Chapter 51: My Hands Are Stained with Sin
As the convicts concerned themselves only with running, they did not look back at Dan Liang’s figure. If they had done so, they would have seen an unbelievable scene.
The moment Dan Liang passed by all the convicts, a saber suddenly appeared in Dan Liang’s right hand. Boiling hot blood constantly dripped off the blade, while Dan Liang’s left hand was surprisingly holding a human head with blood spewing out.
At the same time, a headless corpse—wearing a white convict uniform—collapsed to the ground.
Dan Liang had beheaded a convict, but his eyes continued looking firm and resolute. As he held his bloodied saber and the human head, he charged fearlessly at the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake who had its mouth wide open.
The tiger head emitted a roar, as a pungent smell came spewing out. It blended into the strong winds, making it repugnant. Dan Liang’s expression changed as he produced a green barrier that wrapped his entire body.
“Heaven Ascension Steps!”
A green beam burst from under his feet as Dan Liang leaped at the monster. His feet kicked off in mid air thrice as his body sank and rose. It was as though he was jumping on air, and in a few seconds, he arrived at the head of the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake.
A whistling cold air blew up his clothes as Dan Liang slashed his saber down at the tiger head from high up!
However, the bloodied saber broke into two pieces when it hit the tiger head. The grayish-brown hide on the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake’s head remained unharmed.
The Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake immediately raised up its snake body, lifting the tiger head high up. It violently swung its head, attempting to fling the uninvited assailant far away.
Dan Liang hurriedly reached out his hand to grab onto the monster’s thick fur strands which resembled tree branches. He embraced the bloodied head with his left hand, and as the tiger head violently shook, Dan Liang’s body was flung around like a fluttering flag in the wind. He looked like he was about to be flung away at any moment, but he gritted his teeth tight.
The Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake stopped after a few moments of shaking. The tiger head went into a prone position, while its body slithered forward at a remarkable speed.
The human on its head was like a louse, temporarily irremovable, so it could only ignore the human. Regardless how “fat” the louse was, the louse was unable to harm it. The “ants” that were still attempting to escape in front of it were the targets that needed elimination.
The Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake adhered to its natural instinct, and ignored Dan Liang who was on its head. It began continuing it’s “clean-up activities”.
Dan Liang’s right hand was still grabbed onto the tiger head’s fur. He slowly sat down, and looked at the hideous expression on the head. He quietly said, “I’m sorry, I can’t save everyone.”
Dan Liang looked up at the night sky that had meteors occasionally streaking across it. He sighed and said, “Sacrificing a person to save more than a dozen people. Is such righteousness correct?”
Neither the night sky, nor the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake could answer him, much less the head that had lost its life.
“Right.” Dan Liang answered his own question.
The Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake was moving at an extremely fast speed. In a few seconds, it closed in on the escaping convicts. Terrified screams filled the entire night sky.
“Death Hypnagogia.” Dan Liang sighed as he said those two words gently.
Before he finished speaking, the head he was embracing suddenly laughed. It flew into the sky and in mid air, it suddenly exploded. Simultaneously, a gigantic phantom image of the head appeared in mid air. A pair of hideous and terrifying eyes stared at the advancing Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake.
The Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake roared and suddenly fell to its side. The eyes on the tiger head closed slowly, while a calm and rhythmic breathing could be heard from its nostrils.
The Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake fell asleep?
Dan Liang was a Psyker. He had a superpower known as “Death Hypnagogia”.
The moment his superpower was awoken, Dan Liang understood the meaning behind his superpower’s name. He also knew what sort of life he would experience in the future.
Like every superpower, “Death Hypnagogia” had the three elements of function, condition and limitation.
Its function was extremely powerful. It could hypnotize a target much stronger than him in a very short amount of time. Although the effect of hypnotization was easily removed as it made the target fall into light sleep, it could be used in an extremely terrifying manner.
However, the condition behind “Death Hypnagogia” was even more shocking—death was the only condition that could trigger the superpower. Furthermore, it was not only a typical death. A head from a recently dead person had to be sacrificed to trigger “Death Hypnagogia”.
With such a superpower, Dan Liang was destined to be a companion of Death.
“Kind Dan Liang? Heh, my hands are already stained with sin.”
