Chapter 241: Dragonspine
Translator: TYZ Editor: X
Ai Hui and Shi Xueman walked out of the mayor residence side by side.
Ai Hui suddenly stopped in his tracks and looked at Shi Xueman with seriousness written all over his face.
Upon noticing Ai Hui's weird behaviour, Shi Xueman stopped in her tracks and cast a puzzled look at him. She did not know if it was because Ai Hui had had a breakthrough, but his gaze was heart-piercing like a sword.
Seeing that Ai Hui looked somewhat unnatural, Shi Xueman put on a calm-looking face and asked, "Is there a problem? In such a devastating disaster, no one can escape unscathed. Everyone is fighting for their own lives."
"Thank you," Ai Hui suddenly opened his mouth and said.
"Ahh..." Shi Xueman was at a loss. She had never heard the phrase "thank you" coming out of Ai Hui's mouth before. She had also never expected Ai Hui to thank her in such a situation.
Just when she was about to say something, Ai Hui had already walked past her.
At that moment, Shi Xueman felt really stupid. She nearly used her spear to stab that rascal's back.
"Anyway, I might be grateful to you but don't expect me to reduce the debt you owe me."
A string of awful words came from the guy that was strolling in front of her.
The usual ice-cold look returned to Shi Xueman's face, and she remained silent as she followed behind him.
At this point in time, the night had passed and dawn was coming. The horizon was suffused with white. The darkest moment had passed and the rising sun would expel the shadows with its light and heat, marking the start of a new day.
It was time for the patrol unit to change shifts. Weariness could be found on the faces of the patrolling elementalists along the streets. Even though they were exhausted, they still greeted Ai Hui passionately.
This seemingly skinny youth was the most popular figure in Central Pine City right now.
"How do you intend to begin this mission?" Shi Xueman decided to break the silence between them.
She knew Ai Hui was not an impetuous fellow, so he must have certain plans.
"I will scout out the Heaven Pit first. The blood fiends that invaded the city recently came through the Heaven Pit. I have to determine exactly what is going on inside. I also need to find the blacksmiths to enquire about what to take note of when nailing the golden needle. We don't have a second chance for this plan."
Ai Hui's voice came from the front. Even though Shi Xueman could not see his face, she could imagine the serious look he had.
"Count me in," Shi Xueman blurted out.
The moment she blurted out these words, she felt embarrassed. Was she too straightforward?
"Okay," Ai Hui responded bluntly.
Shi Xueman's embarrassment immediately disappeared as her mouth curled into a smile.
The quarantine barracks.
When Yan Hai saw the three unconscious wood elementalists on the ground, his respect for Tian Kuan increased significantly. He had witnessed the entire process of how Tian Kuan finished off the three wood elementalists effortlessly.
Tian Kuan threw one of the wood elementalists at Yan Hai's feet and unquestionably gave a command, "Have you learned the soul-binding spell I taught you? Try it now."
"Yes!" Yan Hai replied obediently.
The blood traces that he formed were different from Sir's. According to Sir, this was due to the difference between their body aptitudes. He would have a different progression path from Sir's. Yan Hai was extremely envious of Sir's [Shadowless], but Sir would only teach him a few moves. The most important move that Sir taught him was the [Blood Soul-Binding Spell].
The soul-binding spell was profound and extremely hard to comprehend. Even after Sir's detailed explanation, he still did not quite comprehend it.
Yan Hai did not like learning the soul-binding spell at all, but he did not dare to disobey Sir's command.
A drop of brightly-colored fresh blood seeped out from his glabella. As it left Yan Hai's forehead, it materialized into a cloud of blood mist. The cloud of blood mist pierced through and entered the unconscious wood elementalist's glabella.
The wood elementalist's body began to jerk and tremble violently. Tian Kuan made a squashing action with his hands, and the wood elementalist's body stopped moving, looking as if he was being restricted by a pair of invisible hands.
Beads of sweat began to form on Yan Hai's forehead. The soul-binding spell was far too difficult for him.
The wood elementalist's head exploded like a watermelon.
Yan Hai stared blankly at this scene. Immediately, his stomach churned, and he could not help but puke wildly in a corner. He was not a newbie and had seen deaths before, however, this bloody scene was too much for him.
Tian Kuan's voice was calm and flat as he threw another comatose wood elementalist at Yan Hai.
Yan Hai was still puking, so Tian Kuan did not rush him.
After a while, Yan Hai stood up with a pale-white face and turned to the second wood elementalist. Once again, the cloud of blood mist pierced through the glabella of the elementalist. This time around, Yan Hai's performance was a lot better than before. The wood elementalist was still convulsing, but not as violently as before.
Suddenly, blood started to seep out from the corner of the wood elementalist's mouth. The color of his face rapidly turned ash-grey and the temperature of his body dropped instantly until it became ice-cold. His body was completely devoid of life.
"This is the last one. If you fail again, you will die with him."
Even though Tian Kuan's voice was still calm as usual, one could sense the murderous intent within it. Yan Hai trembled in fear. He knew that Sir's patience had reached its limit. The pale-white color of his face was able to conceal his anxiety well. Otherwise, one could see his panic with one glance.
He knew that if he failed at what Sir expected him to do, he would affect Sir's plan and death would be the only way out for him then.
This was the last chance.
He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and tried his best to calm himself down. After five minutes, he opened his eyes again.
The cloud of blood mist penetrated the glabella of the last wood elementalist. Just like before, the elementalist's body still resisted it fiercely.
