Vol. 15: Chapter 10 – I, Tonya

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly


Slaughterings, crazy slaughterings. A beast that was a head higher than Cohen was whining sorely. Unable to resist, its bones were crushed one by one by Cohen. The beast lamented, then miserably fell. Blood began flooding out from its mouth.

“Over…” Cohen sat on the body of this unknown beast, he murmured, “… all over.”

He couldn’t remember how many beasts he’s slaughtered, neither could he recall when he began slaughtering. He only remembered that he would go into the forest along the pathway that he trod during the past days. He had been searching and savaging beasts here.

After he’s done, he would sit there, blankly stare.

“Empire, king, responsibility? Mission? Passion? All fake, all wrong! All wrong! Fuck’em!”

In fact, when he woke up the first time in that cabin, he’s regained his consciousness. But from that moment onward, he had fallen into trance. Whenever he began staring at a spot, pieces of his past lives along with deep, mixed, complicated emotions would overwhelm him. The endless disappointment, endless regrets, and endless fear would all began haunting him, shrouding him. All these eventually transformed into self-doubt, self-resentment, and self-denial. His brain was flooded with negative emotions he couldn’t process.

Oddly though, he knew it was not like him. However, he did not have the courage to get rid of the emotions, nor did he want to resist them. He tried to avoid his true self. He intentionally let those negative feelings grow. Whenever the emotion reached a certain threshold, Cohen would need violence to let out the steam. But a deep voice reminded him to not harm humans. Therefore the forest beasts suffered the disaster.

What was this world? Why did he end up here? He could not tell his value to this world, neither could he tell why he still lived. The more he pondered, the more he disheartened, the more he wanted to abandon himself. But he was still a bit unwilling to give up. The very idea struggled to survive at a tiny corner in Cohen’s heart.

Cohen had decided to not think at all. Before, he would just go for it without thinking and live with the unknown future. However, there was usually a grim price to pay. However, living cowardly and timidly meant that he did not have to withstand any responsibilities.

Vengence, what vengeance? There was no vengeance. Joyfulness worth nothing more than a piece of bread. Destiny… if his old life was the thing he had to face, then fuck the destiny. If he could not undertake it, then he chose to avoid it.

Let him run, escape, evade! There won’t be any passion, so there won’t be any hurt either. Though there won’t be any feelings, life will be dull, he still had peace. Peace was important. Cohen’s broken heart cannot suffer any more setbacks.

The sun was setting. Cohen rose to stand and stumbled back.

When it was almost dark, the woman emerged on the end of the trail and approaching. She was plain but indispensable; delicate but she was someone he depended on.

When arriving at Cohen’s spot, she was inflated, “You’re not hiding today, huh?”

Cohen knew she must have pissed off by something today so he looked at her, explained innocently, “Can’t find a new place.”

Then came their daily conversation.

“Dinner is ready?”

“Ready.”

“Vat is full?”

“Full.”

“Recalled your name yet?”

“No.”

To her content, she smiled then pinched Cohen’s ear and led him in.

At dinner, Cohen gazed at her and she gazed back.

She was the most common woman. There was nothing particular about her. Cohen knew clearly whenever she wanted to do something. And he would cooperate. When she’s about to pinch his ear, Cohen would approach a bit closer for her convenience. When she was about to throw a tantrum, Cohen would sit further for her convenience. Accommodate her and let her think that she can have her way here have become Cohen’s everyday priorities.

Since he wanted to be a normal person, he was supposed to live the way a normal person led. Anything acute or anything with impulse would defeat the purpose.

Every night, she would come to his bed, hold his arms in hers. Whenever she came, her eyes were pure, purer than every moment during the day. There were no words but both of them could stare at each other’s eyes calmly for a long time without fluctuating breathe. Sometimes she would fall asleep before him, sometimes the contrary.

Day in, day out, Cohen thought he was quite used to this life. Though there were still emotional setbacks, more and more he was able to focus on his surroundings.

He began applying fixtures to her shabby old cabin, though the outline seemed all the more bizarre after the remedy. With his skills, he caught many cute animals and kept them in the pens behind, just to add some liveliness to their dull life.

The woman smiled at Cohen’s deeds as naturally and as peacefully.

Cohen even started to picture the future. He knew what she did for a living. He even considered to find a time and persuade her to reconsider her job. How ironic, before he’s never thoroughly imagined his future.

If only, he could live like this forever. No spears and armored horses, no vengeance.

To live like this…

Like this…

Days passed, their life was as calm as quiet water.

One afternoon, as usual, Cohen has prepped today’s supper, squatted by the trail for her return. However, she didn’t.

When it was as dark as ink, Cohen flustered. He began searching along the trail toward the nearest town. Roughly five miles into his search, Cohen spotted her. She was laboring on all fours, belly attached to the earth. An endless trace of red was behind her.

Cohen darted to her. He held her thin body and began examining her wounds. He was stunned at the look at it. Men did it. Such wounds at such locations, they were ANIMALS!”

