Chapter 36: Red wine and canned beef
“If you want to eat me, then I won’t refuse, but please let my companion go.”
Zhou Yu put down his gun and looked into his eyes without any fear.
“You are being misled by the three laws of Nibelungen that you humans have set for us. Don’t forget to see the world with your own eyes and listen to the voice of the creatures here with your heart. “
The young man took Zhou Yu’s hand and pressed it against his chest.
Zhou Yu’s heard the thumping of a heartbeat resonating as one with his own heart.
The young man smiled with a touch of both innocence and sensuality.
He blew a breath of air over to Zhou Yu, which lingered over his lips and seemed to seep into his mind.
“It’s time for us to go. The silver spider overlord’s mother is coming.”
The boy looked up as if he had heard something.
He stood and picked up Wu Yun, then tilted his head at Zhou Yu, “Let’s go, I’ll see you off.”
Zhou Yu found that the young man knew him better than he thought.
From the moment he easily picked up Wu Yun, Zhou Yu knew that the young man understood who was important to him.
Was it because he could enter into his mind?
Or was it the way they could communicate with each other without speaking?
Zhou Yu stared after his back. He seemed to have grown more mature from the time he saved Zhou Yu at Angel’s Horns.
They briskly walked down the long, winding passage made from the interweaving vines.
The young man snapped and some small silver butterflies fluttered out from the gaps between the vines. They were the survivors of the fire Zhou Yu had set. The light they gave off illuminated Zhou Yu’s path.
What Zhou Yu didn’t expect was that no matter where they went, there were purple wisterias blooming on the vines. They hung downwards in a beautiful drop, and against the light of the silver butterflies, they created the scene of a dream-like world.
“There’s nothing surprising about it. They want to please me… Just like I want to please you. “
The young man turned to smile at Zhou Yu.
Then, time seemed to twist and turn. Zhou Yu’s thoughts turned in a big circle before returning to their original place. In his mind, the youth’s smile had frozen in place.
Zhou Yu subconsciously traced over the curve of his lips to the corner of his mouth.
He wrestled to control himself and force his thoughts back on track.
“You shouldn’t hold back too much. When you repress your true thoughts, it becomes self-deception.”
The young man didn’t look back. Zhou Yu didn’t know whether he was physically speaking or directly communicating with him through his mind.
“It sounds like you understand human beings very well.”
“We can make ourselves anything. Not just physically, but also here.” The young man pointed at his head.
“It’s interesting to hear you speak.” Zhou Yu suddenly thought of Mo Ye.
Mo Ye was also an A rank organism. Could it also understand him through a spiritual connection?
“What’s your name?” Just after Zhou Yu spoke, he remembered that names were labels that belong to human society, not Nibelungen.
“I can’t give you my name so easily. A name is a form of mental control; once it is connected to me, I won’t be able to ignore it when someone calls that name.”
After they walked out of the passage of vines, Zhou Yu found that the snake-like vines twisted around ancient trees had formed a giant arch.
“Let’s go!” The boy turned and waved to Zhou Yu.
The halo formed from the starlight that scattered over his shoulders gave Zhou Yu an explicable feeling of reverence.
Just as they passed the arch, two giant silver spiders came scuttling out.
A huge gust of wind swept in, easily crumpling the rotting tree-castle behind them.
Zhou Yu couldn’t avoid it, but the young man held him at his shoulders and leaped up.
Two wings seemed to extend from his back as he glided freely into the sky.
The two silver spider overlords chased after them. They spit out countless silk strands that were strong enough to pierce through the ancient trees around them. The youth maneuvered between the narrow gaps and sped away, carrying not only Zhou Yu but also Wu Yun. They seemed to weigh nothing to him.
The trees, which had been growing for thousands of years, were easily crushed just like that. They fell behind them like dominoes, each one almost falling onto the back of the young man.
But the young man only smiled widely, as if he was enjoying it. His hair was streaming back from the wind and he wore a devil-may-care grin.
This was the most carefree state Zhou Yu had ever seen him in, and compared with his own self-discipline, they seemed like two untouchable extremes.
The two spider overlords were extremely powerful. With a wave of their legs, they could split open the earth.
Zhou Yu’s shoulders tensed subconsciously.
“Your expression is so lovely, Zhou Yu, but have you forgotten that I’m an S rank organism?”
With that, Zhou Yu and Wu Yun were suddenly dropped from the sky. The young man transformed into a giant, translucent and silver dragon in mid-air and caught them steadily.
