Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was a new dawn. Although Cohen had not been able to fall into sleep, he forced himself to close his eyes in order to ease the mind. He tried not to think about Fischer, nor his life, nothing so that he could gain moments of peace after the night’s craziness.
He was certain that there will be more fights waiting for him out there once he was on his way. He needed his body to be in the best shape in order to cope with that. Cohen was a bit regretful that he didn’t bring the suit of black armor bestowed by the Protoss elder princess. It would have been a lot easier if he did.
A crisp chirping from the top of a tree nearby reminded Cohen that it was uptime.
He gradually opened his eyes, only to find his entire view was taken by a face, a face so close to Cohen’s eyes that he could see his hairstyle from the eye owner’s pupils.
Both faces remained emotionless, and they stayed that way for quite a while.
This was bad.
Cohen naturally knew that this face belonged to the silhouette who followed him last night. Did she bleach herself?
“Damn it!” Cohen was not content that she had been peeping on him while sleeping, “Move away!”
The silhouette, no, now she was a floating young lady dressed in white. She found a branch and sat on it. With a calm face, she surveyed her ‘toy’. And her ‘toy’ was doing the same.
Cohen helped himself up while gazing apathetically at this female.
She had blond skin, perky nose. Under those delicate eyebrows were her clear, beautiful eyes. A gorgeous, oval-shaped face had her natural temptation. Though elegant, she had natural a hint of naiveness.
Cohen hence drew his conclusion while checking up his gears: this was a mischievous female.
“You are impolite, Protoss Knight.” The girl blinked, “Don’t you ever greet morning to anyone?”
“Not in the mood.” Cohen fished a piece of last night’s trophy from his bag and started chewing.
The girl watched the Protoss Knight with curiosity. Somehow, she’s turned more affable since daybreak. At least, she intended to be.
“Wine?” She smiled, “It helps.”
At any time, beauty can be served to ease tension, even for someone like Cohen.
“You’re not human, why do you care?” Cohen replied.
“Why do you judge that I’m not human?” The girl said with her chin in her slender hands, “Human warlocks are able to turn themselves into mirages.”
Cohen swallowed the coarse food, then jumped onto the ground, “The reason is not the point. I’ve said my conclusion.”
“Don’t you have questions?” Like last night, the girl stayed in the air above Cohen, “Not even one?”
“Yeah!” Cohen rose to look at her, “How can I sleep with you?”
She was quickly stunned, then quickly blushed, “HOW DARE YOU!”
“Hey, you’re pretty; and I’m sturdy. It’s only natural. Don’t get cranky, girl.” Cohen humph-ed, “I wonder if you care that you’re a human or not. Either way, I don’t. Men just fancy novelty, that’s all.”
“Unbridled human!” The girl scorned as her face was as cold as ice. With a flick of her finger, Cohen’s body then voluntarily leveled and was shot harshly onto a tree.
Having done the punishment, the girl’s face eased. Aiming to make the demonization process smoother, she revealed her unworldly face. However, she didn’t anticipate Cohen’s unrespectful language, which ultimately discouraged her for a while. It also made her realized that her face wouldn’t always work. Therefore, Cohen temporarily escaped his fact. To conclude, anything, even coarse language, had its benefits, as long as it was put to the right use.
“Bah!” Cohen helped himself up and found himself unhurt. He dusted his armor silently then began retreating the forest. The girl, though with a cold face, still followed. It seemed that this round had finished.
Cohen’s plan was to find a shortcut back to Swabia. However, soon he discovered it was not feasible. He spotted a great number of scouting birds hovering in the sky. Along the routes, there were countless temporary, guarded outposts. He even saw people patrolling around with hounds. Cohen managed to travel further. To his surprise, he saw a field of an endless army.
Crossing them by himself would be impractical.
Cohen had no other way but to return to the forest for the darkness to fall once again. He ought to consider which route was safer.
After the night had fallen, Cohen first judged the directions with the help of the constellation, then camouflaged into the darkness.
