Okay, so after looking at the polls and the comments you guys have left me, I've decided to compromise and put both chapter links and the entire story into 1 page. It'll take a bit of time before the rest of the books are condensed into 1 page, but I'll try to do them ASAP.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Book 3: Step 8 – The Eighth Step in Rescuing a Princess: “The climax – the clash between titans.”

*Disclaimer note: This is merely a translation of the original Chinese version. I do not claim any part in the creation of the original story.


When I opened my eyes once more, the first thing that went through my mind was – why is it that recently I seem to be constantly waking up in confusion?

"I knew it. And he said that playing the groom's man wouldn't involve running for my life…… Pope, that old geezer, is going to pay when I get back!"

I frowned as I dragged myself up and out of bed. This was partly because I was really, really hungry. I could have called for someone, but after not moving for so long, my whole body was beginning to become a little stiff. If this were to continue on, it's not becoming a pig that I have to worry about, but about being laid to rest in my coffin.

I walked to the door and was about to push it open when I heard voices arguing outside. I let my hand fall and slowly, quietly, placed my ear to the door. I could immediately make out Leaf and Ann's voices. They seem to be having an argument…… How unbelievable! To think that Leaf would actually have a disagreement with someone?!

Leaf was trying to keep his voice down as he shouted, "What is up with you and Princes Alice? She actually attacked us that day, and your reaction was very strange!"

Woah! That startled me! I never would have thought that Leaf would shout at anyone, and a princess to boot! Could he have decided to stop being a good guy?

"It's got nothing to do with you!" shouted Ann, her voice even louder than Leaf's.

"Nothing to do with me?" Leaf's voice was beginning to tremble with fury. "It's because of the two of you that Sun is lying in there unconscious till now, and you say that it's got nothing to do with me?!"

"Yeah, right. I bet he's only sleeping!" Ann retorted.


When Ann spoke up, she sounded stunned. "You-you hit me……"

Leaf's voice was icy as he said, "Do not insult Sun, or it won't be just a slap next time. If it happens again I'll declare a duel against you, even if you're a princess, Your Highness."

I was stunned. My jaw had dropped open after hearing the exchange. L-Leaf actually slapped a princess?! O' God of Light! Could this be a side-effect of his resurrection? That he changed from a good guy to a bad guy?

Wouldn't that mean that I can no longer bully him in the future? God of Light, you're too cruel! Bullying Leaf was one of my few pleasures in life, and you had to take away that too!

"I'm sorry, Leaf. I didn't really mean it……" sobbed Ann. She sniffed as she explained, "I don't know why sister Alice would attack us either, and they had even killed you. I really didn't think she would do something like that. I'd only wanted to help her be with the one she loves, and had no intention of harming you or Sun. You have to believe me."

There was then some silence, broken only by Ann's sobs, until at last, Leaf's tone of voice softened a little as he said, "Alright. I'm sorry for hitting you earlier. I was just too worried about Sun and over-reacted. Please forgive me."

Ah, he believed her so easily and forgave her so quickly! Looks like Leaf is still a good guy! I'm sorry, O' God of Light, for misjudging you earlier.

Just then, Ann's voice could be heard stuttering, "L-Leaf, actually, the enchanted object that I've been using to trace my sister, well, it could be used for an Instant Teleportation – for one time only – and bring the bearer to her side instantly…… I'm sorry for keeping this from you! Please don't be mad at me!"

There was another silence, and when he finally spoke, Leaf sighed and said, "It's too dangerous to go after them now. Right now, Michael and Alston have gone back for back-up. After Sun and I have left, you should tell them about it then and see what they decide to do."

"Why wait until after you and Sun have left? Are you not coming with us?" asked Ann anxiously.

"No!" Leaf said firmly. "Sun must never learn about this, promise me!"

"Why? If you don't tell me why I won't promise you."

"You don't understand him, he-… sigh… Your sister and the Dark Knight shouldn't have killed me. If Sun were to find out that there was a way to get to Alice, he would never let them go. Your sister will be in danger. That's why you have to promise me that before Sun and I leave you will not mention this again."

Ann scoffed a little at that. "Even we couldn't defeat them, much less Sun…… I mean, he-he's not really that strong, right? Leaf, don't get mad again… I didn't mean to disparage him!"

"He's not that strong?…… haha!"

Leaf said exasperatedly, "If that were really the case, the Twelve Holy Knights wouldn't have the Shared Rule Number Three – 'No matter how lame/foolish the Sun Knight looks, never ever provoke his wrath'."

It was then that I decided that I had heard enough. I thought something over before walking back to the bed and lying on it. I then rubbed my eyes as if having just woken up from my sleep and called out, "Leaf! Leaf! I'm dying from hunger here!"

Leaf pushed open the door and came in, sounding pleased as he asked, "Sun, you're awake?"

"I'm wide awake and starving, or can't you tell?" I asked sarcastically.

Leaf chuckled at my antics and asked happily, "How about some porridge?"

"No," I quickly rejected. "I want to eat meat."

"But you've just woken up; you shouldn't eat something so hard to digest or you might--"

I rolled my eyes and said, "Oh save it, Leaf. You're not Judge, and you're a good guy; I'm not afraid of you at all. If I say I want to eat meat, then I'll eat meat."

Leaf frowned at this before giving in and saying, "Alright, I'll ask the kitchen to mince the meat and make some meat broth for you."

Leaf was very efficient. Not too long after that, he was carrying a tray with my meat broth on it into the room. As I drank the broth, I listened as Leaf explained to me about what had been going on. Actually, I had heard the gist of it earlier; mainly that Michael and Alston had gone back for back-up. As I had still been unconscious then, Leaf and Ann had stayed behind to protect and watch over me.

"Sun, I've asked them to send a messenger to the Holy Temple as well," he said. "I believe the Holy Temple will also send some people over."

'I hope it's not Judge,' I thought.

I nodded at Leaf before swallowing the last mouthful of broth.

Without the smell of the meat broth covering it, I could smell a faint odour. It couldn't be…… I looked down and took a sniff of myself. Eww! I nearly gagged. Looks like I've really become the Stinky Knight!

I frowned and said to Leaf, "Leaf, I'm all stinky! Go get me a new outfit for me to change into. And… Princess Ann…"

Ann, who had been listening quietly by the side all this time, paused before asking, "What?"

"Could you get me a bucket of hot water for me to wash?" I asked distantly.

Ann didn't reply, but Leaf immediately spoke up warmly, "Sorry to have to bother you with Sun, Ann. I'll go and get Sun's clothes now."

It was only then that Ann acquiesced, agreeing reluctantly. "Oh alright."

Before he could leave, I instructed Leaf specifically, "Get white clothes. And get a tailor to sew on the Sun Knight's insignia on it," I stressed. "Didn't you just say that someone from the Holy Temple is coming? I cannot appear less than my very best in front of everyone."

Leaf looked surprised at this request but nodded, "Alright."

Leaf turned and left to prepare my clothing, and not too long later, Ann brought up the bucket of hot water, setting it down with a loud 'thud' and saying shortly, "Here! I'm leaving now."

"Hold on," I stopped her as I felt the water. "It's too hot." I said coolly.

She probably did feel a little guilty about what had happened, or maybe it was because of Leaf's request, but even though she was unhappy with me, she still obediently bent down to test the temperature of the water herself.

I smiled coldly and immediately summoned the water element……

Instantly, the tub full of water merged with the water element I had summoned, forming chains that wrapped around Ann. She was surprised by this development, but only for a moment, for she immediately began struggling to get out of the water chains. But as water is fluid, her fists merely passed through the water with no effect. I then froze the water, trapping Ann in a pillar of ice and unable to move.

"That's impossible! Elementary ice spells couldn't have stopped me!" she cried as she continued to struggle in her frozen constraints, but the ice showed no signs of breaking.

I smiled faintly as I said, "According to my understanding of magic, elementary and elementary spells combined together would form intermediate spells. So I combined the ice spell with another ice spell, and did so repeatedly at least five more times. I wonder what level that makes it? But no matter how, this ice is no weaker than your own precious sword. Further struggling will only hurt yourself."

As I said that, I reached a hand into her clothes……

"You! You!" I could hear a note of fear in her voice as she cried out, "Stop that, or I'm screaming for help!"

At that, I waved a hand and summoned a whirlwind, directing it to circle around the room with the both of us inside it. This had the effect of keeping the sound inside the room. I then chuckled and said to her softly, "Scream all you want then. But it's a pity that no one would hear you even if you were to scream at the top of your lungs."

Her voice was trembling even greater now as she said, "Leaf-Leaf will be back any time soon. He won't just stand by and let you do as you want."

