Chapter 20: An Illusion in the Water
“How is that possible?! Doctor, I can tell by your figure that you exercise regularly. There’s no way a weakling shut-in like me could match up to you.” Li Qian abandoned himself to despair.
Dr. Daniel came to stand under the zip line. Zhou Yu patted Li Qian on the shoulder. “Watch Dr. Daniel’s movements carefully. Also, wind the rope around both wrists so that even if you let go, the rope will hold onto your wrists to prevent you from falling off.”
“So that’s how it is!” Li Qian looked like he had a sudden realization.
Doctor Daniel immediately provided him with another stab, “Forget about letting go. Your wrists will dislocate and then it’ll hurt so much that you’ll want to die.”
Li Qian gulped.
Doctor Daniel crossed over without a hitch. After all, he was a rock climbing enthusiast and often participated in outdoor survival activities.
However, when Li Qian held onto the rope, his heart almost cracked open.
“Li Qian, remember not to hesitate when you take off. Once you hesitate, you’ll lose speed. If you get stuck in the middle, that means you’ll be blocking my path too.”
Li Qian’s heart squeezed. “Why don’t you go first?!”
“If I go first, then what will happen to you? You certainly won’t cross over anymore.”
Zhou Yu’s voice was steady.
“Zhou Yu, is there ever a time when you’re afraid?” Li Qian asked.
He thought it was amazing that Zhou didn’t use the inhibitor, could shoot the two-headed wolf spiders at close range, and had sniped those strange birds without so much as a wrinkle between his brows. It was simply inhuman.
“Of course,” Zhou Yu answered.
The little thing at his waist popped its head out and looked at him curiously as if it was also interested in the topic.
“When?” Li Qian asked.
“When I feel that I may lose all of my companions.”
“How did you overcome that feeling?!” Li Qian asked while he put his hands through the rope.
“When I realized that losing them was a reality, I stopped being afraid. When you have something more important than your own life to protect, your fear will be overwhelmed by persistence. Li Qian, past the Angel Horns, you will find that you are braver than you think.”
Saying that, Zhou Yu pushed Li Qian out.
When Li Qian remembered that he would block Zhou Yu’s path if he couldn’t make it across, he ran forward as if his life depended on it. The moment his feet touched down on air, it was as if he was rushing into the waterfall at the Angel Horns. The world flew by at his feet and time was meaningless.
“Great, that’s it…” Zhou Yu looked after Li Qian’s back, a smile tugging at his lips.
When Li Qian was caught by Wu Yun, Han Li hugged him.
“You scared me to death! I was really so scared! I was afraid you wouldn’t make it or that you’d be too scared to come!”
Li Qian’s eyes were also wide open. He couldn’t believe that he had made it over either. And what’s more, he hadn’t let go!
It turned out that many things were not as scary as he had imagined them to be!
Li Qian turned and waved at Zhou Yu, who nodded.
He lowered his head and tightened the silk scarf, or else the little thing might fall out in mid-air.
The little thing stuck its head out and looked around, then it shivered in fear.
Zhou Yu was amused and teased it with his finger, but unexpectedly, it didn’t latch onto Zhou Yu’s finger. Instead, it kept retreating deeper, as if it was afraid.
“Hey, you have wings. By that logic, you should be able to fly. If you really fall off, you can just start flying.”
At this time, the little thing stuck its head back out and rubbed its nose against Zhou Yu’s fingertips, as if to comfort him and say, “I am not afraid, so you shouldn’t be afraid either.”
Zhou Yu’s heart instantly softened. He hadn’t been comforted like that in a long time.
“Okay, do you know that there’s something in my world called a roller coaster?”
Zhou Yu grasped the zip line and stepped back.
“Let’s make this trip without any second thoughts!”
Zhou Yu’s legs made large strides across the rocks and leaped out.
His speed is extremely fast. Meanwhile, Wu Yun was already prepared to catch him on the other side.
But in that instant, something no one expected happened.
A giant reverse scale dragon leaped out of the turbulent waters with a massive splash, as if it had reversed the flow of the waterfall!
Its wide-open mouth and pointed teeth stunned Li Qian and Han Li.
Its scales were like sharp blades, reflecting a cold brilliance under the sunlight as if they could shatter their prey, layer by layer.
Wu Yun immediately pulled out the gun at his waist and shot the reverse scale dragon.
The gunshot sounds were drowned out by the dull roar of the water.
The pistol’s bullets weren’t enough to penetrate the scales of the reverse scale dragon!
Zhou Yu was headed directly into the jaws of the reverse scale dragon right before their eyes!
“Brother—” Zhou Qing shouted.
Zhou Yu gritted his teeth and, at a critical moment, used his right foot to kick the reverse scale dragon in the teeth, rebounding in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, the reverse scale dragon bit down on the rope. The two ends couldn’t bear the added weight and snapped into two.
Wu Yun wanted to grab one of the ends, but everything happened too quickly and Zhou Yu fell into the river.
“Zhou Yu!” Wu Yun ran madly along the shore, but the current was too fast for him to even catch a glimpse of Zhou Yu.
Zhou Qing almost jumped in, but Dr. Daniel caught him from behind with a firm grip.
“Don’t be impulsive, Zhou Qing!”
