Chapter 177 - Another Enemy (5)
It was a night where the cloudy sky obscured the moonlight. Rehshoo stood on top of the cliff, and he was facing the wind blowing in from the ocean.
His gaze was fixed on a point beyond the dark ocean. He had been standing there for an hour. It was as if he was meditating. Azell approached him.
“What are you doing?”
“Do you think the world is different across the ocean… I was fantasizing about it..”
Reshoo didn’t show any signs of surprise. He turned around as he answered Azell. When Reshoo fully turned around, Azell spoke.
“I'm sure it is the same as this place. It is a world where humans live.”
“There might not be any humans living there?”
“Then it is an animal kingdom.”
“I guess so.”
Reshoo snickered. Azell asked him a question.
“How are the two of them progressing?”
It had already been over a month since Kairen and Leticia had started learning the Dragon Soul from Reshoo.
While the two of them were going through enormous amount of hardship, it wasn’t as if the other members of the party had been playing around. Laura and Yuren exchanged techniques with the residents of the forest. On top of that, they brainstormed ways to increase their skills through the conversations they had with Albatan. Azell took inventory of the powers he regained, and he trained on how to best use these powers.
“They are about here.”
Reshoo pointed towards his neck.
“Are they still at the brink?”
“They’ve been at that state for the past week. They are strong in terms of Dragon Demon magic, and they are quite skilled in manipulating it too. It’ll happen soon. Whether they can awaken the Dragon Soul or not…. It all starts from there.”
“Why are you so hesitant? Did you hear something?”
Reshoo ignored the context of the conversation as he suddenly threw out a question. Azell became silent.
Reshoo once again looked towards the night ocean, and he started to speak words that had nothing to do with the questions he asked.
“I don’t know how it looks like from your perspective, but….. You are like an remnant of a very old memories for me. It was as if you were frozen and plucked out of that era. I am awestruck everytime I see you. You probably don’t know this.”
“You don’t know how surprised I was when I saw you.”
“Still, I can relate. As a Dragon Demon, I’ve gone into a long hibernation before. In the past 220 years, I've only hibernated once. I slept for 20 years… The world changed a lot in that time. The fact that I lost the chance to see the change almost filled me with resentment.”
“You are almost the same as your past self, Azell. However, I’ve changed. Even I think I’ve changed into a completely different person.”
“…you really have changed.”
Azell let out a sigh.
After coming to this place, he hadn’t conversed much with Reshoo. The emotion he felt towards Reshoo was much more complicated than the emotions he felt for Saibein.
His era had become the distant past, and he was happy to find someone that remembered him for who he was in the past.
However, at the same time…. Reshoo made him uncomfortable, since his presence hammered home the fact that time had pa.s.sed.
From Azell’s perspective, Reshoo had been a friend that he had deep insight into. However, the current Reshoo wasn’t the one he remembered, and Azell couldn’t tell what he was thinking now.
“However, it seems you came here to talk about a more difficult subject.”
“Did you develop an ability to read the mind of others?”
“After teaching so many people, I’m able to get a measure of their thoughts.”
Azell couldn't help, but laugh. As expected, this wasn’t the Reshoo he knew.
“If you are having a hard time getting your words out, you can talk to me at a later time. At the very least, you have some time left before you have to leave this place.”
“No, once I start putting this off, I’ll keep putting it off indefinitely. I’ll just speak.”
“Reshoo, are you my enemy?”
Azell firmed his resolve, and he threw his question out there. Reshoo became silent.
The night ocean produced sounds of waves, and it was the only sound that broke the silence. After being silent for a long time, Reshoo let out a bitter laugh as he asked the question.
“Why do you think that?”
“It isn’t something I came up with.”
“Saibein said so. He said you might be my enemy.”
“…he did? Why would he think that?”
Reshoo was puzzled. However, Reshoo wasn’t denying Azell’s words either.
“He said he found Atein’s secret lab. Atein’s diary was there.”
“So that’s how it is? However, the diary should deal with events before the Dragon Demon war…….”
“The fact that Atein made an offer to you was in there.”
Saibein had provided two pieces of information.
‘I believe Reshoo-nim is working with my father.’
He had a hard time believing in that story.
However, he felt too uneasy at the prospect of not checking up on the information. He had to see if the information was true. That was why he had firmed his resolve, and he came here to ask Reshoo about it……..
“Moreover… You shouldn’t underestimate Saibein. I mocked him by calling him the Simpleton Prince, but he is the son of Atein.”
Saibein was one of the top high ranking magicians within the Dragon Demon king’s army. He had also possessed one of the highest ranked Dragon weapon called the Book of Darkness. The only reason why he was called the Simpleton Prince was the fact that he couldn’t translate his prodigious talent into victories on the battlefield……
“Saibein found out that you were connected to the Great Darkness. He used this fact as basis to guess that you’ve accepted Atein’s offer.”
“I see. I did underestimate him too much.”
“When did it start?”
Azell’s face hardened as he asked the question.
He could tell by Reshoo’s reaction that Saibein’s information was correct.
“If I’m to be precise, I accepted an alliance around 50 years ago. Therefore, it was around the end of the Great Darkness.”
“…Atein is dead. He is supposed to revive in the future, so how were you able to make an alliance?”
