Chapter 5: Mad Quide
The Abandoned Houses were not houses but the name of a location in Eternal Star City. It was located in the Lower City Second District, adjacent to the infamous Black Street. The entire area was also about the size of one street.
Thales once heard the elders of the Brotherhood mention that these Abandoned Houses were once the King of Constellation's courtyard. A hundred years ago, the buildings had a better name, but nobody remembered it. Only the city hall had records of it. It was once bustling and filled with ordinary city folk of the kingdom's capital.
At some point in time, it had turned into the meeting grounds of gangs and, occasionally, the battlegrounds of different factions.
As a result, the lively neighborhood was gradually stained with blood and steel. The place became abandoned with only tattered brick buildings remaining.
The Abandoned Houses were also treated as dead-lands for discarding dead bodies and so, to this day, children that grew up happily in the capital would be admonished with "If you are disobedient, I will send you to the Abandoned Houses." From then on, the notoriety of the Abandoned Houses was second only to the terrifying Black Street.
When the Black Street Brotherhood rose and seized control of supremacy in the underground world at the Lower City District, they turned the Abandoned Houses into the headquarters of the beggars' business.
In order to manage the beggars and prevent them from running away at night, they arranged thugs to watch every house. The Brotherhood dug trenches—ten feet wide and fifteen feet in depth—around the houses. They then filled the trenches with wood and rusted nails. The only entrance would be the front gate which could be locked up.
There were rumors that many people died trying to get out, but one person eventually managed to find a way to escape. However, in the four years Thales had been at the Abandoned Houses, nobody managed to find this legendary secret tunnel. Instead, the bodies in the trenches increased every year as the Brotherhood's business expanded. It was said that every year, there were children who did not know better and attempted to escape. This was also why the Brotherhood cleaned up the trenches of corpses once a year.
As its name suggests, the brick houses there were abandoned and there were a total of twenty-three houses. There would have been more but some had collapsed from the gang wars many years ago. There were also some that were demolished to dig trenches.
These houses were irregularly placed behind the gates. Some were close to each other while others were 'isolated'.
Beggars with good luck would be assigned to houses with wells. The unlucky ones, like Thales from the sixth house, would have to draw water from other houses to fill up their water jars—it was something priceless.
Water and food often caused the beggars to fight. One example was the water jar from the sixth house. In his second year there, Thales had used various methods to reach an agreement with the seventeenth house next door to obtain water once a week.
Before that, Ned and Coria have not arrived yet and there was only Sinti, Ryan, Kellet, and two other beggars who were already dead. At that time, even drinking water was a problem.
Right now, Thales heard the 'leader' of the seventeenth house, Diego's voice. Thales could still remember Diego's voice from the time that they had fought for water when he used a stone to smash Diego's head—it sounded very much like this one.
"Kara! Someone! We did not! It wasn't us!" Diego's voice sounded agonized and panicky.
As a result, all the beggars in the sixth house, including Thales, were unable to react for a moment. But Thales had memories that did not belong to this world, his first reaction was to take the others into the yard to hide in the hole behind the house.
After some time, Thales felt that it was too late to regret his decision. He glanced at the stone hidden under the wall of the seventeenth house. He stared at the dog tunnel that connected the seventeenth with the sixth house. This was the symbol of alliance between the children during those days.
"What happened to Diego? Did he get into a fight?" Ned asked curiously after hiding himself.
The child beggars did not exactly get along. Among the poor houses, the sixth house was an exception to this rule.
Many of the children's injuries can lead to death, aside from Quide, their injuries were usually caused by other child beggars—children below the age of ten do not know their own strength. One of Thales' housemates had also died like this before Ned and Coria arrived.
However, the seventeenth house was also one of the minorities. Diego was a brown-skinned, narrow-eyed blond. He was a carefree and stubborn child. At nine-and-a-half years old, he had more leadership qualities compared to Sinti and Thales. At the very least, the beggars of the seventeenth house listened to him. This also made the battle for water between the seventeenth and sixth houses full of twists.
"It doesn't seem like a fight. Are the other houses bullying Diego? It's surely the tenth house's Karak! He loves bullying others!" Kellet seemed to have thought of something and spoke hurriedly.
"Then we must hurry and go help! We told them we would help each other." Ryan was about to climb out of the hole and climb into the dog tunnel when he was pulled back by Thales.
