Chapter 201: The Lost Future
Four o’clock in the morning.
Even if he was familiar with Jesse Dylan’s weird personality, Adrian still felt deeply ridiculous about what they were doing.
It was still far from the expected battlefield, but Jesse woke him up in the middle of the night— Not so much woke him but touched him ambiguously on his chest. As soon as Dylan’s hands were about to move down, the tip of the metal bow was pressed against his throat.
"Oh, you’re awake," the blond young man said with a grin, as if he wasn’t surprised by the reaction of the former knight commander. "It’s time for us to leave, Adri."
The fuller goat was obviously also the victim of Jesse Dylan’s weird plan. The goat was carrying large bags of debris, obviously overloaded and was nibbling bitterly at the hard grass by the tent. The soldiers who were supposed to be guarding outside the tent had already drifted off to sleep and it didn’t take much thinking to figure out who was responsible.
"Actually, I’m enough by myself, but you see, I agreed not to hide any plans form you." Noticing the helplessness in Adrian’s face, Jesse’s smile grew wider.
The knight commander didn’t ask much. He sighed softly and carried his bow and quiver.
Before leaving, Jesse Dylan asked Marshal Gallagher for a lot of strange things. It wasn’t until everything was shipped that Adrian realized why Jesse wanted the fuller goat to follow.
This bastard didn’t want to carry all this pile of miscellaneous thing by himself.
Even if he didn’t see Gallagher’s face, Adrian could see the marshal’s blank expression from looking at this pile of things that Dylan asked for…
Strong metal wire, hemp rope, small iron beads, straw traps, flares, a mixture of grease for lubricating wheel axels, simple reels for maneuvers, and other items stuffed in the cloth bags as if they had just robbed a country grocery store.
There was even a bundle of good-quality carrots and a bag of honey cookies. The knight commander wasn’t quite sure if their destination was to a battlefield or Dylan’s stomach— Especially those bags of cookies.
"It’s troublesome to buy these things yourself." After checking the items on the goat’s back, Jesse muttered. "We’re helping our puppy marshal with things, and I don’t want to spend my own money."
Adrian watched numbly as Jesse stuffed a honey cookie into his mouth. The overwhelmed fuller goat bleated with suffocation, as if it was cursing at him.
They used simple teleportation scrolls to teleport near the battlefield. The sky was still dark blue and full of stars. Jesse led the goat to a forest.
"Set up here first and then we’ll go to the lawn." Jesse snaped his fingers, and the cloth bag on the goat’s back fell in response.
"What are you going to do?" the knight commander finally spoke.
"Win this battle." Jesse rubbed his hands and stuffed the bag of snacks into Adrian’s arms. "You don’t need to do anything yet, Adri. Just watch."
Having said that, he waved his hands as if he was conducting an unseen orchestra in the darkness.
Metal wires and hemp rope snaked out of the sack and burrow into the darkness of the grass. A few sections wrapped around carrots and dragged them up to the branches. For a while, the rusting sound brushed through the bushes, through the branches, and into the soil
It was a strange preparation for the event.
Adrian held his arms, leaned against a tree on the edge of the woods and stared at Jesse who was humming.
He hid a bunch of rope into the woods and dangled the carrots on the branches. Jesse patted his hands and instructed the goat to change places. The fuller goat nibbled on the bag and obediently dragged the remaining bags towards the grass. As he passed Adrian, Jesse stretched out his hand and took out a piece of honey cookie and held it in his hand.
"Aren’t you hungry, Adri? In the middle of the night, it’s good to eat some sweets."
"Not very hungry." The knight frowned. "Compared to this, you…"
Before the voice fell, the sweet and greasy cookie was stuffed into his mouth. Jesse’s movements were too fast, and Adrian didn’t react until his tongue tasted the sweetness and just as he was about to take the cookie off his mouth, Jesse’s face quickly approached and bit half of it away.
"Since you are not hungry, I’ll take a piece to go," Jesse said vaguely, with a mischievous smile on his face.
Adrian didn’t spit out his half of the cookie or put it back in the bag. He only frowned and finished it.
"Why are you doing this?" Carefully brushing away the crumbs from the corner of his mouth, the knight chief looked at Jesse who was digging a pit with magic.
"To win. I guess you don’t like blood-splattered battlefields, so I decided to use a cleaner way," Jesse said matter-of-factly. "Now that you have seen everything I have done— Don’t worry. Wait until tomorrow and you’ll know. Adri, I’m going to need your cooperation then."
"…But you didn’t set up any arrays. In the face of a heavily armed army, these types of things will not play much role."
What Jesse set up were all inconspicuous traps, and the places where they were placed were also extremely scattered. Adrian couldn’t figure out what effect the other party planned to achieve with these rough traps. Judging from the crudeness, they weren’t even traps; they were more like some kind of prank.
"Surprises are always accompanied by suspense," Jesse hummed.
After more than an hour, Jesse used up all the props in the cloth bag.
