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66 Hold back the instincts

Helial walked across the hallways of the Royal Library with stealthy and regular steps. He was looking for Frankenstein. The Devil had handed him a great Breathing Technique for the young Goblin.

A friend of mine created his Breathing Technique and gave it to me. He asked me to teach it to the disciples of Destructions so that it wouldn't fade. Curious, actually. Among the ranks of Destruction, no one gives a fuck about who owns certain Techniques. But among the ranks of Life…

Inside Helial's Soul, the Devil kept quiet, then shook his head and went back to laying the table. Did he change the centerpiece or what?

Never mind, Shithead. One day you'll have a lot to settle, but just focus on becoming the strongest for now.

His disconnected train of thought took Helial slightly aback. Though he knew perfectly well that the Breathing Technique the kid had given him for Frankenstein was no ordinary technique. It had been created by an Immortal called Paralexus, one of the greatest Elementalists ever existed according to the Devil. Helial furrowed his eyebrows. If the Devil praised that Elementalist so much, how strong could he possibly be? After all, that black-fanged boy had extinguished the shard of Kirin's Soul in...

"AHHHHHHH! MHHN!"

Suddenly, a cry resounded out from a library hall. Helial immediately changed direction to check what was going on.

"How dare you scream, you whore? The only reason why you're still alive is thatyour body looks too peachy and we wanted to have some fun with you, which you refused! Are you courting death?!"

When he heard these words, Helial lost his temper. He had still no idea on what was happening, but what he heard was enough for him to get worried.

Helial had seen too many disciples of the Royal Academy abuse the plebeians. He was beginning to understand the social framework in which Orma was set.

Helial's Aura started trembling. A wild energy rippled the air with every step he took on the white marble floor.

"Shut up, whore!"

Crack

The floor cracked under Helial's foot. He turned the corner and a grotesque scene appeared before his eyes.

Two Goblins were holding still a young Goblin girl who was thrashing about in a vain attempt to wiggle out of their grip. The great knowledge hidden in the shelves of that library drew the attention of many, even though very few had the right to access it. That wasn't the first time that a plebeian was found reading and got heavily beaten because of the boundary he or she had overcome. This time though the Goblins would appeared to have overcome any limit too. Since whom they found was a nice-looking girl, weak and defenseless, the disciples had thought it best to go for a different punishment.

The Goblin who was ravenously ripping her clothes off blurted out: "You set foot where you shouldn't and would deserve to die instead! This is our mercy! Be grateful to your do-gooders!" When he finished speaking, the Goblin seemed to be howling instead of speaking.

In the Goblin capital, the strong preyed the weak. No law forbade those with an high status like the scholars of the Royal Academy to abuse whoever happened to be weaker than them.

There was no distinction between good and evil. Only between strength and weakness. Witnessing that scene, Helial could not help thinking back to Hades, who had slaughtered dozens of people without the slightest hesitation in the belief that they were too weak to deserve to live. Helial had been watching with a bundle held in his arms. A bundle that Hades would have likely killed like any other person. In his world, there was no room for dead weights.

Helial's carotid started bulging on his neck. It seemed to be about to explode. He could still feel the warmth of that bundle in his childish little arms. He was only five when he had to abandon everything he knew because of someone alarmingly similar to those Goblins. Someone who could not tell the difference between tyranny and humanity, but only that between strength and weakness.

This blind rage built over the years had the same taste as the metallic drops from his bleeding tongue, tortured by his teeth. Hatred didn't show often at Helial's door, though he could not feel otherwise before such repulsing people as those.

People who denied others' free will and could not care less about respecting other people's freedom until someone deprived them of their own.

What is freedom anyway?

Does your being free mean that you're allowed to step over someone else's weakness?

Helial gritted his teeth and shook his head slowly. A dark ray gleamed in his right hand and a Longsword flashed into existence. His breathing left space to a death rattle.

Or does freedom require us to hold back our instincts instead?

Is he free that blindly obeys his impulses and lets his beastly side take over?

Skill Activated:

Flame of the Qilin

Helial had seen many people convinced that they were free in their weakness. But they were only following beaten tracks because they could not do otherwise. Because they could not face their fears. Those who followed this path, like Hades, were just scared. Those who acted like the Goblins before him lacked the ability to handle their power.

You're not free if you let your strength rule over you. You're free if you're strong enough to rule over yourself.

Helial remembered his sister's warm breath as she hugged him in a house whose walls couldn't shield them from the winter cold. He could still hear her hunger pains when he wouldn't find enough food to make it to the next day. He could still see Lumia's tears as he spent yet another night outside to train in order to bring the both of them out of that slime.

