GOD —The Beginning of the End— Volume 4: The First Duel
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 1: Currently Sick, Part One—translated by lucathia (proofread by Trespasserby)
“What bountiful spoils of war! I never thought that my guide would be so amazing. Not only did he escape from the curse, he even captured one of ‘Stench’s’ sinners.”
Saiximili looked emotionally at Philo, who was lying on the ground with the Stone of Lethargy around his neck.
The king had thought he would soon be out of a job—being the king was just a side gig, while being a starseer was his main profession—but who knew that not only had he not lost his job, he had even gotten a raise! Why wouldn’t he be feeling emotional?
“Bountiful, my ass!” Shooting Star growled ferociously, “I was this close, really, this close, to becoming so red in the face that even the Heavens would get jealous of my beauty and that I would die as a handsome, young lad! You useless starseer, you’re still celebrating over there like an idiot!”
Alan glanced at him. Although he was an elf, even he knew that beauty and handsomeness weren’t usually applied to the same person.
“Of course I’m happy!” Saiximili had on an expression that implied, “You don’t know this, but…” as he explained, “Think about it. There are only a total of seven sinners, and you already have two of them on your side. If the Guide of Existence wishes to kill you, they would at least have to send three sinners over in order to have a chance at succeeding. So, if you kill one of Stench’s sinners, it would nearly be impossible for them to send another three sinners after you!”
Shooting Star had on an expression of realization. This made a lot of sense. Although he felt that if Alan was given some time, he could probably evolve into being able to fight one against two, for safety purposes, it was still better to fight two against one!
“W-Wait a moment, who are you planning to kill?”
To the side, Bai Saya, who had once “again” overused the stone’s power, had collapsed to the floor after returning to White Feather Nation. Even the two people he had carried back had been tossed to the floor. But the moment he heard “kill,” he promptly lifted his head, interrupting Saiximili and Shooting Star’s dangerous conversation with a panicked expression.
“Of course, it’s Stench’s sinner.” Saiximili said as if it were a matter of fact. “No matter if it is Stench, Stench’s sinners, or even most importantly, Stench’s starseer, they are all our eternal enemies unto death!”
Am I hearing things… or was Saiximili’s voice particularly slow, like it was forced through his teeth, when he mentioned “Stench’s starseer?” Shooting Star and the other two all had the same thought.
Alan coldly said, “Stench is already so dead that they stink, so how could they be our enemy? Do you plan to whip a corpse? We elves would never carry out such a disrespectful action toward the deceased.”
After a long while of speechlessness, Shooting Star reluctantly explained, “Stench is a nickname I gave the Guide of Existence!”
“Why would you give the Guide of Existence a nickname?” Alan asked doubtfully, but he soon fell silent. After giving it some thought, slender elven eyes dangerously narrowed, and he asked with eighty percent certainty and twenty percent doubt, “Don’t tell me you actually have something to do with ‘the Guide of Doom’?”
“Uh… that really has nothing to do with me!”
Shooting Star gulped. As he waved his hand, he retreated by several steps. He finally remembered! Earlier, when Alan had heard of the Guide of Doom, he seemed to have sent him a very dangerous glare full of warning?
Nothing to do with you? The actual meaning behind that is—it definitely has to do with you! Alan’s expression turned quite ugly. His foreboding feeling had come true. Shooting Star really is the Guide of Doom Philo had spoken of? He asked stiffly, “You wish to destroy the world?”
Although the elf did not wish to take action to prevent the world from getting destroyed, he also could not allow himself to become an accomplice to destroying the world.
Shooting Star puffed his cheeks out in anger and shouted, “I don’t want to destroy the world! I haven’t even played enough! Everyone’s blaming me wrongly!”
Alan’s stiff expression softened. That made sense. If Shooting Star, this guy who was always fooling around, had the grave duty of destroying the world, then GOD probably would have no hope of ever seeing the world get destroyed.
“Then, why does Philo say you want to destroy the world?” As the end of the world was involved, Alan still could not help but ask out of worry.
Shooting Star was about to express his dissatisfaction over “how easily misunderstood his gamer tag was yet couldn’t be changed,” but someone else opened his mouth first. Bai Saya stood up with a grave expression and apologized to Alan, “Wait, Alan, let me say something first, okay?”
Alan understood that Bai Saya wouldn’t cut in aimlessly and naturally nodded, falling silent to listen.
Bai Saya turned on the spot to face Shooting Star, who was given a huge fright. It had been a long time since Shooting Star had seen such a serious expression on Bai Saya’s face. He recalled that the first time he had seen such an expression was when Bai Saya had rushed out the very next second to attack his shifu’s murderer. He had been tossed into jail right afterwards.
The second time he had seen Xiao Bai with such a serious expression was when he had decided to rescue Alan. Afterwards, this incriminating action allowed Ice Chess to threaten them, leaving them no choice but to come to the Southern Continent with Dan.
The third time he had seen this expression was when Bai Saya decided to protect White Feather Nation and join the battle… Come to think of it, maybe the culprit behind all of our troubles is actually a “serious Xiao Bai?” Shooting Star suddenly had this realization.
