Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach, Chapter 62: The Black Forest
The details in his vision slowly grew clearer as though an invisible lens was zooming in.
A fair bit of the young lady’s skin was revealed under her badly tattered white skirt. She was covered in small red marks, and some places were slightly swollen with drops of fresh blood seeping out. She kept on walking forward, completely oblivious to the razor-sharp branches scratching at her body and adding even more red scars.
She was holding half a piece of bread in her hand.
It was at this time that the lady seemed to have noticed something—she turned back abruptly and gazed toward Qianye’s direction.
Only then did Qianye discover that she actually had no eyes! Only two b.l.o.o.d.y holes remain where her eyes used to be.
Qianye clambered up suddenly. His heart was beating like a drum, his chest was trembling, and his body had become completely drenched in cold sweat.
He composed himself and found that not only did the scene in his dream not fade away, but it became even clearer in his memory. If he had a pen in hand right now, he could portray everything down to the folds and creases on the lady’s white skirt.
Although the girl in his dream had lost her eyes, Qianye could still recognize her. She was Bai Kongzhao, the little girl who was determined to kill him back at the junkyard.
Qianye frowned subconsciously; nothing good had come of his recent dreams. Whether it was coming into contact with Great Monarch Andruil’s consciousness or hearing that headless general’s summons, his dreams were actually a response to things in real life. However, even after pondering for a long while, Qianye still couldn’t comprehend what this particular dream signified.
He pulled open the tent flap and glanced out to find that everything was normal and undisturbed.
The camp was encircled by rows upon rows of cargo trucks, and the bonfire at the center was still burning fiercely. Most of the warriors had already eaten their fill and were either cultivating or resting. There was also a small group of them organizing the heavy equipment. A number of warriors were moving a heavy anti-aircraft machine gun onto a truck to set up a firing point and bolster the nighttime sentry.
On the other side, Zhao Yuying was sitting atop a truck with a bottle of wine in hand and taking large swigs from time to time. For some reason, Qianye felt a hint of loneliness as he gazed at the silhouette of this drinking lady.
Qianye laid down the tent flap, sat down cross-legged, and was prepared to cultivate the Mystery Chapter. His body was almost overflowing with essence energy at the moment, and he couldn’t absorb any essence blood at all after killing the arachne viscount at the mine—it could be considered extremely wasteful. As such, it was of urgent importance that he use up the acc.u.mulation within his body.
The Mystery Chapter began to circulate slowly, but, to his great astonishment, his entire body was shaken. He suddenly discovered that only half remained of his originally br.i.m.m.i.n.g essence blood, while the other half had vanished into thin air.
Qianye’s heart sank immediately and his first thought was whether an accident had occurred with the Song Clan Ancient Scroll. He checked internally and found nothing wrong with his organs, vessels, and origin nodes; even his blood energies were behaving well within his heart.
But that was the greatest abnormality—the missing essence blood couldn’t have disappeared into thin air. But under True Sight, he found no signs of his blood energies having over-absorbed darkness origin power, and his daybreak origin power nodes hadn’t been eroded by darkness either.
It was inconceivable! Half of a third-rank viscount’s essence blood had transformed into nothingness.
Qianye pondered for a moment and then tried circulating the Mystery Chapter once again. The result was fairly successful—the vortex converted a part of the essence blood into pure darkness origin power after nine revolutions which the dark golden blood energy promptly devoured.
Qianye was still perplexed after completing a full cycle of cultivation and could only put this odd incident off for the time being.
At this moment, there was an ancient black leather book hovering in the depths of his heart—this was a place where Qianye’s perception couldn’t reach for the time being. The previously indistinct t.i.tle on the cover had become much clearer now.
In a certain location northeast of the camp, there was a black forest extremely similar to the one Qianye had dreamt of where only a few lonesome leaves hung upon the crooked branches.
A young girl with a white skirt was standing within the forest. She looked up vacantly and gazed at the sky, but, apart from the many oddly-shaped tree branches, she could see nothing under the lightless firmament. No bright colors existed here.
A gust of wind blew past, but the eerie branches didn’t move in the slightest. Only the helpless leaves drifted upward, proving to the beholder that the wind wasn’t just a misperception. A leaf left its branch and flew through the sky, spinning several times before landing in front of the young girl.
She reached out to grab the leaf and looked closely.
The leaf was also greyish black with some patches of mold growing upon it. It had long since died and was emitting a lingering scent of fis.h.i.+ness. The girl threw the leaf to the ground, but a black patch was left behind on her palm.
She immediately sc.r.a.ped at her palm with the dagger she was holding in her right hand. Although this erased the black patch, the flesh and blood had already stuck to the blade and were smeared on her palm, dirtying her small white hand even more.
The girl seemed fairly angry. She conveniently pulled over the warrior beside her and wiped her hand forcefully on his combat robe. That warrior was extremely tall and st.u.r.dy—the girl only reached his chest in height, however, he didn’t dare move in the slightest at this moment. So much that one could sense, albeit with some difficulty, that he was trembling. Apparently, he was extremely apprehensive of this young girl.
The ten-odd warriors behind them possessed powerful auras and were apparently rare elites. But these fierce and b.l.o.o.d.y warriors all looked at the girl with extreme fear as though she were a poisonous creature.
