pierced Anise’s chest.
Liola trembled as he held the arrow’s crook, but he didn’t dare to move it.
Liola was a top-class Assassin, and as such he can accurately judge how severe wounds were. But Liola refused to examine Anise’s wounds, because he was afraid to!
“Why was there this arrow? We were almost there, almost…”
Liola had a long face, painfully denying Anise’s near-death state.
“This is destiny, Liola.” Anise’s face was pale as snow, but there was still a slight smile on her face, “I’ve never told you, the cross necklace can only let one person leave.”
Liola’s body trembled, and couldn’t believe that Anise lied to him. He said while trembling, “You told me we’ll go to Duanchang Cliff together and leave together. Were you lying to me?”
With her life in danger, Anise unexpectedly had an innocent expression, “We are leaving together, but it’s just that our destinations are different. My mission is complete, and yours, Liola, is just beginning.”
Anise suddenly coughed, and a large amount of blood came out of her mouth.
Anise’s bloody hands reached up to touch Liola’s face, and wiped away the sweat from his face. She placed her head on Liola’s chest, and said apologetically,
“I’m sorry, Liola, I can rest forever now, but your pain is just starting… Please forgive me for I can no longer share your pain with you.”
Tears slowly rolled down Anise’s face, this was the first time Liola had seen the cheerful Anise cry.
“However, Liola, I believe you’ll definitely find friends who will share your pain and suffering, you definitely can.”
* * *
“Hey, are you daydreaming?” The guard scratched his face, calling at the immobilized Liola.
Liola was awake from his daydream, and nodded at the guard. At the same time, his heart yelled out to Anise.
‘I did find friends who would share my pain, but Anise, I can’t stay by their side. I can’t allow anyone to suffer the same fate as you.’
“Arena 19, we’re here.”
The guard looked at the sign “19” next to the door, and led Liola into the arena.
Arena 19 wasn’t too big, there were about 70-80 seats with area of 9m by 9m square, but the audience present far exceeded that number.
The arena was so crowded they were practically standing shoulder to shoulder. Everyone seemed extremely excited. There were two women fighting one another on the arena. As the wounds on their body accumulated, their clothes became more and more torn, the cheers of the crowd became louder and louder.
The guard stood stupefied at the door, and didn’t know what to do. He didn’t the female receptionist suggested for them to watch this match because of the two fairly good-looking women. The guard scratched his face, and thought Liola wasn’t the type who lusted after women, therefore probably wouldn’t like this match.
Liola observed the entire room: the crowd’s emotions were high, thus a riot could be easily caused with simple provocation, and a riot was exactly what Liola needed for his escape plans.
Liola stepped into the room without hesitation, and the young guard couldn’t believe his eyes. He muttered something about ‘you really can’t judge a person by their looks’, and followed Liola into the crowd.
“Wait for me, Liola.” The guard struggled to push into the crowd, and follow Liola’s outline.
But since the place was so crowded, the guard’s face was getting warped, but still didn’t cover much distance. He thought Liola was quite the pervert, since he was already in front of the arena in an instant.
Liola’s eyes flashed, and saw there was a crack in the crowd. He immediately turned sideways to push into the crowd. Before long, Liola was in front of the arena.
Liola carefully observed the elastic ropes separating the arena from the crowds, and the women often used the ropes to increase their momentum.
Liola had quickly formulated a plan in his mind. He took out Broken Silver and, after unsheathing it, a silver light flashed. Three ropes instant broke, and the elastic ropes snapped back and hit the bodies of the surrounding crowd.
Suddenly, there were tens of people moaning in pain on the ground. The ones who had lesser wounds vented their anger on their surrounding people. But what truly turned the place into chaos was when the crowds saw the two pretty female competitors with torn clothes standing before their eyes.
All the men ran up the arena one after another, and the two female competitors, who were fighting each other moments ago, had no choice but to join forces and kick the men who were trying to grab them.
Chaos ensued in the entire place. The guard also had to dodge angry fists. When he remembered Liola, he had already lost sight of him.
The young guard panicked, and he took out his gun and fired three shots into the air. Everyone got scared and crouched down while holding their heads, and the only person standing was the guard. He desperately looked for Liola in the crouched crowds, but of course, Liola wasn’t there.
“Damn! You can’t escape!” The guard clenched his hand into a fist and yelled.
By this time, Liola had already gotten out of arena 19. The Assassin skillfully maneuvered through the shadows, but not towards the lobby on the first floor.
Liola had already observed the lobby. Though an Assassin’s stealth could fool people’s eyes, but it doesn’t mean he could get past the Maxuns: Liola didn’t ignore the Maxuns scanning for people at the door.
Jumping off was probably the safest way to escape. Liola believed Broken Silver would have no problem cutting open a few pieces of fortified glass. Thinking the most dangerous place would also be the safest, Liola planned to go back to his room to jump off, even if someone were to find him, he could argue that he did nothing but return to his room.
Liola quickly tried to return to his guest room. As he was about to push the door open, his instinct flashed in his mind, and he slowly pushed the door. He tilted his head and saw the maid before was sitting on a sofa.
If she was alone, Liola could definitely make her unconscious before she noticed, but unfortunately the maid seemed to have found several sisters of hers. They were all talking and occasionally laughing.
Liola quietly closed the door, and at the same time suddenly realized the elevator not far from the room was opening.
Liola’s face sank, and quickly left the door. He had no choice but to rush towards a turn at the end of the hallway. Liola didn’t have time to look, and at the same time the elevator door opened, he turned the corner.
Liola had to apply the emergency brakes to stop himself from hitting a maid holding a platter of food.
