Chapter 34: The lying Prince

Fearless has no love for the character of Bloodbeard. In fact, among the 63 playable warlords of ROC, Bloodbeard is down in the bottom of the list of Fearless’ most picked warlords. And yet, Bloodbeard was a popular character among the colossal roster of characters that ROC had to offer.

Perhaps, people like him because of how gritty, dark and edgy his story is. Perhaps, people like him because of the way he was portrayed. He even got a standalone comic series that recounted his entire story from the day of his birth to the day he was executed.

Fearless has no love for Bloodbeard. Yet, he remembered every tiny detail about the character of Bloodbeard because Misery has constantly drilled them into his head.

Despite the two of them are obviously very different, Fearless has many things in common with Misery. Reading is one of them.

Misery suffered a pretty heavy case of dyslexia and therefore, it’s very difficult for him to read words.

Fearless on the other hand, he preferred to learn things through his ears. He can read just fine, but he has always hated reading. He is an audio-learner, therefore, anything visual is never his cup of tea. In fact, the only reason that he managed to get a Bachelor in History is thanks to the geniuses of those people who made audio books and movie documentaries and the cooperation of his favorite lecturer.

That’s why when Misery told Fearless that he got hooked into a comic series, Fearless was skeptical and impressed at the same time. Out of curiosity, he asked Misery about the series. It was a mistake at that time. Misery was a little bit overly enthusiastic. He invited Fearless to his home and made Fearless go through the entire Bloodbeard series within a day.

Even after reading those comics, Fearless could say that his impression of Bloodbeard did not improve. He still does not like the man. He thought that maybe that was the reason why he could scam Bloodbeard without a sliver of guilt inside his heart.

The moment he woke up, he listened to the conversation of his captor until their leader, the man who they called “Bloodbeard”, routed the two of them.

Untying himself was very easy due to a necklace he always wore. It was a trick necklace. It looks like a necklace but it is more than that. Fearless thanked his luck that the two fools who capture him did not do a thorough body search. They took his Rolex watch, his platinum bangle, and his backpack. Yet, Enfermé was still strapped to his inner thigh and his necklace remained with him. It was lucky for Fearless that Iliva’s pearl was also kept hidden within his trick necklace, thanks to that Fearless was able to learn Nord just by listening to the conversation.

Had his captors done a more thorough body check, Fearless would have been in a worse situation. He guessed that the only reason his captors did not discover his necklace and dagger was because they actively avoided touching his chest and dick. He was lucky.

The very moment Fearless knew that Bloodbeard captured him; he gathered all the necessary clues while pretending to be tied up. Then, with all the information that he has learned about Bloodbeard, he played along with all the information he has gathered so far.

Bloodbeard has a blood-related uncle who he has never met before. That is a truth. Though, he is no warlord in the game, just a third rank officer who was in the service of a noble in the kingdom of Silver Snow. On a side note, Fearless could not remember the name of that man, nor his appearance, his perks, and skills. He’s a third rank after all. When ROC is still a game, it was littered with over a thousand of those trashes. They have mediocre stat, skills, and perks. They have more negative perks than useful ones. They are trashes. Even if players leveled those third rank trashes to max level, they are still trashed. The only time pro-gamers employ those third rank trashes is when they are running out of options.

Players would only learn of that information regarding the uncle of Bloodbeard while playing the Bloodbeard‘s single mode campaign, using Bloodbeard’s army to invade Silver Snow. If the player succeeded to conquer Silver Snow and that uncle of Bloodbeard was not killed during the invasion, that uncle of Bloodbeard would request a private meeting with him to recognize Bloodbeard as his nephew. Though, at the end of the event, Bloodbeard broke his uncle’s neck with his bare hands to gain an extra perk <Distrustful>. Of course, the fool came to his nephew, hoping that he would be given a position within his nephew’s army. Of course, Bloodbeard would break his neck.

At the moment, Fearless is trying to trigger that particular event, making Bloodbeard recognizing him as his uncle, of course, without the dying part.

The bandit lord scowled, staring at Fearless with confused eyes. The pinkish scars that ran across his face twisted, adding more to the folds and the creases on his face, making him resemble more of a demon. “Uncle? But you are an elf,” said Bloodbeard.

