Chapter 15:

Part 14

Fragile Phantasy

In the midst of bustling shops, a young man named Carlo was juggling his five jobs. The vendors who passed him by would often remark on his unwavering work ethic and remind him to take it slow and rest.

"Thank you," Carl would grin in response before resuming his work.

After some time, he finally collected his hard-earned salary. "I guess this is enough," he muttered to himself before immediately heading to the red light district. He entered a brothel and sought out the owner.

"What do you want? Hurry up, don't waste my time," the nobleman barked.

Without hesitation, Carl showed him the money. "I'm here to buy Vica," he said.

The nobleman scoffed. "Not enough. She's my main attraction here. I won't sell her for a measly amount. We're done. Guard, take this bastard away from me."

"But we had a deal! You promised to sell me Vica for this amount!" Carl screamed as he was dragged out by the guards.

"I've changed my mind," the nobleman retorted.

As he was thrown outside, Carl caught a glimpse of Vica at the window of the brothel. He screamed for her to let him in, but the guards slammed the door shut. A sad face and tears were the last things Carl saw of her before the window closed.

"Vica, I will keep my promise. I will save you. Just wait for me," Carl vowed.

Vica was Carl's childhood friend turned lover. But when she reached the right age, her parents sold her off to become a courtesan to pay their debt to the nobleman. The memory of Vica being dragged away while screaming for him to save her was still fresh in Carl's mind. He couldn't do anything about it then, as he was too weak.

Lying on the street, Carl thought of hiring adventurers to help him. "This is the only way I can save you, Vica," he murmured before heading to the guild.

"Mom, Dad, I promise if I become president, our lives will be better," a young Kc happily told his parents.

His parents smiled at him, brimming with pride at their son's lofty aspirations.

As Kc entered the classroom, he was greeted by a group of shadowy figures who ridiculed him. He tried to approach them, but they only threw papers and jeered at him. The crowd turned into a pack of laughing demons, and Kc attempted to flee. That's when he met Doc and the portal.

"Kc, we will help a lot of people with this invention," Doc said as Kc nodded, smiling. But the demons from the classroom were still chasing him, and Doc sacrificed himself so that Kc could escape into the portal.

Kc suddenly woke up. It had all been a dream. He whispered to himself, "It's better not to chase your dreams. You'll only end up disappointed anyway," before falling back asleep.

As the morning light shone through the window, Kc planned to take the day off and rest to recover from his wounds. For the time being, he was staying at Andok's place because he couldn't bear to listen to Edgar's fairy tale stories that he told to his adopted children every night. Kc despised fairy tales and happy endings, believing that they were nothing but lies that would never come true in reality.

Suddenly, Andok interrupted Kc's thoughts, "Someone is calling you outside."

Kc rubbed his eyes and saw that it was Edgar standing there.

"Hey dude, you promised to help me find and prepare food for the children," Edgar said.

Kc's mind was still groggy, and he replied, "I forgot and I'm still tired from our last mission. My body still hurts."

"OK then, come on. We need to get a mission," Edgar said.

"Could we rest for a day?" Kc stretched out, still feeling the bruises from their previous mission.

Edgar walked away without a word, "OK dude, if you change your mind, just follow me if you want to help increase our reputation immediately."

Meanwhile, Andok persuaded Kc, "Just think about how your family is doing. If you stay here for too long, they will surely worry about you."

Kc took a deep breath and nodded, forcing himself to catch up with Edgar. "I knew you'd come" edgar said They arrived at the guild to take on a new mission.

As they walked towards the guild, Edgar's eyes caught sight of a strikingly beautiful woman. She had an intimidating aura, and her posture was enough to send shivers down anyone's spine.

"Who is she?" Edgar asked, turning to the men who were admiring her from a distance.

"That's Yunya," one of the men responded. "She's fifth in the rankings and is about to challenge one of the territory leaders. She's perfect: beautiful, strong, and smart."

