Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In the next second, Duncan’s figure disappeared. In the blink of an eye, he appeared in front of Jack the Ripper and swung a punch at his opponent’s face. Jack the Ripper casually raised his hand and blocked his attack.
Duncan immediately kicked the Ripper in the abdomen. Duncan pounced on him again. But his opponent bent his body, the whole man, shell-like, snapped forward and hit Duncan. The red-haired young man adjusted his stance in the air in time to land on all fours like a cat, as his nails snapped into the ground and left five long scratches.
Duan FeiZhou opened his eyes wide, desperate to keep up with the speed of the two. This was the strength of those who have power, and their agility was comparable to that of Z.
At first Duncan had the upper hand. However, he was wounded and soon ran out of energy, while Jack the Ripper continued to attack as fast as the wind.
“I can’t believe I ended up having you all to myself!” Jack the Ripper grabbed Duncan’s neck, lifted him up high and laughed wildly.
Duncan couldn’t breathe, and his legs were stomping helplessly in the air. He tried to break the hand around his neck, but to no avail.
Duan FeiZhou couldn’t stay on the sidelines any longer. He brought up Sword in the Stone and rushed towards Jack the Ripper. A flash of sword light, and blood splattered everywhere. Duncan landed heavily on the ground.
Jack the Ripper not only didn’t scream, he laughed even more wantonly, “Yes! Yes! I haven’t felt this kind of pain in a long time!”
He ignored the fact that his severed arm was bleeding like running water, and strode towards Duan FeiZhou. The Ripper laughed, and ran wildly. “You’re good! The stronger the prey, the more delicious it is!”
Duan FeiZhouri immediately raised Sword in the Stone, and slashed at Jack the Ripper’s only remaining arm. The sharp wind of the sword cut through the flesh and bone. The arm fell to the ground with a sound.
However, Jack the Ripper’s footsteps didn’t slow at all. He pounced on Duan FeiZhou and bit him on the shoulder. Duan FeiZhou tried to block with the sword, but it was too late.
Jack the Ripper’s teeth sank into his flesh and blood. He felt a piece of flesh on his shoulder along with his clothes being ripped off raw. Jack the Ripper rolled his throat and swallowed his bloody flesh into his belly.
Duan FeiZhou was in so much pain that tears were coming out of his eyes. He wanted to swing the sword and cut off the creature’s head, however the pain weakened him and he didn’t even have the strength to raise the sword.
Jack the Ripper grinned, intending to take another bite.
At that moment, there was only a bloody tearing sound as an arm went through Jack the Ripper’s chest. Duncan stood behind the Ripper. His hand had turned into a sharp claw, pierced through the serial killer’s chest and grabbed his heart.
The heart thumped in his fingertips.
The smile froze on Jack the Ripper’s face.
Duncan drew back his hand, and with a firm grip, the heart broke apart into a pile of sticky, rotten flesh. Jack the Ripper’s body shook for a moment, then fell heavily face down on the ground.
“Just who is the prey?” Duncan asked coldly as he stared at the corpse of the unbeatable serial killer.
Duan FeiZhou sat paralyzed on the ground, as he covered the wound on his shoulder. His vision gradually became blurred due to excessive blood loss. He vaguely saw a red shadow step over Jack the Ripper’s body, and walk up to him.
“Are you all right?” Duncan asked.
Duan FeiZhou pointed to Jack the Ripper at his feet and tried to warn him, but his voice wouldn’t come out. Jack the Ripper, who had lost his heart, should have turned into a cold corpse, but he suddenly twitched. Duncan realized something was wrong behind him, but it was too late.
Jack the Ripper’s corpse suddenly rose up, and bit Duncan’s neck.
This guy, the heart was gone and he still can move? Is this the kind of psychic power he possessed?
Duncan fell down helplessly, as he covered the wound on his neck that kept gushing out blood. A hoarse hiss came out of his throat.
Jack the Ripper pounced on him, trying to give him the final fatal bite. With his last ounce of strength, Duan FeiZhou grabbed the Sword in the Stone and jumped up, and rushed towards Jack the Ripper.
This time he would show no mercy.
The sword blade aimed at the Ripper’s neck and cut hard.
No blood splashed out, because the blood no longer flowed in a body without a heart.
Jack the Ripper’s headless body just fell down.
