GOD —The Beginning of the End— Volume 1: The First Pet is a Swordsman
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Xiao Bai is Captured—translated by lucathia (proofread by Arcedemius & elisa; C/E edited by clrfction)
“Geez, this is pretty much a fort!” Shooting Star said despairingly.
What is up with this Mannen guy? Does he have enemies all over the world? Who else would construct a mini fort as a home! There’s even a moat. Excessive much?
The only entrance to the castle was a drawbridge. At the moment, the drawbridge was raised, and there were several pairs of warriors patrolling outside its walls.
Shooting Star brushed a sturdy branch aside and shifted his body a bit from where he was lying on the tree branch. He nimbly crawled closer to Bai Saya, who was on the opposite end of the branch. Shooting Star turned his head, about to ask Bai Saya what he thought of the castle, when he saw Bai Saya with an expression that was so grave, it was as if his shifu’s murderer was standing right in front of him.
Shooting Star’s heart leaped. He hurriedly shoved Bai Saya and reminded him, “Hey!”
Bai Saya slowly turned his head, his eyes filled with barely contained hatred.
“Don’t be so agitated!” Shooting Star widened his eyes and hurriedly said, “The security of this place is insanely tight. Don’t tell me that you plan to arrogantly walk over, get captured by the guards without even seeing a peep of Mannen, and get thrown straight into jail?”
Hearing that, Bai Saya froze, then shook his head.
After Shooting Star saw that he had calmed down, he nodded in satisfaction and called out, “Bones! Bones, come out.”
A large skull bobbling its head around peeked out from Shooting Star’s bag. The two flames in its sunken black eye sockets flickered left and right eagerly, like it was seeking something. Once it saw Bai Saya’s face, it immediately scampered out of the bag. In a flash, it crawled onto Bai Saya and happily perched on his shoulder. It even wrapped its long, skeletal tail around Bai Saya’s slim neck.
Bai Saya completely froze. He really didn’t have any good impressions of creatures like this that only had bare, white bones left yet could still scamper around. On top of that, he really couldn’t muster up a better attitude when a cold, skeletal tail was wrapped around his neck, as if he were getting choked.
To the side, Shooting Star gritted his teeth in anger. What the heck! Your owner here is still trying hard to capture Bai Saya as a pet! You’re just a pile of bones that hasn’t made any contributions, yet you dared to climb on him so brazenly. I’m so jealous… No! You’re so heartless. You abandoned your owner the moment you saw something pretty.
Shooting Star scolded, “Bones, come down immediately. I need you to do something!”
“Kiki.” Feeling wronged, Bones dropped down from Bai Saya’s shoulder and jumped onto Shooting Star’s arm. Heaven knows it had only clung on to Bai Saya because it was afraid that its owner’s desired pet would run away.
“Do you see that castle?”
“Go inside and see if there’s a place we can sneak in from.”
The moment Shooting Star finished speaking, Bones made a “ki” sound and dashed out, leaping past several bushes. With a “plop,” it jumped into the moat. Since it had a small body, neither the resulting noise nor spray of water was very large. However, a warrior with exceptionally good hearing heard the splash. He stood up and walked close to where Bones had dived into the water in order to investigate.
“Did something happen?” A different warrior called out from afar.
“No.” The warrior stared at the water for a while but didn’t see anything unusual. Even if there was someone there, they’d have to surface by now for air. So, he shouted back, “Nothing’s wrong,” and returned to patrolling.
At this time, Bones finally poked its large head out of the water. It had almost reached the castle’s walls, having walked across underwater just now. Bones nimbly left the water, climbed up along the bank, brashly crossed the area guarded by the warriors, and climbed onto the castle walls. Even if it was seen, with Bone’s small body, it would usually get mistaken for a small cat or dog and promptly ignored.
Just as Bones snuck into the castle, there was movement near the drawbridge. After an immense noise, the drawbridge was slowly lowered.
The warriors stopped in their tracks one by one and stood up straight. Once the drawbridge was completely lowered, a few people on horseback came out of the castle. The people in the back were dressed like attendants or bodyguards. Only the two people in the front wore lavish clothes.
The tall, bulky man among them carried a large sword on his back, with countless gems embedded on the scabbard. It looked extremely expensive. The man’s expression was prideful, and he looked like someone of high social standing. The man who was following close behind him had similar facial features, but he was a size smaller. His eyes were slanted and his chin sharp. For some reason, he appeared very frivolous.
