Ever since the day he killed someone, Garen had been waiting for the other person’s next move. He remained near the proximity of his home and mindlessly wandered around the school. After he had become completely familiar with the surrounding area, he increased his vigilance. He didn’t know when that pair of crimson eyes would appear once again.
After all, no master would let the murder of their men be without consequence.
The crisp chime signaling the end of class shook Garen out of his daydreaming.
He sat at his desk, stretching his neck, and looked around.
Most of his classmates sat in place and stretched, some of them walked around the room, and some began to yell at people to purchase items.
The entire class had become raucous immediately after class.
"Are you going to the competition? Garen?" With a brown blazer, Kalidor sat in front of Garen’s seat. He pushed a slim boy to the side. "Sorry, let me squeeze in a little bit."
The youth mumbled a bit but didn’t say much.
Garen looked at him, speechless.
"It’s the archery and sword art competition right? I don’t have any plans to compete right now, but my sister will be part of the archery contest. I will be there to cheer her on. Where did Fayne and Jack go?"
"I don’t know. Those two were acting pretty suspicious right after class. Who knows where they went?" Kalidor shrugged. Because of his peculiar taste in fashion and carelessness in appearance, not a lot of people enjoyed his company. In a similar vein, due to Garen’s low-income family background and cold personality, only someone as bold as Kalidor got along with Garen.
Therefore, the two had a closer relationship compared to Fayne and Jack. Including Ai Fei, they were a five-man gang. The closeness in their relationships, however, differed.
"I will only be there for the archery competition." Garen didn’t give it too much thought. He felt quite distant from the contest at school because of how dull it usually was. Maybe it was because he had already fought someone to the death, but to him, the competitions were as boring as it could get.
Kalidor pouted as he displayed an expression that said ‘I knew you were going to say that’.
"Since you have time right now, I need you to help me with something." He looked around and dragged the studying Ai Fei look to the side.
"What are you doing?? I’m studying."
"You’ll know once we get there."
The three gathered together and Kalidor began explaining the situation.
Because a friend of his was back in town, he wanted to bring the two of them to their reunion.
Garen and Ai Fei were his close friends at school, so he wanted them to be there. Since Fayne and Jack’s girlfriends needed to be at Xu Xiao’s competition, they could not attend due to the conflict in their schedules.
"All my best friends are attending the gathering. My big brother, whom I respect the most, is hosting it. You guys have to come this time! Just treat it as a favor for me."
"Why do you need us to be there at the gathering?" Ai Fei was puzzled.
"My family found me a girl that I am supposed to get engaged to. I want you guys to give me some opinions at this gathering…" Kalidor said in a shy tone.
"Engaged…" Ai Fei and Garen wereas shocked at the news.
"How old are you, to be getting engaged now…" Garen had a peculiar expression.
"16 years old, is there a rule that says I can’t be engaged at 16?" Kalidor asked defiantly.
Garen paused for a moment.
He wanted to ask Old Man Gregor to see the book again. But the old man had become increasingly stubborn for some reason, so his answer was always no. The Dojo was about to pay out its student allowance as well as host an internal competition to finalize the standings. He also needed to keep his guard up against the man with the bloody eyes. After all, he did kill someone of theirs.
[The good thi
ng is that there’s no news related to the murder that day yet. After the police took care of the crime scene, the detective couldn’t find anything useful. The technology is too behind in this world. If it happened on earth, they could easily use surveillance to identify me as a prime suspect.]
Garen was glad that chaos filled this barely industrial world.
[Even on earth, there are still plenty of people who committed murder but still remained free. Without the assistance of technology, who knows how many truths are still hidden in the darkness. No wonder a detective like Dale Quicksilver can have such a renowned reputation here.]
He was not afraid that they would find his family. It was dark that day, so it was hard to recognize his face. Nobody knew that he went to the dojo through that desolated street either. Without a name as their lead, it would be impossible to identify someone in Huais Shan City out of the tens of thousands of people that lived there. It would be as difficult as searching for a needle in the vast sea. There was no way they could trace any of this back to his family.
After giving it a thought, he felt it was necessary to relax for a bit. A gathering of his friends would be an excellent choice. If he continued to suppress himself, he would go insane before the enemy even showed up.
"The competition starts in a couple of days. Let me be clear, I only have time for the archery competition."