The blond young man tied the goat to a thin tree, sat down on the softest part of the lawn, and then patted his thigh affectionately. "It’s done, that’s all the preparations. Adri, do you want to sleep a little longer?"
He patted his thigh loudly.
Adrian glanced at him faintly, inexplicably feeling that Jesse’s action was like summoning a pet at home. He ignored Mr. Dylan, who patted his legs and looked expectant, then chose a different area on the ground to lie down. He shrank up vigilantly and began to take a nap.
Jesse huffed sadly, moved himself over, and then forcibly stuffed his thigh under the knight’s head.
"It’s softer like this." Jesse’s tone was very sincere. "Don’t run, okay?"
This tone was like coaxing a cat. The knight commander let out a sigh of amusement. He wanted to leave, but an inexplicable sense of familiarity stopped him.
Jesse Dylan had a very good smell on his body.
Unlike his flamboyant appearance, the blond young man had never used perfume that would choke his nose. When he got close enough, the fine aroma would appear. It was extremely light, sweet and warm— Like freshly ripe berries, warm water mixed with honey, or silk with the temperature of skin.
It was inexplicably… nostalgic.
Although he had noticed it the night in the Clementine Cathedral, the faint fragrance was quickly obscured by the ambiguous smell of sweat. And at this moment, in this quiet early morning, it inexplicably appeared and became distinctly real.
With warm fingers sticking into his hair and gently massaging his scalp, Adrian finally closed his eyes and didn’t struggle.
"It doesn’t make sense," he whispered. "You are a diviner, you can see the future, right?"
Jesse’s movements paused.
"This is the most interesting thing." The beautiful blond young man lowered his head and muttered to himself. The tips of the cool hair swept across Adrian’s face. The knight’s long breaths gradually became even and long, and he fell asleep, sleeping soundly.
And Jesse just stared at the other’s sleeping face. His ice-blue pupils became obscure in the night.
"You had no future a long, long time ago, Adrian Cross."
In the evening of the next day, Gallagher’s army reached the vicinity of the battlefield where the conflict might break out. Even if the two assigned Black Chapters disappeared in the middle of the night, the soldiers wouldn’t stop their advance.
The target city wasn’t far away. They could already see the high stone walls clearly. The enemy was approaching, and the dust flew with their flag. The horses ran through the sparsely wooded area, and the vast grassland ahead was very suitable for fighting…
It was just that there was two people on the grass, plus a white goat.
What are those two Black Chapters doing there?
"Adri." Jesse ignored the approaching friendly forces behind him. "It’s time. Aim at that carrot… I mean, aim at the rope on the carrot and I’ll give you an interesting show."
Adrian shook his head helplessly as he pulled back his bow. The carrot Jesse was referring to was too far away to be seen. Even the former Chief Justice of the Knights of Judgement had to use a surveillance array to see it.
The sharp arrow broke through the air and accurately shot off the fragile hemp rope.
Fresh carrots fell from the treetops, and with the help of a simple surveillance array, the knight commander could see all the details of what was happening in the distance…
The enemy knight was driving his horse towards them when suddenly a carrot fell from the sky stopped the horse.
From this moment on, the whole battle changed in taste.
Marshal Gallagher’s army had already formed their formation, ready to wait for the enemy knights to rush out of the woods, and then immediately move forward, but after a long time, no knights rushed out.
"What’s the matter?" The commander general frowned.
"You… See for yourself." The scout handed the general the monocle with a surveillance array.
The enemy was collapsing.
Everything was comical and bizarre.
A knight on the opposite side was hit by a teammate behind him because of the horse’s abnormality. The location was also coincidental, just between two trees. The companion behind him didn’t have time to turn and the horses collided directly into each other.
This was followed by a chain reaction.
The two knights seemed to have broken their bones causing the healers and nurses to rush up. As a result, the two who came up ran too fast when they suddenly tripped over something and flew forward. They slammed their head into a boulder and fainted. The soldier next to them hurriedly went to get a healing scroll, only to find that the scroll was thrown into a nearby stone pit at some unknown time. When the poor soldier tried to climb down to get it, the stone by the pit loosen causing the solder to fall into the bottom of the pit and fell unconscious.
And this was just one place.
The horses were frightened and broke some of their legs. The cavalry collided and were stabbed by friendly weapons. The healers seemed to be caught up in some kind of maze created by fate as there was always some kind of messy accident in front of them. When the last healer reluctantly rushed to where the most injured were, a decayed tree suddenly fell and smashed into them directly.
The sudden incident caused chaos in the opposite camp. Before encountering a fight with real battle, they took the lead in encountering another strong enemy— Inexplicable doom.
There were two-thirds fewer enemy troops rushing out of the woods, as could be seen from their formation. The knights on the opposite side were obviously also surprised by their situation.
But what was waiting for them wasn’t a normal battlefield.
