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Time: 9:37 am
The power outage that occurred because of the typhoon happened around half past nine at night.
Without TV, computers, and lights, my mom lit the candles, allowing us to finish our deserts, and then she chased us upstairs to sleep because it was still early. Senior stayed in another guest room; that place is used to temporary entertain relatives or friends who wanted to stay overnight. My mom would always make sure the room was clean and tidy in case it of contingencies.
The battery operated radio was in the midst of broadcasting, saying the typhoon has officially landed at night around the central-southern area, and the entire storm became even stronger.
Outside the windows, I heard the sound of something heavy continuously hitting the floor, “bang, bang, bang, bang,” as it rushed straight towards the other end.
We’re going out to look for the Beast of Scroll in this kind of weather? I had a I-probably-would-be-seeing-a-doctor-soon kind of bad premonition.
The candles on the table continued to burn, and at that second, I seemed to have seen the legendary fire of life slowly fading away.
“Did your nerves break down again?” With a bam, I don’t know when senior invaded my room, and then he smacked me behind my head. I suddenly saw stars flying around, “Prepare to go out soon.”
“Ah?” The sky is so dark, and the storm is so strong, was it really all right to go out now? I’m feeling suspicious, extremely suspicious. What if we went out and couldn’t make it back? Just consider myself to be unlucky?
Don’t do this to me, my life has already been very unlucky.
The broadcasting of the radio had some static noises, but the host’s voice still managed to make it through, and was currently telling the people not to go out during the typhoon, since it was easy for accidents to happen… I felt we should listen to the adults.
“If I say we can, it means we can. It’s this kind weather would help us to cope better with the Beast of Scroll. Hurry up and go.” Senior lightly clapped his hands, and the entire room lit up in an instant, not the fluorescent kind of light but the entire wall was emitting light, only then did he blow out the candle, “I’ve already erected a barrier around both our rooms. Your mother would think that we are already asleep and won’t feel suspicious, so you don’t have to worry.”
You really are very attentive. Looks like you are a complete recidivist.
But now I’m very curious, how did senior make the walls light up every time.
“This is very simple, you just have to form a contract with the spirit of light shadow.” Senior, who was originally planning to set out, turned around and looked at me. It was probably still early so he explained it to me, or else, I would have already been dragged to the destination, “This is just a small contract and it doesn’t require any price, but you need to give offerings on time, otherwise the contract would become invalid, and you wouldn’t be able to form a contract again.”
Feels like a rather harmless kind of thing.
“If you want, you can try it now and see for yourself.”
“Ah?” So straightforward!?
“Anyway, I’m not in a hurry, otherwise I would have already dragged you to the destination, isn’t that right?” Senior snorted twice, narrowing his red eyes and looked at me, completely seeing through what I was thinking, “Go and get me some biscuits or fruits.”
At the mention of biscuits, I don’t need to look for it, since my room has some, but I don’t know if it’s expired already.
I took out a packet of unopened chocolate cream puff from my desk’s drawer and threw it towards senior. It was food I stored since sometimes when it’s too late and I couldn’t sleep, I use it to fill my stomach.
“This will do, come over and watch.” Senior took a white paper and pen from my desk, sat on the floor, and drew an array, a very small circle with a few added strokes, “Light shadow’s contract is very simple. On top there should be the light shadow’s name… For example, mine is the light shadow spirit of the second village, Xie.” In the middle of the circle was a single character, and in both sides, each has an enigmatic dancing stickman. In both sides of the stickman were worm-like words, and in the end I saw my name appearing at the bottom of the circle.
The whole paper looked like a small student’s graffiti. This is really a contract? And one can draw it this way!?
Senior placed the paper with the complete drawing on the floor, and then he put the biscuit beside the paper, “Follow after me and chant: “Valley of light, base of the shadow, village of the second, Xie, form a contract.””
I stared at the paper, feeling rather nervous. I wondered if a horrifying thing would happen after I finished chanting, “Valley of light, base of the shadow, village of the second, Xie, form a contract.”
As soon as I finished chanting, the top of the paper started glowing. From what I saw, there was a very small shape appearing on top of the name. It really was very small, probably about the size of a palm, roundish and looked somewhat like a snowman.
The round luminous body opened its eyes. The light slowly disappeared, and only then did I see what the thing was.
A rabbit, a furry round rabbit, a looked-like-it-doesn’t-have-any-mutation kind of normal rabbit.
“Who wanted to form a contract with me?” The rabbit spoke!
He actually spoke in a soft baby voice, sounding really trilling. I want to correct myself, he is a mutated rabbit.
Senior gave me a push.
“Uh, it’s me.” I looked at the rabbit crouching on top of the paper, knelt, and lowered my body, trying my best to make myself look at him from the same height, “I want to form a contract with you.”
The rabbit lifted his head and looked at me, “Kiddo, who taught you how to find me?”
