Arknights: Purpose and Will

Ikigai: A concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. And he did not have one ever since he could remember, but in this new place he finds himself in, will he gain one? Or will Terra's cruelty give birth to a devil that is determined to destroy everything in its path?

Khay_Cee_Padua · Anime & Comics
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136 Chs

Chapter 119: Two Dragons Reunite

In the morning, Ch'en got up from her bed. Unable to sleep due to her anxiety. Her head, filled with thoughts of her older sister.

"Talulah... What did you really go through?" Ch'en frowned at the thought of meeting her again. Imagining her reaction to her.

"Will she shout at me? Maybe try to beat me? Or just simply look on?" Ch'en didn't know, and that scared her.

She looked at a picture of them when they were kids. And Ch'en could still remember that fateful day.

Where Lungmen was attacked by Ursus and Talulah got kidnapped by duke Kaschey. After that, everything went wrong.

Her mother was forced to marry a Lung from Yan's nobility. Talulah's father got executed due to being blamed as the source of political instability.

Wei and the rat king then got estranged as they couldn't do anything to save their best friend.

"Worried?" Ash appeared beside her and she didn't get surprised, knowing that he could just casually appear out of nowhere.

"Yes... I haven't seen Talulah for decades. I don't know her condition, I don't know what she thinks about me. I know nothing." Ch'en looked down on the ground in shame.

"I always worked hard, that's why I left Lin in Lungmen and broke our promise to study together. I needed to get into Victoria's prestigious school. I returned, then made my way to the top of LGD. All to be influential and get Talulah back." Ch'en scrunched up her face.

"But now that I'm going to meet her again, I don't know what's going to happen." Ch'en couldn't help but get paranoid.

"Well, I doubt you'd have a pretty nice reunion." Ash shrugged and she raised a brow at him.

"I told you, Talulah is hollow right now. She doesn't think, doesn't feel, she just lives and follows orders like a machine. Though I think she would have a reaction to you." Ash imagined it and nobody can shut down their emotions fully.

Except special people like Joyce. And he could also do it, but he would rather not.

"Whatever state she's in. I want to see her still, Talulah is my sister. It's my duty to do so." Ch'en hardened her expression.

"I see, so you talked to him about Talulah?" Lin appeared with Beatrix and the two of them had worried expressions.

"Y-you two? Why are you here?" Ch'en blinked and they sighed. "You were broodier than normal. So we decided to check up on you, but now that we know the reason, it's very understandable." Beatrix patted her on the back.

"I remember Talulah, though she disappeared when Lungmen was raided by Ursus. Are you ready to meet with her?" Lin also gave her a hand and Ch'en appreciated their worries.

"Come on, let's go. Do you two want to come as well?" Ash offered to Beatrix and Lin.

Hoshiguma already went back to Lungmen due to being still part of the LGD. But the other two were more free.

"Can we? If we can, then we'll go as Ch'en's emotional support." Lin nodded at him and Beatrix agreed.

"Aren't you glad? You have some good friends with you?" Ash patted Ch'en's head and she snarled at him.

"Don't treat me like a kid... And I guess I am pretty lucky." Ch'en smiled a bit.

"Heh... I didn't know that you were the sappy type, Ch'en." Lin smirked at her and Beatrix also had a smug smile on her face.

"Shut up, or I'll just leave you guys here." The Lung blushed at their teasing and Ash clapped.

"Okay, let's go." He went to pick up Vina's group, Rafaela is also going to Paradiso as a little safety precaution. So he gathered them all after waking them up.

Ash ferried them over to Paradiso and he tasked one of his ghosts to report to Leithanien about the successful mission.

And after going back to their houses, in which Cantabile and Rafaela went to Glasgow's shared house for now. He led Ch'en and her group to Talulah's prison.

"This is where she's being held?" Ch'en couldn't help but get uncomfortable at the maximum security prison.

Talulah was basically harmless nowadays, but it was better to be safe than sorry. Talulah's fire arts is really destructive. And she could burn entire mobile cities to the ground without breaking a sweat.

"We have to imprison her here. Talulah is still a POW of ours. And she chose to be here." Ash shrugged and Ch'en begrudgingly accepted his explanation.

Walking through the halls of the prison, they noticed that it was eerily quiet. And there was basically no guards there.

"Why is this place so... Quiet?" Lin was getting the creeps and Ash snapped his fingers.

Lin felt someone poke her neck and she broke into a cold sweat. "That's because they're here. And if you try to break out of here? Well, you'll have to deal with them."

Beatrix and Ch'en immediately nodded and they checked up on Lin who turned pale.

"I'm alright, just a little shaken is all." She furrowed her brows. Thinking that their maximum security prison is unreal.

After walking in silence for a few more minutes, they arrived at a cell that looked like it came from the permafrost of the north.

"She's inside there?" Ch'en gulped as she got nervous.

"Yeah, your sister is currently being chained down by the power of a dragon." Ash explained and they heard about the Feranmuts of Paradiso.

"The power of a god? How powerful is Talulah, really?" Lin suddenly got an ominous feeling. Thinking that Talulah might lash out at them after seeing Ch'en.

"Enough to need this treatment. Not that it is needed anyways. Nothing can enter and escape Paradiso without us knowing. Except for some exceptional individuals." Ash thought about Gladiia and Shining who can infiltrate Paradiso.

And as far as he knew, they were the only ones who could do that. Except his ghosts of course.

Ash controlled the panel and the cell of Talulah opened up with a hiss. The walls falling down with heavy thuds as steam that came from the ice blocked their vision.