Shooting Star froze. Is that person in the front…
“Mannen Ford!” Bai Saya gritted out through his teeth.
Seeing his shifu’s murderer right in front of his eyes, Bai Saya could no longer hold himself back. He agilely leaped across the branches and followed the horses closely.
“Wait up!” Shooting Star hurriedly followed after him, afraid something terrible would happen if he was too late.
Mannen did not head toward the closest city, Stella. Rather, he was riding his horse in the direction of where the deepest parts of the plains and the forest met. The attendants behind him carried several arrows. They were probably out on a hunting trip.
Although Bai Saya was intent on exacting vengeance, he knew that once he caught the attention of the castle’s warriors, he would have no chance of victory. Therefore, he merely followed after Mannen’s group, waiting for them to leave the castle’s vicinity. Even if one or two attendants ran back to the fort for reinforcements, they wouldn’t be able to make it in time to be of any help.
Shooting Star followed close behind. He had carefully observed Mannen’s group of people and noticed that the people in the back all wore standardized attendant outfits. The quality and make of the outfits were both average. If they were strong people, they would definitely not be treated this way. Therefore, Shooting Star deduced that these people were probably all of average skill.
The current problem was Mannen himself and that youngster who looked similar to Mannen. I wonder how powerful they are? Shooting Star furrowed his brows. I recall that old man Tang Tang said that Mannen’s strength is above average. How much above average? Would Xiao Bai and I be able to win against him if we fight together?
At this time, Mannen and his group stopped by the edge of the forest and dismounted from their horses. Mannen’s predatory eyes surveyed the surroundings, looking like a tiger seeking prey.
Then, the frivolous man who resembled Mannen impatiently snatched the bow presented by an attendant. With a smile, he handed it over to Mannen and said, “Father, your bow.”
Mannen took the bow, his hardened face becoming a bit gentler. With a father’s concern, he asked, “Bipsha, how has your training been lately?”
Bipsha’s smile immediately vanished. He complained, “That teacher is terrible. Even after a month, I still can’t release battle aura.”
You want to be able to use battle aura in a mere month? Do you think you’re the legendary Battle God? When Shooting Star, who was clinging to the side of a tree, heard this, he nearly burst into laughter.
Just like how magic is a mage’s specialty, battle aura is a warrior’s specialty. Not only could using battle aura in a fight increase power, speed, and defense, a good warrior could even use battle aura as a skill to attack the enemy.
Although it is handy, it was not any easier than a mage’s training in magical ability. It is normal for the average warrior to train for three to five years before being able to release battle aura.
However, there were always exceptions. The strongest warrior of the legends, the Battle God, was rumored to have been able to release battle aura after a single month.
When Mannen heard his son’s complaints, he didn’t berate him and merely said, “Take it slow. With your talent, you’ll only need one or two years to develop your battle aura.”
“But I want to be able to release battle aura as soon as possible. Father, can’t the process be hastened?” Bipsha obviously had no interest in taking it slow. His face was full of discontent.
Mannen shook his head. No matter how much influence he had, all he could do was give his son quality goods to strengthen his body. It was impossible to find a shortcut to immediately develop battle aura.
Bipsha was obviously very unsatisfied with the answer. He continued to argue with his father, “But…” Didn’t that other guy develop his battle aura super quickly? Ah, but even though it was “super quick,” it still took half a year or so.
“Let’s speak more later.” Mannen suddenly hushed his son. He furrowed his brows, his fatherly concern disappearing without a trace, leaving behind the imposing manner of a castle’s owner.
Bipsha immediately shut his mouth. Even though he often threw tantrums in front of his father, whenever his father’s face tightened, even he, the son, wouldn’t dare to distract him.
Mannen narrowed his eyes and surveyed the nearby forest. Finally, his gaze actually landed on where Bai Saya and Shooting Star hid. His eyes suddenly widened, his tiger-like eyes brimming with vigor. It was as if his gaze could see through walls.
Shoot, he spotted us! Shooting Star pulled at Bai Saya’s shirt, hinting for him to flee quickly.
However, Bai Saya shook off Shooting Star’s hand with no intention of complying.
Since Mannen had already discovered him, Bai Saya no longer planned on hiding. He had gone through so much trouble to sail here to the Western Continent, and then he had chased and searched on this foreign continent for so long. He’d finally found his sworn enemy. He really could no longer hold back.