Like a proud king, he looked down contemptuously at the ants who had invaded his domain.
The two spider overlords retreated, the silver light from their bodies slowly dimming. It was as if they were kneeling down before the king in a show of absolute submission.
But the silver dragon raced past them and carried up all the ancient trees that had been knocked over in the process. It formed huge waves in the air more powerful than a tornado and he directed them at the two spider overlords. Zhou Yu’s hair was whipped back from his face, the cells in his body trembling in resonance.
When the wind settled down, the primeval forest was in ruins, and the two spider overlords had been completely destroyed.
Carried by the gale, Zhou Yu stumbled forwards. He was near a small lake in the forest and, in a moment of carelessness, he fell in with a splash. The gurgling of air bubbles sounded by ear.
He struggled to swim up to the surface, but something in the water was wrapped around his legs and torso, dragging him deeper into the water.
Zhou Yu wanted to break from whatever was coiling around him, but they only wrapped around him tighter and tighter, until Zhou Yu could hardly breathe.
Following a large splash, the young man dove into the lake like a sword, pulling in light with him to illuminate the dark depths of the bottom of the lake.
Just when Zhou Yu was on the last of his breath, the arrival of the young man scattered the creatures in the water.
The weeds that had been tangled around Zhou Yu’s body suddenly let go.
The young man held onto the back of Zhou Yu’s head, and after passing him a breath of air, he pushed Zhou Yu out of the water.
His strength was considerable, and Zhou Yu was sent directly to the shore.
Zhou Yu flipped around and laid down on the bank, panting.
The light of the stars fell onto the land and beyond the night, there was another world.
Zhou Yu closed his eyes. He was reborn with each breath he took.
More than a dozen seconds later, Zhou Yu turned to look at the lake. He thought that the youth would appear in front of him again, but the lake was completely still. It seemed to contain all the stars in the sky.
“Are you waiting for me?” The voice of the young man rang out in Zhou Yu’s mind.
“Why did you save me?” Zhou Yu asked without any strength.
“Of course, it’s to keep you alive. I can only send you up to here. I’m tired… Safe travels, Zhou Yu. “
The voice slowly drifted away from Zhou Yu’s mind, until it finally disappeared.
The young man in the lake closed his eyes and let himself sink down until he reached the bottom of the lake. He closed his eyes and entered into a long rest.
Although his experiences throughout the night had exhausted Zhou Yu, he still got up. He heard Wu Yun’s shout not far away: “Zhou Yu! Where are you, Zhou Yu? Don’t fucking scare me!”
Zhou Yu weakly waved his arm: “I’m here.”
“Well fuck! We’re still alive! ” Wu Yun ran over and squeezed Zhou Yu into a hug.
“Let’s go see if the Hummers or transport trucks are still operational.”
Wu Yun walked while supporting Zhou Yu. They found that the two Hummers they came by had been crushed by ancient trees and were unusable.
A transport truck was broken into two and food was scattered all over the place.
Wu Yun bent down to pick up a can of beef. He pried it open with a military knife and started devouring it. At the same time, he handed over some compressed biscuits to Zhou Yu.
Zhou Yu shook his head. He couldn’t stomach it.
Wu Yun searched around and found a bottle of nutrient fluid. He handed that to Zhou Yu and said, “If you can’t eat, then at least drink something.”
“Thanks.” Zhou Yu tilted his head up to down it all in one gulp.
His weakened body seemed to stretch out a little more.
Wu Yun found a bottle of red wine and excitedly came to sit down beside Zhou Yu, “Christ! There’s wine! This is something that normally only Song Zhi could enjoy! “
Zhou Yu raised his chin: “Open it.”
Wu Yun smiled. “Of course!”
There was not only red wine, but also cigarettes. Unfortunately, Wu Yun had given his lighter to Zhou Yu a while ago and it was dropped somewhere inside the tree-castle.
“Tell me, how did we make it out alive?” Wu Yun looked around and saw that there were collapsed ancient trees everywhere. This was not something that Zhou Yu was capable of.
Zhou Yu grabbed the wine and took a swig: “We came to the cocoon of the spider overlord. After I blasted open the cocoon, I shot it.”
Wu Yun almost spat out the wine.
“Bro, way to go! I thought the silver spider that was controlling you was enough for me to handle, yet you went and took on an overlord-level one?”
The two of them chatted on and off. They only wanted to relax after escaping with their lives from another calamity. They didn’t want to care about how, at the moment, they were in an unfamiliar area of the dangerous primeval forest.
