Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Long time no see.” Duncan McKellen wiped the blood from the corner of his lips, and said weakly, “No, it’s only been a few days.”
“How come it’s you?” Duan FeiZhou broke down a little.
“Shh.” Duncan put up a finger, stumbled into the house and backhanded the door shut. “Keep your voice down. Do you want to wake up the whole street, and tell them you’re harboring a fugitive in your house?”
“I’m not harboring you!” Duan FeiZhou was furious, but could only lower his voice, “It was you who broke the lock of my house!”
“Nightmen don’t care about that.” Duncan said sarcastically.
“Don’t forget I’m a member of the Nightmen too! Who would you say they’d believe, me or you?”
“Do they?” Duncan tilted his head. “If they find out that you are also an occult practitioner, who do you think they would believe?”
Duncan knew that he was an occult practitioner, but he had always been careful to keep his books on occult philosophy in the Secret Trading House, and the drawings of the spell formations that went to the trade house with him. Even if the Nightmen came to his house to raid it, they couldn’t find any suspicious items!
“I could tell the first time I saw you.” Duncan answered Duan FeiZhou’s unspoken question. “Don’t forget, I’m also a person with psychic powers. I could tell right away that you were one of my kind.”
So that’s what Duncan meant when he said “I didn’t think there were people like this alive besides me” in the Aberdeen sewers…Duan FeiZhou wanted to turn this guy over to Scotland Yard immediately, but he couldn’t. Duncan would reveal his secret.
Damn, this kid had caught him in the act!
“You…What the hell do you want?” Duan FeiZhou gritted his teeth.
“I just want to find a place to hide.” Duncan said. He covered his mouth and coughed a few times. His palms came away stained with blood. Duan FeiZhou didn’t want to get his carpet dirty, it would be a pain to clean up. He took two towels to Duncan and told him to cover the wound.
“How did you get like this?”
Duncan slumped on the couch and looked at him with some amusement. “Aren’t you one of the Nightmen? How could you not know?”
“Did you meet Jack the Ripper?” Duan FeiZhou asked.
Duncan’s face sank. “That’s right. I never thought the Nightmen would take over that guy’s mind and use him as a bloodhound. He found my hideout in London, we had a big fight, and I was outnumbered…”
He shrugged, unashamed of his defeat.
Duan FeiZhou then asked, “So how did you find my house? Why my house?”
“By smell.” Duncan pointed to his nose. “My sense of smell isn’t inferior to Jack the Ripper’s, so I easily found your home. I believe you are the only person in London who can shelter me. After all, I have nothing on anyone else.”
Duan FeiZhou wanted to punch the boy in the face, but he held back. You couldn’t beat up the wounded, you couldn’t beat up the wounded. The important thing was to say it twice.
“I can’t shelter you. You are a member of the Scarlet Feast, and sooner or later I will have to hand you over.”
“Scarlet Feast?” Duncan repeated the word in confusion. “What makes you think I’m a member of the Scarlet Feast?”
“Because Jack the Ripper said he knew you,” Duan FeiZhou said. “There are only two members of the Scarlet Feast still alive, one of them is Jack the Ripper, and the other one could only be you.”
Duncan froze, then suddenly threw back his head and laughed. He laughed so wantonly and wildly that tears flowed from the corners of his eyes. “Hahahaha! I never thought that one day I would be mistaken for a member of the Scarlet Feast…”
The laughter came to an abrupt halt, and a hint of pain surfaced on his cheeks. He covered the wound on his abdomen tightly. It seemed that the burst of wild laughter just now had aggravated his injury.
Duan FeiZhou looked at him coldly. “If you aren’t, then why would Jack the Ripper know you?”
Duncan said in a good-natured tone, “If you think about it…did the people Jack the Ripper know at the Scarlet Feast have to be members of the Scarlet Feast?”
“Or what?” Duan FeiZhou thought he was talking nonsense. “What other people are there in the Scarlet Feast? There are twelve members, ten are dead and two are alive. And I’ve never heard of them having servants or anything like that. Other than that…”
Wait a minute. Of course the Scarlet Feast had people other than the twelve members. That would be their prey – the poor people they ate as food.
