Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Duan FeiZhou felt Dr. Stone’s pulse. He was still alive, but with that amount of bleeding, he would be dead within minutes. If only Duan FeiZhou could master Xenophon’s secret healing arts!
However at the very moment he moved to try and help, a surge of power came from his fingertips and filled Dr. Stone’s body. He could feel the same power in Dr. Stone’s body. They intersected with each other, and gathered at the wound.
Dr. Stone stopped bleeding.
Duan FeiZhou looked at his hand in amazement. What had he done? He obviously didn’t know how to heal! Then it occurred to him that wound healing was nothing but the result of cell regeneration, and with enough energy, he could accelerate the regeneration and heal the wound. It was the same thing as transferring energy.
Dr. Stone lay motionless with empty eyes, staring helplessly at the night sky.
He had lost all hope. At the moment his son hurt him, he realized that he was no longer his son.
No, it should be, that person has been his son since the beginning. It was he, the father, who had shaped that cruel and bloody serial killer.
He wasn’t completely healed, but Duan FeiZhou wasn’t afraid that he could get up and make waves, so Duan FeiZhou dropped the sentence, “I’ll be back to clean you up later,” lifted Sword in the Stone, and chased after the others into the sewers.
“Kid, it’s too dangerous!” Sword in the Stone shouted, “That guy is not even human! Let’s give him to the Nightmen!“
“I know!” Duan FeiZhou yelled. “But I can’t let Z fight alone!”
Sword in the Stone broke out into a series of highly imaginative curses before it took over Duan FeiZhou’s body. He darted through the sewers at a speed absolutely impossible for him to achieve on his own.
After being controlled by Sword in the Stone, his perception of time and distance seemed to have become dulled. He didn’t remember how long he had run or how far he had run, only that every muscle seemed to be on fire.
A silvery white shadow appeared in front of him – it was Z.
He was crouched on the ground with a blade popped out of each arm, as he stared intently into the darkness.
Duan FeiZhou rushed to his side and stopped dead in his tracks.
“Where’s Alexander Stone?” he asked eagerly.
Z raised his chin slightly, and pointed to the front.
Duan FeiZhou whipped his head around, and sucked in a breath of cold air. Several ghoul bodies lay in the sewers, mangled limbs scattered everywhere. This direction led to Duncan McKellen’s coffin shop. The restorer wasn’t in danger, was he?
“Go!” Duan FeiZhou urged.
Z darted up, followed by Duan FeiZhou. He never knew he could run so fast. Sword in the Stone must have overreached this time.
They soon arrived at the bottom of the well in the coffin shop. There were more ghoul bodies lying around. Their blood – some kind of slime-like substance – was all over the place, and made a gooey sound with every step they took.
The two men climbed up the iron ladder one after the other. There were no bodies at the well, but there was also no sign of Alexander Stone or the restorer of the remains either.
“Could he be in the house?” Duan FeiZhou asked in a whisper.
Z nodded. “I heard voices.”
Duan FeiZhou didn’t hear anything. However, Z had excellent hearing, and he certainly trusted Z’s judgment. Z bent down and walked carefully to the door, while Duan FeiZhou followed with Sword in the Stone, and stopped to take his place by the door. Z held up three fingers and counted down to three, two, one. When he put away the last finger, he suddenly kicked the door open and rushed in first.
Duan FeiZhou followed.
The house was lit only by a kerosene lamp, dimly lit, but enough for Duan FeiZhou to see the scene in front of him.
Alexander Stone had fallen to the floor. Blood stained the surrounding wooden floor red. The smell of blood hit his nose and was sickening, but Alexander hadn’t been knocked down by Z. His thin shirt was torn to shreds and a huge gash had opened from his chest to his lower abdomen, his insides roughly ripped out.
A young red-haired man crouched in front of him, and held a still-beating heart in his hand.
“…Duncan McKellen?” Duan FeiZhou said, incredulous.
The young body restorer cum coffin shop owner cum ghoul keeper looked up and smiled at Duan FeiZhou.
Then he crushed Alexander Stone’s heart with one bite.
Blood burst out from his fingertips, like a fruit being squeezed and squeezed out of juice. A few drops of blood even splashed onto his face. He stretched out his tongue to lick away the blood at the corner of his mouth, his turquoise eyes shone like a child who had tasted a delicious meal.
Duan FeiZhou was about to vomit. He held back his nausea, and asked through clenched teeth, “Did you kill him?”
“Why do you ask?” Duncan McKellen looked at him strangely, as if Duan FeiZhou had asked an incredibly stupid question.
“Why? Are you the real perpetrator of the serial murders?”
Duncan, “Ke ke,” laughed. Was he the same Duncan McKellen that Duan FeiZhou knew? Compared to the last time they met, he was a different person. No. Maybe this was his real face. He had been acting before, and deceived Duan FeiZhou, deceived Z, deceived everyone.
“I told you I’m not. This guy is the real culprit.” He stared disgustedly at Alexander Stone’s corpse, as if it was not a once living human being but a pile of garbage, a waste that was worse than a ghoul. “He broke into my home and tried to do me harm. Is it any surprise that I killed him?”