"Don't be impatient. It's not Karak! It's something else!" Thales listened solemnly to the horrible screams next door.
After that, there was a blunt sound as though a sandbag was thrown to the wall. However, the voice this time came from a child named Ursula. Thales remembered this eight-year-old child. That time when the fight for water was over, Ursula had pouted tightly as she unwaveringly stood by Diego's side.
During the fight, it was she who held on to Sinti's thigh and prevented him from intruding onto Diego's and Thales' fight. Had Thales not violently attacked Diego's knee and quickly picked up a stone, they might not have had water to drink today.
"Something is wrong!"
As the oldest child in the house, Sinti's expression began to turn somber. This sixth house member was the happiest and most willing to work together with Thales. Sinti rarely spoke, but when he does, it is either an important matter or a critical point.
Soon, the children's uncertainty turned into panic.
"Beg for mercy! Beg for mercy! Go on! I love to hear you kids beg!"
A vigorous and frenzied voice came from next door.
Every beggar in the Abandoned Houses would never forget this voice, it was more terrifying than the devils of hell. At the very least, a devil would not break a child beggar's bones inch by inch, or slash open their faces one slice after another. A devil would also not submerge a child beggar's face underwater and say that he was 'quenching your thirst' at the same time (At least, the child beggars did not know whether a devil would actually do it).
It was Quide.
Quide Roda, the leader of the beggars in the Black Street Brotherhood was both their nightmare and doomsday star.
"No! Boss Quide! We are wrong! We… Argh!"
"Let us see if you still dare to speak nonsense! Let us see if you still dare to curse me behind my back! Damn red-haired woman! Damn baldy! Damn Jala Charleton! All of you should die!"
While Quide cursed deliriously, the sounds of beatings and the sounds of fists, rocks, or bodies colliding against the wall was heard.
"Help! Help! Diego! Kara! Marita! Hurry and get up! Hurry and come save me!"
"Run! Run quickly— Argh—!"
"Oh my God! Where are the guards! Where is Mister Rick! Gods! He wants to kill us all!"
Under the moonlight at the Abandoned Houses, heart-wrenching cries came from many mouths. Thales was shaken to the core!
Thales took three seconds to react. What was Quide doing?
He turned around and looked at the others in the sixth house. Ned and Coria were trembling by the hole. Ryan, who had wanted to rush out, was already petrified.
Kellet and Sinti were not much better. The former's expression of impatience and fear rolled back and forth as he watched them—he wanted to speak but could not—the latter turned pale and stared back at Thales.
*Bang! Bang! Bang!*
"All of you damn trash! Even you guys dare to ridicule me! You dare to ridicule 'Blood Axe' Quide Roda! Even you guys dare... Haha, scream! Why are you guys not screaming? Scream!"
The frenzied roars were accompanied by agonizing screams. Everyone did not want to think too deeply about the broken voices.
Thales knew that at this moment, panic has spread in the sixth house. He quickly thought of the current situation.
Quide is beating up the beggars in the seventeenth house. No, just by listening to him, and the intensity of his beatings, tonight's attack is not something as simple as venting. Besides that, Quide may be an asshole, but he wouldn't attack everyone in the house at the same time...
What about Rick? What about the guards and patrolling thugs? They may not be able to hear from across the stone walls, but the thugs patrolling on the roads should be able to hear it!
Naturally, Thales did not know that the forces guarding the place had been reduced to two for the night. On top of that, these two thugs would never return.
"Thales. What do we do?" Kellet instinctively felt that something was wrong from listening to the tragic events next door. He was pale and sweating as he continued to ask Thales.
"Quiet. Everyone is not allowed to go out! We…" Thales frowned and struggled to think of a countermeasure. Before he could finish, a child beggar's figure appeared at the dog tunnel connecting the seventeenth and the sixth houses.
Coria cried out quietly in fear.
Thales recognized who it was from a quick glance. Coming from the seventeenth house was Ursula whose head was bleeding and about to collapse. Before Thales could help her up, Ursula fell down, gasping for breath and totally oblivious of her blood-drenched face and hair.
"Run! Run quickly! We must quickly…"
Thales and Sinti nervously helped her up. The tragic screams still continued but Ursula seemed to have lost her sanity. She could no longer answer questions except to simply murmur "run quickly" over and over again.
Until Thales slapped her in the face.
