Vol. 18: Chapter 08: Man and Dragon’s Journey

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly


High in the air, Leila, restored to her dragon form, was excited. Although her flying was still fast and steady, she wouldn’t mind the occasional thrilling fancy show such as throwing Cohen out of the back, especially when he was asleep. After all, Leila has been with Cohen for so long, she’s been exposed more or less to some bad habits that only a human such as Cohen had. Nevertheless, who else can sleep at this height? 

But even if the situation was more thrilling, Cohen kept a lazy look, he didn’t even make a sound. Because of that, even Leila was bored after a few rounds. 

Sometimes Cohen would tease Leila or make a speech, and therefore sometimes Leila would stop and debate with him. Hence the man and the dragon flew a while, then stopped to argue, the actions repeated before the dual reached the Protoss/Asmodian Line. 

The last debate ended with Leila throwing the towel, so she was forced to transform into a white bird, condescending to stay on Cohen’s shoulder. 

“Asmodian Alliance, this young master is at your doorsteps – ha!” Cohen stood on a small hill and let out a wild laugh. 

He wore a black robe, held a vine wood magic staff, carrying a long wooden box containing a black steel machete. Such an outfit was unconventional, half-civilized and half unarmed, like… a hybrid of street performer and a petty thief. 

“Can not be a little quiet.” Leila was very dissatisfied with Cohen’s behavior, “We look quite odd already.” 

“You call this odd?” Cohen started striding forward, “I’m telling you, you’ll see a lot more weirdos here in the Asmodian’s soil.” 

“I’ve been here, and I know what it’s like.” Leila argued, “They dress nothing compared to yours – what did you bring me here for?” 

“You lost a bet! Don’t be a granny crap.” Cohen grunted, “And I’m your master.” 

“That’s temporary, and since I’ve been ordered to protect you, you must explain to me the purpose of this trip, or I’ll come after you for rubies.” 

“Okay, fine!” Cohen waved his hand, “I’ve come to pick up a little girl who I haven’t met, and to do some scouting work by the way.” 

“Little girl?” Leila took a long time to make sure he heard correctly, “For a little girl that you haven’t met, you came all the way to the Asmodian Alliance?” 

“I thought you found me odd?” Cohen stopped, “This is a promise, I have to fulfill it, if I don’t find her before autumn, she will be in trouble.” 

“That’s really convincing.” 

“Actually, it’s more than that.” Cohen smiled and said, “Recently, the intelligence shows that there are some strange things here on the enemy’s soil.” 

“What strange things?” 

“After the last P/A War, there were very frequent assassination activities, almost considered a massacre for the nobles.” Cohen scratched his head, “They happened in every empire, and they happened at the same time, my intelligence officers will not bring false information to hoke me, so it is very necessary to find out. Since I am here, I’ll be the best spy.” 

“If it’s the Asmodian Alliance that’s in such a mess, what makes you think the same thing won’t happen in the Protoss Alliance? What about your court members? What about their safety?” 

“Don’t worry about it, I’ve arranged everything, they will definitely be fine.” Cohen bumped his chest and said, “I’ve knitted a huge net waiting for the assassins to come, they absolutely can’t escape. We’ll carry on with our job, there is plenty of time.” 

“Really can’t do anything with you, how are you going to explain to everyone after that?” 

“I’m the emperor, I’m going to crown this little girl as the princess!” Cohen snorted coldly, “I don’t even need to explain to anyone.” 

“I mean about you bailing out halfway through, isn’t there a better way?” Leila kept his balance on Cohen’s shoulder, “What you said at the memorial ceremony was very casual, which is not the way of a good emperor.” 

Cohen gave a light laugh. 

“I couldn’t help it, there were a few things I had to tell Dad, but there was no time. And what’s wrong with being casual? I was telling what I really felt inside, and you think I’m going to get any better by going up there and giving a long speech? It’s useless… the attendees were ready for whatever their king was gonna say, so I might as well remind them.” 

“How troublesome.” Leila replied coldly, “Need I remind you that they have no idea about you going to be a madman yet.” 

“Yes! From their point of view, the biggest crisis has already passed, and the habits deposited over the years make them think that there will be a war only after twenty years.” Cohen plucked a wild fruit by hand, wiped it on his clothes and put it in his mouth to chew, “One of the biggest problems is to make them correct this habit…” 

“Seriously, I have no hope for most of the officers, because your real opponent is very powerful, although you are not afraid, your subordinates will be afraid.” 