His tone became arrogant!
I really wanted to lift my foot and flatten this rabbit, but it was only limited to my thoughts.
“It’s me, chief of the second village, Xie.” Following the sound, the rabbit turned his head, and saw senior sitting with his legs crossed on the bed.
This rabbit was a village chief?
He came from a cute zoo, right!? I know now, the light shadow village was actually a cute zoo and a place which manages light bulbs.
“So it’s actually Prince Icy Flame.” The rabbit lowered his head and nodded. To be honest, because he is too round, so wasn’t sure if he actually nodded or not. It was also possible that I saw the wrong thing because I was seeing things. “I was thinking it was weird, why this kind of small child think of asking me for help.”
Who’s a small child! You three-cup rabbit! I could only think this way in my mind.
Senior glanced at me and smiled coldly.
The rabbit turned around and looked at me, “I’m the chief of the Light Shadow’s second village, Xie. To form a contract with me, my request is that you must give a packet of offering each month, just like the item you left on the paper.”
A packet of biscuit? It only needed a packet of biscuit? You provide free energy saving natural lamp and in the end you only need a packet of biscuit a month?
If everyone in this world knew this trick, I guess the next person who would be crying would be the power company.
“No problem, uh… I’m Chu Ming Yang, I’ll certainly prepare the offering.” Only needing a packet of biscuit is really too simple. When I kept thinking of the price I needed to pay, it worried me a little.
“Contract has been formed. If the contract is violated, you would never again be able to obtain the a.s.sistance from the light shadow’s spirit.” The rabbit lifted its fat leg, a small dot of blue light flew out from below his foot, circled around my right thumb. But before it landed, a very, very light, grain sized, colored word immediately appeared on my thumb, “When you need our a.s.sistance, in your mind, please chant the name written in the contract and request for a.s.sistance while moving the marking. A light shadow would immediately be at your side.”
“Just like that?” I looked at my thumb, feeling rather surprised.
“That’s right.” The rabbit bit on the puff, and dragged it into the paper, “Then, thank you for your patronage.”
In the next second, the rabbit disappeared on top of the paper, puff biscuit naturally followed suit and disappeared.
It’s so simple? I got an energy saving light bulb.
“You think it’s as simple as just giving offerings?”
Senior stood up, picking up the paper from the floor and put it on my table. The name at the center of the paper had already disappeared, and only the patterns on both side was left, “It’s too simple so people tends to forget it very often. Even within the current black robes, there are a few of them who are no longer able to receive the a.s.sistance of light shadow’s village.”
That’s also true. Only needing a packet of biscuit a month, if one didn’t pay attention, one would really forget about this matter.
“This paper is the object of the contract. Every month, you need to put a packet of biscuit at the place where the name was at. He will automatically take it himself, but you can’t even be a day late.”
Very strict. I suddenly suspect I would also forget about this matter.
“Then, let’s stop here. We will be heading to where the Beast of Scroll is.” Senior stretched out his palms facing down, and using less than half a second, a huge teleportation array appeared on the ground.
“Want to bring raincoats?” Outside, the wind is strong, the rain is heavy, and unknown sounds were even louder. I felt rather scared.
In fact, I wanted to ask if we could bring more safety and protective items; for example, safety helmets and the likes. At least being hit by the signboard wouldn’t hurt that much.
“I dare you to bring it.” A very ferocious sound.
I knew the answer already.
In the next second, the surrounding became completely dark.
It wasn’t that my room suddenly became dark, the strong wind that blew on my face told me we were already outdoors. The legendary saying about typhoon where one is not supposed to go out, otherwise something would definitely happen.
I went against the saying, I went against the saying… Something would definitely happen, something would definitely happen…
“So noisy!” With a “bam,” Senior smacked me behind my head.
The surrounding suddenly brightened up, and I could see clearly now. We were currently located inside the building that was yet to finish its construction. The wild wind were blowing in through the empty windows, also mixed with some rain, the interior of the entire concrete building was wet, and the scaffoldings that were supposed to be kept properly, were scattered in a mess — it looked like a ruined ghost town.
Although outside was very dark, I saw tiny lights below… which floor are we at!?
The horrifying height in addition to the “hu, hu, hu” sound of the wind blowing past, gave me an incomprehensible and very bad answer.
“Move further away.” Senior’s sound was very soft, blending with the wind and rain. I had to listen carefully before I could hear what he said clearly. I moved back a few steps, and “cling, cling, clang, clang” sounds could be heard from outside. I even saw some strange debris flying past and disappearing at the other end.
The wind was very strong and also rather chilly. I should have brought a jacket with me.
A stick flew in from outside issuing a thud sound as it landed beside my feet and fiercely being smashed into two.
I was very afraid the thing that would be smashed next would be my head. Sure enough, not bringing a safety helmet was a mistake. If my head was smashed later, I most probably would hold on to this remorse for the rest of my life.