Liola’s pupil dilated: a luxurious room had its door wide open, and everything inside could be seen with a glance.
It was an elegant guest room. The living room had a big circular table, and a gold-haired middle-aged man was sitting in the middle of the table facing Liola. There were many people around him, including Barker, the older bodyguard, Meiji, and many people whom Liola did not recognize.
Escaping to the place where all the strongest enemies were, this was practically Liola’s graveyard.
Liola’s face sank, and looked at the only person who wasn’t his enemy — Meiji. Everyone followed Liola’s gaze settling on Meiji, who, after a moment of panic, returned to her calm, then purposely gritted her teeth and then yelled at Liola,
“You idiot! Didn’t I tell you I will go see you at night?”
Seeing Meiji’s rage, Liola was stupefied briefly, but then understood Meiji’s intention. He cooperated with her and answered, “Sorry, I couldn’t stand not seeing you.”
“Listen, go back to your room first.” Meiji continued as she used the corner of her eye to look at Barker and other hosts of the Dark Arena Pyramid.
Although they looked slightly dissatisfied and frowned, they didn’t seem to suspect anything. Meiji’s provisional lies seemed to have fooled them; she quietly sighed in relief.
Liola nodded, and immediately turned to leave. But a warm yet solemn voice stopped him, “Who’s this guy? Have you eaten yet?”
Barker hurriedly turned to the gold-haired, middle-aged man and explained, “He is the exhibition match’s ‘competitor’.”
“Oh? Have you eaten yet? Care to join us for a meal?” The gold-haired man stared at Liola; his face was still warm, and Liola couldn’t tell whether he knew what the exhibition match really was.
Though Liola’s face remained calm, his heart was pounding, “No, thank you. I’m not hungry.”
The gold-haired man’s smile seemed to have broaden, “Oh? Sorry, I thought you were in love with Miss Meiji, and would want to spend some more time with her.”
Meiji’s face turned pale, and even Barker looked at Liola and Meiji suspiciously.
Liola’s face sank a little, but he purposely acted pridefully and answered, “I don’t want to see her serve anyone else.”
The gold-haired man seemed to find something interesting, and he couldn’t hold back asking, “Big boy, you really don’t recognize me?”
Liola was surprised by this. He then carefully examined the man. He had a head of golden and wavy hair, and matching eye color. The man’s smile was warm, but a solemn vibe was given off from him. Liola especially noticed, that the man was actually wearing a Sorcerer robe.
But more importantly, Liola was very sure that he didn’t recognize this man, but the man acted as if it were impossible for Liola not to recognize him. Liola was having a headache, not knowing how to answer.
“I am Qiusi Glory, does this help you remember?” Qiusi kindly provided a hint.
‘Qiusi Glory?’ Liola repeated this name in his mind, and it sounded somewhat familiar?
Liola thought again, but couldn’t remember where he had heard it. The name was completely unfamiliar to him.
“How do you not know Aklan Prime Minister’s name and appearance?”
Barker couldn’t hold back and finally screamed. Meiji also looked at Liola in disbelief.
Liola knew he was in trouble. He had heard that Aklan Empire had a Prime Minister, but he had never asked Kaiser about his looks or name… Liola would have never predicted he would come face to face with the Prime Minister, and he wouldn’t have Kaiser by his side to explain things to him.
Qiusi showed a slight interest and he waved at Liola, “Come here, boy, I’m very curious about your history.”
Liola’s body froze, the escape plan seemed… to have failed. With no other choice, Liola obeyed and sat down.
Qiusi laughed, and waited for Barker to arrange another seat for Liola. Qiusi took up the teacup and asked, “Where are you from?”
Liola seemed calm, and remembered what Kaiser said about people from other worlds wasn’t a strange thing nowadays.
Therefore, Liola didn’t plan to lie, and said honestly, “I’m not from this world.”
Everyone sitting around the table seemed to be shocked.
Even Qiusi looked serious for moment, then his smile returned. He nodded and said,
“So that’s why. In the last ten years, we did indeed have a lot of aliens. Most of them are housed and protected by the government, but it’s hard not to let some slip through the net.”
Barker hurriedly said, “Right, it’s not strange to have people from other worlds here recently.”
Qiusi laughed as he narrowed his eyes,
“Barker, you don’t have to worry, I’m no longer interested in people from other worlds. The one who should worry is you, this little guy seems to already know the truth about the exhibition match.”
Liola’s face suddenly changed. His cold silver eyes held their gaze at Qiusi, and he thought, was there some flaw in his disguise? Even Meiji lowered her head with a pale face. But Qiusi still smiled, and raised his cup at Liola, as if he had no idea that he just pushed him into a dark abyss.
At this time, the young guard also barged in. He looked panicked and he was looking for his master and Barker, but instead he saw Liola. He was stupefied, and didn’t understand what the heck was going on; the man he thought had escaped was actually having dinner with his boss?
Barker was enraged, thinking that Liola had humiliated him in front of the Prime Minister. He yelled at the older guard,
“Look at your apprentice, he can’t even look after one person. From now on, you are responsible for the exhibition match competitor.”
Barker coldly turned towards Liola,
“You better enjoy your last three days, and don’t have any crooked ideas. Otherwise, prepare to pit your life against a Dragon without food or clothes.”
“And what if I win against that Dragon?” Liola coldly answered.
Barker was actually shocked by Liola’s cold eyes. Trying to hide his fear, Barker yelled, “If you win, then you can get the hell out of the Dark Street. Okay?”
Liola calmly nodded. Flames raged on in his pair of silver eyes made everyone shiver.