Chapter 82: Hostage (Part 2)
Translated by Rook of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Mani slowly folded his arms behind his back and said, “Do you think if you said to begin with him, I’ll really begin with him?”
Isefel said indifferently, “Or do you not intend to do anything?”
Feisha looked at Asa’s dull expression and turned back to look at Isefel. What tune was this? Why was it that the more he heard, the more off-tune it sounded?
Locktini and Antonio seemed to hear the implications in the exchange, as well, and they watched Asa closely. Even Layton had turned in surprise.
The faerie took the chance to lightly let out a breath. Since a moment ago, he had unceasingly felt a sense of pressure coming from Locktini, a kind of pressure that made it hard for him to breathe. He couldn’t help looking at the two titans and Houllier, who shared his circumstances.
The titans were breathing out more than they were breathing in (1) and they looked like they couldn’t hold on to consciousness anymore. But nobody was paying attention to them.
Yet, Houllier watched from the sidelines in quite high spirits, as though it was of no concern to him.
The faerie lowered his head and stealthily moved back. He had just shifted when Locktini’s gaze swung over, momentarily locking his feet to the ground.
“You… when did you realize?” Asa lifted his eyes. The ‘trustworthiness’ (2) that every member of Noah’s Ark knew was peeled back layer by layer, revealing shrewdness underneath (3).
Isefel said, “Since the start.”
Asa’s expression changed. “That’s impossible.”
Isefel did not reply.
Asa couldn’t resist saying: “Since you knew right from the start, why didn’t you expose me?”
Isefel indifferently said, “Why should I expose you?”
Asa stared blankly at him for a moment, and then came to his senses. To the ‘cold’ Isefel, whether Asa was in disguise, whether he was a member of the Liberation Resistance, none of that was important. “To be honest, even now I can’t believe you would have a meeting and allow us to come and rescue Gin and Hughes.” He paused for a moment and continued, “Too successful. I had thought I needed to side with Antonio and encourage the others before it would work.”
Feisha looked blankly at Isefel, “Why are your words so complicated and hard for me to understand?”
Antonio coldly said, “So you are saying, right from the start, you were a member of the Liberation Resistance planted as an undercover spy in Noah’s Ark?”
Asa avoided the fierce fire that was spewing from his eyes. “You don’t understand. To the Titans, the Novem Union is a shackle. The crops we worked so hard to plant are forever incomparable to those of the Faerie World. The same labor, the same efforts, the same sacrifices, yet, the Faerie World can so easily sell their goods. And us, no matter how much we lowered the price, we still had to go by others’ moods and whims (4) to sell anything. The Dwarf Clan casually makes a trinket and they can sell it for outrageous prices and exchange it for a year of our toil and sweat. Yet, no matter how hard we work, we couldn’t guarantee that everyone would be warm and fed…” His eyes filled with tears.
In Feisha’s heart, Asa had always had the presence of a protective guardian. Just like before, when he was welcoming guests to Noah’s Ark, he had always liked to pull Feisha along. It was not just Asa’s huge body that gave Feisha a sense of safety, but Asa’s silent and serious personality made him feel that Asa was very dependable.
He had never imagined that a day would come when that titanic and indomitable figure in his heart would actually have a face full of tears, crying like a child.
Feisha turned his head to look at Isefel, lowering his voice to say, “He was only a little stupid, we shouldn’t blame him too much.”
Isefel made a light noise of acknowledgement.
Locktini finally couldn’t hold his tongue anymore. “We of the Faerie Clan have always been known throughout the Nine Worlds for our fruits and vegetables, just as the Dwarfs are known for their craftsmanship. The Titans have always copied others’ ways blindly. They’ve never tried to make use of their own skills and resources to find the path they want to tread, that’s why they’ve never had any results. How can you blame others?”
Layton agreed with Locktini, “Exactly. Those ‘trinkets’ you say are things that we labored to invent.”
Asa growled, “Do you think we haven’t thought of making use of our skills and resources? We’re not as clever as the Dwarves, nor do we have a natural environment like the Faerie World. Even the werewolves are born with abilities that allow them to control beasts and animals. We do not fear death, but we can’t stand watching our fellow titans die one after another from starvation!”
