Translated by satellite of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Abbadon’s gaze suddenly fixated on him. A strange smile formed on his face, and he slowly reached out and gestured at him with a single curled finger.
Feisha’s hand froze mid air just as he was lowering it. He was just stretching, it shouldn’t have been such a big deal right? He gulped and whispered quietly to Isefel. “What is that supposed to mean?”
Please don’t let it be what I’m thinking!
Although he whispered very quietly, the sound was still like the drop of a pin in the silence, echoing into the ears of everyone present. Thus Feisha felt the even more stares aimed his way, and they felt rather stranger than before.
“It’s a challenge.” Isefel said.
Feisha pointed to his own nose in shock. “To me?”
Abaddon laughed and said, “Don’t worry, you can choose the painless mode. Even if I call down a bolt of lightning on your head, you won’t feel the slightest pain. This is your one chance to visit Hell– don’t you want to come up and play with us?”
Could it be that this was the holographic VR game of legends? (1)
Feisha could feel a tentative excitement building. He always thought this was just the self-indulgent fantasies of authors and could only even exist in novels. (2) He never thought that down in Hell, they’d actually invented such a thing.
Abaddon asked with an impatient groan. “How about it? Want to try? To keep things fair, I’ll only use physical attacks.”
Feisha glanced anxiously at Isefel, asking wordlessly for his advice.
Isefel could see how he was tempted and acquiesced. “If you want to go down, just say so.”
With any remaining worry disappearing, Feisha immediately grinned and, making an okay gesture over at Abaddon, climbed eagerly into the arena. Asmodeus smiled shyly at him and led him over to that massive grey egg. There, in front of the door, he quietly explained the instructions for entering.
“Hey, that ‘painless mode’ you were talking about…what does that look like?” Feisha stared worriedly at the winding patterns covering the panel.
Asmodeus stared for moment, then carefully pointed out a part of the panel before quickly retracting his hand.
“Just like this?” Feisha was both excited and a little nervous.
“Mhmm. Just relax your body and imagine yourself slowly walking out of here.” Feisha seemed like he already understood it all, so Asmodeus didn’t explain any further and stepped back, helping him close the door.
Sitting alone in this tight and foreign space, Feisha felt his heart thumping wildly in his chest, his eyes darting about in every direction. Forget relaxing his body, he couldn’t even bring himself to close his eyes.
After a while, Asmodeus opened the door again and whispered succinctly. “Abaddon is waiting for you.”
“Oh, okay.” Behind him, Isefel watched silently.
Feisha took a deep breath, reeled in his thoughts, and slowly closed his eyes.
Perhaps he was just tired, or perhaps it was some special function of the machine around him, but he soon felt himself calming down, his spirit entering another state of consciousness.
Suddenly, a light shined before his eyes. He found himself standing in the middle of the arena. Abaddon was standing before him with a longsword in hand.
“Wait a sec.” Feisha shouted before he could strike. “Why do you get a weapon but I don’t?”
“If you silently imagine the weapon you need, it’ll appear in your hands.” Abaddon replied.
This was even more advanced than online VR games.
Feisha couldn’t help but feel excited. It wasn’t that he didn’t envy Isefel’s superhuman abilities, but the gap in power between angels and humans was so massive that even if he did envy them, he’d never really be able to imagine matching that power. But now that this power was dangled in front of him, even if it was just a show in the arena, he could at least get a kick out of it.
He closed his eyes and thought long and hard.
Abaddon and the audience were all holding their breaths and waiting for something to appear in his hands, but one minute passed, then two…and his hands were still empty.
Abaddon couldn’t help but ask. “What kind of weapon are you looking for exactly?”
Feisha answered excitedly. “An AK47.” It was the gun he had adored for so long. Even though it might not be the best one, it’s the one that’s accompanied him over years of imagination and self-indulgent fantasies. Now, he finally had the chance to touch one.
Abaddon frowned. “…What is that?”
“An assault rifle. It’s image is engraved deepest in my mind out of everything.” Feisha closed his eyes and continued to concentrate hard.
Abaddon wanted to say something but after catching Isefel’s stare from the corner of his eye, he held back. After a while, Feisha’s weapon finally manifested under the eyes of the audience, but––
“Why is it solid?” Feisha stared dumbfounded (囧囧) at barrel of the gun, completely filled in and heavy like a rolling pin.
“You were only imagining the exterior shape?”
“Was that not enough?” Feisha asked.
“It’s enough.” Abaddon lifted his sword slowly. “At least it should be enough to block a sword.”
Feisha lifted his rifle helplessly, reluctantly turning his firearm into a blunt melee weapon. The long waiting audience finally saw the chance to shout, and cheers and whistles once again filled the stage. Although he couldn’t touch Isefel, being able to split his man in two onstage would still count for fulfilling this age old desire of his.
The corner of Abaddon’s mouth curled up, and his figure suddenly appeared behind Feisha, his sword lifted midair and just about to strike. Suddenly, Feisha shouted out. “Wait!”
The sword froze mid air. The cheering audience similarly seemed to have their windpipes cut off as they forced their voices down.