He was going to detour from Porta (a Protoss allied empire residing by the P/A Line)
Two hours into his journey, while running at full speed, Cohen caught rustling from his back. He sighed quietly then halted at an optimal location.
Though the starlight was vague, it was enough for Cohen. The killer who followed also had a sword in hand, and wore black. The two gazed at each other for half a moment before engaging in a fight without a word.
“CLANG!” Spurted sparks saw 2 vague figures crossed each other.
The coming man had impressive skills. He landed with the tip of his food then leaped from the landing point and flipped back toward Cohen then thrust several more attacks.
“CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!”
Still without a word, once and twice, the two’s bodies drew closer and split. Each close encounter was aiming for the kill
Suddenly Cohen speeded up. The tip of his sword found its way into its enemy’s throat. Then Cohen quickly retreated to a safe distance and watched coldly as one more bounty hunter fell. A vague hint smell of blood began circulating in the air.
“No companies. He’s a lone wolf.” The girl above didn’t shift into a silhouette as the dark fell. Her voice, however, like last night, began annoying Cohen’s ears, “Ahead, there are more like him lining up to kill you, mercenaries, assassin and maybe rogue warlocks. They’re from the Protoss Alliance, but they intend to exchange your head for money. They should be sorry…”
“There’s your thigh.” Cohen cut off the girl, he talked upward, “Pink.”
“Your enemies are getting stronger. One day, they’ll triumph over you. What will you do by then?” The girl’s long robe quickly shifted into a battle suit, “Don’t forget that you’re all alone. Only I can salvage you…”
Cohen tightened his belt and again went back on his way.
As time went by, in a pass between mountains, Cohen slowly turned out of breath. Therefore he decided to have a rest.
To his surprise, a huge number of magic torches lit up the next moment. Turned out Cohen has run into the ambush of another army of sellswords.
“Very well, you’ve finally shown. We’ve been waiting for 3 days for you.”
A voice came from the darkness unreachable for the torchlight, “I knew you are going through here so I bid these mountains with big money! We don’t want to kill an unprepared man. Stand up!”
Cohen calmly stood up and had some water. However, he was thinking while drinking. Looked like all the bounty hunters on the Line had occupied certain areas nearby.
Several rows of well-equipped warriors began putting pressure on Cohen, but the latter was not a battlefield newbie.
Machete in hand.
“You have some guts!” The voice yelled, “Attack!”
Left hand with the sheath, right with the blade, Cohen confronted his enemies. His black cape rose to fly in the wind like a pair of wings surging in the sky.
“DIE!” Cohen roared as his body passed dangerously over a row of sharp spearheads. In the meantime, his long sword slid across an individual’s throat before claiming 3 more victims the next moment.
Squirting blood was accompanied by sorrowful wails.
But Cohen did not stop. He pivoted, his cape dancing up and down while the torches died down one by one. Finally, only a few of them were still alive.
“CLANG!” Cohen’s long sword penetrated the last sellsword’s chest. He was the one who spoke earlier, a sturdy and tall man. He reminded Cohen of his own IGT captain.
“Your skills didn’t prevent you from getting killed.” Cohen gazed at him, “Why bring all the men with you?”
“No… one wanna die. You’re… worth 5 mils.” The sellsword leader said bitterly, one hand pressed on his chest while all his men’s corpse were lying around, “You won’t understand. My brothers’ job can’t even earn him 10 pieces of gold a year.”
Cohen slowly retrieved the sword, didn’t know how to comment.
“Your death…” The leader groaned as his voice drew weaker, “… will feed many…”
“Therefore you went for me, even it’s a wrong thing to do?” Cohen asked reluctantly.
The leader’s pupils have begun dilating. His tone was sorrowful and taunting, “Right… wrong, who knows…”
“You didn’t have to die.” Rarely, Cohen said with pity, “If you didn’t attack.”
“Brothers… are… dead… I… can’t… live forward…”
“Moron!” Cohen’s facial muscle twitched at his last words. With one punch, Cohen sent the dead body up into the air, then drew his sword and ground it into countless pieces.