"What is going on? Did Quide come out?"
Ursula's tears kept streaming down.
"Qu… Quide has gone mad! He wants… not just us! He intends to look for us in each house one-by-one!"
Ursula was already incoherent with her words but it was enough for the children of the sixth house to understand what was going on. All of them turned pale. Even Thales could not help but feel fear in his heart.
"When he sees someone, he hits and beats them until they stop breathing… I heard crying and went to the third house to take a look. I saw him drag Larry out. There was so much blood when he walked out. He then saw me…"
"He caught Kara. Kara was smashed into the ground. Diego wanted to stop him but took a few hundred hits, Diego became motionless... Then there was Marita. Quide threw her into the bonfire… sniffs… bonfire …"
Thales could feel his scalp go numb.
Thales had seen Quide beat people up before, but he would usually be stopped by the other thugs when the child was on the verge of death. The Brotherhood did not care if the abused child received permanent injuries.
"The third house is finished. Our house is, too… He was beating up Midelan just now. I don't know how many houses are left..."
The weeping and lamenting Ursula had not yet finished speaking but Thales suddenly covered her mouth. At this moment, through Thales' actions, everyone realized that the crying and the roaring from next door had stopped. The seventeenth house was quiet as though the children were asleep.
Only ragged panting could be heard. Nobody knew what it meant.
In the sixth house, all the children began to tremble. In that instant, Thales quickly turned and lowered his voice as much as he could. "Listen. We must quickly…"
A loud noise was suddenly heard. The doors to the sixth house were opened.
From the entrance, Quide's shaky figure slowly approached. He looked at the seven trembling children with a fierce and hideous grin.
"Where… where can you run? Eh? You… you look familiar…"
Everyone in the sixth house, including Thales, were stunned.
Quide rubbed his nose. Thales saw a bright red color on his face—the color of a drunk person. Quide's hands were dark red—the color of blood.
Quide looked at Thales who was covering Ursula's mouth.
"I- I remember you!" His expressions shifted constantly between a sinister leer to rage and resentment. "Ah, you're that kid that was caught by that damn baldy... It's you! You must be the one ridiculing me and running your mouth behind my back! Am I right? It must be you… It must be you!"
Thales' heart felt ice-cold.
Rick cautiously drove the carriage while he forced himself to calm down. All the while, he felt the temperature behind his neck. Fortunately, everything was normal and the ghost did not appear.
It would probably be a headache for Quide.
At that time, he approached the headquarters of the Black Street Brotherhood. Rick breathed a sigh of relief.
"Accountant!" Came Layork's voice, the assassin from the Brotherhood shouted about twenty feet away from Rick. Layork's face appeared from a distance as if it was under the torchlight. He seemed dissatisfied and asked, "Why did you come here at this time? This here is dangerous business! Even you with your account-balancing hands are thinking of joining the fun?"
Rick froze for a moment. As the carriage continued moving, he saw that the small public square in front of the headquarters was covered with torches.
All of them were standing quietly. All of them wore black cloth around them. The ones wearing these black clothes were members of the Brotherhood and there were at least a few hundred people.
Rick suddenly realized that almost all of the Brotherhood's manpower were here.
Rick quickly got down from the carriage. He hastily walked a few steps. Under the moonlight, he saw his superior, the fat Morris, who was also the big shot in the trafficking business. He was discussing something with a few figures with strange silhouettes. A two-meters-tall, blond giant; a mysterious figure in dark-red robes; and a fat, simple-looking man.
Rick was shocked; he recognized them.
These were big-shots from other places in the Brotherhood. There were even a few bosses that would normally not stay in Eternal Star City.
Rick moved through the fully equipped fighters that were armed with a variety of weapons from axes to knives, to blades or spiked maces as they sorted their equipment and walked straight to Layork.
"Layork, it is great to see… never mind. I won't speak of nonsense. What's going on tonight?"
Rick and Layork did not like each other, they met often simply because of their jobs, and they have a tacit understanding and agreement with each other.
However, the one who knew most about the situation and also the quickest person to ask would be Layork.
"The boss didn't tell you?" Layork pursed his mouth in disdain and threw him a glance, "As usual, confrontation with the Blood Bottle Gang. Besides the Mystic Gun and the infantry bows, we can use every other weapon…"
The famously efficient and ruthless assassin ran his hand over the scimitar behind his waist, as though feeling the sharpness of the blade.