Duan FeiZhou’s eyes widened in horror. “Does that mean you are…”
His mouth was dry and he couldn’t go on.
Duncan smiled and nodded, to confirm his suspicions. He said hoarsely, “That’s right. I was the prey of the Scarlet Feast.”
Jack the Ripper kept his head down, as he sniffed hard at the lingering scent of blood in the air. Mrs. Q held his reins and looked at him warily, while Mr. R sat on the curb, polishing the silver knife he held. A raven circled overhead, and occasionally made a croaking sound.
They were on the banks of the Thames. The night was thick and foggy.
“Let him get away!” the raven said in a shrill voice.
“Shut up.” Mr. R. replied, in no good humor.
“I told you, you shouldn’t have just shot. You should’ve called for backup!”
“I thought I could handle that kid, but I didn’t think he’d move so fast.” Mr. R grunted.
Jack the Ripper had led them through London’s complex underground tunnels and managed to find Duncan McKellen. He was hiding in London, lurking in an abandoned sewer. He thought it was a safe haven, but hadn’t expected the Nightmen to send Jack the Ripper to find him.
Mr. R and Xenophon should have been able to catch the kid. They managed to injure him. However, they were negligent. The kid was able to summon ghouls. Under the cover of the tidal wave of ghouls, the kid escaped.
“I didn’t expect there to be so many ghouls under London either.” Mr. R flicked his silver knife and shook off the blood on it.
Beneath their feet, London’s sewers were littered with ghoul bodies. The raven said, “Duncan McKellen is wounded and can’t have gotten far. Continue to have Jack the Ripper search for him!”
“Got it. You don’t need to tell me.”
Mrs. Q tugged at the rope in her hand and said to Jack the Ripper, “You’ve got his trail, haven’t you? Take us there!”
Jack the Ripper opened his mouth with a shark-like, aggressive grin. He did smell it. Such a familiar scent. His thoughts went back five years to when he was part of the Scarlet Feast. It was only five years ago, but it seemed like centuries to him.
He still remembered that day – the last gathering of the Scarlet Feast. They caught a young man with a natural ability, and locked him up in the dungeon for a long time. The boy’s powers were so powerful that everyone at the Scarlet Feast was sure that after eating his flesh and blood, they would gain unprecedented power.
The strange energy possessed by one person could be passed on to another person by devouring flesh. This did not mean that the strange energy was contained in the flesh and blood, and that all the flesh and blood must be eaten to gain power. The act of devouring flesh and blood actually established an energy channel between the devourer and the devoured, through which the natural strange energy could flow into the devourer.
In other words, even if only one bite was eaten, one could gain the ability of that teenager. If many individuals shared at the same time, the power gained by each person would be reduced, but Jack the Ripper felt indifferent. He joined the Scarlet Feast originally to eat people, not for any strange ability. As long as he could eat human flesh, who cared whether it was an ordinary person or occult practitioners?
That day, he had thought he would enjoy a feast like no other. Twelve companions gathered in the sanctuary, and the teenager was carried to the table as if he were a meal.
Everyone rubbed their knives and forks in anticipation of his delicious flesh and blood. But then something happened. They thought the boy had been restrained with an occult technique and had passed out, leaving them to slaughter him, but to their surprise he suddenly opened his eyes.
He grabbed the dinner knife beside him and stabbed the closest occult practitioner. Only one slice cut the man’s throat. The prey instantly became the hunter.
The teenager drank the blood of the occult practitioners he had killed while he slaughtered the rest with abandon. The occult practitioners had eaten many people who had the gift of strange abilities, and each of them gained great power. So now, this power was drawn by the teenager.
In the blink of an eye, ten members of the Scarlet Feast fell.
Jack the Ripper and one other person saw the situation wasn’t right, and immediately turned around and fled, which saved their lives. Afterwards, Jack the Ripper was arrested by the Nightmen for committing the Whitechapel serial murders.