Duan FeiZhou’s body shook for a moment and he fell to his knees after him. He had to use Sword in the Stone to support himself.
“Duncan McKellen…You…Are you alright…?” Duan FeiZhou said with effort.
Then, he also fell down. Jack the Ripper, the man wounded by the Ripper, and the man who killed the Ripper. The three people had fallen together. Duan FeiZhou tried to use his occult magic to heal his wounds, but the pain made him unable to concentrate.
His consciousness also gradually became dazed. He heard Duncan crawl toward him with difficulty, turn him over and face upward, then stuff something warm and soft with a strong taste of blood into his mouth.
“Eat this.” Duncan said hoarsely.
Duan FeiZhou suddenly realized that what Duncan had stuffed into his mouth was the heart of Jack the Ripper.
“This will create a channel between you and that guy, and you can draw on the power that belongs to him and heal yourself.”
The smell of blood made Duan FeiZhou gag.
“I…Don’t…” He shook his head weakly.
“You have to eat it.” Duncan forcefully opened his mouth and shoved the heart in.
Duan FeiZhou was about to vomit. He twisted his face away. “Why did you…Why don’t you eat it yourself…”
Duncan laughed as he gasped. “I’m dying, doctor. I know I’m not going to live much longer. So I want you to inherit our power – the power of me, Jack the Ripper, the dead occult practitioners of the Scarlet Feast, and all of those they ate. The power of the Fourth Forerunner.”
Duan FeiZhou’s brain was beginning to spin.
“What…the Fourth Forerunner?” He asked hoarsely. He only knew the First Forerunner, Hermes, the Second Forerunner, the Great Lord of Light, the Third Forerunner, Hecate…Who was this Fourth Forerunner?
Duncan’s smile became more and more blurred, as Duan FeiZhou’s consciousness became more and more dazed.
“I heard this story from a member of the Scarlet Feast, so I’ll make it short.” Duncan paused to catch his breath with each sentence. “Once upon a time, when mankind met with a great calamity, the Fourth Forerunner descended to the earth to save them. But He was betrayed by His apostles. The apostles, coveting His power, set a trap, captured the Fourth Forerunner, and then divided His body. Each of them acquired a portion of the Forerunner’s powers, and became the best of the occult practitioners. Their descendants also inherited this ability, which continues to this day.”
Duncan laughed hoarsely, “That’s right. All the psychics in the occult practitioners today are the descendants of those apostles. I am, and so are you. In the long history of inheritance, most of them have forgotten the legends of their ancestors, and don’t even know that they possess psychic powers. But the occult practitioners of the Scarlet Feast remember. They sought out those with psychic powers, brought them back to the sanctuary, and ate them as food to take their power. The Scarlet Feast believed that this was ‘recycling’ the abilities of the Fourth Forerunner. One day, when they had eaten enough Alter Egos, they would be able to become a great existence comparable to the Forerunners.”
He…What the hell was he talking about? thought Duan FeiZhou in shock. Why was he a little bit confused? Was Duncan’s narrative too astounding, or had his own brain become too slow to think?
“Doctor, Jack the Ripper was a member of the Scarlet Feast, and I ate ten of the Scarlet Feast’s occult practitioners to gain their power. You can imagine how powerful the two of us are together. If we were to die like this, then our power would be wasted. So…How about you inherit it?”
Duncan held up the blood-soaked minced meat in his hand. “Maybe it’s really like what the Scarlet Feast speculated, that you can become the Forerunner.”
Duan FeiZhou shook his head uncontrollably. “I…I don’t want…You go away…”
“Consider this my reward for you.” Duncan smiled. “Because you saved my life, I will give you my powers. You will become immensely powerful, even more powerful than you are now. Maybe one day, you will be above everyone.”
After saying that, he bit through his wrist, and forced Duan FeiZhou to drink his blood.
In a flash, two blazing hot powers flowed into Duan FeiZhou’s body. It was the same feeling he had experienced before when he ate Joseph Chester’s ashes. However, the energy flowing into him now was a thousand times more powerful than the other time, as if two flames were burning his body.
Last time, only his eyes burned. This time, he felt that every cell in his body was melting in the blazing heat. It was as if he had become a piece of steel, and was melting in a furnace, then being hammered and forged into another form. What the power of the Fourth Forerunner? He didn’t want it at all! His ancestor was an apostle who devoured the Fourth Forerunner? What a joke!