“That’s my brother! Let go of me! ” Zhou Qing’s eyes turned red. That was the first time he had shown an out-of-control expression.
Without saying a word, Dr. Daniel restrained Zhou Qing. “Calm down, Zhou Qing! You can’t go there!”
“How is this possible… Tell me… am I dreaming…?”
Li Qian was also dumbfounded.
How could Zhou Yu have fallen off?
Why did that giant reverse scale dragon suddenly appear?
It didn’t make sense! What the hell was going on here?
“Save him… We have to find a way to save him!”
Li Qian remembered how Zhou Yu had encouraged him. He looked cold and frosty, but he had a sense of responsibility. How many times had he helped everyone escape death? How could he be gone, just like that?
“I want to go down there… Let me go! ” Zhou Qing’s tears fell. His fists pounded the sand and stones on the ground.
If he hadn’t wanted to come to Nibelungen, Zhou Yu wouldn’t have come. It was clearly he, Zhou Qing, who was terminally ill. The one who deserved to die was him, so how could it be Zhou Yu?!
Wu Yun ran for several hundred meters, throwing off everything on him that was weighing him down while running, just so he could go a little faster.
“Zhou Yu—Zhou Yu—”
No matter how hoarse he shouted himself, he still couldn’t find a trace of Zhou Yu.
“Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! ” Wu Yun tripped over a stone and fell to the ground.
He squeezed his eyes closed and gritted his teeth.
He knew better than anyone… that Zhou Yu couldn’t come back anymore.
Forcing himself to hold back his tears, Wu Yun’s eyes turned red in an instant.
He really regretted it. Zhou Yu should have been the first to glide across. Maybe the giant reverse scale dragon wouldn’t have swum over yet then!
A few seconds later, Wu Yun got up and walked back. He looked at Zhou Qing, who was struggling to jump down, and gave him a resounding slap across the face!
“You know what Zhou Yu cares the most about. Do you want to abandon everything he cares about?” Wu Yun grabbed Zhou Qing’s collar and ruthlessly questioned him.
Zhou Qing’s body trembled. “I’m going to die soon anyway…”
“That’s why every minute and every second you have left is vital!”
“W-we have to find him… Just because he fell in doesn’t mean he’s dead! He wasn’t bitten by that giant reverse scale dragon, I saw it clearly!” Han Li said.
“The ecosystem of the Angel Tears is more complex than the Amazon. How many young dragons do you think there are in the river…?” Wu Yun didn’t continue.
Han Li’s tears fell and Li Qian clenched his fist tightly.
“Even I was able to make it over, so why couldn’t he? Why did that giant reverse scale dragon attack Zhou Yu? Zhou Yu definitely wouldn’t have been afraid of it!”
“It’s because the first strange bird that Zhou Yu shot fell into the water and was devoured by the young dragons. That strange bird had neurotoxins in it, so the young dragons that ate it would have certainly died. The mother dragon’s sudden attack was for revenge,” Wu Yun answered.
“So… he still died for us…”
Wu Yun grabbed the dispirited Zhou Qing and hauled him up. “Let’s go. As matters stand, even if I die, you’re not allowed to die, because you’re the person my partner cares about the most.”
Zhou Qing breathed harshly and tried his best to bear with the reality of losing Zhou Yu.
“Listen up, Professor Zhou. You will finish your research, you will take care of the tumor in your brain, and in Zhou Yu’s place, you will… live a long and happy life. You must have a desire to live stronger than anyone else in this world!” Wu Yun pressed on Zhou Qing’s cheeks.
Zhou Qing subconsciously covered his pocket, which still contained the fruit of Elpis.
At the same time, Zhou Yu was being battered by the strong current, all his bones aching in pain. He had already choked down a few mouthfuls of water, and his body could not compete with the force of the current.
At this moment, a school of fish with long, narrow beaks rushed over towards him. Zhou Yu was like fish bait in the water, on the verge of being ripped apart by the swarm.
Their beaks were hard and dense and they ruthlessly tore through Zhou Yu’s shoulder and abdomen.
Blood flowed out but quickly dissipated in the water.
Compared to the river, Zhou Yu was only a drop in the pond.
Heavy blood loss blurred his consciousness.
He knew that this time, he had reached his end.
Fortunately… Zhou Qing had crossed the Angel Horns. He was a genius, so he was bound to find a cure for himself in his future research.
And as Wu Yun… That guy looked unreliable, but he actually had a strong sense of camaraderie… He would certainly spare no effort to protect Zhou Qing…
Suddenly, all the sharp-billed fish fled.
The tenacious mother reverse scale dragon had caught up to him.
Its hatred for Zhou Yu was hard to put into words. As the ruler of the waters at the Angel Tears, it absolutely would not allow other creatures to share Zhou Yu.
Just as it opened its mouth and was about to swallow Zhou Yu, something stretched out in the water and came to block in front of him.
In the midst of the chaos, Zhou Yu saw an enormous creature. Its silver, translucent figure seemed like a mythological beast out of a fantasy movie, and for all of its elegance, it was brimming with an oppressive air.
His line of sight quickly flew away with his consciousness, and for the first time, Zhou Yu felt a loss of control.
It was unstoppable as it charged at the reverse scale dragon. In an instant, the mother dragon was battered to pieces like a sudden shower of a billion stars. It disappeared into the torrent.