Chapter 15 – Let Him Be Free

Translator: Lucia Rose


The entire space was steeped in silence; even breathing seemed a delicate matter.

“Are you sure? The road you are about to embark on is one without return,” Claude asked. The rise and fall of his voice was calm yet incomparably earnest.

They were standing at an intersection of fate.

“I’m sure. How about you? Major General Claude Sien.”

Many years later, Livy would chew on his toothpick and recall that moment with a great deal of amusement. He would laughingly say that the silence had been like a vacuum, and he couldn’t imagine how Claude had been able to make the decision he had made while wearing the placid face he was wearing.

“Start the engine system of the Pure-Hued Lady.” Claude stared into Livy’s eyes and quietly opened his mouth. His voice seemed to echo, and all the lights and holographic systems in the showroom seemed to abruptly be initialized. In that split second, they had entered a world of complex structures and binary digits.

“Fill up the oxygen tank. Inspect the life system.” Claude continued to calmly give out commands.

The door to the Pure-Hued Lady’s cabin opened; a deadly invitation.

Livy quickly walked over and, with a single leap, effortlessly entered the cabin and decisively shut the door. With this action, he cut off all feelings of hesitation. Inside the cockpit, he began turning on all the systems, smoothly following the procedure to start the aircraft. In his movements couldn’t be detected even the slightest outward display of unfamiliarity.

Claude’s voice echoed from the communicator installed within the electronic system, creating the illusion that the matter filling the cockpit’s entire space was not oxygen gas but the reverberations of Claude’s voice.

“This kind of feeling is so strange.” Livy laughed.

“How so?” In the control room, Claude’s slender fingers flew over the keyboard of his computer. Slowly, the passage above the Pure-Hued Lady began to open.

“It feels like there are only two people left in this world. You, and me.”

“It’s already too late to sweet talk me now.” Claude smiled. However, his rapidly typing fingers faltered slightly.

“Please be sure to return, Second Lieutenant. Do not make me regret my decision tonight.”

“Maurice said that you would always be looking up at me. Is this true?” With a rumble, the Pure-Hued Lady began floating in the air; its whirling turbines created violent currents of wind within the entire display room. The warning alarm began to sound.

“Yes, and it has nothing to do with what kind of feelings I harbor for you.” Closing his eyes, Claude placed his fingers against the recognition instrument, seemingly coming to some sort of resolution within himself.

In the blink of an eye, the Pure-Hued Lady rushed through the corridor, and in the next second, it ruptured the darkness like a sparkling comet, cleaving the pitch-black sky into two halves.

The surging currents of air in the display room calmed down, and the space once again restored its tranquility. Claude took a deep breath and covered his eyes with his palms.

“What am I doing……”

“What are you doing?! Claude?!” Miller snarled. He stood at the entrance and stared at the empty display room in disbelief.

“I’ve let him be free.”

“Free?! What do you mean by free?! You didn’t notify any of us researchers before starting the Pure-Hued Lady! How do you plan to handle the consequences of your actions?!” Miller grabbed Claude by his collar. He didn’t dare believe the thing that had happened before him was real.

“I thought this was the dream of the entire Zone Z: seeing the Pure-Hued Lady flying into the skies.” Claude’s expression was eerily calm. He pried Miller’s wrists away from his collar. “Shouldn’t you be working, Major Miller? First and foremost, the time we’ve been given to collect and analyze the data derived from actual combat ought to be optimized, correct?”

Startled, Miller released Claude. He walked to the chair on the opposite side. Although his face was still ashen with rage, at the same time, Claude’s words had flipped a switch within him, and he had transitioned to a working state.

“If anything happens to Livy, I won’t let you go.”

“I won’t let myself go, either.”


Flying at an unimaginable speed, Livy swept a wide arc across the sky, and three alien airships exploded like fireworks. In the central control room, the recording had to be played back in slow motion to catch the details of his projectile shots.


“It’s too beautiful… is that the Pure-Hued Lady?”

“Our fighter jets have never reached that kind of speed before!”

Lieutenant General Montel supported himself on his walking stick and gazed at that dazzling prodigy in the sky. He mumbled: “I never thought an old man like myself would get the chance to witness a moment like this.”

The exhilaration felt by the inhabitants of the base was difficult to be described in words. After all, this was the first time K11 had flipped the tables against the alien invaders so quickly, and decisively, at that.

In an instant, the sky had become the Pure-Hued Lady’s playground. The formerly ‘free-firing’ soldiers of K11, as a result of the Pure-Hued Lady’s addition to the fray, gained enough time to reorganize their formation. They started attacking the enemies with more structure.