Vengeance! I am taking revenge right this moment!
Bai Saya jumped down from the tree. Even though he walked out from the tree’s shadow, the gloom on his face couldn’t be chased away.
“Mannen Ford.” Each syllable was spat out with utter hatred.
“You’re… Ah, it’s actually you? I never thought you’d chase me to the Western Continent.” At first, Mannen hadn’t recognized him, but he immediately remembered him a moment later. He was even a bit surprised.
Bai Saya shouted, “The crime of murdering my shifu cannot be allowed to go unpunished! Even if I must chase you to the ends of the earth, I must kill you to avenge my shifu!”
When he heard this, Mannen guffawed and said, “Interesting, interesting. When I was on the Eastern Continent, I’d wanted to capture you. Although a handsome Eastern man isn’t as valuable as an elf on the slave market, you’d still be considered a rare good. It was just that that dratted coot dared to protect you so you could flee. I thought it to be such a pity then! I never thought you’d actually travel thousands of miles here to let me capture you, hahaha!”
“Shut up! Don’t you dare besmirch my shifu!” Bai Saya shouted angrily. At the same time, he drew his sword. His eyes were filled with hatred that yearned to crush the foe in front of him.
When Mannen saw him draw his sword, he also unsheathed his large sword. The sword was so huge that when it was placed next to the slim Bai Saya, it nearly covered him.
Shooting Star, who was in a nearby tree, nearly spit blood upon seeing the two of them about to fly at each other.
That is a really huge sword, yet Mannen wields it so easily. Looks like he is as good as old man Tang Tang said he is.
Bai Saya you idiot. Why did you rush out like that! Unable to react just now, Shooting Star had only been able to watch Bai Saya rush out. Helpless, Shooting Star knelt down and continued to secretly observe the situation through the leaves.
By this time, Bai Saya’s anger had already exploded past the limits of his patience. Furthermore, he had never been a man of many words or had patience for verbal sparring, so the moment his opponent drew his sword, he raised his own sword and rushed forward without a word. His straight blade met Mannen’s huge sword.
If it was just the speed of his sword, it was true that his single-handed swing was faster than Mannen’s swing by a whole lot, so he momentarily held his own against Mannen.
“Ah, he uses his sword quite prettily!” Shooting Star mumbled his evaluation. “Maybe Xiao Bai’s strength is enough to counter Mannen, but…”
Bai Saya’s familiarity with the sword, speed of his swing, and nimbleness, were all on par Mannen’s skills. However, they were not on the same level in terms of power. Every time he blocked one of Mannen’s attacks, his arms would receive a huge blow. It only took a few swings for his hands to begin shaking.
“Stupid!” Shooting Star was growing frantic. He wished he could grab Bai Saya by the ear and scold, “Don’t clash head on with someone wielding a huge sword! Don’t you know how to dodge? With your speed, dodging should be very simple!”
Before he could even finish his thought, the sword in Bai Saya’s hand harshly clashed against the huge sword. Even though Bai Saya had the resolve to continue fighting even if his hands got hurt, the sword in his hands apparently did not have the same resolve. After a few sharp clangs of metal against metal, the sword broke in half. The broken blade even sliced past his cheek, leaving a long gash.
Bright red blood dripped down his cheek, but Bai Saya did not notice. He stared at the broken sword in his hand, at a loss. With his sword broken, he could no longer continue fighting.
“Ah! He actually got disfigured!” Shooting Star was going crazy. He gnashed his teeth and spat out, “Damn Mannen. How dare you disfigure Bai Saya’s face. Don’t you know he’s my future pet? The most important thing about my pets is that they have to look pretty! You’re lucky his pretty eyes weren’t damaged, or else you’d be dead to me!”
Of course, Mannen would not know anything of the sort. All he knew was that the person in front of him had lost his ability to fight, and that was a good thing.
I… I’m this weak? Bai Saya stared at his broken sword. He had finally found his shifu’s murderer after going through so many hardships, so much that he couldn’t put it into words, yet because of his lack of ability, he was not able to exact vengeance for his shifu… He had lost so easily. He had learned martial arts since he was three years old, making it fifteen years of training to date, yet he had lost so easily?
