ARC 5: Western Fantasy; Return of the Holy Light
Chapter 60: Fifth World (1)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In the dark narrow lane, Bai Duan was like a silent shadow, passing through. All of a sudden, he slowed down, sniffed and smelled a coppery scent of blood.
It was quite normal for people to get injured or even die on Black Street. It was even a good thing for passers-by because they might be able to pick up something good from the corpse to exchange for some money or food. Of course, because there were too many people who liked to ‘pick up corpses’ on Black Street, later there were people who specially used them as bait to set traps, making ‘picking up corpses’ become a dangerous work.
However, it was hard to survive on Black Street.
Touching his stomach, which was a little bit sore from hunger, Bai Duan decided to take a risk. His footsteps were light as he fully integrated himself into the shadows, quietly moving in the direction of the smell of blood, before he finally saw a figure dressed in white robes and covered with blood.
The man was lying on the ground, motionless and seemingly dead, but Bai Duan, with his sharp vision, noticed the other’s faint breathing fluctuations — soon to breathe his last breath, not far from death.
Standing in the shadows, Bai Duan calmly judged the other’s state, and, at the same time, carefully observed the surrounding situation, looking for any clues that might indicate this was a trap. After a while, he was relieved to find nothing unusual. He walked carefully towards the white-robed man and squatted down beside him.
Although his robe was ragged and stained with mud and blood, he could still see that the quality of the robe was extremely excellent. It was obviously a cloth that could only be worn by the upper aristocrats and elders. Bai Duan’s eyes brightened slightly, and he felt as if he had been lucky enough to find a fat sheep. Even though the clothes had been damaged in several places, he could probably exchange a small sum of money by taking it off, cleaning it well, and airing it out. Besides, he might find that this man was an aristocrat.
Bai Duan was excited, but his mind was clear. He put his hand carefully into the man’s arms and fumbled around. Soon he touched a hard metal item and took it out.
When he saw the thing, Bai Duan’s excited expression suddenly sank because he knew what the thing in his hand was — it was a sign belonging to the Holy Light, made of the highest and most expensive secret silver, representing the noble status of the clergy of the Holy Light.
In the mainland where Bai Duan lived, the Holy Light had very high prestige, even superior to the secular monarchy. Because the demons were rampant here, only the holy light held by the Holy Light could expel or even kill the demons and protect the people on the mainland.
Looking at the insignia of the Holy Light in his hand, Bai Duan frowned and hesitated. To be honest, he didn’t want to provoke the Holy Light at all. Even if he picked up the ‘corpse’ of the Holy Light, it might cause a lot of trouble.
With a sigh, Bai Duan, who had always been careful, finally gave up the idea of picking up the fat sheep. After all, his young body was weak and could only reach a certain speed. If he was not always careful, he would not have grown up smoothly.
Nostalgia made him salivate since he knew the value of the secret silver badge in his hand. Bai Duan once again put his hand into the man’s arms, put the badge back, and carefully erased his traces.
Standing up, Bai Duan turned around in frustration, but unexpectedly, he had just started to walk when his ankle was suddenly held tightly.
Bai Duan was startled, his body jerked away, his lower leg swung, and the hand around his ankles flew off. He quickly stepped back and stared at the white-robed man who suddenly regained consciousness. His right hand quietly grasped the dagger hanging on his waist.
The man moved his body, turned his head sideways, laboriously opened his eyes, and looked at Bai Duan, “Save… Help me…”
His face was also covered with dust and bloodstains, and Bai Duan could not see his facial features. His long hair was messy, and he could see that it’s true color should be a dazzling pure gold, but now it was dark and dirty, like the worst gilded product.
With the eyes of the man on him, Bai Duan’s heart suddenly jumped, and he felt pity and impatience. However, this feeling did not mean he would help the other party, and Bai Duan became even more vigilant, and he took a step back.
Growing up on Black Street, Bai Duan’s heart had been sharpened. He was used to death and had nearly lost his life several times. In order to survive, he had to give up his compassion early. Even if someone he knew died in front of him, he would not change, let alone a stranger.
It was so abnormal that Bai Duan felt pity for a dying stranger. Bai Duan had to wonder whether the man had done something to him and confused his mind by some unknown means. After all, it was only the Holy Light that could compete with monsters. There was nothing strange about unnatural magic.
The dagger in his right hand slowly came out of its sheath. Bai Duan’s first reaction was to kill the other party and eliminate the danger that affects his feelings. However, the indescribable uneasiness, worry, impatience, and concern in his heart made him unable to move. Finally, Bai Duan could only clench his teeth and suppress his thoughts of picking up people to take good care of them. He hurried away and disappeared in a flash.
Lying on the ground, the man stretched out his hands, but could only watch Bai Duan go away, “….”
Who said ‘the grace of saving lives couldn’t be rewarded, but can only be promised by one’s own example?’
What should he do next?!
Thinking about the blood that was on the floor, he felt so suffocated that he couldn’t explain it. Bai Duan, who finally escaped from the inexplicable emotion, finally breathed a long sigh of relief. Because of the accident, Bai Duan was confused and completely lost his interest in continuing to search for food even though he was still quite hungry at the moment. He had to go back to his room. But Bai Duan couldn’t rest. He sat uneasily in the room for a long time, first cleaning up his almost empty room, then carefully wiping and polishing his most valuable dagger, but when he finished all he could do, he still couldn’t get rid of the panic that he felt as if he had lost something important.
