Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Since Duan FeiZhou became an unlicensed doctor, he had seen various types of patients, including those who cried out, those who were calm, and those who thought everything was over and had no will to live. However, a flying knife to force him to practice medicine…this was the first time that had happened.
…It was really odd.
The man with the dagger called himself Goldstein, and his companion was a skinny, rodent-like man named Palmer. Palmer was lying on Duan FeiZhou’s bed (the only bed in the dilapidated hut), as he covered his abdomen. Blood poured out from under his fingers, and soon stained the sheets blood-red. Duan FeiZhou sweated under Goldstein’s threatening gaze as he carefully used scissors to cut open the wounded man’s clothes.
He drew a cold breath.
Beneath the clothes was a bloody mess, with several parallel wounds across the injured man’s abdomen, as if torn by the sharp claws of a fierce beast. What kind of weapon could cause such a wound?
What did Palmer provoke to end up in such a state? Although very curious, this was not Duan FeiZhou’s business. The only thing he should consider at the moment was how to save the wounded man.
Duan FeiZhou had just scooped up a pot of water from the water tank when Goldstein flashed his dagger.
“What do you want?” he asked coldly.
“Boiling water.” Duan FeiZhou shrank back, to avoid his blade.
“Don’t try to make a move,” Goldstein warned.
Palmer, who was lying on the bed, opened his eyes and gestured to Duan FeiZhou. “Let me do it.”
Duan FeiZhou looked uncertainly at the badly wounded Palmer, who had trouble getting up. Did he want to help build a fire? Goldstein pulled out a thin metal rod from his pocket and shoved it into Palmer’s hand.
Palmer pointed to the water basin with the metal rod, and with a whoosh, the water basin began to emit steam.
Duan FeiZhou’s jaw dropped.
“You…how did you do that?” He used his finger to test the water temperature, and his finger almost cooked. “Is this magic?”
Palmer’s pale face squeezed out a smile. “You can understand it that way, Doctor.”
There was magic in this world!
Duan FeiZhou seemed to hear angels blowing trumpets in the clouds. He had traveled to this world three years ago. He was poor and wretched, but now he had finally discovered something unusual about this world! Maybe learning magic was precisely what he had transmigrated here for!
“If you know magic,” Duan FeiZhou asked. “Why don’t you heal yourself?”
Palmer laughed sarcastically. “I’m not good at that secret art. There are specialties within the arts, Doctor.”
Goldstein gave Duan FeiZhou a push. “Cut the crap, and get to work!”
Duan FeiZhou glanced at him, and dipped the needle and thread into boiling water to sterilize it.
Palmer had brought some laudanum as a painkiller, so he wasn’t in as much pain as Ruth’s father had been during the operation. 1 The operation lasted late into the night. By the time Duan FeiZhou had finished stitching up all of Palmer’s wounds, the moon was high in the sky. He also had to waste a precious candle for this purpose.
He was already exhausted and almost out of energy with two surgeries in a single day. Goldstein watched him like a prison guard the whole time, which made his nerves more tense. He washed his hands free of blood in the basin of water, and picked up the basin to walk outside the house.
“Where are you going?” Goldstein stopped him.
“I can’t just dump dirty water in my own house, can I?” Duan FeiZhou said in a bad mood.
Goldstein pushed the door open a crack, looked out, and said coldly, “Go, and come back quickly. Don’t leave my sight!”
He flipped his right hand, and flashed his dagger to say, ‘You can’t run away from my knife even if you dare to run away.’
Duan FeiZhou scowled, tiptoed out the door with the water basin, and headed for the nearest gutter.
Something overhead suddenly swept by, and dark feathers slowly fell toward him.
Duan FeiZhou tilted his head and saw a raven was flying over Mire Street. It was often crowded with ravens, attracted by the street’s constant stench of decay. The raven rested on the eaves and shook its wings. Its snowy eyes reflected the cold moonlight.
Then, it spoke.
“Boss! That’s the house!”
Duan FeiZhou subconsciously turned around.
The bright moonlight spilled over the rolling roofs of Mire Street as if rolling hills were covered with a layer of white frost. At the junction of white and black, another figure appeared.
The man stepped in the moonlight. His black coat fluttered in the wind, while his long silver-white hair danced wildly. He pulled out a golden cigarette case from the inside pocket of his jacket and shook out a hand-rolled cigarette with a flick of his wrist.
He caught the cigarette with his teeth, and pulled it out of the box.
When he noticed others on the street, he gave a soft, “Huh?” He lowered his blood-red eyes, and faced Duan Feizhou on the ground.
Duan FeiZhou’s mind was instantly left with only one thought. This guy is fucking beautiful.
Duan FeiZhou still remembered that he once visited a museum and saw a figurine carved out of human bone. The carving was exquisite, a masterpiece, but whenever one saw it, one would unconsciously remember that this thing was once a living human being.
The physiological sense of disgust and the artwork’s beauty was strangely combined, but formed a sense of unspeakable allure. This man gave him the exact same feeling as the statue.
He looked at Duan FeiZhou. However his gaze didn’t focus on the latter’s face but only looked vacantly in that direction as if he wondered whether there was anyone there or not.
After a few seconds which seemed like centuries to Duan FeiZhou, the white-haired man averted his gaze. He put the cigarette case back into his pocket, fished out a matchbox, took out a match, and lit the cigarette with a light rub. He just stood there, as he quietly swallowed the smoke. The smoke from the cigarette was quickly dispersed by the night wind, like snowflakes that disappeared into the darkness.
The next second, he was gone.
