The Dark King – Chapter 21
Happy new year to all of you!
I would like to thank spiritsong for editing this chapter.
Tobu’s pupils shrank. He banged on the counter and retorted, “Are you the one behind the idea of using my students as bait?”
Kris shrugged and replied, “I’m not so bold to do that, for I’m aware of your temper as we are old acquaintances. This arrangement was planned and decided by above, all we can do is to obey.”
Tobu’s angry voice echoed, “Using a group of children as bait, ah! Is this how the Holy Church had plan to lure the alchemists?”
Kris’ face slightly changed and she spoke in a low voice,” Criticism of Holy Church, even in private, is a major criminal offense. Stop spouting nonsense. In case, if they managed to apprehend an alchemist, it will be a great feat for them. Even in the future, if they are eliminated from joining the guard or qualified to become part of the Scavengers, this experience will be a valuable asset for them.
You know that building a meritorious service is not an easy job!”
“Well, do I have to thank them for this opportunity?” Tobu sneered sarcastically.
Kris replied in a helpless manner, “Whether you are pleased or ungrateful, it will not change the fact that the current situation as such. Besides, if the assessment site changed at the last moment, suspicions would arise. These alchemists have a broad network. Moreover, after graduation, either as a guard or as a scavenger they will be fighting on the front lines. They will face alchemists in one way or the other, and nobody would be able to shelter them at that point. It’s a valuable experience for them!
Tobu frowned but didn’t continue to argue. Instead he turned over to the old man behind the counter: “Old Luo, another cup!”
“So much angst! Maybe I should give you more ice?” The old man behind the counter laughed.
Tobu stifled but did not say anything.
Night time arrived.
As the sun set, the temperature in the desert plummeted. Sand is a poor heat insulator so the heat quickly dissipated. Dudian and Sham set up a fire covered by several stones to keep the flame in control. They used old dried plants to start the fire.
They had managed to find enough firewood to keep the fire burning for the entire night.
“I’m hungry … …” Zach patted his stomach.
Dudian lied down near the edge of fire. He closed his eyes and said, “Ten days will soon be over!”
Zach smiled and soon closed his eyes.
Mason sat next to the fire and laughed, “Get a good sleep.”
“It’s too difficult. At first, it was only hunger, now in addition we have suffer cold weather too.” Sham clutched his clothes as he lied closer to the fire.
Mason smiled. From time to time he picked up firewood and fed it into the fire pit. Per Dudian’s instructions, the person keeping the night watch, had to constantly keep the fire burning so that beasts would not come close.
Late at night, the temperature dropped further. From time to time a gust of wind blew. Even sitting next to the fire, Mason also felt cold shivers. His legs were slightly trembling. Because of frequent jitter and restlessness, he suddenly had an urge to pee.
He looked at the other sleeping children. He stood up and walked away. He untied his pants to pee. In the darkness, a dry palm suddenly stretched out and grabbed his throat.
Mason’s pupils contracted. His heart began to beat violently and his eyes displayed fear. He saw a wrinkled face in the darkness. It looked at him and spoke in a slight husky voice: “Good. Do not scream!”
All the hairs on Mason’s body were erect. He wanted to call for help but nothing came out of his mouth as his throat almost snapped from the force of the palm. Nevertheless, because his body moved, few sounds echoed out in the darkness. Sand splashed from under his feet. Dudian’s eyes suddenly opened. He slowly woke up as he tried not to disturb the silence.
He grabbed a stone that was close by to fire.
The distance was too far!
Mason was desperate.
Now, the owner of the hand also noted Mason’s action. Coldness swept through his eyes. He raised his other hand. Through the illumination of the weak fire, Mason saw the shape of a dagger.
Bang, a sound resonated. Mason’s mind was completely blank. Dudian has used the stone to hit the dagger. Dudian began to loudly shout as soon as he saw the dagger drop, “There are enemies, wake up!”
Zach and Sham immediately woke up as they heard Dudian’s voice. They each grabbed a stone and nervously watched their surroundings.
Dudian stared at the stature of the slim figure in the darkness. He was always a shallow sleeper, especially in a dangerous environment such as this one. He immediately woke up and opened his eyes, grains of sand splashed onto his face. He didn’t see Mason so he grabbed a stone in case of an emergency. But when he turned around to look he saw the breath-taking scene. He threw the stone at a whim and didn’t expect it to hit the wrist of the figure.
“Damn!” The old man who was dressed in black robes screamed. The dagger which he held fell to the ground. His wrist trembled slightly because of the severe pain. Angrily, he pushed the struggling Mason away. He took out a small green bottle from his chest. He opened the bottle and curling green smoke began to float out of it. Without losing an extra second he threw the bottle at Dudian’s direction.
Green smoke immediately floated.
Dudian’s face changed, and hastily covered his nose. He wanted to remind Zach, Sham, and Mason to be wary of the green mist but he was unable to speak as smoke drifted close to him at fast speed. Plop, sound echoed as Mason was enveloped by the green mist and fell.
Dudian’s pupils shrank. He fell and played dead.
He did not see but heard two bodies fall. He assumed that Zach and Sham also inhaled the green mist. He got curious about the mist, was the green mist a poison or was its purpose to just to make them fall unconscious.
His heart thumped fast,full of tension and doubts. Is this one of the assessment? If so, he believed that, in exception to those large groups, other small groups will be eliminated!
Was the purpose of the assessment to have everyone unite?
Many thoughts passed in Dudian’s mind. He could not help but regret. Perhaps the intention behind the assessment was not about surviving for ten days but to see whether they unite together.
“Damned little devil!” At this point, Dudian heard the footsteps of the old man.
“They made me waste a bottle of lost souls elixir.” The old man spoke to himself. Dudian did not know what to make out of his words. He grabbed sand in his hand, ready to move at any time.
At that moment, Dudian felt a dry palm grasping his foot. It felt as if there was no meat but just bones grabbing at his foot. He secretly thought about attacking the old man in event the other side wanted to kill him. However, the old man seemed not interested in killing him, as he yanked his ankle and dragged him forward.
Dudian’s heart sank. He couldn’t bring himself to decide.
Or continue to wait for the opportunity?