“I will gradually improve this, and of course the fastest and easiest way is to find something to replace it…” Cohen shook his head, “It’s a pity that guy is not with me, otherwise he would have a solution. ” 

“I’m a little confused.” Leila’s wings shook and hovered over Cohen’s head, “You and Fischer Summers’ relationship is very special. In the eyes of a general human being, only lovers develop such deep affection, right? But you are both male…” 

“Hey! You!” Cohen had an annoyed but funny expression, “Don’t talk nonsense if you don’t have a clue, OK? Are you really clear about what is love, what is friendship, what is affection?” 

“I’m learning, please enlighten me.” 

“I’m really defeated by you.” Cohen stopped, “How far is your progress now?” 

“Well! Dragons naturally know how to feel affection, and in addition, I can understand love.” Leila flew to Cohen, “Please explain friendship to me.” 

“Since you understand love, friendship is well explained.” Cohen nodded, “To be frank, the most primitive starting point of love is desire, the body’s instinct, you agree with this, right?” 

“Agree.” 

“Love is exclusive, contested, and unequal. First, a certain party is attracted, he or she needs to rack the brain to play the means to defeat other rivals to get the other party, this is a competitive process, but also very selfish behavior. Sometimes, the process is accompanied by intrigue and merit. The whole thing is very competitive, is that right?” 

“Maybe, but not exactly.” 

“There are very few cases of mutual love from the moment the two meet, most of them remain the kind I am talking about. Love becomes flat over time, while friendship is the opposite.” Cohen laughed, “Love makes people nervous, fatigued, mutual relations often wavering… think of my four ladies, how nervous I am when they ask for my attention at the same time.” 

“And what about friendship?” 

“Friendship, friend, brother, all those words sound relaxing.” Cohen clasped his hands in thought, “Put it this way! We often hide many things from our loved ones, but not from our friends. Some thoughts can be told to friends, but not to lovers. We can have many friends at the same time, but we can’t have so many lovers – no matter how great and noble people state about love, its base motivation and ultimate purpose is still physical contact; but friends can accompany you to the sky and the earth and across the sea, and friends can do anything for you but absolutely refuse physical contact. ” 

“If it’s really as good as you say, why don’t women indulge in friendship?” 

“Different values, I guess! All are indispensable things in life, but men are the same as women are addicted to love for friendship.” Cohen glanced at Leila, “Or just like the dragons are addicted to shiny gems kind of complex, it’s all inborn.” 

“Nonsense!” Leila flew in the air, “You’re not a good teacher, I still don’t understand.” 

“Which part? That’s right, none of it.” Cohen smiled, “We are friends as such now, but if, I mean if, if I were to sneak onto your bed and take you one day, then there would be no friendship between us.” 

“What an abusive analogy…” Leila noticed something and flew a little higher, “There are humans approaching us.” 

“Of course it’s humans.” Cohen snapped his fingers, “That’s the ranger I left here.” 

A group of soldiers with camouflaged faces poured out from the dense forest and surrounded their commander. 

 

In the past 6 months, there had been too many assassinations within the Teffera Empire, nearly a hundred nobles or heirs had been killed, and even the Royal Prince had been seriously injured in an attempted assassination. The remaining nobles were naturally frightened and started to recruit guards so that there were swords and sticks, indiscriminate “guards” looking for work everywhere.

At such times, it is not surprising to see strangely-dressing guys. 

(Teffera Empire, a sparsely populated border town)

Cohen followed the secret canyon passage across the Protoss/Asmodian Line, took a small detour from the Wells Empire into the Asmodian Alliance’s soil. Wells was in chaos, and no one checked the details of this “apprentice traveling mage”, and he used a bottle of poor quality wine and a few words of nonsense to obtain a full set of identification documents. 

Because of the noble black clothing and strange dress, no one dared to provoke Cohen along the way. He was treated well and charged little fee for services. The “travel” was rather comfortable. 

