Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 194: A Smiley Face
Trent Plague wasn’t a disease that would wait for someone. Medes used the treasured Tin Soldiers position array to forcibly teleport himself to the nearest public teleportation array, where Flint was.
The young omni-scientist didn’t have time to clean up his appearance; stained robe, messy hair, and beard. Under the chaotic bangs, tears dripped uncontrollably through the cracked silver plate of the teleportation array.
He may never have the opportunity to use it again.
Flint looked worse than Medes. He hadn’t seen him in just five months, but Flint was frighteningly thin right now, and he no longer saw the brilliance in his eyes. It was like all his muscles and internal organs were pulled out while he was alive, leaving only a dying body behind.
Medes wasn’t sure if he wanted to hug his former leader.
“Let me see Miss Ramon,” he said simply, walking towards the simple house.
Oliver, in the illusion, suddenly clenched Nemo’s hand. Unfortunately, he could only see half his mother’s face—Sonia was reclining on the head of the bed, with a soft cloth wrapped around her eyes. She gently put one hand on her obviously large belly and had a soothing smile at the corner of her mouth. Even with only having her face exposed, the smile was still sweet.
“Mr. Medes,” she greeted politely. “Hello, this is the first time we have met. Unfortunately, I can’t get out of bed to greet you properly.”
She paused for a while. “Is there any food on the table on the left? I’m hungry.”
“Uh, there is,” Medes responded subconsciously.
“Sure enough…Flint! You didn’t eat well. What did I say last night?” Sonia’s momentum was not weakened by the illness, and although Flint looked extremely haggard, he still subconsciously shrank his neck.
“Sonia…” Flint sat down by the bed and lifted his wife’s sweaty bangs with trembling hands. “I’ll eat in a while, I promise.”
Medes stood still by the bed. A large number of arrays of different sizes were connected end to end, circling Sonia from head to toe. He was silent for half a minute. “It is indeed the Trent Plague. According to the time you contacted me and Miss Ramon’s physical condition, she’s now at the end of the… infection period. Flint, I have to talk to you alone.”
Hearing these words, their fearless leader trembled slightly.
“No need.” Sonia’s voice was brisk, and the smile at the corner of her mouth still didn’t disappear. “I don’t mind, I want to know. “
“Go ahead, Balthazar.” Flint clenched his wife’s hand. “Tell us.”
“I know you must have notified me as soon as possible, but…it’s too late.” Medes gritted his teeth. “At the end of the infectious period, the curse has begun to spread. I may have a way to slow down this process, but…”
“How long can it last at most?” Sonia asked seriously. “Flint told me about the Trent Plague. It’s about to attack me, right?”
“Generally speaking, people can still retain normal thinking on the first day after the end of the infection period. But starting the next day, the curse will begin to concentrate on destroying the brain. In the end, it will focus on your eyes and turn them into the seeds of the Croyden Blood Tree.”
“Nn.” Sonia didn’t show fear or collapse. She nodded calmly, and the hand that was not held by Flint gently stroked her abdomen. “Then what?”
“I, uh, based on my research…”
This wandering dancer was completely different from Mede’s thoughts. She didn’t have a delicate and charming nature, and Sonia looked calm and at ease in the face of her upcoming death, but he himself began to stutter, and his throat felt a little bit bitter.
“According to my research, Flint can use his strength to temporarily suppress the curse and keep you awake for two days. But two days later, no matter how hard he tries, he will… I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. If I could arrive earlier, if I did more research before…”
“What if we don’t want this child?” Flint asked suddenly.
“Pregnancy will make her body weak, won’t it? So if we don’t want this child, can she… Even one more day…”
“Flint!” Sonia yelled.
“I’m sorry, Flint. Any external force exerted now will exacerbate the weakness of Miss Ramon’s body.” Medes’ nails, which hadn’t been trimmed for a long time, pierced his palm.
The man who killed the Demon King sat on the edge of the bed with his lower lip trembling. Ten seconds later, he finally let out a faint choking sound. It was as if he was declaring his own inevitable fate.
“Mr. Medes.” Sonia patted Flint on the back with one hand and continued to ask questions calmly. “Can our child still be saved?”
Medes stayed where he was for a while.
“According to the information I know, I have a bold speculation. This child is still part of my body now, and the main target of the curse is my brain. Even if the child is infected with the curse, the moment of onset will begin will be the moment he or she survives as a ‘human individual’. Is it like this?”
“In theory…” This woman was frighteningly smart.
“In other words, as long as this child can survive, it will become the first case to be detected at the earliest stage of infection.”
Sonia’s movement of rubbing her abdomen stopped. “Listening to what you just said, if you had ‘found out earlier’, there is a way. And now there is indeed a patient who was discovered early enough. Mr. Medes, tell me, is there any hope for this child?”
