Chapter 7: Nightclaw…The Death He Brought and Left Behind

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On January 15, 2016, Posted by , In Gong Hua, By ,, , With 3 Comments

Finally…
I finally found you, Gong Hua!
I’m going to kill you! I will kill you! After I kill you I will, will…
I will what?
―Cas

You killed Aquamarine… You killed my wife!

No matter where you’ve escaped to in Sisha, I will find you and take revenge for my wife!

Yin Qie Zi abruptly woke up. He pulled out his sword from beneath his pillow and jumped out of bed in one swift motion. His whole body stretched taut with tension as he stood ready for battle.

There was someone in his room…

“Don’t panic. It’s me.”

Yin Qie Zi stared blankly in the direction of the voice. The person who had spoken stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in dark clothes suitable for the night. A scar marred the person’s left eye and a wicked smile lingered at his lips. It was Cas.

After seeing who it was, Yin Qie Zi unwittingly loosened his grip on his sword.

It was laughable that he actually felt at ease upon seeing Cas. The other was someone who hated him to the core. In theory, he should be especially wary about being alone with Cas, but Yin Qie Zi knew Cas wouldn’t kill him so easily… Just like how he wouldn’t kill West so easily.

“That’s one good sword you have.”

Cas stared at the sword in Yin Qie Zi’s hand. He quickly figured out that it was a first-rate sword made by a master craftsman. Even a fortune wouldn’t be enough to buy a sword like that.

“Where’d you get it? Steal it?”

“Did you sneak in here in the middle of the night to ask about my sword?” Yin Qie Zi replied snappily.

“Of course not.”

Cas walked over to Yin Qie Zi’s bed and plopped down without any reservation. He crossed his legs and asked, “Are you going to tell me or not?”

Yin Qie Zi stayed quiet, but then responded lightly, “What if I don’t want to tell you?”

“Heh!” Cas’ expression darkened. “Don’t want to tell me? Are you saying you don’t know the consequences of that?”

Yin Qie Zi chuckled coolly and said, “If my identity ever gets exposed, I will either escape or be murdered. Which one do you want to see the most? I’m sure it’s neither.”

Seeing that Yin Qie Zi wasn’t going to tell him anything, Cas stood up and rested his hands on the handles of his daggers. He said coldly, “I think chopping you into bits and pieces is what I’d like to see right now.”

The two of them stood silently, divided only by a bed. One of them holding onto a sword and the other ready to pull out dual daggers at any moment. If one of them dared to move an inch, they’d probably battle to the death right then and there.

Yin Qie Zi and Cas stayed in their positions for quite a while, but ultimately, nothing occurred. Yin Qie Zi slowly sheathed his sword and said quietly, “This sword’s name is Nightclaw.”

Cas stared at him in shock. “Nightclaw? The beast that attacked us back then?”

Yin Qie Zi nodded and explained, “Owen was the one who named the sword Nightclaw. Probably because we’d obtained this sword from Nightclaw’s hands.”

“From Nightclaw?” Cas frowned and asked suspiciously, “Did he give us a sword back then?”

“It wasn’t during that attack. It was when the Danyas breached Chakou City. The army was escaping to the west, leaving a trail of bodies behind them. Nightclaw appeared during that time…”

***

“Gong Hua! Gong Hua!”

Owen was calling his name nonstop, the other’s voice coming from behind him. This assured Gong Hua greatly. He wanted to turn around and see how Owen was doing, but he was unable to do so as there were simply too many soldiers in front of him. He had to focus on instructing the vines to ward off the enemy soldiers that were threatening to overwhelm them like an unstoppable tide.

Most of the Danya soldiers who’d fought their way into the city had hands dyed red with the blood of humans. They weren’t the least bit afraid of the wrist and waist-thick vines Gong Hua were using. Although the soldiers appeared bewildered by the vines’ movements, they merely brandished their swords and cut the vines into pieces. They weren’t afraid at all.

“Gong Hua!”

Owen pulled Gong Hua towards him. When he saw the other’s tear-streaked face, he paused in surprise and couldn’t help ask, “What’s wrong?”

Fear clouded Gong Hua’s face and a tremor took over his voice. “Owen, th-they are scary…”

“Don’t be afraid. We’ll leave right now!”