While doing it, Cohen’s expression turned grim. He staggered, yelled, cursed, “Moron! MORON! You, COMMONERS, have brotherhood!?”
Cohen’s craziness went on as the girl gazed coldly from upward.
“I was right. There’s no point to distinguish right from wrong. What matters is your own desire.” The girl wasted no time to cut in seeing that Cohen had calmed down, “Cohen Kheda, what is your desire?”
“My desire?” Cohen slumped onto the earth, said, head lowered, “Told you this morning.”
“Are you trying to make me angry again by saying so?” The girl giggled with her hand over her mouth, “Don’t you miss your best friend?”
Cohen was about to be on his way as he was standing up before he heard the girl, “What did you say?”
“I said, do you want best friend back from the dead?” The girl became serious, “I can fulfill your wish. Now beg me, on your knees.”
The last lit torch from the battle earlier died out.
“Sounds like you’re quite capable. What’s your turf?”
“Have you heard the Asmodians? I am a princess junior.”
“Asmodian…” Cohen turned to face the girl, “You?”
She nodded. The next moment saw her hair fluttering though without any wind. Its color turned purple. A pair of extraordinary black feathered wings materialized, unfolded, and extended. After the transformation, her entire body began emitting a vague purple outline outward.
“I know you withheld his funeral. However, deep down, you know his death is a fact.” The girl did not elaborate on her identity. She went for Cohen’s pain.
“What does Fischer Summers mean to you?”
“Stop saying his name.” Cohen’s sword penetrated the girl’s body on her mention of his best friend’s name.
“Think before you act. Your attack is useless.” The girl disdained, “Human beings are no match for the Asmodians.”
Cohen made several more thrusts before he realized that he was not able to harm her.
“One day!” He cried, “You are going to kneel before me!”
“I’m happy to see otherwise. And I’m willing to wait.” The Asmodian princess was amused, “To make your wish come true, I’ll keep you alive.”
Though all the anger, reluctance, and grievance were stuck within, Cohen had no choice but to keep on his journey.
Birds of reconnaissance were still hovering in the sky.
It was the 4th day after Cohen was transported to this dreadful Line. He has been alternating his path in order to interfere with his pursuers since day one. However, he could still encounter hostilities on a daily basis. Nothing changed but the fights were getting harder.
Therefore, Cohen schemed and successfully captured a sellsword alive. After unhuman torture, he learned that all the men after him were originated from every Protoss allied empire. No one knew who planned this but each hunter had his own share of territory along Cohen’s homecoming path. Further, the hunters were well-communicated; the intelligence shared. Together they’ve become a giant, tight fishing net aiming for only one man: Cohen Kheda.
But there ought to be a safe path which all of them have overlooked.
The Asmodian girl’s laid-back humming was circling over Cohen’s head.
Cohen glimpsed her angrily then aimed his eyes towards the Asmodian Alliance.
“How ignorant of you to find the right answer.” She said, “Are you really the Protoss Knight who directed the Clay City battle? You’re not an imposter, are you?”
“So, made up your mind yet? Think twice, I advise you. Once you’ve decided, there’s no turning back.”
“You Asmodians are fucking full of bullshit.” Cohen said grimly, “You will pay.”
(Hell Island, Asmodian elder princess’ palace)
One of the younger princess’ handmaids was on her knees before the elder princess, reporting that her master has been missing.
“It’s been days and you only tell me now. There will be punishments.” Said the elder princess, “See to that you keep yourself 3 days in the blood pool.”
After punishing the handmaid, the elder princess sighed and began heading to her father’s palace. A runaway younger princess was not a small issue. She had to inform the Dark Lord.
Like his ancient opponent, the Dark Lord never land his hand on the management of the Asmodian members and the allied empires. He was used to diverting the business to his daughters while spending his days in his own palace.
Since no one was allowed to use magic within the Dark Lord’s palace so the elder princess had to walk. As she approached her father’s throne, she lightened her steps.
“My daughter, how long has it been since you came to me. Are you very occupied in managing the alliance?”