I replied nonchalantly, "He won't be back so soon. He still has to wait for the tailor to stitch on the Sun Knight's insignia onto my outfit."

"So you had this planned from the start!" she screeched. "You despicable, shameless worm!"

What is with princesses all loving to call me despicable and shameless?

I ignored her screams and yells and retrieved my objective from inside her clothes. It was a small box no bigger than my palm. When I opened it, a whiff of fragrance filled the air. Inside, the box was filled with cream, probably one of those girls's facial cream or something.

Ann had stopped her crying by then, and she sounded quite surprised as she blurted, "How did you know……"

She then hastily shut her mouth, but I continued on for her, "How did I know that this is the enchanted object you use to track the Princess Alice?"

"Y-You……" There was a tone of surprise in her voice as she said, "So you've been hiding your true abilities."

'Hmph, of course. No matter what people might say, I am the Sun Knight. You didn't actually think I'm just a useless piece of trash, did you?'

"You're too scary," she said unsteadily. "Even the way you held your sword and your footsteps have been hidden so well. Panting after running a few steps, as if you're a weak and unskilled swordsman. All this has been a carefully crafted image!"

She then smiled and taunted in a care free manner, "But, you won't be able to use this object, hahaha—Ah!"

I had used a small Wind Blade to cut her skin, letting her blood drip onto the box.

"H-how did you know ……" Ann's voice had returned to her panicky tone and she sounded close to tears again.

I rolled my eyes at her. The number of enchanted objects in Pink's house could rival the number of strawberry lollipops hidden there. I've been in and out of her house since I was small many times, so I knew all about them and how they worked.

The moment Ann's blood had dripped onto the box, the bottom of the box released a secret compartment with a click, revealing a tiny magic rune circle in it. I ran a finger down it. The circle had been delicately carved into the false bottom, and I could tell that it was a priceless artefact. However, like I said, items like this were abundant in Pink's house.

I then raised my head and told her, "The chains will disperse on their own about half an hour after I've left. Unless you want to be taken advantage by some stranger, I advise you not to call for anyone's attention. If you were to attract attention from the wrong sort I won't be held responsible. Oh, and tell Leaf that I'm going to avenge his death."

Without waiting for a reply, I directed the wind elements into the magic runes. The rune circle enlarged and encircled me, bringing me to Princess Alice's location.


The moment I felt myself moved to a new place, I immediately called out, "Dragon's Holy Robe, in the name of the dragon's successor, I order you to activate!"


A woman's voice. She was wearing a robe and the level of wind element within her was extremely high. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this was the Princess Alice, a Wind Mage.

She was standing very close to me, not two steps away from me. I instantly stepped forward and grabbed her, shouting, "Don't move!"

Sadly, she wasn't very obedient and immediately sought to use her wind magic to retaliate. Unfortunately for her, her actions to summon the wind element was disrupted by me. I may not know much about intermediate and advanced magic, but when it comes to my ability in gathering the elements, even Alstier – that hundred year old mage – had admitted to my superiority in this.

She sucked in a breath of air and cried out, "You-you're not an assassin, you're a mage!"

"Wrong to both, I'm a holy knight," I said calmly. "Are you blind? Can you not see this big shiny Holy Sun Blade in my hands? I'm the Sun Knight!"

I have to admit, I've wanted to shout that out for a long time now. All this while I've been suppressing the urge to shout out: 'I'm a holy knight! Not a priest, or a mage, or an assassin, but a holy knight… holy knightholy knight… (x 100)!'

Now that I had finally said it out loud, there was an immensely satisfying feeling, and if not for current circumstances, I would have even cried out in joy!

"The Sun Knight? Impossible!" said Alice, trembling.


Just then, the Dark Knight came rushing back. It must have been my immensely heavy light aura that had alerted him to my presence. He quickly rushed in our direction……

"Stand still!" I tightened my hold on the princess, my Holy Sun Blade raised to her neck. I then said to the Dark Knight coldly, "Or do you not care about this woman's life anymore?"

The Dark Knight had slowed down, but he did not stop. I lightly pressed the blade into her neck, eliciting a soft cry.

"Stop it!" The Dark Knight finally halted in his footsteps and roared furiously, "You won't harm her, she's a princess!"

I laughed at that long and hard, before pressing the blade into her neck again. This time, the princess bit her lip and refused to emit a single sound. I asked mockingly, "Are you sure about that?"

The Dark Knight said tremblingly, "You are a knight; you're even the world-renowned Sun Knight. You would not harm a woman. It would ruin your reputation; you won't do that……"

I chuckled at that and asked, "Then do you know what 'the whole continent knows', what the Sun Knight hates the most?"

"The undead," he replied straight away.

"Wrong!" I roared. "The Sun Knight hates seeing his own holy knights dying the most!"

After that outburst, I quickly regained my composure and continued on calmly. "I'm warning you right now, if you dare to move even a muscle I will cut off this woman's hand. Depending on how many times you move, I will cut off as many parts of her."

The Dark Knight and Alice didn't say anything, whether it was because they were frightened by me or not, it's not important. I gathered large amounts of water element and formed them into thick icicles. More than ten of them floated in the air around the Dark Knight, but he did not move.

Instead, the Princess Alice trapped in my arms started crying. "You despicable shameless cur! Eagle, don't listen to him, he wouldn't dare to do as he threatened!"

I am now certain. Princesses all over the world know only of two cuss words: 'shameless' and 'despicable'.

I said to the Dark Knight nonchalantly, "Oh, I forgot to mention this. Activating frenzy also counts as moving."

And with that, more than ten icicles swung at his arms and legs and torso with loud thuds. But even when suffering such heavy blows, the Dark Knight kept still. Getting hit by such heavy blows whilst attempting to remain so still would have worsened his injuries, and I could hear the sound of several bones breaking echoing through the forest.

"Eagle……" Alice was limp and close to fainting to see her loved one tortured so, and it was only because of me that she had yet to fall to the ground.

"You can move now," I said coolly.

Only then did the Dark Knight slowly allow himself to slump to the ground. I then activated the last – and largest – icicle, directing it to swing down onto his back heavily.

"Eurgh!" he grunted.

What a prideful knight. I have to admit, I was a little impressed with him. That last blow must have cracked a few more of his ribs, but from start to finish he hadn't allowed a single scream to escape him.

I released the Princess Alice and warned her casually, "Don't even think of using magic against me, or I'll use Hell's Fire to disinfect your Dark Knight. I guarantee he'll be so clean, not even his ashes would remain. "

Alice shoved me away and ran to her knight. When she saw up close how serious his injuries were she couldn't stop her tears from falling. The Dark Knight was so heavily injured that he should have been delirious from the pain by now, but he still managed to pull himself together and attempted to comfort the princess, even if it was just words like 'I'm fine' and 'don't cry'.

Upon seeing this scene, I could sense the irony and started laughing. We had been searching so hard to rescue her, yet the princess is wholly ungrateful. How laughable. The knight in shining armour come to rescue the princess? But the princess doesn't even want to be rescued! To her, we were probably the evil adversary trying to separate her from her lover.

"You guys made a grievous mistake," I told them coldly. "You shouldn't have killed Leaf! If you hadn't killed him, I wouldn't have interfered and separated the two of you. However, I'm not trying to separate you now either, am I? The two of you can keep each other company in hell!"

A silence befell the place, and only the mutterings of Alice could be heard, "You're going to kill us? But how can you kill us……?"

"And why not?" I asked with a cold smile. "If you had dared to kill the Leaf Knight, you should have been prepared for the Sun Knight to come after you even till the ends of the earth!"

Hearing that, she cried out in alarm, "But I'm a princess!"

"Oh? Is that so?" I asked warmly and sincerely, "But I don't see any princess here, only the kidnapper and his accomplice."

Alice's breathing turned ragged and she threatened fearfully, "Sun Knight, if you kill me my mother will never let you and the Church of Light go!"

"Oh?" I asked calmly. "This assassin does not see any Sun Knight anywhere around here. Have you?"

A few sobs finally escaped from her as she fully realised their situation, but still she clutched the near unconscious Dark Knight and tried to carry him and escape me.

But with her meagre strength it would have been impossible for her to move a grown man, let alone a grown man wearing heavy armour. Yet still she persisted in her futile efforts, desperately trying to drag him away.

As I watched this pitiful scene, the explosive anger inside me slowly banked down. I had originally planned to torture them cruelly before killing them, but now looking at them, I no longer had the heart to do it. Oh man, I shouldn't have injured the Dark Knight so heavily. If he had still been able to retaliate and defy me, perhaps I could have continued in my anger. But now, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

"Alright," I said with waning interest, "I'll spare you from too painful a death then."