Owen took hold of him and looked back at West, who was still staring blankly at Gong Hua. Owen quickly reminded his cousin, “Ge, we have to leave!”

Hearing Owen, West finally snapped out of his reverie. He looked at Gong Hua. What he saw was no longer a weak girl, but a frighteningly powerful existence. In a trembling voice, he asked, “E-exactly who is she?”

“Now’s not the time to worry about that! We have to go!”

The three of them mixed in with the escaping crowd and headed for the city gate. The sky was a dusky grey that made it hard to see where they were going, but everybody was escaping in the same direction, so they had no doubts where they were headed. Moreover, as they had Gong Hua’s vines for protection, they managed to reach the city gate uninjured.

Before they could even let out a breath, noise of an uproar drifted over from the front. A loud rumbling immediately sounded afterwards. The double doors of the city gate was closing!

Seeing what was happening, the crowd rushed toward the gate even more desperately. People pushed and shoved their way to the front, fearing that they would be shut inside the city. There were simply too many people trying to escape. Many tripped and fell to the ground, only to be trodden underfoot by the frantic crowd, never to climb back up again.

Owen knew they would never reach the gate like this. He quickly pulled the other two out of the crowd, fearing that they would be trampled to death. The three of them took refuge under the eaves of a house. They took in the panicked expressions on the soldiers that passed by them. It was everyone for themselves. Panic took over their hearts; they had no idea what to do next.

“Owen, those scary people are here!” Gong Hua suddenly exclaimed.

Owen turned to look. A mass of Danya soldiers were moving towards them. The soldiers held pikes in their hands, the pointed tips aimed forward. The pikemen stood in a uniform file, not a hint of the desire to escape apparent on their faces. As they had shut the city gate, it was obvious that the Danyas were planning to wipe out every member of the human army.

Owen quickly shouted, “Gong Hua! Take us out of here!”

Even if Owen hadn’t said anything, Gong Hua still would have done so. This place was filled with fear and death. He didn’t want to stay in the city another second longer!

Wrist-thick vines erupted out of the ground, taking hold of the three of them around the waist. The vines climbed over the roof of the house and scaled up the city wall, pulling them up and out of the city.

Their journey up the city wall drew many eyes to them. There were numerous Danya soldiers situated on the wall; they had a perfectly clear view of what was happening. But what they saw was something beyond what common logic could explain. The Danyas stood still in shock, not even remembering to attack. However, they didn’t stay shocked for long. They were still fighting a war. The humans down below were still frenziedly attacking the city gate trying to escape.

Beside the Danyas, West was also shocked. He knew that some powerful physical spirits were capable of using spirits to attack. He also knew that some could move objects using their will, but it was his first time seeing a physical spirit move objects so adeptly, as if these vines were merely extensions of her arms and legs. Moreover, it seemed like these vines had been grown in an instant.

“Ge, we have to go! Quickly!” Owen pulled at West. He urged, “The Danyas will catch up to us in a few minutes!”

West nodded numbly and followed after Owen for a few steps. Suddenly, screams sounded behind him.

“Let me out! The Danyas are here to kill us!”

“Save me! I don’t want to die!”

“There’s no way we can get out. Everyone turn around and attack!”

Ah―

“N-no!” West paused. The sounds of killing and pleas for help mixed into one continuous din, swirling in and out of his ears. The pleas for help were spoken in the human language. When he thought of his fellow soldiers being mercilessly slaughtered, pain filled his heart. He grabbed Owen and said difficultly, “Owen, Owen, we can’t leave… Our comrades are being slaughtered inside there! We can’t let the Danyas massacre everyone in Chakou!”

Owen stared at him in surprise, finally hearing the screams for help. The more he listened, the more fearful he became, and the more he couldn’t turn around and walk away.

“Owen!” West said hurriedly, “We have to at least open the gate! We have to give them a way to escape!”

Upon hearing West, Owen finally realized what he could do. He quickly turned and ordered, “Gong Hua, use some bigger vines, like… like the ones you used to destroy that town. Use them and break open this gate.”

Owen still remembered the marks those vines had left on the ground. The vines that had rolled over the town and destroyed it were not the wrist-thick ones in front of him right now; they were the size of a massive beast. If vines of those size were to appear, then they could break open the gate. When the Danyas see those vines, they would definitely feel… an unimaginable terror.

