Chapter 38.2 – Protagonist: You will eventually come back to me.
“Give him back to me.” Xiu’s voice was soft and sweet, but also creepy: “He is not someone you can touch.”
“My student is not someone you can kill!” Anat suddenly spoke up as her magic informed her that he was the one who killed her beloved student. Anat stared at Xiu with extreme hatred while her bright red nails pierced the skin of Du Ze’s chin. “Make your metal lumps leave! Or I’ll rip his throat out!”
Xiu was silent for a while, then he clapped his hands and all the mechanical puppets retreated from the light barrier. Anat giggled at the Queen of the Elves. “Why are you afraid of him? This man is in our hands. He will not dare to act rashly!”
“Anat,” said the Elf queen coldly, “I wish I had never met you.”
“Oh? Are you sure, my dear queen?” Anat smiled nastily: “If not for me, your Tree of Life would be long gone.”
Four of the 10 six-star mechanical puppets walked away, leaving the rest at the entrance of the altar. Xiu stood on Zaphion’s shoulder and asked: “Is that a threat?”
Anat coldly hummed but the queen did not speak. She looked at the mechanical puppets guarding the entrance and her heart was very uneasy.
Xiu gazed at the elves. “Then I’ll say this. If you don’t give him to me, you will lose the Tree of Life now.”
From the lower part of the Tree of Life came a violent shock, as if someone was trying to uproot it. The force of the shock was so great that the elves’ eyes showed horror. Xiu smiled.
“If he dies, I will bury the Tree of Life with him.”
Before Xiu finished speaking, Anat had realized that the situation was bad, but she was still unable to stop the elves from taking Du Ze from her. Two elven War Gods held her back.
For the first time, the Queen of the Elves’ face showed an expression. She shouted to the devil outside, horrified: “Stop it! We’ll give him back to you in perfect and flawless condition!”
Xiu looked at this farce and patted Zaphion. The light in the mechanical puppet’s eyes flashed as a message was transmitted, then the movement at the Tree of Life’s roots stopped.
The queen almost collapsed on the ground. Simon brought over Du Ze, who was still in a coma. Anat watched as these events unfolded and she pointed out with a smile: “Do you really think that if you give him back that person he will let you all go? Don’t be daft! I can see that he is a devil worse than I am!”
Although the elf queen did not respond to Anat’s words, she was still affected. Staring at Xiu, she said: “You must swear to God or we will not believe you.”
Xiu did not hesitate. “If you give him back to me, I will not use any means to harm the Tree of Life.” Xiu lowered his head to think then smiled mysteriously. “I swear this by the god of light.”
The elf queen saw a light descend on Xiu. This light showed that the god of light had recognized the vow. Anyone who violated an oath sworn to the god of light will be punished by the god. She breathed a sigh of relief, walked towards the center of the altar, and used a leaf to take a single drop of golden liquid. She then carefully poured it into Du Ze’s mouth. Instantly, Du Ze’s face became ruddy as he woke up.
Du Ze looked around him in confusion, but his sight were blurry as though he wasn’t wearing his glasses. He took off the glasses to check if something was wrong before freezing. He could see everything clearly! His vision was better than ever before. Opposite him was Xiu, and Du Ze could even see his reflection in the gnome’s eyes. Though his reflection was tiny, it filled Xiu’s eyes so that there was no room for anything else.
Du Ze didn’t know what to think. Why were his highly myopic eyes suddenly fixed? What is this current situation? Then he heard Xiu say to him: “Come here.”
It was almost an automatic reflex for him to get up and go to Xiu. The elves didn’t block his path and the light barrier had been opened for him. He climbed up Zaphion’s outstretched hand, and the mechanical puppet placed him in front of Xiu. When some silly, cute person saw that familiar flax-colored hair and small face, he suddenly became too nervous to speak.
This is Xiu. He’s a real person.
While Du Ze was wool gathering, Xiu leaned forward to grab his neck.
“You will eventually come back to me.”1
At that moment, Du Ze’s heart overflowed. In fact, he did not panic when he was kidnapped because, subconsciously, he knew that Xiu will definitely come to find him. Some silly, cute person thought that he had forgotten what it was to have friends, but when this person held him, it made him realize that this was true friendship.
Du was about to reach out and hug him when he heard Xiu whisper in his ear: “Because I’m going to destroy everything that separates us.”
“Boom! Crash! Bam!”
The sound was that of a person’s flesh and bones crushed into a paste. It was like a man crushing a cockroach under his foot.
Du Ze later thought: if he had not turned to look behind him, would he still have seen the pool of blood under the mechanical puppet’s foot? Is it because he now sees everything clearly and differently – whether it’s Xiu or the rest of the world?2
The Queen of the Elves stared at the two mechanical puppets that dropped down from the sky. If the two War Gods weren’t fast enough to dodge, it wouldn’t only be Anat under the mechanical puppet’s foot.
