Chapter 2: The Templar Knight and the Fiancée
Darkness, a deep darkness. In this darkness, a youngster gradually recovered his consciousness.
Where? What is this place? Where am I? As the youngster’s lucidity grew clearer, he began to ask questions.
The boundless darkness that enveloped him was silent and unresponsive. The hope in the youngster’s heart waned, he tried to examine himself, however, he could not see himself. The confusion in his heart inevitably magnified.
Rather, who am I? Who am I? Why…why am I trapped here?
The lucid youngster’s impatience gradually grew. Although the darkness was safe, it was eternally unchanging. It was like a cage that trapped him. Naturally, he began to want to break free and escape from this place.
I want to leave! But where will I go? Is there a path I can take? Is there even a way out?
As if responding to the youth’s confusion, a small ray of light began to appear in the darkness. The light was orange in color. Its existence was only faintly discernible. However, in this absolute darkness, even if faint, this orange light was distinct.
It attracted the youngster’s full attention. He strived to move closer to the glimmer of light. After an unknown amount of time, the youngster seemed to have approached closer to the orange light as it had gotten slightly larger than before.
Where is it coming from? Will it allow me to leave here?
Longing to escape the darkness, the young boy approached the orange light with increasing eagerness—“Howl!” An earth-shaking beast’s howl suddenly shook the entire darkness.
Like a startled small animal, the orange light abruptly extinguished, awakening the youngster as a result. Just as he opened his eyes, he saw a giant wolf swooping down from the sky toward him with an open maw.
The youngster’s mind was blank and his body reacted before fear could set in. He rolled over and kicked. At this juncture, his whole body was like a ballista, with his legs shooting out like a giant arrow.
Thump! The youngster's legs kicked the huge wolf’s flank and with that one strike, the wolf was flung away. He then placed his palms on the ground and pushed himself up in one smooth motion.
A person? When he got up, the youngster glanced around hastily and discovered a young girl. It was but a glance, for there was no time to ponder. The giant wolf was a tremendous threat to him that made his heart pound. The emotion of fear quickly deluged his heart. This is a Silver magic beast! The crisis had not yet been averted so the youngster’s eyes locked onto the giant wolf.
Splosh. Kicked by the youngster, the giant wolf could not use its strength in the air as it flew in an arc and fell into the river. This was not surprising, as he was currently on a riverbank and quite close to the water.
When the ferocious wolf fell into the river, it strangely howled in terror. It used all its strength to flail in the water, trying to climb ashore quickly. Suddenly, green shadows emerged from the water. These green shadows were as thick as pythons, and with abrupt tumult, it raised innumerable gigantic waves. The green shadows’ aura was exposed, it was an awe-inspiring Gold aura. The green shadows nigh instantly entwined around the Silver wolf, then dragged it into the waters.
Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. The river’s surface was no longer calm and turbid waves were stirred. Soon after, a dark-red color bloomed like a flower, it was the wolf’s blood. The wolf’s blood propagated rapidly along with the churning of the river. In just a few breaths, the wolf’s noises completely vanished as the river’s surface recovered its placidity. The wolf’s blood mixed with the turbid waters and soon faded with the flow of the river. Thereafter, tranquility returned to the surroundings.
It seemed like nothing had happened. The malevolent wolf vanished, and the mysterious green shadows concealed themselves once more. It was as if the previous life-and-death struggle never existed.
The mind of the youngster who witnessed all this unfold was extremely shaken. A ferocious Silver wolf and Gold river vines, what kind of demonic place is this‽ Feeling horrified, he started to size up his surroundings before finally turning toward the young girl. “Where is this?” he asked.
The young girl was shocked motionless by the events and only after hearing the youngster’s question did she react, “My Lord!” She was so excited that she threw herself into the young boy’s arms, leaving the young boy bewildered for a while as he looked at her.
“Thank goodness, my Lord, you finally woke up!” The girl embraced the young man tightly. “Lord, you woke up!”
