Chapter 30: Battle of the Supreme Class
Yodel instinctively felt that things were not right.
This was because after confronting and probing him for a short time, the Blood Clansman who attacked fiercely despite being old and gray-haired suddenly became passive along with his juniors!
They were no longer attacking, advancing, and disappearing in a frenzied manner anymore, neither were they manipulating the blood slaves with undetectable voices.
That was until Gilbert's voice spoke anxiously, "Yodel!"
Even though they did not usually get along well, Yodel immediately understood what Gilbert meant.
The masked secret protector raised his head. He saw Thales pushing open the door on the balcony that led indoors and disappearing into the darkness of the house.
As the mechanical gears behind his Crystal Drop glass lenses started spinning, Yodel's field of vision rapidly zoomed into the second floor. However, the room was so dark that he could not see the situation inside at all.
Yodel's heart became restless. His figure disappeared in an instant.
In an obscure gray world, a gray moon slowly emerged. Next, a gray metal door appeared out of thin air, followed by a gray garden connected to it with gray walls, gray windows, gray houses, and other gray things.
In an instant, a gray Vine Manor that looked exactly like the Vine Manor in reality, apart from the strange coloring, appeared out of thin air in this world.
After an unknown amount of time passed, layers of ripples visible to the naked eye appeared and propagated from a point in the sky like the water's surface when skimmed by a dragonfly, in a manner as if the sky was pulled away.
Finally, a normal-colored Yodel softly emerged into the gray world from the center of the ripple and trod the similarly gray Vine Manor.
He stepped onto the world that was almost the same as the real world in terms of the shape and structure of objects except that it was void of any signs of life, and began his gray, deathly silent journey. The masked protector expertly jumped from window to window and rapidly rose towards Vine Manor's second floor in the shadowy world.
He needed to hurry and reach the room on the second floor through this shadow-world.
However, when he was a few meters away from stepping on the second-floor balcony's stone handle, Yodel suddenly paused for a moment…
...because a moment ago, he felt as if someone had dropped a heavy punch on every corner of the gray Path of Shadows.
These two words appeared in Yodel's mind.
Such a familiar feeling.
He furrowed his brows slightly and aborted the climb.
In the next moment, like swift thunder, Yodel kicked the gray walls of the gray house hard with his left foot and soared into the sky like a swallow, then somersaulted towards the back.
Strangely, ripples in space  appeared a few meters below the gray balcony where Yodel had stepped on. It spread with the vibrations, collapsing all the gray house's walls around it. The ripples took on a horrifying blood-red color.
In an instant, the blood-red color swept over the thoroughly gray Path of Shadows. Yodel who was somersaulting in the air sighed in a barely noticeable manner. Transparent ripples in space appeared throughout his whole being.
These ripples on Yodel offset the blood-colored ripples that tried to attack him.
In a few seconds, he disappeared into space and reappeared in the real world.
Below the observation deck on Vine Manor's second floor, a large space in the air was shrouded in blood mist. The blood mist contracted periodically as if vibrating with order.
Yodel suddenly emerged amid this strange vibration!
After emerging, Yodel somersaulted, looked at the blood mist around him and frowned while he was in the air. It has been twelve years since someone managed to artificially force him out of the Path of Shadows again.
And it was through the same method used twelve years ago.
An ambush prepared a long time ago was waiting for him.
The blood mist stopped vibrating. A suffocating burst of air rapidly invaded, bringing with it countless droplets of blood.
The blood mist conglomerated into an aged, blood-colored right hand in the air, throwing a seemingly light palm strike at Yodel, who was airborne and had no strength. The strike was aimed straight at his chest and abdomen.
But before the strike approached, the clothing on Yodel's chest and abdomen emitted a mysterious hissing sound and fragmented into pieces one by one in the air.
Upon careful observation, it can be seen that the blood-colored palm was surrounded by tiny droplets of blood in the blood mist that corroded everything that blocked it.
For example, Yodel's heart. Since he was stuck in the air, he was unable to evade it. Neither could the Path of Shadows protect him anymore.
In the air, Yodel, who was faced with imminent disaster, could only calmly hide his chest and abdomen, curling his body into a weird shape to delay the palm's direct impact on it.
A little more than barely a second passed.
A lot of things happened in this period of a little more than one second.
The dark-colored short sword suddenly appeared in Yodel's right hand.
In the blink of an eye, Yodel waved the sword in his hand and made three continuous chopping motions.
None of the three attempts hit the dangerous blood-colored palm.
However, the gears behind Yodel's Crystal Drop glass lenses were spinning rapidly. The tiny droplets of blood in that blood mist that scattered all over the air manifested in his sight with nowhere to hide. Yodel's waving of the short sword had delivered a blow that caused a tremor in that terrifying blood fog, causing them to shiver so much that three ripples that could not be seen by the average human eye appeared!
The blood palm attacked without obstruction. One more second and it would hit.
The gears behind Yodel's lenses started spinning in another direction. The color of the Crystal Drop lenses changed together with his field of vision. The three ripples caused the blood mist around them to vibrate. Behind the blood-colored palm, a special blood droplet spun without order amid the vibrations.
The next moment, Yodel thrust his short sword at the disorderly blood droplets with an unbelievable speed.
The tip of the sword gently touched the palm that was made of blood mist, and then quickly retracted. Not an ounce of strength was wasted, but not an ounce of energy was held back either due to his being miserly.
On the palm of blood mist, a medium-sized blood droplet vibrated and shattered.
