Masked Knight - Chapter 156
Chapter 156: Rody's Smile
Translator: Evie/Zenobys Editor:
Rody was sitting in Master Autumn's courtyard outside the city. He held the leaf that had been sliced into two by Master Autumn, still stunned by the event.
’’Thrust at the warmth of spring, the uprightness of summer, the charm of autumn, and the quiet elegance of winter.’’ Rody repeated Master Autumn's words from that day and sighed. ’’This sounds really complicated.’’
He picked up the Dragon Fang sword and gently looked at it. He then stood up, shouted lightly and slashed downwards. There was a loud sound, and a small crater appeared on the ground. The nearby tree also shook and its leaves started to fall fluttering down..
’’I still can't do it...’’ Rody shook his head. ’’Could it be that it is impossible to work with more power?’’
He slowly stretched out his hands, caught a leaf with his fingers and tossed it out again. He then slashed at it quickly with the other hand.
The leaf that was cut by the sword filled with fighting energy immediately dispersed and turned into dust.
’’It will not work. Your method will not work.’’ Master Autumn suddenly appeared behind Rody and frowned. ’’You will not become stronger just by being more powerful. The way you used it earlier is no different from how you would use any other weapons.’’
Master Autumn showed a wry smile when he saw Rody's distressed expression. ’’It is not easy to breakthrough this bottleneck. You are already very, very powerful. You have already reached the realm of a Sacred Swordsman. However, it is not so easy to practice. Simply using such strength, you would still be like a defenceless baby in front of people with a strong domain.’’
’’Control!’’ Master Autumn said softly, ’’Control is the true essence! Why are the Gods powerful? The reason is because they can control this space. They can make it snow during the sixth month;they can make the thunder roll;they can make time stop and even distort the space in front of us. That is why the Gods are so powerful. They can override everything!’’
He paused for a while and then continued, ’’Those with a strong domain are said to have an existence close to God because they are able to create their own domain within God's world. They are the masters of everything within their own domain.’’
Master Autumn then patted Rody's shoulder as he looked at the sky and said, ’’There are rules in this world! Why are there stars in the sky? Why does the sun rise when the moon sets? Why do the four seasons exist? Why are there spring showers and winter snows? As long as you comprehend these rules, you can control everything in your hands!’’
Rody seemed enlightened. He looked at his hands, then slowly raised them and murmured, ’’Comprehend...’’
’’Yes!’’ Master Autumn replied. ’’I cannot teach you how to improve your strength. In fact, you are already very strong. However, you do not know how to control it! You do not know how to make your own rules!’’
’’First, learn to control your own strength. After that, learn to control the things around you.’’ Master Autumn picked up a withered branch. A brilliant light appeared in his hands. The withered branch suddenly sprouted buds that were green and full of life.
Master Autumn had a glorious expression as he said, ’’The moon rises after every sunset. Spring arrives after every winter. All of these repeat themselves. The only question is whether we could understand it.’’
Rody slowly took the branch from Master Autumn's hands. However, the buds on the branch immediately withered in his hands.
’’This...’’ Rody suddenly realized something and looked at Master Autumn. ’’You have already...’’
Master Autumn smiled slightly and nodded his head. He then lightly said, ’’I can tell you the reason. However, I cannot help you comprehend it. You have already rested here for a few days. I want you to follow me somewhere else today.’’
’’Oh? Where are we going?’’
’’We are going to the Imperial Palace.’’ Master Autumn's voice sounded strange. ’’It is time I let you know something... I do not have much time left.’’
Rody frowned. ’’Master Autumn, what are you talking about?’’
Master Autumn shook his head and whispered, ’’This is all my fault... The pitiful me of the past did not have enough courage. Later on, that me was still not brave enough! I watched her get hurt by two people... If only I had stopped at that time, she would not have to suffer! Had I done that, I would not need to watch her secretly shed tears every day. She is just a defenceless woman. I will not sit idly by and watch anyone hurt her. Not even that bastard!’’
He looked at Rody and said softly. ’’Today, I have already made a decision. I will take a friend with me and leave here forever. However, before that, I need to see and understand something.’’
’’What is it?’’
A woman in the Imperial Palace was speaking softly, ’’I am worried. Why have you not come and visit me in such a long time? There is also Jojo... Where has she disappeared to?’’
The woman's voice continued. ’’His Majesty has been dispatching people to see me, but I hid from them. What are you going to do? Do you really want to see me die?’’
A voice sighed and slowly replied. ’’It is not easy to come in here. Don't worry. That man will die very soon. Our son will become the ruler of this continent. This world would change because of us... It is truly an interesting thing.’’
