Story Of The Ancient Demon King – Chapter 99 [Part-4]

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Chapter 99 – Bernardo Arch [Part-4]

“Gaaaah!“

Gerald threw the man in his hand into a few other people, crushing several of them, and began to rampage.

Gerald began to lash out so violently and excessively that his usual legend was lost. It seemed like he was trying to suffocate an urge.

He swung and reaved the lives of his enemies.

The consequences of his actions seemed like the aftermath left by a monster, but Gerald didn’t stop.

“Heee!“

“-e!“

Bones shattered, and flesh became tender and liquid due to excessive pounding.

Gerald grabbed the only person without a weapon that still remained in the room by the legs.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

This was the final scream of the boss of the organization, the man Gerard wielded like a weapon.

His whole body shatters, his arms pop, tears of blood streamed down his face, and he was wielded until he was deemed useless, his life no more.

“Grandpa…”

“Belle Ji, you’re going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. Hey- hey!”

After Gerald had killed all the enemies in the room, he left the room to look for the remaining members. Oswald crawled closer to Bernardo.

Towards Lana, who was shaking and desperately talking to him, Bernardo smiled kindly.

“….I’m sorry …This’ll be it for me…”

“Ah!“

Oswald was expecting the usual ‘Don’t worry about it’ to pop out from his mouth.

Tears welled up in Oswald’s eyes, like a weir had broken.

“No! No, no, no, no….! No!“

Lana cried as she continues to shake Bernardo’s bleeding body.

“….my wish has come true….”

Bernardo held Lana’s hand and told her softly.

“In the end, I was… cared for by the… best lady….”

“Belle Jiiiiiigh…”

His usual mischievous wit, and slightly teasing remark.

Even at the moment of his death, or even afterwards, Bernardo never changed his style.

“It’s with… my grandchildren that I’m proud of…. This is the best way to end it….”

He reached out to a sobbing Oswald.

“Oswald-kun… won’t your handsomeness be ruined…?”

“…I… Grandpa…..”

With soothing fingers, he wiped away Oswald’s tears.

“It’s about time… I’m getting…. sleepy…”

“What? Wait! Please wait!“

For the last time, he held Oswald and Lana’s heads together.

“….Tell Gerald-kun this….”

Those were Bernardo’s last words.

“…’Thank you for the best life’….”

………

……

A cemetery on the outskirts of town.

All kinds of people shed tears.

Dojo students, casino workers, patrons of the taverns and eateries, people from the red light district, knights and guards.

There was no sign of Gerald.

He was still going around crushing the people involved in the organization.

“……”

“……”

At the graveside, Oswald and Lana pray for the souls of the dead with tears streaming down their faces.

All of them were meditating and praying for the souls of the dead.

The grave was filled with the white flowers that Bernardo loved.

A gust of wind gently caressed the people as if to say thank you, and rolled up the flowers.

Bernardo Arch.

He was the most beloved man in the entertainment district.

♢♢♢♢

“…father.”

He looked up at his father, Gerald Arch, whom he has not seen in several years, and murmured in surprise as he fell onto his buttocks.

Behind him was Arch Qi, a gambling hall that had become much more impressive than it was when he was living here.

“It doesn’t look like you’ve changed, for someone who left saying he wanted to change.“

Gerald’s words cut into Oswald’s heart.

“……”

In fact, Oswald would have asked for help to save his friend.

But…

“…what do you want?”

His father, Gerald, who was covered in more scars than Oswald had ever seen, asked.

He had got bandages all over him.

He had some blood smeared, which Oswald had only seen a handful of times.

Gerald seemed as strong as ever, but Oswald couldn’t request him to help them… after seeing his painful wounds.

“……”

“….You’re a pathetic sight. It doesn’t seem to be an important matter, since you’re so lost and quiet. I’m going.”

Gerald had head out to buy breakfast instead of the busy Marco.

“What do you mean by that?! It’s important, that’s why I’m lost and confused!”

“……”

Gerald, while looking impatient, stopped and turned towards Oswald, who shouted in frustration with a desperate look on his face.

“…If it’s really that important, you shouldn’t have time to get lost in your thoughts!”

“……”

Oswald was at a loss for words.

He didn’t think what Gerald said was wrong, but he couldn’t admit that Gerald was right either.

It was weakness.

Weakness that didn’t let him refute Gerald’s claim.

Weakness that did not allow him to keep calm.

Weakness that did not allow him to make a decision rationally.

Weakness that did not allow him to face enemies head-on in the first place.

Just like that time, even though his childhood friend was in a critical situation.

“Are you going to cry again this time?”

He wanted to say and believe that he couldn’t handle it, but he knew better than anyone.

When a time to make a decision came, Hakuto never wavered.

Gerald, a man with extreme strength, self-reliant by nature.

The Black Knight, a hero that sat on a distant summit.

Oswald had nothing to be proud of.

After all, his only specialty, his magic eye, endangered Lana and killed his grandfather.

“Father doesn’t hesitate and tumble around in confusion because he’s…. strong… Because he’s strong enough to overcome and twist irrevocable mistakes….”

