Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Sensing the land quake, Alger’s heart tightened as he glanced at Gehrman Sparrow, using his actions to replace his words.
The sound of wind howled beside him, allowing him to run more easily and quickly to the side.
The reason why Alger had done so was because he was worried that Gehrman Sparrow would suddenly go mad and decide to hunt the terrifying creature inside the dark underground cave. If that were to happen, even if they ultimately clinched a victory, it would’ve been extremely disadvantageous for the subsequent explorations.
As an experienced Sailor, he knew that decisive action spurred companions who remained indecisive into subconsciously following his actions.
Upon seeing this, Klein heaved a sigh of relief as he gave up the discussion about politeness. He widened his stride and ran behind The Hanged Man.
Following that, he sensed a strong wind blow at his feet, thrusting him forward. This significantly reduced his need to overcome gravity, allowing him to obtain additional mobility that instantly doubled his speed!
Amidst the rustling sounds, Klein and Alger ran out of the sparse woods and circled around the flank of the eerie darkness.
At this moment, their heartbeats suddenly slowed. It was as though they hadn’t been engaging in intense exercise and were instead in a state of reverie that resulted from the tanning of the afternoon sun.
Klein immediately felt his body turn cold as an inexplicable and baffling sense of gloom arose as they tried invading his body.
Meanwhile, he saw the light from Alger’s lantern be swallowed inch by inch by a gigantic black shadow. A corresponding scene naturally surfaced in his mind.
In the depths of the dark underground cave, a thick, humongous serpent snaked out. It had dark green scales with exaggerated eyes that seemed to burn with fire.
In between its scales were white feather covered in yellow oily stains. Along its back was a pair of thick wings that could be spread.
While slithering and flying, this giant serpent raised its body high, coiling itself around a thick tree and extending its pitch-black tongue. It stared intently at the two figures that had barged into the surrounding area.
Around it, the trees were rapidly withering along with the weeds. Countless corpses burrowed out of the soil as invisible shadows surged to its side.
It was a feathered serpent!
In the Southern Continent, it was a symbol of holiness. It was the emblem of the descendants of Death, the Eggers family!
Klein and Alger didn’t pause as they held back the coldness of their bodies and their slowing heartbeats. Under the intense winds, they charged into the depths of the dark forest, pulling a distance away from the sparse trees.
Badump! Badump! Badump! The duo’s heartbeats gradually returned to normal as the coldness of their bodies were dispersed by the heat generated from the intense exercise.
Klein’s spiritual intuition told him that the danger had passed. Hence, he slowed down his pace and turned to glance back. He said calmly while facing the depth of the darkness, “A demigod-level feathered serpent.”
“Demigod-level…” Alger similarly slowed down as the blood vessel in his forehead pulsed.
He paused for two seconds and exhaled lightly.
“Don’t worry about it. The Beyonder creatures here are very territorial. Unless they wish to hunt, they will not enter other zones, especially when it’s near the mountain. That feathered serpent wouldn’t chase after us.”
Klein nodded and said, “The Beyonder creatures here are very strong.”
Alger retracted his gaze and replied with a shake of his head.
“No, there are also many weak ones.
“I’ve been here at night before, but I’ve only discovered the traces left behind by Beyonder creatures at the demigod level without encountering them. I actually encountered one this time.
“Such matters are mainly about luck. The chances of this happening again isn’t too high.”
As a Seafarer, being able to calculate was a necessary ability.
Are you looking down on me, the King of Yellow and Black who wields good luck? Klein gave a self-deprecating laugh as he said with a deadpan expression, “Absolute judgments often result in the opposite results.”
When translated into Earth speak, it was: Don’t raise death flags!
In fact, if it wasn’t a feathered serpent at the demigod level, and instead was something at Sequence 5, Klein would be happy to bully it. After all, with Azik’s copper whistle in hand, the Beyonder creatures in the Death domain would lose at least half their combat strength.
As for encountering a Beyonder creature at the demigod level, he wasn’t too alarmed. This was because The Hanged Man had previously mentioned it, and he had made the corresponding preparations. He had the Fate Siphon charm, three pages of demigod-level Beyonder powers in Leymano’s Travels, and the ability to Travel. Although it wasn’t necessarily the case that he could resist a demigod, it was enough to help him create opportunities to escape.
As long as I do not encounter angels… Klein silently added inwardly.
After hearing Gehrman Sparrow, Alger was somewhat puzzled. This was because the crazy adventurer was clearly informing him to be more careful and cautious.
A cold and crazy fellow? That’s right. If he’s just crazy, he wouldn’t have lived to this day… Alger looked up at the sky as he tried hard to look past the mist and distinguish the blurry stars.
