Volume 1 – Between Daybreak and Evernight, Chapter 30: Contamination
However, everyone was surrounded right now, and there was simply no way out at this moment.
Qianye only felt that there were enemies everywhere. It seemed like if he swung out blindly, he would be able to chop down some cannon fodder. After continuously piercing down over a dozen, he was finally caught off guard and was pressed down to the ground by a black shadow who suddenly swooped over. That black shadow bit into Qianye’s neck right away, and the sharp pain almost tore apart Qianye’s consciousness!
A sudden gunshot echoed beside Qianye’s ears, while the head of the vampire warrior who pressed Qianye’s down exploded into a mist of blood. Right after, a large hand pulled Qianye’s up.
“Are you alright, rookie?” This was a Red Scorpion ranked squad leader.
“I… I’m fine!” Qianye didn’t know what he should say. The wound on his neck was still fiercely burning with pain. However, the vampire warrior’s blood and brain matter covered half of his body, which also concealed the wound on the side of his neck.
In the far skies, two airships that floated in the air were also being constantly attacked by several dozens of fluttering black dots as they plummeted toward the ground crumbling and covered in flames.
Qianye’s heart sunk, but that Red Scorpion dragged Qianye and rushed with big strides toward the exterior of the city without any delay. Perhaps because the strong experts were all concentrated at the inner circle, the obstruction they faced in the outer encirclement was way too light in comparison. They broke through layers upon layers of resistance, only stopping after they had reached the outer perimeter of the city.
The Red Scorpion pointed in the direction where the airship crashed down, speaking in a loud voice, “There are still escape vessels there! As long as you can get yourself into the escape vessel, you’ll be able to escape, got it!? Rookie?”
“Understood, sir!” Qianye replied with the loudest voice he could muster.
The Red Scorpion squad leader patted Qianye’s shoulder in satisfaction, “Excellent! Now go rookie, I’ll cover you!”
The Red Scorpion squad leader interrupted Qianye’s words straight away, “Escape from this place! This is an order! Live on! This is also an order! Find the culprit behind the scenes, and avenge us! Go rookie, now!”
Qianye’s mind was totally blank as the habit of unconditionally following orders caused him to involuntarily bolt toward the airship crash site.
The Red Scorpion squad leader turned around and walked toward the city. From the far end of the avenue before him, countless dark race warriors flooded out from several intersections, converging into a terrifying black tide and dived at him!
Before the rolling tide of blackness, the Red Scorpion squad leader’s figure appeared insignificantly small. However, his steps were strong and powerful, and stamping a deep footprint on the stone ground with every step, he dashed toward the tidal wave of dark races!
The black tide submerged the Red Scorpion squad leader in an instant. Suddenly, it stopped, and actually slowly moved back right afterward! The black tide formed by countless dark warriors were actually being slowly pushed back by the Red Scorpion squad leader alone!
A ray of light suddenly shot out from within the black tidal wave, and soon after, more and more rays of light shot out. Those silver pillars of light rocketed toward the skies, and the dark races who were illuminated by the pillars were all screaming in extreme pain. The bodies of some had even begun to melt!
Then, an explosion that shook both heaven and earth took place! Several hundred dark race warriors were blasted up into the skies, and the street intersection immediately became devoid of anything, while the silhouette of the Red Scorpion squad leader had forever disappeared.
By now, Qianye had already found the escape vessel on the crashed airship and pulled open the cabin door. Those terrifying experts who could strike down airships had already turned back into the cities, engaging in battle. No one noticed that a tiny little rookie had slipped through the net.
Before squeezing into the escape vessel, Qianye turned his head around and took a look, just in time to witness that world-shaking explosion! Such a blinding light was as though a star was burning and falling down, to the extent that it scorched Qianye’s eyes with pain.
That custom made missile was incredibly powerful and was supposed to be used for annihilating the dark race’s base. Every Red Scorpion squad leader carried one, but no one had expected that they would be utilized this way in the end.
This explosion was as though a starting signal; violent explosions began to light up the city without end. Streets and blocks were being destroyed in large tracts; no dark race warriors nearby had any chance of survival. However, the sound of each explosion meant the eternal disappearance of another Red Scorpion ranked soldier. In the entire Red Scorpion Corps, there were only over a hundred Red Scorpions in total. Of those, a whole third of them had already been lost in just this one campaign.
Qianye forcefully shut the cabin door, forcing himself not to look at the scenery in the city. Smashing the control panel with his fist, he activated the escape vessel. The escape vessel that was merely five meters in length acutely shook and broke away from the mothership, quickly ascending into the skies before zooming away at full speed!
Qianye finally let out a breath of relief, then immediately felt that his entire body was extremely parched and hot, his head also dizzy and faint. Finally, unable to brace himself, he passed out. The inside of the metal cabin was silent, only the faint clicking sound of the machinery running echoed as the cabin flew toward the preset drop off coordinates.
Not knowing how long had passed, Qianye finally regained consciousness. He slowly opened his eye, yet he didn’t have any conceptual understanding of the scenery in his view.
Only after another long period of time did Qianye finally process what he was seeing. He was looking at the night sky.
Countless stars were hanging from the curtain of night. An oblique, waning moon suspended in the far horizon, as the desolate moonlight illuminated the earth. Qianye barely moved his head after looking from side to side; he sat up struggling.
He now realized that he was currently on a small hill. There were no traces of human or dark race activity. This place was just a primitive mountainous zone.
Qianye slowly began to recall the great battle the other day, but he had no memory of the time after starting up the escape vessel and leaving the battlefield. As to whatever happened between then and now, he couldn’t remember anything at all.