The woman turned silent. However, a clear voice suddenly spoke out.
’’He is deceiving you.’’
Momentarily, the door was pushed open and a slender figure walked in.
Seth frowned and whispered, ’’Master Autumn.’’
Master Autumn looked at the feeble Empress who was sitting behind Seth. His face had an agitated expression before looking back at Seth. ’’Have you forgotten my warning years ago?’’
His voice turned cold. ’’I have warned you since the first time you privately met with the Empress. Don't think that I don't dare to kill you just because you are his son.’’
Seth's expression remained unchanged as he said, ’’Of course, you do.’’ He then shook his head and continued, ’’But you will not kill me.’’
Facing Master Autumn's murderous gaze, Seth slowly stepped forward and said, ’’I know that when a man loves a woman, he would do anything. You would even dare to kill God's son if he was the offender. However, you would not do it.’’
Seth looked at Master Autumn mockingly and said, ’’Master Autumn. I am not as strong as you but I know a lot of things.’’ He then lowered his voice. ’’You love her, but she loves me. That is why, you will not kill me. Others might, but you would not.’’ After that, Seth smiled. ’’That is because you are Master Autumn.’’
Master Autumn was startled, and his gaze turned colder. ’’You are right. I would not. There were a lot of things that I did not know, but now, I do.’’
Master Autumn took a deep breath and looked back to the Empress. He softly said, ’’Do you still not understand? He does not love you. He will not fall in love with any woman. He got close to Jojo just so that he could get close to you. He got close to you just for his own gain! At that time, you begged me to protect you two and to prevent your secret from being revealed to others... Haha...’’
Master Autumn laughed sadly. ’’How many people have I killed for you? I have assassinated so many people who have accidentally learned your secret. However, were you happy?’’
Seth shook his head. ’’Master Autumn. You really surprised me.’’ He laughed and continued. ’’I had thought you would stay by her side forever as an invisible bodyguard. Can you tell me why you have suddenly become so courageous today?’’
Master Autumn shook his head. ’’I don't care what you want. Your ambition is your business. I won't even bat an eye if you assassinate the Emperor right now.’’ He slowly took in a breath and then continued, ’’However, you have now treated her as a bargaining chip, a tool for your ambition!’’
Seth shook his head. ’’You are wrong again. This world needs to be changed! The Empire has decayed too much in the past hundred years. I want to change all this!’’
Master Autumn gave a wry smile and replied, ’’Sav these words for Rody. Unfortunately, I am not Rody. He may move according to your wishes, but I will not.’’
Seth raised his eyebrows and lightly said, ’’You know about Rody? Ah, what a pity. I secretly hid from you the past few days and did not come to the Imperial Palace. I hoped that you would not discover us. I did not expect you to find out anyway.’’
He then looked at Master Autumn and loudly asked, ’’Why am I wrong? For the Empire, I have prepared an invincible Regiment Commander of the Tulip Family. I abandoned my title and hid behind the scenes! I was willing to give up all the glory that belonged to me! For the Empire, I will also remove that stupid Emperor! I will revive this declining Empire! With me around, the Empire will rise again on this continent! Reuenthal from the Northwest and even the Military Minister, Marquis Garoline, are nothing to me! I will revive this Empire! The Empire is like a ship controlled by a stupid helmsman. I will remove that helmsman!’’
Master Autumn shook his head and asked, ’’For what?’’
’’For what...’’ Seth gaze became complicated.
’’For the Tulip Family!’’ Seth slowly said. ’’For centuries, the Tulip Family is known as the guardian and pillars of the Empire! Why must the Tulip Family bear this responsibility? The Thorn Flower Family is the Imperial Family! Why don't they bear this responsibility? For what? Let me tell you! To replace the dying Thorn Flower Family and to make the Tulip Family the real master of this continent!’’
Seth's eyes became excited as he continued. ’’My son will become the Emperor of the continent! The Tulip Family's descendant will become the new master of the continent!’’
Master Autumn shook his head again. He looked at the spirited Seth and said, ’’I have misjudged you! We have all misjudged you!’’
Master Autumn gave a wry smile. ’’Everyone had thought that you feared responsibility and are just a playboy who escapes from his own responsibilities. Hmph. I had never expected you to be working for your own family. However, you were even more conscientious and dedicated compared to Nicole.’’
Seth slowly said, ’’When I was young, I read a saying among Dandong's notes. Although most of it was written in a strange language, I have already been reading the ones written in the Imperial language since young. Do you know what was that saying?’’