In the magnificent throne sat the Dark Lord wearing his resplendent armor. He saw his daughter. Without a helmet, his uncanny purple hair rested on his shoulders. The same uncanny purple pupils were giving off very vague purple as well. There were no emotions on his blond face. Even his words were emotionless.
The elder princess knelt, “Greetings, king father.”
“Rise.” The Dark Lord gently lifted a hand, “You have business here. Don’t disappoint me.”
“Yes, king father. My little sister has been away from the island for 4 days. She is traveling with one handmaid only.” The elder princess rose, “An Asmodian-at-arm informed me that my sister had instructed her to send the Protoss Knight Cohen Kheda to the Protoss/Asmodian Line.”
“Cohen Kheda, a man I am unable to see through, an intriguing human being. She intends to demonize him.” The Dark Lord rested the scroll he was reading, “Do not belittle your sister. She is playful, however, she knows to find delight for her father.”
“Yes, king father.” The elder princess replied submissively, “I fear that she might stumble in the process because she has been away from the affairs and not in possession of any prior-experience of demonization ritual.”
“It’s a start. She needs to learn.” The Dark Lord stood up, “Let us watch how good she is at her job.”
Having said that, a giant screen entirely made of energy formed from the top of the palace dome. It gradually descended. As the Dark Lord brandished his hand, a dense forest showed on the screen. The picture enlarged and gradually gained vividness. Finally, it focused on an empty ground.
Several broken bodies were there lying about with marks of blood scattered in the earth. It was a mess. Men were engaged in a fierce battle. As for the younger princess, she was sitting most gracefully in midair, casually kicking the empty sky while watching the fight underneath.
“What a girl.” Said the Dark Lord, “She’s not very into the reality.”
The elder princess responded with a meaningless groan but her eyes were on that black-suited, red-magic-buffed young man. This human being must be the renowned Cohen Kheda.
On the battlefield, Cohen’s black sword was still able to claim a great number of victims despite all the magic balls firing and sharp edge thrusting.
To defense or to attack, Cohen’s movements were uncommon but effective. And whenever his uncommon practice took place, someone in the enemy would die.
However, Cohen Kheda’s opponents were not ordinary human beings either. They have successfully exhausted the target. His black cape was stained with dark-red blood and broken with many holes.
As a man fell, more men will replenish, along with crossbow-ers and mages ambushing from afar. They’ve proven to be very hard to deal with for Cohen Kheda.
“Him, a man who makes me think and let me enjoy the process.” The Dark Lord’s face finally revealed a hard-to-perceive smile, “I’ve been considering how to play this game, but our little princess was a step of me.”
“Father, should I summon her back?” The elder princess asked, “I will discipline her.”
The Dark Lord shook his head.
“It could be very difficult for her…”
“Once she started it, she’ll have to carry it to the end. This is my tenet.” The Dark Lord’s eyes had not left the screen since earlier, “She will do her best to see to that it ends. It is a path of her choice therefore she will be responsible for it to the end.”
“Father, you mean…”
“Cohen Kheda has shown his difference from former Death Lord candidates. I want him to become a Lord of Death of his own will. I want to watch how far he can go. For that, I even considered to demonize him myself.” The Dark Lord said with his rare expecting tone, “However, it’ll be done by our young princess now. We have time. Let us wait for the day she is successful.”
“No, king father, I don’t.”
“My daughter, I see that you are worried about her.” The Dark Lord said softly, “However I favor Cohen Kheda, he is only human, as inferior as other greedy men, always attempting to consume everything with their decades of life. Let us watch the spectacular, though I’ve grown tired of it since eons ago.”
“As you wish.” The elder princess replied. She diverted her eyes back to the screen when she was in time to see Cohen roared and initiated his lethal strike to his last opponent.
“From a human’s point of view, it is a splendid fight.” The Dark Lord dissolved the screen and said, “His under-powered. He needs upgrades. Make your arrangements.”
“As you wish, king father.”
“Fancy this observing magic? You’ll learn. But only to use on an Asmodian member.”
“Thank you, king father.”
This chapter was originally published on Wuxi”anation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.