Before he could say anything more, Z rushed at him with the speed of an arrow and swung his blade. Duncan dodged his attack with just a slight sidestep.
“Don’t waste your time, Mr. Detective. To deal with me, you’d better send a few occult practitioners over.”
“You’re an occult practitioner too?” asked Z coldly.
“Not really. I’m just…I’m just…have a strange ability that ordinary people don’t have.” Duncan grinned, spread his hands out and stepped backwards.
Z’s eyes widened slightly. “Are you…A member of the Scarlet Feast?”
The smile disappeared from Duncan’s face in a flash.
“I’m not.” He cut to the chase.
“Hmph, you expect me to believe that?”
Z rushed at him, and Duncan dodged his blade with a short dive. The young restorer looked weak, but moved with surprising agility. He escaped from the house and jumped into the drainage well.
Z cursed, and hurried after him.
Duan FeiZhou threw a complicated look at the remains of Alexander Stone, then left the house and went down into the sewer. Duan FeiZhou darted after them. They ran through the sewers for an unknown period of time, and finally a wellhead appeared in front of them.
Duncan McKellen stood directly below the wellhead. He bent his knees slightly, jumped up with impossible human strength, stomped on the wall a few times and then easily leapt up to ground level.
–Duan FeiZhou cried out.
Duncan was gifted with strange abilities, and from his reaction, he had obviously heard of the Scarlet Feast. He was definitely related to the already extinct secret society!
Z climbed up the iron ladder to the wellhead, and Duan FeiZhou rushed to follow him.
After he clambered out onto the ground, Duan FeiZhou realized that they had arrived in the outskirts of Aberdeen.
Here it was wilderness. Far away in the night he could see the faint shadow of the house. The railway stretched from north to south. The tracks were low, hills rose on either side, and a bridge span stretched over the tracks to connect the high ground on either side for pedestrians and horses to pass.
Duncan had climbed onto the bridge, and looked back at them with a smile on his lips.
Z leapt onto the bridge. Duan FeiZhou tried to catch up, but couldn’t breathe after a few steps.
“Sword in the Stone, give me a hand!” He said in a breathless voice.
“I can’t, your energy is at its limit. Although I can strengthen your body for a short time, there is no way to make you go beyond the limits of humans!“
“Can’t I stop being human?!”
On the bridge, Z has launched a stormy attack on Duncan. The snowy blade reflected the moonlight, as it cut a stern silver arc. Duncan didn’t fight back, only dodged the deadly blade, like a butterfly flying through a rainstorm.
“Why are you attacking me, Mr. Detective?” Duncan asked easily and comfortably. “I obviously solved a big problem for you. You should thank me!”
“Murderer! You’re guilty too!” Z snarled.
“Haven’t you ever killed anyone?” Duncan laughed. “‘Whoever among you is innocent can throw the first stone!”
Z was in no mood to talk to him, and thrust his sword at Duncan’s face, but Duncan deftly dodged his attack. The red-haired young man looked unimpressive, but his agility was comparable to that of Z. Z’s movements also became faster and faster. At first Duan FeiZhou could still see their moves, but soon all he could see was a blur of light and shadow.
A silver light struck Duncan, and he raised his hand to try to block Z’s sharp blade. But flesh and blood was no match for steel. A “poof” was heard and Duncan’s palm was pierced by the sharp blade.
Duncan looked at his bloodied palm with amusement. He wasn’t crying or screaming, but instead was smiling wider and wider.
Z tried to pull out the blade, but found that it was stuck in something. The wound on Duncan’s hand began to heal at a rate visible to the naked eye. The newly grown flesh wrapped tightly around the blade, and made it impossible for Z to pull it out.
“And you’re not an occult practitioner?!” Z raised the weapon in his other hand.
Duncan, however, caught his white blade in his empty hand without fear. “I told you I’m not. I’m just gifted with some kind of psychic ability.”
Z’s blade was so sharp that it should have severed his finger, but Duncan’s wound was healing so fast that the blade only severed half of his finger before it was wrapped in regrowing flesh.
Duncan sacrificed his hands, but also suppressed both of Z’s weapons.
“Mechanical prosthetics, eh?” Duncan chuckled. “That’s funny. How did your body get like that?”
“And how did you become like this?” Z’s face was as cold as ice, and he gritted his teeth as he applied a secret force.
Duncan laughed but didn’t answer. However, his arms suddenly moved.
Z’s two sharp blades broke in unison!
Duncan shook his bloody palms. The broken blades were still stuck in his palms. Both of his hands were wounded, so he simply bit the broken blades with his teeth and pulled them out without changing his expression.
“You’re unarmed, what are you going to do, Mr. Detective?”
A cold light stormed out of Z’s bloodshot eyes.
“You think I didn’t bring a spare weapon?” The corner of Z’s lips lifted.
Duncan looked at him in amazement. It didn’t seem like Z had any swords hidden on his body!
Z swept off his coat.
The black Nightman coat floated down the bridge with the wind and was caught by Duan FeiZhou below.
“Z! Don’t fight too hard!” Duan FeiZhou was anxious.
