Translator: Souldead, Yihn
Proofreader: Arc, Catchkatch
Half protecting and half shepherding, the four forcefully escorted Daren home. Not long after, Devon Solaris also arrived, entering through a secret tunnel into the living room, only to find his brother curled up on the couch, bawling his eyes out. Elian, with a bowl of clear water, was cleaning the blood from Daren’s thigh and knee.
Seeing Dar’s tears and the bloody tracks on his legs, Devon’s heart constricted in sorrow and in anger. Sorrow at Dar’s reddened eyes, and anger at how, despite being under his protection, Daren was made to cry once again. It didn’t matter if it was Avery’s kidnappers or his own clumsy, ineffective self; everyone deserved to die.
Daren, finally noticing that his brother had come home, sprung up and leaped into Devon’s arms, crying.
“Gege, Papa Avery– h-he’s been kidnapped!”
Devon nodded, tenderly wiping away his brother’s tears with a handkerchief.
“Don’t worry Dar. Theodore will be back soon,” he replied.
“I’m okay, Gege,” Daren tried valiantly to wipe away his tears. “Don’t mind me. Hurry and rescue Papa!”
“It’ll be okay, just you see. Bill is already searching for clues.”
Devon frowned. The situation wasn’t hard to understand. The kidnappers were most likely Yue Baylian’s men. Only he could have discovered Avery’s existence from the cyborg incidents.
To think, just as he was about to go easy on Yue Baylian and let him be, something like this happened. The Solaris Emperor chuckled coldly. Had his way of doing things been too lax lately, soft to the point where people had forgotten where the Emperor’s cruel and ruthless reputation came from? Heh...
Elian and the others felt a chill creep down their backs as they heard the Solaris Emperor laugh.
“Dar, Hurry up and give your brother a hug so he’ll stop laughing like that,” they whispered quickly to Daren.
“Oh?” Daren didn’t understand. Was the way his brother smiled weird? He often laughed like that... But since everyone asked him to, Daren went and embraced his brother obediently.
The hug did indeed recapture Devon’s attention, and the chilling grin disappeared immediately, replaced by a gentle smile as he patted his brother’s head.
“Do not worry. I have sources everywhere in this city. They won’t be able to take a step without me knowing. You just stay quietly at home and wait for news, okay?”
Hearing this, Dar asked in a small voice, hesitating, “Gege, I can help. Last time, too, I...”
“Last time?” Devon asked with an even bigger smile. “You mean the time you had Avery and Bill keep me in the dark while you snuck out to destroy the cyborg manufacturing laboratory, nearly making me send them to meet Satan himself?”
“...” The group had a moment of silence for those two unfortunate souls.
Daren bowed his head; he almost couldn’t face his brother.
“Don’t worry, Dar. It’s not for nothing that I am called the Solaris Emperor. No matter who the opponent is, this time I won’t let them go until I have destroyed them and everything around them.” Devon said matter-of-factly.
“I don’t want anyone destroyed. I just want Papa Avery to come back...” Daren replied in a tiny voice.
“I will have Bill prioritise Avery’s rescue over everything else.”
Daren nodded his head, but he was still very concerned. His brother was always pointing a gun at Papa; their relationship was always difficult. Devon really didn’t act like he would try very hard to save Avery.
“Daren, you stay at home. I will have my people guard this place.” Devon set his hands down on Dar’s shoulders and repeated earnestly, “This time, you are not--I repeat not--to run around outside. I forbid you from using Dark Sun’s identity to kill, and I also forbid you from getting hurt. Do you understand?”
Under his brother’s stern gaze Daren could only nod in agreement, even if he did want to sneak away and rescue Avery.
“I understand, gege.”
The first thing Avery became aware of when he woke was the pain in his abdomen, then the ache throughout his whole body. He’d only just thought of shifting his position when he discovered he couldn’t move an inch. Evidently, he had been tied up, and, judging from the coldness pressed against his wrists, it was with something metal. He opened his eyes but could see nothing but darkness. He’d also been blindfolded, then.
“Although we X-rayed you and have determined that there are no enhancements to your body, it is still better to err on the side of caution. Wouldn’t you agree, Doctor Avery?”
Avery turned towards the voice instinctively. Turning his head, he immediately deduced that this low, coarse voice was not the kidnapper’s real voice: it had been altered by a machine.
“Especially when the opponent is the Solaris Emperor. Then we would need to be twice as careful.”
