Nine Heaven: One’day High…
Nine Heaven: Ah, I remember that name. But…
Nine Heaven: That’s all I remember of it.
One’day High: …
Nine Heaven: Are you the one who had these men attack me? Seems like you’ve retired from the financial world.
Nine Heaven: I didn’t think such an action was possible for the previous you.
One’day High: ……Leak’age, we’re leaving.
Halfmoon Leak’age: What? Is that the commander’s orders?
One’day High: No, it’s my personal judgement.
One’day High: I know him, he isn’t a part of the military police. That commotion just now has already alerted the real military police, our mission has failed.
One’day High: We can talk about this later.
Halfmoon Leak’age: …
Halfmoon Leak’age: Alright. I’ll listen to your suggestion then.
Nine Heaven: Huh, what’s the meaning of this? Trying to leave just like that?! Teasing someone like that?
Nine Heaven: Exactly who do you think I am—
However, he didn’t manage to finish that sentence. Right in the corner of his eyes was the dangerous glint of an arrow. Someone was aiming at him right now from several paces away.
Slowly tilting his head to the side, he saw a youth with a fully drawn bow that had three strange, but undoubtedly dangerous, arrows already nocked with a fourth waiting in his mouth.
Nine Heaven had experienced that youth’s arrows not too long ago and naturally wasn’t too eager to do so again, especially in a one versus three like this.
One’day High: Meeting you here was nothing but a coincidence, Nine Heaven.
One’day High: I heard…you’ve already left your previous life and have come here to participate in the Three Battles?
Nine Heaven: …what are you trying to say?
One’day High: What I’m trying to say is…since I’ve stumbled upon you, I’m going to use my own methods to settle the debt between us.
One’day High: That’s all.
Having said that, the three of them swiftly hid in the shadows; though they still maintained eye contact as they disappeared slowly.
Watching their profiles vanish one by one, he made sure to remember their faces.
What was to be a precaution against future trouble ended up bringing him an even bigger problem.
In the dead of night, within the Checkered Path…
Breman: One’day High, how about you tell me what happened tonight.
Breman: Right from the very beginning.
The pair sat facing each other while their companions sat beside them, patiently waiting for the answer.
While he was seated facing One’day High, Breman’s face wasn’t looking at the man; instead, it was turned to the side with a noticeably displeased look on it as he gazed out the pitch black window.
One’day High: …alright.
He breathed in deeply, and with his head slightly lowered, embarked on a soliloquy about his backstory.
One’day High: From a very young age, I was your typical Numbers citizen with no other dream except to grow up to be a typical Numbers adult.
One’day High: Study, gain experience and finally enter the financial world in order to make a name for ourselves. That was the standard for life in Numbers.
One’day High: I wasn’t an exception to this rule either. Like others before me, I entered the financial world and slowly climbed up the corporate ladder.
One’day High: After accumulating a certain amount of capital, I would naturally start up a business of my own as well.
One’day High: …at the same time, I had someone I was about to marry as well.
One’day High: She was an immigrant from Cold Iron. Her hometown was a village ravaged by constant warfare; this was what led her to leave her home country and make the trip south to seek permanent residence in Skills.
One’day High: I met her by chance during one of my business negotiations in Skills. She was my first love.
One’day High: She was a decent woman; a straightforward, cheerful woman. Compared to a scheming businessman like me, it was like she was from a completely different world.
One’day High: In the time I’ve spent with her, I felt extremely at ease, thus I decided that she had to be the one.
One’day High: In fact, I had this feeling that if I were to miss out on this opportunity, I would never be able to meet another girl like her.
One’day High: Back then, all I knew of her was that she mostly relied on her strength to make a living for herself, everything else was a mystery to me.
One’day High: However, I didn’t mind that there might be some status difference between us; as long as she didn’t mind me, all these were problems that could be worked out once we got married.
One’day High: Our relationship proceeded smoothly without much hindrance. At that time, I couldn’t foresee anything that could possibly stop the birth of my future household.
One’day High: Back then, the corporation I worked with had an important business meeting scheduled with Three’floral Dawn’s corporation.
