Nightmare’s Call - Chapter 29 - The Beginning: Part 2
Falling back two hundred meters as a result of the rotten swordsman’s attack, Lin Sheng was amazed by the strength and fearsomeness of his attacker. After the incident, he no longer saw the mercenary’s combat strength the same way again.
“I was so lucky to be able to forge this special intuition at that moment of life and death. This trip has helped me discover the true potential of this ability.”
Lin Sheng stood there in the same spot to get some rest. It seemed like he recovered faster in the dream world than in reality. Still completely exhausted a while ago, he had fully regained his strength in only a little over ten minutes.
With the black sword planted in the ground, Lin Sheng squatted down and dug up a handful of soil in his hand. Black, cold, and soft, the soil contained a large amount of grass, root-like black stuff, and gravel. He squeezed the dirt in his hand, placing it close to his nose and smelling it. Immediately, a disgusting stench, much like rotten-meat, assaulted his sense of smell. He quickly discarded the dirt. Getting back to his feet, he rubbed the soil residue off his hands and retracted his sword from the ground.
“I wonder if I can find out who this guy is from the memories of the city gate guards.” While he thought of this, a few names flashed across his mind, and he fell silent. “Let’s see… Since the rotten swordsman stopped his pursuit, there’s a high probability that one of these names belong to him.”
Holding his black sword in hand, Lin Sheng slowly stepped out. And as soon as he went past the column with the black eagle flag, he heard hurried footsteps in the fog up ahead. His pupils contracted, black sword pointing down and forward at an angle. All his muscles tensed up as if he was ready to release all his stored energy. This stance, called Central Irongate, may have appeared like an attack posture, but in reality, it was the most widely used defense posture of all basic structures.
Within the span of a few breaths, a shadow with a black sword pointing downward at an angle lunged out from the fog like a mad ox. Only a second passed from the moment Lin Sheng saw the shadow until the sword approached. He quickly raised his sword in riposte, swinging it upward with all his strength. Their two swords collided in the air, and Lin Sheng successfully deflected the rotten swordsman’s attack. But it did not manage to cause the attacker to lose his composure. Leveraging on the remaining momentum he had, the rotten swordsman immediately performed a three-sixty turn and bounced back with his black sword.
Meanwhile, Lin Sheng felt numb all over and quickly took a step back. In that split second, the rotten swordsman’s black sword came down from above again. It barely missed Lin Sheng by one centimeter before it plunged into the black soil below, a third of its sharp blade buried in the ground.
“This is it!” A light flashed in Lin Sheng’s eyes as he leaped and thrust his sword forward with all his strength. The rotten swordsman tried to retract his sword from the ground, but it was stuck too deep. There was no way could he pull it out in time. The window of opportunity quickly closed, and before the rotten swordsman could react, Lin Sheng’s sword had pierced through him. The long blade penetrated his heart and half of the blade came out of his back. Black blood oozed from the wound and dripped down from the blade.
“Hurrah!” Lin Sheng’s calculated move had worked out well; the black soil had caught the attacker’s sword. He felt somewhat relieved, even overjoyed. The trick worked only because the attacker was a brainless monster. Those in their right minds would not have fallen for his trap. However, Lin Sheng’s celebratory mood was short-lived as he began to feel a sharp pain in his abdomen. Loosening his grip on his sword and taking a couple of steps back, he looked down at his belly. A crooked dagger with a grip in the shape of a snake had pierced his stomach. The pain was growing stronger, in addition to a hint of numbness. Thanks to the soldiers’ memories, Lin Sheng quickly knew that some nasty poison had begun to spread throughout his body.
“Sh*t… I was too careless…”
Enduring the excruciating pain and taking a clue from the method that he learned from TV dramas, he grabbed the dagger and pulled it out in a swift motion. Blood instantly spattered onto his hands as well as the ground.
“Oh sh*t, that made things worse! I think I’m going to die!” It felt like his stomach had a puncture with air leaking out continuously. “No, this isn’t just something in my head, it’s real!” he reminded himself.
Applying pressure on his abdomen with his hands, Lin Sheng dropped to the ground and sat there. A meter away ahead of him, the rotten swordsman had fallen dead on the ground with black mist slowly rising from him, condensing into some black thread. It flew toward Lin Sheng before it plunged and disappeared into his chest.
“At least, I’ve got something…” A familiar headache struck as numerous footages started to overload his mind. The unbearable headache combined with the agonizing pain of the wound in his stomach was killing him. “That’s it, I’m dead this time.”
Without hesitation, Lin Sheng grabbed the dagger that he had pulled out from his stomach earlier and killed himself by cutting his throat. A suffocating pain ensued and quickly spread across his body. His vision dimmed, and he quickly blacked out.
When he opened his eyes again, he could see nothing but darkness. He was suffocating because he was wrapped inside a blanket. Yanking the blanket away, Lin Sheng gasped for fresh air. Instead of sweating profusely, he felt strangely cold that night even though the weather was anything but chilly.
“I thought that the mercenary’s method of treating his wound was too old-fashioned, and he should have followed the way of modern medicine. But I was wrong! I won’t believe those TV dramas again!” Lin Sheng could not hold back his anger when the scene of him pulling the dagger came to mind. Although he knew that he would have still died from the injury no matter which method he followed, he still thought that he could have hung on for a little longer had he used the other method.
Lin Sheng sat in bed, panting. He then picked up the alarm clock by the bed; it was sixteen past four in the morning.
“It’s still early. I can still get some shuteye.”
However, what surprised him was that he did not suffer the same listless side effect as before.
“Hmm, I feel pretty normal.” Lin Sheng was suspicious, and he began to observe himself carefully. Getting out of bed, he switched on the table lamp. “The best method to test my mental condition is to solve mathematical questions.”
He quickly took out a math exercise book and randomly picked a question. The time he took to answer this particular question was more or less the same as he did on other days. “Nothing’s changed. It looks like I’m okay.”
He quickly worked on a few more questions just to be sure. The results were all the same; he could solve all the equations in almost the same length of time in one go. “But hey, something’s wrong. I haven’t died for a long time.” Lin Sheng thought. “Could it be that death is something adaptive?”
He began to suspect that there was some pattern in what he was experiencing. “Perhaps, it has something to do with the absorption of the black thread?”
He took note of the thought in his mind, turned off the light, and lay back down in bed. There were no worries since the experience did not affect him mentally. Otherwise, he would have a problem preparing for the coming college entrance exam. With the doubt removed, Lin Sheng started to recall the memories he had just acquired. The latest rotten swordsman, who was very different from the others, should be able to offer something different, Lin Sheng thought.