Chapter 1023: Mortal Thread

Anwen’s countenance was pale, and the demonic energy around him was faint from over-exhaustion. Bai Kongzhao was flushed pink as she was almost dragged along behind Anwen.

Her greatest advantage in battle was her concealment and ability to make use of the environment. Hunting her down was a high-difficulty endeavor. Back in the year, Qianye had chased her across a thousand kilometers only to come back empty-handed. Other people could do even less against her. In truth, she wasn’t all that fast, at least not comparable to people like Qianye, Li Kuanglan, and Anwen.

The rumbling behind the two grew louder and louder. One tree after the other fell toward random directions as the terrifying existence quickly gained ground.

“This won’t do, it’ll catch up to us!” said Anwen.

“What do we do?”

“Drop it!”

“Drop what?”

“That thing in your hand!”

“No.”

“Do it or we’ll both die!”

Bai Kongzhao was holding firmly onto a small branch of the white-fruit tree. There were two fruits amidst the exuberant leaves, small, green, and unripe. She thought about it for a while before drawing her large cleaver and hurling it through the air.

The large blade spun about in a tall arc and stabbed right into the rolling dust behind them.

A pained cry echoed from the dust cloud, followed by an infuriated roar that approached at great speeds.

Anwen seemed even more distressed. He said with a wry laugh, “Young Miss, why would you provoke it at such a time?”

He cried out bitterly as a wisp of demonic energy curled up from his head. His speed increased sharply thereafter, allowing him to draw away from the pursuers.

“I can’t hold out very long, just throw that thing away,” Anwen shouted.

Bai Kongzhao wasn’t willing. After a moment of contemplation, she decided to stuff the branch into her mouth.

Anwen was shocked out of his wits. “No!!! That thing will chase you down and cut your stomach open! It’ll stop at nothing to retake the holy tree branch, even if only dregs are left of it.”

The girl hesitated upon seeing his reaction. “How would you know?”

“Just look at how fiercely it’s chasing us! Do you even need to think? This type of creature is just like that.” Anwen could barely catch his breath because he had to talk while running at top speed.

The girl was still undecided.

Anwen stopped trying to persuade her and focused on running away. His thoughts were clear—if the girl wouldn’t give up the branch, he would run until he collapsed and they would both die together. Or perhaps they could last until that big fellow was exhausted, but judging from the undiminished sounds behind them, the likelihood was small.

It was at this time that Bai Kongzhao loosened her grip and the tree branch flew high up into the air.

A large hand stretched out from the rolling dust and grabbed the incoming branch. This hand was extremely powerful, but its movements were oddly gentle. The little branch landed gently in its palm, and not even a leaf was damaged.

The dust gradually dispersed to reveal a large figure. The facial features were characteristically native, but his brows were square and his eyes were as sharp as lightning. The serious, dignified expression, as well as his six muscular arms, added a sense of grandeur to his six-meter frame. Bai Kongzhao’s large cleaver was stuck between the shoulders on his back, with a small part of its blade sinking into the flesh.

The native used one of his rear arms to remove the cleaver and tossed it to the ground after a brief examination. The girl’s weapon was big, but the six-armed general was even bigger. This little injury was nothing to him.

He glanced in the direction of Anwen and Bai Kongzhao’s departure, seemingly thinking about something. He didn’t give chase, but instead turned to leave.

Even so, Anwen didn’t dare stop for a good while. Only after he was sure nothing was behind him did he collapse to the ground, huffing and puffing. “Help me… keep watch. I… I… need to take medicine.”

Bai Kongzhao stretched out a hand, indicating that she wanted a weapon. With a flick of Anwen’s hand, the two-meter sword appeared on the ground. The young girl picked it up and swung it about clumsily. The long sword was so much taller than her petite figure—how could she wield it elegantly? She pondered for a while, changed positions, and adopted a different stance after some contemplation. After just a little while, she was able to move more naturally.

Anwen paid her no attention. He fished out a bottle of medicine and inhaled the demonic energy inside. After a good while, his countenance improved somewhat.

He opened his eyes and watched Bai Kongzhao playing with the long sword. “It doesn’t fit you.”

Bai Kongzhao returned the blade after some thought.

Anwen put away the sword and said with a sigh, “What bad luck to have run into that fellow. I don’t think we can target stone castles anymore. Sigh, that was my last regeneration medicine. All will be up to luck if we meet such danger again.”

Bai Kongzhao propped her chin up with her hands, thinking about something.

Anwen stood up, spirited. “Let’s go. We should leave this accursed place and that big fellow as quickly as possible.”

The girl said, “How can we kill him?”