Feisha straightened and walked to where Abaddon had been standing before. He turned around and faced Abaddon, who still had his sword raised. “Okay, let’s start again.”
Abaddon decided that this time no matter what Feisha shouted, he absolutely wouldn’t stop halfway!
He faced Feisha head on. He held his sword high, the edge of the blade gleaming with a blinding, cold light. Feisha narrowed his eyes, watching as the sword drew closer and closer towards his head. It seemed as if Abaddon wanted to bask in his fear, as the sword wasn’t moving quickly at all.
Because it wasn’t moving quickly, it gave Feisha the opportunity to beg for help. “Isefel…”
Abaddon’s eyebrow raised as he started to get a bad feeling about this. Sure enough, just as the tip of his sword was about a millimeter away from Feisha, his vision suddenly went black and he lost consciousness.
At the same moment, Feisha also lost consciousness. But he quickly woke up and got out of the grey egg. He jumped in shock at the sight before him. Abaddon’s grey egg had shifted off its original position, and a third of the previously smooth surface had been dented and caved in.
Isefel was standing expressionlessly before the grey egg. Asmodeus stood in front of him and seemed rather angry. But his face was still smoothly powdered and his voice extremely soft, so Feisha could only see his mouth opening and closing but failed to hear anything he said at all.
As Feisha walked closer, he finally heard. “This really isn’t good.”
The audience had gone silent. It was clear that what just happened went completely beyond their ability to comprehend.
With a creak, the door to the grey egg opened and Abaddon walked out slowly. On his arm was a swollen red bump, and his hair was in disarray. He glared daggers at Isefel, his eyes completely enraged. “You…that’s playing foul!”
Isefel wiped himself clear of any responsibility. “You didn’t say so before.”
Did rules like this even need to be said? Everyone should know.
Abaddon curled his lip in rage. “Damn you! I’m challenging you to a duel.”
“Real combat?” Isefel asked.
Abaddon replied viciously. “Real combat it is!”
The crowd went from silence to surprise to utter astonishment, and finally they began whispering among each other. Abaddon was one of the seven great demon kings, and few could match him as an opponent. Even if he occasionally came down to play, he would usually pick the arena for his matches. The only one to play against him in real combat was Asmodeus. But even as one of the other seven demon kings, they would occasionally see wounds on Asmodeus’s face after. They never thought there might be someone who would outright challenge him to real combat. As such, they were completely astonished and could barely hold back their excitement.
“Isefel, let’s take this match up there!” Abaddon suddenly spread his wings and flew up above their heads towards the stairs.
“Doesn’t he feel like flying up along the stairs like that…is a bit like bee?” Feisha rubbed his chin and he thought out loud.
Asmodeus’s face grew even redder as he slowly reigned in the urge to spread his own wings. Instead he silently followed after Isefel, walking up the stairs.
The entire audience also trailed along after them. They heard Abaddon’s words very clearly. Never had they thought that this unparalleled beauty before them was actually the infamous Angel of War. Because he had always been at Noah’s Ark, they weren’t particularly familiar with him. But Abaddon would occasionally mention his name after his arena victories, telling them he had learned all his battle technique from him. The power of Isefel, the Angel of War, was clear.
Thus this battle would undoubtedly be the grandest confrontation in all the arena’s history. Abaddon paused mid air with his wings fully spread behind him, looking down upon Isefel condescendingly. The anger gradually began to fade from his expression, leaving only the intense determination to win.
Feisha grabbed at Isefel’s sleeve and asked worriedly. “Are you sure you’ll be okay?”
Isefel patted him on the head.
“If not, let me go, I can talk him out of his mind until he’s kneeling in defeat.” Feisha rubbed at his fist in preparation, ready to go out there.
“No need.” Isefel lifted his head, the look in his dark black eyes shifting slightly. “It’s nothing, just a waste of time.”
That meant there wouldn’t be a problem. As long as Isefel said it wasn’t a problem, then it usually wasn’t.
Feisha was reassured. “Then I’ll wait for you to come back.”
Isefel suddenly suddenly lowered his head and watched him motionlessly. Feisha stared right back.
“I’ve heard that humans often give a kiss for luck before a competition?” Isefel said.
Isefel, you’ve been watching too many idol dramas. Feisha licked his lips, clasped his hands on his shoulders, and with a smack, gave him a firm kiss. Isefel’s lips turned in a smile and before he retreated, he gave him another light kiss on the corner of the mouth. Feisha felt the light touch of feathers brushing past the corner of his mouth and before he came back to himself, Isefel was already spreading his wings and heading towards Abaddon. He heart suddenly clenched in pain as he remembered how Isefel looked exactly like that when he returned to Heaven that time.
But this time, he would be back.
Feisha lifted his hand and felt the lingering warmth at the corner of his lips.
1. Originally in Chinese, Feisha calls the games (probably those featured isekai type webnovels or light novels) “全息式网游”, literally holographic online games. It’s really a reference to VR games though (like Sword Art Online haha).
2. Originally in Chinese Feisha calls these novels “YY”, a slang term for sort of self-indulgent fantasies.