After swearing about the white-robed man for a long time, Bai Duan opened the door again with a gloomy face and quickly returned to the place where he had found the white-robed man before. He didn’t know what he was going to do, whether to save the other person or…kill him?
But in any case, he must first see him, in order to alleviate his impatience.
The place where the white-robed man fainted was very hidden, but it was not hard for Bai Duan, who was very familiar with the structure of Black Street to find it. He took three turns and soon took a short cut to the spot, only to find that the white-robed man had disappeared, leaving only a puddle of blood on the ground.
Bai Duan stood beside the bloodstain, a little wooden. He tried to find out where the white-robed man went by looking at the trail of blood, but he gained nothing. That person seemed to have disappeared just as he had appeared out of nowhere. If the bloodstain on the ground had not been there, Bai Duan would have doubted that he had had an inexplicable dream…
Since then, Bai Duan never saw the white-robed man again, and his life seemed to have returned to the same pace as before. It was so boring as he worked hard to live and so dangerous as he fought for a small bite of food.
However, when he lay alone in bed at night, Bai Duan would remember the dying white figure, which still haunted him, even in his sleep.
Several times, Bai Duan dreamed that the white-robed man lost his breath in front of himself. The pain of that instant made him suffocate. He would wake up in cold sweat, but he could only toss and turn with his eyes open until dawn, and there was no sleep at all.
Due to the plummeting quality of sleep, Bai Duan’s temper was also a lot worse. His fights were even more fierce, which made the rest of the Black Street residents avoid him for fear of provoking this guy who suddenly changed his style.
Even Blackie, who was close to Bai Duan and had been silent for a long time, couldn’t help asking what happened to him and why he suddenly became…so strange.
Bai Duan was silent for a moment before saying what happened to him in this period of time.
After hearing this, Blackie’s face was a little strange and delicate, “Your reaction… It’s kind of like the hero in Grandpa Hans’s so-called ‘love’ story — do you like him?”
“How could that be?!” Bai Duan immediately blew up and stared at Blackie with discontent. “I didn’t even see what he looked like. How could I like him?!”
“… That’s right,” Blackie nodded, “although there is something called love at first sight, you actually need to see him.”
Bai Duan shook his dagger angrily, “He must be afraid that I would kill him or try to lure me to save him, so he put a curse on me! What a jerk!”
Blackie looked pitifully at Bai Duan and thought that this was probably the most likely truth — though he didn’t know if there was such a powerful spell in the world.
“If I meet him next time, I will never let him go!” Bai Duan had to swear to cover up his feelings. Because even he himself didn’t know what he would do if he saw the man in white robe again, he was muddled with the thoughts of whether he would rush to seek revenge, or feel relieved and reassured quietly for the sake that he was still alive?
In the dark, on the second day after Bai Duan’s discussion with Blackie about the white-robed man, a big event happened that caused a stir in Black Street. The Son of God of the Holy Light was going to Black Street to choose his own personal attendants.
After hearing this news, everyone was extremely surprised, because the Holy Light has always been the symbol of holiness, and Black Street, like its name, was mixed with all the filthy and corrupt inferior people abandoned and excluded by ordinary society. If the Son of God of the Holy Light wanted to choose a close attendant, there was always a countless young nobleman or pure children who grew up with the Holy Light competing to take the post, and it wasn’t necessary to come to Black Street just to choose someone.
The people of Black Street couldn’t understand what these aristocrats were thinking at all, but they didn’t want to understand it either. The only thing they knew was that they needed to try to seize this opportunity to get out of Black Street and make their lives better.
Therefore, on the day when the Son of God of the Holy Light came to Black Street, the street, which was famous for its filthy and disorderly look, was renewed. The officials in charge of reception affairs were afraid that the dirty Black Street would contaminate the noble and pure body of the Son of God. They spent a lot of money to clean it up and down, and the residents of Black Street, who rarely paid attention to their appearance, were trying their best to look clean.
Of course, Bai Duan was not affected by the impetuous atmosphere in Black Street. He was a little abnormal and liked to be clean. He was often mocked by other people saying it was all a pretense, so there was no need to clean up. The only change, perhaps, was that he received a portion of relief food from the officials and ate a rare full meal.
In the face of this meal of food, Bai Duan cooperated with the arrangement made by the officials to welcome the ‘holy riders.’ He followed the rest of the residents of Black Street to the streets that were not wide but rarely clean and tidy. Then, after seeing the shadow of the knight in silver and white armor, he obeyed the command and fell on his knees.
The procession of the Holy Light was a slow one. Bai Duan knelt until his knees went numb. Only then did he see the Templar Knights passing in front of him with solemn steps.
Lowering his head near the ground, Bai Duan could only see one pair of boots after another. He couldn’t help yawning quietly. He felt that the strong and rhythmic footsteps of the Knights hypnotized him and made him drowsy. After all, he had nightmares last night, and now he was really sleepy.
Just as Bai Duan was thinking about when he could go back to sleep, a white robe suddenly stopped in front of him. From above his head, there came a joyless and pathetic, ethereal, and soft voice, “Look up.”
Bai Duan didn’t react at first, until Blackie, kneeling by his side, poked him, which made Bai Duan pull back his attention to the present.
Subconsciously he raised his head. Bai Duan looked straight at the man in front of him. His eyes suddenly narrowed, and his entire body was tense.