Bloodbeard’s face terrified Fearless no more than a barking Chihuahua. Fearless has seen worse. Beside, Fearless understood the character of Bloodbeard. Therefore, he was not afraid. Man is only afraid of things that he does not understand.

Fearless nodded his head and patted his chest heartily, appearing to be excited by Bloodbeard’s comment. His eyes were still drenched with tears. “Yes, I am an elf, half-elf. My mom, your grandmother is a human. Your grandfather is an elf. He is the most talented musician in this world. There is no instrument in this world that he could not play.”

Fearless knew that he has yet to answer any of Bloodbeard’s questions and only made the bandit lord felt confused. However, to make this fraud work, Fearless knew that he must dictate the framework and the pace of the conversation.

The scars on Bloodbeard’s face continued to twist more and more as if the bandit lord tried to squeeze the blood out of those scars on his face. “You say it like it would explain anything. My mom has never told me that I have any uncle who is also an elf.”

Of course, Fearless knew that. Fearless also knew that Bloodbeard’s mother seldom talked about his uncle, almost never, as if she actively avoided doing that.

“Of course, Eri is a smart girl. She would tell nobody about our identity.” Fearless cackled. A wide smile spread on his lips. “The bounty hunters are always after our tails. Your grandfather broke a taboo among our people when he married your grandmother. I have told her to tell you about us when you grow up….” His voice trailed off and more tears began to appear, drenching his cheeks. He started sobbing uncontrollably, leaving Bloodbeard to be at a loss for words.

Fearless was giving himself a thumb up from within. His acting was terrifyingly impeccable. His emotions appeared to be spontaneous and eruptive. He played the character of a self-serving uncle and he stuck with it. He frantically rubbed the tears in his eyes with his knuckles, trying to smile as he sobbed, “Sit down. It’s a long story,” Fearless told Bloodbeard, casually grabbing the bandit lord’s shoulder and making him sit down on one of the empty wine barrels in the room.

Fearless immediately discovered the range of Bloodbeard‘s personal space from the way Bloodbeard reacted to Fearless’ attempt of touching his shoulder. He was surprised to find out from the bandit lord’s reaction that he was more of an introvert than an extrovert despite being a leader of such a large marauding force. Fearless has always been under the assumption that Bloodbeard was an extrovert from the fact that he was a leader of a filthy large bandit horde and the way he showed his bravado in the comics. Fearless reassessed Bloodbeard in secret, changing his approach accordingly.

Fearless casually picked up another wine barrel inside the room and placed it next to the bandit lord, as near as possible without making the bandit lord feeling like his personal space has been invaded. Fearless then sat while making himself looking as unguarded as possible. It was the same skills he used to woo women in the bars. He employed those skills against Bloodbeard this time.

Bloodbeard’s reaction really made it easy for Fearless to read him, unlike Iliva. In a way, Bloodbeard is normal and Iliva is an extreme case of abnormality. Everything about Iliva was different and abnormal, starting from the abnormal range of her personal space, the way she reacted to stares, to the way she reacted to Fearless’ mind game. She was prideful yet insecure at the same time. She was pure and childlike in one moment then become mature and complex in the next. She can be honorable and despicable at the same time. She was the personification of the word otherworldly. She made Fearless constantly guessing while he was traveling with her. She made Fearless’ attempt to swindle Bloodbeard look like he was playing a dating simulation on the easy mode.

Bloodbeard appeared to be confused, still, of course, he should be. He was constantly on guard against Fearless and was a little bit defensive in his body langue. Fearless expected that the bandit lord would not drop his guard any time soon. The bandit lord has seen that well-crafted smile of Fearless in person and took part in the mind game that Fearless hosted, he would be constantly on the edge when he’s in the presence of Fearless. Fearless welcomed that. It would give him a mental edge over Bloodbeard. It was an invisible advantage.

Fearless began to weave a fantasy version tale of Romeo and Juliet to Bloodbeard. He told the bandit lord that his father was a dark elf who fell in love with his mother, a human. They wed each other in secret, against the law and tradition set by the ancient-minded elves. In the end, the two of them eloped, traveling around the world as adventurers, musician, and merchants. However, his father was a noble disposition among the elves, which made the situation worse, the elves sent assassins after the pair lovebirds, placing bounties on their heads.

