The man who asked that question fell into silence. He’s helping that guy? But we just refused him, did we not? So why does he want to help him?
“I shall be going as well. I owe him a favor and a huge one. It is common courtesy to repay a favor,” another fighter piped up and left the cave.
They knew that it would have been impossible to get their hands on the Longevity Pond’s water if it were not for Ethan. If they did not possess the water, the only fate that awaited them was a slow rot to time and eventual death. However, after taking the water, they had prolonged their lives and gained more power in the process.
Even so, they did not want to take part in a futile fight against an overwhelmingly powerful enemy.
“None of us want to die.” Someone sighed. “But living like this isn’t really a better way either. We’d just be surviving in an empty shell of our past. This world is no longer the same as we know it. There is no meaning to life if we are to spend it in infinite boredom.”
The man shook his head and laughed before going out of the cave.
The other fighters who refused to help calmed down and thought about the whole situation after hearing the man’s speech. Eventually, they thought he had a point.
More and more people came to their final decision, and eventually, half of the fighters decided to lend a hand to Ethan. However, the rest of the fighters were adamant about staying alive, so they refused to take that risk. All they wanted was to live life in peace.
The battle was a dangerously risky one. They could perish in a moment’s notice, and their pursuit for immortality would have been for naught.
Since Ethan did not force them into the battle, they saw no need to lend a hand. They bore no responsibility of the battle, nor were they obliged to help.
Of course, Ethan would not force them. After all, it was a dangerous and deadly battle. The fighters only went into a slumber because they wanted to live longer. It was only natural they did not want to take part in it.
Despite that, someone still needed to stand up to protect the world from the evils of Demon King.
Right after Ethan and Peter Pan came out of the cave, they heard sounds of footsteps coming from behind. When they looked around, they saw more than a dozen fighters coming out of the cave.
“We will aid you in your battle.”
“We owe you a favor, and we intend to repay it. We don’t really like to owe anyone anything.”
A few of them spoke of their intention to help. They were smart people, and they knew that Ethan could have threatened them if he wanted to. He could also refuse to give the water to them, and killed them in their slumber. Still, they couldn’t complain about it.
By all accounts, they should have been dead long ago. They did not belong to the modern era, but they survived somehow. The fighters knew that every day of their ‘new’ life was actually built on borrowed time, so they decided to make the best of it and help the person who had helped them.
“Thank you,” Ethan said. He said nothing else and nodded gratefully at the fighters.
He knew it was not easy for them to come to this decision. Some probably only did it to return the favor while some did it because they wanted to stave off their boredom with a battle. There were also some who did it out of their strong sense of justice and a desire to maintain peace.
“Come with me then.” Ethan looked at them.
Peter Pan went up to them. “Now this is more like it!”
With that, all of them went back to Greencliff. Peter Pan settled the fighters down, while Ethan worked on the other preparations for the upcoming battle.
“This is a great place. It is vibrant and lively. We did not see this in our time.”
“Indeed. The streets are merry, and the people are all smiling. There is nothing dangerous and threatening happening here. It is a good time to live in.”
“Are there still a lot of martial artists here in this era?”
The fighters were chatting happily. They had dreamed of the peaceful life that the people of the modern era enjoyed, but they were forced to pursue different ambitions due to the era they were in. People of their age were qualified to be everyone’s grandfather, including all the old folks on the street.
Martial arts were essential in their era. They had to train to protect themselves and their family. They had to train if they wanted to see any semblance of justice prevail in society. However, time eventually passed, and martial arts had gone out of trend.
And that was a good thing, according to them.
Peter Pan only watched silently as the fighters talked about the juxtaposition between the past and the present. He offered no advice or reply as the fighters talked about how peaceful the present was, and he merely observed.
He came from the same era as they did, and he was even older than all the fighters by a lot. He acted the same as they did when he first stumbled upon the modern era, so he knew how they felt.
“Sir, do you know what Ethan is trying to accomplish?” someone asked Peter Pan. “And what can we do to help?”