Stranger Danger-Chapter 321: Their Bodies Became The Evil Dragon
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Chapter 321: Their Bodies Became The Evil Dragon
“Didn’t the Pacification Bureau send anyone to handle this?” Ye Qing asked.
Wu Zhao answered, “Of course they have, but they just couldn’t eliminate the Anomaly of Dragon Sacrifice Bay no matter what they tried. They even lost a lot of Pacification Sentinels in the attempt.”
“That said, the Anomaly only appears at night, and as long as you stay inside your room and avoid looking at it, then no danger would befall you.”
“That is why I ordered the servants to inform everyone not to leave their rooms no matter what they hear. I’m doing this for your own good. Also, Dragon Sacrifice Bay is just a few kilometers long, which is about half a teatime’s journey. We will be safe once we leave this place.”
“I see. Thank you for telling me this.” Ye Qing saluted the steward.
He didn’t think that Wu Zhao was lying. The reason he came out in the first place was because he sensed the Anomaly.
“As long as you understand.” Wu Zhao sighed in relief before saying, “Please rest here for a moment. You will be free to leave once we have passed Dragon Sacrifice Bay.”
“Of course.” Ye Qing nodded. He saw no reason to ignore sound advice, not to mention that this was a case even the Pacification Bureau wasn’t able to solve. He wasn’t so arrogant that he thought that he could solve this Anomaly by himself.
After that, Ye Qing spoke to Chu Nianjiu and Lin Yuhuai via sound transmission and briefly told them about the Anomaly. Then, he warned them not to leave their rooms no matter what.
As it turned out, Chu Nianjiu and Lin Yuhuai already knew about the story. They had served the Luo Shui Pacification Bureau for a long time after all. They knew better than to provoke such an Anomaly.
Gu Suitang sent them out to test themselves, not to commit suicide.
Thump thump thump!
Ten or so breaths later, a bunch of gong banging noises suddenly came from outside. Ye Qing could also hear prayers and certain disturbing noises that were best left unsaid. The prayers were basically requests to the evil dragon to protect them from harm and illness, grant them good weather, give them plenty of healthy crops and so on.
At the same time, Ye Qing sensed an evil, anomalous aura rising from the depths of the river. It quickly enveloped this section of the river and the boat itself.
Normally, Ye Qing would try to perceive the Anomaly using his demonic thought, but he restrained the impulse. It wasn’t because he was afraid of trouble, but because there were plenty of innocent people aboard the boat. He might be able to escape if the worst were to happen, but the same couldn’t be said for the others.
Unfortunately, not everyone shared his sensibility. As the prayer and the gong noises grew louder and louder, a group of people finally lost control of their curiosity and stepped out of their room.
“Dammit! Why won’t they listen to reason?!” Wu Zhao exclaimed in frustration. He had clearly been keeping an ear out for any sign of activity, which was why he reacted immediately when he heard the sound of door creaking.
Wu Zhao hesitated for a moment before ordering, “Stay inside the room, customer.” Then, he rushed out of the door.
He was the steward of this boat. His passengers’ lives were his responsibility.
Ye Qing too hesitated for an instant before attaching a wisp of demonic thought on Wu Zhao. The steward was a good man. He would rather keep him alive than not.
Eyes closed, Wu Zhao rushed out of the room and blocked the three warriors who were just about to climb onto the deck. “Customers, it’s dangerous outside. Please return to your rooms immediately.”
“How dangerous can it be? Don’t you think you’re acting a little too scared?” A brawny, savage-looking man scoffed. freew(e)bnove(l)
All three men were Astral Refiners, which was why they didn’t really feel any respect toward the steward, who was only a late-stage Vessel Augmentor.
“Yeah, stop getting in our—wait a second. Is that it? Is there a treasure or an opportunity outside? Are you stopping us because you’re planning to claim it all for yourselves?” A thin man with a pair of beady, mouse-like eyes cackled.
Huge beads of sweat were forming on Wu Zhao’s forehead. “You misunderstand, customers! This is the Dragon Sacrifice Bay, and an Anomaly is outside! It’s really dangerous right now!”
“Hmph. Just get out of our way.” The brawny man pushed Wu Zhao away impatiently before stepping onto the deck. His companions were following closely behind him.
As soon as they made it on the deck, all three men were suddenly struck by a bad premonition. It was at this moment they caught sight of a bizarre illusion at the distant rivershore.
They saw a group of oddly-dressed civilians praying to an evil-looking dragon with crazed expressions on their faces. A boy and a girl were tied at the bottom of the statue, and their fearful cries could’ve woken up the entire Dragon Sacrifice Bay. Not a single one of the civilians reacted to it, however.
Standing on a sacrificial altar was an old man wearing a dragon’s mask. He was holding a book and chanting something illegible. When he was done, someone grabbed the bound boy and girl and tossed them into the river.
The rushing river devoured the two children immediately. All that was left in the air was their final screams.
The river then churned as if some sort of horror was swimming underneath the murky waters. Then, bright red blood rose from the bottom and dyed the river water red.
There shouldn’t be anywhere near enough blood for the children to turn the water red, and yet the redness kept spreading until the entire river was red. It was like a literal river of blood.
That wasn’t the worst part, however. The worst part was that the bloody river in the illusion had somehow spread to the Luo Shui River and turned it bright red as well. It was like their boat was cruising along a river of blood, dark and eerie.
A chill like nothing they had ever experienced before shot up their spine. Regret came swiftly after. As they weren’t locals, they had no idea about the Anomaly that plagued Dragon Sacrifice Bay. When Wu Zhao tried to make them see reason, they were sure that they were strong enough to handle anything. Now, it was too late.