When their horses stepped into the pit, the knights they were carrying was thrown off. The soldiers didn’t even know why they had slipped off and fell to the ground, but the heavy shield they were carrying broke their ribs. The same comical tragedy kept repeating and a few enemy soldiers began to retreat instead, unwilling to rush to the death in front of the army of the "Mad Dog of the Wasteland".
"This is a curse… No, this evil magic." Marshal Gallagher’s general couldn’t help shivering.
Before their army could do anything, the opposite side already took the lead in self-destruction. He had followed Marshal Gallagher for many years and had never seen such a ridiculous battle.
When the last enemy figure fled back into the woods, the setting sun had just touched the horizon.
"This… Is this man-made?" the adjutant general swallowed. "No, is this the level that a human can do?"
There was no sign of any guided spell. It should be a purely physical trap, but even if they relied on calculations and chain reactions to trigger it, it was impossible to achieve such a level. There was no sudden thrust of steel spikes or sophisticated mechanical mechanism. Just by looking at the materials of the traps, the other party shouldn’t have been injured to this extent by all accounts.
Usually even if one were to take the lead in setting up a trap of this magnitude, at most it would only cause one or two people on the opposite side to be injured. No person with a normal head would take such a chance against the enemy— As if they were using intricated cause and effect as a weapon rather than the fate of a sharp blade.
The randomness combined with all the factors was terrible. This was no longer in the scope of human calculations.
The two generals looked at the backs of the two Black Chapters at the center of the grass field.
The cause of the farce was just a single arrow. If all this had been planned in advance…
The last solider was running towards the forest tripped to the ground. He seemed to have triggered some mechanism as a row of flares rose into the sky, exploding like a shower of golden shavings of light covering the gradually darkening sky. The shavings of light were like confetti that fell during the curtain call of the closing of a drama. It flew all over the sky and was dyed red by the setting sun.
Adrian looked at the blond young man in front of him in silence.
"You see, I don’t want to use force to solve a problem that a few bags of rags can solve. No one died. You like this, don’t you, Adri?"
The knight commander stared at Jesse quietly, covering up the stormy waves in his heart with a calm expression. This was the first time he had thoroughly understood the horror of Jesse Dylan.
It was a completely different horror from Nemo Light.
He didn’t know why, but he wasn’t afraid of it. In the floating light shavings, Jesse opened his arms with ill-intention but had a pure smile on his face.
"A comedy, dedicated to you, my star," the blond young man raised his tone and sounded extremely happy. "Do you like it?"
"Let’s go back." The knight commander took a few deep breaths, glanced at the woods entangled with doom, and tried to suppress the heartbeat that was accelerated by the shock.
"Do you like it?" Jesse didn’t move. He puffed up his face in dissatisfaction, like a naughty boy who didn’t get candy.
"…Well, I’m glad this is not the war I’m familiar with." The knight commander turned around and began to advance towards Marshal Gallaghers’ army.
"What about today? Do you like me a little more today?" Jesse still didn’t move.
Adrian stopped and turned his head.
Jesse Dylan stood in place. His long blond hair was slightly swaying from the wind. The setting sun was behind him making his flawless face and person felt a bit too ethereal. His face was full of smiles— Sly and satisfied, with a hint of expectations.
Adrian couldn’t understand the other party’s obsession.
He considered himself an extremely boring person, and he didn’t even have much "character" at all. Whether it was appearance or personality, there were many others in this world who were better and more interesting than he was. Before, he could stand on top of the surface with his strength, but now he had even lost that strength.
Now, he was just a ghost wandering for atonement and upholding a promise, but he had no complaints about such a fate, but someone kept insisting on stuffing him with flesh and blood, reminding him that he was still alive like a "human".
And that person was unreasonable, extremely self-centered, stubborn, childish but powerful enough to be terrifying.
The knight commander thought that the other party approached him due to curiosity, and then after that night, Jesse Dylan’s purpose would begin to lose interest, but rather than losing it, the other party’s interest was obviously growing.
No matter what the purpose was, if what Dylan wanted was a sincere relationship, Adrian firmly believed that the other party would fail.
How could he give something with a heart that wouldn’t beat passionately with affection and love?
"No," the knight commander replied, as always.
"Oh." Jesse didn’t seem discouraged.
"Then smile, otherwise as a comedy script writer, I’ll be very hurt," the blond young man said casually.
Jesse tugged at the goat’s reins with one hand and hooked Adrian’s neck with the other. They stepped on the bloodless grass with small iron beads left over that glistened in the sunset, like pearls left among the field.
He felt the other party’s body temperature that was odd and real.
Adrian stiffened subconsciously, turned his head, and looked at the carefree smile at the corner of his mouth. His heart suddenly sour, but it wasn’t due to frustration, but a kind of… pain closer to emptiness and bewilderment. The strange emotion grabbed him, entangled his tongue, and he couldn’t help but speak out.
"…But I don’t hate you, Dylan."
Was what he said.
The author has something to say：
Knight commander: Come to think of it, I think the person who owns a cat is actually me.
Jesse purrs (.