Avery remained silent, noting that the kidnapper already knew his name. It wasn’t unexpected, especially if they already knew what he looked like. They would only have to do a little research to find out his identity. At the same time, the kidnapper said that he was up against the Solaris Emperor. Avery was ninety percent sure that the attack was from the cyborg organisation.
Of course, the Emperor had many enemies. There was a good chance his guess was wrong, but he instinctively sensed he was right.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked.
“Ah, you don’t have to do anything. Just being our hostage is enough.”
“Really?” Avery replied dismissively. “Obviously you haven’t been up against the Solaris Emperor for very long, or else you would know that that person has never cared about anybody else. Looks like instead of using me as a hostage and negotiating with that person, it would be better to talk to me directly.”
His captor chuckled. “Ha! You’ve already been captured. What else is there to talk about?”
“Dark Sun was my creation,” Avery replied calmly.
After these words there was a long silence from the other side, then explosive laughter that seemed to echo forever.
“That is indeed something to talk about. Help me create another Dark Sun; I can give you anything the Solaris Emperor can.”
“Instead of building a second Dark Sun, I think it might be better for me to overhaul your robots,” Avery responded. “Dark Sun is, without a doubt, a perfect creation, but the money and time spent making him was exorbitant. Money shouldn’t be a problem, but you, the Solaris Emperor’s enemy... do you have the time required for me to create another Dark Sun?”
“How long would it take?” the other asked, seemingly out of curiosity.
“The last time took eight years. This time I would need at least five, and there is no guarantee of success.”
“Hmph! If you can’t build another Dark Sun then why do I need you? Robots, I already have.”
Avery knew exactly how to deal with this type of merchant. They only cared about fast and easy profits, so they would definitely be hooked if he made a tempting enough proposal.
“Give me two of your cyborgs and half a month. After my alterations they will, by working together, be able to defeat Dark Sun.”
Silence again, but Avery wasn’t worried. Even though he couldn’t make a second Dark Sun, if two robots could defeat Dark Sun together there would be no need.
“How do I know you’re not lying?” the man finally asked.
“Why would I?” Avery laughed. “Working under the Solaris Emperor or working under you; what’s the difference?” he said helplessly. “Oh, right. My condition is an unlimited budget for experiments and a completely stocked laboratory.”
The man laughed. “You’re a realistic man, Mr. Avery. I will give you two weeks. After that, I will see the two robots capable of beating Dark Sun.”
“No problem,” Avery agreed, but in that instant what filled his mind was a smiling face calling him Papa Avery.
Devon walked back into his office. As usual, Kyle was sitting off to the side, using his computer to issue the commands necessary to administrate the operations of this enormous organisation.
“Where is Avery?”
Kyle raised his head and gave the answer he had prepared. “Yes. Mr. Avery is being held at the Lunaris Group’s underground laboratory. It’s in the suburbs, not far from here. Although we can definitely recover him, we cannot guarantee Mr. Avery’s safety.”
Devon Solaris frowned. “Has the Lunaris Group made any demands?” he asked.
Devon sat beside the desk and remained silent for a long time, drumming a slow rhythm on the tabletop.
“Are there any of my spies in that lab?”
“No. Everyone in that laboratory is a genuine expert.”
“Tell me the best way to resolve this situation,” Devon demanded darkly.
Kyle glanced strangely at Devon. Normally the Solaris Emperor didn’t need any advice, but this time he demanded it bluntly. Regardless, Kyle obediently relayed the information.
“We will advance with the intent of rescuing the hostage. If the rescue attempt is unsuccessful the new goal will be to kill the hostage. Regarding Master Daren’s maintenance...”
Devon glanced at Kyle frostily, and the latter realised he had made a mistake the moment the words left his mouth. Although he instantly broke out in a cold sweat, he continued without any change in expression.
“Any problems Master Daren will have in the future will be taken care of by a medical team consisting of newly-hired professionals. There shouldn’t be any problems with maintenance and first aid as long as they do not involve any of his enhancements.”
Kyle finished talking, but Devon did not respond. The former could only continue his work on the computer. In the short time he had been talking with the Solaris Emperor the mail requiring his reply had increased ten fold.
After a few minutes of contemplation, Devon could not deny that Kyle’s proposal was the most logical for this situation. Even he had wanted to try a rescue... Having the attempt succeed would be the best outcome, of course, but if a rescue were impossible they had to kill Avery.
After all, Avery knew too many secrets about Daren. At the same time, it would be a serious problem for the Solaris Federation if his skills were to fall into someone else’s hands.
But he couldn’t do it! Devon sighed.