On this day, Cohen rode the black horse he bought and entered the Teffera with great enthusiasm. After passing through the border, the scenery along the way began to turn abundant, and even Leila who kept arguing with Cohen was attracted by the scenery and kept demanding to stop and enjoy. After a series of negotiations, a man and a dragon finally reached a consensus on the route forward, choosing a pathway with fewer pedestrians which was between the noble gathering where a lot of landscape was to be seen. 

It just cost more, but Leila had discovered several rubies along the way, which was more than enough to pay for the journey. 

Can’t blame Leila, dragons were born with extremely high requirements for their surroundings, especially the natural environment. Many dragons spent their lives protecting their private lands from invasion, and in human eyes, this habit was somewhat difficult to understand. 

But now, at least Leila has been completely intoxicated in the green mountains and blue water. She stood on Cohen’s shoulders, peering left and right, her mouth rarely stopped talking, even Cohen who has not been very sensitive to the environment were inevitably affected. 

The blue and clear sky with faint clouds, soft breeze around the side, took away the summer heat. The cool river flowing by the side of the road, nourishing the luxuriant shrubs, the leaves of the trees on both sides of the road turning in the wind, making a soft sound, far away, near, around, which was full of a variety of exotic and colorful plants. Crimson leaves, bright yellow flowers, turquoise branches, the colorful colors were just mesmerizing. 

“This is a small olive tree, that’s a tumbleweed, and there’s a pale blue lilac on your left… Long-staple rabbit! See? Very rare species, oh!” 

“Well… well… well…” Cohen’s head turned back, then forth, then forth and back, already dazzled, “Good one… worth quite a lot…” 

“People like you are one of a kind. Anything can become money in your eyes.” Leila sighed helplessly, “Can’t you really feel what they are worth without talking numbers?” 

“I am feeling it.” Leila rarely had the chance to be so happy, and Cohen didn’t want to spoil her fun, so he smiled slightly, “In fact, I’m just measuring their value with something else in my mind, which is not considered offensive.” 

“Fine! You always have a point anyway.” Leila was satisfied with Cohen’s answer, “Look at the woods over there, I can introduce you to every kind of tree! Let’s start with the first one, that’s the blazing fire tree with red leaves…” 

Leila chirped out her knowledge while Cohen smiled and listened. The atmosphere was extremely cordial – but shortly after, a sharp hoofbeat came from behind, relentlessly interrupting the pleasure of the two. 

For a certain man, it was like being rudely woken up after a rare sleep out of a long period of insomnia. He was, of course, quite unhappy. 

Cohen’s face darkened. He inched himself to the side of the road, letting this team of galloping knights rush through. 

“Fucking hell, rushing to death, huh?” His body completely enveloped in the dust brought up by the horses’ hooves, Cohen was even more upset, so he shouted and cursed, “I’ll fuck you ma…” 

The rider at the end of the line glanced back at Cohen and did not curse back, but looked away to continue on his way. 

“Looks like they really have an emergency!” Seeing Leila looking at himself with a condemning gaze, Cohen grinned, “Otherwise, they would certainly turn around to defend their… dignity…” 

“Ugh, you win.” Leila was completely helpless about the subject, her small head lowered, “Let’s be on the way!” 

“Copy that!” Cohen clamped his horse’s belly and continued forward. 

After walking less than 10 miles and reaching a small town, Cohen looked at his deflated water bag and his travel bag, then dismounted in front of the only small pub. Just as he tethered his horse, Cohen saw a dozen or so leisurely-looking warriors scattered along the roadside. Cohen was so sensitive by nature that he could tell that there was something wrong with their station by just one glance. It was clearly an encirclement. Even the three wagons parked on the roadside were strange. 

“Are these people coming for us?” Leila’s question went straight to Cohen’s mind. 

“No, their opponents should be in the pub.” Cohen responded without moving, “We might have a show to watch.” 

He lifted the cloth curtain at the entrance, then crossed into the pub. 

It was relatively small but well decorated, with 6 well-made square tables in the hall, and two single rooms further inside. Now the whole place has been packed with men – no, not all men, there were also werewolves, barbarians, lizardmen, which were rare on this continent, and even those kinds of races Cohen did not know. 

They were all clean-cut warriors, some standing, some sitting, forming several circles around one of the single rooms in layers. Weapons were unsheathed, but they were all placed in the most obedient positions. A few of the waiters cowered in the corner, not daring to move a muscle. 

