Translated by Rook of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Baal abruptly stopped laughing, glaring coldly at everyone present, “Now that we’re done playing, shall we officially begin?”
How many times were they ‘beginning’?
Feisha thought very wordlessly.
Layton knew that he was in the wrong and didn’t dare to look at Hughes, only asking him in a small voice: “What should we do?”
Feisha looked around him.
Baal’s barrier was obviously very powerful, or else Isefel won’t have had to use the Black Star to shatter it. Since escaping his barrier was obviously very unrealistic, then the only solution was to leave his barrier.
He thought for a moment and said: “Lord, er, Baal.”
Baal said: “I’m called Baal, not er Baal. Shall I take those words as an insult to my name to start a fight with me?”
Feisha said: “The insult to your name is at the end, I haven’t said it yet.”
Baal never thought this human would actually dare to say that.
“It’s like this. Lord Baal, I don’t think this fight is very fair.”
Baal sneered: “Are you talking about our numbers?”
“I never knew Lord Baal is such a shallow person.” To Feisha, talk was talk, but he still guarded his small life very closely, pushing his body into the crowd (1).
Baal wasn’t angry, but smiled instead. “I’m shallow. Hmph, I give you one minute to speak your reasons. If you can’t convince me, I’ll chop off your head and make it a vase!”
Not use it as a chamber pot? He never thought that each Clan was different and even the ways they used heads were different.
Feisha took two minutes to craft a small commentary on Baal’s words. “Among us humans, there was once a great and admirable military strategist, who said, a war depends not only on the numbers each side has, but it depends on the right time and the right location. Now, you’ve picked the right time, so shouldn’t we get to pick the right location?”
“Time? Since when have I picked that?”
Feisha’s eyes brightened. “Don’t tell me, Lord Baal, you agree that we should fight on another day?”
Baal smiled sinisterly: “Kill me, and I’ll agree.”
Feisha swiftly recovered his original expression. “So, Lord Baal, do you agree to let us pick the location?”
Baal said: “Originally, I didn’t mind killing you off on Noah’s Ark. But as you know, I’m in a hurry. So… dream on.”
“Don’t go to Noah’s Ark. So long as it’s an empty place, it’s okay. You know that our side has many people. The carbon dioxide we breathe out is a lot, it’s not good for the body, so it’s best if we can switch to a place where we can breathe fresh oxygen.” Feisha paused. “Of course, if Lord Baal is afraid we’ll win and doesn’t dare to…”
“You’re trying to goad me?” Baal smiled coldly. “You petty and low human, you actually dare to goad me?”
Feisha saw that he was on the verge of going berserk and hurriedly spoke to Locktini in a soft voice: “Remember to give me blood.”
Locktini thought about it and said: “I think I understand what adding blood means.”
Feisha glanced at him and quickly turned to stare at Baal to say: “Very sorry but I’m very busy right now, I can’t praise you.”
“No matter. I might not succeed, anyway.”
Even Feisha’s mouth had turned white. “Thanks, I’m even more nervous now.”
Over here, his legs were shaking like withered leaves in the wind, over there, Baal was actually nodding his head in agreement. “For the last words of a dead man with one foot in the grave, I don’t mind granting that.”
Feisha raised his arms and said: “Then can you grant something else too?”
“Let me die of old age in my sleep.”
“If you can die of old age in your sleep among a bunch of hunting dogs from Hell that have been starved for three months…”
“I take it back.” Feisha reflected profoundly that if he gave him an inch, he’ll want a mile.
“Since you want some place where you can breathe fresh air, then… let’s go to the park.” Baal waved his hand. The walls of the banquet hall twisted momentarily, straight lines turning into wavy ones.
Baal removed the barrier while he was at it.
Hughes only felt that something beside his body lightened and his body immediately tilted to the side. It was only thanks to Lanka’s quick reflexes that he didn’t fall.
The distortions stopped.
All the walls disappeared in the midst of the distortions.
The audience was surrounded by layer after layer of trees.
Under one’s foot was grass, above one’s head was the dusky early morning.
Feisha and the others only then noticed that the night was almost over.
Baal said: “This is the garden of the royal palace. It should fit your wishes very well?”
Because the barrier had dissolved, Layton easily ran to Feisha’s side, speaking in a soft voice: “Good job.”
“Ah?” The currently gloomy Feisha didn’t understand. He obviously wanted to go somewhere far where it would be easy to run. Who knew, despite the changes, it was like boiling medicine and changing the water not the herbs (2), and yet he was still praised for doing well? Unless Layton had some plan to escape?
Once he remembered that Layton had those bizarre inventions of all shapes and sizes, the spark of Feisha’s hope ignited again.
Layton continued: “We definitely delayed some more.”
Feisha’s spark ignited quickly and extinguished even more quickly.
Lanka and the others drew close, speaking lowly to Feisha: “What are your plans?”
Since he had used every possible means to dupe Baal into changing the location, then he likely had a next step. So they all stared at him expectantly, with their hearts full of hopes.
Feisha opened his mouth, and then finally sighed. “None. I only delayed the time a bit.”
“We’ve been dilly dallying and now it’s dawn.” Baal’s patience was finally exhausted. He stood up. “Let’s decide the outcome in one match.”
Lanka and company stood in full combat readiness.
“Houllier, finish your mission.” Baal reached out a hand, making a gesture at Layton.