“We can’t leave?” Gong Hua asked timidly.

Seeing Gong Hua’s frightened expression, Owen quickly placated, “We’ll leave after we open the gate.”

Gong Hua nodded in response and turned to face the gate. His black hair strands floated up, gradually surrounding him in a dark mass of floating hair. The darkness that enveloped him didn’t only consist of hair, a black fog gradually cloaked the strands of his hair and the spaces in between, becoming darker and darker. In the thick darkness that shrouded Gong Hua, the only thing that shined brightly were his blood-red eyes.

“H-how could she turn so…” West paused, he found that he couldn’t think of any words capable of describing the scene he was witnessing.

Owen was also stunned at the sight. He had never seen Gong Hua appear this way.

Gong Hua’s floating hair abruptly halted its movements. At that moment, two massive vines pierced through the earth near Gong Hua’s feet. The resounding crack the vines made was clear and distinct even over the sounds of the raucous battlefield. The city was suddenly taken over by a stunned silence.

West was dumbstruck with shock. Owen tilted his head to look at the vines that towered above him, his heart filled with fear. He couldn’t help but think of the small town that had been ravaged by these vines. Even if he was a soldier, even if he knew the vines would not attack him, he couldn’t hold back the horror of seeing those enormous vines. Did the residents of that town―mere helpless citizens―feel even more dread and desperation when they gazed upon those vines?

The two vines aimed straight for the city gate. Owen started at the sight and quickly grabbed Gong Hua. He yelled, “Stop! You’ll kill the soldiers behind the gate if you ram it directly!”

Gong Hua halted the vines in their tracks and turned to look at Owen. His face was largely covered by his hair, his blood-red eyes were the only things that were exposed. He stared at Owen unblinkingly.

Unconsciously, Owen released his grip on Gong Hua. He took a step back, fear rising in his heart. Did Gong Hua lose all her rationality again?

“Owen?” Gong Hua took a step toward him.

Hearing Gong Hua’s voice, Owen paused. The other’s voice was still timid; Gong Hua hadn’t lost control at all. At this, Owen decided to truly look at Gong Hua. He stared past the terrifying cloud of black hair and directly at the person inside. What he saw was a girl who didn’t know what to do next.

Seeing this, Owen’s heart softened. He quietly ordered, “Don’t use too much strength. Use the vines to hit the metal parts around the gate. The bronze-colored ones. Do you see them?”

“Yes.” Gong Hua nodded cleverly.

At that moment, another round of screams from inside the city pierced the air. Alarmed, Owen yelled, “Gong Hua, hurry!”

The vines shot toward the gate the minute Gong Hua turned around. Like Owen ordered, the vines rammed against the borders of the gate, but the metal parts did not break with the first hit. The vines struck the gate for another five to six times before cracks started appearing. After a few more hits, the earsplitting sound of metal breaking apart filled the air. The left part of the gate tilted and started to fall.

This’ll lower the number of casualties, right? Although we can’t save everyone… Owen thought regretfully to himself.

Just when the left part of the gate was about to crash into the ground, vines shot out and wrapped around it. The vines pulled backwards, bringing the gate with them. When they were far enough from the city, the vines flung the gate aside.

A mass of soldiers were standing behind the gate, but none of them were injured from the gate falling down. They stared blankly at each other for a few seconds, but then realized there was nothing obstructing their escape route and rushed out of the city like a violent tide.

Owen was surprised that Gong Hua had done something he hadn’t told her to do and saved the soldiers from being crushed. Gong Hua turned around to look at him, a questioning expression on her face. She appeared somewhat worried, as if she didn’t know whether she had done the right thing.

Owen felt an urge to laugh when he saw the other’s expression. He reached out and rubbed Gong Hua’s head. While smiling, he said, “You did well. Good child.”

A happy smile appeared on Gong Hua’s face. He turned around and used vines to tear the remaining part of the gate out of the wall. Like with the other, the vines pulled it out and flung it away.

Owen silently watched Gong Hua’s actions. He couldn’t help but feel that if Gong Hua had met Mila or him first, they could’ve avoided the tragedy that occurred at that small town. Gong Hua didn’t possess any evil intentions in her. The only thing she needed was guidance.

