The Pyro Warrior retreated from the frontline. The flames surrounding him was fading and would go out any time. His disciple, the teenager who would soon inherit the title of Pyro Knight-errant. Despite all his effort to save him, his condition did not get better. With the Scarlet Armor, the Warrior stood on his feet with difficulty. He paid no attention to his disciple's dissuasion and raised his giant sword.
Paladin King of Fire: Do you understand the Scarlet Armor’s will that has been passed down?
Disciple: Be forthright always, so we would have no regrets in death.
Disciple: Be brave to even the toughest enemies, for the flames of our soul are eternal!
Paladin King of Fire: Yes, this is the oath every one of us swears!
Paladin King of Fire: Bear in mind that you should always fuel the fire in your heart...
Paladin King of Fire: ...and someday, you will ignite the world!
Disciple: Sir, you will make it.
Paladin King of Fire: Swear the oath at once! It is time now!
Disciple: No, sir! You can’t —
Paladin King of Fire: This is the final trial!
The youngster knew that if he failed, the Scarlet Armor would burn him to ashes. His rationality told him to withdraw. Although he would be a lonely orphan, he could still lead a peaceful life... However, he would never resign to fate, so he nodded to his mentor as his tears shed.
Paladin King of Fire: You must be recognized by every past Pyro Warriors.
Paladin King of Fire: Duel the first Pyro Warrior and prove your courage to him.
Paladin King of Fire: Remember your oath!
Paladin King of Fire: Don’t let me down! Live up with your sharp eyes!
The Warrior tapped his sword on his disciple’s shoulder. The flames on the sword spread from the sword to the young man, on whose soul the tongue of fire was implanted...
“Fate may teach you to obey, but the will of a warrior an inferno. No authority can put it out!!” The youngster could recall his mentor’s words.
After inheriting the Scarlet Armor, the Warrior never attempted to work for the imperial court and lived only using his martial skills. In the past, he would follow his mentor with his eyes whenever his mentor departed with the crowd. Seeing the residents of the city burdened by cruel policies and heavy taxes, the Warrior began to pursue a life of freedom.
He strayed into a life of drifting, proving his chivalric virtues as a knight-errant. Only on the days of sacrificial rituals would he return to his homeland to visit the grave of his mentor. The Warrior’s fame spread and came to the Princess Consort, who decided to summon him to the palace and would execute him if he refused to vow loyalty to her.
Official: I have heard that the inheritors of the Scarlet Armor...
Official: ...inherits the former owner’s will as well.
Official: Your mentor was a brave warrior in the army and achieved a lot of merits.
Official: What can you contribute to the country?
Pyro Warrior: I follow the virtues I believe and help the weak whenever they need me.
Pyro Warrior: Otherwise, I live to my heart's desires as any other ordinary commoner would.
Official: Every commoner under the sky can lead a life like this...
Official: ...but you are different with poleaxe in hand and flaming armor on your body.
Official: If you don’t vow loyalty to the country, how can we reassure the King...
Official: ...that you won’t be messing things up put there?
In fact, the Princess Consort had a card up her sleeve. She had her aide to meet the Warrior in place of her, while her soldiers were lying in ambush on the other side of the palace. They would assault on the Warrior once the aide threw the goblet to the ground.
The aide criticized the Warrior for his incompetence, but the Warrior knew it was to goad him into fighting and give them an excuse to get rid of him; therefore, he and was not persuaded. The Princess Consort was impatient for the aide’s ineptness, so she ordered her soldiers to capture the Warrior before her aide’s signal. The Warrior was then surrounded by soldiers wielding huge axes.
Pyro Warrior: What do you want me to do?
Official: There is no need for haste. I shall test your value as a warrior.
Official: If you manage to overcome the trial,
Official: the Princess Consort will bestow you with merits. If not...
Offcial: Great. Now we know that you are able to subdue the fox.
Pyro Warrior: The fox? Is it an elf in the shape of a fox, bewitching people with its spells?
Official: You are right.
Official: Rumors have that there is one living in a village on the west of the city.
Official: It has bewitched all the villagers with evil spells to practice asceticism.
Pyro Warrior: If this is the case, I shall go free them from the spell.
The Warrior marched west according to the Princess Consort’s order. On the way he saw piles of rubble: the cities lacked strongholds, the villages lacked cottages, and the lands lacked people. He looked to the west to find that only one city around remained lively. At the moment he set foot to the city, in attempt to see if anyone had heard about the fox, he was welcomed by the cheers of the residents. The residents revealed that during the Pyro Warrior’s stay in the city a few years ago, his men would rather die from hunger than to rob from the citizens and moreover, they even helped rebuild the city.
The Warrior then explained that it was his mentor and he was only his successor. Then he asked around in the city about the fox. The residents told him that refugees and casualties from all around fled to the city because of the endless wars, and they could hardly care for everyone. Those injured then gathered in a village on the mound beside, where they were taken care by a fox, a master of healing spells.
The following day, the Warrior reached the village by dawn. The villagers were well-prepared for his visit, and blocked his entry.
Pyro Warrior: I am here to get rid of the elf. Please give way.
Villagers: There is no elf here. Leave, Warrior.
Pyro Warrior: Don’t lie to me. The village is surrounded by growing elfish pneuma.
Pyro Warrior: You must have been bewitched.
Villagers: The fox has never intended to harm us, yet you are here to kill her!
Pyro Warrior: All I need is the elf. I have no reason to stand against you.
Villagers: Humph! We’ve already asked for help to protect her!
Villagers: If you want to see her, you need to get through us first.
