Chapter 1492: Mutt
The third continent on Planet Vast Expanse was unique among the other continents because it never had winter. All the seasons there were like spring. And yet, on this particular year, it snowed.
That snow didn't fall on the entirety of the continent, but specifically on one of the deserts there. Along with the snowfall, a child was born into the world.
This was the seventh life of Meng Hao’s clone, and he was born into a very poor family who owned nothing more than a camel and a mutt dog. His father was a desert guide.
On the day the child was born, the dog froze to death, and therefore the father insisted on giving his son the name... Mutt.
Mutt was not born lucky. When he was three years old, his father was bitten by a viper while guiding a caravan through the desert. Although he made it back home, he died shortly thereafter.
His mother didn’t seem to care much about her husband’s death. After she buried him, she cared for Mutt for another five years. When he was eight years old, she ran off with a passing merchant.
On her way out the door, she told Mutt that his father had once been a bandit. Acting as a guide, he had led her family into the desert, where killed all of them except for her. Then forced her to marry him.
For her entire life after that, she had always looked forward to his death.
Mutt watched quietly as his mother made her way off into the distance. He lived alone after that. One day, an old man appeared who offered to take him to a place where there was food to eat. Mutt didn’t hesitate; he immediately left with the old man.
He had been under the assumption that they would leave the desert, but contrary to his expectations, the old man simply took him to another location in the same desert. There, he was thrown into a hell on earth.
He was one of a whole group of children of the same age, all of whom received extensive daily training. They were being molded into… assassins!
In the years that followed, Mutt saw many people die. Some were killed by others, some he killed himself. Some died during the training process.
If you wanted to live, you had to be ruthless. If you wanted to live, you had to kill.
Mutt wanted to live, so he was ruthless, and he killed. He trusted no one, and as such, had no friends. The only thing which existed between him and those around him was hostility, and the ferocity of the fighting.
Every year, a new group of children would be brought in. Every year, a vast quantity of corpses would be buried.
Mutt grew numb to it all. At a certain point, the other children came to fear him. Even some of the adults looked at him in the same way.
“Maybe I'm ugly,” he thought one day, running his fingers across his face. He was only sixteen, but his face was already crisscrossed with scars, making him look very sinister. In his second year in this place, one of the older men had tried to force him into performing a revolting act, and when he refused, the man slashed up his face.
Two years later, Mutt cut that man’s head off.
Mutt rubbed the side of his head, where his ear should be. He had lost his ear during a round of training in which only one person could come out alive in the end. His opponent had torn off his ear, but he had ripped his opponent’s throat open.
Mutt's expression was cold as he looked at his throat in the mirror, which also had a vicious-looking scar on it.
In fact, his entire body was covered with scars, but he didn't care.
When he was seventeen, the old man who had brought him to this place took him away, along with two other boys and a girl. All three of them were people like Mutt, who had slaughtered countless opponents throughout the course of their training.
The four of them were taken to another training ground, where there were other youngsters their same age. The same monotonous existence ensued. Three years later, when Mutt was twenty, he participated in his final trial by fire. He beheaded a hundred opponents, causing everyone to look at him with fear. Even the old man who had taken him all those years ago had the same look in his eye.
Mutt didn't care. He just stood there quietly.
The following months were the happiest he had ever experienced. He was sent to learn etiquette, and was also treated by a doctor, who used strange medicinal plants to remove the scars from his body.
Although his ear couldn't be replaced, the miraculous medicines changed his appearance so much that he now looked like a handsome young man.
From then on, he was sent near and far throughout the continent on assassination missions. At the direction of the old man, he killed countless targets, including men and women, young and old.
He cut down people of all types, and never asked questions about them. He killed quickly and efficiently. However, he had a particular aversion to seeing victims who had a right ear. Every mission that he accomplished, he would slice off the right ear of the target.
Time passed. Ten years later, he had lost track of how many people he had killed. However, word had begun to spread; he now had a new name in addition to ‘Mutt’.
He was called Ear-Slicer. [1. Two interesting things. First is that in Chinese “Ear-Slicer” sounds very similar to “Mutt.” You might even say they rhyme. Second, Er Gen’s name literally means “ear”...]
