Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Brother Seven looked to where Han Sen had picked up his lamp, and then his face changed.
“The fourth lamp; that was supposed to be a lamp of the living. Now, its light symbolizes death. He is going to die!” Brother Seven ran towards the lanterns and picked up the seventh lantern. Then he followed after Han Sen.
Han Sen had only been inside for ten seconds, but that was already enough for him to have disappeared from Brother Seven’s sight completely. He was gone.
The light cast from his lantern could only illuminate a single meter ahead of him. The darkness there was suffocating, and almost physical.
Brother Seven called out for Han Sen, and walked at a very brisk pace in the hopes he could catch up. His calls garnered no response.
Suddenly, a strange noise sounded. And then, Brother Seven felt as if countless monsters were lurking just beyond his sight, watching him.
He kept on walking, confident in the knowledge he had selected the correct lamp. With it in hand, he knew he’d be able to catch up with Han Sen eventually.
The seventh lantern, the one he had selected, was called “The Lamp of the Returning Soul.” The fact that it expelled the thick mucus of darkness around him was the only comfort available on that black road. But it wouldn’t last. Those who made use of it would perish, eventually.
Brother Seven was on a suicide run.
He knew this, but he didn’t care. He had much respect for Han Sen, in the brief time he had known him, and he would gladly lose his life if it meant securing Han Sen’s safe return.
As he marched through the black hall, led by the flickering flame, its warmth suddenly depleted. Then, the fire of the lantern turned black. Darkness did not resettle over the hall; instead, it was lit up. But it was lit with a thousand braziers of blackfire. Han Sen was nowhere to be seen, but Brother Seven knew he was not alone. In that hall, staring at him, were countless monsters.
A second later, they were pouncing towards him.
Brother Seven quickly made use of his Purple Light, but it could only extend to a range of about three feet.
He swung his sword and slashed one beast, but another monster used its vile claws to grab the blade as it slowed. The rest of the monsters did not even slow as they came for him.
Brother Seven realized he was going to die, but he did not care for himself in this affair. He only hoped Han Sen would see his light and return safely.
Seeing countless monsters, jaws agape, all aimed for his head, arms, legs, and torso, Brother Seven closed his eyes in acceptance of his fate. But then, the sudden flash of a red light made him reopen them. A flame had appeared, and it incinerated the monsters directly in front of him.
The red flame replaced the black flame of his lantern, as all the monsters around him burst into flames. Soon, they were nothing but sizzling cinders in a mound of ash.
A man appeared in his sight. He was holding a lantern, and the flame upon it resembled a bird.
“Han Sen!” Brother Seven called out.
“Didn’t I tell you to wait? What are you doing here?” Han Sen smiled.
“I” Brother Seven could hardly speak, shaken from his close call. “You practice fire hyper geno arts? Which one?”
Han Sen nodded and said, “Phoenix Flame, actually.”
Brother Seven then said, “It is no wonder, then. I worry too much, it would seem.”
Han Sen appeared to have been touched by something, and he said, “Thank you, Brother Seven.”
Brother Seven, with a wry smile, said, “For what? I didn’t do anything. But this place is not safe. We should depart it quickly.”
Han Sen nodded, and then led the way forward with Brother Seven close behind.
The red flame of Han Sen’s lantern illuminated far more than Brother Seven’s. But even so, it was of little aid. The murky dark was as stifling and threatening as ever, skirting the fringes of the light’s strength.
Many strange noises could be heard from the darkness around them. But even after a while of walking, no monster revealed itself in their light.
Han Sen smiled and said, “This phoenix lantern is quite the treasure, in itself. It can boost the power of one’s strength when wielding fire. We should take the rest of the lanterns with us when we leave.”
Brother Seven said, “Ordinary fire cannot light the lanterns, but your phoenix fire is a deadfire. It is strange how you managed to light up a lantern of the living with such a flame.”
Han Sen’s Phoenix Flame had been boosted by Blood-Pulse Sutra, which was how he had managed to incite a living fire.
They trudged through that mire of black for a long time.
When they reached the end, it came about as a light in the darkness. Seeing it was a massive relief, and they raced towards the light once it greeted their sight. Neither of them could wait to leave the black path behind them.
But when they moved from the darkness and into the light, they both froze.
It was as if they had exited the entire shelter. Above were the clear skies, all graced and warmed by the radiance of sunlight.
But strangely, everything was black below it. The trees, flowers, soil, and stone; all of it was pitch black.
Nothing was with a rightful color, and it was as if the entire landscape had been subjected to a bitter firestorm of great malevolence that charred it all.
But still, despite the color, everything looked as if it was thriving. There were leaves on the burnt-looking trees, and they grew in abundance.
The entire place was like an ink painting, save for the ordinary sky.
“Brother Seven, what is this place? It looks as if we’ve somehow managed to exit the shelter.” Han Sen was confused.
Brother Seven brought out his compass, and with much joy on his face, said, “We haven’t left Phoenix Shelter. Not at all. This is it, we’ve made it; we’ve reached the Phoenix Eye.”
“This is the Phoenix Eye?” Han Sen asked with shock.
It was difficult to imagine they were still within the confines of a shelter that had been buried by a mountain. They were both almost speechless.