Qianye suddenly felt his body was painfully hot, and his throat was unusually parched as though he hadn’t drunk a single drop of water in days. However, it also felt as though ordinary water wouldn’t be able to satiate this unfathomable thirst.
Qianye looked around him, then suddenly saw the corpse of an elk on the ground not far away. However, the elk’s body was exceptionally dry, as though all of its blood were sucked dry by a vampire.
As if an arc of electricity had flashed through Qianye’s mind, he immediately raised his hand and felt his neck! Only now did he remember that in the final moments of that battle did a vampire warrior pounce onto him and bit his neck!
Qianye’s fingers suddenly touched upon two circle shaped wounds. They were very deep, and the surrounding areas were as hot as fire, yet there was no sense of being touched at all when stroked. Even though it wasn’t directly seen, Qianye instantly sketched out the wound’s shape in his mind!
That was a wound left by vampiric fangs!
He did not dare to believe this verdict. Hands trembling, he pulled out the army knife on his waist and used the smooth silver-plated surface as a mirror. This time, Qianye saw two deep holes from the mirror. Qianye had seen these kind of wounds too many times in the past. Every single human who had been bitten by vampires would have a similar injury.
Qianye suddenly felt weak as all of the strength drained out of his body. He seemed to have heard the crisp sound of something cracking; the world had entirely shattered at this moment of time.
He was bitten by a vampire, and his body had been contaminated by the blood of darkness. Not long after, he would become a blood thrall, a blood thrall who only possessed instincts, who forever thirsts for fresh blood and flesh!
Qianye could no longer remember how many blood thralls had died under his hands, but he had never thought that he would become a blood thrall one day.
Qianye once again confirmed the condition of the wound. This time, even the last wisp of him hoping for a miracle had vanished. He stood up, staggeringly walked up to the elk corpse, and inspected it. This elk died from its blood being sucked dry, but from its wound, it ought to have been bitten by human teeth as there was no trace of vampiric fangs.
It was now confirmed. The person who killed this elk was Qianye himself, and then he sucked the elk’s blood dry under an irrational state. Qianye must have only regained consciousness because of the elk’s blood replenishment.
Qianye let out a sigh, and slowly set the army knife beside his own neck. This was a ceremony of Red Scorpion warriors. Every single Red Scorpion warrior had prepared themselves; once they were bitten by vampires, they would end their life before losing their reason. They wouldn’t allow themselves to become the lowly blood thralls controlled by vampires even if they were to die.
The silver knife touched the skin of the wound, and a searing pain suddenly erupted. Moreover, the place where it met flesh gave off a wisp of green smoke with a sizzling sound, charring a small part of his skin as well. From this reaction, Qianye understood that the dark blood had already flowed through his entire body, and there was no longer any possibility of turning back into an ordinary human.
Qianye closed his eyes and was about to exert force. In just one stroke, his neck would be cut open, ending the fate which was destined to be a tragedy.
But before pressing the blade down, a question suddenly flashed in Qianye’s mind: Why was he still rational?
After being bitten by vampires, some ordinary people would lose their rationality in as short as a dozen or so minutes while others would take up to a day or two, becoming a blood thrall who only possessed bestial instincts. Other than fresh blood and flesh, as well as higher vampire’s orders, nothing else would enter the blood thrall’s mind. This process was completely irreversible.
Since Qianye had hunted down an elk on instinct under the condition of having lost his reason, then he shouldn’t have recovered his rationality by any means.
This question was like a ray of sunlight that shone down amid the extreme darkness, bringing a wisp of hope to Qianye who was in the depths of despair.
Qianye slowly lowered his army knife.
He would never give up easily. As long as the moment of true despair hadn’t arrived, he would strive for a chance to live. Qianye didn’t understand why he could still keep his consciousness, but as long as he had not lost his reasoning entirely, he would strive his hardest to live for another day.
Of course, if he were on the verge of becoming a blood thrall, Qianye would unhesitatingly end his life.
Qianye searched the surroundings and saw that the escape vessel had crashed over a kilometer away. He walked to the escape vessel, and found the backup origin gun, a bag of clothing, rations, and water, as well as a flare gun. He held up the flare gun, its muzzle facing toward the skies. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, he suddenly froze!
The flare shot would explode high in the air and discharge a unique origin power fluctuation, which could activate the alarm device of nearby ministry of military branches, thus letting the military grasp the approximate direction of the personnel requesting help to rescue them. But the problem was that when the Empire’s soldiers arrive, how should Qianye explain his identity?
A rookie of Red Scorpion Corps? No, he was no longer a warrior of the Empire. His current identity was a blood thrall! A blood thrall who would be swiftly burned to death at the first moment of discovery!
Even if Qianye had accumulated a lot of military achievements and had his sanity, the best treatment he would get would be him being thrown into a black stone mine pit without daylight for the remainder of his years. He would work there for the remainder of his life and trade the ores he dug up for pitifully small portions of food until the day he died and turned into a pile of bones.
The blazing flames of that nameless small city back then had caused Qianye to understand; the Empire had no such thing as pity or mercy toward blood thralls at all. Once his identity as a blood thrall was discovered, only a dead end would be waiting for him, no matter what.
About reporting to the superiors that this mission was simply a trap, it was completely impossible. How could the big shots of the Empire’s ministry of military possibly believe a blood thrall’s words?
Also, even if Qianye were still a normal human, how could the culprit behind the scenes who mobilized Red Scorpion using Lin Xitang’s personal order and set a trap which wiped out one-third of Red Scorpion Corps’ backbone, possibly be shaken by a mere rookie?
Just like what the Red Scorpion squad leader had said before, regarding certain specific matters, some people and some forces could indeed single-handedly conceal the truth from all!