“Dar really does like Avery. If Avery died he would be devastated,” he said.
Kyle, still working, replied reflexively. “After a while he will forget.”
But Devon frowned. “It doesn’t matter if he forgets or not, Bill, I already said that I would never make him sad.”
“Of course.” Kyle dutifully stopped working, and waited calmly for the Emperor’s orders.
“Make Avery’s rescue your primary goal. No matter what the cost, you must rescue that man.”
“Yes, sir. Please set the limit on the highest acceptable cost.”
“Do not place Daren or me in danger,” Devon stated, then frowned. After thinking a moment, he added, “Also, do not compromise your own safety.”
“Understood.” Kyle nodded.
Devon’s tone suddenly sharpened. “And send the best and most highly trained teams to guard my home. If Daren leaves the house you stick to him like glue. If the teams allow Daren to be hurt even slightly, they will pay with their lives.”
Ezart strolled lazily towards Daren’s front door and pressed the doorbell. Naturally, the person who came out wasn’t Avery, but a nameless bodyguard. Taking in Ezart’s appearance, his expression immediately became wary and his tone unfriendly.
“What do you want?”
“I’m bringing Daren his homework,” Ezart replied testily.
“Ezart! Is that Ezart?”
From behind the man came the sound of hurried footsteps, then Daren’s calls. The guard was pushed aside. Even though he was determined to remain between the two, Dark Sun’s strength was no laughing matter. Daren shoved him aside easily. Not being able to do anything else, he could only say, “Y-Young Master, please, we haven’t inspected this person yet.”
“You! Go away!” Daren shouted at the man resolutely.
Huh. Since when did he become so rude? Ezart raised his eyebrows, but didn’t say a word.
However, the guard stood his ground, determined to do his duty. He turned toward Ezart and spoke with the frankness of a solder giving orders.
“If you are in possession of any weapons hand them over now.”
Ezart shrugged dismissively and took off his boxing gloves, throwing them to the guard along with his backpack.
“Is it alright now?”
The man examined the bag, but didn’t find anything dangerous. He then scanned Ezart from top to bottom, but the boy’s clothes were too simple: just a t-shirt and jeans. He might have been able to hide a small knife close to his body, but it would be impossible to conceal a gun. To the guard team members, in concealed posts around the mansion, a dagger was in no way a threat to the Young Master’s safety. As a result, the man returned the bag to Ezart and allowed him to enter. Of course, he didn’t fail to stick close to the two boys.
“Hmph!” Daren, looking none too happy, dragged Ezart towards the living room.
“After several days of not seeing you at school, your temper sure has grown.” Ezart measured him up with a strange look in his eyes, as if he didn’t recognise the person in front of him. “Have you decided to stop being your brother’s good little boy?
Daren’s face stiffened. “I don’t care about gege. He doesn’t come home, and he won’t let me rescue Papa,” he answered stubbornly.
So the kid has some fight in him after all... Ezart scratched his face. Wasn’t he a goody two shoes before?
They had only walked through the entrance and down a short corridor, but they had already passed a dozen guards, all armed to the teeth. Each one was obviously a specially trained bodyguard, a soldier capable of precise and deadly movements, and each one was standing still with vigilant expressions. It transformed the perfectly normal house into a battlefield.
Ezart, more and more confused, finally gave Daren a shove. “Hey! Are you rehearsing a military parade?”
He hadn’t even finished his sentence before the bodyguards moved as one well-oiled machine and aimed their guns at him, provoked by his push. But the boy showed he was worthy of the name Plague God at Yelan Academy. Ezart, unarmed and with a dozen loaded guns pointed at him, showed no sign of panic. With his hands still crossed over his chest, the only clue the he was aware of the guns aimed at his vitals was his raised eyebrows.
“Put down your guns! No one is allowed to hurt Ezart!”
Ezart hadn’t reacted, but Daren yelled at the surrounding guards like an angry cat with it’s fur standing on end. But the guards didn’t move until the guard who let Ezart in gave the signal. Then, moving in sync, they all put down their guns and returned to their original positions.
Furious, Daren dragged Ezart to the living room at a run, without a glance at the guards.
Once in the living room, Ezart sprawled on the sofa without a hint of courtesy.
“What’s going on in your house?” he asked idly.
“Gege said these people are here to protect me,” Daren explained gloomily, sitting down beside Ezart.
“Protect? You?” Hearing this, Ezart threw back his head and roared with laughter. After a moment he managed to choke out a response. “Depend on those guys with the guns? They’d better not come running to you, begging you to protect them when the time comes!”