It was a macabre name.
He had always assumed his life would go on in the same way forever. But two years later, after he finished yet another mission, he was walking through a town and saw an old woman, a beggar. Her eyes had been dug out, her tongue cut off, her legs broken.
As Mutt stood in front of her, he smelled a noxious odor. He looked down and could see that her legs were putrefying, and had been broken so many times that the bones would never heal properly.
For many years, not a single emotion could be seen on his face, but now, his expression flickered. He looked at the woman somewhat blankly, and shivered.
This was the first time that, not only did he not return to the headquarters after the mission, he also killed someone other than his target.
He slaughtered many people in that town. Anyone who had threatened or harmed that old beggar woman ended up having their throats slit by Mutt, and their ears cut off.
There was one rich household in the town who was said to have once been a family of traveling merchants, and were thus particularly at fault. He exterminated the entire family. In the end, he took the old woman away with him.
The event caused a huge stir in the entire country. Numerous constables and inspectors closed in on the area, and the assassin’s guild also sent people to try to silence him in death.
The following years were spent on the run, in exhaustion. He killed many people, and found himself in many dangerous situations.
Eventually, the old woman died. She wasn’t killed; she simply succumbed to her previous injuries.
In all the years she was with Mutt leading up to her death, she never knew the identity of the person caring for her. After she died, he wrote a few words on her gravestone.
He stood quietly in front of her grave for a long time. As he did, people began to appear nearby. They were familiar faces, each one being an assassin from the guild.
None of them spoke. After a long moment, their killing intent exploded out, and they began to converge on Mutt. He looked up, and began to fight like a wild dog.
One enemy after another fell. In the end, he was the only one left standing. To him, these opponents were simply too weak. Shaking his head, he cut off their ears and then left. He ended up traveling to a place where he assumed nobody would go looking for him, the desert. He was tired of killing people, and wanted to live alone in peace. Eventually, he took up the same line of work as his father, and began to guide people through the desert.
Years passed, an entire decade. One day he awoke to find his house surrounded. When he walked out the door, he found himself facing a group of assassins led by the same old man from years ago. He stood there looking at Mutt, legs trembling from the ravages of age.
After a long moment, the old man spoke out in a soft voice. “Kill him.”
A spectacular slaughter ensued. Corpses fell left and right, and wounds opened up all over Mutt’s body. He didn’t care, though. After killing all of his opponents, he sighed and walked up to the old man. The old man looked on in bitter silence at the man who he himself had brought into the guild as a boy, seemingly waiting for him to say something.
Instead, a blade flashed.
Mutt frowned as he looked around at all the bodies. He left, going to the first training facility in the desert, then the second, and finally to the guild headquarters.
He had no idea how many people he killed. It was like back in the old days when you either killed or were killed.
After slaughtering everyone in the assassin’s guild, he felt very tired. He returned to the desert, where he once again began to work as a guide. A year passed. Then another, and another. Eventually he lost track of time. One day he realized that he was an old man, and his body was very weak. There he was, was looking out at the desert, absent-mindedly feeling the right side of his head where his ear should be. Snowflakes began to flutter down from the sky, and at the same time, a beam of light appeared off in the distance. Within that beam of light was a woman.
The snow fell, and Mutt’s eye slowly closed.
Thus ended his seventh life. As his soul flew out to once again enter reincarnation, the woman flew toward his body at breakneck speed.
She was beautiful, and when she finally reached Mutt's corpse, she could sense the power of reincarnation. Tears began to stream down her face.
“Master....” It was Yan’er. She had searched for years and years before coming to this place and sensing familiar fluctuations. However, she had been just a bit too late.
She knew that her Master was already in the cycle of reincarnation.
After a long moment of silence, she buried Mutt's corpse. Then she turned, her eyes flickering with determination as she began to follow the already fading aura of reincarnation.
She was convinced that... she was getting closer and closer to finding her Master.
That year, Meng Hao’s clone completed the seventh sealing mark. Then, his eighth life began, on the second continent. With every reincarnation, the branches of the Immortal Root would shine even more dazzlingly than before. However, his memories came to be sealed even deeper. It was really as if he were experiencing a brand new life each time.Previous Chapter Next Chapter