Chapter 2: Nightmare in the color of dusk (Part One)
“Mother Rakshasa.” A small ghost servant walked up and dropped to its knees before saying in a shaky voice.
“Where’s the human girl I want?” the woman asked with a charming smile.
“I was about to take her, but…” The ghost servant was almost paralyzed in fear.
“But what?” Mother Rakshasa’s smile disappeared.
“But a guy appeared suddenly. He saved the girl and severely wounded me with a sword.”
“Oh? A guy using a sword. Very interesting. Where are your wounds?” The woman smiled again.
“Here, here, and here.” The ghost servant pointed at the wounds on its body.
Still smiling, the woman lifted the fire device in her hand and shot out a flame at the ghost servant without a warning. It screamed and twisted before turning into a block of pitch-black coal.
The ghost servants standing on the side watched the scene but didn’t dare to utter a word. They knew very well how temperamental, wicked, and sly Mother Rakshasa was; they could be killed by her fire device any moment if they were not careful. She usually fed on the internal organs, bones, and blood of her own kind. But every ten years she needed to eat a heart freshly taken from a human girl to increase her demon power and sustain her immortal beauty.
Who had the audacity to take the delicious food from her mouth? Enraged, Mother Rakshasa swiped the wine pot and glasses off the table onto the floor with her sleeves and clenched her fists.
Xia Qiu’s heart was still racing and her hands and feet were still cold. The horror she had just experienced lingered in her mind like a nightmare while she followed Ouyang Xiaoleng obediently out of Yongchuan Forest.
After the orientation in the afternoon, the grade 10 students were free to go. It was still early to go home, so Xia Qiu decided to take the opportunity to have a stroll in Yongchuan Forest; after all, from tomorrow on, she’d have a busy schedule.
As she walked down the path in the forest to the Silver Moon Lake, the heatwave at noon began to recede and breezes came from the center of the lake. The grey blue lake water reminded her of the small fox’s eyes which also resembled Ouyang Xiaoleng’s eyes. Sitting down on the bank, she took out an mp3 player from her school bag and put on headphones. She felt a bit drowsy as she listened to the piano music Looking for a Cat.
Suddenly, the music stopped and was replaced by on and off noise. She struggled to open her eyes but everything she saw seemed to be engulfed by a layer of dusk-like mist. In the blurry mist, a pair of bloodshot muddy eyes were staring at her; her instincts told her these eyes didn’t belong to a human. Scared, she moved her heavy limbs and scrambled toward the exit of the forest.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
She was extremely familiar with this forest but now she was lost. She felt trapped and couldn’t get out. A red light beam shone from nearby and she was drawn toward it subconsciously. It came from a crack from the ground; the crack was very narrow and she couldn’t see anything until she lay down on her belly.
She looked down and saw layers of rocks leading to the bottom which was covered by surging magma. Countless chains dangled over the surface of the magma river; at the end of the chains were huge metal cages imprisoning monsters she had never seen before. The monsters screamed shrilly when magma sprayed up on their bodies and their ugly faces twisted in pain. They seemed to have sensed her presence; looking up as one, they reached for her with sharp claws. Frightened, she dropped to the ground on her behind; then she scrambled to get up and ran aimlessly.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
She returned to the lake bank where she had been sleeping on. What she saw scared her even more: her body was still lying there. Then who was this body standing here? But she had no time to think about it because she saw something even more horrible—a shadow as ugly as a fierce ghost stood by her body, which was lying on the ground, and was poised to stab a sharp dagger into her. She knew she must stop it.
“Wind Move Leaf Dance!”
As she stood there helplessly, a strange voice came from the distance and countless flame-like red maple leaves shot toward the fierce ghost, forcing it to lower the dagger and move to one side.
“Wind Stop Flame Rise! Slash!”
The voice rose again as a white-clothed youth slashed a sword toward the fierce ghost. The silvery light emitting from his body and sword blurred his movements, but she felt the light drive away the fierce ghost and clear the dark yellowness in the air.
The youth waved his sword twice and it vanished. Walking slowly to Xia Qiu lying on the ground, he bent over and patted her face lightly.
Xia Qiu watched the scene from the side. The closer the youth got to her, the more blinded she was by the silvery light coming from his body. She had no choice but to close her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, she saw an ocean of stars. The dark yellow mist had vanished. She felt like she had just woken up from a nightmare, still frightened even though she was back in the normal world.
She sat up and saw Ouyang Xiaoleng standing by her side, looking at her with his arms crossed before his chest. His face showed no emotions, but his eyes couldn’t conceal his fury as if she had done something wrong.
“What are you doing here?” Xia Qiu rubbed her eyes and asked. The figure of Ouyang Xiaoleng overlapped with the figure of the youth in her dream.
“I…” Ouyang Xiaoleng paused. If not for his timely arrival, she’d have been killed by that fierce ghost. What kind of moron would fall asleep on the lake bank? Despite his fury, he couldn’t tell her that this forest was connected with another world, a world unknown to her but full of dangers. He suppressed his anger and said, “I’ll walk you back home!”
Xia Qiu didn’t know why he was so angry. But having just woken up from the terrible dream, she was happy to have someone by her side. The moment she stood up, her vision went black and she almost fell.
Reflexively, he drew her into his arms. With her cheek against his chest, she could hear his strong and fast heartbeats, which disturbed her breathing. After a few seconds, he jumped away from her and looked away to disguise his embarrassment. He was so happy that her body was still warm and she was still sound and alive, but he carefully hid this thought.
Xia Qiu followed Ouyang Xiaoleng as they walked out of the forest. He moved so fast that her jelly-like legs couldn’t keep up.
“Can I hold your hand?” she asked tentatively.
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