Fearless could see the disbelief in Bloodbeard’s eyes. Of course, he should be like that. The story sounded far-fetched and too surreal that Fearless doubted that people would believe it. Fearless was glad that Bloodbeard did not buy that story instantly. Otherwise, Bloodbeard would make it boringly too easy for Fearless to scam him.

Fearless continued his story, pushing it to the climax by having the Juliet of his story tragically killed by the assassins. After that, Romeo had no choice but continued to run, assuming a new identity, taking the newborn Fearless with him. The two of them always traveled under disguises and never stayed in one place for too long.

“Disguises?” Bloodbeard asked.

“Watch this,” Fearless told the bandit lord and used his “What you can do, I can do better” on the bandit lord. He became Bloodbeard while Bloodbeard was staring at him, mouth agape, eye rounded. “How did you do that?”

“Elven illusion. Impressive right?” Fearless lied, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly, “It’s in my blood,” and undoing the transformation shortly.

“Is that common for the elves? I have never heard of that.” Bloodbeard asked.

“No, it’s not common even among the elves. I have told you, right? Your grandfather- my father, he comes from a special bloodline of noble disposition. This ability is passed down within our blood. That’s why our pursuers were determined to kill my father and me. It was never because he broke the taboo, see? This ability is to be remained a secret to human. It is never meant to be inherited by a half human like me.” Fearless put on a self-loathing smile, full of sarcasm.

Fearless let Bloodbeard on his utmost guarded secret, even though it was just bullshit. It was just another common trick of Fearless to win a person’s trust. While Bloodbeard was still trying to absorb the information in silence, Fearless moved to the next part of the story.

When thing slowed down and the assassins who constantly chased after them were nowhere to be seen, Romeo took an orphan baby he came across during his travel as his own daughter.

“That’s my mom?” Bloodbeard asked.

“Yes,” Fearless nodded his head, telling Bloodbeard how bright his mother was as a child. The memories of Alice and his own sister surfaced within his head, and a bright smile appeared on Fearless’ lips. He told Bloodbeard a few of his stories. He told Bloodbeard the story of how his sister made him overcome his fear of water and learn how to swim. He told Bloodbeard the story of how Alice came into his life. Fearless just had to switch the heroine in those stories into Eri to make it genuine and believable. Fearless could feel the tears that simmered in his eyes were that of joy and pure happiness as he was telling the bandit lord his stories, proving to the bandit lord that his love for Eri was genuine.

The body language of Bloodbeard changed dramatically as he listened to Fearless’ story. It was already at the point that Fearless could hardly tell if the bandit lord was still on guard against him or not. And the bandit lord was so quiet that it became very difficult for Fearless to analyze him on a deeper level. Fearless’ cold reading skill mostly relied on his good ears to analyze sounds. Therefore, Fearless would prefer Bloodbeard talked to him instead of staying silent like that.

However, it was subtle. Bloodbeard was noticeably less confused and more anticipated. He got himself hooked into the story somewhere when Eri became the main character of Fearless’ story. It wasn’t that Bloodbeard has truly bought all of Fearless’ bullshit, he just rode along with Fearless in his story. He breathed quietly and listened anticipatedly to the story of a young Eri that he never knew. Fearless had no doubt that he has completely sold this part of the story to Bloodbeard. That confirmed to Fearless that his understanding of Bloodbeard from those comics was correct. After that, Fearless just let his narrating skill to take over as if he was on a talk show and Bloodbeard was but a part of the audience.

Eri, Bloodbeard’s mother became the only sunshine in Fearless’ life in his stories, just like Alice and his sister were. Fearless knew a few things about Eri from the comics and he tried to keep her character mostly the same in his stories. He was not afraid of bringing out the most embarrassing stories that he had to offer. Fearless knew that those embarrassing stories would only serve to make him more authentic and endearing. He picked his stories carefully and embellished them, trying to make the Eri in his stories as genuine and authentic as possible. He went on and on with his stories and suddenly stopped, becoming quiet and somber for a moment. He sobbed once, sniffing the tears off his system, using the sleeves of his robe to wipe his snotty and tears drenched face.