“Then how did this mess come about?” Wu Yun asked.
“How else? The spider overlord has parents. When they saw me kill their baby, they came for revenge and upturned the forest. ” Zhou Yu raised his head to gulp down large mouthfuls of wine. He had always so sober and alert, and he rarely indulged like so, but perhaps he was influenced by the infectious attitude of the young man.
Wu Yun’s eyes were as round as saucers. “You mean, not only was there a little spider overlord, but also two big ones? Good God, this is earth-shattering. What happened to the two adult spider overlords?
Zhou Yu said in a quiet voice, “Wu Yun, if I told you that an S rank organism saved us… Would you believe it? “
Wu Yun froze, then started laughing a few seconds later: “I believe it! Of course I do! How could you have fought such a huge battle by yourself? “
“Do you really believe me? I’m not kidding. “
Wu Yun’s expression grew somber: “I’m not an idiot. The situation shows that it must have been at least an A rank organism that fought against the spider overlords. Are you a reincarnation of a mythical creature or something, Zhou Yu? It’s not an unreasonable explanation for why an S rank organism would save us. You’re special, Zhou Yu. You’ve always been special… It’s not just that you can escape from dangerous situations; you can control your emotions and know what choice to make better than the rest of us. You have no fear. Some people are bold because they are ignorant, but you’re different. You’ve seen too much and lost too much, and you are fearless because of that. As such, it wouldn’t be strange for you to attract the attention of an S rank organism!”
“Any advice?” Zhou asked again.
Wu Yun smiled and shook his head: “As your friend and partner, any advice is just one sentence—No matter what happens, live. Other than that, enjoy life. Don’t be such a stickler for rules or for your own understanding of things, like Song Zhi. “
They sat for a while, then stood up shakily with the wine bottle. They opened the door of another transportation truck and got in.
“Hey, Zhou Yu! We’ll have to thank your S rank friend! At least they left us a truck, or else we’d have had to walk back across the 12 areas, which can be deadly in the primeval forest. “
“Fasten your seatbelt, you’re driving under the influence right now.”
Wu Yun smiled, then shouted, “We’re going back!”
Zhou Yu’s lips curved up into a smile. Wu Yun’s optimism and open-mindedness made him feel at ease.
“When we get back to the base, don’t mention the S rank organism to Song Zhi, or else he’ll use you as bait and do something dangerous. “
“Aren’t you afraid that S rank organism will hurt us?”
“Haha, if he wanted to, then we’d be dead already. Even if Song Zhi, who has fought against an S rank organism before, was here, he couldn’t protect you. Since we’re not his followers, then we should just treat him as a cheat in the system. You know what a cheat is, right? If anything happens to us in the primeval forest, we may have to rely on that big brother to take care of us! “
An unlit cigarette dangled from Wu Yun’s mouth as he drove.
Zhou Yu stared into the distance with his head supported by his hand. The vast forest was filled with all kinds of creatures. They were small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Why bother about the outcome of tomorrow? Why not enjoy the present? Zhou Yu had another drink from the bottle of wine, then casually tossed the empty bottle out of the window.
Maybe because he had too much to drink, Wu Yun didn’t drive in a very straight line. To their surprise, they drove straight into a mire, the resulting thud almost making Zhou Yu hit his head.
“Shit!” Wu Yun slapped the steering wheel hard, then opened the door and went out.
Zhou Yu remained sitting in the car and looked out the window: “How is it?”
“We’re done for! Finished! The rear wheels are stuck in the mire! Between the two of us, we don’t have the strength to lift it out! Don’t tell me we’re going to have to give up a whole truck full of supplies and walk back?!”
Wu Yun returned and opened the door to sit inside. He patted Zhou Yu on the shoulder and said, “Are you tired? Get some rest if you are. It’s not too far from the base anyway. Song Zhi might send someone out to find us in a few hours, then we can hand over the supplies in the car. “
Zhou Yu was indeed too tired to keep his eyes open. He nodded, then crossed his arms and tilted his head to the side, asleep.
“Hey! You sure are at ease. “
Wu Yun locked up the car, closed his eyes, and started to sleep, too. He was actually quite worried; they had been in the primeval forest for a day and a night, and the suppressants in their bodies were going to fail soon, along with the effects of the other drugs. If Song Zhi still had not sent a party out by then, then they would really be in trouble. Just by walking on foot, they would never be able to make it out within half a day.
However, after experiencing so much, Wu Yun felt that nothing that scary anymore. He copied Zhou Yu and went to sleep with his arms crossed.
