Chapter 27: Black Lion Eagle Beast (Part One)
An open clearing connected the front hall and the main hall. In the center of the clearing was a path paved with marbles embedded with bits of gold; on both sides of the path stood fragrant palace lamps made of stones. Fenghuo recalled how he had liked walking on this path whenever he visited the Nanzhe Palace. In his memory, fragrant lamps would be lit when the night came, and the path engulfed in the ethereal lights and misty fragrance looked like a bridge leading to a fairyland. But now the ethereal view had been replaced by a hellish scene, and desolation had replaced the previous prosperity. The beauty of the place could only be found in his memory.
As they walked from the front hall to the main hall, everything was eerily quiet, and they didn’t see any feeder death ghosts. Ouyang Hongye and his companions felt uneasy by this change. In the death-like silence, only their footsteps could be heard after the ghost screams in the front hall faded away. They felt something dangerous was waiting for them on the way ahead.
The door of the main hall was tightly closed. Hongye pushed and the door budged a little. He was about to push it open but heard drum beat-like sounds from inside. It was different from the sounds made by feeder death ghosts; it wasn’t ear-grating but more piercing. Each deep and low drum beat shook their hearts.
“Something’s in there,” Wangyue glanced at Ouyang Hongye suspiciously and whispered.
“Listen!” Ouyang Hongye heard the drum beats get louder and faster.
“Can anything exist with feeder death ghosts?” Wangyue asked.
Fenghuo was in deep thought, wishing the thing inside wasn’t what he thought it was. It was a monster that only existed in legends; no one who’ve seen it survived. What bad luck it was that they ran into this monster in Nanzhe! It was bad enough that they had to enter the city of feeder death ghosts; would their luck get even worse? He shivered involuntarily as his hairs stood on end on his back.
According to the legends, the mysterious creature originated from darkness and was a none-spirit and none-beast monster born from fear and death. Its body was transformed from big piles of worms and ants and contained countless baleful souls. It grew by eating everything it saw, and its breathing was as deep as drum beats. When prey came to its hunting ground, its breathing would turn faster and heavier. It had a lion’s body which was huge and strong, an eagle’s head, a pair of wings, and a tail as hard as an iron bar. It was the Black Lion Eagle Beast, the dark monster that only existed in legends.
Ouyang Hongye noticed Fenghuo’s expression had changed as he remembered the legends about the monster and how tough it was. It was said few people could get away from it alive. He wondered how old this Black Lion Eagle Beast was. Now he understood why those feeder death ghosts kept away from the main hall. This was the Black Lion Eagle Beast’s den and any creature entering it would become its food. He guessed the ghosts were not in the palace of their own will; they might have been captured by the beast as its meals.
“It seems this trip is very fruitful!” Ouyang Hongye said to Fenghuo.
“Yeah. I never imagined I’d have the chance to witness a monster beast that only exists in legends.” Fenghuo seemed to have mastered Ouyang Hongye’s joking tone.
“Haha! I guess we must enter and say hello to it!” Ouyang Hongye said lightly; his mood lightened as he noticed the change of Fenghuo’s attitude.
“Yeah. We can’t turn around and run since we’re in its hunting range. Did you hear the booming drum beats? The fellow’s diet has been limited to feeder death Ghosts and hasn’t tasted fresh meat yet. We’d be a delicacy for it. Haha!” Fenghuo had dumped his aloof attitude and spoke whatever that came to his mind.
“What on earth is this monster? Enlighten me, guys!” Wangyue was puzzled by their conversation.
“Today we’ll see a Black Lion Eagle Beast with our own eyes!” Ouyang Hongye said calmly.
“My goodness! Are you serious?” Caught by surprise, Wangyue broke out in a cold sweat.
“Today we’ll become a legend, too.” Noticing Wangyue was too nervous to speak, Ouyang Hongye winked at him.
“The fellow that even the Heavenly God found hard to deal with? The No.1 prisoner in the Black Fire Hell? Nanzhe City is full of wonders.” Wangyue returned to his flippant self.
“Seriously, we must pray for luck if we want to defeat this creature,” Ouyang Hongye solemnly, “If we’re not lucky and all die in this place, I want to tell you that I’m honored to have gone on this journey with you, my brothers!”
The world “brothers” touched Fenghuo. He was stubborn and arrogant but not cold in feelings. Hearing Hongye’s words, his eyes turned moist. “I have no regrets. If not for you two, I’d have been dead by now. I’ve lived long enough! It’s worth it!”
“If we can return to the capital city with the sky rune in one piece, we must have a good drink together,” Wangyue said and touched his pocket which contained his flask.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
“Fine! Today we fight shoulder to shoulder; tomorrow, we’ll drink to our fill.” Ouyang Hongye nodded.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
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