One’day High: That negotiation was about the future and ownership of the transport industry in Numbers; it was a meeting that didn’t allow for any margin of error.
One’day High: As one of the representatives, I was inundated by the preparations for the past few days and simply had no time to spend on my own wedding preparations.
One’day High: On the day of the negotiations…
As he said that, the corners of his mouth rose slightly and his brows knitted together in a helpless, bitter smile.
One’day High: I still remember that burning, summer day. I had just dressed up and was on my way to the conference when I was approached by a long-haired man.
One’day High: I didn’t know who he was then, it was him who called out to me instead and that was why I responded to him.
One’day High: After some pleasantries, he suddenly brought up the matter of my marriage.
One’day High: He then said…
One’day High: “Today, I saw your fiance. It seems like she’s a participant of the Three Battles and is in the middle of a match right now.”
One’day High: ……
One’day High: …hearing that, I was stunned into silence.
One’day High: What was she doing in that vulgar place where people fought?
One’day High: Back then, my opinion regarding such matters was extremely biased. To the me back then, those people were merely savages who knew how to use weapons, and money was a far superior weapon than any old sword or blade.
One’day High: To the businessmen of Numbers, those participants were nothing but servants who we hired.
One’day High: So what was she doing there?
One’day High: She had never told me…about such a thing!
One’day High: Why did she hide this from me? Is it because I told her I didn’t like that sort of person?
One’day High: Why must she lie to me?
One’day High: That long-haired man’s words had left an indelible ink stain on my heart.
Di Qi Ju: …..
One’day High: In the end…
One’day High: I skipped out on that important negotiations meeting, and went to see that Three Battles match.
One’day High: It was there that I saw her…
One’day High: Standing there amidst an audience that stretched as far as the eye could see, stabbing holes into her opponent with a fine sword in a flurry of blows that were too fast for the naked eye to see. All the while, the crowd cheered wildly and finally reached a crescendo when her opponent surrendered.
One’day High: I couldn’t accept the sight before me, whether it was the cheering crowds or her nonchalant acceptance of that victory…
One’day High: That was the last battle of her Three Battles, next came the King’s christening ceremony where she was to receive her title and prize from the King personally.
One’day High: Standing at the backstage of the rest area, I saw her and she saw me.
One’day High: Neither of us said a word as we locked gazes.
One’day High: …we simply stood there for a long while until finally, an attendant came up to her and informed her that it was time for the ceremony.
One’day High: …then, as silent as before, she turned around, left for the center of the ring and accepted the King’s award.
One’day High: From that moment on, we lost contact with each other completely.
One’day High: Because I had skipped out on a critical business negotiation, I was seen as a commercial spy of Three’floral Dawn’s and was quickly removed from the corporation.
One’day High: There was no longer a place in Numbers for me and my entire career was destroyed.
One’day High: In the end, I chose to leave for the south in order to find work until I finally found myself in the Expeditionary Forces of Faith.
One’day High: …that long-haired man we encountered just now was that very same man who made me miss that negotiations meeting.
One’day High: It was only later that I found out that he was Three’floral’s man.
One’day High: I was set up by him. He definitely told me that piece of news for commercial reasons; no matter what, I’ll never forget the pain he inflicted on me.
One’day High: I even changed my hairstyle to that of his in order to constantly remind myself of this shame.
One’day High: So…
One’day High: …that was why I did what I did just now.
One’day High: Looking at the outcome, I did in fact ruin tonight’s mission. I’m willing to accept any punishment.
Lee Sole’shot: ….
Halfmoon Leak’age: …
Breman: That was a really long story.
He finally turned around and faced the man with a calm yet probing look.
Breman: Let me ask you, since you left your home country until now, what have you done?
One’day High: …I familiarized myself with certain lifestyles that I hadn’t considered in the past.
One’day High: Weapons, fights, enemies, and…women.
Breman: Is that so…
Breman: That explains why the person in that story sounded so different from the you right now.
Breman: I’m in no way older than you but I can sort of understand that paradigm shift…
Breman: You, are you still doing these sort of things with the intention of taking revenge?
One’day High: …
One’day High: No.