“Hang on,” Fearless told Bloodbeard, suddenly drawing Enfermé out of his waist belt and threw it at the wall. Footsteps noisily popped and reverberated throughout the room and the darkened corridor. Needless to say, it was Bloodbeard’s bodyguards. They were trying to listen to the conversation in secret.

“My ears are sharper than most. The next time I caught any of you rude gentlemen doing something unnecessary, I promise, I will chop your ears off,” Fearless warned, voicing his threats into the empty corridor in a volume that he was sure that the escapees could hear.

He audibly clicked his tongue while retrieving Enfermé, making himself look annoyed as if he truly detested being interrupted in the middle of his story. Fearless did not miss Bloodbeard’s defensive reaction when he drew his knife. The bandit lord was not completely under his spell yet. He’s still on guard despite being completely absorbed in his story.

“Your men are undisciplined. It’s a leader’s responsibility to keep his men disciplined. I don’t know how you have ruled over these men of yours until now. Your method is obviously not adequate,” Fearless put on his lecturing tone as he went back to his seat.

Before Bloodbeard could defend himself, Fearless already went back to his story, staying true to his self-serving character. He moved at his own pace.

“Then one day, she told us that she was in love with a man. It was less than two month since we arrived at White Stone. It’s hard to believe it. Yet, it was the truth. There he was, that man. I had no idea what Eri saw in him. He’s just an apprentice to a famous alchemist. He has a ballooned ego and no skill or ambition to back it up.”

Fearless starting to talk trash about Bloodbeard’s father, starting with something subtle and light first to test the bandit lord’s reaction. Fearless felt like he was watching a trained German Shepherd reacting to a stranger approach its established territory. Of course, Fearless has expected this kind of reaction from Bloodbeard. It was a touchy subject after all. It was as if there was a thunderstorm inside those eyes of Bloodbeard, muddy and chaotic. His breathing has noticeably quickened. The bandit lord was getting more defensive.

However, Fearless took Bloodbeard’s reaction as a positive sign and continued to mouth off. He did not hold back or mince word about how he detested Bloodbeard’s father. Fearless knew that he was walking on a tightrope but he kept pushing it. He wanted to test the boundary and limit of Bloodbeard by talking trash about his father.

Bloodbeard’s quietness and subtle reactions actually made it difficult for Fearless to estimate his boundary correctly. The bandit lord just sat in his seat and clenched his fist tightly as he listened to Fearless’ bullshit. Fearless was not sure if Bloodbeard’s hostility was directed at Fearless for talking smack about his father or because he just detested the mention of his father or due to another reason. Fearless wished that Bloodbeard actually shouted at him in the face and showed an open hostility than being passive aggressive like that. Getting no clear result, Fearless opted for a safer option, putting the smack talk to a minimum and moving on with his story.

“I opposed Eri’s decision to marry him, but who am I to get in the way of my sister to search for her happiness. It pained me to watch Eri married to that useless man. She was so beautiful on her wedding day. That useless man did not deserve her. It pained me even more when that day came, the day I had to leave White Stone, leaving Eri behind to that useless man. However, we had to be on our way. We saw signs of our pursuers within White Stone.” Fearless put on his most depressive tone, watching how Bloodbeard is taking on this part of the story.

It was minuscule but Fearless detected a subtle change within Bloodbeard’s inner world. He was not sure what kind of change that was. Therefore, Fearless continued to play it safe, “We travel to our hideouts in Silver Snow, eluding our pursuers. Then, Eri’ letter came. You know? It was funny. I sent her like five or six letters and I received none of her letters. We decided to write to each other every month to keep in touch. I was worried every single day. And then one day, her letters came in bulk. Five letters at the same time. Apparently, my letters went round and round with those caravans before they could reach her and it happened the same for her. She told me that she was pregnant.” Fearless let a small laughter escaped his lips. “I split up with my father to visit her. In her letters, she told me that you might be a girl because you were very quiet. You did not turn around much. Therefore, I prepared all the girl clothes for you.”

