Chapter 49: Song of The Wind (8)
Tang Cuo was forced to suspend everything else and returned to Bazz’s rented flat amid the continuous “ding ding” warnings from the system.
In the original plot, Theodore might have been seriously injured and needed a rest. On the other hand, Lancelot and Bazz were good friends. Bazz helped him so enthusiastically, so if Bazz really had a problem, it would be awkward for Lancelot. Having Theodore waiting for Bazz might help avoid an embarrassing situation.
But waiting alone in the rented flat was really boring and Tang Cuo simply lay down. As the saying went, if you can sit, let’s not stand, and if you can lie down, let’s not sit.
Energy saving mode, on.
Although Jin Cheng was happy to let Tang Cuo rest, he was still a little worried about leaving Tang Cuo alone. So he quickened his pace to first rush back to the Greenvines Alliance to find Celtic, told him about the body going missing, then immediately returned to the White Leaf District.
On the way back, he suddenly thought of something. He changed his route halfway and went to the Wanderers Tavern.
The bustling tavern had better business at night compared to that during the daytime.
The bartender was kept busy while Bazz ran around behind him like a little spinning top. Sometimes he helped wash the dishes, sometimes he helped move the goods, and sometimes he was even responsible for putting the drunk guests onto the cart.
He surely wasn’t living an easy life.
An extremely plump guest was talking loudly, his belly exactly twice the size of Bazz’s waist. The weight of his whole body suddenly fell on Bazz, making him almost tumble over.
Luckily, little Bazz had gone through a lot of battles and his tolerance was far stronger than it seemed. He stumblingly carried all those people to the cart, wiped his sweat and even had some energy left to chat with the cart’s puller with a smile on his face.
“I’d have to trouble you, Uncle Jones.”
“Don’t be so polite, Bazz, this is my job. But you, you should take a good rest.”
“I know, I’m not tired.”
“Your mouth won’t be able to know whether you’re actually tired or not. Okay, Bazz, I have to go. These guests are really stinky, I have to send them away quickly.”
“Okay, please be safe! “
Bazz waved as he insistently watched the cart leave, then he ran back to work at the urging of the bartender.
Jin Cheng watched him, but he couldn’t get close because the system didn’t allow it. So far, Bazz was still working hard and hadn’t shown any strange signs, which at least meant that Tang Cuo wasn’t in danger for the time being.
As he got back to the White Leaf District, Jin Cheng had no idea where to find Peter.
There was a chaotic mix of small fish and big dragons in this White Leaf District, so it wouldn’t be easy to find the priest, let alone the fact that this wasn’t a living person but a corpse. Was he stolen by someone, or did he run away by himself?
After one round, no one was found and no plot was triggered, so Jin Cheng went back to East Street.
“Bang.” A stone hit the window of Bazz’s rented flat and disturbed the resting Tang Cuo.
Tang Cuo really didn’t want to get up, but this very familiar situation reminded him of the broken window in his room at East Cross Street. He still remembered that this was someone else’s place, so he pressed down his violent urges, sat up and walked to the window.
In the dark, damp and narrow alley, Jin Cheng sat cross-legged with a discarded wooden box below his buttock. Bazz’s rented flat was at the end of the corridor, where many windows stacked up atop each other in this hidden corner of the alley.
“Hey, good evening.” Jin Cheng waved his hand and greeted him.
Tang Cuo felt that something must be wrong with his head.
The night was dark and Jin Cheng couldn’t clearly see Tang Cuo’s expression, but he knew for certain that deep inside, this little bastard wasn’t mumbling any kind words. He folded his arms and said: “Lancelot must really want to prove his friend’s innocence. He doesn’t sleep on most nights and has to walk around the streets. It’s already 2 o’clock in the morning, and I think I won’t be able to rest the whole night.”
Tang Cuo: “And so?”
The system had trapped Tang Cuo inside this rented flat and blocked Jin Cheng from entering. One was forced to rest and the other was forced to stay up. Just now, Jin Cheng wanted to try walking into the building, but his ears were bombarded with those frantic “ding, ding, ding” till they almost burst.
He began to find leisure in misery: “Don’t you think that we look like Niulang and Zhinu1?”
Tang Cuo felt that his brain might really have been broken, so he closed the window with a blank expression and planned to go to sleep. Jin Cheng raised his hand and threw the stone at the window again: “Come back.”
“Is something the matter???”
“Aren’t you a detective? Show me the direction of the investigation.”
“What do you mean by ‘Oh’, huh?”
Tang Cuo thought for a moment and said sincerely: “Since you’re so free, you might as well dig up all the graves in the White Leaf District and count the number of corpses that’ve come back to life.”
Jin Cheng: “Do you really think that I’m not willing to beat you up?”
“Then go ahead and do it.”
One can’t get out and the other can’t get in. How do you plan to beat me up?
Jin Cheng was made so angry he could explode, but Tang Cuo’s words actually revealed his deduction. Jin Cheng rested his chin on one hand and thought for a while, then he asked: “Do you really think that the corpse has come back to life?”