Bai Saya tossed the sword and actually rushed toward Mannen with his bare fists. The latter did not expect him to still have any fight left in him, but he didn’t panic in response, either. He leisurely took a battle-ready stance, not at all worried about Bai Saya’s attack.
Ah! He actually tossed his sword. Even a broken sword is better than using your fists against a huge sword! Hiding to the side, Shooting Star could only lament inside his heart.
The determination to avenge his shifu was the only thing keeping Bai Saya going as he rushed forward. He had no other thought in his mind. He naturally began using the punching techniques his shifu had instructed him to practice ten times each day.
This time, even Bai Saya knew that using fists to hit a huge sword would have no better result than using eggs to smash rocks. Therefore, he didn’t clash with him directly. Instead, he dodged quite well. Besides, he’d practiced this punching technique for a full fifteen years. Don’t even mention dodging and punching at the same time. Even jumping and punching, stepping backward and punching, skipping punches one, three, and five and only striking with two, four, and six, were all a piece of cake.
For a moment, Mannen was caught unprepared, and his huge sword just couldn’t land on Bai Saya. Rather, it was Bai Saya’s swift punches that kept forcing him to dodge. There were several times that Mannen felt the punches glance past his cheeks, the strikes almost landing.
Kick him! Take the opportunity to kick him where it hurts the most for guys! Shooting Star screamed mentally, but of course Bai Saya could not hear him. He continued to properly deal out his punches. Then again, even if he could hear Shooting Star, with his personality, it was obvious that he would not kick the other person “where it hurts the most for guys.”
When a punch brushed past his nose, Mannen grew furious. He screamed, a formless current of air bursting forth from his body, forcing Bai Saya’s swing away.
Battle aura! Shooting Star jumped in shock. Shoot, Xiao Bai won’t be able to win like this. Unless he also knows how to use battle aura, there’s no way he can use just his fists to overpower Mannen’s battle aura.
However, at this time, as if to prove Shooting Star wrong, Bai Saya forcefully broke through Mannen’s battle aura without using any battle aura himself. He struck right at the other person’s chest.
It was just that this attack dealt a heavier blow to Mannen’s confidence than to his body. He hadn’t anticipated that his opponent’s fists would be able to break through his battle aura, so the punch landed on his chest. However, breaking through the battle aura diminished much of the strength behind the punch, so the punch didn’t harm Mannen much. At most, it would give Mannen a fist-sized bruise.
Bai Saya frowned. He was a sword-user, so using his fists in a fight was already pushing it. Now, he had even used his fists to break through the other person’s battle aura. Truthfully speaking, this attack hurt him more than it hurt his opponent.
He drew back his right hand, trying to squash the pain. He appeared fine, but a close examination would reveal how his right hand was shaking nonstop. Under normal circumstances, it could no longer be used, but he forced himself to continue on.
At this time, Mannen truly grew furious. After using his battle aura, he’d actually gotten punched by a brat who didn’t even know how to use battle aura. For a warrior, this was too shameful!
With his anger fully ignited, the battle aura surrounding Mannen grew more and more ferocious. Even Bipsha and several attendants were pushed back several steps by the wind. Yet Bai Saya only pursed his lips, immovable as a mountain as he took his battle stance. Only his clothes were whipped back by the wind.
“Brat! Admit defeat, and you’ll at least keep your life!” Mannen’s hair was blown into disarray by the wind, making his expression even more menacing.
Bai Saya took a deep breath, his amber eyes full of determination.
Mannen held the huge sword with one hand. He drew the sword behind him, and the battle aura surrounding his body exploded in the blink of an eye. He roared, “Tiger Slash!”
Suddenly, it was like all the battle aura surrounding him had been sucked away by the huge sword. Time seemed to freeze for a moment. Then, Mannen swung his huge sword outwards, and a semitransparent blast of battle aura shot from the sword straight to Bai Saya!
The speed was so quick that Bai Saya had no chance to react. The battle aura hit him directly, sending his slim body flying for several meters, at last landing on the ground without a single twitch.
Shooting Star stood in the tree’s shadow, looking down at Bai Saya, who was only a few steps away from him, collapsed on the ground. His baby face, which could really only be described as cute, was actually cold and frightening at the moment…
Mannen grabbed at his head, vexed. He cursed, “Shit, I accidentally killed him. I wanted to capture him to fill up my quota for the merchant guild. Now there’s nothing left. Dammit!”