I gathered a ball of dark element, intending to use The Spread of Death which I had seen Alstier use once. This spell sent its victims to their death quietly and painlessly……

"Sun, stop!"

Surprisingly, this cry came from above.

At the same time, the gathered ball of dark aura in my hands was forcefully dissipated by someone.

I raised my head towards the sky.

Floating in the air was a figure wrapped in a robe. There wasn't a lot of dark aura coming from the figure, but one could still feel a sense of hidden depths of power from them. I've only felt this kind of feeling from one person before ……no! I should not say a person, for she had not been human for a very long time now.

I clenched my fists, and grinded my teeth in annoyance, barely managing to ground out through my clenched teeth the words, "Pink, so when you told me you were going to move, you were going to move to the Church of Chaos?"


Previous                                                                                                             Next

Book 3: Step 7 – The Seventh Step in Rescuing a Princess: “A necessary sacrifice.”

*Disclaimer note: This is merely a translation of the original Chinese version. I do not claim any part in the creation of the original story.


I slowly blinked open my eyes, feeling a faint sense of déjà vu…… If not for the fact that I'm very sure I had not drunk last night, I would have said that I had had another drinking spree again and am lying in one of the pub's rooms.

As my memories started trickling back, I muttered, "Oh that's right, I had passed out after using up every shred of holy light I had left to purify the cave."

My brows then crinkled together in a frown. My body was starting to regain its senses, and I could tell immediately that I had not been left to sleep of my exhaustion in a room as I had initially thought, but that I had been abandoned in the middle of a forest!

My eyes were watering from the bright rays shining into them; and my whole body ached – an unmistakable sign that I had been lying on hard ground the entire night.

I painfully got up, looking around me.

Great. A very normal looking forest. All around me were tall trees and the ground was covered with mud and decomposing leaves. Thank goodness it isn't a lavishly decorated palace, or snow white marble flooring…… or I would have believed myself to be in the God of Light's heavenly embrace!

But, where the hell are Alstier and my teacher?

It was only when I had painfully stood up that I noticed the piece of paper fluttering down from its previous position on my head to the ground. I picked it up, instantly recognising my teacher's handwriting. His handwriting is as elegant and beautiful as he himself, full of powerful slashes and magnificent flourishes, a piece of art all unto itself. The only drawback about it is…… it's too beautiful and magnificent that I can't really tell what he wrote.

After three years, more slashes and flourishes had crept into his handwriting…… Now, is this word 'student'? Or 'skewer'?

Since it's a note left to me, it should be addressed to 'student', right?

But if the purification had failed and he hadn't managed to get the Eternal Serenity, there's a possibility that it could be 'skewer'…… It could be a message saying that he's so angry with me that he wants to skewer me alive, and that he's left to find some firewood so he can roast some 'skewered student' over the fire?

Oh, forget it! I'll just assume it's student and read on.

Dear student,

The purification was extremely successful, and the Dark Land is now an ordinary cave. We got the Eternal Serenity successfully, and it is now hanging around your neck.

A surprised cry escaped from me as I looked down to see a shimmering blue crystal secured around my neck by a very sturdy looking chain……

Why did he put the Eternal Serenity around my neck for? It can't be that the crystal has some dangerous properties, can it?

I hurriedly looked back down at the letter.

Don't worry, the crystal isn't dangerous.

…… he really knows me well.

It is just that the amount of energy it gives off is staggering. If I were to keep it on hand, I'll be constantly faced with mages challenging me for possession of it. Therefore, I've decided that only you with your immense holy aura are capable of overpowering its water aura and hiding it from anyone else's notice. So for now, I'll keep the crystal on you. DO NOT take it off. If you do, others will be able to sense its existence and you'll be in a lot of trouble then.

Warning: Don't you dare sell it off! If I do not find it when I come for it, you're dead.


Your teacher

And he insists that it's not dangerous…… The crystal itself might not explode, but it can draw mages who can make things explode.

I felt like crying, for what else can I do? I dared not go against my teacher's words, so I had no other option but to hide the crystal under my clothes, hiding it from sight less it provide temptation to others.

After keeping away both the crystal and the letter, I took a moment to look around, realising that I was nowhere near the cave. I have no idea where my teacher had dumped me off; surrounding me on all sides are tall ancient trees. How the heck am I supposed to get back to Leaf from here?

I guess this leaves me with no other option but to use my mage sight, I thought with a sigh. Who would have believed that this immensely valuable and coveted skill is most useful to me when I'm lost?

As I had no idea how far away from Leaf I am right now, I extended my mage sight in all directions as far as I could go. It wasn't long before I found them. They weren't actually all that far away from me, only half a day's walk from my current position. This surprised me. Alstier must have used his powers and flew me quite some distance whilst I was unconscious.

But right after I had found their presence, I immediately sensed something even more surprising. Not too far away from them is an extremely strong dark aura…… they had actually managed to catch up to the Dark Knight?!

Even though I knew that even a Dark Knight could not hope to defeat the Son of War, an uneasy feeling was brewing in my gut. Their auras seemed to be lower than usual, indicating that they had just exerted a lot of energy not too long ago. And the only thing that would cause warriors to lose so much energy would obviously be battles.

And in particular, Leaf's holy aura seemed to be seeping out of him at an alarming rate! It was disappearing from him too quickly and not at all as if he was merely using his holy light……

A jolt shot through me as my hand crept up onto my chest and I cried hoarsely, "Dragon's Holy Robe, in the name of the dragon's successor, I order you to activate!"

Even before the Dragon's Holy Robe had fully activated, I was already rushing forward in their direction, running as swift as the wind.

As I continued to sense Leaf's holy aura fading more and more rapidly, the anxious feeling in my gut grew heavier. It spurred me on to run faster and faster, with no thought to resting my body as I leapt over bushes and around trees. My heart was beating rapidly and heavily like a drum, as if it would explode in the next second; my muscles were burning from the exertion I forced on them; and my lungs laboured to draw in more oxygen for my tired body, my mouth open and gasping at the air……

Hurry! I have to get back to Leaf's side!


With the added speed from the Dragon's Holy Robe, I managed to cover what would have been half a day's journey in just two hours. Just before I reached Leaf and the rest of them, I paused to change out of the robe before leaping into the clearing. My vision was suddenly flooded with light after the darkness of the forest, but I paid little attention to the painful glare, for my heart had clenched in horror……

The clearing was devoid of any remaining trees, having long since been destroyed by a horrific battle. The charred ground and craters littered all over the clearing only added to the display.

Michael was covered in wounds, his armour battered beyond redemption. As if unable to support even his own weight, he was half leaning against a broken tree stump, staring at nothing.

Ann was sitting on the ground; she, too, looked dazed.

Alston was diligently casting his pitifully limited array of healing spells, and all of them were on Leaf…… Leaf who was lying on the ground, his bow on the ground beside him, but not clenched in his hand.

Just then, Michael and Alston finally noticed my presence. They raised their heads to look at me, all pale-faced and ragged. Alston opened his mouth to speak, but could not find the words to speak to me.

I walked over towards them, my gaze fixed on Leaf's face all the while. His eyes were closed as if unconscious.

"Leaf?" I called out softly.

I didn't get any response from him. Instead, it spurred a reaction from the other three. Ann wailed in despair, slumping to the ground and burying her face in the ground as she tried to muffle her sobs.

What's she crying for? Honestly, it's not like there's anything to cry about……

As I walked to Leaf's side, I could feel the holy aura that once filled him dissipating, only to be replaced by dark aura.

Just then, a whisper slid unbidden through my thoughts – a common enough fact known by most.

'It is only when holy knights have fallen from grace, or have died, that their bodies are slowly taken over by dark aura.'

Leaf! A jolt of pain shot through me, and my heart ached so badly, as if about to tear itself apart……

Unable to stand the sight a second longer, I turned and stalked over to Michael. I grabbed him – so hard that it felt as if my fingers could pierce through what remained of his armour – and shook him, roaring angrily, "How could Leaf have died?! With you, the Son of War, at the front of the fight, how could you still be alive whilst the archer who remains at the back is dead?! "

'If-if I find out that you had purposely allowed Leaf to die, all of you will pay!'

Upon hearing my accusations, Michael turning a shade paler as he answered hurriedly, "We'd finally caught up with the Dark Knight and had fought with them for a whole day and night, but still we weren't able to defeat them…… In the end, they managed to get past all of us, but chose to only kill Aimer."

Alston, too, cried out hurriedly, "Sun Knight, please calm down, they…"

Even though he was asking me to calm down, Alston's voice himself was trembling. "Before they left, they left a message for you."