Fearless remembered that girl clothes were also another unique detail of Bloodbeard’s childhood. According to the lore of ROC, Bloodbeard was made to wear girl clothes until he was eight. It was a unique tradition of the nomadic tribes that lived within the Great Plain of Zard. The nomads made the boys wearing dresses like girls until they reached the age of ten, a tradition and superstition that by wearing dresses like girls until the age of ten, those boys would grow up healthily and manly.

Bloodbeard rounded his eyes and breathed quietly, almost inaudible, “It was you?”

Fearless pretended he did not notice and kept talking.

In the comics, Bloodbeard grew up remembering that his mother made him wear those girly dresses until he was eight without being explained the reason. The reason for that is because his father constantly ridiculed Bloodbeard’s mother for her nomadic heritage and those dresses. One day, when Bloodbeard was eight, his father could not take it further. He burnt all the dresses and since Bloodbeard was able to wear boy’s clothes.

Fearless knew that his story stopped from being just entertained to Bloodbeard at this point. From this point onward, Bloodbeard could not help but believe it despite all the doubts he had for Fearless.

“I was lucky. When I arrived at White Stone, it was two weeks away from Eri’s due date. That man, I had no idea where the fuck he was. His wife is close to her due date and all he ever cares about is his alchemist license.”

Fearless detailed the birth of Bloodbeard as if he was there. He told Bloodbeard that despite his father was never there for his pregnant mother, he was driven mad by jealousy of Fearless’ bond with his mother. Fearless made Bloodbeard doubted the sanity of his father at this point in his story. In the lore, Bloodbeard’s father suddenly went mad one day and killed his wife in his madness. Knowing that detail, Fearless took advantage of that.

Fearless kept spinning his bullshit, telling that the pursuers have captured Romeo on one day. They intended to trial Romeo for treason before executing him in their elven land. As the result, Fearless has to track down his father back to the Long continent. He kept in touch with Eri through the letters delivered through the traveling caravans for months but eventually, he lost contact with her. He was not sure if it was bandits or another reason. When he crossed the Narrow Sea to the Long Continent, he truly lost all contact with Eri.

“It was my biggest regret,” Fearless spoke grimly, “I should not have left Eri in White Stone. Had I not do that, I would not lose both my father and Eri.” Within his head, Fearless secretly played the accursed mating song of the cicadas, the orchestra of summer, the only kind of music that he truly hated. The tears wetted his swollen eyes again as Fearless sarcastically snickered.

“I failed to save my father and was captured. I watched him being executed.” Fearless let the self-mocking snickers to dominate him, “The only reason that I was spared was elven hypocrisy. Those elven elders sentenced that I was not guilty. It was not a sin to be born as a half-man. It was my father who sinned, broke the taboo, and he was punished. Those hypocrites, those jokesters, they did not even have the gut to pass down the sentence to kill me. I don’t even remember how many times their assassins have tried to kill me in the past under their order. Yet, they did not dare to pass the judgment. For years, I was imprisoned in a house with servants to answer to all of my requests, all but the request to free me. I was told that the blood that ran through my veins is precious and that it is my duty to maintain it. Basically, those hypocrites decided that I should be their obedient studhorse. I was to breed with whomever they tell me to breed. I was to learn all the noble etiquettes that they told me to learn. Funny, isn’t it?” Fearless mockingly lifted his chin and asked Bloodbeard.

The bandit lord remained in silence.

“Let me tell you that the women I was supposed to breed with are the people I called my cousins, nieces, aunts, and grandma. Those bastards told me that through inbreeding this secret ability of mine will be strengthened. That’s hilarious. I refused to be those hypocrites’ studhorse, so with a sharp blade,” Fearless poked the edge of Enfermé, “I chopped my dick off when their guard became lax,” and demonstrated the action with his finger.

Without warning, the story became extremely edgy, going from two to eleven. If Bloodbeard’s eyes were not rounded enough, they became perfectly rounded at this point.

“That turned out to be useless. Those bastards transported me to an Essence Temple and had the priestesses connected my served dick together. Oh, there is still the scar from that one time. Do you want to watch?” Fearless asked. His hands were on his pants.

Bloodbeard shook his head left and right, mostly out of reflex. Fearless has expected that Bloodbeard would reject that insane offer. Though, if Bloodbeard had nodded his head, Fearless could show him the stitch marks of the said operation. They are his shame and defeat.