Senior took out a small yellow rock from his pocket, and placed it on his palm.
In that second, I noticed that Senior actually didn’t wear his black robe today, only wearing simple and casual clothing, he forgot about it?
“Door of the Prison World, receive this light and open for me. Wind and rain, awaken the Beast of Scroll.” The small yellow rock within Senior’s palm slowly floated in mid-air, probably at about five centimeters before it stopped, and then it issued a faint golden light.
Suddenly, the surrounding became quiet. The sounds of collisions and rain were gone, not even a little bit of wind blew in.
Very strange, extremely strange. I could obviously see things flying around outside, only the place we were at suddenly became an extra-dimension kind of feeling.
Golden light suddenly lit up brightly, the entire s.p.a.ce became very bright and shiny, and I saw a big squarish array appearing below senior’s feet. A pattern of a door appeared at the center of the array, fully surrounded by words and totems.
“Chu, move back further.” Senior said with his back facing me. Once more, I moved back a few steps, leaning against the concrete wall, a clammy feeling immediately permeated from the wall onto my clothes.
d.a.m.n cold. The feeling of wetness was plastered on my entire back. I suddenly felt I shouldn’t have listened to senior. I should have forcibly worn my raincoat before coming out.
“I’m entrusted by the seventh master of Autumn and Spring, please allow me to meet with you.” As soon as senior finished saying so, I saw that the totem looking door vibrated for a moment, and the words above it started to rotate and move. Then, the golden light gradually dimmed.
After a few seconds, like a fountain with water spraying out, in front of senior a black light suddenly flew out, and it slowly rotated before stopping.
The black light slowly formed the shape of a human body; a black elegant veil made out of a light fabric was gently fluttering in the wind, and in the end its face brightened up.
It was a woman. I couldn’t say if she was pretty or not, in short, she was a very ordinary kind of woman, and was wearing a black ancient clothing.
The woman’s face looked rather serious, her pale face didn’t even have a tiny bit of expression, just like wearing a mask, causing one to feel rather nervous. However, one wouldn’t feel scared of her.
“Is the Spring and Autumn’s Master well?” I heard her voice, but I didn’t see her open her mouth. I didn’t know if it was a coincidence, and while I was thinking about this, the woman turned towards me. In that second, it seemed like our sights crossed. I couldn’t see even a little emotional fluctuation in her eyes, and then she turned around to look at senior.
“During the time you were in your deep slumber, the world outside has dramatically changed; this is not the place you know of anymore. The seventh master entrusted me to ask of you to leave this place and go and live at the place of resting.” Senior’s voice was monotonous. Instead of saying he was negotiating, it sounded more like a commanding tone.
The woman frowned, “This place is the holy land I protect, why should I leave?” She was unhappy, even I could see that.
“Now, it’s the human’s era, and the era of the ancient G.o.ds and Devils is already gone. You should obey the current of time, and head for the place of resting.” Senior was also staring at her, not turning his sight away from her.
Wait a minute, it was only now that I thought of something. This woman was the Beast of Scroll? Why was the name and its looks so completely inconsistent?
I thought it would be some kind of wild beast or the like. But in the end, it was a person. It was a little beyond my expectation.
“Humans…” With some anger, a gloomy voice resounded.
I suddenly had a very bad feeling. Because among the people who were present, other than the Martian and the Beast of Scroll, I was the only human.
The woman’s eyes suddenly turned extremely blood-red.
Things happened extremely quickly, so quick that I still wasn’t sure what exactly happened.
A crisp loud sound exploded above my head.
“Chu, move back further.”
In less than half a second, suddenly appearing in front of me was senior’s ghostly figure; his hands were holding onto his illusionary weapon, and at the tip of it, was the woman’s black hand… I think it should be a hand. Five sharp black steel-like claws were wide opened, five or six times larger than a normal human’s.
I guess… it really was a hand… probably.
There was no more s.p.a.ce behind me, unless jumping out of the window was also considered as moving back, but I think the word suicide would be more appropriate.
“Tsk!” Holding onto his illusionary weapon in one hand, Senior move towards the side, bent down, turned around, and sent the woman who had appeared in front of him a flying with a kick. The woman, who was sent flying, hit the concrete wall on the other end, issuing a loud sound.
A small corner of the concrete wall was damaged due to the collision, and a small dog hole leading directly outside had appeared. I could almost see the dark scenery and falling rock debris outside the hole… You actually didn’t even have a tiny bit of mercy towards a woman!
“I’m sorry, in my eyes, there are only two different types of people. You are either my enemy or my friend, there’s nothing else.” Senior smiled coldly, held onto his silver spear, and walked forward.
The kick was obviously very powerful, because the woman couldn’t get back on her feet.