Daren tilted his head and imagined those alert, gun-toting soldiers crying for help. His anger disappeared immediately and he couldn’t hold back a giggle, glancing at the soldier standing by the living room door. There was no way he hadn’t heard Ezart comment, but his stoic face showed no emotion, and his back was still ramrod straight. Seeing this only made Daren giggle louder.
“Here! Your homework.” Ezart pulled a couple of wrinkled and bent notebooks from his bag.
Daren hastily accepted the work. Even though homework was normally pretty boring, at least it was better than staying at home and doing nothing. He opened his notebook, only to find a piece of paper wedged between the pages. On the paper were a few lines of writing. No matter how he looked at it, the handwriting was too neat to be Ezart’s.
However, reading between the lines, Daren quickly discovered that this was Elian’s doing. After a few lines of niceties, he got straight to the point. The principal had already given Dark Sun his first assignment. Furthurmore, this mission was time sensitive. Elian was powerless to do anything but notify Daren to find out if he would accept or decline the request.
Daren sat thinking for a while. Although he was originally coerced into joining the Elite Combat Section by the principal, he really wanted to take the assignment, as it had already been a week since his brother had forbidden him from leaving the house. Spending every day cooped up with these emotionless soldiers was agonising. If he could just leave the house once, then nothing else would matter.
But his big brother definitely wouldn’t allow it.
“Why the long face?” Ezart pinched Daren’s cheeks and pulled.
“Gege won’t let me rescue Papa Avery, or go outside.” Daren pulled his cheeks away from Ezart’s fingers and rubbed his face, grimacing in pain.
Ezart pulled his hand through his messy hair and shrugged. “It’s useless. Who told your Papa to get kidnapped? It’s been six, seven days already and still no news.”
Daren shook his head in agreement, certain he was right. “There must have been news, it’s just that Gege isn’t telling me!” he said.
Ezart shrugged again.
Daren looked at the guards, rigidly standing to attention at their posts. He couldn’t mention anything about the principal’s missions in front of these people. Otherwise, if his brother knew that the principal had ordered Sin and Elian to gang up on him, and forced him to accept five missions, who knew what the Solaris Emperor would do to Yelan Academy...
“Let’s go down to the basement. There are toys there we can play with.”
“Toys?” Ezart didn’t bother to hide his disgust. “Having Xiao Ai isn’t enough for you? You’re not a kid anymore, but you’re still playing with toys…”
That said, he suddenly paused. Wait a second! According to his previous inference, this guy’s mental age was probably around ten years old?!
Daren shook his head vigorously. “That’s not it! They’re different from Xiao Ai,” he explained. “They’re things like guns, grenades, battle simulator devices and various other tools, like night goggles and universal keys.”
“... How are those toys.”
“Let’s just go, Ezart.” Daren stood up, trying to forcefully pull Ezart up, too. But seeing the other boy, with his uninterested manner, he could only hint at his plan. “Let’s go talk about El-gege; I miss him.”
“Oh,” Ezart replied, and leisurely stood up. Just as Daren was about to explain that the armchair was the ‘elevator’ to the basement, a guard who was standing at the door spoke aloud, stopping them.
“Please wait a minute, Young Master. For your safety, I’ll have to forbid you from taking others to the basement, filled with weapons.”
“It’s just Ezart. It’s fine!” Daren insisted. “If you don’t believe me you can ask Gege. Gege will surely let me take Ezart down.”
The bodyguard frowned when he heard that, and whipped out his phone at once to consult with his higher-ups.
He briefly outlined the situation to his boss, then handed the phone over to Daren. The boy took the phone, filled with unease, afraid that his brother would not allow him to take Ezart to the basement.
“Dar.” Devon’s voice, sounding slightly tired, came from the phone. “I’ll let you bring Ezart, but you’ll have to promise me something. You have to promise that you absolutely will not allow yourself to be harmed in any way.”
“Oh. Okay,” Daren nodded. “Don’t worry, Gege. Ezart can’t beat me,” he added reassuringly.
Ezart, who heard that, petulantly rolled his eyes at Daren. Twice.
“That’s good. If you want, you can also let him stay over,” Devon generously offered from the other end of the line, thinking if Ezart slept over and kept him company at home, then Daren wouldn’t think about secretly going to rescue Theodore.
Having received Gege’s consent, Daren passed the phone back to the guard, only to see him repeatedly replying, “Yes, yes,” into the phone.
Daren tugged Ezart and explained how to use the elevator. This time, the guard made no attempt to hold them back.