Feisha mumbled, “He speaks so well. In the past, his pretense of being stupid was really too skilled.” He suddenly said, “Have you considered developing your acting industry?”
“For example, forming a troupe to perform belly dancing and then touring the Nine Worlds to give performances. Since you can’t make crafts, you can’t grow crops, you can’t rear animals, you can still go into entertainment, right? Film a TV show, release an album, perform a skit… Who knows, maybe in the future, the Nine Worlds will be filled with your fans. This way, you can also take the chance to develop your tourism industry.” The more Feisha thought of it, the more he thought that he had a point. “What do you think?”
Asa blankly asked, “What do you mean, what do I think?”
“I mean, my suggestions just now. If you think they’re good, then we don’t need to fight anymore. Everyone can go back home and sleep, we can work together for the future of the nine worlds, to create a beautiful tomorrow.” Feisha raised both his hands and made the classic pose of hugging the sky.
Clap clap clap.
Mani clapped his hands. “As expected of the humans’ representative. Even if it’s fabricating tales, he can fabricate such moving stories.”
Feisha looked at Asa’s face, which was slowly becoming colder and harder, and immediately said, “The same unconventional view, to an author, is science fiction. To a science fiction author, it’s something of the future. To an ordinary person, it is too far-fetched and impossible. It’s the same view. What matters is who the audience is.”
Mani said, “Then in your opinion, compared to the faeries and angels, what are the strengths of the Titans’ bodies?”
Feisha replied, with great presence of mind, “Big target area that attracts others’ attention.”
Mani turned to laugh at Asa. “What do you think?”
The guards holding Asa had one by one loosened their hands.
Asa rotated his neck. “I don’t think anything.”
Feisha turned back to look at Isefel and made a face, saying, “The deception failed. I beseech you to put the second battle plan into action.”
Layton saw that the two of them were so relaxed and anxiously called, “Look here, look here.”
Feisha said, “Can you run back yourself?”
Layton glared at him. “Can you make them remove the swords at my neck first?”
Feisha sighed and said, “Oh great lord of Genesis, if thou has thoughts, share them in one go, please.”
Mani smiled and said, “My thoughts are very simple. That is, I ask for Isefel himself to acknowledge that Genesis is leaving the Novem Union. Moreover, guarantee that he won’t let the soldiers of the other worlds through Noah’s Ark to attack Genesis.”
Feisha asked Isefel in a low voice, “What do you think?”
Isefel replied, “If the Dwarf Clan needs to pass through Noah’s Ark to help Layton take revenge, I’ll give them a fifty percent discount.”
Feisha cleared his throat. “Lord of Genesis, please begin.”
Layton was so frightened, even his hair was standing. “Don’t joke around!”
Feisha said, “Rest assured. Once you die, I’ll definitely convince the Dwarf Clan to bring their soldiers to kill in Genesis. I’ll make sure Genesis never has a moment of peace! Oh yes, Gin seems to also have went missing. I’m adding this to your tab. When the time comes, you’ll have the entire Genesis to accompany you into the afterlife. That’s quite a grand and glorious funeral.”
Mani’s smile slowly became colder. “Are you threatening me?”
Feisha nodded. “I am.”
Mani replied, “Do you think that I have walked this far today by being afraid of making enemies from each world?”
Feisha: “…..” Although he wanted to be heroic to the maximum, to speak honestly and just say, ‘Then, kill’. But…
Layton looked pitifully at Feisha.
“Ai.” Feisha sighed. “How about this, I’ll try persuading the friends who are threatening you and ask them if they can remove the knife. How’s that?”
Layton was going to cry. “Can you speak some sense?” (5). He suddenly went quiet.
Feisha opened his mouth wide. Locktini and Antonio opened their eyes wide. Mani’s expression stiffened. The guards had actually removed their knives.
Layton didn’t say a single word and ran straight for Antonio, hiding behind him.
Mani was so angry his face was turning green with rage. “Do you know what you’re doing?”
“Father, do you know what you’re doing?”