Although the falling gate didn’t cause any injuries, the soldiers’ desperate need to escape caused many to be trampled to death. The situation seemed to be worsening rather than improving. The Danyas also seemed restless at the sight of the escaping soldiers as dying screams kept drifting out of the city. This only made the soldiers shove harder.

“Stop shoving!”

West roared angrily, “Are any of you acting like soldiers? Stop this right now! You’re stepping on your own comrades!”

Owen stared at his cousin in shock, but then turned around and directed an order at Gong Hua.

West was irritated that the soldiers weren’t listening to him. At that moment, something wrapped tightly around his waist. Before he could even react, his whole person lifted off the ground. West exclaimed in alarm as he flew five or six meters into the air. In his panic, he heard Owen shouting at him down below.

“Ge! Say something! Everyone’s looking at you!”

West paused in surprise, but noticed that every soldier had indeed raised their heads to stare at him. Terrified expressions still decorated the soldiers’ faces, but at least he had their attention. At this, West ignored his own fear of flying and roared at the soldiers below, “Listen to me!”

The soldiers stared in astonishment at West soaring high above the ground, their fear of the Danyas momentarily forgotten. They recognized West’s uniform. Seeing that a superior officer was amongst them, most of the soldiers finally calmed down.

“Make way―”

Before West could finish his order, an arrow flew past him and scraped his cheek. Alarmed, he turned his head and saw a rain of arrows coming at them from the direction of the city wall. He yelled in fear and moved to step back, but then realized that he was still hovering in the air. Where could he step back to? He could only watch the rain of arrows coming down…

Seeing what was happening, Owen quickly yelled, “Gong Hua!”

Gong Hua stretched out his right hand. Vines exploded from the ground under West’s feet and immediately expanded into a web of vines that protected them from the arrows.

Everyone was rendered speechless by the display. In their moment of awe, numerous vines sprouted quietly beneath the city walls. They snaked up the walls, quickly overtaking it in height. The vines split apart, giving rise to multiple branches. The branches mixed and banded together, covering every last corner of the sky in green, appearing like an extension of the city wall. Only, this wall wasn’t protecting the city from invaders, but confining the archers on the city wall.

West hesitated for a moment after seeing the wall made of vines rise up. Should they escape now or stage a counterattack?

He looked around him. The soldiers who’d made it out of the gate have already calmed down, but they were still being pushed and shoved along by soldiers at their back. Even if they wanted to stop, the torrent at their back carried them forward.

West looked at his fellow soldiers. Fear still clouded their faces, not a single bit of courage could be found. Their state of dress was a mess and few were carrying weapons. It seemed they had been forced to escape for their lives right after waking up. These soldiers couldn’t fight a war right now!

Helpless to do anything and unable to suppress the pain in his heart, West shouted an order at the broken army:

“All soldiers retreat!”

***

The fallen army escaped from the city. New soldiers grouped with them halfway through the journey, but more fell down and died along the way.

Corpses littered the road, dyeing the ground the same color as the red carpets used for banquets. The escaping army left behind a trail of blood that stretched as far as the eye could see.

The Danyas who were chasing after the human army dared not step on the trail. Even a soldier in the throes of insanity would not be able to suppress a shudder upon seeing that carpet made of flesh and blood.

The honored guest who dared to step on this red carpet was a spirit beast, Nightclaw.

He had followed the stink of blood and rotting flesh here. As usual, he brought with him a pack of beasts. The pack had been growing each year, now appearing like a small-scale army.

The Danyas carefully avoided contact with this pack of beasts, not wanting to incite any unnecessary trouble. However, the escaping human army didn’t have the luxury of doing that. They had escaped from Chakou on the spur, they were running out of food and some days they couldn’t even find water to drink. They could only pray that there was a river or a lake ahead of the road. They didn’t have the time to worry about the pack of beasts behind them.

Fortunately, Nightclaw did not plan on catching up to the humans and killing them off. He stayed behind them, waiting for the teetering humans to fall down by themselves. Only then would he leap forward and feed to his desire.

He only used to appear during the night, but now the humans could see him chasing after them brazenly during the day. Nightclaw tore apart the fallen bodies under the scorching sun, some of the corpses still alive enough to let out a weak cry for help.

