Chapter 100 : The Beginning of Hatred

(Author: Friendly Reminder: Please read through this entire chapter patiently.)

Where…where is this??

The marking, it’s close now.

Even though I still didn’t completely understand what it was, I rushed forward without a care.

So close, so close…I can almost touch it now!

—Poppy!

Di Qi Ju:…

Di Qi Ju:…it’s a dead end.

Staring at the wall before for a couple of seconds, I raised my head blankly.

This…it’s the outer wall of the Grand Coliseum. That’s the bowl shape of the audience stands up there.

Right there, there’s someone.

Di Qi Ju:—Poppy!!!

However, it wasn’t Poppy.

Instead, I saw the figure of a man. From my standpoint, the outline that tiny hat and half head of black hair seemed even more conspicuous than usual.

I still remembered his appearance clearly, it was just as old-fashioned as before.

Di Qi Ju:…

Di Qi Ju:Coagan?

Coagan: I see you still remember my name, Di Qi Ju.

The voice that cascaded from above me confirmed my theory even more.

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Di Qi Ju: You…what are you doing here?

Coagan: What am I doing here? I’m just inviting you to watch a spectacular show, that’s all.

As he said that, his lips curled into what looked like a mirthful smile and yet in the midst of that mirth, I could feel a bone-chilling coldness.

Eyes locked onto him, I wasn’t able to make out the finer details of his face but I could clearly feel the smugness oozing off him.

He raised his hand and on it, I could see a glittering point on one of his fingers. It was the unique glitter you would expect from a ring or accessory.

Coagan: This ring is actually able to draw you here.

Di Qi Ju: —that’s…

“Starfall”, it has to be.

Di Qi Ju: …what’s that doing in your hands?

Coagan: It’s just a ring, there’s nothing hard about obtaining it if I set my mind to it.

Coagan: I just didn’t expect it to actually contain your wish points. To think the marking I created using those points were really able to draw you here.

Coagan: Looks like it wasn’t a waste of time after all, eavesdropping on that little princess and her servant in Reitdarke’s palace.

Di Qi Ju: You…

Di Qi Ju: What exactly are you trying to accomplish by luring me here, you criminal…

Coagan: Criminal? Oh right, Reitdarke still has a bounty out on me. I’m sure you know of the feud between you and I already.

Di Qi Ju: I…of course I do.

Coagan: —You’ve killed my brother and yet I’ve failed to kill you with my pride and joy. Perhaps you’re really as undying as they say.

Coagan: “Undying” Di Qi Ju…

Coagan: Oh my oh my, how exactly am I going to exact my revenge on you?

Di Qi Ju: So you’re saying you lured me here to take revenge on me?

Coagan: Hahahahahahaha…

It was a bizarre laugh, one that a normal human being couldn’t produce.

It had the low reverberation of a vengeful ghost and heralded his violent mockery.

Even though I knew that his body hadn’t changed at all, that voice inexplicably made me think that he was a different person entirely. Looks like he’s another ruthless desperado.

Coagan: Di Qi Ju, you’re looking for someone aren’t you?

Di Qi Ju: —!?!?

Di Qi Ju: You…

Coagan: You’re looking for this person, right?

He lifted up his other hand which was grabbing onto something at the moment.

Di Qi Ju:…

At that instant, my blood froze.

Even though it was scorching hot summer day, why did it feel like I had thrown into an abyss of absolute zero.

That coldness, it penetrated my bones and pierced my heart.

—grasped tightly in his hands was a familiar head of reddish chestnut hair and just below it was the same set of casual wear which had been beside me not too long ago.

It seemed like she was unconscious from my angle and as he flipped her around with a tug and spin of his hands, her face came into full view.

…Poppy.

Coagan: Looks like I was right, you were looking for her.

Di Qi Ju:……

Instantly, my heart was twisted up into a knot by some unseen force that left me gasping for air.

How…had he always been lurking around me, waiting for the chance to strike out and take his revenge?

Coagan: Hah, what an amusing expression you have on right now, Di Qi Ju. You look just like those machines I created in the past, helpless and unable to resist my whims.

Di Qi Ju: Give her…

Coagan: Hmmm?

Di Qi Ju: Giver her….

Coagan: Ah, you want her back, don’t you?

Coagan: Sure, no problem at all, Di Qi Ju.

Di Qi Ju:…huh?

—*slash*!!!

The sound of something metallic slicing into flesh.

As that sound dissipated in the air, Poppy fell off the outer wall of the Grand Coliseum and freefell right in front of me…

Di Qi Ju:…

…however, it was only her head.