The mechanical puppet lifted its foot and the blood flowed freely. Anat became a piece of bloody rags, but although her skull was flattened and her bones crushed into powder, she was still alive. To kill a vampire, you either needed to use silver or to decapitate it. The mechanical puppet picked up Anat, who made a strange “haha” sound. It was unsure if she was laughing at herself or mocking the queen who is about to suffer the same fate. The horrified elves could only watch as the mechanical puppet held Anat’s head with his thumb and forefinger – Anat’s head was only as big as its finger – before gently tearing it off.
Blood rained down from the sky. The elf queen watched the mechanical puppet turn toward her. She screamed in anger and horror: “If you break your oath you will be punished by the god of light!”
“I just promised not to harm the Tree of Life.” Xiu was combing through Du Ze’s hair soothingly. “I never said anything about the elves.”
The Queen of the Elves looked at the gnome’s mocking smile. His sweet, soft voice revealed his extreme contempt and disgust.
“Hmph … who cares about the god of light?”
The queen finally realized what was going to happen and why Anat had laughed – the vampire was laughing at the elves who had foolishly trusted a devil. She was standing at the altar, lost in despair. She didn’t notice when a mechanical puppet’s hand moved towards her.
Warm blood dripped down the elf queen’s face and she came back to her senses as her most loyal retainer said to her: “Your Majesty, please escape.”
The Elf Queen looked at Simon’s broken arm and said nothing. The unbreakable light barrier was already open. The elven elders can’t even talk about saving the elf race because even their own lives are now unsafe.
This chaotic situation finally made Du Ze steel himself. Choking back his nausea, he tried to persuade Xiu to change his mind.
“I don’t want to kill them.”
Originally the elven race had been polluted, but now they were going to be exterminated. The difference between the two outcomes is too extreme!
Xiu loosened his hold on Du Ze and smiled.
“Those who make me unhappy should die.”
Two mechanical puppets tore an elf apart, and flesh and blood fell to the ground.
“Those who block my way should die.”
A mechanical puppet clapped its hands, crushing an elf magician into meat paste.
“Those who are worthless should die.”
Du Ze could not believe his eyes when he saw Xiu’s lips curve up as the gnome uttered the last sentence.
Why is Xiu smiling?
No, no, something’s wrong! Xiu shouldn’t be this, it’s like, like …
Du Ze was stupefied. His eyes fell on Old John who, saw Du Ze looking at him. Old John smiled helplessly and shook his head, mouthing silently: The little master is out of his mind.
Du Ze stared at Xiu’s brightly shining eyes that contained not even the slightest glimmer of sanity.
Suddenly, without any warning, Du Ze picked up Xiu. The black-haired youth jumped off the mechanical puppet with the gnome in his arms and ran to the small pool in the middle of the altar.
The golden liquid fountained up then fell back down, like someone throwing water to put out a fire.3
Meanwhile, a mechanical puppet, with a wave of his hand, threw Simon to the wall. The mechanical puppet looked at the elf queen who sat on the ground and raised his fist. A slender figure rushed forward to stand in front the queen. It was Ariel. The mechanical puppet did not hesitate and smashed his fist down.
Ariel closed her eyes. The wind caused by the movement of the fist blew across her forehead, but nothing else happened. Ariel opened her eyes cautiously and saw the that giant fist was near her, but the mechanical puppet had stopped its actions and was instead looking at something. In fact, all of the mechanical puppets had stopped what they were doing, as though someone has pressed their pause buttons. They were all looking at the center of the altar.
Ariel covered her mouth with her hands in amazement. The Tree of Life’s sap had vanished, and sitting in the middle of the empty pool was Du Ze and a strange elf. The elf’s long silver hair was draped behind him and his green eyes were like the fresh, new budding leaves of spring time. His exquisite face was overwhelmingly, stunningly beautiful. Although the elves have always been known as a race of beautiful people, this particular elf’s beauty was simply beyond compare.
The silver-haired elf propped himself up on one elbow and quietly looked up at the black-haired youth.
Du Ze was sitting on top of Xiu’s body. He loosened his grip on Xiu’s torn collar and gently asked: “Have you calmed down?”
Xiu stretched out his right hand and the cloth slid down his arm, revealing white skin. He took Du Ze into his arms and his long eyelashes veiled his eyes.
I will give you the sun and weave it into your hair.
I will give you the moonlight and cover your skin with it.
I will give you the flowers and paint your beauty with it.
I will give you the trees and make them into your house.
I will give you the harp and make it accompany your singing.
I will give you the bows and arrows and make it your strength.
I will give you the elf and make it your name.
– “Mixed Blood”: an excerpt from the Elves’’ song
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- 你最终还是会回到我身边 – could be translated in many ways but basically something like “You’ll end up at my side.” IMO, “you’ll always be with me” is implied
- My editor asked me what this means. Remember Du Ze said he has very high myopia and the sap of the Tree of Life cured him. Now he has perfect vision so he can literally see clearly. Metaphorically, his talks with Ariel made him realize he isn’t paying enough attention to the real Xiu. Now he is looking at Xiu and not “the protagonist.”
- 像是敲下了疯狂的终止符 Literally “It’s like a crazy terminator.”