He calmly spoke, ’’These words were, 'make concessions to gain advantages'.’’
’’A new era will begin in my hands. The Empire will have an invincible Regiment Commander of the Tulip Family. As for me, I will become a wise person like Dandong! Rody and I will create a brilliant era for the Empire! Master Autumn. Do you still think I am wrong?’’
Master Autumn had a complicated expression. ’’You are very strange. You look very ambitious, but you do not seem interested in the throne. You... Why are you doing this? Why did you do all of this?’’
Seth laughed. ’’There is no reason why.’’ Seth showed an earnest gaze. ’’This is all for the wonderful scene! I want to see what kind of era I could create! Tell me. Is that all for myself? Am I too selfish?’’
Master Autumn nodded and sighed. ’’I do not know how to describe you - you are despicable, crazy and shameless but still admirable.’’
Seth bowed gently and elegantly as he said, ’’Thank you for the compliment.’’ After that, he smiled and asked. ’’Master Autumn. Do you still think that I am wrong? I need your strength. I need you to help me deal with those people from God's religion. I also need you to help me deal with the people on the Northern Continent. However, I do not believe that they are heathens. To begin with, I do not believe in Gods!’’
Master Autumn looked at Seth and lightly said, ’’I will not.’’
’’What?’’ Seth frowned slightly. He then sighed with regret. ’’Truly a pity... Fine...’’ He then lightly said, ’’In that case, Master Autumn. Tell me. Why did you look for me today? Are you going to kill me now?’’
The Empress was trembling and crying behind Seth. Master Autumn felt his heart ache and whispered, ’’I was wrong about you. I had thought that you were a person without ambition. I had thought that you would stay outside of this dispute and blessed the two of you. Now, it is time to make up for my mistakes.’’
Seth's expression did not change. He lightly said, ’’Oh? You have made up your mind? Then come and kill me. I will watch you do it!’’
Master Autumn slowly walked forward and said softly, ’’I will not kill you. However, I will not let you continue to use her as a tool. I will take her away!’’
These words made Seth freeze for a moment before he turned his head upwards and laughed. He laughed wildly as if he had just heard a ridiculous joke.
Master Autumn frowned. ’’Why are you laughing?’’
Seth held back his laughter and looked back coldly. He then softly said, ’’You have finally summoned your courage? However, it is unfortunate...’’ He then showed a mocking expression and continued, ’’You are too late. If only you had this courage before she entered the palace, or before I met her... Your courage came too late!’’
Seth turned and looked at the thin and pallid face of the Empress. He then said softly, ’’Tell me. Tell him too. Are you willing to leave me to follow him?’’
The Empress' dull eyes looked at Master Autumn and then back at Seth. She showed a profound expression and then answered,
Seth sighed. He did not show a proud expression but instead had eyes filled with regret and compassion. He reached out to the Empress' hair and softly told her, ’’Lovestruck woman. He is right. I am a terrible person. To me, you are just a tool. In this world, there are many that would lie to you. However, Master Autumn would definitely not lie to you.’’
The Empress shook her head. Her eyes pleaded as she gritted her teeth. ’’No! I will not leave you!’’
Seth laughed lightly and then he looked back to Master Autumn. He coldly said, ’’Do you have anything else to say?’’
Master Autumn's calm face turned into one of grief. Even when he faced a vampire with a legendary artifact, he had never wavered. However, his expression has now collapsed.
Seth shook his head and sighed, ’’Don't you understand? A woman does not see anything else the moment she is blinded by love.’’
Master Autumn gritted his teeth. ’’Are you really someone from the Tulip Family? Why do you have such an evil heart?’’
Seth laughed. He could still laugh calmly. ’’I am the son of the Tulip Family. The blood that flows in my veins is definitely that of the Tulip Family! However, I am the Tulip Family's most outstanding offspring!’’ After that, he coldly said, ’’Is Rody out there? Why don't you let him come in?’’
The moment these words came out, Rody walked in and angrily stared at Seth.
Seth looked at Rody's angry appearance and shook his head. ’’What a pity. Although you are outstanding and have great potential, you are not a schemer. I have always thought that the mind was mightier than violence. That is why when I was young, I have considered being a wise person like Dandong instead of the invincible Regiment Commander of the Tulip Family.’’
Master Autumn gave a wry smile. ’’The answer is obvious.’’