Rick was startled. Confronting the Blood Bottle Gang…
The assassin took a deep breath. He then laughed and licked his lips, "Tonight, we will capture the Red Street Market."
"Still no news from Yodel? What about the Sunset Temple?"
The middle-aged noble with gray hair was in front of a fireplace, facing a luxurious chair and asked somberly, "Patience, my friend. We have waited for twelve years, it does not matter if we were to wait a little longer."
The robust figure rose from the chair and grabbed the handle of a scepter that was inlaid with light blue crystals. Looking closely, the crystals of the scepter seemed to twinkle in a slow and steady rhythm.
"Our pointless conjectures here only casts doubt on Yodel's ability. Furthermore, is he not carrying the flame of the Lamp? I believe he is close to the target and simply needs to make a final confirmation." The robust figure said slowly.
The middle-aged noble gave a deep bow.
"I do not doubt Yodel's ability, nor have I ever underrated his loyalty. It is just…" The man paused and sighed. "He is too calm and callous. Other than his unwavering loyalty, he is not interested in anything else. Just like twelve years ago. I am worried that he…"
The middle-aged man did not continue, the robust figure also did not immediately reply.
The robust figure carried the scepter and went to the floor-to-ceiling window. He looked out the windows at the resplendent lights of the great shrine in the distance.
Even the moonlight could not compete with the brightness of that shrine.
"Then prepare yourself and secretly proceed to the temple… Begin the moment there is news, there is no need to wait for Yodel's signal."
After a while, the robust figure slowly added, "I have no reason to doubt Yodel. When he needs to act, he will not hesitate.
"However, it is good to have more than one hand prepared."
(The next chapter is added here because the chapter was missing from the upload platform)
The First Drop of Blood
By the time Thales recovered, Quide had grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up.
Thales struggled as he held on to the hand strangling his neck. However, he could not seem to gather his strength. He tried desperately to open his mouth but could not breathe. His two legs kept kicking as he began to feel faint.
The hubbub around him sounded muffled, as though they were blocked by a thick cloth. Coria was crying, Ryan had curled himself up at the hole and trembled continuously, Kellet was sitting in front of the wall, terrified and whimpering.
Sinti and Ned screamed as they boldly rushed forward fearlessly. One held on to Quide's thigh, the other struck Quide's belly with his small arms.
Sinti was blown away and crashed into the water jar, spilling water all over the yard. Ned was ruthlessly struck by Quide. He screamed as he fell onto the ground, unable to get up.
Thales did not have the time or the mood to be surprised at Ned's courage, or Kellet's and Ryan's cowardice (he was quite certain of Sinti's actions). Thales firmly used his fingernails to dig into Quide's hand that held his neck. He wanted to break free so that he could breathe.
Suddenly, Thales' nail sank into the back of Quide's right hand, digging into a hollow wound. Thales' face had already turned red by then, so he did not hesitate and desperately dug into the wound.
Quide screamed from the pain. His loosened his iron-grip and then threw Thales towards a wall. Thales felt dizzy and his throat felt sore. He leaned against the wall as he coughed uncontrollably.
Quide clutched his palm. On top of it was the wound made by Jala which had started bleeding again.
"Damn Jala Charleton! Damned brat!"
Quide endured the pain as he roared furiously and drunkenly.
The ferocious Quide suddenly turned around and saw only the child from the seventeenth house, Ursula, frantically trying to escape through the door. The door that had just collapsed earlier from Quide's trampling could not support her weight and had cracked open.
"Haha. Are you trying to run?"
Quide grinned hideously and strode forward. He then grabbed Ursula's left leg.
Ursula cried out as Quide lifted her up by her leg.
"Brat. Have you struck iron before? No? Haha. Don't worry, I'll teach you!"
Thales climbed up in pain and was only in time to see Quide swing Ursula's left leg with both arms and smashed her head against the wall behind him.
Thales had just enough time to reflexively move out of the way.
The crown of the head made a compressed sound. It was the same sound as when he once saw the fruit seller smash open an Ellend melon.
That's right. We stole the Luminous Moon statue from that very person.
Coria's wail turned into a shrill scream. Thales was stunned and could not close his eyes in time. Red and white liquid splashed onto his face. It was warm, yet cold.
