Chapter 19: Everyone Lies, But Don’t Lie About Everything
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Myka regretted it a little. He thought, I should not have directly identified myself, I should have immediately taken away my magic, changed my appearance, and then pretended to be a woman to the end, so that Sovili would not recognize me completely.
Sovili despised the identity of a ‘pink robed mage’. How shocked would he be to see Myka wearing heavy makeup and women’s clothes? ——But that was not the most important thing. Most of all, Sovili was a serious, proud, self-respecting, slightly extreme warrior… Now, he was standing in front of Myka with little hair on his head, which had caused great trauma to him.
When Myka identified himself, Sovili was as stunned as if he had not been released from his immobilization. Sylar was introducing himself and the other bear, and didn’t know if Sovili had heard.
Sovili hugged his head in pain, paced anxiously, and finally scolded, “Nine abyss hell, damn it!” ——And then, decisively, he became a bear again.
Now, in front of Myka and Sylar, the situation was like this: Lord Illican slept on the stone floor with tears on his face, and bear Sovili sat by the broken window, with his back to them and looked at the moonlight. Sylar’s bear friend went to sit side-by-side with him, and occasionally hummed, and Myka wondered if the bear was comforting Sovili.
“Can’t you persuade him?” Myka asked in a low voice.
Sylar looked at the two bears seriously. “Do you think if I lend him my cloak, he will accept it?”
“He doesn’t know you, he should be okay,” Myka sighed. “With his personality, it is difficult for him to accept help from friends, even worse, he was my friend before we fought. But he’s okay with people he doesn’t know. By the way, he doesn’t even know you, right?”
“Yes, he doesn’t know. But I saw him… While following you.” Sylar finished, took off his cloak and walked slowly to the bears.
In the end, Sovili somehow accepted Sylar’s offer. For the first time, Myka saw Sylar as serious as he was — he didn’t wriggle or rub his hands when he spoke to Sovili, nor did he do the little actions of bowing his head and blinking or biting his lips. He just sat quietly beside Sovili, talking in a low voice with concerned eyes.
Myka remembered that Sylar had said, ‘You are not shy when explaining pink magic to others. But you are shy when I praise you’ and so on… Maybe Sylar had something similar, such as the more familiar he was with people, the more awkward he was. Although Myka and Sylar didn’t know each other for a long time, after all, Sylar seemed to have been following him for many years and must be familiar with him.
After a while, the bear Sovili returned to human form, took Sylar’s cloak and wrapped it around himself. He looked back at Myka and muttered, “I didn’t expect to meet you. It seems that both of us have degenerated to a great extent.”
“What’s the matter with you? Is this a case of therianthropy?” Myka asked.
It seemed that the word ‘therianthropy’ caused Sovili to feel hurt. He had to take a deep breath to calm down his mood. He bowed his head and kept silent for a long time before he said, “So what? Aren’t you also infected with… Womenswear?”
Myka knew that Sovili was trying to cause trouble by being sarcastic but Myka didn’t know how to refute.
Sovili looked at Illican, who was asleep, and hissed, “So you are his friend? You came to save him? Don’t worry, I didn’t really want to hurt him.”
“Illican is the new Lord of Todd’s territory, you know?” Sylar reminded, touching his bear.
“I know… I saw him before he inherited the position. I used to believe in him… But now I’m disappointed.”
Myka thought, you’ve always been like this, and you’re disappointed with most people in the world.
“Myka, what are you like now?” At this time, Sovili looked up at Myka and continued, “You said you would like to sell love potions… Maybe you were right to do so. At least you didn’t travel with me, and didn’t encounter such disgusting things with me. You don’t fight anymore. You have foresight. But… You can’t let yourself go too much, can you? Look now… You stayed in Illican’s bedroom dressed as a woman and watched him sleep with a man? Or is that what you did? Were you the one involved?”
“What?” Myka stared at him, the corner of his mouth convulsing. “What’s wrong with your brain? Sovili, how could you…”
Then he thought that maybe Sovili had been hiding in the garden for a long time, and probably heard the groans in the room.
“Mister, you’re wrong,” said Sylar softly, “Lord Illican has nothing to do with us. I have no friendship with him; Myka is there to protect innocent peasant girls from being bullied.”
“Are you Myka’s friend?” Sovili asked.
Sylar said decisively and seriously, “Yes. Actually, Myka and I have been together for a long time.”
“Wait!” Myka was about to walk over and almost tripped. It was true that Sylar had been following him for many years.
“He’s always shy, unhappy or fussy, as mages are.” Sylar shrugged.
Sovili nodded, “It’s true. To be honest, I was shocked… By the way, although he is now like this, you should know that he is a man, right? And he’s a pink robed mage…”
Myka approached with his skirt lifted and decided to ignore Sylar’s words. He found that the two seemed to have formed a friendship by speaking ill of him while they were still in front of him.
“Listen, Sovili,” he said, “I know you’ve always felt ashamed to have a friend like me, and I’ve made you feel ashamed. We had a big fight. No matter what you blame, I admit it. Now, I dare to dress like this and sit in front of your eyes. Can’t you tell me what happened to you?”