Those reddish strands of hair danced in the air like a willow tree swaying the wind. Amidst her rolling, I could vaguely make out her expression, it almost seemed like she was asleep right now.

So fragile as if it would shatter in an instant if I didn’t catch it.

And yet, there wasn’t a single ounce of strength left in me to catch that dancing mass of red.

–thump!

Di Qi Ju: ……

What happened…

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Exactly how did it turn out like this…

Exactly what did Poppy do wrong to deserve this?

Her reddish chestnut hair came to a rest atop her head. Like grave soil, it covered her head, her expression and everything left of her.

The oozing red liquid slowly streamed the cracks between the street tiles and formed a miniature river.

As for me, I could only stand there in a daze while it all happened…

*splash*—-!!

Di Qi Ju: —!?

That mix of purple of green fluid streamed down from the heavens and so happened to land upon the focal point of my gaze and immediately, it corroded into nothingness.

Where was the last time I witnessed such a scene?

Probably when I was in a chemistry lab and I callously tossed some pieces of protein into various test tubes of acid…

…she was gone. Absolutely nothing was left of her except for those rising fumes of death.

Di Qi Ju:….

Di Qi Ju: Co…a…gan…

Above me, he was in the midst of pouring something as well; that spot was covered in that same smoke cloud.

Coagan: Hah, truly an entertaining but short performance don’t you agree, Di Qi Ju?

Coagan: That look on your face right now, it has to be the biggest reward I’ve gotten today.

Coagan: My revenge is over. So it’s about time for me to return to Cold Iron as well.

Coagan: To return to my homeland and continue leading the life I deserve…

With a whoosh, his figure shot into the air in a bizarre manner and promptly vanished into the building.

Just like a well-rehearsed performance, all that happened too smoothly, too quickly.

As that man disappeared from sight, I finally came to my senses as if I had woken up from a dream.

Di Qi Ju:…

Di Qi Ju: Poppy….

She’s dead….

Her head…her corpse…they’ve been destroyed…

Coagan killed her…

Killer her…

Killed…

……

Kill him.

Coagan…

Kill him!!

Di Qi Ju: —Coagan!!!

Di Qi Ju: You…

Di Qi Ju: I’m going to…

–kill!!

Not enough!! That’s not enough!!

You dared to murder Poppy?!?! You actually dared to—

Not enough!! Just killing isn’t enough!!

Kill…everything…EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING I’LL KILL EVERYTHING!!

I’m going to level this place!! Until there’s nothing left of this place!!

I want this entire world to pay for my woman’s death!!!!

Di Qi Ju: Release–!! DISGUISE RELEASE!!

Di Qi Ju: One hundred per—

Di Qi Ju: —guh!

Suddenly, my throat was violently invaded by four fingers that forcefully interrupted my furious yelling.

Right after that, the bellowing of a man exploded in my ears–

Halfmoon Leak’age: –DI QI JU!! THIS MASTER WANTS YOU TO CALM DOWN THIS INSTANT!!

Di Qi Ju:—guh guh!!

I won’t listen!! Don’t try to stop me!!

I bit into his fingers with a resounding crack while I continued mumbling.

Yet no matter how much he prattled, he wasn’t able to change my mind.

Halfmoon Leak’age: Di Qi Ju!! If you did what you were thinking of just now, how would you be any different from this master in the past?!

Halfmoon Leak’age: The true mastermind is gone already and yet you wish to implicate countless innocent bystanders, is this the outcome you want??

Halfmoon Leak’age: The method you show your love for her, is it by destroying the world she used to live in? That moment of catharsis, is that the extent of your love for her?

Halfmoon Leak’age: The wish points given to you Westrealm, are they meant for such foolishness!?

Di Qi Ju:…

Di Qi Ju:……

Di Qi Ju:……….

Di Qi Ju: Yes. Master Halfmoon, she used to be my entire world.

Di Qi Ju: My entire world used to only contain her.

Di Qi Ju: Master Halfmoon…

Di Qi Ju: …I’m not actually a person of this world.

Halfmoon Leak’age:…

Di Qi Ju: I had everything stolen from me when I was sent to this world.

Di Qi Ju: Westrealm’s blessing was something I shouldn’t have at all. There was nothing in this world I felt an attachment to, at least that was how it was supposed to be…

Di Qi Ju: You don’t know…before I met you all, I only had her…I only had Poppy.

Di Qi Ju: That’s why I must take revenge myself!

Di Qi Ju: I can leave the others alone but Coagan must die.

