One day had passed by, but Bai Kongzhao remained crouching inside the bushes and staring at the distant stone keep.
Light footsteps and a hushed call approached from the distance, soon followed by Anwen’s figure. His armor was somewhat damaged, and he looked fatigued.
His eyes lit up when he saw the young girl. He then said with a wry smile, “As expected, you’re back again.”
“I lost my way.” The young girl was staring forward, apparently focused on charging the stone keep. The reply was a mere arbitrary gesture.
Anwen looked helpless. “You’ve gotten lost three times.”
“Oh, I lost my way.” The young girl never heard what he was saying.
Anwen didn’t know what to do anymore. He crouched down beside her, saying, “Haven’t I told you before? We can’t handle this. Why have you run back here?”
The girl pointed at the keep. “There’s something good in there, something similar to the wine.”
“Just tell me if you want to drink! That wine has a bad side-effect, you can’t drink too much of it. Didn’t you feel anything after drinking it?”
The girl’s eyes never left the walls as she thought back. “I do feel something. It was very comfortable and warm. It felt like being pricked all over by needles, but it wasn’t painful. I also felt very sleepy.”
“Don’t you feel… weird?”
“No.” The girl’s eyes widened. “Define weird.”
Anwen exhaled deeply, his expression both disappointed and happy. “I understand now, your body must have a lot of hidden injuries. This wine actually heals your body while activating your vitality. Additionally, your body is too weak, so it instinctively wants to strengthen itself. Even so, the wine really will have side effects. You might not notice it now, but it’ll add up and erupt at one point.”
The girl asked seriously, “What side effects?”
Under her intense gaze, Anwen became a bit flustered. He opened his mouth and closed it again a couple of times. Finally, he decided to go ahead and explain, “Actually, it’s an aphrodisiac effect, meaning you’ll want to have offspring.”
“Have offspring?” The young girl’s eyes lit up.
Anwen was startled. A series of outrageous notions rotated through his mind, with no lack of thoughts about “What if she really wants to give me a child…”
“We can study that offspring thing later. Let’s take down this place first!”
Watching the young girl pointing at the stone keep, Anwen really wanted to bang his head against a tree.
“No!” He refused decisively.
“Then I’ll go on my own.”
“You can’t go, either!”
This girl had asked this question all too many times, and every time, Anwen would gloss over the topic. From the looks of it, dragging the matter on was useless. She wouldn’t leave this place unless he could dissuade her on the assault. Every time, Anwen would just drag her away, only to find her missing some time afterward. He thus had no choice but to look for her near the castle again.
Anwen was worried that she would run into trouble at one point and he wouldn’t get there in time.
He sighed. “The main reason is the four-armed people’s white mist. I’m not afraid of it, but that’s just a relative claim. I will still fall under its control if I take in a lot of it. Also, I just tested it and found that the effects of the mist are hard to expel completely. They can only be suppressed temporarily, which means it’ll rear its head again sooner or later.
“If it flares up… it’ll force you to do some things you don’t like.”
The girl gave it some thought. “I’m not afraid of pain, I can stand quite a bit of it. If they beat me to the point of injury, I’ll retaliate.”
Anwen smiled wryly. “They won’t beat you, it’s worse. I don’t want that to happen, I really don’t.”
The girl nodded slowly, seeming to half-understand. “Actually, we can lure them out little by little and kill them, just like I did in the beginning.”
“No, the environment here isn’t good. We can’t remain very long, we should hurry back to the safe region. We’ll need to rely on the white-fruit wine to pass the night here, and that’s a limited commodity. We need to get back to the warm areas before we run out.”
The girl pointed in a certain direction. “Warm area? You mean that way?”
Anwen was surprised. He had to run in a fairly wide circle to confirm the direction in which the gravity was weakest. He had never mentioned this to Bai Kongzhao, but the girl could point the direction out of simple instinct. The demonkin young lord had never feared competition in the perception department, but now he felt rather defeated.
“Yes, it’s that direction.”
The girl looked at Anwen. “It seems you only need to drink a little bit. The wine we have should last us fairly long. It’ll only take one day to bring down this castle.”
Anwen said helplessly, “I drank very little because I don’t dare drink too much. The medicinal effects will accumulate. I might attack you once I lose control of myself.”
Fortunately, the girl no longer asked him if he would hit her, saving him the trouble of explaining to her.
“What about the things there?”
Anwen looked intently at the girl and then sighed. “Since you want it so much, let’s try once. But you should run away on your own if I lose control, the further the better.”
Anwen didn’t try to explain this time. He merely said, “Nevermind. Even without me saying it, you’ll probably know what to do when the time comes. You decide things on instinct anyway.”