“After that, those bastards decided that they could not play rough with me. They decided to brainwash me slowly instead. For twelve years, I was inside that house, learning everything that those bastards could cramp into my brain. However, they made a mistake in teaching me magic. With magic, I escaped,” Fearless smiled and demonstrated his “The magician” skill to Bloodbeard, teleporting himself around the room for a few times.

“How can you do that?” Bloodbeard asked out of reflex, “You have no magic medium. You did not pray to any god.”

Fearless has expected Bloodbeard to ask him this type of question.

“This is magic in its purest form. The dragons never give praise to the gods to use their fiery spells. The gods do not give praise to themselves to use magic either.” Fearless replied. “Magic is its own thing. It does not belong to any religion or any group of people. It should not be discriminated under any circumstance no matter what kind of nature it is. Magic should be free.” He quoted the Greyscale’s mantra.

“If you wanted to learn it, I can teach you,” Fearless told Bloodbeard.

Bloodbeard went back to his silence, crossing his fingers. “I can’t bring myself to fully trust your words yet. However, assume that what you have told me is not a lie. Why are you here now? Where have you been all these years? Do you think you can just come to my camp to tell me that you are my uncle while acting all important like that?” Bloodbeard gnashed his teeth threateningly. Under the glow of the flickering torches, his eyes seemed to turn red.

Fearless thanked the gods that Bloodbeard has finally talked. For the first time since Fearless started selling his bullshit, he was able to confirm if Bloodbeard has truly bought into his lies.

A liar can only make a lying sound.

Fearless trusted his ears more than his eyes. Unlike his sister who was adept at spotting a liar with her eyes, Fearless can only trust his ears to spot a liar.

He was extremely glad that Bloodbeard talked. “How many years?” Fearless asked. He answered Bloodbeard’s ice-cold fury with his own. His voice went low, low as it could be to match his rage.

“What does that even mean?” Bloodbeard asked, growling.

“How many years has it been since the last time you visited Eri’s grave?” Fearless calmly asked. His tone was still cold as ice.

Only silence attempted to reply to Fearless’ question.

Whether Bloodbeard bought Fearless’ lies until this moment or not was unimportant. This was the moment Bloodbeard truly believed that he was Fearless’ nephew.

“When was the last time you visited White Stone? Did you ever try to visit your house once?” Fearless asked. A mocking smile floated on his lips.

Once again, only silence bothered to reply. Bloodbeard sat in his seat, staring. His eyes were shock and dismay.

Three simple questions, yet their effect was greater than millions of sentences and thousands of stories. Three simple questions would be the difference between Fearless is an uncle of Bloodbeard or not.

“I understand that you were very busy after Eri’s death,” Fearless scoffed, “Living as an orphaned urchin in Kingscrown must have been really tough for you. I understand that perfectly.” He snickered, “Playing war and soldier must have been hard as well. How many campaigns have you participated? Two? Three? Four? You must have been very busy, I have heard. What was your rank again? Captain? Commander?” Fearless sarcastically sneered. “I understand. You must be very busy. You have your duty to watch over the lives of your men. You have a duty to fight for your empire. I understand. You have no time to visit your mom even once. I understand that perfectly.”

There is no way for Bloodbeard to win this game of blaming. Fearless sneered inwardly and let that arrogant smile pasted on his lips. Two can play the blaming game but only one can win the game and it’s not Bloodbeard. The advantage in the amount of information that Fearless had over Bloodbeard was overwhelming. He knew Bloodbeard’s trauma and his history. Fearless knew how he should exploit Bloodbeard’s weakness and trauma. Even if Fearless’ lies were all making up on the spot, they were constructed to attack Bloodbeard in the chink of his armor.

“You… if you have already known, then why waiting until now?” Bloodbeard rose from his seat and growled. His voice became significantly louder. However, it was not loud enough to match the noise of the wine barrel he used as his seat rolling on the floor.