Ned had witnessed everything when he crawled up from the ground. He screamed as he collapsed. He then headed towards the dog tunnel leading towards the seventeenth house.
Quide opened his mouth and inhaled, looking intoxicated. It was as though he did not inhale air but black pine wine of the highest grade. This demon in human skin turned around and dropped whatever was left of Ursula. He then looked at Ned with a vigorous smile.
At that moment, Thales thought for a moment that Ned was small and nimble, and that Ned would be able to dig into the dog tunnel before Quide could reach him.
Dig into that hole and everything will be fine.
Dig and you will be safe.
However, before Ned could dig halfway in, Quide grabbed Ned's legs.
"Are you the brat that had no money to give? Then what good are you?"
Ned screamed as he was dragged out of the hole by Quide.
"Scream! Your screams are not wretched enough! It is a pity that the water jar is broken. We cannot play fishing anymore."
Quide shook his head to dispel the dizziness caused by the alcohol. He gazed at Sinti who had just got up from the ground and the water jar beside him.
"That makes things easy."
Ned wailed and kicked. Quide grabbed his face and slammed him onto the ground. He then lifted the six-year old's right foot and ruthlessly stepped onto the center of the six-year-old beggar's back.
A heart-stopping crack resounded at the same time as Thales' heart-wrenching cry.
Everything in front of Thales blurred.
Quide stepped a second time.
A third time.
Crying out loud with the greatest effort ever, Sinti grabbed a fragmented piece of the water jar and charged towards Quide. Quide simply laughed and kicked away the fragment in Sinti's hand. He then grabbed Sinti's hemp collar and lifted him up.
Looks like I can't do anything.
Thales lowered his head. By the wall, Ursula's body was still quietly twitching. Ned was sprawled face-down on the ground, motionless.
I thought I was protecting them but I'm unable to do anything. I couldn't do anything.
Sinti roared as he kicked. Quide's high-pitched laughter became even more aggravated.
"Brat. Scream! Keep screaming! I love to hear you all scream! Maybe my mood will improve and I would let all of you go!"
Thales' eyes turned dim as he recalled a familiar scene.
"Deviant behaviour. This is what we define human behavior that opposes social norms. An average person is more accustomed to calling it crime. However, we must know that crimes are only one small part of deviation. What we are concerned about is not the act but the meaning at a social level and its comprehension. Durkheim was one of the earliest scholars to start sociology. He also looked at deviation from the functionalist angle…
"One viewpoint is that the enforcement and punishment of deviant acts is one of the ways the authority shapes and models the basic structure of society…"
This was a fragment of the memories from Thales' past life. He had recovered some of it just a moment ago.
"Demon! You demon!"
Just then, Sinti's roar and kicks dispersed Thales' vision.
"Yes! I am a devil!" Quide laughed. "Tell me, how would a devil cook you?"
Thales took a deep breath.
His mind was as clear as ever. He knew what to do. He knew what he should do. Thales clenched his teeth, turned around and rushed to a corner of the house. There, he grabbed a stone, lifted it up, and stretched his hand into the hole hidden underneath.
Quick. Quickly find it.
"Alright. Since you have guts, I'll leave you for last."
Quide laughed until his lips went crooked. He fiercely pulled Sinti's right leg until Sinti's face turned pale and then…
It was dislocated.
Quide dropped Sinti and proceeded to stomp on his dislocated leg. Sinti tried to endure the pain but he still ended up howling tragically. Thales heard the screams, driving him to search faster.
Quide then left the yard and walked towards the inner part of the house. The bright moonlight shined through the half-collapsed roof and onto Quide's smile.
Ryan folded his arms. He stared at the floor as he tried to shrink deeper into the wall with his body.
Kellet trembled as he crawled out of the hole, wanting to pull Coria, who had turned silent from the hoarseness of her voice, to run away together with him.
However, Coria was seemingly paralyzed from fear. She sobbed and would not move. Kellet did not dare look over at Sinti, but just pulled Coria as though he was begging.
But Coria suddenly raised her head and then cried sorrowfully like a lamb. Kellet seemed to realize something and turned around... to see Quide's smiling face. He peed in his pants.
Thales found the thing he wanted and then forcefully yanked it out.
After that his right arm was grabbed by the mad, delighted Quide from behind.
"Did you think I would leave you out, brat? I know that you are the most cunning and most treacherous amongst all you bastards! Haha!" Quide gradually tightened his grip as he smiled proudly.
