Chapter 64: Survivors
Hello folks :) haven't seen you guys in a few days :D hope you all had a great Christmas. I was planning to do a six chapter release on Christmas but then life kicked my butt and I got sick and busy. But i managed to finish 4 nice long chapters :) Check back later because there might be an update. That being said Editors/Proofers were busy so if there are any mistakes please point them out for me to fix.
Also finally! Stupid safari broke on me >_> but it works now o__o also will post on Novels Nao and then to here for the next chapter because Safari is going on off on my when I paste text into it. But strangely its working on te other site.
After traveling up the giant vine that led to the top of the cliff, Zhang, and his army were welcomed by an empty atmosphere without a tree nor plant in sight, it was barren and lifeless to behold. The entire cliff was made of solid rock; with no way up or down once Ai retrieved the Black Thorn whip, which made it an ideal place to stay away from the undead.
Once they were up on the top of the cliff; the hundreds of Titanic Spiders, which were being controlled by Yuying, shot out their white silk threads and wove a bridge-like-web. Zhang used the Underworld Heart to control the essence on one end of the bridge-like-web and directed it to fly down and latch itself to the trees below
The distance they were in, from the top of the trees is roughly 1 kilometer. Only two people could walk shoulder to shoulder in the bridge-like-web - seeing that it’s not wide - though it’s sturdy enough to carry a thousand person at the same time. It also retained some of its adhesive property which resolved the doubt of crossing it. The spiders hunt their prey through their webs. How can they ingest their meal if it's web was not strong enough to restrict its prey. So with this, you can imagine how sturdy the bridge-like-web was; add to the fact that it was woven by hundreds of Titanic Spiders.
Once the bridge-like-web was connected to the trees, a company of soldiers was sent to retrieve their comrades and the villagers.
While watching his soldiers lying on the ground due to exhaustion, Zhang was very glad that they had brought along their own water from the trip or else his army could have been wiped out without even a fight, because they would have been infected by the worms and become like the poor civilians of the Black Wind Province.
As Zhang ensured to order his men to be wary of the villagers because they could be infected. So when they arrived, he would keep them under watch for a few days and see if any of them would turn into an undead.
“Brother, if we can make it into a city and restock our supplies, we can leave this province.” Yuying said.
“Perhaps we could but sooner or later this probably will reappear again. If we don't take care of it now then next time there will be countless more undead.” Zhang said to Yuying who was sitting in his lap; while his hands were wrapped around her waist, and his head resting on her shoulder.
Ai and Ling were tired of all the escaping, so they went to rest in the magical carriage straight away; while Zhang and Yuying were left with some time alone.
“To be honest, if they were just regular undead, I would take it as a sign that my future father-in-law was objecting to our wedding.” Zhang said jokingly.
“Knowing father, he's probably against it, but there isn't really a way for him to intervene.” Yuying said with a smirk on her face.
“We'll of course he's against it, you told him the rice was cooked. But maybe he's not against it because, his future son-in-law is such a nice guy and he's looking forward to having grandkids.” Zhang said jokingly.
“Perhaps he would until he found out that you were the one that broke out from the 18 Levels of Hell.” Yuying said with a chuckle as she gazed into the distance.
Soldiers could be seen pitching tents and preparing camp a bit away from the two lovebirds.
“He should be thanking me, because if not for me then his daughter would be stuck in an unhappy marriage.”, Zhang said and he pulled Yuying in closer to him.
“If we weren’t in a place infested by countless undead then this wouldn't be so bad. Sitting here and just enjoying the scenery.” But it's not like there’s much to worry about with you here.” Yuying said as he leaned back onto Zhang.
“If only moments like this could last forever.” she thought to herself.
“There's always time for just the two of us when this is all over. After the wedding, we have all of the time in the world.” Zhang said as he felt Yuying entrusted all of her weight onto him and just enjoyed the scenery.
“By then you would be calling me husband instead of brother.” Zhang chuckled as a broad smile appeared on his face.
“Of course, what else would I call you?” Yuying said as she turned back and stuck her tongue out at Zhang and then smiled beautifully.
As the two of them watched the tall green trees in the distant forest swaying, something caught Zhang’s attention. In the distance, he could see something that was reflecting light from the morning sun.
“Perhaps it's an undead who happened to be wearing armor when they were alive.” Zhang thought.
However, something else caught his eye. A red flare was shot into the sky from where the reflection of light came from. Soon dozens of red flares could be seen in the sky.
As Zhang focused his vision, where the reflected light came from, he noticed not one but dozens of light reflections.