Even though Tian Kuan sounded calm and nonchalant, he actually cared a lot about this situation. He needed to buy more time for his plan to work. If he could not take control of a wood elementalist, he had no chance of carrying out his plan. Opening the quarantine zone would only bring more chaos to Central Pine City, which was far from his ultimate goal.
As long as it could buy him more time, he would be a step closer to achieving his final goal.
It was a pity that he could not master the soul-binding spell and could only place his hope on Yan Hai.
Yan Hai's face was becoming increasingly pale, his body was shivering non-stop, and he was drenched in cold sweat. The resistance of the wood elementalist on the ground gradually weakened.
After a while, the wood elementalist suddenly opened his eyes.
His eyes were scarlet in color, containing a hollow gaze.
His eyeballs swivelled a few times and the scarlet disappeared. The hollow gaze also slowly disappeared and was eventually replaced by his eye pupils. Other than looking a bit dull, there was nothing weird about his eyes.
The wood elementalist, who was lying on the floor, quickly stood up and bowed toward Tian Kuan. "Sir!"
"You did a good job."
A smile appeared on Tian Kuan's face.
As usual, the patrolling elementalists stopped 20 metres away from the quarantine camp. This camp was everyone's least favorite place to visit. Everyone would rather battle with the blood fiends than see their family members and friends die in this place.
Despair, fear, numbness, devastation. This place was a green colored hell.
Even the patrolling elementalists were not willing to get too close to this green colored hell.
One of the patrolling elementalists yelled from afar, "How's the situation inside?"
After a while, a hole appeared on the high wall that was covered with vines and tendrils. Next, a head came out of the hole and replied, "Everything is fine as usual. Do you want to come in and take a look?"
Upon hearing this, that patrolling elementalist quickly shook his head and answered back, "We are very busy. Bye."
They did not want to stay any longer. Upon seeing the familiar face of Sun Ke, they turned around and prepared to leave. Everyone sympathized with the Sun Ke trio because this squad was tasked with executing their family members and loved ones. Just thinking about the torment that the three of them had to go through struck fear in everyone's heart.
The figure behind Sun Ke kept on observing until the patrolling unit was gone.
"They have left," Sun Ke said.
If one listened clearly, he or she could hear that Sun Ke's voice was slightly deeper than usual. However, no one would notice such an insignificant difference during this chaotic period of time. Fatigue, lack of sleep, and low morale. Everyone would be different than usual.
The previously nonchalant Tian Kuan began to reveal a tinge of craziness and excitement on his face. He walked to the window and looked at the countless pairs of scarlet eyes. With a voice that contained a tinge of expectation, he muttered, "Our plan can begin now."
On the fringe of the Heaven Pit, the morning sun cast the shadows of three figures.
"The weather is beautiful." Shi Xueman squinted her eyes as she basked in the morning sun. Such beautiful weather was extremely rare these days.
Lou Lan slanted his head and asked Ai Hui, "Ai Hui, have you thought of a name for your new sword?"
"Name?" Ai Hui replied as he observed the Heaven Pit, "Let's call it Lou Lan's sword."
Lou Lant thought pensively before replying, "That does not sound too impressive."
"Let's call it Ai Hui's sword then," Ai Hui answered without even thinking. His gaze carefully scanned every single section of the Heaven Pit. The terrain of the Heaven Pit was quite different from the last time they had visited.
The continuous influx of blood fiends had significantly impacted the terrain of the Heaven Pit. There had been several mini Heaven Pits appearing around the city. The sandworms had hollowed out several areas beneath Central Pine City.
"You're too perfunctory." Shi Xueman was unhappy with Ai Hui's attitude. "Lou Lan spent so much time and effort to craft this sword for you, how can you treat him like that?"
Lou Lan was everyone's beloved. Shi Xueman wished that she could bring Lou Lan home. If she had a sand puppet like Lou Lan, she would treat him very well. Ai Hui's perfunctory attitude really infuriated Shi Xueman.
"That's true." Ai Hui stopped what he was doing and pondered seriously before saying, "A snake can be considered a small dragon. Since the sword is made using the snake vertebrae, let's call it Dragonspine!"
"This is a good name," Lou Lan's eyes lit up.
Shi Xueman pouted and did not say anything else. From the way she looked at it, Ai Hui's creativity had reached its limit just by coming up with this name.
"Let's prepare to go down and see what's going on inside," Ai Hui instructed in a deep voice. "Lou Lan, remember to record the surrounding terrain and remind us of the location of the node. We have to find a suitable path down. I have already talked to the blacksmiths, and the golden needle has very large dimensions. Its length is more than five metres and its diameter is around half a metre. Such a huge object would spell trouble if it enters a narrow space. Even though the golden needle is made of metal, it's still very fragile. It might not work if even a tiny bit of it is damaged."
Lou Lan was a sand puppet and operating underground was a piece of cake for him. An average person would easily lose his or her sense of direction underground, but it was not a problem for Lou Lan. He could easily and rapidly identify his bearings underground.
"No problem, Ai Hui," Lou Lan said cheerfully.
"If we encounter any danger, when I say retreat, both of you have to listen to me and retreat. I will bring up the rear." Ai Hui's gaze shifted to Shi Xueman and added one more line, "I am confident that we will come back alive."
"No problem," Shi Xueman nodded her head. With regards to this aspect, Ai Hui was indeed far more capable than her. This fellow's survivability was matchless.
Ai Hui was the first one to jump in. The pitch-black Heaven Pit devoured him like the wide-open maw of a monster. His bright eyes were like the stars in the night sky, clear and firm.
Following closely behind Ai Hui, Shi Xueman and Lou Lan jumped into the Heaven Pit.