He waved his hand and Ch'en saw Talulah for the first time in years. There she was, her half sister that she adored.

She was bound in sky blue chains made of ice. Kneeling down on the ground as the thick links were staked.

The trio gasped at the intense bindings and Ch'en couldn't help but glare at him for her treatment. But she remembered that Talulah was their prisoner.

"Talulah, someone is here to meet you." Ash called out to her and she craned her neck to them slowly.

Ch'en gasped as she saw her eyes, they were dead. Like a fish's eyes that seem to look at nothing. It was as he said, hollow.

Talulah then tilted her head, not recognizing them at first. But her eyes suddenly widened and they gained life.

Different kinds of emotions rushed through her as Talulah's expressions changed. From sadness, anger, shame, and joy. Seeing her sister that she got separated from all those years ago.

"Ch'en Hui-chieh. What are you doing here?" Talulah's face went stone cold once again, sobering up from the surprise.

"Talulah..." Ch'en slowly went up to her and touched her face.

"What is it? You are unnecessary in my life now." Talulah just stared at her, waiting for her to talk.

"I'm sorry, it must have been hard." Ch'en looked at her with pity and Talulah stilled. She then forgot about her repentance and gritted her teeth.

"What do you know about what I've been through?" The room suddenly started to get hotter.

"Ch'en! It's dangerous, come back here!" Lin and Beatrix warned her as they felt the scalding heat.

But she ignored them and she just stood there. "For years... I waited for someone, my father, uncle Wei, my sister. I was raised in Ursus to be the perfect weapon. Forced to train my arts until my head felt like it was about to explode." Talulah struggled against her chains.

"Every single day, my hands bled as I swung a sword. Or be beaten half-dead and starved for a whole week!" Steam came out of her mouth as her insides boiled with her arts.

"Killing prisoners that would beg me for their lives! Children! Mothers! Pregnant women! I had to kill them or I would've been punished until all my bones fracture!" Her eyes turned to slits as her anger rose.

"Then... I saw people slaughter the infected. Innocent travelers that were exiled. Roaming around the cruel coldness of Ursus' wilderness." Talulah laughed at her powerlessness.

"Years! I've waited. For someone to come, someone to bring me back. But what!? Nothing! You continued on with your lives. Forgetting about me and my father." Fire erupted from Talulah, but Ch'en didn't dodge them.

They got redirected as Ch'en and Talulah look at each other.

"It must have been hard." Ch'en stared at her with a morose expression and Talulah gritted her teeth.

The two went quiet for a minute and Ash stopped Lin and Beatrix in interfering with them. It was their problem and theirs alone.

"Why? Why didn't you even try to get me back?" Talulah looked at her with an expression of hurt and Ch'en's face scrunched up.

"Did you think of it that way? I tried... I studied even though I hate it. I trained until I became a swordmaster even though I hate fighting. I worked my way up from the bottom. All for the purpose of being Lungmen's next leader." Ch'en clicked her tongue as she took too much time.

"But I was too late, everything went down the drain. Forgive me Talulah... I couldn't reach you quick enough. I'm sorry... I'm sorry that you had to experience all that." Ch'en teared up as she imagined the horrors that her sister had to put up with.

"I've always thought of you... I did everything I could to try and make contact with you. But I was too powerless. Yan was hounding Lungmen. And even chief Wei was just their subordinate." Ch'en remembered her uncle kowtowing to the Yanese censors.

The two stared at each other and Ch'en slowly went up to her. The Lung's hand receiving some burns due to the flames from earlier.

"But I'm here now..." Ch'en went closer and she rubbed her nose with her. A sign of affection for Lungs that are believed to be descended from the dragons.

"You don't understand... My hands are stained with blood. The blood of innocents." Talulah started crying as she remembered all of those people that she had to kill in order to live.

"Kaschey was the one who forced you to do it." Ch'en tried to convince her.

"I... I even killed Ash's sister." Talulah was afraid to even look at his direction.

He was basically one of Reunion's core members. Ash believed in their movement, supplied them, fed them, clothed them, healed their ailments.

An unshakeable pillar of support that Reunion's original members that have an immeasurable debt to.

"Hah, let me stop you there. It's true that your body was used to do that. But you were a tool for the crime. Weapons don't kill people. People kill people, it just makes it easier." Ash rebutted and Talulah slowly looked at him.

She was surprised, looking at him with shock. He could still get down from time to time. With his impeccable memory reminding him of that day.

But he knows that Talulah isn't at fault there. It was Ursus that was behind it.

Talulah sniffled, she then started crying uncontrollably as Ch'en hugged her.

"You always were the crybaby..." Ch'en sighed as she hugged her tighter.

The Lung and the Draco embraced each other for a few minutes as Lin and Beatrix sigh in relief.

"I thought that Ch'en would become a grilled lizard there." Beatrix wiped some sweat from her brow.

"We almost got cooked as well, Beatrix." Lin deadpanned at her and they watched the two with wry smiles.

"Good, you made up. Now, kiss." Ash saw that they were clinging to each other.

"W-wha?" Ch'en was scandalized and Talulah lost consciousness, a huge pressure got lifted from her mind and heart.

"Well, we're gonna have to do a raincheck on that smooch. But aren't you glad?" Ash patted their heads and Ch'en blushed like a tomato.

"She's still my worker though, besides. She's an international criminal. And you can't bring her with you." Ash shrugged and Ch'en glared at him.

Though she slowly smiled and the strict Lung chuckled. "Yeah, she is... Please take care of her." Ch'en bowed at him and he nodded.


Thanks for reading everyone, ciao.