“Unlike who have been busy with the war games and duty, I only have a grave of my sister to tend and keep and a nephew named Ashtorá who I have never met once to look for. I did not even know if my nephew was alive or not. People told me that a child like that would have died without anybody to take care of him. But you know what? I was always hoping. I stayed by Eri’s grave every single day, hoping that Ashtorá would come back to visit his mom. Every single day, I believe that Ashtorá would return home. I was always afraid that Ashtorá would one day return home and I was away in this vast world somewhere, looking for him. I hated that I could not split myself into two to look for Ashtorá while tending Eri’s grave at the same time.”

Fearless let his lies to sink in within Bloodbeard’s brain. The bandit lord stood and looked down at Fearless from his towering height, yet, their position in the blaming game was the exact opposite.

“I sold my magic to people. If anyone wanted to learn my magic, they only have to help me searching for Ashtorá. If they cannot do that, they can pay me coins to fund my search for my nephew Ashtorá. I don’t even know what my nephew looked like so I asked everyone I have met: Have you met Ashtorá? Do you know anyone whose name is Ashtorá? Can you pass my words around that I’m looking for a boy name Ashtorá?” Fearless smiled. He knew that his smile alone would do all the damage. His eyes were clear of tears. Any drop of tear at this point would be redundant. Tears had no part in this blaming game. His smile alone is the only thing Fearless needed to win the guilt-tripping game against Bloodbeard at this point.

Bloodbeard was awfully quiet. However, his silence at the moment spoke much louder than any word he could ever speak.

“I searched and searched and searched and waited and waited and waited.” Fearless laughed derisively, “People told me that I should give it a rest. Still, I foolishly continued to wait by Eri’s grave and searched for my nephew Ashtorá. Every day, I promised Eri that I would find Ashtorá and I would break that promise with Eri every single day without fail. Then, people started talking about a bandit who called himself Bloodbeard. I don’t know anything about him nor do I care. But people told me that bandit has a habit of doing this.”

Fearless began to rise from his seat, slowly and calmly. He tried to match Bloodbeard’s height but the bandit lord was taller than Merleon. So, Fearless gave up. He grabbed Bloodbeard by the back of his head and pulled him to the level of his eyes. The bandit lord offered zero resistance.

“My father was an alchemist once. He’s an alchemist, more like an alchemist apprentice. That’s how that bandit always began his story. He especially loved talking about that story where his father killed his mother and he killed his father at the end. He loved doing that. I have no idea why he would do that. Perhaps, the fool thinks that he could scare people with that kind of story. That makes me wanted to laugh. But, I could not. I see the resemblance in his story and the tragedy that befell on my sister and her son. I was afraid that my worst fear has taken shape. Ashtorá has died and that that Bloodbeard has stolen his story and past.” Fearless spoke to the bandit lord as the ranked breath of the bandit lord filled his nose.

“Otherwise, I fail to see why that bastard kept telling people of that story. That story is not one to be told like that. That’s the only fucking conclusion that I can come up with. The thought that the fucker could be my nephew has never crossed my mind. I sent my people to investigate that bandit, where he came from, who he was, what he did and still, I did not believe people telling me that my nephew was a fucking bandit. So, I left Eri’s grave for the first time in decades so that I can track down that bandit. I intended to meet him and asked how my Ashtorá died. After that, I will kill the bandit. I heard that the fool was inert to pain so I have prepared something for him as a gift for telling me how my nephew died. I come prepared. I was thinking that I would teach that foolish bandit what pain is again since he has forgotten about it.”

That psychotic well-crafted smile reappeared on Fearless’ lips and he could sense a small shudder running down the back of Bloodbeard‘s head with his fingers. He let the bandit lord go, nonchalantly.

“When I called you Ashtorá for the first time and you reacted to that name, I did not dare to believe it. Were you not Ashtorá, you would be scare and tell your boys to attack me, fearing that I would uncover the bullshit façade you created. But you are Ashtorá, that’s why you were confused. You waited and did not call your boys to attack me. You are Eri’s child. You are my nephew Ashtorá. I have finally found Ashtorá after so many years. Do you know what it felt like? No, don’t bother answering that. I don’t fucking know the answer to that question myself,” Fearless began to snicker, a snicker that sounded like he was sobbing. But there was no tear in his eyes.