After two minutes, he retracted his gaze and pointed in a direction.
“We’ll head in that direction.”
Klein had long drawn his iron-black Death Knell. He allowed the muzzle to naturally point downward as he silently followed alongside Alger. He wore a cold and composed expression that had no signs of anxiety.
After traversing the extremely dim forest for some time, Alger suddenly stopped. As he looked to his left, he said in a deep voice, “If we head forward more, there will be an Illusory Chime Tree. I hope to handle it by myself.”
“The second Beyonder creature we encounter will be handled by you. I won’t involve myself in the hunt.”
Unless you can’t handle it alone… Alger swallowed the second half of his sentence.
He wasn’t like the Hunters who were often seen at sea, people who often couldn’t hold their tongues as they habitually said things that infuriated others.
The main Beyonder ingredient which Miss Justice needs… Mr. Hanged Man has quite a bit of adventuring experience under his belt. He knows that being frank at times is more useful than concealing matters, and that negotiating is more effective than scheming… Klein maintained Gehrman Sparrow’s persona as he nodded with a hint of gentlemanliness amidst his coldness.
“If you can’t deal with it, it’s best you shout for help; otherwise, I’ll treat it as your persistence.”
The style of a crazy adventurer appears to be different from hunters, but in certain aspects, they are surprisingly similar… Alger silently drew a breath as he continued forward with his lantern.
As they walked, they heard weak chiming sounds, and they immediately felt as though they were home, their bodies and mind at ease.
Klein acutely sensed that his wariness was melting away in an irreversible manner. No matter how much he emphasized it to himself, he was unable to tense up.
At that instant, he even had the urge to head for the source of the chimes, believing that there was something extremely dear and familiar to him located over there.
As they were quite a distance away, the chiming was sporadic. Klein was barely able to hold himself back as he turned to look at Mr. Hanged Man.
Alger no longer looked as staid as before. The eyes of his rugged face were slightly red. It was unknown if he had recalled something that caused him to plunge into some emotional state.
I wonder what Mr. Hanged Man looks like when he’s crying… It must be quite terrifying… Klein couldn’t help but muse.
At this moment, Alger said softly with a hoarse voice, “Leave it to me.”
Just as he said that, he put down the lantern and slightly turned the sinister ring on his left thumb. He made the protruded thorn that looked like it was stained with old bloodstains turn brighter.
This was his mystical item, Whip of Mind. Its side effects was to place the wearer in a state of a constant headache, one so bad that the wearer would yearn to slam their head into a wall.
However, at that moment, the excruciating headache made Alger maintain his basic lucidity amidst the chimes without being truly hypnotized.
At times, a side effect might actually provide benefits to the wearer… As Alger remained poignant, he took out a wooden box from his pocket and snapped it open.
Inside it was a gray rat!
Mr. Hanged Man wishes to use the rat as bait, so as to attract the Illusory Chime Tree’s attention before taking the opportunity to attack it? Not bad. He made adequate preparations. He already had a detailed plan ahead of time… As an experienced adventurer, Klein instantly guessed The Hanged Man’s thought processes.
Alger held up the rat and shook it when his expression suddenly turned odd.
The gray rat was no longer moving. It wasn’t breathing and was cold. It wasn’t able to take on the responsibility of being bait!
Back when they encountered the demigod-level feathered serpent, although Alger was in the periphery of the entity’s focus and had escaped quickly without being overly affected, the gray rat he carried with him was only an ordinary animal. It didn’t have a strong constitution and vitality, so it perished from the effects of the feathered serpent.
It’s dead… It’s dead… Mr. Hanged Man now understands a principle—plans often can’t keep up with change… His luck is mediocre… Upon seeing this scene, Klein couldn’t help but twitch the corners of his mouth. He wanted to laugh, but he didn’t make a sound, afraid that it would destroy his persona.
Such situations were rare to the experienced and meticulous Hanged Man.
Alger quickly reined in his emotions as he proceeded forward with the dead gray rat. Klein bent down and reached out for the lantern as he unhurriedly followed behind him.
The chimes grew clearer as it made them more and more silent, with the urge to run towards it becoming greater.
After taking another few steps forward, Klein finally saw that strange tree.
Above its brownish-green trunk were thin cracks. Deep inside each crack was a darkness that looked as though different eyes were growing inside them.
The branches that extended outwards had chime-like metal-gray objects hanging from them. They were swaying automatically, letting out melodious sounds. And on the branch closest to the trunk, there was a fist-sized, colorless, translucent fruit.
Alger stared in that direction as he pressed at his throat before saying to Gehrman Sparrow with a heavy voice, “It’s best you cover your ears and converge your spirituality.”