Sovili and Sylar both stared at him, and Sylar stood up and pulled him aside.
“What’s the matter?” Myka asked.
Sylar slowly took out a set of dark red robes from his leather backpack and folded them neatly. It was the one Myka had taken off.
Myka grabbed it, and Sylar pulled out a long shirt, trousers and soft boots…
“Myka, you’d better change,” said Sylar earnestly. “You’re too cute for us to discuss the problem seriously.”
“Please don’t talk like that!” Myka grabbed all the clothes, turned and ran to the other dark corner of the abandoned house.
It was not difficult to have someone help when putting on a dress, but it was very troublesome when it was being taken off. Even if he didn’t mind sitting in front of his old friend in women’s clothes, he would never ask them to help him untie the ribbon on his back… Myka was busy in the corner for a long time before he took off the clothes, and he thought he might have torn them.
As he shuffled through changing his clothes, Sovili began to tell Sylar about his experience. Myka laughed helplessly. When he was in Maple Forest, Sovili believed more in the mages.
Sovili got to know Illican Todd nearly a year ago, when he was crazy about Rowan from the accounting room.
One day, Illican found a far fetched reason to ask Rowan to leave the city. After Rowan went out with him, the two men first played a perfunctory game and talked about Berry Village. Later, Illican began to take intimate liberties and was rejected by Rowan.
Illican scolded him, let Rowan’s horse go, and rode away alone… He was going to leave Rowan alone in the forest and make him suffer before coming back to him. After all, Rowan was just a young man who only had his job in his estate. He hardly used anything other than quills all day long. Illican thought that would teach him a lesson.
After riding alone and leaving, Illican unconsciously urged the horse to speed up, and became confused… When he realized, he was already in the deeper part of the forest. He wanted to leave Rowan, but he lost his way doing so.
He rode from afternoon till dusk. When it was dark, Illican was afraid. He knew that many wild animals would leave their nests at night for food. Because of the strange noises in the forest, his horse was frightened, carrying him all the way, making it more difficult for him to identify the direction he had gone in. He was scratched by branches, riping his clothes and scratching his face and finally fell off his horse.
At that time, he groaned painfully on the ground with his legs in his arms. For a moment, he didn’t notice that there were wild animals near the gentle slopes of the surrounding mountains.
When he saw a pair of green eyes and heard a howl, he could not stand up at all.
He lay on the ground covered with weeds, vines and dead leaves and prayed with his eyes closed tightly. Of course, he was not eaten by the wolves, because another giant animal suddenly appeared, growled horribly and killed three wolves.
The wolves cowered and scattered away. Illican secretly opened his eyes and saw Sovili, who looked just like a brown bear.
At that time, Sovili had little contact with humans. He had been infected with therianthropy for several years and knew what kind of horror he had become. He used to hurt people because he was out of control. In order to avoid this happening again, he wandered in the wilderness, occasionally buying some necessary things from the small village grocery store, and then leaving quickly.
He stood there staring at Illican, wondering if he should help the man. The smell of wolf blood was still strong. The fierce beast instinct didn’t leave, but he still kept to himself… At this time, he found that the person who fell on the ground seemed to be injured.
So he went into the trees, picked up one of his simple ‘clothes’ which were just two pieces of cloth, and came back to squat beside Illican to check his legs.
Illican was scared and hurt. He looked at the sudden human with tears on his face. Sovili didn’t explain his identity. He just told Illican that his leg wasn’t broken, but his ankle sprained badly.
Sovili helped Illican up. Illican was still afraid, but he dare not talk. He almost fell down after a few steps. Seeing this, Sovili had to carry him on his back.
In the woods, Sovili skillfully identified the direction, and he intended to send Illican to a place where people lived before leaving. But after walking for about ten minutes, the wolves followed.
Obviously, the wolves didn’t know what the brown bear was. They were reluctant to give up easily after sighting prey. They first followed from a far distance and started to encircle again when they felt that they had a chance to succeed.
When he noticed something moving, Sovili stopped and felt that the man on his back was shaking. He could see that the blond young man was well dressed, probably a noble in the city. Sovili lifted Illican up and made him climb a tree. One of Illican’s foot couldn’t move and he clung to the thick branch desperately.
When the wolves attacked, Illican saw the brown haired man lift his cloth and turn into a strong bear. Illican suspected that the bear may be more terrible than a real bear. Its momentum and fighting movements were unlike ‘animals’, making him more likely to be called a ‘monsters’.
The wolves learned their lesson thoroughly this time and soon ran away. Illican’s arm was so sore that he could no longer hold the thick branch and fell down with a cry. He didn’t get hurt, as he fell on the bear’s soft stomach. It was the first time he looked directly at the red eyes — he still thought it was terrible to this day, but at that time he was very relieved.
When Sovili returned to human form again, he told Illican his name and said that he had a strange disease. Illican didn’t know much about this. He said that he hoped Sovili would escort him to Todd City, and he could pay for his protection.
