Chapter 47.2 – Author: Time separates this pair of lovers.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Vieruodis ignored the white flowers and blood on the floor. Even through her veil, she could still be seen staring at Enoch.
“Young man, didn’t your parents teach you not to steal from other people?”
“I’m sorry,” said Enoch, stiffly. “I have no parents, only a mentor who is not old.”
“Who is your mentor?”
“Jack, the King of Thieves.”
Enoch answered honestly because he knew that the famous female alchemist and Jack used to be very good friends. In the past they had gone through many adventures together, each risking his or her life for the other, until their last adventure when they parted on bad terms. Enoch had never heard the King of Thieves talk about this, but when he thought of why he had been given this task that he had to complete before he could finish his apprenticeship, he knew that his mentor had a hidden agenda.
Vieruodis’ reaction confirmed Enoch’s conjecture, but Enoch had not thought that her reaction would be this intense. When the alchemist heard that name she began to tremble like a leaf.
“… Give me back my watch.”
Enoch wanted to say something but Vieruodis raised her voice until she was almost screaming: “Give me back my watch!”
The little chimera on Vieruodis’ lap woke up at the scream and jumped up. Its body swelled up until it became four meters long. It had a lion’s head, a sheep’s body, and a serpent’s tail. It looked at Enoch with tigerish ferocity. Saliva dropped down from its mouth and sizzled when it fell on the floor.
“Please wait, senior, let’s talk first, we can talk – “
The chimera suddenly sprang towards Enoch, who nimbly dodged the attack. The short-haired thief was extremely skilled at evasion. He can even escape unscathed from several rounds of fighting with Xiu. Enoch dodged the chimera’s attack while trying to talk to Vieruodis. After discovering that Vieruodis had completely lost her reason, Enoch’s could only choose to move decisively to stop the attack.
The chimera bit Enoch, however what it caught in its mouth was just an illusion. The real Enoch was standing behind Vieruodis, holding the animal’s master.
“I’ve offended senior.” The thief’s voice was full of bitterness. “Senior, please calm down.”
Vieruodis was still acting crazy. She muttered to herself in a whisper: “Shadow shifting, shadow… Oh, it’s really him …”
“I have no intention of offending you, senior, my teacher gave me a task, he should want to see you, so-”
“I don’t want to see him.” The voice of Vieruodis was now calm, but it was the calm before the storm: “Let me go and return my watch.”
Seeing Enoch hesitation, the Alchemist took out a small bottle from her bosom.
“If I open this bottle all of the people here will die. Do you want to test me?”
The atmosphere suddenly became too solemn and dangerous1 for even Xiu to stand. He grabbed Du Ze, ready to make his exit. Just as the tension reached its climax, a sigh came from the ceiling: “Come on, Vie, don’t embarrass the young ones.”
A figure jumped down. It was a boy with freckles on his face who looked about 10 years old. Enoch saw the boy, let go of Vieruodis, and instantly came to the boy’s side: “Teacher!”
Almost everyone suspected that they heard it wrong, but what happened next showed them that it was not a collective illusion.
“You useless brat.” The little boy’s face showed his disgust: “In the future, don’t claim to be my apprentice.”
“As if I care about that, you old thief!”2 Enoch said indignantly as he took out the pocket watch and gave it to the boy.
None of the onlookers could believe that the 10-year-old boy in front of them was the famous Thief King Jack. In addition to the two parties involved, only Du Ze knew that the reason why Jack was so “young” was because his time had been reversed – he aged backwards. He was becoming younger and younger until the child becomes a baby, then an embryo. That would be his “death.”
Jack looked at the pocket watch, his eyes flashing with nostalgia and complex emotions. He looked at the silent Vieruodis, holding the watch in his hand.
“Long time no see, Vie,” said Jack.
Vieruodis sat like a statue on her wheelchair, unresponsive. Jack acted like a boy trying to attract a girl’s attention with a practical joke. He held up the pocket watch, but his hand was shaking badly and his smile was shaky as he said: “If you ignore me, I’ll smash it.”
Vieruodis still didn’t react. The boy wrinkled his face. He looked like a bullied child. Enoch eyes went from one to the other, back and forth, and he couldn’t help but ask: “Teacher, you know senior?”