“My lord! Do you see that?!”, Lu Xun yelled as he ran toward where Yuying and Zhang were sitting, and pointed to the sky.
“Respond to the signal.” Zhang said calmly.
“Right away my lord.” Lu Xun said as he quickly pointed a flare into the sky and shot it. Moments later a green flare flew into the air. Even though the sun had partially risen the flare was still able to emit a dazzling green light.
Shortly after the green flare was shot into the air, off in the distance, a red flare could once more be seen in the sky.
“Lu Xun stay here and command the soldiers I'll be right back.” Zhang said as he stood up.
“But my lord you can't…” Before Lu Xun could finish his sentence, Zhang could be seen leaping off the edge of the cliff with Yuying in his arms.
Lu Xun ran to the cliff, he watched as dozens of Titanic Golden spiders created a net below out of silk threads catching Zhang and keeping him from falling to his death. Moments later Zhang could be seen hopping from tree to tree with Yuying clinging tightly to him.
“She's enjoying this a lot isn’t she.” Lu Xun thought as he saw the broad smile on Yuying’s face as Zhang carried her.
“Brother if I were to grow old and wrinkly would you still carry me like this?” Yuying asked.
“If you grow old and wrinkly who would carry you like this, because by then I would be old and ugly too. Where would I get the strength to carry someone else?” Zhang said teasingly.
“Hmph.” Yuying snorted jokingly.
“Of course, I would carry you just like this.” Zhang said as pulled her body closer toward him.
Zhang stood on a thick branch of a large tree, as he observe what was below him. He could see dozens of soldiers, clad in blue armor, arranged in formation heading somewhere.
The last two soldiers in the center of the spiral were different from the rest. The first one wasn’t carrying a sword nor a flare, he carried a white flag/banner with a black tortoise in the middle. Zhang recognized that this was the official flag of Black Wind City.
The second soldier wasn’t holding anything. He stood there giving off an oppressive aura as he gazed his surroundings with his fierce black eyes; he seemed to be the commander of the squad.Moments later Zhang was able to see dozens of people dressed in blue armor down below the trees with swords drawn and white banners with black marks on them.
“You down there! Are you the ones that shot the flares?” Zhang yelled down from above while still carrying Yuying.
“Wha-what the... Where did you come from?” The bulky looking soldier in the center who looked around the age of forty asked with a startled voice. How could he not noticed that there was someone above them; with all the years of his experience he wasn’t able to trace his presence, it only showed that he is not ordinary.
“I’ve come here on orders from the lord of Aurora.” Zhang said as he placed Yuying on the large tree branch beside him and pulled out the emblem that Jian Wei had given him.
“My lord, were you sent to rescue us? Our messenger reached Aurora? I’ll lead you to meet our commander.” The middle-aged man said, with a trace of relief in his voice, as he saluted Zhang.
“No messengers ever reached Aurora nor were we sent to rescue you; we were in fact sent to investigate why our communication with the Black Wind province was severed. Currently, we aren’t exactly doing well ourselves, but for now, we have found a safe place to camp.” Zhang said as he carried Yuying again in his arms before jumping off the tree.
“Is that so…” The soldier replied dejectedly.
“Nonetheless, I believe our general will be glad that you are here. May I request for you to visit our camp and meet with the general? I assure you of no harm. If you would follow us, my lord.” The middle-aged man said to Zhang.
“Lead the way.” Zhang said as he let Yuying back onto her feet.
As the soldiers lead Zhang to go meet their general, he found out that Black Wind City had long ago been overrun by undead; that these soldiers only escaped the infected because the fortress they were stationed in had it’s own reservoir of water. They also said that numerous messengers were sent out to ask for aid; however, none returned before Black Wind City was completely overrun by the undead.
According to these soldiers, most likely all of the cities in the province had already fallen to the undead, and besides the twenty thousand remaining soldiers in the fortress, the rest of the armies of the Black Wind province were probably no longer alive.
A certain thought kept popping into Zhang’s head after hearing the current status of the Black Wind Province.
“Black Wind City is overrun with undead and since undead have no use for the riches and treasures of the city, but obviously I have uses for it.” Zhang thought as he imagined sacking the city’s treasury.
The mere thought of mountains of gold just there for the taking made Zhang’s heart pound. But of course, he knew better not to charge recklessly into a large city filled with undead. That being said, it did not mean he wasn't tempted to recklessly charge into a large city filled with undead if it meant he can hoard the entire treasury of a whole province.
“Brother you're not thinking what I think you’re thinking are you?” Yuying said with a grin as if she could read his mind while brushing aside a tree branch.
“Perhaps I am, perhaps not.” Zhang said teasingly, looking at the soldiers with a large smile on his face.