Cohen’s entry into the pub triggered a trace of uneasiness among these people, and within the first second, several warriors locked their very unfriendly eyes onto him. Without raising an eyebrow, Cohen swaggered over to a table filled with men. 

Cohen’s approach made the eyes of several warriors change from unfriendly to hostile, and the intimidating air had evolved into a stern one. But Cohen became very excited, because this kind of scene was something he had missed. The opportunity of street fighting was rare since his arrival to this world! 

“Bang!” Cohen first threw the cane wood staff onto the table, a few warriors at the table were shocked with trifle suspicious. 

“Move over.” Cohen tilted his head slightly and gave an extremely arrogant look, “You deaf! I told you to move over!” 

“Kaka kaka kaka…” A series of triggers clicked, and almost all the warrior’s weapons popped outward a little. 

Perhaps because he couldn’t guess where Cohen was coming from, or perhaps because he didn’t want to cause trouble, an older warrior held down his companion’s half-drawn long sword and said, “Don’t be nosy.” Then handed a wink for a few people to get up and give the table to this little bully who appeared from nowhere. 

“Are the waiters dead too? If not, get your ass here!” Cohen sat down very ungracefully and continued to play the role of arrogance, and also continued to mix the weirdness into the tense atmosphere of the pub, “Why don’t you… greet the customers?” 

A waiter with a face like white paper shivered and very carefully bypassed one of the strong men and stood in front of Cohen. Excessive fright made this poor guy’s face full of sweat, and his body was shaking. 

“Sir… sir, what would you like, what would you like to order?” 

“Water, wine, and food.” Cohen looked at the waiter and began to act, “I, I am now, so, so, so, so, so hungry…” 

Leila was so angry that she almost fainted. The anger of the warriors continued to rise. But Cohen was enjoying himself, slapping the table and kicking the bench and still shouting, urging the waiter to bring something quicker. 

“Oh yeah! Not bad stuff.” Cohen grabbed the waiter by the collar and dragged him over, “Tell me honestly, did you spit in my food?” 

The waiter could use a clean faint immediately, “No, I don’t dare.” 

“Really? Did you put any funny stuff in it?” 

The waiter was already sure he was in the wrong line of work, “Guest, we, no… those things.” 

“Poison, ecstasy, aphrodisiac, laxative, you don’t have any of these? There’s always something, right? Honestly!” 

The waiter could no longer speak, only shaking his head about, as the warrior watched on coldly. 

“None of them?” Cohen gave a heated smile, “I have, do you want to buy some?” 

Hearing Cohen’s words, the waiter’s body jerked, his white eyes rolled, and he finally passed out. 

“Fainted really fast.” Cohen let go of his hand and picked up his glass, his fault-finding eyes darting around, “One little bird fell down, fell down, that fell down, two little birds fell down…” 

“Fall down… I’ll let you die!” 

Among this group of warriors, finally, someone can not stand Cohen. With a sharp sound, a dagger went straight to Cohen’s throat. 

Cohen was about to give this impetuous warrior a little punishment, but someone at the door coughed before the dagger made a hard stop. The warrior looked towards the door, and then obediently retreated. 

“What is it?” 

“This mage is looking for trouble.” 

“Ignore him, where’s the target?” 

“In the single room.” 

“Drive him out.” 

“Aye.” 

Cohen didn’t turn around, the conversation coming from the doorway was enough for him to understand the situation, he stretched out exaggeratedly and watched the situation unfold. 

“Come out, man inside! You definitely won’t get away this time!” A chief-like warrior stood in front of the curtain of the single room, “Sooner or later you will die, the masters can give you a clean one!” 

There was no answer inside, silence. The chief shouted once more, still the same… 

“Good point.” Cohen stuffed a large piece of meat into his mouth, clapped his hands vigorously, “Right, don’t look at me like that! The big shot is talking. Can’t embarrass him. Watch and learn…” 

No one paid any attention to him, although some people were so angry that they were going crazy. 

The chief stepped back and made a gesture, several flying claws were thrown from several directions, the sharp metal claw head pierced through the wall, then with a violent pull, the entire front thin wall was dragged down, masonry smashed on the floor, dust escaped in all directions. 

Cohen said “ouch” then covered the mouth of the glass with his right hand. Then he eyed the single room like everyone in the pub. 

The room was still quiet when the dust settled.


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

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