As for the whereabouts of his escaped companion and the teenager, he didn’t know anything.
Five years later, he unexpectedly met the teenager again.
After he drew on the power of the Scarlet Feast members, the teenager became so powerful that it took three Nightmen joining forces to injure him. Even then, the three Nightmen only managed to injure him. How delicious should his flesh and blood be now?
Jack the Ripper was going to drool, just thinking about it. He had to get rid of the Nightmen and find the boy! They thought a rope could hold him down? They underestimated the power of Jack the Ripper. For the past five years, he hadn’t been waiting to die in the dungeon. He’d been hunkered down, as he secretly built up his strength.
To make him a hound was a huge mistake. Now the Nightmen would have to pay the price for their mistake.
Jack the Ripper picked up his pace, and ran into the fog of London’s night.
Mrs. Q trotted after him, putting a small distance between her and Mr. R and Xenophon in the rear.
“In that direction?” The old woman asked, panting.
Jack the Ripper let out a whimpering growl.
She probably thought her secret technique was perfect. Jack the Ripper thought excitedly, but she was wrong. Those who were controlled by the secret technique were supposed to become puppets for the occult practitioners and do as they were told, but Jack the Ripper had kept a trace of himself throughout. Perhaps because he ate many psychics and gained extraordinary power. Perhaps because his spirit has long been abnormal, so it couldn’t be generalized with the normal people.
Anyway, all it took was the right moment, just a split seconds inattention, and he could break free of the occult technique and regain his freedom!
The fog wrapped around them. Xenophon and Mr. R had disappeared. Jack the Ripper stopped in his tracks.
“Why don’t you go?” Mrs. Q, who was holding the rope, asked.
Jack the Ripper whimpered, as if he were a wounded beast.
“You’re hurt?” Mrs. Q sized him up. “I don’t suppose the fight just now reached you?”
She lifted her hand, intending to examine Jack the Ripper’s body.
— It only took a split second for the break to be enough.
Jack the Ripper smiled a triumphant smile.
Beneath the night, on the banks of the Thames, a sudden female scream rang out. When Mr. R and Xenophon arrived in a hurry, they only saw that Mrs. Q had fallen on the ground, her arm bleeding. The rope she had been holding was torn off.
Jack the Ripper was nowhere to be found.
“… So, I killed ten members of the Scarlet Feast, devoured their flesh and blood, and fled the sanctuary. I went to the north, went incognito, and used my newly acquired powers to do my job as a body restorer – until I met you guys.”
Duan FeiZhou leaned against the wall, arms wrapped around him, and quietly listened to Duncan’s story. It turned out that the Scarlet Feast was not destroyed because of internal strife, but was killed by their prey.
“Since you are not a member of the Scarlet Feast, then who is the last remaining occult practitioner?” Duan FeiZhou was puzzled.
“I don’t know.” Duncan shrugged. “They all wore masks. I could only tell from the physical appearance that it was an old man. And my sense of smell wasn’t as sharp as it is now, so I couldn’t find that person even if I wanted to.”
After saying that, he leaned back on the sofa, as if waiting for Duan FeiZhou to give the verdict.
At that time, if Duncan didn’t resist, he would have been eaten by Scarlet Feast as food. He killed those ten occult practitioners, that should be considered legitimate defense, right? Although this defense was a little too aggressive…
As for his killing of Aberdeen’s serial killer Alexander Stone, it should also be considered an ‘act of bravery?’ Although this was also a little too aggressive…
If he looked at it from a modern legal point of view, Duncan was definitely not guilty, and may even be acquitted. But this was the 19th century, and Duncan as a psychic, he was unlikely to get any fair trial. In the Nightmen dungeon for life, was perhaps the best end he could hope for.
As he thought about it, Duan FeiZhou even sympathized with Duncan.
“Well? Want to let me live, Mr. Occult Practitioner?” Duncan asked with a smile.
Duan FeiZhou let out a long sigh. “You have me in your hands. What else can I do?”