Around them, the soldiers of the Black Wind army couldn't help but give the two of them funny looks.
“How could these two look so happy at a time like this.” Some of them thought.
While others cursed to themselves, “Why can't I get a girl as beautiful as her…”
After the soldiers led Zhang and Yuying through a dense part of the forest for hours they arrived at a vast lake. The entire area around the lakes edge was blanketed with thick trees which helped create a serene atmosphere. In the center of the lake, there was a massive fortress. The fortress had four large towers towering into the sky.
Anyone who laid eyes on this fortress would be called magnificent but of course having seen the greatness of the structures in the Underworld Yuying and Zhang weren't particularly amazed.
“I’ve seen better.” Yuying thought as she looked at the fortress.
“Thanks to the dense forest and the lake, no undead have appeared around here.” A soldier who was in his early twenties said.
“My lord would you please get on.” He added as he pointed to a small boat in the banks of the lake.
Moments later Zhang and Yuying boarded the small boat and departed from the banks of the lake.
“Although I admit the area isn't easy to navigate but that wouldn't mean the hordes of undead would avoid coming here.” Zhang thought to himself as the small boat rocked back and forth.
After a short voyage, the two lovebirds disembarked and set foot into the fortress in the middle of the lake. The fortress walls towered above the waters of the lake and thousands of men could be seen dressed in blue armor above.
“Welcome to the Black Wind Prison.” The young soldier in his twenties said as he stretched out his hands with his back toward a pair of large black iron gates.
“Home to the last of the Black Wind army and Black Wind province’s most heinous criminals.” He added.
“Open the gates! We have something to report to the general and the young lord.” He shouted while looking up the walls.
Moments later the two large iron gates parted and opened a path to the inside of the prison.
“This way please, I'll take you to meet our general and the young lord.”
“Please lead the way.” Zhang replied as he held Yuying’s hand.
Once they passed the gates and entered the prison, Zhang could feel hundreds of sets of eyes staring at him and Yuying.
As the young soldier led Zhang and Yuying through the prison numerous prisoners could be seen dressed in white and chained up in cells.
As Yuying passed through the halls with her arms linked with Zhang, the prisoners would shout rude remarks and whistle at her. However, once Zhang turned around and glared at them the jeering stopped.
“This way.” The young soldier said as he led the pair to the front of two extravagant looking doors and two loud knocks sounded out.
“You may enter.” A voice rang out from behind the doors.
After the doors opened up into a simple looking room that was almost bare, Zhang and Yuying walked in. In front of them was an elderly looking man dressed in blue armor could be seen sitting behind a desk. One can tell that this elderly man was someone of high social standing due to how extravagant his armor was. Every thread seemed to be made of gold and every piece of leather used to make his armor was most likely taken from high-level demonic beasts.
“General! I present to you the young lord of Aurora.” The young soldier said as he knelt on one knee.
“You are excused.” A voice said.
“Pleased to meet you. My name is Zhou Zhang and this is my wife.” Zhang said as he clasped his hands and performed a half bow. Yuying who was beside him performed a curtsy.
“No need for such formalities young lord of Aurora. Please have a seat.” The elderly general said as he gestured to a pair of seats at a table a bit away from his desk.
After some chatting, Zhang found out that the elderly general's name was Chanming Hai, who was assigned to be the warden of the prison. He was also told that the prison currently houses twenty thousand soldiers who general Chanming managed to gather. Besides the soldiers, the prison also held roughly twenty thousand prisoners whose crimes ranged from petty crimes such as thievery to murder and even treason. From the amount of prisoners alone one could guess the size of the prison.
“Young lord of Aurora please follow me, I’ll introduce you to our young lord.” General Chanming said.
“Please lead the way.” Zhang said.
Shortly after General Chanming lead Zhang and Yuying to an extravagant looking room. In front of this room stood four hulking soldiers standing guard. The inside of the room had silk curtains, gold inlaid chairs and many other expensive looking things.
In the middle of this room sat a little boy dressed in light blue robes who looked around the age of seven to nine. Upon seeing this young boy, Zhang felt a faintly but sinister aura emitting from his body.
“This is the new lord of the Black Wind Province lord Shen Shi.” General Chanming as he bowed to Shen Shi.
“My lord! This is the next lord of Aurora.” Chanming introduced.
“Nice to meet you.” Shen Shi said politely toward Zhang.
“Likewise.” Zhang said back to Shen Shi. The longer Zhang looked at Shen Shi the stranger he felt.
“Our lord was lucky to make it out of the city alive with only a few of his guards.” Chanming said.