He was just an ordinary person who entered this time and space by mistake! Why did he step into such a situation? He wanted to stand up and escape, but he couldn’t move at all.
He sank into the boundless darkness.
Duan FeiZhou blinked his eyes and sat up. It was pitch black around him, but not completely black. It was indeed dark all around, but thousands of stars shone above his head, and a cobblestoned path was beneath his feet. The path seemed suspended in the starry sky, as it extended into the infinite darkness.
Was he dead? Was this the world after death? Why was there only one galactic railroad path… Ah, no. A galactic cobblestone path? Shouldn’t there be an old woman standing by the bridge with a bowl of soup for him to drink? 1
Duan FeiZhou, who died, was slightly overwhelmed. He stood up and looked at his own body. He was wearing the same clothes he had before he died, but they were now clean and intact. The wounds and blood on his body were also gone. It was as if he had never fought Jack the Ripper.
Maybe people would return to their full state after death. Since he was already dead, there was nothing else to do, he’d go down the road. Duan FeiZhou walked forward with courage. He thought the starry sky would emerge as a picture of his life, like a walking light, however, the starry sky was just the starry sky, cold and solemn.
After he had walked for a long time, the road ahead split into three, and formed a crossroads.
A woman with her back to him was standing in the middle of the intersection. Duan FeiZhou thought expectantly. Was the old woman going to let him have soup? However, when the woman turned around, Duan FeiZhou realized he was very wrong.
The woman wasn’t a granny, but instead was a young woman. She had black hair that reached the ground and she wore a Greek-style snow-white robe, like a goddess out of mythology. Also, her eyes were pitch black, while her pupils were silvery white, as if the silver moon was hanging high in the night sky.
She gazed at Duan FeiZhou for a moment, then a smile bloomed on her face.
“It’s been a long time.” Her voice was ethereal and distant, reminiscent of a church bell. “I never thought we would meet again.”
Duan FeiZhou looked her up and down to make sure he didn’t remember the woman’s face.
“Have we met before?” he asked.
The woman nodded, “You don’t remember. That’s okay. Sooner or later you’ll remember.”
“Uh, can you please not be a riddler?” Duan FeiZhou’s tone was sincere.
The woman laughed again, as if she was amused by Duan FeiZhou.
“Who are you?” Duan FeiZhou asked.
“I think you already have the answer in your mind.” The woman continued to be the riddler.
Well, this was probably a test, Duan FeiZhou thought to himself. It’s like some of the reasoning novels he’s read. The author gives all the clues, and then challenges the reader to solve the puzzle.
First of all, this woman was certainly not an ordinary human being. Judging from her attire, she might have something to do with ancient Greece. Plus she was standing at a crossroads…
An answer soon surfaced in Duan FeiZhou’s brain.
“The Guardian of the Crossroads…” Duan FeiZhou recited this name with surprise. “Hecate, the Goddess of Death?”
Just by reciting this name, Duan FeiZhou could feel the words, full of magic, as they flowed between his lips and tongue.
The woman smiled approvingly, “You really are as smart as ever.”
Unbelievable. Did gods really exist in the world?
No, Hecate was just a name. She was actually an occult practitioner, one of the top, most senior occult practitioners, known as the Third Forerunner. In some ancient times, she was worshiped as a god by people who feared her. One of the Forerunners…There were eight Forerunners, four of whom have died, two continue to climb, and two remain in the world. Hecate was one of the two who remained.
Duan FeiZhou was a bit wary. “Since you are the Goddess of Death, does that mean I am dead?”
Hecate looked into the boundless starry sky. “It depends on how you choose.”
“What? I can still choose not to die?” Duan FeiZhou was surprised. “I thought I had been killed by Jack the Ripper…”
“Did you?” Hecate interrupted him.
He was indeed badly wounded, but as he was dying, Duncan McKellen forced him to eat Jack the Ripper’s heart, then drink his own blood. By devouring the flesh of other psychics, he was able to take the power of others. So he now had the full power of Jack the Ripper and Duncan McKellen?
Duncan McKellen had a powerful self-healing ability. If Duan FeiZhou had gained his power, he would have been healed. Duncan McKellen killed ten Scarlet feast occult practitioners, devoured their flesh and blood, and took their power.