He walked towards Duncan and squeezed the other man’s shoulder. He had only cast the secret technique of healing wounds once, and even then he’d used it unconsciously in an emergency. He wasn’t sure if it would work this time. He concentrated his mind and mobilized the energy in his body to stimulate the cells around the wound to regenerate automatically.
Unfortunately no matter how much energy he mobilized, as soon as he injected it into Duncan’s body, it was like a mud cow in the sea, as it disappeared instantly.
“Don’t bother.” Duncan waved away his hand. “This wound is caused by an occult weapon, and can’t be healed by magic. Even my own recovery can’t work on it.”
“There is something like that?” It was the first time Duan FeiZhou had heard of that principle.
It suddenly occurred to him that Z was obviously surrounded by people like Xenophon who were good at healing secret arts, yet he was still blind. Does this mean that Z’s eyes were also injured by an occult weapon, and therefore occult magic couldn’t be used to restore his eyesight?
Strange, why would he subconsciously think of Z?
“I can keep you for a while.” Duan FeiZhou said. “But I hope you can leave as soon as possible. I have my own difficulties.”
He could hide Duncan in the Secret Trading House. Duncan could recuperate there until he healed.
“Thank you very much.” Duncan closed his eyes.
Duan FeiZhou was drawing him a key to the Secret Trading House, when Duncan jumped up and stared alertly out the window. “Not good.”
“What’s wrong?” Duan FeiZhou tensed.
Duncan licked his lips and, ignoring the wounds on his body, opened the window and leapt down. He said, “Jack the Ripper.”
Duan FeiZhou rushed to the window, which overlooked the street below. Duncan landed and rolled, and reluctantly rose to his feet. Where he was facing, a dark shadow slowly emerged from the night fog.
Messy bearded hair, tattered clothes, a pair of dark gleaming eyes.
It was the Jack the Ripper that Duan FeiZhou had seen in the dungeons of Scotland Yard.
But how was it possible? he thought in horror. Wasn’t Jack the Ripper controlled by Mrs. Q’s occult magic? How could he be here alone, and where was Mrs. Q., Mr. R. and Xenophon? Weren’t they acting together?
Then he noticed that Jack the Ripper had half a rope hanging from his neck. The end of the rope swayed in the wind, as if it had been violently torn off. A coldness rose from the soles of Duan FeiZhou’s feet and crawled up his spine to his neck.
Jack the Ripper had broken free of his occult bonds.
He was free.
Duncan watched Jack the Ripper with rapt attention, and the latter gazed at him with interest.
Once the hunter and the hunted, now they met again in the streets of London at night.
“Finally, I’ve found you.” Jack the Ripper licked his lips. “Come quickly, I can’t wait to taste your flesh and blood!”
Duncan smiled, “It’s not sure who’s going to eat who today.”
Duan FeiZhou immediately pulled out Sword in the Stone and also leapt off the ledge. If he had to choose one of the two men to help, he would rather help Duncan. However, Duncan raised a hand and blocked Duan FeiZhou.
“He is my enemy, let me deal with him.” The red-haired young man raised his head, and said proudly.
“But you’re injured…” Duan FeiZhou glanced at the red blood on his abdomen.
“If I fail, it is my fate.” Duncan’s eyes were firm. “And I know you’re a doctor. I won’t let a doctor’s hands get blood on them.”
Jack the Ripper laughed at that. “That’s a nice way of putting it! Today I’m going to eat you and that boy together! Two for one, what a feast!”
I can’t entirely dislike Duncan and actually feel somewhat sorry for him.
He doesn’t appear to have hurt anyone for pleasure, only in self-defence. This closing scene makes him sound honourable too.
Can he beat JtR when wounded though? I hope so!
Will Xenophon be able to trace them from the air? 😬
Thanks for translating and editing.
So gross. If it wasn’t such a good story, I would have trouble reading it. But the story is excellent.
Poor Duncan!! I can’t believe he was the ‘feast’ they were serving.
Hope he beats JtR soon!! That guy is too creepy.
Thank you for the chapter!