Chapter 16: The Dawn, Blood and Lights
When a second, larger explosion sounded from the center of Red Street Market, Morris, Layork, and the others had escaped from the Blood Bottle Gang members, who could not coordinate due to a chaotic command. From a distance, they saw Cenza, who was circling around with Kirks the Clown.
Cenza was almost two meters in height, but he did not look skinny and was strong and sturdy. His dark skin tone, yellowing straight hair, and frosty countenance made him look slightly somber, but all the elders in the Brotherhood knew that, apart from the three main Assassins, the 'Crownless Fist' Cenza Myron—who was also the head of the six Powerhouses—was the most dependable person in the Brotherhood. No, most of the time, he was even more dependable than the three main Assassins.
"You call this a Psionic Ability?" Cenza said disdainfully as he coldly watched 'Flying Blade Clown' Kirks jump around the roofs, continuously shooting flying blades from his bottomless dimensional-pocket.
'Morris, Adrienessa and Layork, one supra class, two other great fighters in the ordinary class, and an unknown amount of other people.' One of Blood Bottle Gang's eight Psionic Warriors, the 'Flying Blade Clown' Kirks, thought as he crouched on a roof and watched with a grave expression on his face as more powerful fighters from the Brotherhood gathered together.
The Blood Bottle Gang elites who were his subordinates had been completely massacred.
There was also Cenza, who was almost up to supreme class.
Blood Bottle Gang's reinforcements were nowhere to be seen. There was no news at all from the two supra class fighters, Song and Roubaix, and neither was there any news from Ralf. He had lost contact with Solo for the past ten minutes, and that coward, Tinker, was probably hiding in the dark and observing the situation. Rumeno should have been the one responsible for Cenza, but since Cenza was completely fine, Rumeno was probably already at hell's river, waiting to be transported to the other side by the ferryman.
Even worse, after the Air Wall disappeared with the explosion, the Air Mystic's orders had been absent for a long time.
Kirks' contemplation did not last too long.
Behind Cenza, one of the Brotherhood's thirteen Generals—the Northlander, 'Steel Pricker' Adrienessa—clenched his teeth. He nonchalantly threw a human head that Cenza had just obtained onto the floor. That head belonged to a supreme class Psionic Warrior and Puppet Master from Mane et Nox Dynasty  in the Eastern Peninsula—the 'Divine Chaos Soldier', Song.
The Clown contemplated for a while and took out two throwing knives from his dimensional pocket. He then placed an oxygen tube in his mouth in order to defend against Morris' Psionic Abilities. At the same time, he also made a decision to leave the place immediately.
Under these circumstances, even the Air Mystic cannot blame him for his decision.
But the next moment, Kirks was shocked to see Cenza's fist speeding towards his face.
'Since when was Cenza's speed so fast?!'
However, he immediately saw a plump figure behind Cenza—it was Morris, who was tightly clenching his teeth and activating his Psionic Ability.
'He did not remove all the air around me. The Clown thought in shock and despair. But… removed all the air around Cenza?'
When the Air Wall disappeared after the first explosion, Morris knew that there would be unexpected changes in the situation on that night. And when the second shocking explosion sounded from far away, Morris managed to react. It was time to strike back.
Without making a single sound, he firmly removed all the air on the path between Cenza and Kirks.
Cenza felt the change in his surroundings. This boxer—who had worked together with Morris for years—immediately held his breath and threw a punch. Without the burden of air resistance, and with a speed that was a few times faster than usual, he hurled his punch forward!
The battle did not continue for long.
Cenza easily caught both of Kirks' throwing knives. He then used his continuous, relentless, accurate and fearsome iron fist to break apart the Psionic Space that Kirks depended on. The Clown depended on this Psionic Space to fend off long-distance attacks. He also came well-prepared with oxygen supplies and throwing knives, causing Morris to be unable to do anything about him for some time. At that moment, his Psionic Space shattered, Layork was already standing quietly behind Cenza.
Morris, who had just finished using his Psionic Ability, bent and panted while holding his knees. His fat cheeks wobbled. He did not look at the Clown again—whose death was certain—but turned to Cenza and said, "The second… the second explosion came from deep within Red Street Market. An accident unknown to… to us must have happened. But no matter what, as the Air Wall has stopped working, something must… must have happened to the Air Mystic! Besides, we have retreated far enough, and our people have almost… almost fully assembled." Morris recovered his breath and sized up the situation with his experience. "Both Song and Kirks were defeated here. If this is a bait from them, the scrumptiousness of this bait is enough for us to give this battle our all!"
