Chapter 23: Fighting their way into the city of feeder death ghosts (Part Two)
“There are many! It’s like hell. The city is full of hungry feeder death ghosts, the remains of the people who ventured into the city and got eaten, and empty houses! That’s why I don’t want to go in there!” Fenghuo told the truth.
Wangyue glanced at the tall city walls and the thick mist above the city, saying feelingly, “Has the city been sealed like this for more than ten years?”
Ouyang Hongye answered, “That’s the only option. After the Great Battle, the spirit world fell apart and has no ability to get rid of so many feeder death ghosts. The city is now a ruin; we have no choice but to leave it as it is.”
Fenghuo heaved out a heavy sigh. As Ouyang Hongye had said, the spirit world had fallen apart and had no ability to counter another attack from Green Cloud. Even his adoptive father Shi Wangcheng, a kingly figure who had conquered many battlegrounds, was dispirited and hopeless with the future of the spirit world. What changes could he bring? He glanced around and saw few people who’d fight to death alongside him. He just couldn’t find a reason to shed blood willingly for the spirit world. After heaving out a heavy sigh which contained great frustration and distress, he said, “Do we really need to go into the city?”
Ouyang Hongye answered firmly, “We have to enter the den to find the record about the sky rune; we must get it even at the price of our lives!”
Fenghuo was still resistant. “It’s just a rumor. If it’s false, we’d put ourselves in great danger.”
“What? Are you afraid again?” Wangyue taunted him.
“I… am not! Humph! I’m just afraid we’d waste our time if the information is false.” Fenghuo retorted in a huff.
Ouyang Hongye had made up his mind. “You guys wait for me!”
He leapt over the tall city wall and came back soon with three ragged robes.
“Take these. I got them from the city. They are old clothes worn by residents in the city and have the smell of feeder death ghosts on them. After we put these robes on, they won’t discover our identity so easily. Here are some cotton wads. Put them into your ears to block their sound waves.” Ouyang Hongye handed the ragged robes to Wangyue and Fenghuo and took out some cotton wads from his pocket.
In fact, he was the most miserable one among them to wear the ragged robe since he was a clean freak. Gritting his teeth, he pulled it on and grimaced at the smell from the robe.
Wangyue put on the ragged robe indifferently since he was never a picky guy. He glanced at Fenghuo in disdain and said, “What about you, Fenghuo? Maybe you can stay here and watch our bags until we come back.”
“I’m a puma spirit who has had countless battles. Feeder death ghosts are a piece of cake for me. Let’s go!” Taking the bait, Fenghuo pulled on the ragged robe and walked toward the city wall.
He flew over the wall with Hongye and Wangyue following him closely. The moment they landed on the other side of the wall, several feeder death ghosts came from the other way. Their withered bodies were concealed in ragged robes and their faces had shriveled so much that they looked distorted; their hollow eyes and protruding teeth gave them a creepy look.
Ouyang Hongye signaled his companions to stay put and see how the feeder death ghosts would react. These creatures moved toward them and lingered for a moment. Deceived by their ragged robes, they moved away toward another direction.
They walked along the street and saw feeder death ghosts roaming around the city and screaming in hunger; these creatures had no other feelings but a sense of hunger that could never be satisfied. They tried their best to avoid the places with large crowds of feeder death ghosts, but there were so many of them that it was impossible to keep clear of them. They dodged several groups of feeder death ghosts with their ragged robes, but it was obvious that they couldn’t reach the old palace in the center of the city without bloodshed.
The closer to the palace, the more feeder death ghosts they saw. Even though they had blocked their ears with cotton, the sound waves from the crowds of the ghosts caused headaches for Ouyang Hongye and his companions, and they began to feel restless, especially the quick-tempered Fenghuo. However, he couldn’t curse or yell, or he’d draw attacks from big crowds of the ghosts. Frustration gathered in his chest and gripped his heart like a giant hand. The darkness full of the smell of death reminded him of the Great Batter 16 years ago when the entirety of the capital city’s defenses were totally destroyed. He and the soldiers were divided into two groups; one group escorted the civilians into the trenches behind the city while the other group drew the main force of the enemies into the North Star Palace.
The black stone-paved ground of Yongchuan was dyed red with blood. Watching his companions fall one by one, his pain turned to numbness and he hacked at the enemies like a machine. He didn’t know how many wounds he got as the physical pain had vanished with his emotional agony. He just slashed out his saber again and again. Hack! Hack! Hack!
“Fenghuo! Fenghuo! Stop! You’re drawing them to us!”
Someone yelled his name and drew him back to reality. He found he was hacking a feeder death ghost to the ground with his axe. Before him many ghosts had dropped to the ground, but more ghosts were closing up on them from all directions. He remembered that these creatures communicated with each other with soundwaves. He must have lost his mind a moment ago and put himself and his companions in great danger. Ouyang Hongye stood before him and was blocking attacks from ghosts while Wangyue held his shoulders and dragged him to retreat. He didn’t know how long they had sheltered him like this.
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