The Danyas were terrifying, but no matter how terrifying they were they didn’t eat humans!

Fearing that they would be eaten, some soldiers deserted the procession line and ran for their lives. They never imagined that they only made themselves easier targets for the beasts. Sounds of horror and death erupted all around the army. The soldiers didn’t dare leave the line anymore; the despair in their hearts rose up another notch.

After hearing another scream of agony, West couldn’t even swallow the meat they seldom got a chance to eat. He growled furiously, “We can’t continue like this! The beasts are increasing in number. If this continues, they’ll start attacking us sooner or later!”

Owen didn’t respond, not even to remind his cousin to lower his voice. The soldiers were already terrified of the beasts, seeing their superior lose control and yell wouldn’t make it any worse.

“We have the Danyas chasing after us during the day and now we have to be on guard against those beasts during the night. If anyone dares to desert the line, the beasts will pounce and eat them alive. Alive! How are we going to make it through this?”

At that, West’s eyes drifted over to the person sitting at Owen’s left. Gong Hua always sat in the same spot beside Owen, often with his head lowered. He never spoke and never left Owen’s side.

Seeing where West was looking, Owen’s heart sank. He said, “We don’t know for certain that Gong Hua can defeat Nightclaw.”

Moreover, she hates killing. Although the reason was laughable, he and Gong Hua were essentially serving as shields while the army escaped. They were in charge of defending against the Danyas’ attacks. Most of the time, large scale slaughtering was the only effective way.

West hesitated for a second, but asked, “Can’t we at least try?”

Owen exploded in anger. He roared at West, “Try? What if she can’t defeat him? Even if you don’t care about Gong Hua’s life, you should at least ask yourself who’s going to defend us against the Danyas when she gets injured!”

West didn’t cower in the face of Owen’s anger; contrarily, he roared even louder at Owen, “Then tell me, what are we going to do? If we continue like this, how many soldiers do you think will make it back to the Old Zhan Plains? Can you stand watching your own comrades being eaten alive by those beasts?”

As if to prove West’s words, cries of distress sliced the air far away. It didn’t sound like one or two people screaming, but a group of ten or more.

West and Owen both jumped up in alarm, ugly expressions mirrored on their faces. The screams didn’t stop, instead more followed and seemed to be getting louder and closer.

“Don’t tell me…” At a complete loss of what to do, West asked, “The beasts really are attacking us?”

The soldiers around them became restless, some calling out “Zong Xiao” and looking to West for instructions. However, West didn’t have anything planned, he only wanted to take some soldiers and go save the others from the beasts’ jaws. But everyone was tired and hungry; they were all at their limits. Not to mention ordering soldiers to put their lives at stake and go fight the beasts, West felt like the whole army would break apart if a light wind swept over them right now.

West’s eyes floated over to rest on Gong Hua. Not only him, other soldiers also started looking in Gong Hua’s direction. Most of them knew Gong Hua had a special power; some had even personally witnessed Gong Hua using vines to kill Danyas.

Normally, the soldiers would never come anywhere near Gong Hua, but amidst the clamor made by the screams and the growls from the beasts, they couldn’t help but move closer to him.

“Don’t look at her!” Owen spread his arms and blocked Gong Hua from view. He was furious enough that even he wanted to have a bite at West and the other soldiers.

West didn’t say anything, but he didn’t need to. The screams and growls that were moving ever closer did all the speaking for him.

Once again, Owen was faced with a difficult decision. Then again, he had to make difficult decisions every single day. Would he rather watch Gong Hua slay the Danyas or watch the Danyas slay his own fellow soldiers?

Owen never deliberately ignored the soliders’ cries for help before. No matter how reluctant, in the end, he’d bring Gong Hua to the back of the troops to fend off the Danyas. Their enemies right now were beasts. Would it be any lighter on his conscience if they were going to kill beasts instead of Danyas?

Even then, he was worried that Nightclaw would attack Gong Hua. Can Gong Hua defeat such a terrifying spirit beast? What if she couldn’t win…

Owen suddenly felt a pull on his clothes. He reflexively looked over and saw that it was Gong Hua.