He glanced at the stone keep and then drew a simple diagram on the ground. After that, he drew a straight line, saying, “We’ll charge in along this path, don’t stop no matter what obstructions we encounter. We’ll charge straight into the center to see what they have there. No matter what it is, we’ll take it and leave. We won’t stay for more than three seconds, remember?”
The young girl nodded.
“Okay, let’s go.” Anwen produced a cloud of faint black mist, which covered himself and the girl as it drifted slowly toward the stone keep.
Although this black mist had appeared out of nowhere, most of the natives simply ignored its presence. Only when it had reached the walls did one of the four-armed warriors on the watchtower look down. Puzzled, the native made ready to shout when a wisp of black energy shot out and pierced through his mouth.
The four-armed warrior immediately lost his life and fell down the tower. Anwen dispersed the black mist and jumped onto the wall with the young girl in tow. Then, he leaped forward once more to land inside the stone keep.
The two—in a single file—charged into the horde of natives pouring out from every corner of the castle. A two-meter sword appeared in Anwen’s hand, with which he slashed dozens of natives into two. He then stepped ten meters forward and erupted in demonic energy, blasting the nearby natives back.
Bai Kongzhao followed closely behind. She jumped about, slashing left and right with her great cleaver, each strike connecting with the vitals of one or more natives. Some of the luckier victims managed to survive Anwen’s sword energy, but they were duly extinguished by the girl’s blade. Even if they didn’t die on the spot, there would be no hope left for recovery.
Like a warship amidst wind and waves, the two fought their way toward the center of the stone keep.
The girl immediately noticed the small tree at the center of the stone keep. At this point, the tree was somewhat wilted, with three white fruits hanging from its crown. These fruits looked small and tart, apparently quite far from maturity.
She raised her blade to cut down the tree but hesitated midway. In the end, she reached out to grab two of the riper ones and rushed back out, leaving the smallest one behind.
Anwen was much calmer. He went around the courtyard picking several plants and fruits into his spatial storage before catching up to Bai Kongzhao. The entire process lasted for only a couple of breaths’ time, but a group of four-armed natives, with no shortage of females among them, had gathered to block their way out. All of a sudden, several clouds of white mist were rolling toward them.
Anwen was shocked. How would he dare to take them head-on? With a shout, he erected a barrier of demonic energy to block the white mist, and then dragged the young girl toward a different direction.
The barrier lasted mere moments before it was dissolved by the white mist.
Fortunately, this amount of time was enough for an expert of Anwen’s level to drag the girl out of the stone keep.
Moments later, the duo appeared ten kilometers away. They were entirely drenched in blood and looked quite miserable. Although most of the stains came from the natives, they had also sustained a good deal of damage themselves. The girl’s injuries were mostly flesh wounds; Anwen, on the other hand, was covered in injuries, including a bone-deep gash on his back. This slash had cut through his outer and inner armor, as well as his protective demonic energy, going right for his innards.
There was a shallow mark on the protruding bone. Anwen’s bones were different from other demonkin in that they were light black and possessed a golden luster to it. This was because he had trained in a secret art to refine his bones since youth and had attained initial success in it.
If it wasn’t for the strength of his skeleton, Anwen might’ve been heavily injured by that blow.
The girl looked back after stopping. “We’ve lost them.”
Anwen exhaled deeply as he sat down and took some medicine. He looked at the two white fruits in his hand and passed them back to Bai Kongzhao. “They’re definitely good things, but wasting His Majesty’s treasure for them isn’t worth it.”
With that, Anwen pointed at the girl’s ankle.
The Eternal Flame’s ankle chain was now dim, apparently drained of all power. The duo was completely surrounded on their way out, and they had to engage in a bloody battle in order to break the siege.
Anwen’s injuries weren’t light. Meanwhile, the girl managed to survive several lethal blows only because of the ankle chain. Without that treasure, she would have more than just a few light injuries on her. It was more likely that she would be cut into several pieces.
The girl tilted her head. “Isn’t it there to be used?”
“Yes, but not for something like this…” Anwen shook his head. As he saw it, such a life-saving treasure should only be used at the most critical juncture. Assaulting the stone keep was an unnecessary skirmish, to begin with.
The girl seemed rather ignorant about the value of that treasure, and she didn’t seem bothered by its exhaustion.
She glanced at the white fruit for a good while, and then passed one to Anwen. “This should be yours.”
She split her own share into two, ate one portion, and then put away the other.
Anwen couldn’t understand why she would do this. He passed his white fruit to her, saying, “Take this if you need it.”
The girl hesitated for a moment, and then shook her head. “No, that’s yours.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie