Chapter 3: The Undead (Part 1)
Chang Yuan began to teach Er Sheng how to use mystical spells. Er Sheng was clever and a fast learner; she could learn Chang Yuan’s teachings without any practical demonstration. With Chang Yuan’s detailed instructions, her diligence, and the spiritual energy that had accumulated in her body over the past years helped Er Sheng progress.
Chang Yuan was an ancient dragon, so his cultivation skills were extremely high. In his opinion, what he taught to Er Sheng was just some common defense techniques. Little did he know that the techniques he taught were enough to gain him the respect of all immortal sects.
Er Sheng wasn’t aware of how lucky she was to be able to learn these mystical spells. She merely found it easier to hunt down insects now and could swiftly escape when the hooligan next door wanted to bully her. She could slip away from him and overpower most village children.
Every day, while Chang Yuan taught her mystical spells, she would gush to Chang Yuan about how many insects she had caught, how many children she bullied, and down to every littlest detail of her day. Chang Yuan never felt annoyed by her endless storytelling. He would always listen to her attentively.
He was used to getting along with her like this, as it was similar to how he spent his time with Si Ming back at the Ruins of Ten Thousand Heavens. Si Ming would constantly be talking, and he would listen quietly. The only difference was that Si Ming only talked about the stories she had created, while Er Sheng spoke about her real experiences.
When Er Sheng finished speaking, Chang Yuan would occasionally comment on her stories, whether what she did was too much or too immoral. Er Sheng kept those words close to heart and made sure not to do it again in the future.
Naturally, both of them got along very well. Er Sheng told Chang Yuan about the world. In contrast, Chang Yuan taught her the way of life—lessons he learned from Si Ming’s stories—peaceful days passed by as Er Sheng continued her mischievous antics without encountering any unpleasant events.
All this while, Er Sheng had always been counting down the days. It was already the first day of the fifth month, and she would be 14 years old after the 23rd day of the seventh month. That meant that she would be eligible to marry and have children. Around that time, Chang Yuan should have already fully recovered from his injuries. So, in the eighth month, she would ask Chang Yuan to marry her. In order to do that, she planned to prepare her own dowry and purchase a new robe for Chang Yuan.
However, how do I get money for it? It wouldn’t be nice of me to purchase the new robe and request that they delay my payment, Er Sheng thought.
But her worry didn’t last long as a disastrous event occurred in the village, something she had never expected before. That day, Er Sheng woke up early in the morning. The usual warm glow of sunlight couldn’t be seen through the window. It was foggy outside as if the white haze from the forest had spread to the village. She pulled her quilt to the side and washed it with cold water. She planned to visit Chang Yuan as usual, but when she opened the door, she was stunned by the scene before her eyes.
There seem to be many…human-like figures wandering around aimlessly with soulless eyes and tattered clothes hanging loosely from their bodies. Their skin that was exposed to the air had festered entirely and was covered in pus.
Er Sheng felt even more terrified when she noticed they held bloodied limbs, heads, or parts of human meat that seemed to have been torn violently from a person’s body. Er Sheng vomited when she saw the head of the old master being hurled over the air and had rolled past the ground before her. She shuddered. “Ugh.”
The sound of her vomit starkly contrasted with the dead silence surrounding the village. Those human-like figures, which were similar to the Undead, had heard the sound; they turned their heads stiffly, and their greyish-white eyes stared straight at Er Sheng.
No matter how courageous Er Sheng was, she couldn’t help but feel her legs buckling under the sight of the village. Seeing those figures slowly move towards her, a shiver shot down her spine. She hurriedly jumped out of her window and bolted towards the forest. What she saw on her way made her blood run cold—she had recognized every lifeless body that was lying on the ground. She still recalled how she still mingled with them yesterday, living together…
She didn’t dare to stop running. Her mind was filled with the thought of rushing to Chang Yuan as if somehow she would be safe if she reached him. Although she knew Chang Yuan was seriously injured, she felt more secure with him around.
Er Sheng had never felt that the path leading to the woods was this long, and she was almost out of breath, but Chang Yuan seemed to be still so far away.
As she was just about to step into the woods, a slimy, bloody hand suddenly reached out from behind. It grabbed her and pushed her to the ground. The owner of the hand opened its mouth, aiming for her neck, then Er Sheng reacted instantly by turning around, aiming her hand at the figure’s face, and muttering a spell. With a blinding gold light, the man’s head exploded right away, splattering ruptured bits of his brain all over Er Sheng’s body.
There was no time to feel nauseated at the sight. Er Sheng wiped her face and immediately stood up, and continued running deeper into the woods.
However, before she could take a few steps further, she was violently dragged by something holding on to her feet and fell down again, hitting a sharp stone in the process and knocking off one of her front teeth. Blood gushed out from the wound, staining her lips with crimson-red colour.
Er Sheng covered her mouth and glanced back, only to see that the man whose head had just been blown off by her was still grabbing her ankle with his hand, gripping it tightly as more of the Undead came up behind him.
Terror gripped Er Sheng completely, and she almost cried out in fright. Her instincts prompted her to try and break free from the man desperately. Before she could escape, she smelled something akin to rotten flesh beside her. She turned and saw another Undead had sneaked right to her side, its bloodied mouth opened wide, and she could clearly see its putrid tongue and sharp yellowish teeth.
“Ah!” Er Sheng screamed out, unable to hold back her panic.