Han Sen was taken aback by the gesture. He looked down at the bugs all around him and asked, “Can you guys hear me?”
There was no response. And while Han Sen looked at them all in confusion, a beetle leaped into flight and hovered before him. It made a queer noise before turning around and flying off towards the old, decayed city.
Han Sen continued to stand still, unsure of what was going on. After a while, that same beetle returned and started to fly around him. From what he could tell, this was the beetle’s way of telling him to hurry up.
Han Sen nibbled his lips and decided to follow it.
Since he was there, he thought he might as well poke about the old city and see what he could find. If the beetles sought to do harm, surely they would have attacked him by now.
And judging from their current posture of praise or worship, Han Sen was positive that wouldn’t change anytime soon.
After Han Sen started moving, the other beetles paced behind him diligently. They followed his every footstep, like the coming and going of a tide.
Before long, Han Sen had made his way into the city center. Everything there was in crumbling ruin, all except for one thing: a temple. This peculiar temple was immaculate and untouched.
The flying beetle landed on the temple’s stairs and made a noise to Han Sen, indicating he should continue following it and go inside.
Han Sen scaled the stairs, but the beetles did not follow. They all knelt as he ascended, and looked exuberantly happy.
Han Sen summoned beast soul armor, pushed open the door to the temple, and stepped inside. The place was old, and dust caked each and every surface.
The temple was devoid of statues, but there were a few dings about. Curiously, they were all empty.
As Han Sen looked into a corner of the temple, he was shocked to find a crystal vase there.
Han Sen could tell that the vase was not built from ordinary crystal. It had instead been forged from a unique variety of crystal, laden with symbols that looked like machine parts or cogs.
Finding curious items and artifacts inside a crystallizer ruin was par for the course, but this vase particularly surprised Han Sen.
It was completely transparent, but its shape and form were stark and unmissable.
Han Sen went to look inside the vase and was even more surprised to see a woman inside it.
The girl was sitting at the bottom, hugging her knees. She had blonde hair, but Han Sen could not see her face.
There were no shura horns to be seen, and she had human ears, but she was naked.
The long blonde hair helped to dress some of her exposed parts, though.
“Human? Is she one of the missing researchers?” Han Sen looked at the woman in the vase and wondered who she might be. Instinct told him that she was very young, though, and she couldn’t have been a researcher if that was true.
Han Sen knew that two humans and two shura had gone inside the ruins to explore before their arrival, but only one of each had come back.
If the girl was one of those researchers, he wasn’t going to just ignore her.
Han Sen then noticed the vase was sealed, and not with a lid. The whole thing was complete.
The crystallizers had strange technology, and their creations were always unique. This had always been true, so this vase’s structure was not exactly a surprise.
Han Sen spoke with a soft voice, gently asking, “Can you hear me?”
He received no response, so he asked with a louder voice. Again, he received no response. He asked several times, with a voice that became louder each time. It seemed as if she couldn’t hear him.
Han Sen touched the vase with care, unsure of what might happen. Fortunately, nothing out of the ordinary occurred.
When he felt safer in its presence, Han Sen started to knock against it.
The girl seemed to hear that, and showed a reaction. After seeing her move slightly, Han Sen knocked again.
She woke up and looked around for the knocking noise, and that was also when Han Sen saw what she looked like in full. She seemed to be around eighteen years old, and she was ravishingly pretty. Curiously, her eyes were the same golden color as her hair.
Judging from her appearance, she seemed to be a human girl.
Han Sen again thought she might indeed be the human researcher. Her appearance did not betray this notion, as even forty-year-olds could maintain the same beauty and grace as an eighteen-year-old in that day and age.
When the girl saw Han Sen there, her eyes blinked to get a clearer view, as if she had indeed just woken up.
She stood up and beat against the vase. Her mouth moved, as if she were saying something, but Han Sen couldn’t hear a thing.
All Han Sen could do was read her lips, and from what he could tell, she was saying, “Save me.”
He brought out a paper and pen and wrote down a few words he could show her.
“Who are you?” He wrote, wanting to learn about her identity.
Han Sen had to be wary and maintain vigilance at all times. You could never guess what tricks or traps might be waiting for a person inside crystallizer ruins.
The lady blew air onto the cold crystal of the vase and wrote, “Sunset, of Blue Blood Special Forces. Rank: Colonel.”
This confirmed to Han Sen that she must have been one of the researchers, and now it looked as if she had been trapped there.
“Stand back; I’ll break the crystal,” Han Sen replied.
Acknowledging what he wrote, Sunset took a step back.