The two of them were perhaps the strongest of the present-day psychics. The power of both of them had now been inherited by Duan FeiZhou. He should still be alive, but why hadn’t he woken up in the real world?
“Why am I here? Why did I meet you? Aren’t you the Forerunner?” A series of questions popped up in Duan FeiZhou’s mind.
Hecate stretched out a finger, and tapped her chin in a thoughtful manner. “This place is a space created by a former Forerunner, and only we Forerunners and those called by us can enter. It is somewhat similar to your Secret Trading House.”
“You actually know about the Secret Trading House?” Duan FeiZhou was stunned. But on second thought, the other party was a near-goddess. Was there anything in the world that she didn’t know?
“I know many things.” Hecate said indifferently.
“Then I came here because I was called by you?”
“One could say yes and no.”
Duan FeiZhou was getting a little impatient. Why do these gods and demons like to be riddlers so much? Was it so hard to open up the sky and tell the truth? “Please make it clearer.”
Hecate tilted her head to scrutinize him. “Didn’t you hear from Duncan McKellen? The Scarlet Feast believes that if you eat enough Alter Egos, you can gather the power of the Fourth Forerunner.”
“Could that be true?”
“Of course.” Hecate’s tone was a little strange, as if Duan FeiZhou had dared to doubt an axiom of the world. “Energy does not appear out of thin air, nor does it disappear into thin air, it only transfers from one place to another. Transforms from one form to another.”
“The law of conservation of energy.” Duan FeiZhou murmured. It was amazing. Just a short time ago, another woman had mentioned this to him.
“So is the power of the Forerunner. A long time ago, in the ancient times that you humans have almost forgotten, a fight broke out among the Forerunners.” With a wave of Hecate’s hand, a picture emerged in the starry sky of a group of people in ancient Greek robes fighting each other. The painting style was somewhat similar to the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting.
“You mean, the battle of the Great Lord of Light?” Duan FeiZhou remembered the story that Evangeline had told.
“Good. The other Forerunners united against the Great Sovereign of Light, and only one person was on His side, and that was the Fourth Forerunner, Blood Moon. He was the firmest ally of the Great Lord of Light. As long as He was there, I am afraid that even if the other Forerunners joined forces, they would not be able to defeat the Great Lord of Light.”
Hecate waved her hand again, and this time the picture turned into a picture similar to the Last Supper. A man with a blurred face sat in the very center, and twelve men sat on either side of him.
“The Fourth Forerunner took pity on His apostles, and so descended to the earth to save them. He hoped to send them back to the world after the world was destroyed and reborn. However, those apostles betrayed Him. More accurately, it was the Lord of Light’s own apostles who turned against them.”
“I heard Evangeline say that.” Duan FeiZhou said, “Ah, Evangeline is…”
“The descendant of the Dark One, the descendant of the Betrayer.” Hecate said lightly.
It seems that for all the characters around Duan FeiZhou, she knew everything.
“Yes. Evangeline said that her ancestor, the Apostle of the Great Lord of Light, betrayed His secret…”
“His secret was that the Fourth Forerunner would fight alongside Him. The other Forerunners didn’t know that at the time.” Hecate’s already dark eyes shot out a brilliant light, as if she were trying to contain her anger. “So to defeat the Lord of Light, the Fourth Forerunner had to be defeated first, so as to weaken the power of the Lord of Light. So, the ancestors of the Darkness clan went to turn to the apostles of the Fourth Forerunner. They said that the Great Lord of Light intended to destroy everything in this world, including the apostles of the Fourth Forerunner. They could not be saved at all, but as long as the apostles devoured the Fourth Forerunner’s heart, they could obtain His power.” Hecate laughed coldly, “The result was that the greed of human nature prevailed.”
“The Fourth Forerunner was killed by His own apostles?”
“He hadn’t expected that his closest people would betray him. Even if someone was as powerful as a Forerunner, it is impossible to escape from a sneak attack from a group. As a result, the apostles triumphed, and the Fourth Forerunner was eaten alive.”
Duan FeiZhou felt a pang of nausea. He asked, “Did the apostles gain the power of the Fourth Forerunner?”