His bloodshot eyes swept over the Goblins, who had just noticed him. The third one was still intent on fondling the body of the young Goblin girl. He looked up only when he saw that his fellows' gaze was directed elsewhere behind his back. There stood a human, whose eyes were flaming with fierceness.

The girl let out a groan for help.

"Can't you see we're busy, brat? Why don't you get out of here?" the Goblin snarled and began to turn again.

"Flee now and I'll spare you all," Helial's voice fell on them like a death sentence as it echoed out through the white walls of the library.

The Goblin immediately frowned and mocked: "The fuck you want? Who d'you think you are, huh? Get the hell out of here, filthy human."

Helial ignored him and his gaze turned to looked at the girl, now half-naked. Her eyes were emerald green. Same eyes as Lumia, Helial thought. And he felt a wring at the heart.

That could have been Lumia.

"Is the girl you're struggling for?" another one grinned.

"We're Inner Court disciples! Do you know what would happen if you killed us all, supposing that you could? Hahah! But who would do anything if we touched this pussycat?"

Helial's icy glare warned the three Goblins one last time. Then, the boy went into a fighting stance and prepared to slash down.

"Don't!" a voice resounded from behind Helial's back.

It was Snowflake's.

The cat was standing fifty yards away from Helial. He had felt a familiar Aura blasting in the library. As soon as he recognized him, he had hurried to follow the killing intent that was spreading through the library. He had a feeling that something awful was about to happen.

When he saw that scene, everything had gotten clear. He let out a cry to warn Helial to stop.

Even though Helial was Caesar's pupil, to kill a scholar of the Royal Academy was a grave offense, usually mortal. If Helial had killed one of those Goblins, he would have signed his own death sentence as well.

Besides, those Goblins were Inner Court disciples in the First Phase Late stage. They were far stronger than those of the Outer Court in their same phase. The Skills and Techniques they acquired were indeed more powerful. A fight against them would prove tougher than Helial imagined.

"Look at them! Hahah! Who do you think you are?!" the Goblin shouted. He grabbed the girl's uncovered breast and mocked, "if you behave, your silvery-haired little friend won't follow!"

The temperature dropped below zero.

"Say goodbye to this freedom you pay such respect to, slobs."

Snowflakes' pupils shrank as silver lightning bolts appeared under his feet. He rushed forward at breakneck speed, trying to stop Helial.

But it was too late.

The Goblin's mouth wasn't done laughing yet when Curse of the Demon hissed through the air and split him in two from chest to groin. Flame of the Qilin reduced the Goblin to ashes. In a split second, nothing was left to testify he had even existed in this world.

Villius lost 12340 HP!

Helial ignored the pop ups. He compressed the Mana in this Meridians so violently they risked ripping apart.

Skill Activated:

Mana Pistol

Forced Activation:

Mana Pistol Cost increases by 500%

Mana Pistol Damage increases by 300%

No Cast Time required

Helial spat out a mouthful of blood. He let go of Curse of the Demon and raised both indexes toward the heads of the two Goblins left. In a split second, they exploded in a bloody mist.

You delivered a Critical Hit!

You delivered a Critical Hit!

Duilius lost 12340 HP!

Minitius lost 12340 HP!

"NO!" Snowflake cried in despair. He watched the three Goblins die as easily as a flower that is plucked from a field. Their lives got snatched away in a mere second.

Helial destroyed their bodies with Flame of the Qilin. He was on the edge of a mental breakdown. Snowflake arrived a second too late to fix anything.

Helial, deaf to Snowflake's cries, kneeled to help the girl stand up. She had fallen to the ground with a thud after the two Goblins had gotten burnt to ashes. Helial wore a warm smile. He took a dress out of Call of the Mermaid and gently put it over the girl. All around him, the servants had begun to mutter lively.

They had arrived just in time to witness the death of the three Goblins. Someone had promptly called their superiors. Some guards had already hurried there to arrest the human responsible for that outrageous tragedy. The scene looked unreal.

Helial paid no attention to them and kept smiling at the little girl: "What's your name?"

"Lu-Lulu," she said through a rush of tears. She looked at Helial with veiled eyes. That human had just sacrificed more than he could tell in order to rescue her. She felt an unbearable pang of guilt as she saw two guards approach the human who stood before her.

The guards grabbed Helial by the arms, speaking gravely, and urged him to step away. Helial didn't resist them. On the contrary, he kept smiling and said: "Don't worry, Lulu. Everything's gonna be alright."
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