“Him?” Anwen shook his head. “Forget about it. It’s impossible even if all the demonkin here were to gang-up on him, that is unless the Demoness was here. But that crazy lady is still recuperating and probably won’t come.”

Bai Kongzhao nodded and fell into deep thought, almost as though she was meditating on that problem just now.

Anwen said, “Don’t overthink it. We should get away from this damned place as soon as we can.”

The young girl said all of a sudden, “We have a chance at killing him.”

Anwen was startled. “How?”

This girl possessed terrifying talents in combat—she would figure out the enemy’s weakness and come up with unimaginable strategies. Anwen wanted to know how she was planning to kill the six-armed general who had forced him to run for dear life.

The girl said, “First, you need to grab his attention. You also need to let me use your sword… let it be, let’s stop thinking about it.”

Seeing the girl get up to follow him, Anwen felt a bit moved.

The young girl looked cold and seemed rather unfamiliar with the ways of the world. Earthly concerns simply didn’t exist in her heart as the most important thing for her was to defeat the strong. She was probably confident about her plan, so there was only one reason why she would give up—it was because Anwen would have to lure the enemy without a good weapon and might die in the process.

As the two ran toward the low-gravity region, the young girl asked, “Is the Demoness not coming?”

“Of course not. She was heavily injured!” Anwen said with a hint of schadenfreude.

In the depths of the void, a pair of eyes slowly opened up. This was an inexplicable pair of eyes—there was neither a pupil nor an iris, only a sea of swirling chaos. It was sometimes grey, sometimes black. There seemed to be no pattern to its movement, but it wasn’t shifting randomly, either.

The eyes had just opened when several demonkin sensed the change. They flew over immediately and stopped at a good distance. “Your Grace, why have you woken up so early?”

A cold, empty voice echoed. “The Great Maelstrom has opened, I can sense its calling.”

While the demonkin were hesitating, one of them looked up courageously and met the pair of eyes. However, he quickly discovered a certain rhythm in the transforming color patterns therein, and this rhythm happened to answer some questions regarding his cultivation, problems that had been troubling him for a long while.

It was the thought that had made him look for a while longer. In the end, he was entrapped by the swirling grey colors—it felt like he was just about to gain something before the enlightenment narrowly slipped away. It seemed like he would be able to break through if only he could try a bit harder and memorize all the color rhythms.

Unknowingly, the demonkin’s thoughts sped up to the point where his head was about to burst. He cried out in pain as his demonic energy spiraled out of control.

The demonkin near him quickly supported him and covered his eyes. “How dare you look at Her Majesty’s eyes? Are you tired of living?”

The victim was trembling from head to toe as he did his utmost to bring the rampaging demonic energy under control. He was no longer in any condition to speak.

The demoness’ voice echoed once more through the air. “I just woke up, so I can’t quite control my powers just yet. As for my injuries, they have recovered a fair bit and won’t hinder this operation.”

One of the demonkin said hesitantly, “Your Grace, His Excellency the Eternal Flame has decreed that you must recuperate completely before leaving. We should first report this matter to the Eternal Flame.”

The Demoness said calmly, “No need. Unless it’s from the Emperor, the Eternal Flame doesn’t have the right to order me around. Just tell him to take care of those kids from his family, lest they lose their lives.”

The demonkin looked at one another. “Your Grace, you must gain permission if you wish to leave. This is also the Emperor’s will.”

The Demoness was somewhat surprised. “He thinks so highly of me? Very well, I shall go see him.”

A demonkin marquis couldn’t help but try to dissuade her. “Your Grace, only a few years remain before your body is completely healed. Why not wait a while longer? By the time you’re well-rested, the Great Maelstrom will have opened up once again.”

“I can sense the one who injured me in the Great Maelstrom. Besides, if I keep resting, those little idiots from our race will think they’re catching up to me. I feel like it's time to give them a new understanding of this world.”

The demonkin didn’t know how to respond. As people in charge of guarding the Demoness, they naturally understood her temper, and that she would truly give all her peers—perhaps even people from the previous generation—a new understanding of this world.

The eyes gradually closed back. The demonkin heaved a secret sigh of relief, thinking the Demoness had thought things through and decided to go back into deep slumber. But after a while, they noticed that something wasn’t quite right. One of them drummed up the courage to look up and was shocked.

The Demoness’ silhouette was nowhere to be found.

...

Inside the Great Maelstrom, Zhao Yuying was staring into the distance with her hand on her cannon. She was covered in branches and leaves; even an experienced hunter wouldn't discover her without walking close. The disguise looked simple, but not everyone could blend into the surroundings as well as she could.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts



TL: Legion   ED: Moxie

     

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