The second day of the Three Battles…on the night of the first day of the Battle of Death…
The streets of Skills bustled with an unending racket.
In the ears of the ordinary folk and those who made a living off fighting, all they heard was the chanting of one name.
Sword Soul, Savile.
It was an atmosphere you would expect at a hero’s homecoming or a savior’s reappearance. It was only in the country of Skills, with its strength-worshipping strength, where one could witness such a sight.
Even though they still didn’t know the reason for her disappearance two years ago right after her crowning as the double champion, none of them cared about that at this very moment.
Worship, jubilation, envy, not matter what the rhetoric was, they were all similar in their depiction of the Sword Soul’s strength.
Other than this mainstream discussion, there were also other groups of people who focused their attention on something entirely different.
For example, the gamblers who spent most of their time in the casinos. The name that graced their lips wasn’t Savile but rather “Cold Wind Empress”.
Even under those baseless and unlikely conditions, the Cold Wind Empress still managed to triumph over Ferdila in a showdown of pure luck.
Thus, there were even some who suspected that tonight’s temporary closure of his casino had to do with this.
Yet at the same time, there was another unexpected name that was whispered amongst one of the groups who weren’t part of the mainstream discussion. A name which started countless threads of intertwining debates.
Merchant A: Did you watch the Death matches today?
Merchant B: Mhm, I was there till the end of the very last match where the Sword Soul made her appearance.
Merchant A: Then…you must have noticed that person as well, didn’t you?
Merchant B: Ah, of course.
Merchant A: His name was… “Di Qi Ju”?
Merchant B: That’s right, Di Qi Ju.
Merchant A: Even though it’s still early in my search for a decent warrior to add to my personal forces, but that Di Qi Ju was truly astonishing.
Merchant B: I know, it’s so astonishing that it’s almost scary…
Merchant A: I assume you were there as well when he got pummeled to a pulp by his opponent’s fist. To think he could still slowly recover his human form from that state and even emerge unscathed.
Merchant B: A monster for sure…
Merchant A: Compared to those warriors who loved to put on airs as if they were some sort of king, his behavior seemed almost unnatural.
Merchant B: What’s the matter, you’re thinking of hiring him?
Merchant A: No, I haven’t decided yet. Speaking of which, an intriguing thought just occurred to me.
Merchant B: …I think I can guess what you’re going to say.
Merchant B: “If he’s truly undying, then he should be the most likely contender to become the champion of the Death matches”?
Merchant A: It’s not like I’ve never heard of a regeneration or revival ability like that but those abilities consumes your stamina. Without any skills to back up that ability, that person will end up getting worn down to death.
Merchant B: But he didn’t seem to mind the attrition at all or perhaps…his ability wasn’t even regeneration to begin with, what if it merely resembled regeneration?
Merchant A: How is that even possible!?
Merchant B: Hah…forget it, forget it. Let’s leave it at that for now.
Merchant B: The only people who would dissect this issue to that extent are merchants like us who rely on precise scheming to make a living.
Merchant A: That’s right, matters of warriors should be left to warriors.
Merchant A: But if I were to make a small wager, I would definitely place my bets on him winning this year’s Battle of Death.
Merchant A: “The Undying One”…Di Qi Ju.
One’day High: Commander Breman, there’s something I wish to discuss with you for a moment.
Having finished a whole day of operation, the main hall of the Checkered Path Inn was now empty except for me and Breman.
It seemed like One’day High specifically chose this kind of moment to approach Breman. From the look on his face, it seemed like a serious matter.
In the afternoon, not too long after we left the coliseum earlier by ourselves, One’day High came back as well. Alone.
His reactions and behavior seemed the same as always. In fact, right after dinner he even went over to Three’floral Dawn’s office to perform his role as liaison.
It was an ordinary One’day High, so ordinary it almost seemed like that reunion with Savile was merely a figment of my imagination.
Right now however, my instincts were telling me that One’day High was about to make a monumental decision.
Breman: Alright. Are you alright with Di Qi Ju listening in?
Di Qi Ju: Err…I think I’ll pass on that. It’s better if I leave.
One’day High: —it’s fine if he listens in because…I’ve basically made my decision already.
Di Qi Ju:……
Breman: Is that so…
Breman: Well, have a seat first.
One’day High: Alright.
The three of us sat down around the dining table. The two of them sat face to face like the previous time when we sat down to hear him recount his story.
One’day High: I’ll cut straight to the point then.
One’day High: …I wish to withdraw from Faith’s Expeditionary Forces.
Di Qi Ju:…
Leave the Expeditionary Forces? So he’s leaving us?
Breman: Is that so.
Breman didn’t seem the least bit surprised by what he said, or rather, it seemed like he expected this from the beginning.
Breman: I’m sure you’re aware that I watched today’s matches as well.