Dan Liang gave a self-mocking laugh. He lay down in the middle of the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake’s fur, watching the starless sky that occasionally had meteors streak across. He slowly spaced out.
Naturally, he had killed before. He had done it not only once, ten times, or even a hundred times. The trigger condition for “Death Hypnagogia” was having a fresh head as, while “Death Hypnagogia” was the best method to raise his Hero rankings. As such, he rose from the lowest F Class Hero to a C Class Hero. His wealth, reputation and status were completely different as a result, but the sins he accumulated were immense. By betraying his companions, beheading the heads of other Heroes in order to complete “Death Hypnagogia”, he had faked the heroic deaths of his companions. All of this became everything he had in life, the only meaning to his life.
It went on until he met a woman. The woman had seen through his guise, but she had shielded him at a critical moment with her own body. She clearly had the opportunity to escape by herself, but she had resolutely rushed to save the injured him.
Before her death.
He asked, “Why did you save me?”
She answered, “We are Heroes. Saving people in danger is our responsibility, isn’t it?”
He continued asking, “Even if they are scum?”
She nodded her head gently. With a terse “En”, she slowly closed her eyes.
Then, he cut off her head and lived on.
“You are really foolish and naive.”
Dan Liang smiled gently into the sky. “But I like that.”
Every superpower had its function, condition and limitation. And “Death Hypnagogia”‘s usage limitation was—Being three meters within the sleeping target, or the target would be awoken.
Hence, Dan Liang could not immediately leave even though the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake could wake at any moment.
“The feeling of risking one’s life to save a bunch of scum sure fucking feels screwed up!”
Dan Liang ruthlessly cursed before smiling gently. He said as if he was nearly dreaming, “But if I didn’t do that, I will feel that your death wasn’t worth it.”
While Dan Liang was believing that he had saved the convicts, the convicts had realized that the astral beast was not chasing after them. Although they believed that they had been finally saved, they would have realized a cruel reality if they were to look from high in the sky.
The direction in which the convicts were heading in was where a Chimera was. They would encounter it if they carried on running for a few more minutes!
The convicts naturally did not know that they were heading to their deaths. They were only running with all they had, thankful that they had survived. There was a slight feeling of appreciation for Dan Liang, but not much. Maybe in the future, when they were drinking as buddies, they would mention this fool who self-proclaimed himself as a Hero and cheer “long live the fool”.
The running crowd did not realize that there was a black cloud floating in mid air, hidden in the dark night. The dark cloud hid the Light, concealing two figures.
In fact, the duo had appeared above this land for some time now. They had seen everything, be it Dan Liang’s “kind” sacrifice, or the ugly struggles of the convicts. Even Delian and Hongmei’s heartless departure was seen by them.
With things developing so far, the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake would wake up at any moment. When the Silver Scaled Tigerhead Snake failed to see the darn “ants”, it would definitely vent its anger on the “louse” on its head. Dan Liang could be said to be in grave danger. As for those convicts, they would soon encounter the waiting Chimera. The tragedy was about to happen, and someone in the black cloud could no longer watch this coldly by the sidelines.
“Can you save…” The youth’s voice that had a hint of anticipation came from the black cloud.
“Save…who? That Hero? Or those convicts?” A girl’s voice that seemed void of emotions interrupted the youth’s words.
“Of course it’s…” The youth was suddenly stunned mid sentence. His breathing stagnated as he fell into deep thought.
“The self-sacrificial Hero or the selfish convicts. It seems natural and right to choose the Hero, but what if it’s a comparison between a single life and more than ten lives?”
The girl said, “So here comes the question. If I give you the power to save one side, a Hero or more than ten convicts, who would you choose to save?”
It might be due to righteousness, personal feelings or maybe a strong principled stance towards right and wrong, but the question was—which side would you choose when the quality and quantity of life is in conflict?
“Whichever side you choose, I’ll save that side. So, make your choice, Shi Xiaobai.”
Author’s Note: There are always choices. Dan Liang’s current choice, and the choice Shi Xiaobai is about to make are some philosophical ideas I want to express. As an author, three criteria need to be done: well—creation of characters, writing a good plot and inculcating values. I want to become a good author, so I would not only satisfy the former two criteria!