“Yes,” Medes replied numbly. “But that’s just a theory, and… like I just said, any external force will affect your body…”
“I still have two days to live at most.” Sonia’s voice was very firm. “My brain will rot into a pot of porridge, but I’ll still have a breathing body. I don’t want that kind of death. After I lose consciousness, just find a way to save this child.”
“I see what you mean. Balthazar, come here, we have to talk alone this time,” Flint said with difficulty, as if those words were embedded with broken glass, and he had vomited them out covered in blood from his throat. “You should take a break, Sonia.”
“Don’t go.” Sonia grabbed the corner of her lover’s clothes. “I want to stay with you for a while. We agreed with each other, my dear. We won’t hide anything from each other. Have you forgotten?”
“Even if I can’t see it, I can smell it.” She tried to make her tone relaxed. “You have something on your mind, something very serious on your mind. You see, I am not even afraid of death. Your little secret can’t defeat me. Let me guess—you know who did this, don’t you?”
“…” Flint closed his eyes in pain.
Medes drew in a cold breath. “Do you need me to recuse myself?”
“No, I believe you, brother.” Flint hugged his wife wearily.
“Balthazar, I think you should have heard of the recent war between Alban and Willard. Flint lowered his eyes. “There has been a stalemate on both sides.”
“I know. But this should have nothing to do with you, right? Didn’t you tell Your Majesty that you wanted to retire?”
“Yes, but less than a month ago, Sampson called me into the palace to talk. You know that I didn’t protect Abbas well and let him die at the bottom of the Abyss. Bringing back the bone jade was regarded as serving the country, but in personal affairs, I always felt I owed something to the Alastair family, so I went.”
Flint did use the title “Your Majesty”.
“Sampson’s meaning is very clear. He asked me if I had ‘rested enough’. He also said he could help me gather anyone I wanted if I wanted to make a comeback and rebuild a legendary mercenary group again, even to the point of intervening in the war.”
“…” Medes was speechless.
“Actually, that’s what I thought as well.” The necromancer was next to Oliver, who added at this moment. “Flint was still so young, so strong, that he would always start over again. To be honest, I… dreamed of him rebuilding the Tin Soldiers.”
“How foolish I was,” the dead bones said softly.
And Flint, on the other hand, continued.
“I rejected him… It’s better to say that I rejected him very firmly. I told him that I had brought back enough bone jade for Alban to use for five hundred years, and I didn’t want to rebuild the Tin Soldiers in order to intervene in the war. No one can replace my former companion.”
Flint smiled miserably. “I also told him that I had recently started looking for houses in remote villages and towns. My child will be born in four months, and now I just want to live in peace with my family. He agreed with a smile, as if it was just an old man’s whim proposal. I shouldn’t have behaved so resolutely, Sonia, it’s all my fault…”
“The people of the Alastair family did it?” Sonia pondered for a moment. “You didn’t contact your brother for the first time; was it because of this?”
“Nn. This old friend of mine is more sober, and my brother is too upright. If I ask Eman for help, and he knows the truth, I don’t know what he will do. He’s also about to be a father, and I don’t want to take him away from his child.”
Flint put his chin on his wife’s shoulder. “Emanuel is the Chief Justice of the Knights of Judgment. If he has nothing to do with this, no matter how things end up, the Pope will still have no problem keeping him.”
Medes stood stiffly, his Adam’s apple bobbed. “If I understand correctly, Flint. You mean… this was all His Majesty’s doing?”
“I guess he didn’t want me to find out about… it…”
“I’ll say it.” Sonia stroked Flint’s hair and sighed softly. “Flint went to find our future home the other day. He has always protected me very well. In order to prevent the revenge of the enemies of the Tin Soldiers, our residence is kept secret. Flint also set up magic arrays to detect powerful magic items everywhere in our residence. I’m not stupid enough to run around. At most, it’ll be to the entrance of the market.”
“I smelled a very good scent that day. Oh, my god, it was an indescribable and wonderful scent. A blind old woman was selling spice bags in the tent, so I went over and took a look. I have always liked these things very much. Flint knows that His Majesty… should also know. In fact, it is quite suspicious to think about it now. The old lady has always insisted that she wants to sell to ‘people with fate’ and has driven away several customers. And as soon as I went, she enthusiastically pulled me into the tent.”
“It’s like she was afraid I would run away.” She smiled helplessly.
“The scent of the Croyden Blood Tree,” Medes guessed dryly.
“She grabbed me, and I was immediately attracted by the smell. Like all spice merchants, she opened the spice bag in the tent to show the contents.”