With this counter-question, Lanka’s silhouette gradually appeared. The guards bowed and paid their respects to Lanka.
“Lanka? How come you can…” Mani was stared at him in shock before coming to his senses, gritting his teeth and cursing, “Damn Jesse.”
There was a ripple of movement from the guests, who had been quiet all this time.
Amongst them, someone bold walked forward a step. “Your Highness the Crown Prince, aren’t you gravely ill?”
Lanka glanced at Mani and then lightly explained, “It’s merely a curse. But the curse has been lifted, thanks to Clan Leader Jesse.”
That person was obviously dissatisfied with this answer, further asking, “If it’s witchcraft, then it should have been detected earlier. Why did it take so long before Clan Leader Jesse could lift it?” As he said this, his gaze swung towards Mani.
Mani was full of icy smiles.
In Genesis, for the past hundred years, Lanka’s prestige had long since exceeded his. If it hadn’t been for Jesse’s curse on Lanka, causing him to become ‘bedridden’ from sickness so that everyone thought Lanka did not have long to live, Mani would not have again governed and controlled Genesis and he would never have so easily earned the support of the various clans.
But the most damnable thing was, Jesse was actually a double agent!
First, using him to steal Shamal away, then turning around to help Lanka by lifting the curse.
Lanka did not answer that person, only gazed sincerely at Mani to say, “Father. The path you walk will very likely destroy Genesis. There’s still hope if you stop now.”
“Destroy Genesis?” Mani chillingly stared at him. “Then don’t you think that, with your heart in Genesis, you’re on the very edge of destruction? Every Clan looks out only for themselves. They have never acted with Genesis’ best interests at heart, and they even treat the Crystal Palace as though it were invisible. Every year, the taxes collected are not even equivalent to a month of the Witch Clan’s revenue. At this rate, Genesis will fall apart.”
Lanka said, “But having Genesis leave the Novem Union is not a solution, either.”
“Only when Genesis leaves the Novem Union, then will they understand who is really on who’s side!” Mani’s eyes were slowly being infected with a crazy light. “There must be internal security before we can resist foreign threats. Only when Genesis is united, then will we be able to scheme for a higher position among the Nine Worlds. The Genesis of today is merely the laughingstock of the Nine Worlds! Lanka, you’re my son! Why aren’t you standing by my side?”
Lanka did not continue speaking. Because he knew, any other reasoning was extraneous.
Feisha turned to say to Isefel, “I bet that he definitely has manic disorder, low self-esteem disorder, and wishful thinking disorder.”
Isefel replied, “What are you betting with?”
Feisha had only been joking, so when he heard that Isefel was seriously asking about his bet, he couldn’t help gaping. “What do you want to bet?”
Isefel’s eyelids lowered as he stared at Feisha’s neck and said, “Let’s bet swimming together.”
Feisha stupidly nodded his head, and then turned around, looking at Mani’s agitated figure, and mumbled to himself, “Now I wish he was normal.”
(1) I’m not really sure what this line means lol. The original is: 泰坦们已经出气多入气少 Tàitǎnmen yǐjīng chūqì duō rù qì shǎo. This means, literally: Titans had already breathed out more, breathed in less.
(2) Original: 憨厚 Hānhòu. This is usually used as a phrase: 憨厚老实Hānhòu lǎoshí, which means honest and trustworthy. Feisha is metaphorically calling Asa the ‘trustworthiness’ of Noah’s Ark.
(3) The original of this sentence is actually: 『憨厚』被层层剥落，透出一身精明 “Hānhòu” bèi céng céng bōluò, tòu chū yīshēn jīngmíng. It means that ‘trustworthiness’ is being peeled away, layer by layer, revealing a body of astuteness. I translated it as ‘revealing shrewdness underneath’ to make it more understandable.
(4) There’s a specific phrase in Chinese to describe being at the mercy of others’ moods and whims. It is 看别人的脸色 Kàn biérén de liǎnsè, which translates to something like ‘watching another’s face/expression’.
(5) This sentence 你能说点人话吗 Nǐ néng shuō diǎn rén huà ma literally means ‘can you say some human words’, and it is a common phrase that means ‘can you speak some sense’.