Gong Hua said nervously, “Owen, don’t be angry. It’ll be fine if I just kill Nightclaw, right? I’ll go kill him. Don’t be angry.”

Upon hearing that Gong Hua’s only reason for killing Nightclaw was so that he wouldn’t be angry, Owen felt he had been slammed against a wall. There was so much pain in his heart that he couldn’t even reply. If he really thought the best for Gong Hua, then he should take her and leave this place far behind. Like Mila said, they should go to a different country and never come back.

In a hoarse voice, Owen asked, “Gong Hua, can you defeat Nightclaw?” Mila, if you knew I let Gong Hua kill, you’d probably yell at me, right? But if I don’t let Gong Hua go, how many soldiers will make it out of this alive?

Gong Hua hesitated for a moment. He had fought with Nightclaw before, but neither of them had brought out their full strength. He didn’t know whether he could defeat Nightclaw. When he lifted his head and saw Owen’s expression, however, he couldn’t resist nodding and replying, “Yes, I can defeat him!”

Hearing Gong Hua’s reply, Owen was a bit relieved. At least Gong Hua’s life wouldn’t come under any harm.

“Owen, can you stay here instead of coming with me?” Gong Hua requested in a quiet voice.

Owen stared at the other blankly. Ever since Mila died, Gong Hua had refused to leave his side. Why was Gong Hua requesting him to stay here now?

“I’m going to kill Nightclaw. It’ll be very dangerous over there. Owen, don’t come with me.”

After he finished speaking, Gong Hua let the vines wrap around him. Owen immediately shouted at him to wait, but Gong Hua left without turning around.

In shock, Owen stared after Gong Hua for a moment, and then ran after him.

West quickly grabbed hold of his cousin. “Owen, she already told you to not follow her. It’s dangerous. Didn’t you hear?”

Flustered, Owen said, “I need to go and see. Gong Hua, s-she would never leave my side if not for something big. S-she probably can’t defeat―Ah!”

In the middle of speaking, two vines sprouted on either side of Owen and twisted to wrap around him. His footing unstable, Owen soon found himself lying flat on the ground. Just when he was about to yell at West to cut the vines apart, one wrapped around his mouth, sealing off his voice. The only thing he could do was stare at West with wide eyes.

Looking at Owen lying on the ground unable to move or speak, West mumbled, “I’m starting to like that girl…”

***

Gong Hua moved in the direction of the screams. Luckily, the exact spot of where the beasts were gathered wasn’t too hard to find. He only had to go the opposite direction of where the soldiers were escaping.

Soon after, he spotted the towering, light blue figure of Nightclaw. The spirit beast wasn’t participating in the killings; he merely sat crouched on the roof of a carriage. Nightclaw’s six eyes turned rapidly in their sockets, his two tails dancing about constantly in the air.

After getting closer, Gong Hua stopped moving, for Nightclaw had stood up. The spirit beast had already noticed Gong Hua.

One, two, all six of Nightclaw’s eyes rolled to a rest on Gong Hua. Having caught sight of their savior, the soldiers who were still alive recklessly ran towards Gong Hua with a beast hot on their tails.

While running, the soldiers yelled at Gong Hua, “Save us!”

Seeing that the beast was about to pounce on them, Gong Hua lifted a hand, vines immediately pierced through the ground and sent the beast flying.

Panting, the soldiers ran to Gong Hua’s side. After catching their breath, they looked back to see that their pursuer was gone. Still caught in the throes of fear, they struggled to speak, only managing to squeeze out a word of thanks after a long while. “Th-thank you!”

Gong Hua looked at them in surprise; it was the first time anyone other than Owen tried to speak with him in a long while. He couldn’t help but remind them, “Run! This place is dangerous!” While speaking, he moved the vines around and saved various other soldiers who were about to be attacked.

Dread clouded the soldiers’ faces. One of them spoke up, “B-but there are beasts everywhere…”

Gong Hua looked at them and instinctively knew that these soldiers wouldn’t be able to outrun the beasts. He reached out with his hand, once again forming a web of vines that protected them. “Don’t be afraid. Run! I’ll hold them off.”

Seeing that the beasts were blocked off by the web, the soldiers immediately ran for their lives.