“We... We need to go now!” The brawny man gulped loudly. But just as they were about to leave, the civilians in the illusion abruptly turned their heads and stared straight at them.
Their bodies stiffened, and their hearts welled with great terror. The next moment, the civilians actually stepped out of the illusion and strode straight toward them.
The three men turned as pale as a sheet, but they couldn’t even speak, much less move. They could only watch as the civilians came close, grabbed their bodies, and dragged them back into the illusion. Now, they were part of the Anomaly as well.
After that, the three men were tied up and tossed into the river like livestocks. The river churned, and new blood surged from its depths.
“And that is why you should listen to people who know better than you.”
Inside the room, Ye Qing had witnessed everything through his demonic thought. He felt no sympathy for the three warriors though. They deserved to die for their idiocy.
One thing he noted was that the civilians ignored Wu Zhao as if he didn’t exist. It was because he had kept his eyes closed the whole time. This proved that the Anomaly couldn’t touch anyone who didn’t look at it with the naked eye.
After all, he was technically “seeing” with his demonic thought, but he was fine as well.
“Steward Wu, those guys are already dead. Just come back inside.”
Wu Zhao had his eyes closed, so he didn’t know what had happened to the three warriors. He was thinking if there was still a chance to save them when Ye Qing’s voice abruptly appeared inside his head.
This startled Wu Zhao as a matter of course, but he quickly realized that a powerful warrior was probably speaking to him. He saluted the air, let out a sigh, and began to walk back to his room.
It was at this moment a girl about seven or eight years old suddenly rushed out of another room. She was chasing a cat while crying, “Don’t run, White! Don’t run!”
Unfortunately, the girl’s room was close to the deck. By the time Wu Zhao realized what just happened, the girl had already gotten on the deck.
Wu Zhao didn’t think twice. He immediately ran up to the girl, caught her, and attempted to rush back into his room.
The next moment, Wu Zhao froze in his tracks, and an unspeakable horror paralyzed him from the inside out. He couldn’t move, but he could feel a chill slowly but surely approaching him from behind.
Wu Zhao never opened his eyes, but the same couldn’t be said for the girl in his arms. It would appear that being too close to someone who saw the Anomaly put them under its effects as well.
The girl immediately burst out crying when she saw the civilians stepping toward her with maddened grins on their faces. It truly was a sick Anomaly considering that the warriors from before couldn’t even make a sound, and yet it allowed the girl to cry to her heart’s content. Strangely, no sound could be heard even though the girl was clearly crying.
Meanwhile, anxious noises were coming out of the room where the girl was. It was most likely the girl’s parents realizing that she was gone and getting ready to look for her.
“Dammit. What a pain!” Ye Qing sighed deeply. He could leave the three warriors to die, but how could he allow the same fate to befall Wu Zhao and the little girl?
He immediately detached a wisp of demonic thought and froze the girl’s parents in place. It would not do for them to muck up the situation even more than it already was. Then, he tapped the space in front of him and let loose a ripple of demonic thought that popped the civilians walking toward Wu Zhao and the girl like bubbles.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, Ye Qing’s resistance seemed to anger the Anomaly. The blood red waters of the Luo Shui River began boiling ominously as the faces of countless children slowly rose to the surface.
Soon, the entire river was covered in countless faces. They almost looked like lotus leaves floating on the river.
A child’s face should be the most innocent, pure and bright face in the world, but the ones floating on the river were utterly warped by resentment, fury and hatred. The already sinister atmosphere grew even more sinister than before.
Suddenly, a tapping sound that almost sounded like someone tapping a table with their finger appeared. All the evils and anomalies shrouding the boat abruptly melted like snow.
At the same time, the children’s faces grew even more distorted than before.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh...
The boat suddenly began wobbling unsteadily like it was experiencing a massive tidal wave. The river of blood also surged all the way to the sky. By the time the waters fell back into the river, an absolutely terrifying-looking dragon was towering over the boat.
The dragon was unbelievably huge, but strangely, its body was covered in the faces of children. More accurately, the dragon itself was made from the bodies of countless children. The faces Ye Qing saw earlier was but a small, small portion of the dragon’s body.
“To be eaten by the evil dragon when you were still alive, and to become its body even in death. How terrible.”
Sympathy flickered in Ye Qing’s eyes before he condensed his demonic thought into a saber. Then, he sent a diagonal slash at the dragon. Red lotuses immediately fell from the sky and filled the entire Luo Shui River.
“Hellfire Red Lotus Saber Art”
Wisps of hellfire began appearing on the dragon’s body. they swiftly grew in size before joining together to form a massive inferno. The faces on its body grew increasingly contorted as bloodcurdling screams filled the air.
The hellfire kept burning and purifying the sins of the dragon. The children’s faces gradually turned kind and peaceful as well.
Ye Qing didn’t relax, however. This Anomaly had existed for at least a hundred years. If it was this easy to destroy it, the Pacification Bureau would’ve handled it ages ago.
As expected, the dragon’s resentment and evil returned almost as soon as the hellfire disappeared completely. The children’s faces turned savage and murderous once more.
Thankfully, Ye Qing knew this was going to happen. This was why he commanded the Boundless Mara Buddha to protect the boat with its Buddhist powers and push it forward as quickly as possible.
“Uwah! Uwaaaah! UWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”
Suddenly, all the faces on the dragon’s body let out a loud, ear-piercing cry. It overflowed with evil and distorting power. As the man bearing the brunt of the attack, Ye Qing felt like someone had taken a hammer to his head.
The good news was that the evil power was absorbed by his demonic lotus as soon as it entered his headspace. Painful it might be, it was only strengthening his demonic thought.
The bad news was that the dragon was chasing after the boat.