“Don’t call her senior, call her Teacher’s wife,” said Jack.
Enoch and everyone present was shocked. Thief King Jack and Vieruodis had a famous partnership in the Chaos Continent. They traveled around and created a lot of legends. However, 20 years ago their partnership was suddenly dissolved. One of them shut herself up in her magic tower and almost never left, while the other one gradually disappeared from the public’s sight. Regarding the relationship between the two of them, there were rumors that they were lovers. Now those rumors have been confirmed and the onlookers felt as though they were watching a legendary story unfold.
At this point, the person Jack was talking to sneered. Vieruodis finally opened her mouth and her voice was indifferent: “You still like to deceive people.”
“I’m not lying. We’re a couple.” Jack looked around him. “Everybody thinks so, don’t they?”
Thief King Jack saw that everyone reflexively nodded. Vieruodis was silent for a moment, then she stretched out her hand and opened her veil. When Vieruodis revealed he face, everyone saw that she was a white-haired old woman.
Even though he knew about it from reading the novel, Du Ze was still shocked. Vieruodis and Jack were indeed lovers. In their last adventure, they went to the Gnome Ruins and touched the Wheel of Time. That was the beginning of a tragedy; after they left the Gnome Ruins they found that their time had gone wrong: Vieruodis’s aging had sped up while Jack was growing younger.
Time separates this pair of lovers. When Jack and Vieruodis stood together, they looked like a grandparent with a grandchild.
In the face of everyone’s incredulous gaze, Vieruodis laughed: “You say, how can he and I be a couple?”
She said to herself: You are so old, how can you be with him?
She said to herself: You are so ugly, how can you be with him?
If I could make a potion of rejuvenation, would I be able to be with him?
In her memory, the freckled teenager gave the watch to the girl: We were born to be together.3
“Why not?” Jack walked over to Vieruodis and gently placed his pocket watch on her lap: “We were born to be together.”
As Jack approached, Vieruodis subconsciously tried to hide her face, but it was gently cupped in the boy’s hands and he said earnestly: “You see, nobody loves this little kid and no one wants to pursue an old woman, so we should be together.”
Vieruodis’s eyes were dazed as Jack winked: “Although our time moves in different directions, we can still die at the same time.”
A transparent liquid slid down the wrinkles and Vieruodis closed her eyes: “… too ugly, too unseemly.”
“Then don’t let them see us. Let’s take a risk and go to a place where there is no one else.” Jack kissed the corner of Vieruodis’ eye: “Stop avoiding me, we’ve missed too much time.”
Vieruodis just kept shedding tears, her mouth trembling but saying nothing. Jack’s smile also became infected with bitterness.
“Your lover is obviously him, why should you pay attention to what you see in other people’s eyes?”
The onlookers turned around in astonishment, looking at the silver-haired elf who had said those words. Even Vieruodis cannot help but gaze at him in astonishment.
Du Ze looked at Xiu but found that Xiu seemed to have been watching him from beginning to end. It was as if the sentence Xiu said just now was meant for Du Ze. When Xiu saw Du Ze looking at him, Xiu’s hand trembled as if he wanted to reach out and touch Du Ze, but he restrained himself.
—The person who likes you obviously is me, why should you pay attention to other people’s thoughts.
Accepting me … Is it so difficult?
Du Ze seemed to be able to read this information from Xiu’s green eyes, but he hung his head, breaking off the eye contact.
I never cared what other people would think.
I never said … I don’t like it.
This person is the person he cares most about in the world. Initially it was because of guilt and responsibility, but he took care of Xiu for such a long time that now he is unable to distinguish what emotions he really feels for Xiu.
He wants Xiu to be good. He wants to be good to Xiu. If Xiu wants anything, he will give it to him, but he can’t give him this because they will regret it.
The person Xiu wants, the person Xiu cares about, it can be anyone in this world, but it should never be this person called Du Ze.
He wondered how long he could stay in the world.
As Cecil’s story shows, when time is frozen for one side of a couple, what follows next is a separation.
He doesn’t have time to freeze but he has the 0-point restore.
This golden finger, which has been there ever since he came to this world, has reminded him from beginning to end:
You are not the man of the world.
So sooner or later you will leave.
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