Bai Saya, who had been thought of as dead, groaned and even struggled to get up, though he ended up spewing a mouthful of blood because of his heavy injuries. He used his sleeves to wipe the blood, and when he looked up, he immediately met the golden eyes of the person in the tree’s shadow. Bai Saya could have sworn that he saw the word “idiot’ spelled out in Shooting Star’s eyes. He couldn’t help smiling wryly. Is there a need to call me an idiot when I’m already dying here?
Bai Saya stood up shakily, no longer looking in Shooting Star’s direction to prevent Mannen and the others from discovering his presence. After all, Shooting Star was just an acquaintance. There was no need to drag him into this mess.
“Struck head on by battle aura without any battle aura as defense, yet you haven’t died?”
Mannen was shaken up. Then he thought, this person had come from the Yisite Continent, and the Eastern Continent’s fighting techniques were different from those of the Western Continent. Perhaps he had actually used some sort of defensive skill, but he, Mannen, just had not noticed.
However, seeing how his opponent had spit blood and was shaky on his feet, Mannen knew that he had no strength left to fight. In order to prevent the Eastern man from dying if things dragged on too long, Mannen stopped attacking. Instead, he walked up to Bai Saya.
With the approach of his enemy, Bai Saya wanted to raise his fists to continue fighting; however, he realized that he couldn’t even move his right hand. Just as he was trying to move his left hand, Mannen suddenly rushed right up to him. A burst of pain exploded in Bai Saya’s stomach. His sight darkened and he finally fainted.
Mannen waved his attendants over. Several attendants immediately lifted the unconscious Bai Saya.
“Father, can you give him to me?”
Bipsha looked at Bai Saya greedily. As a second generation slave merchant, he of course knew how valuable the handsome Eastern man in front of him was. Even if he grew tired of him, selling him would earn him a lot of pocket money. Since he was conveniently present, of course he would ask his father for him.
“No!” Mannen shook his head and said, “Other than the elf and this Eastern man, you can take your pick. These two are off limits.”
Bipsha pouted and said unhappily, “I don’t want any of the others. They’re all too ordinary.” And not very valuable at all.
“Stop playing around. Next time I go to the Yisite Continent, I’ll capture an Eastern beauty for you. If I have a good enough catch, I might even be able to give you an elf. I don’t have that many good catches this time round, so both he and the elf must be turned in to the merchant guild.”
Although Mannen was reprimanding him, his expression was gentle. In response to this only child of his, he couldn’t bear to fault him for anything. Rather, he was actually a bit ashamed that he wasn’t able to give his son a good slave as a gift.
Bipsha nodded his head in satisfaction. An elf! The mere thought of bringing an elf around as his attendant made him grin. How imposing that would be! Totally worth the wait.
“Bring him along. We’re heading back.”
Even though they had come out to hunt, Mannen was afraid of any possible changes. He decided to return directly to the castle. Besides, they had ended up successfully hunting down “game.” Now, when it came time to deliver the goods, Mannen would be in better standing.
Only after Mannen’s group left with great fanfare did Shooting Star jump down from the tree, his face full of helplessness and vexation.
Ugh! Stupid Xiao Bai actually let himself get captured just like that. You’re my pet! I haven’t even caught you yet. How could you let yourself be captured so easily by someone else!
Shooting Star was so angry that his cheeks puffed up, but he had not revealed himself just now to save Bai Saya. First of all, there had been too many people on the scene, and Mannen’s personal strength was rather good. Although the chances of a successful rescue weren’t slim, even if he managed to save him, he might land himself on the Adventurers’ Guild’s wanted list the very next day. Then, he wouldn’t be able to go to the Adventurers’ Guild to take on guild requests anymore. That would be such a loss!
Secondly, it was good for Xiao Bai to suffer a bit. Otherwise, he’d never listen to Shooting Star and would keep doing a bunch of stupid stuff. Last time, his act of playing a hero to save a beauty had nearly cost him his life. This time, he had foolishly rushed out when his opponent had a bunch of helpers, and he wasn’t even sure of his opponent’s strength.
If these foolish actions happened too many times, Shooting Star would really be so furious that he’d split Bai Saya’s head apart to see if there was anything inside of it.
Glancing at Bai Saya’s back in the distance, Shooting Star frowned. It sure is difficult to catch a pet these days. He jumped back on to the tree, and then jumped from tree branch to tree branch, hastily departing in the other direction.