“For years, I have pictured that I would meet my nephew Ashtorá one day by Eri’s grave or perhaps in a different circumstance. By Sinintee’s cock, never had I imagined that it would be like this. This is fuck up.”

Fearless swore. He sounded like a completely broken man and acted like one. He gazed at Bloodbeard with the eyes of a man whose hope was lost.

Bloodbeard did not take Fearless’ expression too well. He put his hands on Fearless’ collar and hauled him to the air. “What do you know about me? You are my mom’s brother, so what? You know nothing about me. You think you have the right to look down on me? You think you have the right to criticize me? I am a bandit, so what? You know nothing about me. You have no right to talk down on me.”

That was a natural decision. Of course, anyone would say something like that if they lost the guilt-tripping game in the same manner Bloodbeard did. Also, Fearless’ arrogant and self-serving attitude played a huge part in this development.

It’s coming around in a full circle, Fearless secretly laughed within the back of his mind. He loved it when his scheme comes together.

“Did I for a moment say something like that? Have I at any moment said something that criticized your decision to be the man you are today? Do I look like I’m looking down on you?” Fearless asked with a sneering smile on his lips, fighting his urge to teleport out of Bloodbeard’s iron vice on his neck.

“You looked down on me from the moment you called me Ashtorá. And even now, you are looking down on me.” Bloodbeard growled.

Fearless resisted his urge to retort that it was because Bloodbeard was hauling him up in the air. Of course, he would look down on Bloodbeard from his position.

Fearless snickered, still it was the same sneering snicker. “Child, you have none of Eri’s brightness, haven’t you?” that arrogant and condescending sneer spread on his lips in full glory.

Bloodbeard gritted his teeth and put more force into his hands. This time, he choked Fearless for real, no holding back.

Fearless smiled. He saw his complete victory through the blackening lens of his eyes. This is the end. He gently pats Bloodbeard’s head, caressing it. “That’s anger fool. I’m angry that you rather spent time with these stupid fuckers than going home. You can’t even manage them.” He struggled to say the words as Bloodbeard’s fingers tightened around his throat. Tears started to flow from both corners of his eyes, “Ashtorá, come home with me, child. Let’s see Eri together.”

Game, set and match.

Bloodbeard’s ultimate defeat came in the form of those tears that welled in his eyes.

The moment Bloodbeard released his vice on Fearless’ neck, he was on his knees, hugging Fearless, muffling his sob within Fearless’ chest. Fearless became his uncle for real since that moment.

Bloodbeard was only a normal man, an unfortunate one. He was no beast or demon.

Speaking about demon, Fearless secretly laughed while trying to find his breath. He hugged Bloodbeard and giving the sobbing bandit a good pat on his head as if he was Bloodbeard’s mother.

In that room, there is only but a single demon, and it is not Bloodbeard.

A note from ducpika

I'm currently working on three separate jobs. They are kind of taking up all of my free time and wearing me down, but I will try to release one update a week. 

I hope every1 enjoy this chapter. I know i do. I was literally dying to showcase how twisted Fearless is as a person and how game changing his trivial knowledge of the world of ROC coud be. This is one of those chapters where i can do that.

I'm also taking my time to edit my previous no good chapters. It takes a while but i will get there eventually. Nothing more to say here, good day every1.

About the author


  • place to place
  • Duke pika

Bio: I am just an unspectacular author among many. I’m just an unspectacular Vietnamese man, whose commandment over his motherland writing is so piss poor that he has to write his book in English. Sometimes, I pretend that I am not such a sad and unspectacular creature. But, because I am such an unspectacular being, rather than introducing myself and bores everyone to death, please allow me to entertain you with a story instead.

A teacher and a dear friend of mine kept telling me this sentence like a broken radio for the last seven or eight years, "Every story, no matter how strange, deserve a fair chance to be told."

Eight years, it took me that long to find the courage to sit down and wrote "The King of Desires" for real. I'm fine with writing all manner of terrible fanfictions and short stories, and spreading the horror that is my terrible writing all over the webs. But "The King of Desires" could not come out in the same manner. I have made drafts and gathered materials for "The King of Desires" for almost a decade. Yet, I was unable to share "The King of Desires" with everyone as readily as my other terrible creations. There is always something very different and personal about this piece.


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