Livy matched his speed with the aircraft responsible for transporting X-11. The other party never directly attacked the enemy but instead adroitly dodged every single high-frequency laser-guided missile with controlled yet fluid movements.

“Hey, buddy, what’s your name?” Livy connected his radio communication frequency to the other party’s.

“Leslie Lucrécy.” After answering Livy’s question, the other party swerved to the side and sped off, leaving the rest of the enemies for Livy to deal with.


Livy careened up and down. Two missiles went over. One alien aircraft was directly hit while the other circled around in order to evade the attack.

Leslie, as if in tacit understanding, went into a helical spiral, drawing several aircraft after him.

Livy laughed out loud, “Great minds think alike!”

His words hadn’t yet fallen when two of his laser missiles destroyed six aircraft at once; the sheer delight Livy was experiencing at this moment threatened to burst through his very veins.

Prior to touching the ground, Leslie made a dazzling turn. His low-altitude flight caused those aircraft that were high up above to swoop down at an almost right angle.

In response to the other party, Livy’s aircraft flew next to Leslie’s fighter in almost parallel flight. Seeing a moment of opportunity, he shot out a missile, which landed smack dab in the center of the enemy’s missile barrel, causing a shower of sparks.

“Please focus; now is not the time for you to play acrobatics.” Leslie’s tone was frosty.

“Aha, buddy, you’re almost out of missiles. I admire you for being able to endure till the vicinity of K11 despite your entire escort fleet being wiped out.”

“There are many people who admire me; you are only one.”

“Alright, let’s cooperate and finish off that group of alien b*tches.” Livy proposed. He suddenly felt that staging a joint strike with Leslie would be a very interesting thing.

“Roger.” The other party’s reply was succinct to the point of brusqueness; his fighter jet increased its speed meteorically and slid into the sky.

He was just like a moving target, constantly luring the enemy to follow him like moths to a flame, and his superior piloting skills inevitably pulled this group of flying machines directly into the line of fire of Livy’s favorite shelling trajectory.

The Pure-Hued Lady became the only free-firing fighter in the entire sky, and everywhere she went, the enemy would have no choice but to be shot down.

It was as if someone had brought the fireworks show to town; the entire night sky seemed to be lit up with an unending series of explosions.

1Image by Paul from Pixabay

All eyes were transfixed on the base’s screen. They knew, without the slightest doubt, that this time, they would win for sure.

Maurice leisurely walked into Zone Z. Already, there were many researchers working tensely.

The Pure-Hued Lady had only been out in battle for 10 minutes, yet all the personnel in Zone Z had already gotten into their positions.

“He’s having a good time.” Maurice walked behind Claude, but the other party was concentrating with single-hearted devotion and seemed to have not heard anything at all.

Two minutes later, the almost completely annihilated alien invaders gave up their resistance and retreated at full speed.

Although ‘not chasing an enemy in flight’2穷寇莫追 (qióng kòu mò zhuī): Do not chase an enemy who has no way out, lest the enemy rush back and cause its own losses. (Source: Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”) was a theory learned at the Air Force Academy, for all his disrespect to the academy, Livy was still somewhat abiding of this principle.

He flew to Leslie’s side and struck up a conversation, “Hey, you’re so good; how come Claude didn’t unearth you?”

The other side kept silent.

“How long have you been flying for? Did your fighter overheat? Do you feel like vomiting right now?” Livy continued to chatter endlessly.

The other side twisted to the side in an attempt to shake him off, but unfortunately, the Pure-Hued Lady’s functions were too good, and it followed him relentlessly like a shadow.

“Shut up.” This was the only phrase Leslie uttered after being pestered by Livy.

“You’re no fun, buddy; I’m concerned about you.”

All the fighters were heading back, and Leslie had also received an instruction to enter the base through Passage 22.

Livy watched Leslie fly back into the base and wandered helplessly in a circle. Then, he flew back into the base through his own exclusive channel.


The moment the Pure-Hued Lady safely landed and the hatch door opened, Livy was bombarded with a tidal wave of applause.

The display lights were a little blinding; he covered his eyes with the back of his hand.

Everyone was gathered in the showroom, and Livy was at the center of their attention. Never in his life had he been so appreciated as at this moment. A suffocating wave of emotions swept over him, and he felt that he would be drowned by the eyes of others.

“You’re too awesome, Livy—”

“The Pure-Hued Lady was just our dream, but you’ve allowed our dream to fly into the sky—”

The researchers’ worship had practically become fanatical, and this made Livy feel deeply uncomfortable.