“Did you really think Atein could do nothing until he’s revived?”
It was a story of deep import. Azell felt his chest constrict.
“I can’t give you the details of the alliance, but…. Hmm.. Could you retract your killing intent for now, Azell? It is true that there is a high probability that I might become your enemy.”
“You struck an alliance with Atein. How could you not be my enemy…..”
“What if Atein has no intent on joining with those that deified him? What if he has no plan on fighting against humanity?”
At his words, Azell was momentarily at a loss for words. He had never thought about this possibility. When the Dragon Demon king Atein was revived, he had naturally a.s.sumed Atein would lead the remnant of his army. Azell had a.s.sumed Atein would bring about misfortune to the world.
Reshoo shrugged his shoulders.
“It isn’t as if I know the entirety of Atein’s plan. Moreover, I cannot tell you the parts I know either. However, if we do become enemies, it would only be after Atein is revived. We won’t know until Atein makes his move. Am I not right?”
“I’ll say this as your friend. I won’t be your enemy before Atein is revived. I won’t do anything that will harm you.”
At his words, Azell looked in Reshoo’s eyes. From within the darkness, Azell could see Reshoo look at him with plaintive eyes.
For a long time, silence flowed between them.
Azell met Reshoo’s eyes as he pushed down his surging emotions. Azell shook his head from side to side.
“…all right. I’ll trust you.”
“Speak. Why did you make such a choice?”
Reshoo let out a bitter laugh as he spoke.
“The world treats well those that are greedy and evil. On the other hand, they are cruel to those that are selfless and good.”
“Atein knew that I would leave this forest to learn about humans, so he gave me an offer. He said he would create a world where the powerless and good people could live happily.”
At the time, Reshoo couldn’t comprehend what he was talking about. Atein had beaten him, so why was he spouting such nonsense?
However, Atein had not been speaking to the present Reshoo. He was making an offer to Reshoo in the future. It didn’t matter how long it took. Atein knew there would come a day when Rehsoo would understand his words. When he despaired at the world created by the humans, he would come to Atein for help.
“That time came.”
When the Great Darkness arrived, Reshoo had been wandering the world. It truly was a horrible era. Everything that humans believed to be of worth was destroyed. The world was filled with fear and despair instead of trust, love and hope.
“Do you know who sage Baion is?”
When Baion’s name was suddenly brought up, Azell was taken aback.
Why was Reshoo bringing up that name?
“How much do you know about him?”
Azell put together what he saw from the history books with the stories he heard from Kairen to answer Reshoo’s question.
When he heard Azell’s story, Reshoo spoke with a dark expression on his face.
“…I see. I never knew Kairen and Baion were connected in that way.”
Reshoo let out a bitter laugh. He had no idea Kairen was the Duke of Tarantos. This was why he had no idea there had been a tie between Baion and Kairen.
“Baion was a truly amazing person. For a while, I watched over him.”
Baion traveled to extremely dangerous regions to find a cure for the plague brought on by the Great Darkness. This was why Reshoo had traveled with Baion to protect him.
“When the medical a.s.sociation was established, I thought he no longer needed my services. That is why I left him. After 10 years…. I found out that he was a.s.sa.s.sinated.”
“…he was a.s.sa.s.sinated?”
“Officially, he went missing when the medical a.s.sociation was starting to run smoothly…. In truth, he was a.s.sa.s.sinated. The temple sent a.s.sa.s.sins after him.”
Azell was struck dumb.
Baion had put his life on the line to save humanity from despair. He had saved them, yet they used such a disgusting method to kill Baion?
“It was an unforgivable act. However, the general population were clueless of this fact. They didn’t know that the priests hated Baion for taking their power away from them. They were worshipers of G.o.d, yet they committed the heinous act.]”
The power held by the temples bottomed out when the Great Darkness came. The monopoly on the healing arts by the temples were broken by Baion, and the medial a.s.sociation was established. Instead of priests, healers were being educated. There were no paths available for the priests to regain their former power and authority.
The high ranking priests, who once held the world in their hands, harbored hatred for Baion.
It was an extremely crooked grudge. They held hatred for Baion every time they looked at their own downfall… In the end, it resulted in the a.s.sa.s.sination of Baion.
“…that incident spurred me on to accept Atein’s offer of alliance.”
When he found out the truth behind Baion’s death, Reshoo became grief stricken. He had never felt such grief before.
He had witnessed too many humans repay good with evil. If one strove to be good in life, it didn’t mean it would bring happiness. If one lived an evil life, it didn’t mean one would live a life of misfortune.
The world was fundamentally wrong. However, he had no idea how to fix such a world.
“I thought…. Maybe, Atein had a solution, and Atein already had an answer prepared for me.”
“What was the solution?”
“I cannot say. When Atein revives, you will find out.”
Azell thought about bringing up the information he heard from Saibein in an attempt to press Reshoo for more information. However, he realized his attempt would be fruitless.
“All right. Thanks for the story. I’ll delay dealing with our relationship. Are you going to continue training Kairen and Leticia in developing the Dragon Soul? Will you watch over them?”
“Of course. Once I taken in a pupil, I take responsibility.”
“I’ll trust you.”
After speaking those words, Azell turned around. A bitter smile appeared on Reshoo’s lips as he watched Azell’s back.
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