She was still wiping her hand when an old soldier summoned up the courage to approach her. “Miss Kongzhao, that vampire is already dead.”
This young girl was, in fact, Bai Kongzhao. But she had grown much taller since she last encountered Qianye and her facial features had also matured quite a bit. Now, she seemed like a fifteen-year-old girl at a glance; at least she was no longer malnourished in the Bai clan. She also happened to be in her growing phase and, as such, was changing rapidly.
The gust of wild wind hadn’t stopped and kept on blowing in one after another. It lifted the soldiers’ capes and revealed a bear-head insignia embroidered on the corner of their combat robes. The Wild Bears was one of the Bai clan’s internal guard units. Such an elite unit had no fear even if they faced a champion, but they were all quiet and fearful before Bai Kongzhao.
Bai Kongzhao suddenly raised her head and gazed at the sky. She had a certain feeling that some mysterious existence was watching her attentively, but she couldn’t find this person no matter how hard she tried.
She became frustrated and suddenly fling her head back to stare at the few vampires nearby. These vampires had lost all movement capabilities and were prostrating on the ground. Seeing Bai Kongzhao’s gaze sweep toward them, these naturally vicious vampires actually started to tremble.
Bai Kongzhao walked over in large strides, lifted up a vampire girl, and stared fixedly at her for a while. A sweet smile slowly emerged on her face as she asked, “Tell me, why have you b.a.s.t.a.r.ds suddenly run over to Evernight Continent? What are you planning to do?”
The vampire girl was so terrified that her beautiful face had almost become somewhat distorted. She replied repeatedly, “I don’t know. I really don’t know! We’re only external units following our captain to a.s.semble at the designated location and wait for the next order. I really don’t know anything else!”
“Then what are you all looking for? Do you not know that either?”
The vampire girl began to scream uncontrollably. Bai Kong Zhao’s words just now signified the beginning of a deep nightmare, evidenced by the other miserable vampires who had died before this.
Continuous mournful cries echoed throughout the black forest. The hysterical sound was a clear indication of the inhumane suffering the vampire girl was going through.
Such cries lasted for an entire half hour before they died down.
Bai Kongzhao released her hand and dropped the unrecognizable corpse to the ground, her face and body were covered in droplets of splashed blood. She didn’t bother to wipe them and only turned back to give instructions, “Deal with these fellows and remember to make it clean. Then, wait for me back at the clan settlement.”
The Wild Bear unit captain hesitated for a while and said, “Miss Kongzhao, are you sure you don’t need us to follow you? Many unfamiliar faces have been appearing in this area lately. It might be dangerous.”
“No need.” With that, Bai Kongzhao walked toward the depths of the black forest on her own.
The captain’s expression fluctuated wildly as he watched the girl leave. Only afterward did he wave his hand—a number of soldiers rushed toward the vampires and ended their lives efficiently. Then, they began to deal with the remaining traces with great proficiency.
After seeing Bai Kongzhao’s methods, they only wanted to finish everything quickly and return to camp. They were no longer in the mood to torture or kill captives. Additionally, they could foretell that everything they had experienced today would appear in their nightmares for a long while afterward.
The white-skirted girl walked through the black forest alone, and apart from her clothes, there wasn’t a single piece of equipment on her, nor did she bring any supplies. She sang briskly while walking, her voice pleasant and ephemeral. But upon listening carefully, one would find that she was merely repeating the same words over and over.
“I’ll find you, I’ll find you.”
A bird’s eye view would show chunks of black forest scattered throughout the land akin to ink blots on fine paper.
Nighteye sat before the French window with a wine gla.s.s in her hand filled with a b.l.o.o.d.y dark-red liquid.
The room doors were opened once again, and just as before, the visitor didn’t knock.
Nighteye kept on gazing outside of the window without the slightest movement. It was as though she had no idea someone had entered.
It was a tall, young man with a head of brown, wavy hair. He was extremely tall, over half a head higher taller than the average vampire, and his build was also different from the normally slender vampire physique. He was exceptionally muscular, and it seemed every bit of his flesh and blood contained explosive power within.
His countenance was blessed with the characteristic handsomeness of the vampires, and his eyes flickered with a glint of callousness and cruelty. His aura, unusually mysterious and profound, had actually reached the level of a count. Vampires enjoyed long lives and many of them would stop aging once they had reached a certain level of strength. Hence, it was fairly difficult to judge their age from external appearance.
The young man glanced at Nighteye with scorching flames in his eyes. “Nighteye, you’re always like this. You’re not willing to even greet me despite knowing that I’ve come.”
“Not in the mood,” Nighteye replied indifferently.
The tall vampire pulled over a chair and sat down beside Nighteye. “This isn’t a proper answer.”
The close distance made Nighteye frown. She replied coldly, “Proper or not, it’s none of your business. Please leave if you have no other business.”
The tall young man laughed and said, “This isn’t a qualified answer either. I’ll sit here if I want to sit here.”
Nighteyes brows knitted tightly together, but she actually didn’t retort.
The young man laughed contentedly after seeing this. He then looked out the window, from which he could see a dense grove of black trees. At this point, his gaze froze and his expression turned solemn. “The black forest has reached this place. It seems that time is coming soon. Have you thought about what you’ll do?”