Without a second thought, Edgar approached Yunya. "Hello there," he said, trying to sound casual. "I'm Edgar. Would you care to have tea with me?"

Yunya's icy stare pierced through Edgar, sending a wave of coldness through his body. Everyone around them felt the freezing temperature.

"My, my, a tea wouldn't be enough to cure your feelings," Yunya retorted as she walked away, leaving Edgar covered in hard ice.

"Dude, I forgot to tell you that she's very angry with men," a kind samaritan reminded Edgar.

After the awkward encounter, they continued on their way to the guild to pick a mission. As soon as they arrived, KC and Edgar quickly selected a task. KC picked up a piece of paper, hastily trying to finish the mission as soon as possible.

The mission read:

Mercenary request.

Reward: 700 money.

500 reputation.

"Isn't the reward a bit low?" Edgar questioned. "If we want to reach 10,000 reputation, we should pick a higher-paying mission."

"The lower the mission, the easier it is," KC responded, wanting nothing more than to rest.

They made their way to the man who had requested their help. "I'm Carlo," he said, his voice weak and filled with tears. "I'd like you to help me save my beloved Vica. She's a courtesan in a brothel, but the owner of the brothel is a high noble. We'll have a hard time breaking in."

"We're risking our lives for such a low reward," Edgar empathized with Carlo.

"Please, I'm begging you," Carlo pleaded. "I don't want to see her suffer. I'll even give my life to save her."

Edgar's eyes welled up with tears. "We accept the job," he said, his voice trembling.

Carlo turned to KC, insisting that he also helped. "I can't promise anything," KC replied.

Edgar added, "We'll do our best to save Vica."

As a group, they headed towards the brothel, attempting to enter as waiters, and then janitors. But no matter how many tricks they were still not accepted, and the guards remained strict.

"The guard is too strict," Carlo said, dejectedly. "Only the rich and the high-ranking can enter."

KC, however, noticed a huge catapult above the brothel.

"May I ask, what is that catapult for?" KC inquired.

Carlo replied, "That's the Heaven Judgement, the final defense of the brothel," which made Edgar gulp in fear.

While the two were racking their brains, KC remained cool and collected. Suddenly, they spotted Kilan entering the brothel with a companion.

"Hey, how are you?" Edgar greeted Kilan as he approached.

"By the way, are you here to have a good time?" Kilan asked before introducing his friend, Blake.

Edgar was surprised to meet another territory leader. "By the way, I'm Edgar, and these are KC and Carlo," he said excitedly.

"Are you looking to enter the brothel?" Kilan asked.

"Yes, but the guards won't let us in because we are magicless and low-ranked," Edgar replied.

"Ahh, just come with us. We'll take care of it," Blake said.

"Okay, let's go inside," Kilan said.

"Thank you very much," Carlo said gratefully.

When they arrived at the big gate, Kilan ordered the guards to let his companions in, and the guards obediently stepped aside.

After entering the huge door, they were greeted by a butler who asked, "What can I do for you, sir?"

"Take us to Vica's room," Carlo said.

"The fee is a bit expensive," the butler said, causing the group to realize they didn't have much money with them.

"It's on me!" Kilan shouted as he walked away and winked at the three, who nodded in appreciation.

"Then follow me," the butler said, leading the group to Vica's room.

When Carlo and Vica reunited, they greeted each other with a tight hug and a kiss.

"I missed you. I waited for almost a year," Carlo said tearfully.

"Yes, Carlo. I never stopped waiting," Vica replied.

"I promise we will never be separated again," Carlo vowed.

Edgar and KC gave the two their private time as they waited outside the room.

"I think it's really nice to feel in love. What do you think?" Edgar asked.

"I'm not interested in that matter. So much of a hassle. Better to live alone," KC replied broodily.

"That's what you believe, but when I become a territory leader, I will marry the most beautiful woman I see and have a family. My adopted children will live a good life. That's what I promised them. I'm ready to die to fulfill that," Edgar said confidently.