Di Qi Ju: I’m sorry, Master Halfmoon, but I’ve made my decision…

Di Qi Ju: Please return and pass on a message to Breman for me, tell him I’m sorry.

Di Qi Ju: …I’m leaving.

With another crack, I stomped on his feet and left his silent, crouching figure behind me.

Whatever connection I had with place was severed along with Poppy’s fall.

……

……

Days later, in the dead of night, on the top floor of the Mechanist Symposium.

*knock knock knock knock*— The continuous sound of knocking made the occupant within who was still buried in her research exceptionally unhappy.

Naphier pressed down upon the leather hat she almost never took off and pulled open the door with the force of her anger.

Naphier: Just look at the time, exactly how many times do I have to say this, do not—

Naphier: …you’re Di Qi Ju?

Di Qi Ju: …that’s right.

Naphier: You…what happened to you? I heard you went missing a few days ago. Even after the end of the Three Battles no one saw a trace of you.

Naphier: Your face…is it alright?

Di Qi Ju: I’m fine, just really worn out right now.

Naphier:……

Naphier: So what do you need me for?

Di Qi Ju: Right…I want to know if you have a method of resurrecting the dead?

Naphier: Resurrection…

Di Qi Ju: I have here with me the remains of a dead person, can you take a look?

Di Qi Ju undid the buttons on his chest and revealed a string tied around his neck. Hung on it was a transparent little bottle with a strange purplish green fluid within it.

Hearing that, Naphier hesitated for a moment but after seeing the haggard look on his face, she gave a sigh of helplessness.

Naphier:…we have in fact conducted such theoretical research. However, we haven’t even fleshed out those theories yet, let alone conduct experiments on resurrection.

Di Qi Ju:…

Di Qi Ju: Is that so.

He didn’t seem disappointed at all nor did he try to pursue this topic any further. It was as if he had already expected this outcome.

With regards to that reaction, Naphier didn’t know what to say either. All she did was watch him bow slightly as if he was about to bid his farewell.

Naphier:…if you invest enough points, wishing for it directly might have a greater chance of succeeding.

Di Qi Ju: It’s useless, I already tried that…

He gently closed the door and disappeared amidst the soft pitter patter of his footsteps.

Di Qi Ju: …even 100 000 wish points wasn’t enough to revive her.

……

……

Revenge.

Suddenly, my life was suddenly devoid of anything except that one world. How did I feel about that?

Nothing, absolutely nothing at all.

All I felt was a foreign force that pressed me to act and controlled my movements.

—revenge.

My nemesis was in Cold Iron, other than that I knew nothing else about him.

I won’t trouble my friends. Pulling them into my revenge was the last thing I wanted to do. That would simply be a repeat of that mistake Halfmoon Leak’age was talking about.

The feeling I got from that marking, it still existed. It had already gone to a far away place…in the north.

Assuming he hasn’t thrown that ring away already, I could still find him!

I want to complete this revenge of mine with my own two hands. I want him to experience a pain that couldn’t be anymore painful.

However, I wasn’t planning to embark on this trip alone either…

I had already had a suitable candidate in mind…

……

……

In the distant north of the Divine Hall, in the country of Cold Iron…

Amidst the full blown onset of spring, Cold Iron instead had the coldness you would expect from the beginning of autumn.

Yet, this could be considered a warm period for this country.

All throughout the country, its citizens finally had the rare opportunity to shed their thick winter clothes and put on a set of casual clothing while enjoying an equally rare sense of freedom only afforded by this season.

However, there was one place where such levity was noticeably absent.

Blutgerinnm the place where blood coagulates.

The entire territory was enveloped by a deathlike silence as if it was a ghost city.

Along its deserted and lifeless streets, the sounds of a carriage galloping along amidst a creepy backdrop of silence made the ghost city even more like a horror movie than usual.

It was an unwelcome guest to this region of death. Yet, those who could appreciate such a spooky setting had long passed away.

*gah*—As the driver gently tugged on the horse, the carriage came to an abrupt halt.

Removing the little hat on his head, he tidied up his hair which looked more like wither grass than hair and sighed for no apparent reason.

Coagan: We’re home, our clan’s home.

Coagan: Who would’ve thought that I would be able to muster the courage to come here within my lifetime…so this is how our clan territory is like.

Coagan: If someone managed to follow us here, I wonder if they would report us and then have us apprehended…

Coagan: However, that’s not really a reason to hesitate either.

Coagan: —after all, I’m sure the entire world thinks you’re dead, Poppy.

Coagan: My dear kinsman…and the damned winner of our bet!


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