Thales felt a tightening pain in his right arm. He struggled to turn around and attack Quide with what he found in his left hand.
"Look at that!" Quide said as though he had found a treasure. He turned and avoided Thales' strike.
Then he grabbed the thing from the child's left hand.
"It's a dagger! Haha! Brat. You actually thought of attacking me with a dagger? Hahaha. What were you going to do? Stab my thigh?"
Quide pulled Thales up and laughed wildly.
Thales thought desperately. The dagger.
He had stolen the sheathless dagger at the Sunset Pub. It was his last hope.
Quide was surprised when he looked behind Thales. He saw a coin that had been uncovered when Thales yanked the dagger out out of the hole.
"Look at what I've found. Is that a silver coin? It's a silver coin! Hahaha. You really are a damned brat! You stashed a silver coin away!"
Thales wanted to struggle with his left hand but the strength of a seven-year-old was inadequate. He could only attack futilely at Quide's abdomen which was as sturdy as an iron sheet.
That silver coin was a gift from a noble woman at the Red Street Market. Thales did not lie.
The goosedown-clothed noble woman had given him twelve coppers, but there was also one silver.
Thales began to lose hope. Everything ends here. I have failed.
"For the price of lying…"
Quide ignored Thales' perfunctory punching and kicking. He simply grinned and picked up the silver coin with the dagger. He threw the silver into the air and then caught it again with the other side of the dagger.
Even today, the kingdom's Mindis silver was still valuable and rare.Engraved on its front was King Mindis the Third. This was a historical figure in Constellation and was well-known throughout the continent. There was also a motto inscribed in an ancient font.
'A King does not gain respect by virtue of his bloodline.
The bloodline's glory rests on the deeds of the King."
Thales could not understand these words at all. Thales had bravely asked the noble woman for its true meaning and got an answer.
Ah. Thales silently thought. I also wanted to learn words and study. I wanted to learn the knowledge and wisdom of this world.
Quide held the silver coin with the dagger. He waved the knife around in the air and seemed very satisfied with his skills. Seems like I have not regressed.
He then pulled Thales out to the yard and threw the silver coin into the bonfire near the yard.
"For the price of lying, I shall reward you with this silver coin."
Thales looked at the silver coin that was gradually turning black in the fire. He suddenly realized what Quide was going to do and kicked even more wildly.
It was at this moment when Thales saw from the corner of his eyes, the crippled Ryan, who had always been timid, approached Quide from behind and raised a stone in his hand.
Don't do it. Thales thought sadly. Ryan had never fought before. That stone is too small.
Ryan's strength was insufficient. The stone struck the back of Quide's neck, but it was enough to attract Quide's attention.
Thales, and Sinti who was holding his right leg in agony, shouted loudly.
Unfortunately, Ryan was a cripple. When he went begging one time, his leg was broken by a bad-tempered thief. After some time, he became crippled due to the lack of medical attention.
Ryan retreated in panic, turning around as he limped hurriedly.
Quide dragged Thales along as he turned around and chased Ryan. Quide quickly caught up with him. He was so angry that he laughed.
"Cripple!" Quide opened his mouth and panted like a wild boar, "That hit earlier was really great!"
Ryan was kicked to the ground. His eyes were full of fear and regret.
Without waiting for the frightened Ryan to finish, Quide took the dagger and plunged it into Ryan's right wrist.
Ryan's blood-curdling scream was deafening that even Thales trembled.
"Aren't you a cripple? Don't you already have one leg broken?" Quide yelled in a frenzy, "In that case, you must be more balanced top and bottom!"
After that, Quide pulled out the dagger. The smiling expression on his face became more intense. With one hand, he pushed Thales to the ground, and then concentrated on Ryan.
Thales saw Quide knee Ryan in the stomach. Quide then raised the dagger that had been used to stab the wrist and started cutting that hand as though he was sawing wood.
Thales closed his eyes painfully.
"No! No! Argh! Argh! Don't! Argh!"
Ryan's tragic screams had turned into a continuous howl. Sinti bellowed angrily from the side.
Thales glanced at the still-weeping Coria or the quiet Kellet.
Please, let this all come to an end. Just let it end.
When Ryan's uninterrupted wails turned into painful sobs, the numbed Thales found himself lifted up by the collar again by Quide.