“I don’t want to fight with you, but if you want to go against humanity, I would stop you no matter what. I think it would be considered as a good thing to head towards the place of resting and gather with your companions.” Senior walked in front of the woman, condescendingly overbearing while he looked at the other person, “Today is a windy and rainy day, you shouldn’t be able to even unleash one percent of your power. If we were to fight, you would be at a disadvantage.”
Then, he took one step back, and the woman slowly got up.
“Hmph… Sir Spring and Autumn really found the right guy…” Her b.l.o.o.d.y-red eyes slowly faded, turning back into her original black eyes, and her expression wasn’t so grim anymore.
“Thank you.” Taking a step back, senior curved up a smile, “Please don’t worry, tonight the Seventh Master would also head towards the place of resting, so you won’t need to worry about the matters regarding this place anymore.”
“Sir Spring and Autumn would leave together?” There was a moment where the woman looked rather excited, but she soon calmed down, “This is really a big honor. I am willing to go along with her to that place, but I have a family here that’s yet to hatch… Things without a body could not enter the place of resting, so please do help me deal with this on my behalf.” She held out her hand, and a black egg about the size of a duck egg appeared on top of her palm.
Senior took the black duck egg, and he walked back to my side.
The woman lifted her head, the black veil beside her slowly wrapped around her, exactly the same when she just appeared, very quickly turning into a black light and headed out through the window. After the barrier was removed, a loud thunderous roar resounded, very much like some kind of beast’s roar, and it was mixed with the sound of the wild wind outside.
“It was easier to deal with than I’d thought. I actually thought I would still need to fight one round.” Juggling the egg, senior walked towards the side of the window frame, lifted his chin to motion me to pay attention to the situation outside, “Look, that is the Beast of Scroll’s true form.”
I followed suit and looked out of the cement window, the sky looked it got inked since it was completely and densely black. Vaguely, there was something shiny gliding across, and it coiled around the top of the temple we saw yesterday.
“This can’t be, right?”
Above the wild wind and below the storm, I saw a huge black dragon slowly coiling its long body, and the shiny object was the faint light reflected by the scales on its body.
The Beast of Scroll was a dragon? Then, why not just call it as a Dragon of Scroll? This way its name wouldn’t mislead other people, for example, me.
“More accurately, Beast of Scroll is not necessarily a dragon.” Senior stuffed the black egg into the bag I always carried around with me, so casually as if the bag was his, “Just like its name, Beast of Scroll is actually a G.o.dly beast that protects texts and books.”
“Ah?” A protector beast was I completely didn’t know about.
“The young of the Beast of Scroll live by relying on books. To turn into a beast, it needs to rely on the soul of people who love reading books to survive, and before it grows up, it would capture the pictures from books to turn into a fixed form.” Looking at the black dragon circling around, senior coldly explained, “In the ancient times, the Beast of Scrolls would learn to protect the mothers while watching over each and every people who stayed up late to read, so they wouldn’t be disturbed by demons. It’s just that from a certain time, their existence was slowly being forgotten, or it could be said they have never been kept in the people’s mind, so many Beast of Scrolls entered a deep sleep and never woke up.”
A commotion started at the bottom of the temple, but after a few seconds, I saw a silver-blue light slowly emerging from the temple. Then, it transformed into something that looked like a fish scattering its faintly glowing thin fins.
The black dragon circled around it twice before they flew towards the other end of the sky together.
“The seventh master has also left this world.”
At that moment, I had some kind of doubt. What was senior’s job?
He sent two ancient protecting G.o.ds away in front of my eyes, and unlike the general manhua or anime which guides them into doing good by protecting humans and so on.
I don’t know why but in my mind I clearly understand, the seventh master of Spring and Autumn and the Beast of Scroll would not come back to this world any more.
Was this a normal job? To send protecting G.o.ds away from this world?
“For us, this is the most normal job.” Senior turned around, looking at me, red eyes were very deep, almost as if it was turning black, “More and more G.o.ds and mythical creatures are being forgotten. This world would only become more and more civilized, chasing after improvements and forgetting what they actually had. And then the guardians of the past, who are forgotten, wouldn’t be valued any more. Other than going into deep sleep, feeling helpless, a majority of them would be subjected to evil and temptation causing them to become an evil G.o.d, destroying the balance of the world.”
“We send them to the place of resting, so to maintain this unnatural balance, this is the best choice for both parties.”
In fact, I felt a little dazed listening to this. Which was to say, there was no longer a need for ancients G.o.ds in the modern days?
In front of me was something I have never seen, heard, or came in contact with before. The even more distant G.o.ds and G.o.dly creatures, no one remembers the naturally born minor G.o.ds, but we are also slowly losing the original guardians we have taken for granted.
After a longer period of time in the future, there would be no more natural things that would protect us?
An abnormal balance, how long would it last?
I don’t know. At least the current me, didn’t know.