At this moment, even Lieutenant General Montel had made his way over.

Livy did not feel elated or proud. He held up his hand and signaled everyone to quiet down. Slowly and clearly, he said: “I am not your dream. I am not anyone’s dream. Because a dream is just a dream, and it is you, yourself, who has turned it into a reality. So don’t entrust anything to me. If your dreams fall to pieces, I can’t be held responsible.”

For a moment, there was a terrible silence. Everyone stared at him dumbfounded, as they’d never expected him to say something like that.

“Well said.” Lieutenant General Montel applauded. “Everyone should be responsible for their own dreams and not rely on others. The reason why the Pure-Hued Lady was able to sally out today was not solely because of Livy’s excellence but because you were able to create the Pure-Hued Lady in the first place!”

Livy scratched his head, “Yeah, I don’t even understand why you guys don’t applaud yourselves.”

Turning his eyes to the side, Livy saw through the glass window of the control room that Claude was still sitting quietly in front of his computer, studying and analyzing the battle data.

Suddenly, Livy found the man to be rather solemn, sacrosanct, and untouchable; this included his ridiculous love.

Maurice lugged in two cases of beer, “Hey, friends — we’re celebrating today! Put that d*mn data aside; now is the time to enjoy the victory!”

Lieutenant General Montel walked over, took a can of beer for himself, took a big swig, and said, “You guys deserve to enjoy yourselves!”

Instantly, the whole research room was flooded with the fragrant aroma of beer.

Livy also took a can and walked into the control room.

Claude had been so focused on the data that it seemed he had even erased his own existence from the world… until Livy placed a can of beer next to his face.

“I didn’t realize that until the end of this battle you were still looking at my……data.”

“Is the fact that you didn’t fire a parabolic missile once during this battle because of your lack of confidence?” Massaging his eyes, Claude continued looking at the data.

“Yes, I will practice this aspect of my shooting more.” Livy’s answer was quite honest.

“Thanks for the beer.” Claude finally cracked a slight smile.

Livy was just about to turn around to leave when the crisp sound of a can of beer being opened rang out from behind him. Seemingly curious about how the elegant Claude would look drinking a commoner’s beverage like beer, Livy looked back again.

What greeted him was a sight he was unable to remove his gaze from.

Though Claude was clothed in a military uniform symbolic of abstinence and discipline, the nonchalance with which he carried himself contradicted his ascetic attire, and the spontaneity and artlessness of his gestures were reminiscent of dust scattering away in the roaming wind.

There were only so many ways to drink a can of beer; of this Livy was aware, but watching as the liquid flowed freely down Claude’s throat and his eyes half-lidded in lazy concentration stirred in him an emotion which he could not describe.

But he must have been staring for too long.

“In this short minute, you’ve already made three mistakes.” Claude set aside his emptied beer can. His long and sinuous fingers rapidly typed in a few lines of code. The computer homed in on the displayed data.

“What three mistakes?” Smirking, Livy clasped his arms, as if ready to listen to a snide joke.

“First and foremost, supposing you don’t love me, you shouldn’t have come in here to share your success with me.” Claude got up and walked unhurriedly toward Livy.

“Secondly, supposing you don’t love me, you shouldn’t have looked back again.” Claude stopped in front of Livy; his gaze deep and intense.

“Lastly, supposing you don’t love me, you shouldn’t have continued to stare at me.” Claude leaned his body forward, and his movements, graceful as ever, deliberately mimicked those of a lover about to steal a kiss.

  • 1
    Image by Paul from Pixabay
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    穷寇莫追 (qióng kòu mò zhuī): Do not chase an enemy who has no way out, lest the enemy rush back and cause its own losses. (Source: Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”)

Lucia Rose

Thank you so much for reading! ☺ °✩ Above the Firmament: Legend of Skyrim [TL] ⋆。° Knight of the Sea [Co-TL w/ Sushi] ゚。⋆ Could You Not Tease Me? [Co-TL w/ Nura] ✩˖ ࣪‧₊˚ If you wish to support me, please consider donating to my Ko-fi! ♡

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 15 – Let Him Be Free”

  1. Yay Livy finally went into combat and it went well.
    The entire time I’m reading this, my brain is quietly saying “Dobby is freeee!” lol

    Thank you for the chapter!

    • Haha, I’m already visualizing the meme! o(≧▽≦)o
      Thank you for the cute Harry Potter reference! ❤

      I love reading your comments, theeggmonger! ☺


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