He felt something hot near him.
Thales opened his eyes and saw the handle of the dagger in front of him. On top of it was the silver coin.
The boiling hot silver coin that was burnt until it was black. Its scorching heat seemed to assault his face.
"Open your mouth!" Quide said with ruthless indifference.
Nearby, Ryan held his bloody right hand. His eyes no longer showed any emotion. He simply lay down on his side and trembled from time to time. Only a little bit of skin was left of his palm at the right wrist.
Thales coldly glared back at Quide.
"Are you not willing?" Quide shook his head and laughed, "Your eyes would work too."
After that, Quide grabbed the dagger and moved the blackened coin that was on the dagger towards Thales' eyes.
The blackened face of King Mindis slowly approached his eyes.
The inscription on it also became clearer.
'A King does not gain respect by virtue of his bloodline.
The bloodline's glory rests on the deeds of the King."
In that instant that the coin was about to be stuck into Thales' eyes.
Thales roared loudly. He struggled violently and suddenly bit into Quide's little finger at the handle of the dagger.
Quide cried out hoarsely in pain. His body leaned back and the coin fell from the dagger, towards Thales' bare chest.
A burning heat struck him!
The severe burning sensation brought sharp pain.
Thales could no longer bear the pain. He then opened his mouth to let go of Quide, then reached for the silver coin.
"B*st*rd!" Quide looked at his bloody little finger and broke out in anger. "I will give you a souvenir!"
Quide punched Thales and then rushed forward to overpower him. He used the dagger to press hard onto the coin on Thales' chest.
It was like the sound of an iron cooling rapidly, except that the material cooling it was flesh.
Thales howled. His scorched chest emitted a burnt smell. He felt sharp pain as though all of his muscles were burning. Quide pressed the silver coin down for a full five seconds. He then stared at Thales' painfully distorted face before feeling that he had vented enough and released Thales.
As soon as Thales broke free, he pried off the silver coin that was stuck to his chest despite the fact that it was still burning hot. The charred flesh, blood, and the silver coin fell onto the ground with a thud.
A drop of Thales' blood fell on the ground and quickly evaporated. Thales simply lied down on the ground. His tears poured endlessly.
Damn. Wasn't I supposed to be an adult? Why do I still cry?
"What a pity. Swallowing it or pushing it against the eye would have been better." Quide carefully picked up the silver and threw it into the fire. "Never mind. Let us do it again."
Thales closed his eyes tightly. The burning pain in his chest had not diminished. Instead, it grew increasingly painful. It was like an onslaught of pain; it was growing.
Let me cut out Quide's throat. That would be great. He said silently in his heart.
When Thales opened his eyes again, he just stared at Quide indifferently. Quide looked at those lifeless eyes and got bored.
"Hey, brat. Don't want to play anymore?" Quide kicked Thales. Thales simply looked back at Quide coldly.
"Come," he thought, "This time, it would be the eyes and nose. Up to you. Either way, ever since I transmigrated, I could not accomplish anything, right?"
Quide looked at Thales' eyes and confirmed Thales' indifference. When he was still a debt collector, he hated debtors that had this expression. This meant that no matter how he tortured them, he would not get any money.
Quide spat, feeling bored. He felt as though his delight had been destroyed.
I have wasted too much time.
However, when he turned around and saw the two beggars in the walls, his eyes turned bright again.
Coria was crying and Kellet glanced fearfully. Quide stretched his hand out to one of the six holes in the sixth house, reaching out for the youngest girl.
Thales pupils immediately refocused. Sinti looked at the scene alarmingly. Even Ryan forgot about his broken hand and raised his head.
No. No! That's Coria. She is the youngest here. That child!
The burning feeling in his chest grew hotter. His muscles seemed to burn.
Coria simply wailed. She was only four.
Bastard! How dare you!
"Demon! Come to me!"
"You dare! You wouldn't!"
Thales, Sinti, and even Ryan who was still holding on to his broken hand, all frantically crawled towards Quide. However, with a swing of his leg each, they were swept to the corner of the wall.
"You cannot hurt her!" At this moment, a figure obstinately blocked the hole in the wall.
This was Kellet who had been so frightened he withdrew again into the hole. At this moment, he courageously stood in front to protect Coria.
But Thales shook his head in pain. No. You're not enough.