Once they were at the basement laboratory, Ezart wasted no time in asking, “Hey! Are you going to accept the mission from the principal or not? El, that guy, wants me to give him an answer tomorrow. If you’re not going to take it, the principal’s going to ask him and Sin to do it.”
Daren nodded. “I want to accept, but Gege won’t let me to go outside,” he said.
Ezart scratched his head.
“Your house looks just like a military camp! If you sneak out, your brother will definitely know. I think you’d better not accept it. Your brother’s wrath is not an ordinary kind of inconvenience, you know…”
“But I really want to go outside…” Daren’s voice got softer and softer, his face full of disappointment.
Ezart rolled his eyes. “You just want to go rescue your dad, right?” he snapped.
Hearing that, Daren was silent for a moment, before he obediently admitting it by nodding.
“Ha! Even I could easily guess that; surely your brother would realise it, too, with how well he knows your personality. I’m thinking the main purpose for those people he assigned upstairs is probably to keep an eye on you. Otherwise you would definitely sneak off.”
Shocked, it was then that Daren realised the truth. “Ah! So it was like that. Gege is so crafty!” he exclaimed.
“That’s why you’d better abandon your thoughts of sneaking off, and just obediently wait for your brother to rescue your dad,” Ezart said casually, as he languidly strolled about in the room, browsing through the various types of firearms in the display cabinet.
Nevertheless, Daren was still very worried. “But Papa Avery isn’t Brother’s father, and Gege almost always points a gun at Papa and threatens to kill him,” he replied. “I’m scared that Gege won’t seriously try to rescue Papa.”
“Uh… That’s true, too. Your family’s relationships are just too complicated.” Ezart shrugged and pointed at the firearms in the cabinets. “Hey! Do these guns really work, or are they only for display?”
Nodding, Daren answered. “The guns here can all be fired, and the cartridges are right next to them.”
At the mention of firing them, Ezart unceremoniously pulled open the display cabinet and took out a heavy-duty firearm. Even though he seldom used a gun, with a few practises he roughly understood how to install the clip and load the bullets. Having loaded the bullets from the box next to it, he carried the gun to the shooting range in a grand manner, and took a shot without even putting on the headset designed to prevent hearing damage.
Ezart, who hadn’t adjusted his stance, stumbled back a step from the force of the gun’s recoil. And, of course, the bullet that was fired didn’t even graze the edge of the target sheet. But he didn’t mind. A laugh erupted from him and he cried, “Ha! Firing this gun is pretty refreshing!”
That said, he tossed the gun to Daren. “Let’s see you fire a few rounds.”
“Okay.” Daren nodded.
Holding the gun correctly in the standard grip, he walked to the firing station. Readied, he lifted the gun and fired without hesitation. His actions were so natural, like he had been born with the ability. And a second after the gun fired a fist-sized hole appeared in the exact center of the target sheet.
At the sight of that, Ezart whistled. “This gun’s firepower’s not half bad.”
“Yeah, but the number of bullets it carries is too few. I’ve always wanted to improve it, but I haven’t found a way yet.”
“Heh! Why don’t you fire a few more rounds? You made it look so easy. I might possibly learn it after observing for a few times.” Ezart raised his eyebrows in an insufferably arrogant expression.
Daren smiled. “Alright,” he replied.
Just like that, Daren and Ezart took turns firing a few rounds each. Naturally, Daren had a one hundred percent probability of hitting dead center, while Ezart’s probability remained zero.
“Hehe. Ezart, you didn’t even hit it once.” Seeing that, Daren grinned.
Ezart fired again, but the target sheet remained spotless. Irritated, he threw the gun to Daren. “Like I care. Can’t I just shoot for the hell of it?” he retorted.
“Sure.” Catching the gun, Daren turned his attention back to the target sheet and began firing.
Although Daren’s actions were as beautiful and accurate as before, Ezart had already become tired of watching. Looking around, a cup on the table caught his eye, containing a liquid that looked a lot like Coke. Seizing the cup, he drank it all down in one gulp.
“Ha! The flavor’s not bad, just slightly bitter. Hey! What kind of drink is this?” he called out.
Slightly surprised, Daren stopped firing and turned around. “There are no beverages in my house, only plain water and the coffee Gege and Papa Avery drink,” he explained. “Do you want some water or coffee, Ezart?”
“Then what’s this? Coffee? It doesn’t taste like it.” Raising the cup, Ezart frowned and inspected it. “Such a strange cup; it even has measuring marks,” he criticised.