“This power has been passed on with the bloodlines until today.” Hecate stretched out a hand and touched Duan FeiZhou’s forehead lightly. Her fingers were colder than snow and ice.
“Duncan McKellen was just like you. You all inherited a part of the power of the Fourth Forerunner, although after a thousand generations of inheritance, this power has become incomparably weak.”
“But every time you devour someone, you can take his power.” Duan FeiZhou said, “Theoretically, as long as enough Alter Ego’s are devoured, then…”
“Then you could obtain the full power of the Fourth Forerunner and become an existence comparable to the Forerunner.” Hecate affirmed Duan FeiZhou’s speculation.
Duan FeiZhou was dumbfounded. That was the purpose of the Scarlet Feast, wasn’t it? They kept devouring human flesh in order to become Forerunners. (Except for Jack the Ripper, who simply ate people for the sake of it.) Even if Duncan hadn’t killed them, they would sooner or later would have had infighting, because there could only be one person who inherited the full power of the Forerunner.
“So now I…” Duan FeiZhou touched his chest. “Duncan forced me to drink his blood, and eat Jack the Ripper’s heart, so am I…”
“You are still a good distance from the Fourth Forerunner.” Hecate said.
Duan FeiZhou sighed with relief. He was really afraid of becoming something not human, afraid that he would be like Jack the Ripper, driven mad by a power that did not belong to him. “So you summoned me here for…?”
“To protect you, in a way.” Hecate looked to the stars again. “You suddenly gained so much power, and whether your body or your soul can adapt is unknown. I let you come here to shelter your soul for a while – or rather, you subconsciously fled to this safe place after suffering great harm.”
“But I didn’t even know about this place before.” Duan FeiZhou insisted.
Hecate gave him a mysterious smile. “Ah, you have been here. It’s just that you forgot.”
“Then can you help me recover my memory? There are still many things I want to know!”
“That is your own memory, and no one can get it back but yourself.”
That was the problem. Duan FeiZhou didn’t feel like he had lost his memory! His memories from childhood to adulthood were very complete, and he hadn’t been missing any of them! If he was missing a piece of memory, how could he not know it himself?
“It’s time for you to go back.” Hecate said softly. “Someone is calling you back.”
Duan FeiZhou was stunned for a moment. “You mean, I can be resurrected? No, resurrection may not be the right word…I mean, let me return?”
Hecate pointed to the road that Duan FeiZhou came from. “Go back along that road, and you can return to the place where you came from. Go on, and remember everything you see and hear here, but do not tell anyone outside.”
Duan FeiZhou turned around obediently. After just a few steps, he stopped and turned his head. Hecate was still far away – at the intersection of the crossroads – and her silver moon-like eyes gazed at him, unblinking.
“May I ask where the other roads lead to?”
Hecate pointed to the road on her left. “That road leads to a history that you have seen and does exist.” She pointed to her right. “That road leads to a history that you have not seen, but may exist.”
Finally she turned around and faced the road behind her. “That road leads to a history that no one has ever seen, and no one knows if it exists.”
…It sounded so roundabout! Like some kind of permutation!
Duan FeiZhou looked at the road he came from. “So what is this road? Is it a history that I have seen, but does not necessarily exist?”
Hecate didn’t answer.
Duan FeiZhou really didn’t want to waste any more time with this old riddler. He took a big step in the direction he came from. He walked, then he began to trot, then to fly. He leapt off of the cobblestone road suspended in the starry sky.
Poor DFZ, he really suffered in this twisted chapter! I felt a little sympathy for Duncan too, although what he forced on DFZ was a step too far. Would he have died otherwise though?
Is it Z calling him back?
I imagine he was there before when he transmigrated.
Very much enjoying this novel. Thanks for translating and editing.
Will DFZ be able to heal Z? At least to some degree?
More information yay, that explains a lot of what Duncan kept on saying and why the Scarlet Feast kept eating people.
Thank you for the chapter!
That fight was really gruesome – I can’t believe that JtR could still move without a heart! SO crazy.
This crossroads area is so mysterious. I wonder who DFZ really is, and what happened for him to lose his memory.
Thank you for the chapter!
I’m calling it- 2nd and 4th forerunners are boyfriends!!
So there’s a good chance Z will be uhh able to live without that ether crystal???
Thanks for the chapter ♡♡♡♡♡