Seth nodded his head and replied, ’’Yes. The answer is obvious. It is also more interesting to be a schemer than a hero. This is my choice.’’ He then looked at Rody while ignoring his hostile gaze and lightly asked. ’’What is your choice, Duke? My sister's beloved. Don't look at me like that. You love my sister. That is why no matter how much you hate me, you cannot kill me. So, what is your choice? Are you willing to cooperate with me to create a great era and leave our names behind in history?’’
Rody did not answer. All sorts of emotions tore at his heart. One moment, he felt at a loss. The next moment, he felt angry.
Seth coldly looked at him and lightly said, ’’You are Rody. One year ago, you were just a civilian struggling in poverty. You constantly worried about the living expenses for the following month and whether you would have enough money to eat. If it was not because of me, you would not be here today. You would not become a hero that earned the admiration of millions! There would not be anyone cheering for you, fighting for you or dying for you! You would not gain my sister's love, and you would not gain the admiration of the people on the continent! But look at yourself right now! You have taken down your mask! You have revealed your own identity! Do you think this is good?’’
Seth smiled gloomily, and then he suddenly pointed at Master Autumn and coldly said, ’’This person is a good example! Even if you eventually become an invincible warrior like him, what can you do? Even if you stand at very the top among the warriors, it means nothing! Look at him! He is helpless against the person he loves! What is power? It is not domain force, god or demon strength but control!’’ Seth stretched out a hand and clenched it tightly as he loudly said, ’’What is so great about personal strength? With my intelligence, I would have been an invincible master if I wanted to! However, it is pointless! Being the strongest on the continent is still insignificant! Even if you have Master Autumn's strength, it is also useless! Can you understand the joy of creating a new era? Can you appreciate the feeling of seeing everything thriving in your hands?’’
Seth suddenly laughed. ’’You know what, Rody? I have always thought highly of you!’’
He laughed proudly. ’’There are thousands of people in the Imperial Capital. Yet, I picked you at a glance! Do you remember how you came to the Tulip Family's mansion and met my sister?’’
’’Could it be you? Are you the one that... arranged everything?’’ Rody frowned.
’’Yes!’’ Seth answered calmly. ’’The man that hired you to go out of the city was me. All of you thought that you attacked the wrong person. In fact, it was not wrong. Did you know? I have observed you for a long time. You have always been first in your swordsmanship. You have great potential and qualifications. You have a strong character and your figure is similar to mine. You are also very pure and have no particular bad habits. You are also just a civilian. There are many other things. I have observed you for an entire year. Did you know? I believe that you are someone that can be molded into a hero! It was perfect... except for your face at that point in time! Fortunately, I knew that my sister had a magic mask. I also happened to know my sister's character. That was why, I tried it out. I did not expect it to be successful!’’
’’In order to hook you in, I first asked your friend and found out that you were short on money. I then spent some money to hire your friend for the first job so that he made some money. . After that, I knew that he would invite you for the next job. The result was a success! What you thought was the wrong target was actually not a mistake but a 'coincidence' that I arranged! I also had Old Mark to help me. Besides that, did you think I would leave so many books and notes for a civilian boy to just read? I left it there for you to read! I could not be by your side, but I wanted to teach you how to be rebellious, strong and how to be a qualified Regiment Commander! I wanted to teach you the qualities of a real hero! This is to slowly shape the new hero of the Empire!’’
’’These are all...’’ Rody began to tremble.
’’Yes. It is all me!’’ Seth coldly said, ’’I am the one that did everything!’’
Seth was unafraid as he looked at the two extremely strong warriors. In his eyes, it was as if he was set high above the masses. ’’Now choose!’’
There was a moment of silence.
Rody's eyes was lifeless and he could only hear the beating of his own heart. He felt a sense of agony and humiliation. He then trembled as though a different emotion has taken over.
He was torn with various emotions. His face was filled with anger, then distress, then disappointment. Finally, he gave a cold laugh.
Master Autumn raised his eyebrows and was about to speak when Rody suddenly laughed.
Rody stood up, ramrod straight. His vacant look disappeared. He laughed happily, without a care in the world. The anger and fury he previously felt was gone, leaving behind only a smile.
Rody looked at Seth and gently said a few words.
Unlike Seth's, his words were not so agitated, not so ambitious, not so persuasive.
However, his tone was serious as if he was talking about common sense.
Rody had smiled and simply said, ’’Seth. I think you are a very pitiful person.’’
1. This story came from China, located at the Northern Hemisphere. Winter (and thus, snow) starts sometime around December. That is why snowing during June is not right. I left the translation as the literal 'sixth month' because the characters don't live on Earth. For all I know, they have thirteen months.