Layton’s body became like metal meeting magnet in that moment, speedily flying over.
Baal gripped his throat and handed him over to Houllier. “Here. Hurry and kill him.” Looking at him, it was as though what he was killing wasn’t a person, but a chicken. Although to be honest, to him, killing a dwarf wasn’t much different from killing a chicken.
Hughes and Lanka simultaneously turned invisible, running towards Layton.
The clerics’ chanting also began.
Although Locktini was a little tired from throwing fireballs, the power of those small balls did not lessen. At least, when five to six fireballs descended onto Baal’s head, the light of the fires was still rather dazzling!
Houllier’s gaze became concentrated. At this time, it was no longer possible for him to say no to a lot of things.
His hand that was wielding a sword slowly rose and then forcefully plunged towards Layton!
Baal reached out a hand to create a barrier to block all attacks while watching Houllier closely.
Houllier’s sword was only a meter away from Layton, and Hughes and the others were trapped by the barrier, at this critical time—
A ball of raging fire hurtled down from the east side of the sky.
Following this, there was a shadow even faster and more violent than lightning.
Houllier’s face changed drastically when he saw the fire and his hand wielding the sword took advantage and turned. The sword blade grazed Layton’s scalp.
Layton was so frightened his eyes were blank, he was basically on a mental journey elsewhere.
Baal threw down Layton, unhappily saying: “Houllier, do you want to betray me?”
But there was a voice even louder than his, so it immediately drowned out his threat-filled warning—
“Goddammit! What on earth happened just now?”
A bat that was nearing the earth turned into a human figure. Golden hair, even under such a dusky sky, was still so dazzling that it brightened the view before one’s eyes.
“Gin!” Feisha was about to cry.
Hughes showed himself and soundlessly threw himself into Gin’s arms.
“Your developmental period is over?” Gin was both surprised and gratified. And then, looking at the situation to his left and right, he said, bewildered: “Did I miss many exciting stories?” Why was it that after he took a nap and woke up, he felt like he was in Abaddon’s war chariot?
Baal said: “Congratulations to you on becoming a member of the suicide squad. Although you have missed a lot, what you’ll face next is even more exciting.”
Gin looked at Baal for a long time and hesitated: “Mani?” Although the face in front of him was Mani’s, why did he feel that there was something… not right? At least, no matter how arrogant Mani was, he won’t dare speak like this before him.
Hughes said: “He’s Baal.”
“Baal?” Gin was shocked. Although he had lived long enough, he had obviously not lived long enough to meet Baal. He lifted his head and faced the raging fire from the east, shouting: “Wei! Your old lover is here!”
[T/n: ‘wei’ means hello/hey]
“Fuck! Why is he here?” Abaddon’s voice, no matter where it was heard from, was full of vigor and energy.
Baal’s face changed slightly. “Abaddon?”
Houllier’s face turned even whiter. Just now, seeing the blazing war chariot of Hell, he already had a bad feeling in his heart, and it had turned out to be true.
The blazing war chariot slowly moved till it was right above them.
Abaddon stretched his head out of the chariot. “You said where… is he?”
Gin pointed at Baal and said: “Let me introduce you. Baal.”
“Him?” Abaddon’s face showed a moment of unease and his gaze shifted to Houllier. “Aha! Houllier, you are really here.”
Houllier immediately used his eyes to ask Baal for help.
Actually, Baal was also very conflicted. Speaking emotionally, he was willing to save a subordinate whom he could command so well. But logic told him, before Abaddon’s attitude toward him became brighter, rashly making such a strong foe was not wise.
Now what he felt really regretful for was that just now, he shouldn’t have just used his mouth to be ‘in a hurry’.
“Lord Lucifer has just returned from Heaven. He is in quite a good mood. So, Houllier, accept your fate.” Abaddon reached out his hand but he seemed to have misgivings about Baal, and added, “Of course, my task was to only recapture an escaped criminal from Hell. I’ve now accomplished my task.”
The implication was that he was obviously going to turn a blind eye to Baal.
Baal gave the matter serious consideration and finally decided to sacrifice the knights to save the queen (3).
No matter what, so long as Abaddon didn’t do anything, even if they had a Gin, it still didn’t change the situation much.
Gin frowned and said: “Abaddon, you mean…”
Abaddon gazed at his surroundings and smiled slightly: “I mean, the rest of the problem, I’ll hand over to… you.”
As he said that, a ray of brilliant red light rose from his hand, trapping Houllier, who didn’t have time to escape, within it. Abaddon gently pulled. Houllier was immediately lifted into the war chariot like a fish caught in a net.
“…..” Just like that, Gin and the others could only watch helplessly as that blazing fire slowly drifted away the way it had appeared.
Feisha was stupefied for quite a while before he managed to say: “Can we go to Hell to make a complaint about him?”
Baal icily laughed: “You need to be alive to do that!” He had already made up his mind, this time, he was going to hurry!
(1) ‘his small life’ is a direct translation of 小命 xiǎo mìng, a common phrase in Chinese to used to refer to one’s life. It’s a bit like self-deprecating humor.
(2) The original sentence for Feisha’s metaphor about medicine: 换来换去换汤不换药 Huàn lái huàn qù huàn tāng bù huàn yào. It means something like, ‘despite changing back and forth, it was still like changing the soup without changing the herbs’. It’s to describe how meaningless the changes are.
(3) This is a chess reference.