The Fox: Stop it! I’m here. Please don’t hurt them anymore.
Pyro Warrior: If you showed up earlier, there’s no need for them to get hurt.
After knocking the villagers unconscious, the Warrior easily defeated the fox and had his axe on its neck. It then transformed into a beautiful woman, her appearance a replica of the Princess Consort before speaking to the Warrior.
Pyro Warrior: How come you are so weak despite your overwhelming pneuma?
Pyro Warrior: How am I able to kill you?
The Fox: I have spent my past years living in the village learning various healing spells.
The Fox: I never dared think about practising any deadly ones.
The Fox: However, my sister just won’t let me go.
Pyro Warrior: How come the villagers spare their lives to protect you if they are not bewitched?
The Fox: My sister has been manipulating the court.
The Fox: Everyone here is a victim of harsh policies,
The Fox: They were forced to settle here in the village.
The Fox: I cure their injuries while practicing asceticism.
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: Naturally, there’s no reason for them to harm me.
Pyro Warrior: You’ve mentioned about your sister. Do you mean...
The Fox: Yes I do. She had longed for the luxurious life in the palace.
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: So she practiced asceticism with the use of human lives.
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: And finally, she mastered the bewitching spell.
The Fox: I’m just trying to survive and I never wanted to harm any creatures.
Daji the Demonic Enchantress: Therefore, we ended up parting ways.
Pyro Warrior: No wonder you two look so much alike.
The Fox: Kill me if you must, but please spare the villagers’ lives. They are innocent.
Pyro Warrior: What’s your name?
The Fox: Wanyue .
Pyro Warrior: Listen, Wanyue. I never harm those who are weak and innocent.
Pyro Warrior: On the road here, I saw a myriad of refugees and unattended industries.
Pyro Warrior: If you really are an expert in healing spells, join me in saving them.
Pyro Warrior: You will be freed when you reach enlightenment through virtuous acts.
Together with Wanyue the Fox, the Pyro Warrior drifted around guiding the others on their way to enlightenment. A few more years later, she had finally reached enlightenment and obtained her ninth tail. The Warrior wanted to release her as he knew that he should redeem his promise, yet the fox had no complaint and she never mentioned about leaving.
The fox also knew that she had no reason to stay beside the Warrior as the promise had already been fulfilled. They both wished in their hearts that they could keep fighting alongside each other. However, despite their wishes, they dared not ask the other to share lives until death does them part — they did not know what the other was thinking. They worried a frank confession might break their bond and lead them to different ways.
The Warrior and the fox grew renowned for their noble deeds, and finally reached the Princess Consort in the palace, who then sent out elite troops to capture them. Since then the two were attacked from every direction, that they could trust no one but each other. To hide from the troops, they hit and ran. To help the weak, they ridded the realm of evil creatures. To survive, they killed elves and Xian...
It was winter when the Warrior went onto a mountain to eliminate the elf of snow which had been bothering the villagers beneath. Mid-way through the journey when the Warrior barely spotted the elf, he heard clangs of armor coming up the hill.
Pyro Warrior: We’re surrounded by the Princess Consort’s troops!
Wanyue: There are only few of them.
Wanyue: We have no choice but to fight our way out and evict the elf.
Pyro Warrior: I'm here to eliminate the elf.
Pyro Warrior: Now, with you in my way, it saves me the effort to take you down one by one.
Pyro Warrior: Burn!
Pyro Warrior: Wanyue! Wanyue! I’ve defeated them!
Pyro Warrior: Where are you? Wanyue!
Pyro Warrior: Wanyue! Wanyue!
In the snow, the last enemy fell. Unfortunately, the fox had also collapsed into the arms of the Warrior. Blood blossomed like roses on her body. From the moment the Warrior had inherited the Scarlet Armor from his mentor, he never felt any warmth in the world. At the moment, he could sense a fading strand of warmth. His contrary feelings made him kindled his body, so he could warm her up as she embraced him, and he won’t blame himself for not being able to protect her.
Pyro Warrior: Even if you lose your soul, I can always rekindle your life.
Wanyue: Don’t bother. It’s time for me to go.
Pyro Warrior: It’s all my fault. I shouldn't have listened to the Princess.
Wanyue: With such chaos, I barely have the ability to survive even I give my best.
Wanyue: If it wasn’t for you, I would not be able to protect the weak using my spells.
Wanyue: Now, I have been martyred. At last, my life is not meaningless.
Pyro Warrior: Regardless of the path chosen, noble or otherwise, their will lives on!
Pyro Warrior: My mentor once mentioned that as long as we fuel the fire in our hearts...
Pyro Warrior: ...we will set the world on fire even if we reside in a chaotic world.
Pyro Warrior: You can achieve righteousness even if you originally had an ignoble life.
Pyro Warrior: Your choice was never wrong. It’s me...
Wanyue: Everyone goes on different ways for they have different beliefs.
Wanyue: Having you on the same way is hard to come by...
Pyro Warrior: You will stay with me, won’t you? You need further practice...
Wanyue: Don’t worry. I will stay with you, always...
In her final moments, the fox used the last bit of pneuma she had got, trying to transform into a coat, yet the pneuma was exhausted before she could fully transform, leaving her tails at the back. A fur, with her warmth on it, was left in his hands then. With his axe the Warrior cut the fur open, so he could wear it on his armor. At the moment the nine tails began waving behind him as if the fur was alive. Dust of snow had been falling along the tails like tears. The Warrior then ignited himself, and the snowy mountain was then engulfed by fierce fire...