KC brooded in silence, observing his watch as it finally fully charged.

After some time, the butler returned with another man in tow.

"Sir, your time is up," he announced.

"Carlo, can we bother you for a second? It looks like it's time to start the plan!" Edgar shouted, blocking the butler from entering the room.

Carlo turned to Vica, his eyes shining with determination. "Come with me. We're running away from here."

"Where are we going?" Vica asked, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Anywhere that's far from here. I want us to live together in peace, like I promised you," Carlo answered, holding out his hand.

Vica's tears overflowed as she grasped his hand tightly. "Yes, I'll go with you."

The two left the room, hand in hand. "Let's go," Carlo said, and they nodded.

The butler blocked their path. "Are you crazy? You won't be able to get out of here alive!"

A group of men appeared, trying to stop them, but with a burst of electricity, Edgar knocked them down in a lightning-quick attack. "Quick!" he urged.

They ran as fast as they could to escape the brothel. Looking at the shut gate, Edgar said, "I'm heading to the second floor to open it. Just keep going, I'll follow along."

However, dozens of men blocked Edgar's path, and he couldn't break through. Carlo, Vica, and KC went straight through the gate, but guards on another floor showered them with arrows.

Kilan suddenly appeared, blocking the arrows that were about to hit them with a sharp wind. However, some arrows managed to get close, but Blake cut them down with his sharp water. "Go ahead, we'll take care of it!" they shouted.

Finally, Edgar reached the control room and managed to open the gate from there. As the three saw the outside, Carlo said to Vica, "Just a little more and you'll be free."

Vica smiled, feeling the wind on her face as they ran towards their freedom

As the group neared the city exit, a blinding flash suddenly appeared, catching them off guard.

The light grew stronger and stronger until the group turned back to see what was happening. Carlo knew that they were in grave danger and, without hesitation, Carlo pushed KC and Vica away, his voice firm as he said, "Promise me you will save him. I trust you." KC saw a reflection of Doc's sacrifice in Carlo's eyes, and in that moment, he understood the weight of this responsibility. But before he could react, Carlo was dissolved by a beam of light, an attack from the catapult controlled by the noble who laughed maniacally at the sight.

Before their very eyes, Carlo was dissolved into nothingness by the heavens' judgment, The noble continued to cackled in hysterical laughter, reveling in his triumph.

"Carlo, no!" Vica screamed in anguish, tears streaming down her face. She couldn't even see Carlo's body as she searched the surrounding, but there was nothing left of him. He had been erased from existence by the heavens' cruel judgment.

Kc can't believe his eyes this was yet another dream shattered before his eyes. KC felt a familiar feeling of failure and disappointment wash over him. He had failed too many promises in his life, and he despised unrealistic wishes because he couldn't make them come true. But for once kc had enough, deep inside his heart his not going to let carlo sacrificed be in vain, he vowed to fulfill this wish whatever it takes.

KC clenched his fists, determined to make Carlo's wish come true and get Vica to safety. But their escape was cut short by a group of soldiers who surrounded them, blocking their way.

"If you don't want to suffer the same fate as your friend, give her away," the noble threatened, before ordering the catapult to fire again.

As they were engulfed by the blinding light that threatened to vaporize them, KC pressed a button on his watch. When the light was gone and the smoke cleared, KC and Vica were still standing, surrounded by the force field barrier. The energy released by the barrier was so strong that it threw everyone who tried to block their path.

"You have my word, no matter what happens, I will get you out of here," KC promised as they ran.

"Block them!" the noble ordered, and soldiers swarmed towards them. But KC's force field held strong, and the soldiers were thrown back.

They continued to run, but before they could get far, something fell from above, slamming into them. The force field barrier cracked under the impact, and Vica lost consciousness, and KC wondered how they could possibly escape now.

"How?" KC wondered, as a man suddenly appeared in front of them with cestus in hand, crackling with electricity stronger than Edgar's.