Layork ignored Kirks' pleading and coolly sliced opened the latter's neck—which was covered in greasepaint. He then nodded and said, "After the road was cleared, the front line reported that they have discovered 'Phantom Wind Follower' Ralf's dead body. At the back line, Sir Lance sent news regarding Lassbyn and Dorno's deaths. Once we add in Kirks' death to the mix, the enemy's battle power in Eternal Star City has been reduced by half."
In response to this, Cenza put down his smoldering fist. His response was short. "Then let's fight back!"
And so, the dawn in Red Street Market was welcomed with the color of blood.
When Nayer Rick—who was the logistics director Lance assigned—saw Morris and Cenza return, drenched in blood at the intersection between XC District and Red Street Market, the sky was almost bright.
Morris tapped his shoulder and exhaled. He spoke, smiling, "Although there were some ups and downs during the process… Red Street Market is ours now."
"Of course, just as expected," Rick answered with a smile. In his heart, he was thinking about ways to repay the child beggars who had escaped from the Abandoned Houses and about Quide's death.
At least that ghost won't be coming anymore. Rick thought and gazed across the crowds to look at the mysterious cloaked figure. And, with Sir Lance's promise, I won't be demoted too badly.
'The Silent Assassin' Layork did not even look at Rick. He walked past Rick and, paying no heed to his blood-covered face, enveloped Felicia—who was walking towards him from behind Rick—in an embrace.
"Wow, you are still alive?" Without looking the slightest bit worried, Felicia chuckled.
"Apart from you, who else is able to kill me?" Layork grinned ferociously and kissed the woman hard on her lips.
"Has anyone seen Edmund?" Cenza's voice rang from the crowds. "Without him, it wouldn't have been so easy for me to defeat the 'Divine Chaos Soldier'!"
"That damn cook." Seeing that no one answered, he cursed fiercely, "He runs away whenever it's time to drink!"
On the sixteenth of November in the year 672 of the Calendar of Eradication in Errol, a bloody and cruel 'overnight battle' erupted between the two tyrants in the underground world of Constellation—the Western Peninsula's second-largest kingdom.
It was a disproportionate battle. In the beginning, Black Street Brotherhood stepped into Blood Bottle Gang's ambush and trap. However, the result of the bloody battle left many in shock.
Indeed, Black Street Brotherhood suffered two hundred and fourteen casualties along with three hundred and sixty-seven injured. Among the thirteen Generals, nine participated in the battle and seven of them died. The other two, Morris and Cenza, who were part of the Powerhouses, battled until the end and survived.
In contrast, Blood Bottle Gang, the 'Nobility among Gangs', had suffered the biggest defeat in their history. They suffered four hundred and forty-five casualties, and two hundred and ninety injured. Among the Strongest Twelve, ten of them participated in the battle, and eight of them died. All five of the eight Psionic Warriors who participated in the battle had died. There were even rumors that Air Mystic who appeared openly for the first time in more than ten years had gone missing.
That night, the explosion in the center of Red Street Market almost woke every single resident of the capital, Eternal Star City. Among the innocent civilians in Red Street Market, one thousand two hundred and twenty-nine were affected by the explosion. Among them, two hundred and seventy-five died in the explosion, four hundred and thirty-eight were injured, and five hundred and sixteen of them lost their homes.
Red Street Market, especially its central area, was severely damaged. The incident was even mentioned by the capital city's Chief Garrison during the following day's Imperial Conference. Its position in the agenda was only behind the discussion of 'Tax Exemption for the Opening Up of Border Counties' and the reception of the Eckstedt Diplomats. In the end, the Imperial Conference instructed the Western City Police station to take quick action towards "subsiding conflicts and preventing private battles among the people."
Ever since then, Red Street Market changed hands. The Brotherhood's forces penetrated through the entire Western District. The balance of power in Constellation's underground world began tilting completely towards Black Street Brotherhood.
However, what many people did not know was, on that night, another huge incident—which would alter the future fate of Constellation—happened at the same time.
