Chapter 372: A Shadow in the Darkness
“Don’t worry too much,” A red haired young man said to Sha Yun, a smile on his lips as he patted her head. “Although some of them were rude it was just because they were jealous. For someone like us, to know the Grand Marshall is like a dream come true. He has created a world solely for magical beasts and us mixed blood bast*rds. A place where we can feel as normal as humans feel in the rest of the world.”
“At first they pitied you for having a contract with someone but then they suddenly found out that the contract was with someone they’d do anything to meet. They felt that the emotions they had at the start were wasted,” The red haired man continued to explain, but Sha Yun wasn’t listening. She knew he was trying his best to console her, but she no longer felt as glad to be a part of the group. She felt that the ones on her side were now only with her because they knew about her relationship with Hui Yue while everyone against her was also because of Hui Yue.
It was impossible for her to truly trust any of the people she had considered friends before and suddenly a longing appeared in her heart once more. A familiar face popped into her mind, and she felt tears welling up in her eyes. Although this sudden change with her friends was due to Hui Yue, there was nothing she wanted more than to be next to his side right now. Although he did not love her as a woman, he always treated her well, and he truly cared about her.
Forcing her tears back, Sha Yun once more calmed herself down and by the time her eyes opened determination was evident within them. “Yue is further into the grave therefore if I want to meet up with him, then I have no other option than to move forward. Wait for me just a little while longer!” She mumbled half to herself and half in the hopes that her wish would reach Hui Yue further down the tunnel.
Holding her head up high, she slithered into the group of the beasts and mixed blooded experts, all of them looking at her shocked. Some had hostility in their eyes, others had complicated expressions, while even some had looks of worship. Meeting the many sets of eyes, Sha Yun did not intend to back down, and without paying them any attention, she went to the front. Everyone followed behind her while she went through Heaven’s door, every movement was filled with determination. All the experts behind her, even the experts who had hostility in their eyes, had conflicting emotions as they slowly followed behind her.
Entering through the door she noticed the many tunnels in front of her and without knowing what she was supposed to do, she picked a random tunnel and started walking down the path. She had chosen the leftmost tunnel and started walking, not allowing anyone else to question her decision. She was finally letting them decide on their own whether they wanted to follow her.
Pausing everyone was quite hesitant, but soon a group of experts followed behind Sha Yun, and after a bit of consideration, everyone chose the same tunnel the snake-woman had walked down. All of them walked quickly so that they all could catch up with her.
The atmosphere in the group had completely changed. Going from having been very close to one another and joking together, to now where no one said anything and a heavy atmosphere was looming above them. All of this just because they now knew who Sha Yun’s contractor was.
Moving within the small tunnel, a dim light was shining from worn out light stones, but although it was dim, it was enough for the group to see what was in front of them. The tunnel was eerily quiet. It was as though there was no one apart from them in the tunnel, yet from time to time they find traces of blood and corpses here and there.
Much like Deng Wu’s group these beasts and mixed blood experts were incapable of telling whether or not the corpses had been Saints or lower ranked experts. As soon as they died their internal energy dissipated rendering every corpse equal.
Seeing the corpses did nothing to brighten the mood, and although some of the experts scoured their pockets, no treasures were found that could make them even slightly more cheerful.
The minutes were long within the group, and although days went past no one spoke; everyone just paid attention to their surroundings. When a trap was triggered, all of them fought together and managed to overcome the obstacles without too many wounds, but even so, no one felt any excitement or joy after overcoming these traps. If anything they felt that the more they fought, the more intense the atmosphere grew.
Although Sha Yun was viewed quite differently in the group, everyone had to admit that she knew how to fight. Using her entire body, and especially her snake tail, she was a master at both defense and offense. The ones who were looking at her with hostility soon understood that the reason for their ability to easily defeat the traps had a great deal to do with Sha Yun and her ability to rapidly adapt to whatever situation she was in. She was without a doubt the most dangerous person in their group.
The days went by, and the group headed further and further into the tunnel, but the further they went the darker it became. The distance between the light stones became greater and greater, leaving a large part of the tunnel in darkness. This made it almost impossible to see where they went and what was happening around them. Having been prepared for this, Sha Yun rummaged through one of her storage stones before she took out her own light stone. The moment it was out of the storage stone the light shining out seemed like it was being suppressed by the darkness making it almost impossible to see even a foot in front of them. This was something clearly done on purpose.
Walking through the tunnel, Sha Yun felt uncomfortable. The darkness that surrounded them was filled with danger, but fortunately enough they had not fallen into any traps just yet. Though Sha Yun knew it was only a matter of time, they would definitely fall for a trap sooner or later here.