I glared at Alston, but didn't do anything else to him as I was unable to overlook his numerous wounds. I did not doubt that they had just gone through a fierce battle, and truthfully, the wounds on Leaf were lighter and less numerous than Michael and Ann's.

Alston took a few deep breaths before forcing out the rest of it. "They said that, even if you were to go after them after you've cast the resurrection spell, you won't be able to defeat them, so it's useless to chase after them."

My face turned white at that. I see, so killing Leaf was only so they could delay me.

Even though Michael and the rest were defeated, the opponent would have been heavily injured too. If I were to chase after them, I probably could have caught them…… Hold on! I felt a little doubtful at that string of thought. Why would they fear me so when I've been showing such a weak front all along?

I shook my head at that and threw the thoughts to the back of my mind. My mind's in a mess right now and I can't think straight in such a state. No matter what the reason, if it weren't because I had mastered the resurrection arts, they never would have dared to kill Leaf.

That Dark Knight was very strong; he must have been someone of importance in the Church of Chaos, to have dared to kill the Church of Light's Leaf Knight. If Leaf were to really die for good, it would have incited a full-out war between the Church of Light and the Church of Chaos.

But my whole body had chilled at the realisation…… the Resurrection Arts again. The last time, Adair had nearly been killed, and now, Leaf had been killed for real.

The Resurrection Arts…… is it really saving lives? Or just leading people to their deaths?

Once one knows that people can be revived, do they no longer value human life?

Just then, Ann who had been silent all along suddenly leapt up in fury and yelled at me, "What right do you have to blame Michael? You who weren't even here while we were engaged in battle! Where were you, huh?! Where were you?!"

I let go of Michael at that and stumbled back. Even though I had left to investigate, but after having found out about the suspicious figures following us, I had not immediately returned, but had instead fooled around with my teacher and Alstier for a few days.

"I thought there wouldn't be any problems…… The Son of War, a warrior priest and with Leaf and his bow… and the opponent only had a Dark Knight and a Wind Mage… how could they have lost? How is it possible?..." I mumbled, trying to find something - someone - to push the blame onto. If not, the first person I would want to kill to avenge Leaf's murder would be…… myself!

"They had another powerful ally, a very powerful one……" Alston's breath hitched at the thought of that person and a shudder ran through his body. "It was a Chaos priest."

'Chaos priest.' The words rang through my head, and I immediately understood.

Holy priests specialise in healing, the warrior priests focus on spells or 'buffs' that strengthen their comrades, while chaos priests excel in attacks themselves. Their method of attacks is very similar to necromancers. In fact, one could say that chaos priests are an improved version of necromancers, for they are necromancers blessed with the favour of the God of Chaos.

Fortunately, their numbers are very, very small. So rare are they that the Church of Chaos hardly dared to allow any to leave their church, for even the death of one would be an immense loss to them.

"That chaos priest was so strong…… how could they have gotten so strong? It's just not possible……" mumbled Alston.

"That Dark Knight was very strong as well," said Michael darkly, "I wouldn't be at all surprised if he turned out to be the God of Chaos's champion!"

I shot a look at the Son of War. He really wasn't the person in charge of his church's affairs after all, to be unaware of even this fact. The God of Chaos's champion isn't a Dark Knight at all. But even if he wasn't the champion, Michael's guess probably wasn't too far off the mark in that the Dark Knight was a very important figure in the Church of Chaos, or he would never have been able to battle the Son of War for a whole day and night.

But all that is irrelevant…… for now.

I took a deep breath before turning to the three and said, "I'm going to perform the Resurrection Arts."

The three of them were blindsided by that announcement, but Alston quickly recovered and asked politely, "Should we leave?"

I shook my head and said, "No, I need your protection. Don't allow a single thing to approach me, not even a single blade of leaf!"


They nodded in determination. Alston, in particular, looked rather bright-eyed, but this was hardly surprising. Any priest who knew that they would have the opportunity to witness a resurrection would have the same look. If it were the Bright Light Priests, they would have been dancing in joy and excitement.

"How long has Leaf been dead?" I asked carefully.

"More or less two hours." Alston answered vigilantly.

I nodded my head at that. I have plenty of time. I drew a large circle around Leaf before turning to the others and said, "From now onwards, no matter what I do or say, do not speak a word to me, and don't allow a single thing to enter this circle."

Once again, they nodded solemnly and stood up to take their positions around the circle, forming a triangle with Leaf and I in the middle.

I felt rather relieved to see their determination. With them here, I have nothing to worry about except for the Dark Knight and the chaos priest returning…… I paused at that. Could that be their plan all along? Taking the opportunity to kill us off whilst I'm reviving Leaf?

I examined Leaf carefully. His death was caused by a single thin blade through the heart; the wound was small and it was a clean cut. This relieved me, for the chaos priest should be aware that the more the body had been damaged, the harder it would be to resurrect the dead. If their intention was to kill us all they wouldn't have killed Leaf with such a clean cut.

Even though I still had a lot of doubts, I could not hesitate anymore. I drew the Holy Sun Blade from its scabbard hanging at my waist, and using the blade as a pen, I began carving the ritual's runes on the ground.

With that done, I then looked at Leaf quietly. Even in death, he looked to be at peace. If it were not for his colour being a little too pale, no one would have thought that those eyes of his would never blink open again. He even had a faint smile gracing the corners of his lips……

He's always been so cheerful and happy-go-lucky, and accepting of everything. Even though this is the Leaf Knight's characteristics, who amongst the Twelve Holy Knights is really as they portray? Earth was in no way loyal and down-to-earth, and no one who really knew me would call me kind and loving.

"Speaking of Earth…… when we were still young, Earth and I used to get into such huge fights; it's always been you who would get caught in the middle, running between the two of us, smiling through our black moods and horrible tempers until we would finally relent and make up."

'There was one time when no matter what we refused to make up. In the end, you had burst into tears and sobbed so loudly that even Judge had heard the commotion and came over. He'd glared at the both of us so scarily that we didn't dare to continue our fight and could only plead with you to stop crying.'

As I thought back, my memories flew back to the very beginning……

"I still remember the first time I met you; you were always with a smile on your face. I could smile brighter than you, more trustworthy and better looking than you, but I could never smile a smile from the heart as you did; your smile was like a breath of fresh air……"

I fell silent for some time before speaking again, "But to tell the truth, I really hated your smile. It was as if your smile were mocking me, mocking how fake my smile was. Your kind nature was mocking me too, telling me that you were the one who was truly kind, not me.

"That's why I've always liked to bully you, even till now…… but you've never once gotten angry. Is it really so hard to shout at me once in a while? But in the end, your only way of rebelling and letting out your frustrations was to nail little straw dolls!

"Do you have to be so kind?! You idiot!" I cried out.

I kept thinking back, thinking back on all our memories until my face was streaked with tears, streaming down my face and falling to the ground beside Leaf. I kept thinking and recalling, until I could see nothing but Leaf opening his eyes once more, nothing else.

'I won't let you die, and I won't let you revive with any defects, Leaf! You're not allowed to return except in your original condition. You won't have any other defects! Never!'

I closed my eyes, suppressing the urge to sob and looked up to the sky. I looked up at the sun that shines so far away from me, at the unseen God of Light.

Slowly, word by word, I called out clearly, "O' God of Light! May you hear me out in my regret and listen to me despite my foolishness. I have always claimed that the Sun Knight values his holy knights, that all holy knights belong to me and that no one is allowed to harm them. And yet, I had left behind Elmairy Leaf, and when in his time of need, I had not carried out the responsibilities of a comrade, I was not at his side……"

I took another deep breath and pleaded, "Lay all the blame with me, as it should be. My sin is too much for words, and I accept any and all punishments you see fit to give me. I only plead that you spare Elmairy Leaf; I beg you not to take him back to your side.

"My God of Light, I swear this to you: I am willing to sacrifice anything to see Elmairy Leaf open his eyes once more. With the blood from my left hand, please bring back life to his left hand; with the blood from my right hand, please bring back life to his right hand……"

Using the Holy Sun Blade, I pressed its sharp blade to my left arm and let the blood run down the blade onto Leaf's left hand. It was then followed by my right hand, then both my legs…….

Only when Leaf's body was covered with my blood did I stop and continued on to the next step of the ritual…… I pierced the blade of my sword into the wound on his heart.

I then kneeled down and looked up. With my arms raised high, I prayed to the distant and unseen God of Light……

'Please return a whole and complete Leaf to me. I will pay the price, whatever it is.

'Please return him to me alive and well.

'Return him to me!'

I looked back down, and carefully holding the Holy Sun Blade, I started releasing holy light and focused them into the sword, directing the holy light through the sword and into Leaf's body, pushing out the dark aura that had crept into his body and filling it with my light aura, until at last, Leaf was glowing with so much holy light that his figure could no longer be seen, only a glowing ball of bright light.