Being carried in Yodel's arms in an embarrassing position—masked weirdo, masked weirdo, masked weirdo! Thales kept consecutively repeating this in his heart three times at once as he was transported across districts completely unknown to him at extreme speed.
Thales felt he could not keep quiet anymore.
"Can you say it again—the reason you were looking for me?" The transmigrator asked in pain as he stared at the breaking dawn in the distant sky.
"To reunite you with your father," Yodel said respectfully. He lowered his body and placed his finger on the surface of a river, causing a ripple as they passed through a bridge's archway.
Thales rolled his eyes. "And who are you?"
"Your father's secret protector," Yodel said respectfully as they passed a tall watchtower. Although a full-sized adult just shot past with a child, the guard in the watchtower did not even blink his eyes.
Thales heaved a sigh. "Did you get it wrong? I'm only an escaping child beggar!"
"Absolutely not. This is the will of God." Yodel said respectfully and stepped on a gold store's signage. The signboard—hung up with iron chains—did not even shake.
Thales was about to go mad. "Who on earth is my father?"
"An important person whom I deeply respect," Yodel said respectfully and shot past a white eagle that was hunting a swallow. His speed shocked both birds.
Thales lost all hope. 'What is he trying to do with this rhetoric answer which does not reveal any important information but makes others go "Wow, he's so polite, it will be embarrassing to press him further?"' Thales gave up.
'When they realize that they got it wrong,' Thales thought quietly, 'they won't kill me to prevent me from divulging their secrets, right?'
The transmigrator tilted his head and waited for the sun to rise. He asked, spiritless, "Yodel?"
"Don't tell me that you originally used to engage in diplomacy."
"What a waste. With the way you speak, it's really quite suitable for you."
"Thank you for your acknowledgment."
It was as though Yodel could not sense Thales' sarcasm and continued speaking respectfully.
He flipped over a tall wall and, like a spider, quietly landed on an avenue with intricate flower beds on both sides.
Then, Yodel stopped, out of Thales' expectations.
In front of their eyes was a plain but stately carriage.
In front of the carriage, a middle-aged man with grayish-white hair holding a lamp walked slowly towards them.
Yodel put Thales down softly.
As the transmigrator landed on the floor, he suddenly turned and looked at Yodel. He looked slightly… um, unhappy?
The middle-aged man approached. With the help of the light from the man's lamp, Thales could not help but realize that he was wearing clothes that were plain but stately.
The middle-aged man had a wide lower jaw which made him look kind. The short mustache above his lips was neatly kept. Although he was showing respectfulness, his two tall cheekbones made him look a little stern. Yet, the bridge of his nose looked a little soft, which gave him a very gentle air as well.
'This is probably a really complicated person,' Thales thought quietly.
The man raised his black, gloved right hand, and tipped his cylindrical hat, bowing slightly.
"Good morning." Compared to Yodel's hoarse and solemn voice, his was steady and reassuring.
'This person is a noble, a high-ranked noble.' Thales concluded. 'Could he be?'
But the words from Yodel from behind him made behind him made him retract the thought.
The masked man spoke in a calm, but impertinent tone, "Why are you here?"
The middle-aged noble nodded softly, smiled, and answered without taking the other's tone to heart, "To ensure that nothing goes wrong."
"He does not trust me?" Even Thales could hear the dissatisfaction in Yodel's voice.
"He trusts you very much, to the point that he is willing to entrust you with the life of his kin." The middle-aged noble slowly said, "But I do not trust you, and you know why."
Thales felt as though there was a surge of electricity running between Yodel and the middle-aged noble!
Yodel kept quiet for a moment and, unexpectedly, did not speak any further.
The middle-aged noble did not look at Yodel anymore, but slowly crouched down and flashed an appropriate smile. "Child," he said to Thales, "I know that your life had been difficult thus far."
The middle-aged noble looked at the scars and wounds on Thales' body. He took the glove off his right hand and extended the hand to caress Thales' wounds. Every time his hand touched a wound, his brows knitted slightly.
"I am very sorry. But child, please trust that after one more procedure, your misfortune will come to an end."
Thales, who was a little unfamiliar with this, was about to say something when the middle-aged noble put down the lamp in his hand and held the transmigrator's right hand, then he took out an intricate sheathed dagger from his bosom.