Tang Cuo: “Yes.”
Jin Cheng: “What about Bazz? Did he also come back from the dead?”
Tang Cuo didn’t answer immediately.
Just now, when he was lying in Bazz’s rented flat, he thought through the whole thing from start to finish and suddenly remembered that this was a serial mission. A serial mission meant that all stories were connected, so he thought of the Well of Time.
There was still a long way to go before the Flower Festival in 1228. In September of that year, the blackboard at the Greenvines Alliance’s office in the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight wrote that ― The Rose Sect’s activities in the Principality of Flange had intensified.
At the beginning of all these stories, the Rose Sect was also active in the Principality of Flange.
What was special about Flange?
Tang Cuo didn’t think it had anything special, because the stories ended in the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight, not in the Principality of Flange. This meant that the Rose Sect’s final target was likely the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight.
The most distinctive thing about the Principality of Flange was that it was the closest place to the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight.
What was there in that kingdom? The Well of Time.
There was an abundant amount of time magic in the Well of Time. Tang Cuo had no idea how powerful the time magic in this dungeon was, but time was the one thing that could most impactfully affect life and death.
There was Bazz, who had written his dying letter but was still alive, then there was the missing body. What did this point to? Tang Cuo thought they were all dead, but they turned out to be alive.
“I went to see Bazz again, he seems no different from any ordinary man.” Jin Cheng said.
“Isn’t that very good? The Grand Duke said that Priest Peter is an upright and kind gentleman, and that his persistence has always been admirable. Such a person decides to stay in the poorest White Leaf District. If there wasn’t something significant enough to trigger him, why would he become a traitor?” Tang Cuo said, turning around and leaning on the window sill. “Perhaps Bazz was the one that moved him.”
Jin Cheng stroked his chin, and the more he thought about it, the more interesting this whole thing became. “Based on your reasoning, the Rose Sect’s ideology may not be bad?”
Tang Cuo refused to evaluate this. To him, evaluating such things was extremely boring. There wasn’t any universal standard on how to judge something or someone. No standard ever existed to tell people whether they should live along idealism or materialism.
Because standards were, after all, set by people themselves.
And in this world, humans were creatures that were most likely to live by no standards at all.
“Okay, our heart-to-heart talk is over. I think I should go and dig up a few graves as you said.” Jin Cheng’s interest in grave digging came as he said so, and he actually did so.
He found a cemetery and set the time range to be within half a year based on the time of Bazz’s dying letter, and his targets were young men and women. His thought was that even if the Rose Sect wanted to save all beings, it likely wouldn’t have the resources to focus on the elderly for the moment.
There were still two more hours before dawn.
Back in the room, Tang Cuo finally met Bazz, who got home very late.
Bazz was extremely tired and his originally fluffy hair was all drooping, but the moment he saw Tang Cuo, joy still bloomed in his eyes: “Theodore, why are you here?!”
Tang Cuo said: “I was slightly injured and Lancelot lets me rest here.”
“So it’s like that, how’s your injury?” Bazz hurriedly asked Tang Cuo to sit down and was relieved when he got the reply “It’s okay”. He let out a sigh of relief and asked: “Where’s Lancelot?”
Tang Cuo: “The Greenvines Alliance sought his help so he went out.”
Bazz didn’t doubt his words, but he was still a little worried: “But it’s already so late. Lancelot has just recovered from his illness, he shouldn’t exhaust himself.”
Tang Cuo carefully observed his expression and said nothing.
Because of his fatigue, Bazz wanted to go to sleep, but he caught a glimpse of Tang Cuo sitting upright and hesitated to take out the basin used for washing. He scratched his head, smiled and said: “I’ve been running around the whole day today and may smell a bit. Please don’t mind me, Theodore. There’s a shower room downstairs, I’ll go there to wash myself.”
After that, he headed out with a lethargic posture.
After ten seconds, Tang Cuo quietly opened the door and followed him from far behind, watching him enter the shower room. It didn’t take long for the sound of water splashing to come from inside. Tang Cuo leaned on the balcony of the second floor, thinking silently.
After a while, he returned to the room and stood in front of the window, wanting to see if Jin Cheng had come back.
But he didn’t see Jin Cheng. Rather, he saw a vaguely familiar face ― Peter!
Priest Peter was standing at the opening of another alley, diagonally across the road. Tang Cuo could see Peter from his position, which meant that Peter could also see him.
Their eyes met.
A light flickered in Peter’s eyes and he immediately retreated into the darkness. Being faster than him, Tang Cuo pushed open the window and jumped out without another word, but the moment he landed and was about to chase into the dark alley ―
“Ding!” The damn warning came again.
Tang Cuo completely ignored it and ran after Peter.
“Ding!” The warning came even more rapidly, like a brutal rainstorm that wanted to crush Tang Cuo’s mind.
Tang Cuo bit his tongue, trying to use the pain to keep himself awake. Seeing that he couldn’t catch up, Tang Cuo immediately shouted: “Why do you want to kill the Grand Duke? Peter, how does killing him help with your faith?”