Even though he felt like he was asking for trouble, Shooting Star could only forge on in the face of Bai Saya’s serious expression and say, “You’re talking about Philo, right?”
Bai Saya nodded, his eyes staring straight at Shooting Star. He believed that Shooting Star understood what he wished to say, so he remained silent.
“I know you don’t want me to kill him.” Shooting Star’s face fell, and he said with great grievance, “But he wants to kill me. You didn’t see him when he was talking about the Guide of Doom. It was as if he wanted to mince Doom into pieces. It was so scary.”
Bai Saya straightforwardly said, “I will definitely protect you. I recently figured out how to use Roth’s power.”
Shooting Star’s interest rose. He quickly asked, “You figured out the stone’s power? Right, Philo’s power from the stone seems to be called Ultimate Heal. His healing power is probably even stronger than a cleric’s! What’s your power, Xiao Bai? Hurry and tell me!”
“’Absolute Defense,’ the strongest protective barrier, which also has the power to heal.” After Bai Saya seriously divulged this, he then said in embarrassment, “Roth said it was because I wished to protect you two when I used the power, and I really didn’t want to see either of you hurt, so a side ability resulted too. However, the extra healing power can probably only be used on my companions who are present on the scene, and sometimes might not take effect either…”
The power to protect his companions!
Shooting Star felt that this power really suited Bai Saya’s personality. Even though the extra healing power sounded very unreliable, Bai Saya had rescued his companions several times already. This healing ability would probably still be dependable in a crisis.
Even though a protective barrier and healing had no offensive power, which was a bit of a pity, Shooting Star didn’t plan to go on the offensive against the Guide of Existence. This kind of passive yet protective ability was everything he could want.
Alan cut in to say, “When we were trapped in the curse, I asked the Stone of Ego, Pride, what power I had as a sinner. He said that my power is ‘enhanced attack,’ but I don’t know how to activate such a power.”
…Maybe it’s better that you don’t know.
The phrase “enhanced attack” definitely sounded like a power that would make Alan even stronger! Shooting Star began to suspect that his resistance against lightning was about to grow stronger too.
I wonder of the Guide of Existence would be willing to swap sinners with me? Such as exchanging Alan for Philo?
“Enhanced attack? Then, we should be able to protect Shooting Star even better like that.” Bai Saya let out a sigh of relief and turned to ask Shooting Star, “That means we won’t have to kill Philo, right? We were once comrades!”
“If Xiao Bai, you…” Shooting Star snuck a glance at Alan and took the chance to add on, “If ‘you and Alan’ are both willing to stay beside me to protect me forever and ever, then I won’t kill Philo. How’s that?”
Alan rolled his eyes at Shooting Star—what does this have to do with me?—but Bai Saya shot a beseeching look at him right after. The elf was completely unable to turn down Bai Saya’s request, not when he was his savior who had saved him way more than once. Alan could only sigh and console himself with the fact that he had originally planned to return to the team anyway and wasn’t going to leave again. Therefore, he gave the affirmative.
Alan nodded, though he also added on a condition. “But you definitely cannot destroy the world!”
“No problem!” Shooting Star’s large, golden eyes flashed with the triumphant light of success. Now, I can be certain that my pet Alan won’t sneak off!
Beautiful, golden hair and my own little life are both safe. Can there be anything better than that?
Shooting Star wanted to jump up and rush out to get juice and mushroom crackers to eat and celebrate his life getting saved, but when he abruptly stood up, he suddenly became dizzy and collapsed to the side.
The elf shot his hand out reflexively to catch him. Although he did manage to catch him, he too followed suit and collapsed.
Bai Saya, seeing both of his companions collapse and faint, was shocked out of his wits. He could only ask for help from his remaining companion.
The king slowly knelt down and checked their breathing. He declared, “Still alive. They probably fainted from exhaustion. After all, they had nearly died not long ago from the forbidden spell.”
Bai Saya let out a sigh of relief. He looked around and picked up the elf with one hand and the demon with the other hand. He was thinking of making sure the two of them could rest well…
He also collapsed.
The king looked at his three companions, tilting his head in thought. Then, he clapped his hands together. “He must have overused the Stone of Fury.”
He poked his companions and got no reaction. His companions covered the floor. One, two, three. The king looked at his two hands and decided to stay kneeling in his original spot to wait for them to wake up.
In the end, he fell asleep enveloped in his wings after waiting too long, and still his companions had yet to wake up…
“Saiximili, why have you done something like this again?”
Saiximili opened his eyes, completely confused. What have I done again?
Bai Saya stood in front of him, his face full of fury, scaring the king so much that he almost fell to his knees. Even though he hadn’t associated with Shooting Star and the others for very long yet, these companions’ personalities had been really easy to figure out. Saiximili had already decided to cling onto Bai Saya, as this Sinner of Wrath was definitely the person with the best personality out of them all.
Before Saiximili was able to ask about what was wrong, he heard himself snort coldly and mockingly say, “Bai Saya, do you feel you have the right to control me just because you are a sinner? Sinners, when it all comes down to it, are the guide’s guards. You are not all that different from my own guard captain. You should just obediently follow orders!”