The youngster patted her shoulders then he proceeded to push the young girl away slightly. The young girl looked at the youngster with overflowing excitement and surprise. As the youngster looked at the girl in his arms, his heart seemed to skip a beat.
Her dainty face was full of tenderness, her eyes were red and on the verge of crying, and her purple irides were reminiscent of precious gems. There was a trace of charm in their brilliance. It seems like that malevolent wolf must have frightened her a lot. As gentle feelings arose in the youngster’s heart, he inquired, “Excuse me…who are you?”
The girl was stunned, and her eyes could not help but widen while she motionlessly stared at the youngster. They looked at each other for a few seconds.
Noticing the youth’s solemn and befuddled visage, the young girl gradually showed shock and concern. She then quickly introduced herself, “Ah, I am Zi Di, my Lord. I am your fiancée.”
“Fiancée?” The youngster frowned. He knew what a fiancée was, he just did not expect that this girl would have such an intimate relationship with him. “Zi Di…” the youngster murmured the name under his breath. Yet to the youngster, this name was completely unfamiliar. As the youngster ruminated further, his eyebrows deeply creased. “Wait a minute, I...who am I?” He realized that he had forgotten his own identity. When he tried to recall his memories, his mind seemed to be utterly empty, as if nothing was ever there.
“You are Zhen Jin, Baron Zhen Jin. Heavens! Your Lordship, have you forgotten everything, including your own identity?”
“Zhen Jin, I am Zhen Jin? Why don’t I remember anything?” The youngster frowned, feeling very puzzled and dismayed.
“Heavens! Why did this happen‽” Zi Di was also quite perplexed. Thereafter, her purple eyes revealed a pondering glint. She then shook her head and said, “Perhaps…Your Lordship’s head was struck fiercely, and therefore, you lost your memories temporarily. There have been similar occurrences.
“My Lord, we became shipwrecked a few days ago. There had been a violent storm, the ship capsized and split. The survivors became stranded on this island…there were many missing people including you, my Lord. Following your trail through the rainforest, I searched for you, however, you were already unconscious when I found you, and the many methods I attempted could not wake you up.
“Wait. Maybe it's because my means of awaking you had been interfered with during the middle. If that's really the case, then I’m sorry, my Lord. I simply had no other choice at the time.” She pointed her finger at Zhen Jin’s chest, there were still many crystal fragments adhered to it.
The youngster Zhen Jin lowered his head and saw the crystal fragments stuck to his chest and spoke, “So, you were the one that saved me?” Continuing onward, the young girl informed the youngster of her experiences as well as the final moments when she took a risk to treat him with the white crystal. Those words immediately caused the youngster to respect the girl more. “So we were in such danger, and it was all thanks to you, um…Zi Di,” the youngster gently called out the girl’s name.
“But my Lord, you may have lost your memories because of this,” Zi Di whispered, still feeling worried and guilty about it.
“What are these things?” Zhen Jin asked curiously as he held the crystal fragments.
“Angel tears,” said Zi Di. According to her, it was a rather high-level magic artifact. “This island is very strange, neither magic nor battle qi can be used. When I used it to wake Your Lordship up, I was also gambling,” she explained.
“A magic restriction domain?” Zhen Jin found that he still had his general knowledge. He then shook his head and said, “No magic restriction domain is absolute. The key is to examine how powerful it is.”
“Yes, my Lord,” Zi Di looked at the fragments in his hand and said, “high-level artifacts like angel tears are still barely usable here. My magic is only Iron, and the environment here has suppressed it and I have no way of using it.”
Could it be that the light in the darkness I saw was created by this crystal? the youngster guessed as he recalled his previous unconscious state.
“My Lord, please let me examine your body’s condition.” Zi Di continued to introduce herself, “I am a low-level magician. Although I can’t use my magic currently, I still have my knowledge.”
Zhen Jin nodded. Magicians were usually very erudite, even if they were young.