The cigarette, with still-burning sparks, slowly fell.
A silvery-white shadow flew past Duan FeiZhou. He rubbed his eyes and realized that the white-haired man hadn’t disappeared, simply moved faster than the naked eye could catch. He darted across the roof, jumped onto the top of Duan FeiZhou’s house, kicked off the loose tiles, then jumped down between the gaps in the beams.
The cigarette landed at that moment, and went out with a sizzle.
A scream rang out from inside the house. The door slammed open in a panic, and the stout Goldstein stumbled out and fell on his face. He fought to hold himself up, his bloodied face wearing an expression of utter terror as he desperately tried to escape.
The white-haired man, too beautiful to be human, stepped out of the hut.
Goldstein turned back and threw a dagger at him, which the white-haired man blocked with a slight lift of his hand.
Duan FeiZhou noticed that his sleeve was torn, which revealed a brass-colored arm. It reflected a cold metallic sheen. Duan FeiZhou suddenly realized that it was a mechanical prosthetic arm.
He had long since discovered that this era was different from Victorian history, with the steam revolution soaring high and already appearing as steam-powered flying airships and prosthetic limbs capable of connecting to nerves. If Duan FeiZhou found out that this world was directly between steampunk with a foot into the door of cyberpunk, he would not be the slightest surprised.
The white-haired man put one foot on Goldstein’s back. When he lifted his leg, Duan FeiZhou clearly heard the sound of machinery running. The guy had a mechanical prosthetic leg too?
Goldstein let out a dying scream and went limp. “I surrender! I surrender!”
The white-haired man’s beautifully shaped lips curled up slightly, then twisted into a cruel smile as if he was savoring some sweet fragrance that filled the air.
Duan FeiZhou could hardly tell whether he was a human or a ghost. If he was a human, why was he so ferocious? If he was a ghost…Was there really such a good-looking ghost in the world? If not for the blood on his body, this picture would have been a delightful spectacle.
No, thought Duan FeiZhou. Even if he was covered with blood, this picture was beautiful. Like a warlike, bloodthirsty god rising from hell on the bones of his enemies, lovely enough to make one’s soul tremble.
The raven on the eaves stretched its neck, “Boss, below you!”
The white-haired man leaped backward. The muddy ground exploded instantly where he had been standing before. A colossal rat jumped out of the ground.
No. It wasn’ a rat, but a hurt Palmer. His right hand grabbed the metal stick, or perhaps it should be called a wand, while his left hand covered his abdomen. Hatred and fear piled up on his sharp face.
“So good at drilling holes in the ground. Not bad, Palmer,” the raven scoffed loudly. “I advise you to surrender as soon as possible. Maybe our leader will have mercy, and leave you alive.”
Palmer grinned, and showed a mouthful of yellow teeth. “What an honor to have the Commander of the Nightmen arrest me personally!” He pointed his wand at the raven. “I’d like to know how your superior will look when he sees his right-hand man turned into a corpse.”
An invisible shockwave erupted from the wand. The raven fell backward heavily as if hit by an invisible fist. It rolled several times on the undulating roof, and fell with a thud.
Palmer turned his wand again and pointed it at the white-haired man. A shock wave came out of the wand again.
The white-haired man quickly dodged but was still a step too late. The shockwave hit his right shoulder. There was a click, and his right arm broke at the shoulder, detached from his body, then the whole thing flew off.
A few cables dangled from the truncated side of his right arm, and a few gears spun idly. The white-haired man’s face was expressionless. He didn’t even blink, as if it wasn’t his arm that had just flown away but a dispensable ornament on his body.
“Is that the only move you can make?” He laughed contemptuously.
Beads of sweat broke out on Palmer’s forehead. He turned around sharply and stared straight at Duan FeiZhou, who had been cowering nearby, as he watched the battle. He rushed towards Duan FeiZhou with a swift movement and held him by his thin arms.
“Don’t you come any closer! I’ll blow this kid’s head off if you dare to move!” He held his wand against Duan FeiZhou’s chin.
Duan FeiZhou was confused. “Brother, I just saved your life, and this is how you’re going to return the favor?”
“Shut up! Or I’ll blow your head off right now!”
“But won’t you not have any more hostages if I die?”
The sound of birds flapping their wings came from overhead. The raven flew back up to the eaves with difficulty.
“Take it easy, Palmer,” it said. “Let the young man go. He’s innocent, and you’ll do him harm.”
Palmer roared, “Get out of the way, all of you! Let me go! When I’m safe, I’ll let the boy go!”
The raven shook its head.
“You don’t understand, Palmer. You’re really going to hurt him.” It spoke with pity, “The boss isn’t like me, and he’s never cared about hostages.”
Duan FeiZhou was dumbfounded.
The white-haired man rushed towards the robber and hostage with arrow-like speed while a sharp blade popped out of his remaining hand. The last thing Duan FeiZhou witnessed was the white-haired man’s beautiful, alien face as it approached closer to his eyes.
The sharp blade struck him squarely in the chest, penetrated his body and stabbed the kidnapper behind him.
Palmer let go of his hand, and the wand rolled away. The blade withdrew, and blood splattered. A bead of blood splashed onto the white-haired man’s cheek.
Duan FeiZhou looked down at the hole in his chest where blood was pouring out, and helplessly collapsed.
What kind of Russian rescue is this? 2
- laudanum – a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium dissolved in alcohol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laudanum
- This term was coined when citizens found out that most Russian hostage situations did not end like they would in the US or UN (with the hostages being the number one priority); the Russian military ignores hostages for the sake of getting the perpetrators.