Breman: Even though I was mostly busy in the second half searching for potential investors, but there’s no way I would miss out on the appearance of Sword Soul Savile.
Breman: I take it the two of you bumped into each other at the backstage.
One’day High: …that’s right.
Breman: How were the past two years for her?
One’day High: She passed them pretty normally.
Breman: Let’s hear it then, I’m sure the two of you talked about something.
One’day High: …okay.
One’day High: Truth be told, we misunderstood each other on that fateful day we split up.
Di Qi Ju:…?
One’day High: Back then, I saw a certain determination and unwillingness to back down in her eyes.
One’day High: I thought that the shame of having her secret discovered would turn to anger and that she would just take that opportunity to come clean and kick me out of the world she truly belonged in.
One’day High: “That’s how it is, we don’t even belong to the same world.” That was what I thought her eyes were telling me.
One’day High: At the same time, Savile thought that the me who despised weapons and fighting would give up on her after witnessing her fight.
One’day High: We both assumed that the other would no longer forgive us.
One’day High: Thus, Savile left that fighting lifestyle and ended up meeting the princess of Reitdarke, Naysis Ferne, in a different location.
Di Qi Ju: Naysis Ferne…
One’day High: She so happened to stumble upon the princess while one of her ex-boyfriends was in the midst of taking revenge on her for dumping him. She ended up saving her after which she became the princess’ bodyguard for a living.
One’day High: Those experiences transformed her lifestyle.
One’day High: For those two years, she constantly searched for a way to understand me while staying by the Princess’ side. She hoped that, through understanding, she would slowly come to terms with our break up and eventually forget about me.
One’day High:…and that’s it.
Di Qi Ju:…
Breman: That’s it? That’s what you talked about after meeting with her?
One’day High: That’s right, that’s all I asked.
Breman: Then you made the decision to leave my Expeditionary Force?
One’day High: That’s right.
Breman’s face subtly changed back and forth between a turbid expression and a clear one. Looking at his face, one couldn’t tell if he wanted to erupt in anger, just let him go or a mixture of both.
In the end, he simply sighed.
Breman: I guess this is to be expected, huh?
One’day High: …hm?
Breman: If you think about it, when you abandoned your own career and future to look for her, you already showed what kind of position she held in your heart.
Breman: I doubt you even forgot about her for a second. Just looking at the way you constantly tried to understand her world and return to her side, you could say that she had always been by your side, living in your world day in, day out.
Breman: Whether it was your solo journey or your decision to join my expedition, all of that was for her sake.
Breman: On the other hand, that Savile was probably the same as well.
Breman: The moment she made that decision to become Naysis Ferne’s servant, she was destined to remember you for the rest of her life.
Breman: There was simply no way she could forget about you by staying with Naysis Ferne. All that did was continuously deepen the impression you had on her by imprinting your image onto Naysis Ferne.
Breman: That was why she was willing to lower her status as “Sword Soul”, the double champion of Skills , to become some servant in a neighboring country…
Breman: The two of you…if either one of you spoke up then and clarified the situation, you wouldn’t have ended up in my country at all.
Breman: And that’s why your departure is only to be expected, don’t you think?
One’day High: Then—
Breman: —just do as you please.
One’day High: Ah…
One’day High: —thank you!!
With a bang, he suddenly lowered his head in a bow that caused his head to bang against the table. However, he didn’t mind that one bit.
At this very moment, it seemed like nothing could cause him pain.
Lifting up his head, he smiled from the bottom of his heart and he seemed to become younger by ten years in that instant.
Di Qi Ju: But…is that really alright?
Di Qi Ju: Are you going to leave us right away? What do you plan on doing from now?
One’day High: I’m sorry Little Ju but Savile is truly the most important person to me.
One’day High: As for the future…I plan on accompanying her as she participates in the Three Battles. Perhaps we might apply for permanent residency here after the Three Battles.
One’day High: If I should ever get sick of such a lifestyle, it wouldn’t be too late to rejoin Faith then, would it?
Breman: Sigh, just spare me those words, don’t turn this into some kind of sappy drama.
One’day High: Haha…I guess you’re right.
One’day High: Your words just now, somehow it sounded so detailed that it makes me think you aren’t a man at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that you’re some female love guru.
Di Qi Ju:…
Breman: Yo—you’re already turning your nose up at me? Technically, you’re still my subordinate, don’t you know.
Breman: Before we decide to return to Faith, you’d better work hard as my liaison with Three’floral Dawn! I still have a ton of matters to handle regarding our financial matters and investment!
Breman: Hmph, if you force my hand, a perpetually single man like me won’t show any mercy in tearing you two lovebirds apart.
Di Qi Ju: Ah, that sudden change of tone…
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Special thanks to Kaung Thant Win Naing!!
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.