Chapter 2: Chester Fortress!
In a flash, the image of a woman with a bright, gentle smile appeared in Jun Chester's mind. As he thought of his fiancée gasping for breath on her sickbed, an acute pain stabbed through his heart. They had grown up together since childhood and everyone around them considered they were just made for each other.
Jun Chester had been obsessed with cultivation from a young age, and his fiancée gave him her wholehearted support. Although children from wealthy families usually chose politics or business, Jun Chester's exceptional talent in cultivation made him stand out despite being born into a family of merchants. His father wasn't highly regarded within the family, and Jun Chester himself couldn't gain the family’s approval or support. Despite all this, his fiancée often took money from her own family to support Jun Chester.
At the age of 18, Jun Chester decided to join the army so as not to burden his fiancée any further. He hoped to serve his country and also use the battles to enhance his cultivation. Although his fiancée didn't want to part with him, they made a promise to reunite after ten years.
Three years after joining the army, Jun Chester returned home once. It was during this visit that he was intercepted by the twelve Lords of Cinder, and his fiancée was accidentally involved and injured. To this day, her laughter and features haunted him. Jun Chester never forgot her.
For the past seven years, Jun Chester had been cultivating in the dungeon of the Illusory Hall every moment he was awake. His fiancée had been his only source of mental support. Now, ten years had passed, and Jun Chester had acquired the power to awaken her. They would spend the rest of their lives together.
However, Hollow now told him that the woman who was injured back then was not his fiancée. How could Jun Chester believe this? Hollow continued to explain:
"At the time, the Cinder Chapel received a report that you were estranged from your family, and your fiancée was the only one close to you. When you were both out, they eventually took advantage of the opportunity to intercept you. They wanted to control you with your fiancée!"
"Recently, I received another order. The Cinder Chapel feared that you wouldn't submit and confess, and they wanted to threaten you with your fiancée again. But when I went to investigate, I found that besides the woman lying in the hospital, there was another woman named Bella in your home. I couldn't make sense of it!"
As Hollow was about to continue, a sudden explosion interrupted him. The massive stone in front of him shattered, and Jun Chester had disappeared. When he found him again, he was on the back of a colossal Snow Eagle that had been circling the Bastille Highs for seven years.
Hollow struggled to his feet and saluted Jun Chester. "Take care, Lord Chester!" All around him, both the twelve black-armored soldiers who had been sent flying and the warlords who had regained their freedom due to Jun Chester's escape struggled to stand up, gazing in the direction of Jun Chester's departure, and murmured in unison, "Take care, Lord Chester!"
Jun Chester stood in front of a sprawling estate, his face trembling slightly. The estate was the home of the Chester family. Unexpectedly, he felt a bit flustered when he finally returned to his own home after seven years. However, as soon as he thought of what Hollow had told him, Jun Chester strode toward the entrance of the Chester manor.
The woman in the hospital had been in a coma for seven years, and even with Jun Chester's power to awaken her, it would take some time. It was better to find the other Bella in his home and ask her about what had really happened. There must be many things he didn't know! Jun Chester wanted to find out everything as quickly as possible. Just then, a tall and burly security guard blocked his path.
"Beggar, get out of the way! You're not allowed to stand in our master's path!" the guard shouted.
Jun Chester had spent seven years at Bastille Highs and never had the chance to groom himself. His hair was unkempt, his beard unshaven, and his clothes ragged. Yet, the security guard still had no right to disrespect him.
Moreover, seven years ago, when he returned home with all his glories, he had replaced the gatekeeper with a battle-hardened veteran. The guard before him, though muscular, was useless. How could he have become the gatekeeper?
"You're new here, aren't you?" Jun Chester asked indifferently.
The guard instantly cursed at him, "To hell with you, you're the new one! I've been working here for seven years! Damn, you really are just blind!"
A cold light flashed in Jun Chester's eyes.
The guard's eyes shifted as if he had thought of something. His master had recently become gravely ill, and he happened to have lost an ancient painting. Since this beggar had come to their door, he might as well turn him in and earn some merit.
"You've been sneaking around here for so long, so you must be a thief!" the guard sneered.
The guard then tried to jab Jun Chester with his stun baton. However, just as he raised his hand, Jun Chester kicked him in the stomach.
Bang! The guard was lifted off the ground, crashing into the gate behind him. Blood gushed from his mouth, and on his face was nothing but shock. He never expected a beggar to have such a strength.
But how could he know that Jun Chester had barely exerted any effort? Otherwise, the guard would have surely died on the spot.
At that moment, a plainly dressed old man, after he heard the commotion, hurriedly ran out of the gate. When he saw Jun Chester, he shuddered. This old man was Jack Osborn, the veteran that Jun Chester had arranged to guard the Chester manor seven years ago.
Jun Chester had wanted him to be their butler, but Jack had declined, saying, "Being able to protect your family is the highest honor. I dare not ask for anything more."
Without even looking at the injured guard, Jack Osborn recognized Jun Chester and immediately knelt before him, tears streaming down his face.
"Lord Chester! It's been seven years, I never thought I would have the honor of seeing you again!"
Jun Chester helped the old man up. "Old Jack, what are you doing? Get up!"
Only then did Jack Osborn stand up, his eyes full of excitement as he choked back tears. It seemed as if he had countless things to tell Jun.
If it weren't for Jun Chester saving his life on the battlefield, Jack would have died long ago. Not only that, but Jun Chester had also taken great interest in Jack's son, personally tutoring and promoting him. Now, Jack's son had become the Commander-in-Chief of Lordran!
The injured guard, after he saw what happened at the gate, was dumbstruck. Was this old man crazy? Lord Chester? This beggar?
Then, some memories struck the guard. Seven years ago, Jun Chester, the eldest grandson of the Chester family, had been called Lord Chester by some.
Could it be... This beggar was the long-lost Jun Chester, who had disappeared for seven years? Wasn't he supposed to be dead?
Now inside the Chester estate, Jun Chester gazed at the castle situated in the middle of the grounds, his heart filled with mixed emotions. "I haven't been here for seven years. I'm so worried about my father!"
"Old Jack, take me to my father now!" he urged. "Also, I heard that the woman back then wasn't my fiancée! Is Bella here too? I need to ask her some questions!"
Jack Osborn's expression faltered, and he looked hesitant.
"What's the matter? Is Bella not here?" Jun Chester asked, puzzled.
"Sigh, you'll find out everything once you see for yourself," Jack Osborn replied, wiping away tears and sighing heavily.
Filled with curiosity, Jun Chester strode towards the castle. Along the way, the Chester family's servants seemed to be avoiding him as if they had seen a ghost in broad daylight.
As Jun Chester stepped into the main hall of the castle, he was struck with disbelief. A large painting caught his eye. It was about a man and a woman. The man, dressed in a black suit, appeared joyful and solemn. The woman wore a platinum gem-encrusted tiara and a flawless white wedding gown, her face filled with sweetness.
They were... his father and his fiancée!
Suddenly, Jun Chester felt an icy chill around him. Yet, a raging fury surged from the depths of his heart, rising to the top. At the same time, he felt as if his heart was being stabbed by a knife.