“There was a shriveled fruit coated with gold powder in it. I had never seen it before. So I took a closer look for a while—During this period, she still grabbed my hand and kept pointing at the fruit, using her fingers to guide my palms. I guess it’s to ensure that my gaze was long enough.”
Flint hugged his beloved wife tightly and said nothing.
“Then my eyes started to ache, and at first, I thought it was dust—but after I got home, the pain was still there. I often go out and about, so I know what normal eye pain was. I felt something was wrong, so I immediately contacted Flint.”
“And I found the aura of the curse of the abyss.” Flint’s mood finally calmed down.
“But His Majesty… His Majesty should not have the fruit of the Croyden Blood Tree.” Medes’ voice trembled more and more severely.
“I thought so too, until I had an occasional conversation with Abbas about it.” Anger finally began to appear in Flint’s voice. “Abbas said a long time ago that he sneaked into the palace laboratory warehouse while everyone wasn’t paying attention and found the source of the disease that should have disappeared a long time ago. At that time, he wasn’t very old, and with the protection he had, he carved a smiley face at the bottom of the fruit.”
“Something is wrong with Sonia. My first reaction was to ask the palace physician for help. They quickly diagnosed the Trent Plague. The emperor told me that the old woman was a spy sent by Willard. She wanted to kill me and cause a plague in Alban, and he mourned for my loss—how reasonable he sounded.”
“’This is Zenni’s arrangement, my poor child. You’re far from the age of retirement. It’s time to return to the battlefield’… Was what he said.”
“But after that, Sonia described the fruit to me and told me there was a smiling face at the bottom of the fruit, Balthazar,” Flint’s voice trembled badly.
“Maybe it’s just a coincidence…” Medes said, struggling.
“The smiley face had two vertical lines on its mouth that looked familiar. I also took a few more close glances at it,” Sonia added with a sigh.
Abbas’ usual mark is a smiley face with two vertical lines on its mouth. The code that only his friends knew—everything was no longer an explainable coincidence.
For a while, the whole room fell silent.
“Remember our agreement, Flint?” Sonia was the first to speak out.
“The one you said after the proposal—If you die as a mercenary when the child doesn’t remember, tell the child not to mention anything about you. You don’t want your offspring to have too naïve vision of this profession.”
“Now it’s my request. If our child can survive, don’t tell it anything about me. Although I don’t think you will do anything stupid, I don’t want him to grow up in hatred. Promise me, Flint.”
“…I promise.” The head of the Tin Soldiers Mercenary Regiment’s eyes flushed, and he looked like he was about to cry.
“Now I’m really tired. Maybe you two also need some time to talk.” Sonia clenched the blanket tightly and tried to smile at the two of them. “Go talk for a while, boys. I need to sleep for half an hour.”
But when they walked out of the room and closed the door, they could still hear desperate and suppressed cries in the room.
Flint’s tears gushed out of his eyes all at once. He gritted his teeth tightly, not daring to make the slightest sound. He didn’t dare allow himself to sob loudly until he had gone far enough.
“Flint.” Medes took a step back.
“What do I need to do next?” Finally calmed down, the most powerful man on the surface was finally able to speak again.
“Your child can survive. It’s just that there is a little hope in this theory.” Medes closed his eyes in pain. “As your friend, I advise you to give up.”
“Tell me what to do,” Flint murmured. “This is her wish.”
“A five-month fetus… You need to use your own flesh and blood and magic to keep this child alive. This still doesn’t consider the situation of the Trent Plague. If you really want to save that child, you must use your strength to suppress the curse and seal it in its heart.”
“If it’s just sealed…”
“It’s not as simple as sealing.” Under a series of desperate shocks, Medes finally collapsed and yelled, “The curse is suppressed in the heart. Although the heart will still grow, it can’t beat anymore! Listen, it can’t beat! You must additionally re-inject enough power to support it with your own strength. Do you know what that means, Flint? It’ll empty you out!”
Medes pulled his hair hard.
“I must tell you, even if you do, the chance of this child surviving is a pitiful few percent. But once your power is squeezed to the limit, it will never recover! You… You can no longer take us… with you.”
“If I can, I want to be a good father.” Flint wiped his tears away, squeezing the sentence from between his teeth. “That’s absolutely difficult, I know, but it doesn’t require the power to subvert the world.”
“You will have nothing.” The wound on Medes’ palm that was scratched is still bleeding, “You’ll really have nothing… If this child also… Please, Flint, you have always been the most rational one among us. Yes, I also feel sorry for Sonia, but you will come around. Everyone can always come around. Your future is still very long, and you’re still muddled now…”
“I won’t come around,” Flint said slowly.
“There is only one Sonia Ramon and only one Flint Lopez in this world. There will never exactly be two of the same feelings. I’m pretty sure I can’t come around.”
“Many people have had this experience. You can’t be so weak!”