The young lady carefully inspected Zhen Jin’s chest, back, ears, and so on. As he felt the tender hands of the girl groping around his body, his heart rippled. Finally, Zi Di approached his face and carefully observed if there was anything unusual in the youngster’s pupils. The distance between the two of them was so close that they could feel each other's breaths. The girl’s breath felt like it carried a certain sweet scent, causing his heart to feel itchy as he turned his head slightly, not looking at her directly.
While Zi Di was examining him, he was also inspecting himself. Zi Di had wheat-colored skin while he had pure-white skin. Zhen Jin also vaguely felt that, although he had a relatively thin figure, his body seemed to be hiding formidable strength. He kept stretching his ten fingers, then proceeded to make a fist. He then recalled the scene where he sent the giant wolf flying with his kick, subtly experiencing the power lying dormant in his body. This power was evidently unusual.
“Alright.” The young girl stopped moving, took a step back, and let out a relieved sigh. “My Lord, presently, your body only has remnant bruises from the past. From the looks of it, there seems to be no problem, however, the conditions here are too crude, thus you can only wait until I can conduct a detailed examination in the future.”
Zhen Jin nodded and continued to ask, “So am I a magician? What kind of power do I have?”
Zi Di shook her head and replied, “My Lord, you practice battle qi, you are a Templar Knight.”
“A Templar Knight?” The youngster immediately became absent-minded, and soon after, a memory appeared from oblivion in his mind.
* * *
In a bright, pure-white temple hall, where the sun shone through the towering variegated stained-glass windows, illuminating its interior, a group of youths were gathered together. Zhen Jin found himself amid them.
The atmosphere was sublime, solemn, and somewhat feverish, and there Zhen Jin and the other youths swore an oath together—
“I so vow, to respect and love the living god, the master of the grand Empire, Emperor Sheng Ming!
“I so vow, to follow in the footsteps of my commander, to advance bravely!
“I so vow, to protect my loved ones, to brave perils!
“I so vow, to treat my friends with good faith, to reject hypocrisy!
“I so vow, to be loyal in love and until death together, to never forsake!
“I so vow, to fight injustice, to have compassion for the weak!
“I so vow, to remain fair, to oppose all falsehoods!
“From today forth, I am a Templar Knight!”
* * *
The memory was fleeting.
“My Lord, did you remember anything?” Zi Di asked with expectation when she noticed something different about Zhen Jin.
Zhen Jin nodded and said, “Yes. I remembered the moment of vowing my solemn oath when I became a Templar Knight.”
When Zi Di heard this, her eyes lit up and responded, “My Lord, give it a try, maybe you can use battle qi now?”
Zhen Jin clenched his fist and recollected. A moment later, his brows furrowed, and he shook his head with a bitter smile and replied, “No, I don’t have any memories concerning battle qi cultivation, I can’t even sense any trace of battle qi in my body and I don’t know how to use it.”
Zi Di’s eyes dulled a little, and soon after she comforted, “Perhaps, the time has not yet come. But it doesn’t matter, Your Lordship. At least this proves that your memory can be restored. It will...just take some time.”
Zhen Jin nodded, thinking to himself that although the girl in front of him was weak, she was optimistic and tenacious. Ever since he woke up, she had been consoling him.
However, there were still distinct tears on the girl’s cheek at the moment. All of her fingernails were split and slightly bleeding, and she was barefooted, for she had not had time to put on her boots. Although Zi Di only gave a brief description, he understood the previous situation was really dangerous and could be described as dancing between life and death. The most praiseworthy thing was that no matter how dangerous the situation became, the girl never gave up on him while he was unconscious. It could even be said that she had steadfast loyalty and had no regard for her own life.
The Templar Knight’s oath was still ringing in his ears. It turns out I am a knight, a noble Templar Knight! Zhen Jin felt honor envelop his body as he raised his head with a prideful heart. Looking at Zi Di again, a warm feeling also rippled through his heart. Then, let me take care of you from now on. Strong, purple-eyed girl, my…fiancée.