I maintained this for a long time, doing my best to hold it out for as long as possible……

Finally, when I felt that I was almost out of holy light and only had enough to finish the remaining parts of the ritual, I slowly stopped sending out the holy light and stood up, slowly drawing the Holy Sun Blade out. And as I drew the blade from Leaf's wound, the remaining holy light slowly healed the fatal wound that had killed Leaf.

At last, when the Holy Sun Blade was finally clear of Leaf's body, I flung away the sword and threw out a blast of holy light at Leaf's heart.

Just then, Leaf gasped a breath of air and arched into the air as his body writhed and spasmed. He began coughing and his expression looked to be in great pain.

But upon seeing this, I felt as if a heavy burden had just been unloaded from my chest, and I could feel the prickle of tears in my eyes. At least, he's alive.

After coughing for some time, Leaf finally had the strength to turn to me. "Su-Sun……"

I stared at him fixedly. Good, he looks like he has his wits with him, and his voice sounds normal. His appearance doesn't seem to be altered in any way either.

Thank God……

My vision started to go out of focus as black started to creep into my vision, until at last I felt myself crumple to the ground……



When I regained conscience, the first thing I registered was someone calling out my name and pulling me up. I turned to see who it was, but nothing greeted me but darkness. Huh, did I not open my eyes yet?

I blinked. That's not right, my eyes are wide open.


I heard Leaf's voice coming from somewhere very near…… I turned to look in his direction, but this darkness wasn't letting me see his face, damn it! How can I check to see if he had escaped any side-effects from the resurrection like this!

I frowned and stretched my arm towards where I had last heard his voice coming from until I reached his face. 'Hmmm, feels like any other ordinary face.' I let out a sigh of relief at that. At least his face is okay.


Just then, Leaf's trembling voice penetrated my mind. "Your eyes……"

I stared blankly, finally remembering about it. My eyes……

After a while which consisted of Leaf breathing rapidly whilst he cast numerous healing spells on me, his breathing turned steadily more ragged and breathless. He sounded panicky, like he didn't know what else to do……

In the end, I turned and smiled at him. "I'm fine now. I'd just woken up earlier, so my vision was a little messed up. Probably because I was too tired. I'm sorry, I must have frightened you."

Instead of being reassured, Leaf sounded more upset at my words as he asked pressingly, "Sun, tell me, how many fingers have I got?"

I kept quiet at that.

Leaf sounded very close to tears. "Sun……"

A muffled chuckle burst from me as I said laughingly, "Hahaha! It's two, alright? Look at you all panicky and all. Really, I was just tired just now, nothing to it."

Leaf was stunned for a moment before he cried out, "You! You scared me! Didn't you say you've repented? And here I thought you wouldn't bully me anymore."

Oh, he heard that?…… Darn it! "I had repented, but I never said anything about not doing it again!" I shouted a little embarrassedly.

"Honestly,…" said Leaf, sniffing. "Do you have any idea how worried I was?! Argh, you're so mean!"

Alright, this could be considered shouting in anger, right? I felt reassured that my years of campaign to anger Leaf had finally borne fruit! Praise be the God of Light!

"Alright, let's stop fooling around. We have to hurry up and chase after that Dark Knight that dared to kill you. Michael, you guys, get over here so I can heal your wounds!"

I picked up the Holy Sun Blade and stood up, laughing. I was about to walk in their direction, but missed the crater in front of me and stumbled. If I hadn't quickly used my sword to stabilise myself I would have fallen to the ground again.

A tense silence descended on the clearing.

I hurriedly straightened and smiled, asking, "Why's it so quiet? Resurrecting someone is no walk in the park, okay? I was just weak in the knees."


The hitched sob was back in his voice as Leaf interrupted me. "Sun, you can't see, right? Don't lie to me. Don't try to keep it from me by purposely going after the Dark Knight and letting them slash at your eyes. I know what you're thinking, please don't do that, I'm begging you……"

I fell silent at that before forcing a grin and saying, "What are you talking about? I saw you had two fingers, didn't I? Now how could a blind have seen that? You're so silly, Leaf."

Leaf suddenly grabbed my hand tightly and pleaded, "Please……"

I merely said calmly, "I'm not blind, Leaf. You're thinking too much."

"Enough of this nonsense." Just then, Michael cut in impatiently. "Sun, how many?"

I paused before replying, "One."

Michael then asked again, "How about now?"

"Do you think me an idiot?" I asked exasperatedly, "You don't even have your arms raised!"

Michael muttered something at that before saying aloud to Leaf, "Aimer, stop crying. He really isn't blind!"

"I don't understand……" said Leaf, sounding lost and confused.

"You've just been resurrected, so you might feel a little confused. Stop thinking about it too much," I reassured him. "You need a night's rest, don't worry. You said not to chase after the Dark Knight, and I think maybe you're right. You really should have a good rest, and I'm also tired after performing the resurrection ritual. Let's head back to Leafy Forest Town and recuperate there, it's not too far from here."

When I didn't get a reply from Leaf, I asked again, "Is that okay?"

Instead of answering me, they all went quiet. I had no idea what was wrong now, but dared not ask again in fear of saying the wrong thing. After a while, Leaf quietly spoke up, "I'd nodded my head just now, Sun."

"Oh, I hadn't noticed," I said calmly. "I'm sorry, but I'd just ran all the way here, and then had to perform the resurrection arts on you. I'm really tired and need to rest. Stop thinking nonsense again or I'll start wondering if you really are suffering from some side-effect from the resurrection, like hallucination and stuff."

After a moment, Leaf spoke up, "Alright. We'll talk about it after we've rested. Let me carry you to the town."

"No way," I refused tiredly. "You've just been revived; you shouldn't be doing anything strenuous. You need to rest even more than I do."

Just then, Michael cut in, saying, "I'll carry you, and let Ann carry Leaf."

When I heard his suggestion, my poor opinion of him improved immensely. After nodding my head in gratitude, I threw an elementary healing spell each at Michael and Ann. Even though it wasn't much help, and Alston had quite a few injuries himself, I really couldn't do much more than that.

After climbing onto Michael's back, I fell into a restless doze, waking up a few times intermittently. But each time I woke up my mind felt cloudy and I soon fell back asleep not too long after.

When we finally reached Leafy Forest Town, I was able to leave the rock-hard back behind and lay upon a soft bed. I faintly recalled them asking me something, but I wasn't really listening and merely replied 'up to you' before turning over and ignoring them. Only when I was unbearably hungry would I call out for them. I would then be carefully fed before lying back down to sleep on my comfy bed once more.


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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Book 3: Step 6 – The Sixth Step in Rescuing a Princess: “Explore a mysterious underground cave”

*Disclaimer note: This is merely a translation of the original Chinese version. I do not claim any part in the creation of the original story.


I slowly blinked my eyes open, having not a clue where I am and what had happened. Just then, a throbbing pain in my head reminded me of my indulgence last night…… and the results of it - I had hangover.

'A hangover? I actually got drunk? How many bottles of wine did my teacher order? I shouldn't have bothered heckling history's strongest Sun Knight for an additional ten percent reward…… Just the money spent on my drinks last night should have cost him that ten percent!'

I looked around, trying to get my bearings, but the moment I looked down I immediately opened my mouth……

"Aahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!" I screamed.

My feet weren't standing on firm ground as I had initially thought; instead, the ground was at least twenty meters away below me! How the hell did I get so high up?! (This is even higher than the top of the Holy Temple's tallest tower!)

"Ahhh!! Ahh!! O' Goddess of Light, I do not wish to be so tall!" I continued my screaming. "I promise I'll never secretly drink behind your back ever again!"

"What in God's name are you moaning about now?! You should know better than to be so noisy so early in the morning!" came my teacher's annoyed voice.

"Technically, it's already past noon right now."

And there was Alstier's voice too.

I twisted my head to the side, and there he was - my teacher. He, too, was floating in midair, yawning and stretching, looking as if he had just been awoken from a deep slumber…… I'm rather impressed by him! Even when floating in midair with nothing to support us, his admirable person can still manage to stretch so gracefully and with such ease, as befitting of an ex-Sun Knight of twenty years.

And now that I've taken a second glance around, I noticed the third person floating with us. I'm guessing that the figure completely covered in the cloak is none other than Alstier himself.

At the moment, Alstier was radiating an immense amount of wind aura.

"You can actually fly?!" I exclaimed in astonishment. I had assumed that Alstier would have been a master in dark magic; as a dark creature, dark magic should have come to him naturally, whilst the other branches of magic would have been harder for him to learn.

