I retracted my gaze and let go of his arm. Meeting his eyes, I said, “I need to go now because there is a real Ghost Eclipser troop coming this way. I am going to stop them. If everything goes smoothly, I will follow them back to the Ghost Eclipsers.”
He Lei didn’t say anything as he stood there, deep in thought. His eyebrows were tightly knitted, as though something was bothering him and making him hesitate.
Raffles and I exchanged a tacit look of understanding and a nod.
I went forward and hugged He Lei. His body stiffened as I patted his back. “You are still a good brother of mine. We will meet again one day. At that time, we will fight for the world together.” With a sigh, I turned to leave with Raffles.
Four years ago, I met a young man here. His name is He Lei.
Filled with righteous indignation, he hated evil with the bitterness of a deep grudge. He was fueled with anger towards the Ghost Eclipsers, Silver Moon City, and the world.
Under the crimson full moon, he leaped into the air and chopped off a head with one slash. That scene is still imprinted at the bottom of my heart.
Later on, I met the young man again. He grew up and has since learned how to convert his anger into strength.
He joined the Aurora Legion. He joined a righteous troop and fought against the Ghost Eclipsers, alongside comrades who shared the same belief. He became a mature and reliable general.
Now, he has matured even more and his eyes are even deeper than before. He has become a king. He will definitely become an amazing leader.
“Luo Bing!” He Lei suddenly called out to me.
I turned towards him. Scarf fluttering in the wind, his gaze that he had fixed upon me became determined. “We shouldn’t bid farewell. I want to go to the Ghost Eclipsers with you.”
A sudden gale whipped at his hair. Shocked, I stared at his handsome face and his shimmering eagle eyes.
He walked towards me step by step. Taking a glance at Raffles, he then looked at me, his gaze determined and deep. “In the past two years, we only knew to fight the Ghost Eclipsers. We got carried away by our victory at the beginning and for that we suffered a great loss in Steel Ghost City. We didn’t even know that the east routes have been exposed. If they launch an attack now, we actually don’t have the capability to defend against them."
He Lei had really changed. The young man who had once been ruthless and impulsive had become a man who made careful deliberation, polished by his experiences in war and battles.
“I’m glad that you can leave Silver Moon City.” His voice had deepened into a medium tenor, carrying the steadiness of a mature man. “Because Silver Moon City doesn’t deserve trust. When we were attacking Steel Ghost City, Xing Chuan became impatient because the fight kept dragging on. In the end, he used us as bait in his attempt to besiege the Ghost Eclipsers, which incurred heavy casualties. We only found out about Xing Chuan’s plan later on. Harry found out about the plan and strongly opposed it. Hence, Xing Chuan killed him.”
I knitted my eyebrows and glanced at Raffles. Raffles looked angry too.
“We broke away from Silver Moon City then. They tried to wipe us out because they were worried that we would join the Ghost Eclipsers. We fought back and in the end both sides suffered losses.” He Lei furrowed his eyebrows and let out a long, heavy sigh. “Until today, we have yet to completely recover."
He Lei sank into a long silence. It seemed that the Aurora Legion had had a tough year.
“This world needs hope. Just the few of us standing firm in our belief isn’t enough to change the world.” He Lei gazed at me solemnly, “Two years ago, the Ghost Eclipsers ran wild on the ground, striking fear in people. However, they are still running wild on the ground even now. We fought a year-long war alongside Silver Moon City but nothing has changed. On the contrary, our failure made the people in this world even more fearful of the Ghost Eclipsers!” He Lei got agitated. The anger that he had been suppressing was almost at bursting point. He nearly reverted back to that young man who had once been burning with anger and unwillingness.
He Lei took a deep breath, seemingly unable to continue his words from struggling to control his emotions.
Raffles reached out his hand to hold He Lei’s shoulder. He nodded at He Lei.
Closing his eyes, He Lei calmed himself down before he looked at us again. “Maybe your thoughts are right. Our failure stems from our unfamiliarity with the internal workings of the Ghost Eclipsers. We were too confident. Our conceit stopped us at Steel Ghost City. In the people’s eyes, we failed. We couldn’t advanced because we couldn’t win against the Ghost Eclipsers.” He Lei shook his head. “I even started to doubt this war. The Ghost Eclipsers conquered the east of the planet but they are very united. Look at the west. Look at the people in the west!” He Lei shook his head with bitter resentment.
“They only know how to hide under Silver Moon City’s protection. They think that everything is just fine, so no one is willing to join the Aurora Legion to fight against the Ghost Eclipsers. They even think that it is a stupid thing to do. Their ignorance allows the beast in the west to continue growing stronger by the day. They don’t care how many people were sacrificed in the war back then. They don’t care about our people who sacrificed themselves. They think that our sacrifice has nothing to do with them! But! We are fighting for them! I am even doubting if it is worth it to fight for them!”
“He Lei…” I couldn’t help but hold his arm. He lifted his hand and held his forehead. “I know. I shouldn’t be doubting my belief. I joined the Aurora Legion to fight for them…” He let out a heavy sigh, followed by a bitter chuckle. “I am actually happy that the Ghost Eclipsers finally came to the east, so that the people in the east can be anxious too.” When he looked up, there was a layer of coldness across his eyes. “So that they finally understood that as long as the Ghost Eclipsers haven’t been rooted out completely, there will never be any true safety in this world.”
“I understand, He Lei.” I held his arm. He pursed his lips and held my hand that was on his arm as he gazed deeply into my eyes. “If… you were by my side during the past one year, I might not be this lost now. Your death affected many people deeply. Luo Bing, do you know that you are the hope in many people’s hearts?”
I frowned and took back my hand. “Don’t treat another person as your hope. That’s not wise. Hope should be created by yourself.” I looked at He Lei. “It’s because too many people treat another person as their hope, that’s why they become weak. In the end, they became like the people in the west and won’t dare to face the Ghost Eclipsers personally. They would just curl up in the shell where they think it is safe.”
He Lei’s eyes shimmered. He seemed to have understood something. “I see!” The determination in his eyes became vibrant. The fog in the bottom of his heart had been dismissed completely.
No longer angry, he looked at me with a smile. “I understand now. Your existence is not to bring hope to people but to light up the spark in people’s hearts.”
“Heh, you are exaggerating again,” I chuckled. I extended my hand. “Well then… Welcome to my mad troop."
He Lei looked at my hand, then shook it without hesitation.
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