Daren stared at the cup woodenly. “You’re right, the cup really is strange. It looks like one of Papa Avery’s measuring cups for his experiments…” he said.
Having said that, the two of them suddenly quieted down and fixed their eyes on the cup together. They came to the same conclusion at the same time. Ah! This cup does not only look like a measuring cup, it is a measuring cup… Wait, a measuring cup?!
They looked at the measuring cup dully, which only had a few drops of the unknown brown liquid pooled in the bottom, while the rest… had all been drunk by Ezart!
“Ezart!” Terrified, Daren shrieked, “Quick, quick! Throw it up!”
“It’s already been a while since I drank it. What’s left to vomit?” Ezart roared in disbelief. “Why is a measuring cup your dad uses for experiments here with you? And what the hell was even in this cup?”
“I have no idea!”
Daren panicked. He had no clue as to what he should do. Normally, Papa Avery’s experiments were totally unassociated with words like ‘safety’. Daren’s brain unconsciously recalled the tragic appearance of the corpses that were unable to reincarnate in the lab. Would Ezart end up like that, too?
I don’t want that!
As his thoughts whirled, Daren grew more and more distressed. Ultimately, Daren could only harden his heart and clench his right fist, before he punched Ezart straight in the stomach.
A unexpected punch right to his gut–and a pretty heavy punch at that, due to Dar’s anxiety–made Ezart drop to the ground, throwing up endlessly.
“Vo-vomiting it out is good.”
Daren heaved a sigh of relief at the sight. This way, Ezart probably wouldn’t become like those corpses in the lab.
As Ezart puked, he still occasionally lifted his head and glared at Daren, threatening. “Urgh, you damn brat, are you tired of living?… Urgh! Something will be wrong with the world if I don’t kill you later!”
Even though he was scolded, Daren grinned. The fact that Ezart still had the strength to scold him meant that he should be fine now. Daren lightly patted Ezart’s back, trying to ease his breathing, which, of course, earned him a few eye rolls from the other, free of charge.
“I’ll go bring you some water to gargle.”
Daren, under Ezart’s baleful glare, tactfully withdrew his hand and walked to the water cooler in the corner of the room. While filling a cup, he suddenly heard some weird moaning and groaning sounds. Daren immediately stopped what he was doing and whipped around to see that Ezart was still in the same half kneeling position, but had stopped throwing up. Even though the retching had stopped, his shoulders were heaving and, looking closely, Daren could even see that Ezart’s body was trembling slightly.
Daren shouted in a strangled voice. “Ezart?”
“Uhh...” However, Ezart had not even raised his head; it was like a reflexive response from hearing one’s name. After his reply came a series of muffled groans.
Daren blankly held on to the cup, unsure if he should continue getting water or go back to check on Ezart. While he was frozen with indecision, the situation suddenly changed. Ezart abruptly raised his head and howled at the ceiling. There were madness written on his face. His eyes rolled back, showing the whites. His eyes gazed at nothing, like he was only semi-conscious.
Frozen, it wasn’t until the cup fell from his hand and smashed to pieces on the floor that Daren suddenly came back to his senses. By then, Ezart was clutching his head and rolling around on the floor in agony. Daren wasn’t sure if he was imagining it, but he saw Ezart’s muscles writhing and distorting…
As moments passed the squirming and distortion of Ezart’s muscles became worse, his roar grew increasingly intense, and there were no words that could describe the pain on his face. He kept thrashing around on the floor. In the end, Ezart was so deformed his entire being looked just like a lump of dough being kneaded.
“Ezart… Ezart!” Daren sobbed.
Daren had rushed to Ezart’s side by then, but he had no idea what to do. Hugging Ezart desperately, he could only think of trying to apply pressure to the places that were out of shape, hoping fervently that it would lessen Ezart’s pain.
After a long time–Daren didn’t know how long–had passed, Ezart finally quieted down. His muscles had stopped squirming abnormally, and what had once been deformed had returned to normal. However, he looked far from fine, with his flushed red skin and the fact that no matter how Daren called out to him, there was no reaction. He was unconscious.
Daren carefully inspected Ezart. His friend’s chest was heaving; he didn’t need to check there to know he was still breathing. The main concern was that he wouldn’t wake up, no matter how loud Daren called him.
By then, a guard had come down. “Young master, dinner has been prepared,” he dutifully reminded him.
Hearing his voice, Daren blankly lifted his head and looked at the soldier, tears streaming down his face.
“I can’t seem to wake Ezart up. What should I do?” he asked, dazed.