"Not at first." The hooded figure turned towards me, revealing Alstier's familiar face. He looked rather exasperated as he explained, "However, Neo insisted that wind magic would be immensely helpful when travelling and forced me to learn it. I had a hard time learning it until I finally mastered two wind magic techniques – Instant Teleportation and Flying."

"Ah, I see," I said, knowing by experience how he felt. "My teacher has always liked forcing others to learn strange things, so try to get used to it."

"I can tell you've also suffered," said Alstier sympathetically.

"It's alright. It's all in the past for me now, but now it's your turn to bear with it……"

"I'm right here," My teacher said icily.

Alstier and I smirked at each other, but kept our mouths shut.

However, I couldn't help speaking up once more to ask, "Teacher, where are we going?"

He slid me a look and asked doubtfully, "You haven't forgotten the quest I mentioned last night after all your drinking, have you?"

"Of course not."

He then nodded and explained, "Right now, we are on our way to complete the quest. With us flying, the trip shouldn't take us too long and you should be able to meet up with the rest of your party soon."

'That is true,' I thought. 'If this quest doesn't take up too much time I might even be able to make it back to them quicker than if I were to travel by myself.'

Having settled my transportation problem, I then turned my thoughts to the quest at hand.

"What is the quest about?" I asked.

My teacher gave me a small smile and said, "Don't worry. It's a pretty simple task, especially for someone like you."

"Ah, I see, haha!" I, too, smiled an equally fake smile. When my teacher had brought up training me in falling elegantly, he had spoken in the exact same warm and carefree tone…… I turned to look at Alstier; the latter had a look of resigned determination on his face.

I was already considering taking my chances jumping from twenty meters above ground, and then running for my life as history's strongest Sun Knight chased after me. Between this and following my teacher to my doom, which would give me a higher probability of surviving?

Hmm… both look to be equally unpromising……


After flying for a whole day and night, I was about to commend Alstier on his impressive powers for being able to keep up the Flying spell for so long, when we finally landed on the ground. He then slyly announced, "I've used up all my energy on Flying, so it's all up to you guys now."

'You shameless sneaky Dark Elf……'

After silently cursing Alstier, I then turned my attentions to the dark cave behind us. There was not a single thing growing within a hundred meters of the cave and the cave itself was giving of heavy waves of dark aura. As if not satisfied with how ominous and intimidating it looked and felt, screams of terror and moans of agony could be heard from within, and I could even hear sounds of bones grinding against one another……

My teacher drew his sword and said excitedly, "The quest's mission is to permanently rid this cave of any and all undead creatures."

At that, I turned to him with a wooden expression. "Teacher, this is a Dark Land."

"I'm aware of that."

"Teacher, a Dark Land is an area of land that, for some unknown reason, would continuously give off a dark aura, and coincidentally also happened to be the site of some great battle or a cemetery; thus, the number of the dead buried under this land could rival the number of stars in the sky, continuously turning into undead creatures and crawling their way back up."

"I know that. Why are you spouting of all that for? After three years you've become even more of a nag," my teacher complained with impatience.

'Do not get angry, do not get angry. Even if you get angry you can't fight and win against him……' I focused on breathing in deep breaths before finally managing to turn the ends of my mouth up into a smile.

"If you already knew all this then you should also know that even if we were to rid the cave of all the undead, the cave would be filled with them once more two days later! It's impossible to permanently rid this place of the undead."

He smiled at that and replied, "Of course I knew that. Why else did you think I brought you along for?"

I should have just jumped down earlier and taken my chances with my teacher's pursuit! But it is now too late for regrets. Still, I struggled for a way out of this. "…… teacher, even with my holy aura at its most powerful it's impossible for me to completely cleanse this place of its dark aura."

"We can still try. And don't forget about the Holy Sun Blade and me."

Even though all this was said in a calm manner, I knew that the more calm and collected my teacher appeared to be, the more determined he is to do something.

"Why are you so set on purifying this place?" I asked in curiosity. "There are countless of Dark Lands around, why this one in particular?"

He smiled faintly as he asked, "Do you know why the surrounding area has not been negatively impacted by this Dark land despite it continuously producing countless undead creatures?"

I shook my head.

"This is because a long time ago, a group of very powerful mages used an incredibly strong Water Crystal called "Eternal Serenity" and set up a barrier around the cave, thus stopping any undead from venturing further than a hundred meters from this cave.

'I see.' I nodded my head to show my understanding.

These Dark Lands are a constant source of worry and headache for every country. Nations would try anything and everything to stop the negative impacts stemming from the Dark Lands, and one of the easiest and quickest ways is to work with mages and priests to set up a barrier to seal the undead in.

Again, my teacher smiled faintly as he calmly announced his shocking objective. "I want that Eternal Serenity."

I was stunned. 'So that's what this is all about. He wants the Eternal Serenity. But once he removes the Water Crystal, the barrier would instantly collapse and the undead would venture forth from the cave, wreaking havoc and killing innocents……'

But I knew that my teacher would never allow such a thing to happen, hence he would have to first cleanse this cave of its dark aura before he can take the crystal.

My face turned gloomy at this thought, but still I turned to look at my teacher with a shred of hope. "Do you really have to have that crystal? Can't any other do?"

He shrugged nonchalantly and said, "Only if you can find another crystal as powerful as this one... but I've been looking around for quite some time and nothing would work better than the Eternal Serenity."

I thought to myself dejectedly, 'Even if there is one, it'd probably be harder to get. Otherwise, it would have already been taken by others.'

'Looks like there's no way out of this.'

As I turned back to peer into the dark gaping mouth of the cave, I prayed fervently that it wouldn't become my final resting place……

But I really felt that going in unprepared like this was not a very smart thing to do, so I hurriedly turned to the mission's leader. "Teacher, do you have any plans on how to go about this?"

"Yes," he replied immediately.

As I looked on at his confident bearing, I was filled with such high hopes as I asked eagerly, "Well? What is it?"

He raised a finger and pointed at the cave. "We make our way into the deepest parts of the cave, killing every undead we see. Then after a day of resting whilst we wait for you to recuperate your holy aura, we purify the cave, take the Eternal Serenity, and thus conclude our successful mission!"

I stared at him in silence. If you can call that a plan then 'Find the enemy, defeat the enemy, rescue the princess and marry the princess' would be The Perfect Plan for Princess Rescues. There would be no need to alter a single word of it.

"It could have been worse."

Just then, Alstier spoke up airily, "Do you know under what circumstances we had to complete a mission to infiltrate a dragon's lair and steal a crown from its treasure trove……?"

"What circumstances?" I immediately asked. I desperately needed to know how much worse it could have been. It was the only way I could convince myself to accept my fate and take on this Herculean task.

Alstier had tears in his eyes as he recounted their past misfortunes. "The priest hadn't gotten enough sleep the previous night as he was busy being entertained in the brothels, and so he was left with less than one-fourth of his holy energy; the warrior's sword had broken and was still with the blacksmith for repairs; whilst scouting the situation ahead, the thief discovered a treasure chest and ran off with it; the mage had accidentally burnt half of their magic scrolls whilst cooking; and the holy knight had a hangover from drinking too much wine the previous night……"

"Hold on, who is this idiot mage who had burnt half the magic scrolls?" I interrupted, sensing something was not right.

"It was me," Alstier admitted quietly, lowering his head in shame.

"And the hungover holy knight?" I had a really bad feeling about this.

"That would be me." This time the answer came from Neo. He shot me a look and said threateningly, "Do you have anything to complain about history's strongest Sun Knight? Hmmm?"

"No! Of course not!" I refuted hastily. "But teacher, your hangover……"

"Hmph!" He gave a snort and waved impatiently, "I didn't drink that much last night."

I felt relieved at that.

"So I'm only a little hangover."


'Holy Light! Michael, Alston, Ann and my dear Leaf! You are the best party members anyone could ask for. I was wrong to have scorned you, please rescue me! Take me back to your party, I wouldn't mind being a priest!'

Unfortunately, Leaf and I weren't able to communicate telepathically, so he didn't come to rescue me. I could only follow my teacher into the cave with reluctance, knowing that my future was as dark as the cave I entered……

The moment we stepped foot into the cave, a line of white skeletons standing on each side of the entrance greeted us. These skeletons were probably some of the 'fresher' corpses – maybe even the unlucky adventurers who had lost their lives in this cave, perhaps – for these skeletons still had some 'meat on their bones' and weren't completely rotten away. Because of this, the visual impact was rather frightening; and other than the visual impact, I felt that my nose, too, suffered greatly.

My teacher immediately pinched his nose and cried out, "Why aren't you burning them away?! It god-damn stinks in here!"