Cohen’s presence surprised her. She put on a pleasant smile in his arms, she said with a weak voice, “I… I’m back… hi!”

“What happened? What happened to you…” Cohen scrubbed the dirt off her face. His heart, his hands were trembling.

“No, it was I… I was not careful…”

Cohen’s arm tightened and began chanting spells. His entire body started emitting intense white light. However, the healing spell could not prevent her life from leaving.

“Don’t quit! I won’t quit!”

Cohen cursed everything that came to his mind and retried his healing magic. It was useless. Her body was too weak. And her body was used to Asmodian magic. Cohen’s Protoss magic barely worked.

“Take me… back home!” She said quietly.

Cohen nodded then gently embraced her over his chest. He carefully stepped home.

At home, Cohen put her lying in bed. She gazed at him peacefully. A flush began emerging on her face.

“I haven’t told you my name.” Said she, “I… Tonya…”

Cohen nodded. He didn’t know what to do besides nodding.

“Huh, I should be embarrassed that you saw me like this.” Tonya coughed, “Did I startle you?”

“No…”

“This is life. No one knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow.” She forced a bitter smile, “I… I was counting to turn you in for money…”

Cohen held her hands. He wondered if he should tell her that turning him in will bring her huge money.

“But I don’t know why I didn’t do it. You won’t blame me, right?” Her hands were icy cold, “You can live here. You can have this place.”

“Ok… ok…”

“But you have to promise me one thing.”

“Yes… yes!”

“You must do it!” Her eyes were full of concern, “I don’t care if you remember who you are. You must promise me!”

“I… I will, I promise!”

“F… fine! I… I have a sister. Her name is Jean. She’ll be seven by this summer.” Tonya loudened her voice, “She’s at a temple in the capital of Teferra. I… I sent her there for fostering.”

“You must be curious. I’m just a cheap whore, still, I sent my sister to the temple. For me, she… is everything for me. I don’t want her to know… I’m a whore. I don’t want anyone to think less of her. If she grew up in the temple. She’ll have a clean background. Her life in the future will be happy…”

“I want you… you must find her… and make sure she grows up happily. You’re a high officer, you can help her!” Tonya hinted at her neck, “Remember, she has my necklace.”

“Every year, I must send enough silver to the temple. Not this year. Therefore you have to find her before fall… or she’ll be let go…” Tonya’s eyes have lost liveliness. But her hands caught Cohen’s, “You… swear! Swear with you true identity!”

Cohen swallowed drily. She gazed at him eagerly. However, he made the unspeakable promise.

“I… Cohen Kheda, do solemnly swear, in the name of the 17th emperor of Swabia. Regardless of what happened, I will fulfill your wish.”

Tonya widened her eyes unbelievably.

“What… what did you say your name was?”

“Cohen Kheda.”

“Our enemy… Phantom Legion’s leader?”

“Yes.”

“So… I saved an enemy.” Tonya’s expression turned extremely complicated, “It’s my karma.”

“No karma!” Cohen yelled, “No karma in this world!”

“Forget it. Doesn’t matter who you are now. Remember, a hundred miles south of the capital, there is a river-surrounded mountain. My sister is in the temple on the top of it.” Tonya reached for Cohen’s cheeks. She gently rubbed him, said with a faint smile, “I… I… should have sent you… for… money.”

“I remembered.”

“I recall, you’ve never smiled.” Her voice weakened, “For me… smile once. I… really… want… to… see you…”

It was Tonya’s last word. Before she could finish, she stopped breathing. She couldn’t even see Cohen’s smile for her.

Cohen’s arm tightly held her. The smile had frozen. A drop of tear slowly formed in the corner of his eye.

It was a pure drop of tear, a tear that should have been there when Fischer died. It eventually came.

Slowly, the drop of water traveled on Cohen’s smiling face and fell.

Tonya was abused and killed. Those shallow or deep cuts were from different weapons.

She had lived through her life among humiliation, never dared to express the lease disagreement. She lived remotely in the wild, and yet she was killed!

Why, why, why would anyone murder such an innocent woman!

With so many wounds, she can’t even walk. Still, she chose to crawl home!

Cohen once thought he was going to lead a dull life forever. Now, the reality crushed his dream and destroyed the only place he once thought was home.

How could he avoid reality? He couldn’t. If there is no avoidance, he must step up. And there will be people to take the consequence.

Cohen’s body suddenly shuddered. He emitted a low howling no one can tell if it was laughing or crying. His light purple hair floated though there was no wind. Little by little, the purple turned into black. The fire of anger once again flamed within his black eyes.

“If there is no order in this world, then I shall become order; if no one carries out justice, I shall become justice; no avoiding my destiny, escaping has ripped everything from me; I can’t fear duty, fear brings death…” Cohen solemnly unchained Tonya’s necklace and tied it around his neck, “My name is Cohen Kheda. I am a king. I have power and I have courage. I will fulfill your wish. And… I will live on laughing. I’m going to blend into this world with laughter. You fools who know only to harm, you will pay…”


This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.

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