“You don’t understand, Balthazar. I am going to have no home soon.”
“You will have another home, Flint… Captain!”
“No, never again. The family that belongs to me will never happen again.”
Oliver’s eyes were red, and he took a long breath, trying to keep himself breathing in this depressing illusion. He grabbed his chest with his hand, and his heart was beating vigorously in his chest.
“As you can see, Sonia was awake for two days, and then… I took you out of your mother’s body, Oliver Ramon. Our commander began to save you as agreed in advance, but the excessive injection of power was extremely painful, like peeling off one’s skin. I thought at that point, the commander would retreat, but he didn’t.”
“He was truly crazy. From the moment Miss Ramon died, he has been crazy ever since. At least I thought so at the time. He was crazy to save you. I shouted countless times until I lost my voice—‘This child isn’t even a complete person. Sonia has died and she won’t know—You should plan for yourself’.”
“Then he beat me up.” The necromancer touched the cheek that had no flesh anymore.
“I left there without seeing the result. Maybe I didn’t want to see the desperate tragedy of the strongest man in my mind. At that time, your father didn’t let anyone approach. He guarded your mother’s body, holding the Ruinous Fire with one hand and doing his best to treat you with the other. At that time, you looked like a shapeless corpse, and he didn’t even… look like a person.”
“This doesn’t sound like a big mistake.” Oliver’s voice trembled a little. “Maybe you’re blaming yourself too much.”
The Necromancer stood in a mist and did not call out more images.
“As a coward, I have been inquiring about him from afar since then. A month later, I heard that he had returned to the vicinity of the capital of Alban with the Sword of Ruinous Fire. He didn’t bring any children but carried a coffin on his back. I thought…”
“Do you think he was going to seek revenge on Sampson?” Nemo’s voice said. He had a pretty bad guess.
“At that time, it was in a critical period of war,” the dead bones said softly. “If he kills the King of Alban at that time, Alban would be finished.”
Oliver turned his head in disbelief and stared at the necromancer beside him.
Medes held the badge of the Tin Soldiers in his skeletal hand full of runes.
“I struggled for a long time.”
“The captain is the person I admire most in the world, but I have seen the craziest and most irrational side of him… I ask myself; do I really have the right to bet the lives of the entire country on the character of a desperate man?”
Nemo closed his eyes and sighed for a long time.
“…I told Sampson. I betrayed the trust of the captain, and I told Sampson.” Blood and tears flowed from the skeleton’s eyes.
“I told him… Flint knows what you did. You have to be careful not to see him.”
“Since I’m still alive, that is to say, my father didn’t go to the capital for revenge.” Oliver took his eyes away from Medes.
“Yes. After all, he is still Flint Lopez.” Medes’ voice was full of pain and regret. “But Sampson Alastair is also Sampson Alastair. He knew that, in this way, he had completely offended Flint, a strong man… He took advantage of Flint’s weakness and issued a kill order against Flint.”
“I knelt and begged the king countless times, assuring him that Flint was no longer the unusually strong man before… But he didn’t believe it.”
“Because you are a member of the Tin Soldiers.” Ann’s tone was full of sarcasm. “He won’t believe it. He is that kind of person—the cold king who’ll nip all dangers in the bud.”
“Then another month passed, and Sampson received a gift. A gift from Flint Lopez.”
“…A gift?” Adrian frowned.
“Flint’s own right arm.” The light in Medes’ eyes dimmed. “There was only a note attached, ‘We’ll be reconciled from now on.’”
“It was cut off with complex abyssal magic and couldn’t be restored through healing. The commander also knew Sampson well… Now that I think about it, it was probably protecting you, Oliver. He wanted to eliminate his ‘threat’ and protect you from Alban’s pursuit.”
“But Uncle Ramon… No, the Flint we know has a complete right arm.”
“This is what I want to tell you, the end of the story.” Medes glanced at the silent Oliver, his voice very weak. He trembled and stretched out his fingers, summoning the last illusion.
The Young Medes was standing in the middle of the room.
A noose was hanging in the house, and Medes was standing in front of it, staring blankly at the rope swinging back and forth. He stretched out his hand and gently fiddled with it.
He shaved his beard and took care of himself neatly, and the badge of the Tin Soldiers gleamed on his chest.
A few minutes later, he sighed slightly and stood on the chair, but the communication crystal engraved with the emblem of the tin soldier began to flash at that moment. Medes fell directly off the wooden chair. He didn’t even have time to stand up, and crawled directly to the crystal…
“Let’s meet, Balthazar.” Flint’s voice came from the crystal. “It’s time to end all this.”
Honestly, I would raze Alban to the ground if I was Flint.
Now we also see why Flint taught Oliver the way he did.