I gave him a hum in reply and carelessly flung out a blast of holy light. The sound of bones clattering to the ground could be heard all around us, and when the holy light had faded away, the forest of white skeletons had turned into powdered ash, carpeting the entire floor in white as if inviting us to proceed further.

Although he claimed that he had a slight hangover, my teacher was still able to slash away all the undead in our way and clear up the path for us. Sometimes he even used too much force and ended up widening the cave. I was rather concerned about the cave collapsing around us, but after thinking about it I decided that even if the cave was to collapse around us, my teacher would still be able to blast a hole out for us, so there was no need to worry about it.

As for Alstier, even though he claimed that he had exhausted all his energy Flying us, when I 'accidentally' missed a skeleton heading for him, he hadn't even bothered to look at it as he released a very advanced level dark spell – Hell's Fire – and burned it to a crisp.

Because Hell's Fire is a large-range spell, the fire accidentally spread to the other skeletons, causing a huge 'bonefire' that could not be controlled.

I then cast a Wind Blade…… and fanned myself. Ho boy! It sure is hot in here!

But with this I was finally able to get a real idea of just how strong my teacher and Alstier really were. It was not just plain luck that they managed to escape from a dragon's lair unscathed even in such extenuating circumstances.

Alstier rolled his eyes at me upon seeing my actions and asked exasperatedly, "Aren't you a little too relaxed?"

Before I could retort to this, my teacher placated him. "Alstier, you have to think of him as a priest."

"Ah!" a look of understanding passed over him and he turned to me apologetically, "I apologise. The priest should stay at the back in situations like these. But could you please spare a few Wind Blades in my direction? It's quite hot in here."

"Sure." I sent a few weakened Wind Blades at him before reminding him, "Next time, don't use these kinds of spell in an enclosed area. You'll not only harm the enemy (which is fine), but also yourself (which is not)."

"He's right." My teacher agreed as he fanned himself with one of his shoulder armour.

"Yes, yes. I'm sorry for causing all this heat and inconveniencing everyone," Alstier apologised. A Dark Elf that admits his mistakes and learn from them, how admirable.

Following that, as the fire didn't seem to be going out anytime soon…… probably because of the constant supply of fuel - undead creatures, the three of us decided to sit down and wait it out. We then turned our attentions to preparing lunch, making use of the ready supply of 'fire' to cook our food.

"It can't be good to use fire that burns from corpses to cook our food, can it?" asked Alstier as he gave the cooked meat a disgusted look. He then continued on worriedly, "Not to mention that it is fire made from dark magic; it might not be safe for human consumption."

"Even if it isn't safe for human consumption it shouldn't matter to you," I said self-righteously. "You're not even human!"

Alstier turned my words over in his head before agreeing, "You're right!" He then began eating the meat without reserve.

By the time we had finished with our meal, the fire had grown smaller. We made our way forward, passing still-smouldering piles of ashes, and continued on our journey. We didn't really have any idea which direction to go in, so we did as my teacher suggested –

We headed in the direction where the undead got stronger and more powerful.

We advanced from the lowest level of undead skeletons to the even smellier Corpse Eaters. (Death Eaters? LOL.) These creatures are corpses half rotted away with lots of rotten scraps of meat still clinging to their bones. Although they cannot move very quickly, they carry a deadly poison on them, and with just one touch one would be poisoned. If there isn't a priest or any Healing Potions in the group, well, you might as well start digging your grave now.

But even without the knowledge of its poisonous attribute, I wouldn't go anywhere near it. Even standing ten meters away from them, I could still smell their horrid smell. If I were to get within reaching distance of them I think I would rather cut off my own nose; who cares about how poisonous they are!

"Urgh! You horrid stinking corpses! Go meet the God of Light and repent your disregard for basic personal hygiene to Her!"

With one hand pinching my nose, I threw out volleys of Wind Blades in an attempt to fan away the stink. I then radiated an immense holy light, so bright that the entire cave was lighted up as if a small sun had just exploded in there. When the holy light finally faded away, the whole cave was clear of all undead; even the air smelt clean and fresh.

I finally released my nose and nodded in satisfaction, "I knew it. Holy light is the ultimate disinfectant/air freshener."

Following that, we encountered zombies, rotted Hell Hounds, blood-sucking corpses (I think they are more commonly called vampires?), some creature that looked more or less like a giant eyeball, the inky black shadow monster……

Well, all sorts of monsters and demons were popping up left and right, but they were all easily dealt with by my teacher. And when some of the corporal creatures gathered in large groups, I was treated to the sight of Alstier unleashing all sorts of dark magic on them, whilst learning a few tricks from him myself. As for me? Well, I dealt with disinfecting the spiritual undead – like the shadow monster – with my holy light.

On our way through the caves, we stumbled upon another group…… the five of them were being beaten back by a gigantic Skeleton Warriors and it was only after my teacher had hacked away at the Skeleton Warrior that we saw the five of them.

They were a pretty standard party, with a warrior, an archer, a thief, a warrior priest, and a less commonly seen druid. Druids are sometimes called Children of the Forest, and their specialty is transforming into various animals, as well as healing.

The moment we saw them Alstier immediately pulled down his hood, hiding himself from them to avoid unnecessary conflict.

The five of them stared at my teacher in a daze. My teacher, while a little surprised to see them too, immediately let out a 'Sunny' smile and said warmly, "My apologies. I didn't see you there and stole your kill. Why don't we just treat it as your kill and you guys can take all of the spoils from it."

The other group continued staring at my teacher. The two females in the group – the archer and the warrior priest – were staring at my teacher with love and adoration; the warrior's stare was filled with idolisation and awe; the thief was staring at my teacher's priceless blade and impressive armour with a glint in his eye; and as for the druid, he was the most normal of them all as he merely stared at my teacher with suspicion, his body tensed with wariness.

Although the named leader of the group is most likely the warrior who stood at the forefront of the group, I'm pretty sure the actual brains of the group is the druid.

"You're a party group? A knight, an assassin, and a mage?" asked the druid as he took us in with a frown.

"No, he's a priest," said my teacher as he gestured towards me. He then clarified, "And I am a holy knight."

"A priest?" asked the druid doubtfully, "but he is wearing an assassin's outfit."

My teacher unleashed his trustworthy smile on him as he replied, "Oh, that's because his priest's outfit was burnt accidentally whilst cooking, so he had to put on the assassin's outfit."

Just then, I stepped forward and disinfected the remains of the Skeleton Warrior lying on the ground. With a wave of holy light, the Skeleton Warrior turned into a pile of ashes, leaving behind the spoils: some armour and a sword.

I nodded my head in satisfaction, but when I raised my head I saw that the five of them had turned their stunned attentions to me.

Alstier neared me and whispered in my ear, "You forgot to recite the incantations."

'Shit! I forgot about that.'

Well, after seeing this demonstration from me, even the druid dazedly nodded his head, the thought to question where I would get an assassin's outfit from when there wasn't an assassin in the group flung out the window.

However, I would like to stress that it is not an assassin's outfit that I am wearing, but one of Alstier's outfits that he normally wears underneath the cloak. But because it is black and a little more tight-fitting than normal, it is easily mistaken for an assassin's outfit.

At that moment, the druid spoke up, "This Skeleton Warrior belongs to you. To tell the truth, if you hadn't arrived just now, it was unlikely that we would have been able to leave this cave."

Upon hearing that I turned to look at them closely. Indeed, they looked rather battered and exhausted.

I kindly reminded them, "If that is so, you guys can go out now. We've dealt with the undead behind us, so there shouldn't be any more danger on your way out."

The druid smiled bitterly. "It's impossible. The undead here are revived within three days; the outer caves should now be filled with them once more, and unlike when we first entered here, we are no longer at our strongest. I don't think we'll be able to make it out."

At that, the warrior said regretfully, "I'm sorry, guys. I shouldn't have brought you guys in too deep."

Hearing that, his fellow party members consoled him saying, "It's not your fault. No one could have expected to meet the Skeleton Warriors and the Hell Hounds; if not for that we would have been perfectly fine."

As I watched them speaking so despondently and resigning themselves to their fate, I couldn't help cutting in, "But we just killed off all the undead not too long ago, they haven't had time to revive yet."

The other group was stunned at that; the warrior asked, "You- How long did it take you guys to get here?"

Seeing that my teacher was keeping his silence and Alstier's indifference, I gave the question some thought. How long did we take to get here?

I finally replied tentatively, "About three…"

"What? Three days?!" the five of them were shocked. "Even with the five of us we spent a week to get here!"

"……" I had actually intended to say three hours even though we actually took 30 minutes. Thank goodness I hadn't answered clearly……

"If you guys took only three days then it's possible that the undead really haven't been revived yet!" They looked ecstatic at the news.