The surrounding soldiers recognized him "That qougre is one of the territory leaders!!"

The situation was dire as Qougre charged up a devastating attack aimed at KC. But just as the attack was about to land, the area suddenly became coated in ice and Qougre's attack was deflected. It was Yunya who had intervened, wielding a freezing rapier with a fierce determination on her face.

"Who did that?!" Qougre bellowed.

Yunya didn't answer and quickly retaliated, but her attack was stopped by Kilan and Blake, who had just arrived on the scene.

"Are you both insane? If you continue to fight here, innocent lives will be lost," Kilan shouted, trying to defuse the situation.

The crowd of onlookers, including soldiers and civilians alike, were stunned to see that three of the territory leaders had converged in one place. Rumors of an impending war began to circulate.

As Yunya approached the noble who owned Vica, she pulled out a pouch filled with an exorbitant amount of money.

"I'm sure this amount is more than enough to buy that girl," she said firmly, her eyes fixed on the noble.

The noble was intimidated by Yuya's imposing presence and the large sum of money she was offering. "Yes, this is too much," he stammered.

Yunya turned to Vica and extended her hand. "If that's the case, come with me. I'll help you become stronger, and together we'll carve out your own destiny," she said, her voice unwavering.

Vica looked at Yuya with a mix of confusion and hope. She had never met anyone like Yuya before, someone who exuded strength and confidence so effortlessly. With a deep breath, she took Yuya's hand,

As KC watched Vica being taken away, his heart sank with despair. He knew that he had to act fast if he wanted to save Vica.

"I won't allow this! Money can't buy people's freedom!" KC tried to stop Yunya, but his words fell on deaf ears.

With just a flick of his hand, Yunya shattered KC's broken barrier and hit him with a block of ice, sending him flying. As KC struggled to get up, he saw Vica being taken away by Yunya's subordinates.

With tears in her eyes, Vica looked back at KC, KC knew he had to keep his promise to Carlo, no matter what.

But the hordes of guards held him back, and KC could do nothing as Vica was taken away.

"You can't do anything with this. It's the law," the guards shouted at KC as Yunya took Vica away.

Yunya had outsmarted them, and even Qougre, one of the territory leaders, was forced to follow the law and leave.

As Qougre disappeared, he sneered at yunya, "You'll pay for this."

KC watched helplessly as his friend was taken away, feeling a sense of defeat and frustration wash over him.

As everyone departed, KC slammed his fist into the ground in frustration. Edgar, having just been released from captivity by the guards, hurried over to his friend's side. "Are you okay?" he asked, concern etched across his face.

But inside KC's head, the answer was far from reassuring. "Until now, I'm still very weak," he thought to himself. "I still can't do anything. Like before, I still can't fulfill my promises."

"Don't be so hard on yourself," Edgar comforted him. "Let's give Carlo a proper burial."

Taking a deep breath, KC tried to suppress his anger. He and Edgar gathered what remains they could find of Carlo, who had given his life for kc and vica.

Together, they collected what was left of Carlo's remains. Although they had completed the guild's mission to rescue Vica from the brothel and had earned a reward and reputation boost, they used it all to give Carlo a proper send-off.

The rain fell heavily, a downpour that seemed to mirror the grief in KC's heart. It was impossible to discern whether the drops on his face were rain or tears. Standing before Carlo's grave, KC remained silent and stoic, their expression blank, as though emotions were too much to bear.

"He died for love," Edgar said, trying to be strong despite the tears streaming down his face. "That was one of the saddest love stories I've ever seen."

"I'm not really a fan of love stories," KC replied, turning his back to hide the pain etched on his face. With each step away from the grave, he couldn't discern if the numbness he felt was due to the weight of his suffering or if it was a shield to protect him from further pain. unsure if he could still trust himself after so many failed promises and unbearable pain, his promises broken and scattered like the raindrops that fell from the dark sky above.