"It’s only for a few days, don’t worry, we won’t miss your sister’s competition." Kalidor gave Garen an "I understand" look.
"I don’t have any problems, let me know when we leave." Ai Fei concurred without hesitation.
"Okay, oh Ai Fei, can I borrow your physics homework?"
"Why don’t you ask Garen?"
"His handwriting is horrendous."
"Go screw yourself! Your writing is uglier than mine, yet you don’t see me complaining!"
Not only Kalidor, Garen himself also regularly copied homework off of Ai Fei. He didn’t know every subject, especially in Foreign Languages. They were learning the renowned ancient Mengdiyan language. The language was incredibly difficult to pronounce with its tongue-twisting syllables. The abrupt tone combined with the peculiar sound made it impossible to memorize.
After attempting multiple times yet still only managing to achieve a score of 30 on his tests, he ultimately gave up on the language altogether. She was the only girl in the gang of five, and was also gorgeous to boot. Ai Fei was the catalyst and core to their desire to study. She could solve any problem they had.
Three days later.
In nightfall, Garen and Ai Fei followed Kalidor to a hotel in the downtown of Huai sShan City.
"We are here," Kalidor said as he led the way. Behind him, Garen was in a black shirt, and Ai Fei was dressed up in a light pink dress.
Above the hotel, a sign named: Mila’s Night Star hung in the night sky. Below the name hung ten incandescent light bulbs. Light bulbs were not too common in this world due to the rarity of thin wiring and cost. Only the wealthy families could afford them.
A continuous wave of cars stopped in front of the luxurious rectangular door as they dropped customers off.
"My brother is a great guy; I’ll introduce you guys once he is here." Kalidor looked excited. "He created a business by himself in the Eastern Sea province!"
"Look how happy you are. It sounds like you’re going to meet your believed." Garen responded as he followed. Ai Fei giggled beside him.
"Can you say something nice for once in your life?"
A waiter greeted them as they walked through the door. After politely asking for their names, he led them to a grand hall on the second floor.
As they approached the hall, Kalidor waved at the teenagers in the hall. He looked quite popular amongst them.
"Why don’t you go and say hi? We’ll make ourselves comfortable here." Ai Fei saw that Kalidor was struggling to keep up with all the conversations and understandingly offered.
"Okay, I’ll be back in a moment. There are drinks on the table, make yourself comfortable…" Before he finished his sentence, Kalidor was dragged away by a short-haired man.
Garen shrugged. He started to think as he watched the group of people inside the hall. As soon as Kalidor entered the room, he became the center of attention. His background was not as simple as he had claimed before.
"Let’s walk around. It looks great in here."
A graceful man was standing at the corner. His flawless skin and athletic figure almost resembled a woman’s. The fit white suit made him look appear extremely delicate and elegant. He casually chatted with the people surrounding him.
"Kalidor, we haven’t seen each other for a while. Why are you not saying hi? Who was the person that consistently yelled ‘brother, brother’ behind me?" The man saw the three of them approach and gave Kalidor a light punch.
His friends around him also giggled along.
"Brother Weimar, I am here. I came as soon as I saw your telegram. I didn’t dare stop for even a second," Kalidor said with a sour face.
"Okay, stop acting. I know you too well for your tricks to work! Let me introduce you." Weimar said to the group of friends around him, "Noble Stallone’s only child, Kalidor. The rest are old friends, but let us introduce ourselves to the two new friends here today."
He pointed at the blond boy and the girl with yellow pupils.
"William; his father, General William, is extremely close with Uncle Stallone. She is Jessie; the Kaifei International Hotel Chain is owned by her family."
When he introduced Jessie, he winked at Kalidor. Kalidor immediately knew that she was the girl that his family found.
"Since you guys are Brother Weimar’s friend, you guys are my friends as well. If you guys ever need anything in Huais Shan, don’t hesitate to find me." With a forthright statement, Kalidor pumped his chest.
William nodded without saying a word.
"Then I’ll have to count on you here." Jessie smiled at him as she returned a wink.
"Why don’t you introduce your friends to us?" Jessie looked at Garen and Ai Fei in the not-far-off distance.
"They are all my friends from school. The person with purple hair is called…"
"That’s okay, let’s grab something to eat. I’ll have to meet some other friends. You guys keep chatting."
Weimar interrupted him. Then, with a smile, he walked into the crowd with a blue-colored martini.