By the end of his declaration, he gestured at the avian guard next to the throne, but it wasn’t the familiar Barna. Rather, it was an avian with a cold face.
Saiximili felt that if he were to choose such an avian to be his guard captain, then he would get chilled to death in record time by his own guard captain.
Bai Saya growled, “You’ve been lying to us the entire time! First, you tricked us into fighting the battle, something about how some prince is going after our heads, and that we should take the initiative to capture the opponent’s sinner and starseer. You clearly told us that you were only going to imprison him, yet you killed the sinner and tortured the starseer. Saiximili, just what are you trying to do?”
“Lying?” Saiximili snorted and divulged, “Fine, let’s call it lying. If it weren’t for my ‘lying,’ do you think you idiots would have been able to gain the upper hand in this battle? Now, Existence’s starseer is already in our hands. Very soon, I’ll be able to figure out how we can end this game. Victory is right before us. You may not know this, but the speed this time is beyond imagination.”
Bai Saya didn’t understand. This time? Saiximili was always like this, always spouting a bunch of stuff that no one else could understand yet unwilling to clarify. He kept leading everyone by the nose, making them do a bunch of stuff they shouldn’t, something they would realize only after they had already done it, while they always felt it was the right thing to do before they actually carried it out.
Time and time again, Bai Saya chose to believe in Saiximili. Yet, time and time again, they did things they should not have done, forcing the Guide of Existence into becoming their sworn enemy unto death!
“At the very least, let the starseer go. He has been beaten up so much that he doesn’t even look human anymore.” Bai Saya wanted to seek support. He turned toward the elf. “Alan, you agree with me, right?”
The elf merely gave him a cold glance, unconcerned.
Alan had grown more and more reticent. There was nothing Bai Saya could do about it either. Alan had never liked being a part of this entire thing. Saiximili had used Bai Saya and Shooting Star to force Alan to stay and share in the joys and sorrows. Alan could never leave again, yet he still utterly detested this war.
In fact, Bai Saya felt that Alan detested them all.
Still, Alan did not leave Bai Saya to fend for himself. He asked Saiximili, “Where in the world is Shooting Star?”
Bai Saya froze, confused about why Alan had asked this completely unrelated question. However, the question made him feel that something was wrong. A feel of foreboding crept upon him.
Saiximili indifferently said, “Shooting Star is in a safe place. Hadn’t we agreed on this? I am responsible for hiding him away. I can even shield him from your sensing of your guide. Even the Guide of Existence won’t be able to find him.”
Alan said without a change of expression, “We want to see him.”
Saiximili frowned. “If you go, the Guide of Existence and his people might very well discover Shooting Star’s location. Sinners are able to detect each other’s general location. I can’t take this risk.”
Bai Saya felt that Shooting Star’s safety was very important, but he also felt uneasy. Alan wouldn’t bring this up for no reason. It had been too long since they had last seen Shooting Star. With how Saiximili’s behavior was growing more and more out of hand, Bai Saya really wanted to see Shooting Star too…
“Enough. Your excuses, I’ve had enough of them.” Alan warned, “If you don’t let us see Shooting Star now, I will kill you!”
Saiximili froze. “You want to kill your own companion? Are you not concerned about losing? This isn’t some random game. This involves the entire world!”
Alan coldly said, “The other side no longer has a starseer, and a sinner has died. The Guide of Existence is nearly going crazy thanks to our actions. Even if we lose you, we are still far ahead of them.”
Bai Saya’s eyes widened. He had thought that he was the one who hated Saiximili the most, but no matter how much he hated him, the thought of killing him had never crossed his mind.
The elf’s expression was calm, but his eyes were full of tyranny. Saiximili felt that he had miscalculated. He should not have assumed that since elves had never had a history of killing their own companions that the elf before him would not do so.
Saiximili had not come up with a solution when the elf was already sparking with electricity. In fact, Saiximili was unable to open his mouth to explain in time. Is my own companion really in such a hurry to kill me? Just where did I go wrong?
Lightning blinded him. Burned him. Paralyzed him…
“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”
Saiximili’s eyes abruptly shot open, sweat beading his forehead. His heart and fingers were both quivering. Barna and Markham came into view.
“Barna!” He shouted emotionally. “I’m so glad I chose you to be my guard captain!”
Barna was stunned, but this wasn’t the first time his king had acted in such a weird fashion. The avian guards were very used to this. “Thank you for choosing me, Your Majesty. Let me escort all of you to your rooms. Sleeping on the floor is too cold. You have your wings to warm you up, but the other people have been sneezing.”
Saiximili turned to look at his three companions on the floor. He could not help but shake Bai Saya and call his name several times. “Bai Saya. Xiao Bai. Wake up!”
This time, Bai Saya woke up. He slowly sat up. “Oh, Saimi, what’s up?”
Hearing “Saimi,” Saiximili relaxed. In the dream, no one had called him Saimi.
He was suddenly very grateful that Shooting Star had given him the nickname Saimi.