He cried, his weak voice trembling.

In fact, his grandfather, an ordinary man, died protecting himself and the helpless Lana.

It was Gerald after all who saved them in the end….

“The one who protects can never understand the feelings of the one who is protected…. Never…“

“……”

A man who protected his brothers and the organization and has been ahead of everyone since he was a boy.

The way of thinking, the way of life, and everything are different for such a different man.

That’s what Oswald thought.

“…as you are now, will you be proud of yourself tomorrow?”

“Yeah….?”

Gerald muttered as he looked up at the azure sky.

“Can you be proud of the past? Can you be proud of the future? Can you walk with your chest out from right now…? My father used to ask me.“

“Grandpa…..”

Oswald couldn’t imagine his grandfather Bernardo giving Gerald any kind of…. advice.

Recalling Bernardo smiling at him while he viewed the clear blue sky, Gerald continued,

“I used to buy every fight that was offered to me and go on a rampage. I never lost, so I didn’t feel any discomfort. I just thought it would be a relief to have a few less thugs in my line of sight…”

Gerald spoke at length, which was an unusual sight, even for Oswald.

His words lacked the usual forcefulness and even seemed somewhat weak.

“I didn’t think about what would happen afterwards.”

“……”

“I’m sure you can understand that now. It’s easy to… win, but if you do it half-heartedly, there will be resentment, grudges, and consequences afterwards. Once you retaliate back, the target will change (・・・・・・).”

Those who saw that they could not win against Gerald targeted his family, and the ones who he considered his brothers and sisters.

The first to be targeted was…. Bernardo.

“I was just a young lad. I didn’t realize what I was doing, nor its consequences, until they targeted my father. When I saw his blood on my arm, that was when I finally realized what I was doing. After that, I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I had no choice but to go on a rampage.“

It was easy to imagine from Gerald’s words that he was at his wits’ end, not knowing what to do. Whether to fight back or run away, what his next move was supposed to be, and what the right thing to do was.

“That’s when my father told me what I just said.”

He thought back to his father’s soft, warm smile and told Oswald,

“I’ve never been lost? How can you say that? My father always had my back when I was lost, telling me to take the path I thought was the right one. I’m the ‘protector’? He’s the one who always had to clean up the mess, always running to wipe my ass.“

A bond between a father and a son that no one, not even Oswald, could have predicted.

“I always wondered, ‘I’m not going to make a mistake I can’t take back, am I?’ Whose fault is it that you and Lana are being targeted? Who’s to blame for you and Lana being targeted…. and my father dying?”

Gerald’s eyes narrowed slightly as Oswald’s stunned gaze crossed with his.

Oswald now knew for the first time that Gerald was the one who was the most saddened, and also the one who grieved the most due to Bernardo’s death.

Oswald realized that Gerald felt the most responsible for Bernardo’s death.

His voice did not tremble.

His eyes were not moist.

But for some reason, it seemed to Oswald that Gerald was crying.

“…I have no regrets. I’m just going to live my life the way my father lived his until the day he died. This resolution of mine never changed, even after my father’s death.“

Gerald’s eyes slowly regained their strength.

“My dad died protecting two kids he loved, and it seemed like a fitting way for him to die. It was his way of life. The kind of man who didn’t bend his principles and style, even when he died. He was a…. good-natured, stubborn, playful bastard…..”

With his usual overflowing manliness, he spoke to the child who had been protected in the past.

“–I chase after the back of such a man.”

Oswald had no doubt that this man sought no admirers, and merely only believed in following the principles he had self-imposed.

Everyone believed that this man was the one who was the leader, leading even Oswald’s grandfather.

Finally, Oswald’s father delivered a few words with great passion.

“Are you proud of who you are today, and who you will be tomorrow?“

Gerald asked his son just like his father had once asked him.

Those words were engraved in his heart, like they were a legacy he was left to inherit.

It was clear that Gerald was still proud of his father, and the legacy he had left him.

“What do you think? Do you want to lay here, still continuing to cry and sob? Whatever you want to say or do, I’m here to listen to it. Go on.“

“……”

Oswald stood up silently.

The answer had already been given to him when he had seen Gerald’s battered body.

There was no way he could ask Gerald to follow him, even as a joke.

It burnt.

His doubts burnt, clearing his clouded mind.

Anxiety burnt, thawing his frozen body.

Impatience burnt, and lead to determination.

The words Oswald had inherited, made him stand up.

“I’m going….”

“Well, I’m going to get some food.”

Gerard turned on his heel, without asking anything else.

“Thank you…! Thank you, Dad!“

“……”

Oswald wiped away his tears and did his best to thank Gerald.

Gerald shrugged his shoulders a little, as if embarrassed or annoyed, and left.

Oswald made a new decision as he looked at his father’s big back.

What was missing was not hope.

It was determination.

It was the determination to defeat Shock and save Lana that Oswald was lacking, not strength or force that he never had in the first place.

“–!“

Oswald rushed forward.

With firm, unhesitating steps, he ran to his childhood friend and comrades.

Translator’s Note:

And with this, Chapter 99 is done!

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