Chapter 10 - Bloodbath
“You know, it might be worth it to pay ten thousand for a night with her…” The man at the other table said with a lewd smile as he looked at the giant screen showing Liu Meng’s picture.
“Oh? So Young Master Lin is interested? You do like girls with big chests after all…” The other young man at the table laughed at him.
“They’re big, but that’s it.” One of the girl pursed her lips.
“Oh? What’s wrong? Are you jealous? How about you work for it tonight then? I’ll give you ten thousand,” Young Master Lin said as he wrapped his arm around young woman sitting right to him.
“Are you sure you can take on the two of us?” The woman who complained earlier smiled at the prospect of ten thousand for a night, but not before glancing at the man next to her to seek his approval.
“Don’t look at me, you decide for yourself. I’m just going to say that I’ve seen Young Master Lin take on many more than two back in the days…” Young Master Lin’s friend said as he slid his hand into the shirt of the young woman.
“Two isn’t even close. Even with that girl on the poster, I’ll make the three of you feel like it’s heaven, hahaha!” Young Master Lin suddenly groped the chest of the young woman next to him. She frowned and moaned in pain, but did not dare to resist.
“How about I join too?” Li Yiming suddenly appeared with a nearly-empty wine bottle.
“Who…” The group had a confused look.
“Those who grow rich through deceit but remain uncultivated, and through deceit escapes punishment but remains without shame… Shame on you.” Li Yiming shook his head and then emptied his bottle.
“Did you drink too much, you idiot?” Young Master Lin pulled his hand free and stood up. He did not understand most of Li Yiming’s words, but he knew full well that they were not praise.
The empty wine bottle collided against his skull and shattered into a million pieces. A visible dent was formed on Young Master’s Lin’s head.
“Well, it’s about time. An hour should be more than enough for the ad to spread on the internet.” Li Yiming looked at his watch, and then at the three remaining people who stared at him with widened eyes.
“You’ve guessed right. It was true love. I know it because I’m the one who put that ad out there,” Li Yiming said with a smile to one of the girls.
“As for you, you were off the mark, so you should be punished.” Li Yiming’s smile turned cold.
“What… what are you up to?” The young man asked as he glanced at the wine bottle on his table.
“Don’t worry, he’s not going to die. If I really wanted to kill, I’d use this…” Li Yiming said as he took out his handgun.
Li Yiming slowly walked out of the restaurant and laughed at the panicking crowd running away from the venue. ‘The ad is there, now it’s my time for the headlines.’
His plan: to turn Shangbei into a bloodbath.
* * *
“Bai Ze guessed it right. They’re gathering up!” Eyeglasses said with a severe countenance as he examined the flow of the black mist in the distance.
“Can we hold?” Qing Qiaoqiao asked as she looked on from on top of Big Beard’s mecha. Due the the ghosts’ innate immunity to physical attacks, she was the team’s main source of offense capabilities.
“It’s not hard to hold them off. The question is, how long…” Qing Linglong swept across the crowd with her gaze, only to be left disappointed by Wu Yun’s absence. The latter had convinced them to join forces with Pan Junwei with a warning of an upcoming apocalypse.
‘Why isn’t he here? Is there something even more urgent than this?’ Qing Linglong tried to think of a reason.
“Where did you say Li Yiming went?” Eyeglasses suddenly turned toward Qing Linglong and asked, as Fang Shui’er had been the one commanding the forces of Pure Water Herb Hall, despite Eyeglasses’ knowing that the true leader was Li Yiming.
“I don’t know, but he must be around if Bai Ze is.” Qing Linglong said as she took a deep breath to focus for the combat about to come.
“Eyeglasses, could you search around? I want to know what’s so valuable in Shangbei,” Big Beard’s voice came from his mecha.
“I’ve been on it the entire day, but I couldn’t find anything.” Eyeglasses sighed.
“We have to hold the lines until Bai Ze and Tian Yan come back with information,” Qing Linglong said as her blades began to glow with an indigo light.
As the sun slowly set, teams of vampiric soldiers gathered at the front lines. Despite Pan Junwei’s unwillingness, he knew that now was the time these volunteers were needed for the sake of their country.
“Where are you?” Pan Junwei looked at the horizon with anxiousness.
Far out in the ocean, on a small island, a shirtless man slowly opened his eyes and stared at the endless tenebrousness ahead.
“If you can’t even overcome this small of a hurdle, how do you expect to go against the Heavens…” Wu Yun said and as he looked up.
“You’re still sleeping? I’m looking forward to what you have planned…” Wu Yun smiled and continued focusing his energy.
Deep within the mountains, Stargaze suddenly opened her eyes. An iridescent light shot out of her irises and formed a bright spiral in front of her. An image of Liu Meng with her hair fluttering about could be seen. The flames that engulfed her changed colors as its temperature fluctuated.
“I’ve finally found you…” Stargaze’s stiff expression turned into one of relief as her efforts had finally borne fruit. The day Liu Meng was sent through the spirals of time, Stargaze had a feeling that Liu Meng would have to fight all on her own to protect the world from an upcoming apocalypse. And she was proven right: Heaven’s Laws was indeed trying to conceal her from any kind of external attention.
The only problem now was figuring out how to bring her back.
Liu Meng slowly turned her head, her expression showing suspicion. ‘Someone’s looking at me?’
The charred Earth and the desolate city had long since vanished. She was left floating in complete emptiness. Despite having absorbed all of the energy from the wave after wave of lightning, Liu Meng found herself unable to find her way back to Li Yiming. Although she was easily able to rip through the fabric of space, she would be lost in the river of time and carried onto another location right after.
‘It’s not enough…’ Liu Meng stood up and stared forward, now sure that someone was observing her. However, that connection was too weak to provide her with a way back.
After arriving at Shangbei, Bai Ze and Tian Yan found the otherwise bustling streets to be completely empty, save for the occasional military patrol who ran past them. The sight provided Bai Ze with an understanding of why Pan Junwei would seek the government for help. Without their assistance, it would have been impossible for the guardians alone to evacuate the population in such a short span of time. The extraordinary efforts made to ensure the logistics and to control the outbreak of widespread panic, along with the encouraging video of guardians doing their part in the conflict, united the crowd in the wake of the imminent danger and created a sense of solidarity rather than despair.
“What do you think the ghosts want from Shangbei?” Tian Yan looked around at the soldiers. She could see their fate turn pitch-black, which only meant one thing: Shangbei was to be their final resting place.
“Shangbei…” Bai Ze sighed. “Well, Shangbei is called the City of Demons.”
“What? Isn’t it just another name that people conveniently use?”
“Where we’re standing right now used to be filled with seawater. As the estuary accumulated sand and dirt from upstream, the ground on which Shangbei stood slowly formed. In a way, you could say that this is a place where things naturally accumulate and condensate…” Bai Ze said.
“From nothingness to one of the wealthiest cities in the world. This city has witnessed many tales of rags to riches, and also of boundless human deprivation, unbridled desires, venomous hate, machinations…”
“It’s not a surprise then that this is the place where domains appear most frequently. When they’re destroyed, the domains are absorbed by the earth itself and accumulates until an inevitable eruption…”
“You mean that this is the result of evil accumulated over many years? How come I’ve never felt it before?” Tian Yan asked.
“Because it never showed itself until now.” Bai Ze turned her head toward the black mist in the distance.