The beasts became furious when they saw their meal running farther and farther away. But they were helpless against the web of vines. Some of the stronger beasts started tearing at the vines, but the minute they bit one apart, two grew in its place. It would take them ages to clear all the vines!

Although the one controlling these vines was standing right to the side, the beasts were keenly aware that Gong Hua wasn’t someone they should provoke. None of the beasts dared to step up and attack Gong Hua.

ROAR!

The pack of beasts turned to look at Nightclaw, the latter’s earsplitting roar shaking the earth in its magnitude. Afterwards, Nightclaw made his way towards Gong Hua with swift and graceful steps, his pack parting to make a path for him

“What is the reason for this?”

Nightclaw leapt right in front of Gong Hua. He had already recognized the other; there was only one Flower on this continent who wandered the land lost like him. It was the second time this Flower had come to obstruct him; Nightclaw was truly a bit angry. He growled lowly, “You are a Flower of the Leaf Tribe. Why do you interfere in my affairs and protect the humans time after time?”

“I’m here to kill you,” Gong Hua replied straightforwardly.

Nightclaw stared at the other in shock. Battles between two physical spirits were rare, but that didn’t mean they didn’t occur. Most of the time, these kinds of battles occurred between beast-type spirits. A guardian spirit like the Flower was a physical spirit that never directly provoked others. Other physical spirits often avoided contact with them as well. Guardian spirits never left the land they protected, so inciting them on their own land was the stupidest move one could ever make!

But this Flower wasn’t standing on his own land right now. His targets of protection also weren’t the Leaf Tribe. And he had even willingly started a challenge. If Nightclaw hadn’t seen the Flower’s abilities before, he would never believe that the physical spirit in front of him was a Flower.

“Is there no other option?”

Gong Hua tilted his head and said, “If you leave right now and promise not to chase and kill these humans anymore, then we don’t have to fight.”

“I have not slaughtered any of these humans. I merely picked up the meat that was left on the ground. Is even this not allowed?” Nightclaw replied furiously.

Surprised, Gong Hua stared at him blankly. He asked sincerely, “You haven’t kill any humans? But the beasts that follow you have killed many of them. Can you tell them to stop?”

“Nonsense!” Nightclaw laughed despite his fury. “Humans kill beasts and feast on their flesh. Are beasts not permitted to do the same and have their fill of human flesh? Are we not permitted to clean up the fresh meat lying on the ground? Must we instead allow them to rot beyond the state of ingestion?”

Gong Hua paused after listening to Nightclaw’s explanation. He felt there was reason to Nightclaw’s words. Along the way, many of the soldiers had caught animals to eat. Of course, none of them were the type that killed and chased after humans. The soldiers mostly trapped and caught small animals that were frequently seen in forests. As it was like this, what was wrong with beasts killing and eating humans?

Gong Hua didn’t know the answer to that question and decided to stop thinking about it altogether. He said stubbornly, “Leave, otherwise I’ll kill you!”

Nightclaw responded angrily, “I am a spirit that chases after the stink of blood and carnage. I have neither the means nor the reasons of betraying that path! Flower, if you do not return to your correct path and insist on fighting alongside the humans, death will be the only end for you.”

Correct path… Gong Hua said quietly, “I have been abandoned by the Leaf Tribe. They don’t want me. I don’t have any Leaves to protect. There is no correct path for me.”

“How ridiculous! As you still exist, there must be a correct path for you. You are merely lost for the moment, but that does not mean the path is nonexistent.”

Gong Hua didn’t want to listen any longer. The Leaf Tribe wasn’t around anymore, for him, the only person who was still beside him was Owen. Because of this, he would use everything in his power to protect Owen.

Vines, attack.

 

Next: Chapter 8: Mila… The Promise of the Past and the Present
Previous: Chapter 6: Blue…The Melancholic Past and Present
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Translator: Nannyn
Proofreaders: dinoj, PiKairi

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3 Comments so far:

  1. KT says:

    Thank you!

    So, West, are you starting to like that girl because she protected your cousin or because she gagged him, ha-ha?

    It’s rather depressing to think that it came to Gong Hua seeking revenge on West, when they both seem to care about Owen.

  2. Shio says:

    Thanks for the chapter.
    I really hope Gong Hua could be free from her past and found her path as soon as possible.

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