One’day High: I just wanted to start a new life; all that was, was nothing but a painful lesson…
One’day High: It’s just that there were two matters that caught my attention when I came to Reitdarke recently and it was these matters that brought this sordid past to the forefront.
Breman: What were they?
One’day High: One was the contact with Three’floral Dawn due to work reasons. Thanks to that, I had the opportunity to ask about that man, “Nine Heaven”.
One’day High: It was precisely because of this bit of connection that I ended up getting some intelligence on my foe.
Breman: So that’s why you were acting so strangely these past two days…
Breman: And what’s the other matter?
One’day High: The other was that…
One’day High: After coming here, I quickly learnt that the person I was going to marry had disappeared soon after accepting that award.
Breman: Exactly who was your fiance?
Halfmoon Leak’age: —”Sword Soul”, Saville Kuine.
Halfmoon Leak’age: I heard you shout that name “Saville” in front of that man.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Am I right in saying that?
One’day High: …
One’day High: That’s right.
Di Qi Ju: …
Mo Chuan was lying in wait at a hidden corner for his target to return.
By his estimations, now was about the time for that little lady, Bailey Estrange, to turn in for the day. In the midst of her rest however, a man suddenly turned up at her house and told her that he had a “package” for her. She left in a hurry after that, and that was why they were here right now.
Even though she wasn’t afraid of him because he had saved her before, dragging around a frenzied Seasonal Wolf along the crowded streets was still a rather silly thing to do.
In short, not only did he have to ensure her safety, he had to deal with the bothersome feelings of these onlookers as well.
As Reitdarke had no official postal system to speak of, most messages had to be delivered by mouth or collected personally at the postal office.
The fact that she insisted on rushing here before the postal office closed showed how much she was looking forward to this letter.
Bailey: Hah…Mister Wolf, we can go back now.
Mo Chuan: Mhm, it’s good that it went smoothly.
Having barely taken a few steps back home, she couldn’t help but tear open the letter in her hands.
Mo Chuan: What’s the rush, is it a letter from your boyfriend?
Bailey: Even if I had a boyfriend, it can’t compare to this—it’s a letter from my brother!
Mo Chuan: Brother huh…
Bailey: Mhm, right now he’s my only remaining family member.
Mo Chuan: Is that so…
He had picked up on the meaning behind her words and stopped himself from asking any further questions. Instead, it was Bailey who began talking about it.
Bailey: After my parents passed away, my older brother went off to the south to make a name for himself.
Bailey: I was still young then so I couldn’t follow him and had to rely on my parent’s previous connections to enroll in a school.
Mo Chuan: Then, are you thinking of following in your brother’s footsteps?
Bailey: Probably not.
Bailey: I’m not the kind of person who enjoys climbing mountains and hiking through forests.
Mo Chuan: ….
Mo Chuan: I guess that’s for the best as well.
Seeing her bland smile, he couldn’t help but abandon whatever comforting words he intended to use.
This little lady didn’t need anyone to comfort her at all.
As they walked up to a lamp post, his own footsteps stopped when the girl’s steps abruptly halted as well.
She unfolded the letter, and using the illumination from the lamp post above, began to read it.
Mo Chuan: …?
A strange, icy cold look.
Looking at the girl clutch at the paper motionlessly, he immediately noticed the change in her. Her breathing motions had stopped completely; whatever was written on that letter made her stop breathing.
Mo Chuan: What’s the matter??
Bailey: My brother’s dead.
Mo Chuan: …
It was bad news…that wasn’t a letter from her family member but rather, it was a letter written by someone else.
Bailey: My brother he…as the Expeditionary Forces of Faith were embarking on their expedition, he ambushed a convoy and was knocked down into the ravine by someone…
Bailey: Those who were with him were publicly executed for killing a member of the expedition.
Mo Chuan: …
This time, it was Mo Chuan who stopped breathing.
Bailey: There’s a notice attached here from the execution announcement; according to it, the laborers who he killed were…
Bailey: “Mo Chuan”…
Mo Chuan: …
Bailey: …”Di Qi Ju”.
Mo Chuan: …
Special thanks to Kaung Thant Win Naing!!