They slept for an unknown amount of time. The transport vehicle suddenly gave a violent jolt, startling Wu Yun and Zhou Yu awake.
“What happened?! Are we being attacked by an organism? “
Wu Yun looked back and was stunned. A thick vine was wrapped around the rear of their car. Diagonally in front of them, there was a black figure biting on the other end of the vine and dragging it forward with all its might, which forcefully lifted the rear wheel of the transport truck out from the mire.
Zhou Yu immediately opened the window to poke his head out and shout, “Mo Ye! Why are you here, Mo Ye? “
Wu Yun was flabbergasted. Who else could the thing pulling the truck be, other than Mo Ye?
“Isn’t Mo Ye supposed to be at the base? Why is he here? “
Mo Ye continued clambering at the soil. He was struggling with so much effort that his little ears and wings were standing up. Plants were uprooted by his paws. He made a “hrrn” noise, which sounded like it was going to break his bones.
“Mo Ye! You can do it, you’re almost there! ” Wu Yun slapped the car door and shouted, “You’re doing great, little guy! I didn’t know you were so strong!”
Zhou Yu stared at Mo Ye’s figure. He didn’t expect that Mo Ye would leave the base to look for him.
Did he sense that Zhou Yu was in danger? How was he able to locate him?
Mo Ye flapped his wings as he struggled to pull them out. The vines were close to cutting into his flesh. Zhou Yu’s heart hurt when he saw it. Zhou Yu immediately got out of the car and came to Mo Ye’s side to help him pull the vine.
A powerful force beyond what Zhou Yu could conceive of was brewing in Mo Ye’s body. Inch by inch, they were able to drag out the heavy transport vehicle from the mire. This seemed odd to Zhou Yu.
“Oh my God! Dear Lord! You’re the best, Mo Ye, I love you so much!”
Zhou Yu returned to his seat. He was still trying to understand… Where did Mo Ye’s amazing strength come from?
Wu Yun opens his arms to capture Mo Ye in a hug, but Mo Ye jumped out from within the vines and rushed to Zhou Yu’s window. The second Zhou Yu opened the door, he leaped into Zhou Yu’s arms and curled into a ball.
Its warm body temperature gave Zhou Yu an inexplicable sense of security, like it was telling him that the moment of danger had passed.
Zhou Yu raised his hand and slowly stroked down the fluff on his back. Mo Ye was a little startled. Zhou Yu found fine grains of sand in his fluff and soil crusted around his claws. It was clear that he ran for a long time to arrive at this place.
“You didn’t come here with permission from Zhou Qing or Mr. Song, did you? You little thing, be careful that they stop feeding you when we get back. “
Mo Ye simply turned his head halfway around to hold Zhou Yu’s finger in his mouth. He first licked it with the tip of his tongue, as if he was asking for Zhou Yu’s permission while telling Wu Yun that Zhou Yu was the one who fed him, not Song Zhi.
Zhou Yu smiled and scratched Mo Ye’s tongue. Mo Ye immediately bit into Zhou Yu’s finger and sucked it hard. He squinted his eyes and made a gulping sound.
He was starving. Mo Ye must have exhausted himself, running to find them from such a long distance away.
Zhou Yu closed his eyes and could feel Mo Ye’s impulse to chase after him running through his body. The vast sky and open plains were before him. He seemed to be able to see Mo Ye racing across the land. He gave up all of his freedom, just to find him again.
Mo Ye fell asleep in Zhou Yu’s lap with his finger still in his mouth.
Wu Yun drove on, and Zhou Yu occasionally gave gentle strokes to the fluff on Mo Ye’s back.
After sleeping for more than an hour, Mo Ye uttered a “hrrn—” with his little wings fanned and his ears raised. He straightened out his back and put his head out the open window. His little ears and the fluff on his head blew back in the wind, looking innocent and untamed.
By then, they had completely left the primeval forest and were streaking along in a barren desert.
“Hey! We’re expected to be back at the base in over an hour.” Wu Yun pointed out while shooting a glance at Mo Ye.
Zhou Yu rubbed his chin against Mo Ye’s head and said softly, “Mo Ye, now I will give you another choice: you can leave now and enjoy a free life in the primeval forest. I can’t stay with you forever… You know that. After you leave, I’ll tell Mr. Song that I never saw you in the first place. Don’t worry, if we meet again in the primeval forest, I won’t act like I don’t know you. We can still play together. “
I’ll be editing some of the earlier chapters for proofreading/continuity issues, but nothing important will be changed.