Z gripped the back collar of his shirt and tore it with force. The back of the shirt ripped in a long tear to expose his bizarre metal spine. He pressed down on the topmost vertebrae.
Suddenly, the interlocking metal spine separated, revealing a thin bronze sword hidden within. Z pulled the sword out of the spine and the spine closed again. He dashed towards Duncan and stabbed him in the chest before he could recover from the shock.
Duncan reacted abruptly when the thin sword was only a finger away from him. He leapt to the side, and hit the railing of the bridge. The aging railing couldn’t hold his weight and broke with a crunch.
Duncan didn’t even have time to scream, just fell off the bridge, and landed heavily on the railroad tracks under it. He coughed, and spat out a mouthful of blood. However, he didn’t die. The height of the bridge wasn’t enough to kill a person, and even if he was seriously injured, his rejuvenation ability would enable him to recover quickly.
At that moment, there was a distant roar of a steam whistle.
A train rumbled toward him, as it spewed black smoke. Z stood at the gap in the rail. His white hair danced wildly in the wind, while the light shone from behind him and outlined his figure like an angel of judgment had risen from Hell.
Duncan struggled to get up and tried to climb out of the tracks. However, his feet were stuck in the sleepers. 1
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get his foot out.
The train roared closer, the wheels crashed over the tracks. Even Duan FeiZhou who was standing to the side could feel the strong vibration. Duncan looked at the approaching behemoth with a vacant, blank expression, like a deer frightened by the headlights.
He will be killed by the train, Duan FeiZhou thought. He had killed Alexander Stone, who may have been the last member of the Scarlet Feast, and he may be guilty of many more sins that Duan FeiZhou didn’t know about.
But he will be hit by the train and die.
At that moment, Duan FeiZhou’s mind went blank. He thought of nothing, while his body involuntarily moved. He rushed forward, wrapped his arms around Duncan’s waist and yanked backwards.
The train sped past his eyes.
The strong drafts made Duan FeiZhou almost unstable. He sat down on his butt and looked at Duncan, who was on his knees beside him, gasping for breath.
In the nick of time, he pulled Duncan off the tracks and saved his life.
The restorer turned his head to look at him, green eyes full of surprise and incomprehension, and in a silent question. ‘You and the white-haired police are together, right? So why did you save me?’
However, he didn’t ask the question.
He just stood up quickly. As the last car of the train passed him, he ran three steps to the tracks, grabbed the handle at the back of the car, and jumped on the train. The train roared south, and Duncan hung on to it, as he looked back at Duan FeiZhou.
His silhouette, and the train quickly moved away together as they disappeared into the night in an instant. Duan FeiZhou sat in the same place for a while, his thoughts a little slow. He didn’t know how long it took, but a strong, powerful arm picked up his collar and forced him up.
Duan FeiZhou blinked and saw Z’s face in front of his eyes.
Z’s elegant and handsome face was overflowing with an anger Duan FeiZhou had never seen before. Z asked in a stern voice, “Why did you save him?!”
Perhaps because of too much anger, his voice was hoarse.
“This…” Duan FeiZhou didn’t dare to meet Z’s eyes, as he mumbled, “He was going to die…”
“Have you ever thought that maybe he’s better off dead?!”
Duan FeiZhou stumbled backwards a few steps, tripped over a stone beside the rail tracks, and fell to the ground with an “ouch”. He looked at Z aggressively.
Just a short time ago, Z was so kind and considerate to him.
When it rained, he shared an umbrella with him. He forced him to suspend work and to rest when he found out he wasn’t feeling well. Since he hates the smell of cigarette smoke, he would resist the urge to smoke and never smoke in front of him.
Now Z was like a different person. Even when they first met and Z stabbed him right through, he had never been so cold. Duan FeiZhou knew that he had really touched Z’s reverse scales.
Z raised the thin sword and placed it against Duan FeiZhou’s throat. As the cold metal pressed against his skin, Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but shiver.
“Give me a reason to not kill you.” Z gritted his teeth, and the pupils of his eyes grew scarlet, as if they were about to drip blood.
How should I answer? He realized that if his answer did not convince Z, Z wouldn’t really kill him, but from now on, he would never be able to return to the old relationship with Z. Why did he save Duncan?
Why did his body move involuntarily, knowing that it would be better if he disappeared from the world? Because he was a doctor? Because he was committed to saving lives? Because he could not see the dead and not save?
Because of procedural justice? Because even the most vicious criminals should have the opportunity to defend themselves in court?
He thought about it, and felt that those answers weren’t convincing enough.
Duan FeiZhou tilted his head, and stared into Z’s blind eyes.
“I knew a famous detective from the East when I was a kid, and he said something like this, which I always took as a guideline.” Duan FeiZhou said in a deep voice. “Killing may require a good motive, but saving lives does not.”
Z’s expression twisted.
Duan FeiZhou continued, “Even if you kill me here today, I still say, no matter what Duncan McKellen is, whether he is an ordinary person or an occult practitioner, whether he is an innocent or a criminal, I just had to save him, and I think I did nothing wrong.”