The Dark King – Chapter 20
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Moreover, as I wrote in previous post. THERE IS ALWAYS A PLOT WITHIN THE PLOT in this novel.
I would like to thank spiritsong for reediting the chapter.
At this moment, a gray shadow flashed by Mason and knocked the snake onto the sand.
“Run!” Dudian growled.
Mason recovered and ran away in a hurry.
Dudian looked at snake which began to twist its body towards him. He turned to run away as fast as possible. His jacket was tightly wrapped around his hand. Previously he hit down the snake thanks to the help of jacket which protected his hand from possibly bitten by the snake.
Sou! (I assume it’s the sound made while passing Mason)
Dudian quickly overtook Mason and went to the front. In endurance training his results were the best compared to his dorm-mates.
After fleeing for a few hundred meters, Dudian looked back, but he saw Mason and rest keeping up with him. There was no trace of the snake, probably it should have realized that it failed to hunt so it decisively gave up on them. After all, in such a harsh environment even animals tried to avoid useless consumption of energy while hunting down the prey.
Dudian was relieved and said: “Stop running. It has stopped chasing us.”
Mason, Zach and Sham looked at the rear and noted that the snake has stopped chasing after them. The next moment they felt deeply tired, their throat were dry. They were thirsty and the weather was awfully hot. “It scared me.” Zach had a lingering fear as he patted his chest.
“Let’s take a break, I’m exhausted,” Sham breathed rapidly while panting.
Mason heard the words of the two, suddenly looked up to the Dudian. He slightly nodded to Dudian and said: “Dean, this time you saved my life, after what … …”
“Do not speak.” Dudian patted his shoulder, “Save your energy. Zach, sham we are not going to stop. It’s possible for snake to continue to catch up with us while crawling under the sand. We do not know if we are out of its hunting range. Moreover, it’s getting late. We must find water as soon as possible, otherwise it will be very difficult to get past tonight. “Then, he continued to lead the way in front.
Mason looked at Zach and Sham. He shook his head right and left in disapproval and followed Dudian.
Zach and Sham looked at each other. Recalling their hesitation in the previous situation they bowed their heads, without saying anything and followed Dudian.
Dudian and the crew continued to walk in westbound direction. All what they saw along the way was sand and dry clods. Except Dudian, other three could not help but to wonder, if they went in another direct would they be able to find water?
However, at the insistence of Dudian, they did not change the direction.
By dusk, they were walking forward with a pace slower than a turtle. Their bodies were sweating, they were tired, their faces were tanned red.
“Found it!”, Dudian’s sound echoed.
Mason, Zach and Sham’s faces were as numb as corpse’s. However as soon as they heard Dudian’s voice hope burst out of their dried eyes.
“Where?” Mason hurriedly asked.
Dudian raised his hand and pointed with his index finger. There was a small slope in front. Not far from the slope, there were some dry green grass and cactuses, which were common plants of desert.
“Plants, plants!” They cried in excitement.
Dudian’s face also formed a smile, and said: “If there are plants then there must be water!” All of them ran towards the plants at the same time but Dudian warned them, “Be careful, there may be something lurking here.”
Mason and other two nervously looked around.
It was not long before Dudian began to dig the moist sand beneath the green grass. After digging the sand to the depth of one meter, finally they got to see water. It was little and mixed together with sand.
“It’s dirty. How can we drink it?” Macon and other two were dumbfounded.
Dudian did not speak. He placed the jacket that he previously used to beat the snake onto ground. He used both his hands to scoop up the water that was mixed with sand and poured onto the jacket. Next, he twisted the jacket as hard as he could. He knew that jacket was made from wool. So, he used it to filter the water. As he continued to tighten the coat, the clean water began to flow out.
They felt thirsty for whole day. This simple, filtered water tasted as delicious as heavenly nectar for them.
Dudian drank a few mouthfuls of water. He did not continue to drink more, but wet his lips with water, and then climbed up, said: “Do not drink too much. It’s more than adequate if the basic consumption of the body is met.
There was admiration in Mason and other two children’s eyes.
“This grass is edible.” Dudian pulled out the green grass. He kneaded the roots of the grass from the wet soil. Later, he broke them off. There was no outflow of colored juice so he immediately bit and gently chewed on it. A faint sweet taste diffused from the roots of the grass and it filled his mouth. It was a bit jerky but he chewed carefully and then swallowed it.
The other three saw Dudian and broke off the grass to eat up.
“It’s so hard to eat!”
Zach and Sham were unhappy with the taste but still chewed and swallowed the grass.
Dudian looked up to the sky and said: “Tonight we should sleep here. We should collect some dry wood to make fire to last through the night. Also, one of us should stay on guard duty throughout the night. Let’s pick the one who should stay up for guard duty tonight right away so that he can sleep immediately.”
“I volunteer to be on guard duty tonight,” Mason said. “If you go to sleep, we won’t know what to do.”
Dudian nodded, “Then you go and rest. Zach, go and collect dry wood. Sham, come over with me to build a shelter, we will find some stones.” With his leadership, all of them began to get busy with their allocated jobs.
Outside the desert, there was a solitary pub.
Because of the erosion of desert, the pub was half-run down. The doors and windows have been repeatedly patched with wood. Right at this moment, a man and a woman was sitting in the pub, drinking iced wheat beer.
“Three hundred and sixty people are to be assessed. How many can stay alive tonight?” Kris asked while she was using dagger to gently fiddle with the ice inside the wooden cups.
Tobu indifferent smiled and said: “Absolutely more than you think.”
“Is it?” Kris raised her eyebrows in teasing manner: “Wanna make a bet?
“Are we gambling?” Tobu showed interest.
“How many people can stay alive after ten days,” Kris squinted, “I bet two hundred children.”
Tobu smile and replied: “I bet three hundred students”
“Oh?” Kris squinted at him. “You seem to have confidence in your students. But this time you will lose.”
Tobu sipped the beer from the cup and then asked: “How come?”
“Haha … …” Kris covered her lips with her hand and said: “Did you not know, this desert used to be a part of territory held by the Ryan family a decade ago? It was one of the six most prosperous families in the commercial district. Unfortunately, they were done in by an evil alchemist. The thing is not only the family was destroyed but it’s territories underwent complete desertification by that alchemist’s evil forces.”
“That was ten years ago, I know, because I was there.” Tobu replied.
Kris giggled, and continued on, “But you do not know that evil alchemist who was later killed by the Holy Church left a few things behind in this damned desert. Now there are other evil alchemists who are quietly gathering here. The thing is the Holy Church has seen through their little tricks and knows about everything.
Tobu’s face expression suddenly changed, “What exactly do you mean?!”
“The Holy Church is ready to wipe out those evil alchemists that reside in here. But the problem is that they are very well hidden. If the church sends a bright knight over, suspicions will be raised. Therefore, to lure those rats out from their nests another plan was made. It was done on purpose that the Scavenger’s examination site relocated to here. These children will be used as bait to lure them out. Also, I believe those alchemists will fall into this scheme, as they won’t try to miss the opportunity that is in front of them! “Kris said with a smile.