Kellet's fist was easily seized by Quide.
"Don't interrupt my entertainment" Quide laughed. He then cut Kellet's neck without any hesitation, interruption or restriction whatsoever. Kellet widened his eyes as though he could not believe what just happened.
Thales fell to the ground paralyzed. Ryan seemed to have a mental breakdown as he laughed and cried. Sinti simply hammered the ground ferociously.
Kellet's trachea was broken and his blood spurted out of his arteries. Quide then pushed Kellet to the side.
Coria wept more and more uncontrollably.
"Don't! Don't catch me! I am a very good child! I do not have typhoid fever! I do not!"
Quide held Coria's hair and carried the crying girl out of the hole like a pet.
He then picked up the silver coin from the bonfire with the dagger.
"Bastard! Damned bastard!"
Thales closed his eyes and roared with all his strength. He hated himself. He hated this damn world. He then watched Quide helplessly.
While the girl struggled desperately, the man took the silver coin that was heated a second time with the dagger and pressed it onto Coria's face.
Sobbing sounds of the children could be heard from the side while Coria's cries were no longer coherent.
Why did this happen?
Thales laid down on the ground as though he had lost all hope. His eyes were filled with despair and he was motionless. Only the burning pain continued to throb in his chest.
Quide worked the dagger and flipped the silver coin off the girl's face, making her scream sharply.
He breathed heavily and looked around, suddenly feeling bored.
Time to finish this up and go find the other brats. Wait. Wouldn't doing this be bad for the Brotherhood?
Quide's drunkenness gradually began to disappear.
Whatever. Since Rick and his thugs did not show up, it means that there's no problem.
He closed his eyes and shook his head. He then thought of using both hands to break the girl's neck.
When Quide raised his left hand, he suddenly noticed something strange. Wasn't I just using a dagger to press the silver coin on the girl's face?
He did not think too much and continued to raise his left hand to place on Coria's neck.
At that moment, Thales who was lying on his stomach and had given up hope, suddenly touched something with his right hand that made him tremble.
Without any hesitation he got up, concealing his hand behind his back.
Then, everything happened abruptly. In Sinti's eyes, the terrified Thales who had still been on the ground suddenly attacked.
"Go and die!"
The seven-year-old transmigrator released two lives' worth of furor at Quide's neck. He made a stab and a twist.
Quide had already noticed his movements and carelessly made a reflexive push with his elbow. Thales was sent flying by Quide.
Thales' head hit the edge of a hole and was instantly dazed. However, he tenaciously lifted his head and looked at his hand.
There. The dagger stolen from Sunset Pub. A sharp dagger with blood on it.
At that moment, everything seemed still. Quide froze for a moment. He lowered his head in surprise as he looked at Thales, who was coughing on the ground after he was sent flying.
Quide's surprised gaze did not last long. He had already realized what happened to himself. He suddenly let go of Coria and touched his neck with trembling hands.
A warm, moist, and sticky feeling flowed down his collarbone and onto his chest and abdomen. In full view of Quide, the damned brat Thales struggled but steadily stood up from the ground. Thales held the dagger with a trembling right hand. Although he was trembling, it was stable.
At that moment, Quide felt somewhat flustered. He absent-mindedly placed both his hands at his neck, terrified. He desperately tried to cover the wound that was squirting blood, but his trembling hands and chin seemed to revolt against his intentions. The blood that was bright red like a dye spurted relentlessly from his artery.
Quide clenched his teeth. He felt his legs turn soft so he took a step back. However, this made him fall softly to the ground and no longer able to get up.
The burning feeling in his chest continued but Thales lifted up his head. In the eyes of Sinti's and Coria's fearful gaze, and Ryan's unfathomable laughter, Thales was watching Quide with staunch indifference.
One word at a time, he spat out, "Go to hell, trash."
Quide clenched his teeth tighter as he became angry again. However, unlike before, when the flames of fury arrived, Quide's vision turned darker. Everything seemed further and smaller before turning faint and falling apart.
His eyes protruded out as though it was going to pop out of their sockets as he glared unwaveringly at Thales. He then stretched out his trembling hand that had been stabbed by Jala towards Thales, pausing every now and again.
He opened his mouth and said in a hoarse voice, "Damned… brat…"
He swept his bloody hand past Thales' cold face.
Those were 'Blood Axe' Quide Roda's last words in Errol.