"That's right! Why don't you quickly collect all the spoils and get out. Don't worry, we'll be fine," said my teacher as he waved at them. He then 'kindly' reminded them, "Run quickly, or else the undead might revive before you get out, and that'll be bad."

I stared at my unscrupulous teacher, speechless. In reality, they had three whole days to get out; even if they had desired they could have crawled their way out and still make it.

When the other group heard my teacher's words, they hurriedly collected the items on the ground and followed his suggestion and ran out. They barely had time to shout out their thanks as they rushed away towards the entrance.

I stared after them as they made their hasty retreat. They probably wouldn't dare to approach this place again. "I didn't know we were that strong?" I muttered with disbelief.

Overhearing me, my teacher laughed and said mockingly, "Who do you think you are? Who do you think I am? And how many years of experience as a mage do you think Alstier has?"

"But to be honest, this party group still can't beat your last group," chipped in Alstier.

He then continued on to explain, "The warriors are the Son of War and the famous Female Warrior - Princess Ann; the archer is one of the Twelve Holy Knights; plus you have a warrior priest who can boost the warriors' strengths, and with history's most powerful (in Divine Spells) Sun Knight as the priest…… even if you were to call yourselves the Dragon Slayers, no one would accuse you of overreaching yourselves."

Upon hearing that, I suddenly felt rather relieved. All the while I had been secretly worried about leaving my group, but now that I'm told that our group are on a level capable of slaying dragons, my worries were lightened. Even if they were to meet with some incident they should be able to deal with it fine!

But just as I was feeling relieved, my teacher's expression darkened and he lectured me, "But there is nothing for sure in this world, child. You never know when something or someone even stronger than you might appear."

I bowed my head in subservience, but I didn't really agree with him. I mean, is there really anything greater than dragons in this world?

He probably realised that he was worrying for nothing, but still his head was creased in a frown as he hurried us, "Let's go! The sooner we finish up here the sooner you can get back to your team. I have an uneasy feeling about this. No matter what, one shouldn't leave their team and go cavorting around. If it weren't because I needed you for this, I wouldn't have delayed your return to your group."

Even though I wasn't really worried about them, I nodded my head in agreement. I already knew that Ann would be trying to stall for more time so that her sister Princess Alice would be able to elope successfully. Even if I were to go back now I'd only be dragged around in circles! So I was in no hurry to get back.

Besides, I didn't really feel like playing the bad guy and separating a pair of lovers. When I met that super-hot (kill him!) Dark Knight, he hadn't even attacked me. Faced with such a reasonable person, I feel even more reluctant to force them apart.

My teacher let out a big sigh and said, "Let's go. We'll talk about it after our mission is over."

I nodded and followed him.


Following that, we spent a further three days circling around in the cave system, searching for the Eternal Serenity.

These three days were pretty fun and exciting. Alstier had countless stories to tell. He would tell me about his home and his experiences after he left home to explore above ground. He left out his personal details, but that is to be expected. Everyone has the right to keep their own secrets.

In return, I would regale him with interesting stories about the Holy Temple, and he would always listen with great interest. When I brought up the more recent happenings, even my teacher would laugh with us.

When I mentioned the incident regarding Roland, I was careful to watch for my teacher's expressions, worried that he would scold me for going overboard, and then order me to barbeque Roland on a stake.

But upon hearing my story, Alstier was the first to laugh out loud. "No wonder you had no prejudice against this evil Dark Elf. When you're already best friends with a Death Knight, what's a mere Dark Elf to you?"

My teacher, on the other hand, had a fondly exasperated expression as he said, "You are really getting out of control."

"Teacher, you won't expose this secret about Roland, will you?" I asked with no small amount of worry.

After a minute of silence, he looked at me in the eye and said seriously, "You have to swear to me that you won't let him leave the Holy Temple; and you'll have to exterminate him before you retire at the age of forty."

I was about to protest against killing Roland when my teacher cut in in a hard tone, "He'll already have had an additional twenty years, it's enough. Unless you wish for him to die at the hands of your successor, you have to kill him while you still have the God of Light's blessings. Otherwise, you might not have sufficient powers to kill him after you've passed on the Holy Sun Blade to the next Sun Knight."

I went quiet at that, and after a few long moments of silence, I nodded. Although, I felt that when the time comes I might not be able to do the deed…… but, I'll deal with it later when the time comes. No need to worry about something that'll happen years later!

"You've always been too soft-hearted. As long as they don't harm you, you would never raise a hand against them, even when they are the most dangerous of beings."

He sighed and patted my head. "I cannot say that this trait of yours is bad, for if not for this very same trait, Alstier would never have become friends with you. But, this trait of yours is also very dangerous. I worry that one day you will pay a hefty price for your trusting nature. "

I bowed my head, pretending to accept his teachings. 'Honestly, he's already retired, yet he still can't stop lecturing his student.'

"Child," he called. When I looked back up at him, he ruffled my hair as if I was still a small child and said softly, "No matter what happens, don't forget that I'm here."

"Remember to count me in," Alstier added casually.

My heart warmed upon hearing their words, but I couldn't resist complaining, "As if! Teacher, you disappeared the moment you handed over the title to me. If you had stuck around I wouldn't have had to go up against the king and princess! With you there they probably would have just shut up and do as they are told; I wouldn't have had to crack my head over the problem."

My teacher cuffed me behind my head at that. "You brat! You're already all grown up; you can't ask me to stay by your side, holding your hand all the way! Deal with such small problems yourself!"

"If that's what you call 'a small problem' then may I ask what exactly I can go to you with? Don't tell me I can only call for your help when I'm up against a dragon?......" I muttered as I rubbed the sore spot on my head. I only got an eye roll from my teacher and a muffled chuckle from Alstier. At that, I too started chuckling. If there really was any dragon slaying to be done, the Holy Temple would have mobilised a whole army, and my Twelve Holy Knights would have been by my side. With them there, I wouldn't need to trouble my teacher for anything.

And so, as we bantered back and forth, we steadily made our way around the cave. Right now, my teacher was dealing with the undead by himself; Alstier and I were hanging around at the back, chatting.

"Neo's so strong! Even amongst my people who are known for their fighting prowess, none can compare to him."

"Yes, he's history's strongest Sun Knight. With how strong he is right now, can you imagine how strong he was back then when he still had the divine blessings from the God of Light?"

"Having the God of Light's blessings shouldn't matter, should it?" asked Alstier cooly. "Even with blessings, would Neo's sword skills improve any at all?"

"Er……" I watched Alstier carefully. The latter doesn't seem to like the topic of religion? "It's true that his sword skills would not improve, but being the representative of the God of Light does bring some advantages."

This topic seemed to really bother Alstier, as he replied, "Increasing one's holy aura is not a good enough reason to devote one's self to the God of Light."

I tilted my head to the side as I thought about it. I then brought up what I felt was the best example. "I am currently the thirty-eighth Sun Knight, but did you know that of the thirty-seven Sun Knights that came before me, not a single one of them had died whilst holding the title?"

A strange expression flickered across his expression and he asked in disbelief, "Are you saying that the Sun Knights cannot die?"

"Of course not," I rolled my eyes at him and said exasperatedly, "just very hard to kill us, is all. Because we are filled with so much holy aura, our self-healing abilities are extremely strong. As long as we do not receive a fatal blow, it is very hard for us to die."

At that moment, my teacher chose to cut in with a laugh. As he continued hacking away at the undead around him, he added, "It's said that the tenth generation Sun Knight once received a slash across the chest so deep that even his heart was cut. Yet, he still lived."

Alstier only shook his head in amazement.

I smiled and said, "So you see, with how strong my teacher is now, if he were to still retain that amazingly strong self-healing ability, he would be even more invincible--"

I suddenly stopped.

Alstier shot me a look. "Creus?"

I took a deep breath before pointing ahead and saying, "I think we've reached our destination. I can sense an extremely strong water aura at the end of that turning!"

Hearing that, my teacher swiftly dealt with the last undead. He then raised his sword, held the position for about three seconds before swinging it forward……

My gold hair and Alstier's white hair were whipped back by the force of the blow. We stared on woodenly as the path ahead seemed to explode with a hundred explosive magic scrolls, one after another, until at last we heard a last loud 'boom!'

The entire corridor swirled with dust and debris……

My teacher turned to us and said brightly, "Alright, the undead have all been dealt with! Child, go in and have a rest, and when you're ready, purify the area. Don't worry; I'll be standing out here to make sure that no other creatures come in and disturb you."

Alstier turned to look at me and said stiffly, "I really don't think Neo needs any of the God of Light's blessings. Nothing can kill him as it is."

"I think you're right," I agreed wholeheartedly.


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