Sovili had hesitated because he had only wanted to send him to a place where there were people. In the past, when he passed some cities, Sovili was attacked and driven away because of his curse. Now, he was reluctant to get close to big cities.
At that time Illican asked him, ‘So what can be done to cure this?’
Sovili didn’t know the specific way, only knew that some shrines would have a way. So he told Illican.
After hearing this, Illican said that he was the successor of Todd’s territory and was also friends with the head of the temple in the city. If Sovili was willing to escort him, he would help Sovili to say hello to the temple in advance and let him go for treatment.
Sovili agreed. He carried Illican all the way through small villages and nearby towns to the official road outside Todd. They met the Lord’s guards, who were going to search for Illican. Illican was picked up by the soldiers, but he did not allow Sovili to follow him into the city.
He told Sovili that negotiating with the temple was more troublesome and needed to be done ahead of time, so he asked Sovili to come into the city at regular intervals and so on.
Moreover, Illican told the soldiers not to worry about this guy dressed like a savage. He said he was just a hunter living alone in the forest. Before Illican left, he threw a bag of silver coins from the window to Sovili. This behavior made Sovili uncomfortable, but considering the possibility of being cured by the temple, Sovili secretly thanked Illican.
Every month Sovili would sneak out of town, but there was no news.
Half a year later, he heard that the old Lord had died of illness and Illican Todd inherited the territory. Several months later, he heard that the new city Lord was going to pick up a newly married couple from Berry Village to spend the night in the castle… He had also heard that the new city Lord would never go close to the forest since he got lost and sprained his ankle; moreover, Sovili, by his own investigation, learned that in Todd’s territory, there was not even a shrine in the main city or in nearby villages.
At this time, Sovili knew that Illican might have just talked casually, or even lied deliberately for his escort.
Sovili was furious, not only for being cheated, but also for being insulted.
Today, at the wedding ceremony of the new couple from Berry Village, he lurked outside the village, tracking the Lord’s guard, stealthily attacked and knocked out the guard and snuck into the city in his armor. After entering the city, he left the team and regretted that he was impulsive. He didn’t want to do anything to Illican… But he could not contain his anger at the thought of the deceit he had suffered in the past year.
Half-voluntarily and half-instinctively, he turned into a giant bear again and sneaked into the Lord’s residence with the latent hunting ability of animals. Most of the guards were in the castle.
“But there’s only one thing that’s correct,” Myka said. “The priests of the temple do have a way to cure therianthropy. I’m not sure about the specific way. I only know that it needs high-level priests.”
“It’s no use saying that,” sighed Sovili. “I am too impulsive. I must catch him and make it clear… I can’t get anything here anyway.”
“Then, how did you get infected?” Myka asked.
Sovili clenched his fist, and his eyes darkened. It seemed that he had recalled something terrible and painful. At this time, Sylar stood up nervously, and his bear companion also stood up with him, making a wait-and-see and alert gesture.
“What’s the matter?” Myka and Sovili also stood up.
“Someone is near…” Sylar whispered, “No, rather, we’re surrounded.”
Sylar imitated a bird call, and then a bird came in through the window and stopped on the back of Sylar’s hand. Sylar seemed to communicate with it, and then said to the other two, “There are a lot of soldiers who are close to here. They have an ambush ready in every street in the slum. Some are quite close, some are far away from here, but they are on every road leading away from here.”
“How can the army in this city be so capable?” Myka couldn’t believe it. “When their Lord is so stupid?”
“The guards in Todd’s territory are excellent, the Knights are better,” said Sylar. “Myka, don’t worry. I’ll protect you.”
“Well, how to protect him is more important.” Myka mumbled, look at Sovili.
“Even without your protection, I can leave by myself.” Sovili clenched his fist and stuck it to the window.
At this time, Illican, lying on the ground, seemed to wake up with a slight shiver of his shoulder, and the scent of a bottle of medicine Myka put in front of him was almost exhausted. He was so dazed that he heard only the last conversation.
“No… Bear, no, Sovili? Don’t rush out,” Illican slowly got up. “They’re coming for me? Surrounded here?”
“The Knights of Todd seem to be coming.” Myka answered for Sovili.
Illican didn’t think he had seen this mage, although he felt he was familiar… He nodded and said, “It should be… I guess it’s Saikana. She’s the chief consul and the commander of the Knights of Todd…”
“She’s that good?”
“She’s very fierce. Fiercer than my parents. I’m a little afraid of her… Who are you two?” Because of the potion and magic just now, Illican’s body was still a little weak. He couldn’t stand on the ground. Now he suddenly thought of asking Myka and Sylar about their identities.
“We’re here to save you,” Myka said at once with a serious face. “We are… Two passing adventurers that happened to hear a sound in the abandoned house and saw you as soon as we walked in. And then you fainted, and we found… We’ve seen Sovili before, but we didn’t expect that he was infected with therianthropy! So we’re going to help him.”
Sylar looked sideways at Myka, as if he was amazed at his easy-going lies. And Sovili sighed with a complex expression, as if he was lamenting the degradation of his old friend.