Thales instinctively wanted to inch backward, but his right hand was caught tightly by the middle-aged noble!
"What are you trying to do—" Thales asked anxiously. The middle-aged noble looked at him with a resolute look, and without letting go with his hand, drew out the dagger slowly.
It was Yodel.
He bent down, extended his hands and pressed hard on the middle-aged noble's shoulder. Through the mask, Thales could not see Yodel's face clearly. But somehow, he was very grateful towards "his father's secret protector".
There was no other reason. He had seen too much blood and too many blades tonight.
"Yodel!" The middle-aged noble looked as though he was very displeased. He raised his head and knitted his brows while speaking in a low voice that allowed no grounds for refusing. "You know that this is a necessity!"
Thales raised his head and looked at Yodel. He felt quite anxious, although he knew vaguely that the middle-aged noble did not intend to harm him.
"Then use his own dagger!" Yodel said coldly.
The middle-aged noble stared at Yodel. At that moment, his gaze looked as though it was filled with ice.
After a long time, the middle-aged noble compromised. He nodded and returned the dagger to his bosom. Having seen this, Yodel let go of the middle-aged noble's shoulders.
"Do not be anxious, child." The middle-aged noble turned his gaze back to Thales. His tone was gentle again. "I am only getting a small blood sample."
Thales looked at him. The middle-aged noble's gaze was very gentle but determined.
The transmigrator nodded his head. Awaiting his fate.
The middle-aged noble extended his hand and took JC's dagger, which was wrapped in a piece of cloth and had no sheath, from Thales' leg. He warmed it up on the lamp for a while. Then, without causing Thales much pain, the middle-aged noble used JC's dagger to prick the middle finger of his right hand and removed a drop of blood.
'What is he trying to do? With this world's level of technology, can they even run DNA tests? What if the test reveals my true identity?'
Under Thales' curious and apprehensive gaze, the middle-aged noble gently dropped the drop of blood on the floor.
The next moment, Thales felt the surge of a familiar burning sensation. It poured in from his chest, his blood vessels, his muscles, and then his entire body.
"Ah!" He could not help but shout.
But the middle-aged noble's gaze was not on him. Thales turned his head and followed the middle-aged noble's excited gaze—he was looking at the lamp he put down beside him.
The previously still lamp was now burning rapidly and violently! The flame became bigger and bigger, and the flame's heart turned from orangey-yellow to bright blood-red!
The flame tilted towards his direction.
Thales suddenly understood something: The fresh blood which dropped onto the floor. The flame's heart, which was reddening and increasing in size...
A surge of fear suddenly appeared in Thales' heart. He turned his head to look at Yodel as if he was pleading for help.
He saw that the masked man was putting his hand into his bosom to procure a glass bottle from his chest. There was a small flame inside.
It was a kindle.
At this moment, the flame's heart within the glass bottle was bright red like blood, and it was skewed slightly to the side.
Thales turned and looked at the lamp on the floor, then at the tinder in Yodel's hand, then at the blood on the floor. His face paled.
It took a long time for the flame in the lamp to return to normal.
"Impossible…" he muttered.
"It was only when I reached Red Street Market that I was sure that you are the one," Yodel said hoarsely.
The middle-aged noble seemed to be very excited. He carefully put away JC's dagger, which was in his hand and spoke respectfully. "Now—"
However, the transmigrator cut him off with his actions. Thales clenched his teeth and aggressively held his right hand's middle finger with his left hand. He squeezed the tiny wound hard, and a few more drops of blood fell onto the floor!
The flame of the lamp, which was on the floor became bigger and bright red again.
"This was a divine Art placed by Head Ritual Master Liscia twelve years ago. The moment your blood drops onto the floor of the capital city, the Bloodline Lamp will light up from dormancy," the middle-aged noble spoke, trembling.
Thales suddenly understood.
On the day he was beaten up by Quide, his blood fell onto the floor.
On the day Quide massacred the child beggars, his blood fell onto the floor.
When he hit the Air Wall, his blood fell onto the floor.
When Asda tried to kill him using mystic energy, his blood, again, fell onto the floor.
Thales helplessly heaved a sigh. He suddenly felt like laughing out loud.
 Mane et Nox Dynasty: Is the Latin version for Day and Night Dynasty, except for the word Dynasty. The English version was a little underwhelming, so the Latin version was chosen.