Peter was about to leave, but hearing the words, he suddenly turned back.
Under a moonlit night, the two looked at each other across a long alley.
Peter was still clad in a priest’s robe that carried the shade of the moon, with a compassionate and benevolent face, but his eyes were frostily sharp. He asked: “Who are you?”
Tang Cuo: “A knight who is looking for the truth.”
Peter: “Then you should ask him.”
Tang Cuo: “But he said he believed in you.”
“Ding, ding, ding!” The warnings were frantically shot. Tang Cuo showed absolutely no concerns and kept his usual cool expression.
Peter took a deep look at him, as if he was discerning whether Tang Cuo’s words were true. But every second that he dragged on, Tang Cuo’s state would become more dangerous. Three seconds later, he finally said: “He’s the Grand Duke, the one that makes the rules in this land. If you don’t kill him, how can you change the rules?”
Tang Cuo said in a low voice: “Then you think that the Rose Sect can really bring change?”
“Perhaps. We can only know if we try.” Peter said, his figure once again vanishing into the darkness.
Tang Cuo didn’t chase after him anymore. When Peter’s figure had completely disappeared, he turned around and withdrew. The warnings were being fired incessantly in his head, and he had to use his maximum speed to escape.
This was the speed of life and death.
Tang Cuo moved so fast one could even see his afterimage being pulled behind, but Bazz’s room was on the second floor, which took a certain amount of time to reach regardless of whether he chose to walk the stairs or climb the window.
“Crack!” The lightning had come down.
Tang Cuo dodged at the very last second as he stomped on the wooden box that Jin Cheng had sat on previously. He swiftly jumped onto the first floor’s window sill with his back leaning closely against the glass.
He watched the lightning strike right before his eyes.
As soon as the first lightning struck, the second lightning was already charging up. Tang Cuo quickly climbed to the second floor, opened the window and jumped in right at the moment the second lightning dangerously struck.
“Crash!” He almost broke through the floor.
At the same time, Jin Cheng, who was still digging graves in the cemetery, raised his head and frowned as he stared at the lightning from a distance. He then looked at the starry sky again: The weather was very good.
Which bastard just got struck by lightning?
It shouldn’t be Tang Cuo, no?
Jin Cheng carefully studied the direction of the lightning to find that it was really possible. His disciple was really a warrior. Jin Cheng felt that if he were a woman, he might fall in love with Tang Cuo.
He probably would be the kind who rolled around crying and yelling “Omg he’s so handsome”.
As his thoughts wandered, Jin Cheng strugglingly pulled them back and continued filling up the pit he just dug up. His grave digging work was basically over. He had opened three coffins, one of which was empty and two were still intact.
Because there were not enough samples, Jin Cheng couldn’t tell whether the proportion was large or small. But no matter how the proportion turned out, where did the corpses go?
Or, to be precise, where did the corpses that had come back to life go?
Which place would they have to head to?
Jin Cheng filled up the pit and was about to leave. In the room, Tang Cuo waited until Bazz finished showering and decided to get straight to the point with him. Bazz was still having some doubts, because he clearly heard the lightning during his shower, but when he came out, the weather seemed totally fine. That was very strange.
Theodore was also very strange, because he actually asked Bazz if he could make a cut on Bazz’s arm.
“Theodore, what’s wrong with you? Do you have a fever?” Bazz looked nervous.
“I’m fine.” Tang Cuo looked straight into his eyes: “I need to do an experiment, can you help me, Bazz?”
“This… Well, okay.”
Bazz hesitantly stretched out his hand, then finally, he clenched his teeth and turned his head away.
Tang Cuo moved his sword very fast and made a small slit in Bazz’s arm. It was neither deep nor painful, just enough to bleed. The blood quickly flowed down while Bazz was happy to find that it wasn’t very painful.
Tang Cuo frowned because the blood smelled wrong. He picked up the smell of fresh blood at one point yet missed it the next second, and there was a scent that Tang Cuo felt very familiar.
“Bazz, were you sick last winter?” He asked.
“Yeah.” Baz scratched his head: “Theodore, how do you know that? But Dr. Albert has cured me.”
“Did you not catch any other smell in your blood?”
“Oh, that, Dr. Albert said it was because I took the medicine. He’s really a good person. If it weren’t for him, I would have died and wouldn’t have met you and Lancelot. “
No, Bazz, you have died.
Tang Cuo picked up a bead of blood with his fingertip and felt it carefully. Not out of his expectation, he sensed a vigorous wave of time magic. This was the same magic energy stored in Theodore’s rose, and this blood carried the same scent that Tang Cuo smelled from the well.
The translator has something to say: So once upon a time, Jin Cheng naively thought that he would fall in love with Tang Cuo only if he were a woman… (￣▽￣)
Translator and reviewer at Strictly Bromance blog. In essence, she lives to indulge in plot-driven stories sprinkled with camaraderie and slow-burn drama-free romance, especially more so if they belong to adventure, mystery or supernatural genre. A trope that she always thirsts after: “Comrades who go through life and death together”.