Stopping, Sha Yun wondered if they should return the way they had come from and take another tunnel but this was a fleeting thought as Sha Yun understood that all the tunnels would be filled with other danger if not the same darkness.
Everyone was walking very close to one another, and Sha Yun still at the very front. Being the first to encounter whatever was in front of them, she suddenly stiffened and stood completely still. Her reactions caused everyone else in the tunnel to stop mid-step behind her, some cursing while others were surprised.
“What’s wrong?” One of the experts asked Sha Yun, his voice carrying a slight bit of hostility but Sha Yun paid it no attention; instead, her tail constantly moved from side to side, and her eyes were filled with vigilance. “Someone is here,” She said in a very low voice. “I saw shadows in the darkness,” She continued. Her voice completely calm but the words brought terrifying information to everyone else in the group.
“Is everyone here?” Sha Yun suddenly asked, her voice very low and forceful as it left her lips through gritted teeth. Something was not right, and although she didn’t know if this was a trap or not, they were currently in a terrible position. The one they were up against was many times more powerful than them.
“Is everyone here?” The question continued to be asked and passed along through the group. At first, it did seem as though everyone were there. Unfortunately, it was the calm before the storm as a scream resounded through the tunnel.
“I… I am so sorry!” A person screamed out, his voice shaking as he apologized. “There is one who did not survive,” He said.
“Who?” One of the others asked, but the man who screamed did nothing but shaking his head. “I don’t know,” He said. “How can you not know? The person was right by your side, use the light stone to shed some light on the person who is down and tell us who it is!” The voice was firm and said that the subject was not to be discussed, yet as soon as he said it, the screaming man just shook his head. Looking closer one could see that he was incredibly pale and sweat was dripping from his forehead soaking his entire face in beads of sweat.
“There is no head,” He said in a low voice. “I cannot see who it is since there is no head.” The words caused everyone to feel uncomfortable, and they all gathered around the screaming man. Just as he said, this corpse had no head. It had been ripped off, but there were no signs of a struggle. The killer had used great strength, and not only that, but he had also been so swift that no one noticed anything. A shiver ran down every beast and mixed blood experts spine, and even Sha Yun was uncomfortable with what was happening around them.
“Let’s rush forward,” She finally said, and the others quickly agreed. No one wished to stay in a place where they were sitting ducks waiting for their turn to become headless.
Unlike before, although Sha Yun wished to be at the front many of the other experts rushed past her and further into the darkness of the grave.
From time to time screams echoed as her former friends either fell to traps or to the mysterious shadow which was hunting them. While they had been a team before, no one thought of the team anymore. Everyone was too busy trying to save themselves, and once more Sha Yun could do nothing but sigh. A feeling that she had made the wrong opinions of them before welled up inside her. Still, there was nothing she could do about it now, but she refused to give up her life. She had something she needed to do and right now that something was to reach Hui Yue.
Moving through the tunnel with skilled movements, her tail did not touch anything but what she allowed it to touch. She set off no traps, and she was seemingly not the target of the shadow that was killing them one after another.
Although Sha Yun had looked at these experts as her friends, she had long since understood that they did not share her emotions. Due to this she felt no strong grief as their group constantly dwindled. What she did fear, however, was when it would be her turn. She could not be so lucky that she was the only one who did not get slaughtered by the shadow.
With thoughts like these, Sha Yun rushed through the tunnel, and she finally found that the suppression which had been pressed onto her light stone slowly lifted. The area in front of her that she could see had turned far larger than before and finally visibility was almost back to normal.
A grin appeared on her lips, a grin of hope. She had made it through the darkness of the tunnel without the shadow getting her, perhaps she was truly blessed and was able to make it to Hui Yue.
While she was thinking this, the smile on her face stiffened as she looked behind her. No sounds. No movements. There was no one. Not even one beast or mixed blood person appeared to celebrate the light with her. Panic slowly sprung up again and started to spread through her body as she once more turned around looking at the path in front of her she saw the shadow which had hunted them in the tunnel.
The cloak was a cloak belonging to a Crusader, yet something was different. Although the cloak looked the same, a small symbol could be seen on its chest. Being in front of this monster, Sha Yun got ready to fight. Unfortunately, before she had the chance to release her energy a black, cold sensation surrounded her. Darkness enveloped her, and her body turned limp.
“I am not ready yet!” She tried to scream, “Don’t kill me just yet!” Although she tried to scream, it was impossible for her to have any words leaving her lips as she was swallowed up by the darkness.