Next, the blood-colored palm which had originally been fierce and threatening (and which would have hit Yodel's chest in zero point something seconds) collapsed into nothingness in an instant.
Yodel landed lightly on the ground. On the left side of his chest and abdomen, a piece of clothing that had been badly corroded and torn by the blood mist became fluttering ash. A concealed stretch of muscle was revealed, the skin on the surface was totally corroded and fresh blood was oozing out of it.
On the other hand, the blood mist that filled the air conglomerated towards the back along with the bloody palm that fragmented. Chris Corleone's deadly-still figure conglomerated in front of Yodel once again. However, the conglomeration did not include his right palm.
Yodel ignored the wound on his chest, letting the blood flow uncaringly and soak the hem of his shirt until his muscles contracted on its own to prevent the corroded wound from bleeding any longer.
Chris furrowed his brows. With a flick of his right arm, a reddish, new, skeletal hand regenerated from his severed wrist, which was covered with blood mist. Then, sinew and skin regenerated on the skeletal hand at a speed visible to the naked eye.
Yodel's chest wound looked more severe, but Chris' newly regenerated right hand looked as good as new.
But a depressing cloud of emotions seemed to have filled Chris' heart. He knows. In the fierce battle between supreme class elites which would have decided their lives and deaths in an instant, the prideful immortal already lost to this mortal behind the mask.
Initially, Yodel disappeared into his Path of Shadows and vanished from this world, but he was continuing onward on the other side of the world.
But after that, Chris turned the omnipresent blood mist into millions of blood droplets that created a sudden burst in uniform resonance, forcefully blasting away the masked elite from the shadow that only he could use.
Yodel, whose path was suddenly cut off, fell into Chris' trap in mid-air. With the origin blood bringing it together, the blood mist, which had weak corrosion power fused into it, conglomerated into a more concentrated palm and attacked Yodel.
Yodel had nowhere to draw strength from, no way to evade, and no way of entering the shadows. He fell into an absolutely disadvantageous position.
However, in an instant, Yodel managed to win over a little more than a second by rapidly changing his position.
In this short amount of time, Yodel identified the position of the origin blood among the thousands of tiny blood droplets and destroyed it, at the same time-shattering Chris' right hand.
The victorious and defeated parties in this battle of the supreme class were hence decided.
Yodel only lost a palm-sized piece of skin and some venous walls.
However, under Yodel's sword, Chris lost a drop of origin blood that signified the Blood Clan's exuberant vitality, and which would take over a hundred years for a single drop to be formed.
Chris heaved a sigh. What an exceptional young man. He's a fearsome member of the younger generation.
"Such beautiful skills and astonishing instincts. I was ignorant to have compared you with 'The Kingdom's Wrath' earlier."
As he spoke, Chris' figure again flashed around and evaded Yodel's phantom-like thrust.
"Even 'The Kingdom's Wrath' would not have done better than you."
Yodel paid Chris no heed. Instead, he stepped hard on the floor and rushed towards a window on the first floor. However, Chris was, again, blocking the path in front of him.
"But you are powerless to turn the tables now." Chris moved and dodged Yodel's attack. At the same time, he held him back from moving to the second floor.
The immortal old man did not stop speaking, and his words were filled with the chilling observations that could only be possible from a person who had lived for a long time. "Based on that boy's age, he is probably the most intelligent and calm mortal I've ever seen in my six hundred something years of living."
Chris, who had lost a drop of origin blood, no longer hoped to kill or even defeat this opponent. All supreme class elites were dangerous people with great strength and high levels of skill but could control their power at will. With just an exchange of a few blows, these two already knew the direction of the fight and how it would end.
However, he could not let this person bother Her Highness while she feasted, especially when the mortal child could be the key to Her Highness' awakening.
"It's a pity that his curiosity and his sense of danger is too great. Even if he knew that there were reinforcements, he still could not resist taking the initiative and attack in an attempt to save and defend himself. He probably can't resist the feeling of his fate being in someone else's hands.
"We've only made a few feints before he keenly noticed that the second floor might be where our weaknesses lie. His curiosity and his sense of danger made him push open the door, unable to resist. What he did not know was, that place was precisely where we hoped he would go.
"Her Highness needs his blood and his power. Young man, you are already too late. That mortal boy has already become Her Highness' strength at this point." A brilliant light shone in Chris' eyes, and for the first time, he referred to Thales with respect and admiration.
Yodel's short sword trembled lightly.
As Thales looked closely at the charred black hand that reached out from the strange black coffin, he froze for a whole five seconds.
He had an intense flashback that, again, invaded his every brain cells, summoning a scene from nowhere that felt like deja vu.
He heard a voice, it was still that soft and feminine sound. This time, it was stern as it spoke, "Wu Qiren, your grip is hurting me! We're just revisiting the classics, is there a need for you to be so scared?!"
In Thales' ear, his past life's quivering voice during that time was filled with fear, "I thought it was something like 'The Godfather'… who knew you actually wanted to watch 'The Grudge' at midnight?!"
"These are classics worth passing on to the next generation, okay?! Look at Kayako, she's so adorable! Ack! Loosen your grip! My skin is tender!"
"God damn it, she- she- she appeared! You have larger breasts, cover me!"
"You only noticed my breasts are big now? What about usually- Argh! If you're afraid then close your eyes!"
"I can't help it! By the way, can we please turn on the lights now- Ah! She- she- she climbed down!"
"Wu Qiren! Be good and sit on the chair for me!"
"Damn it! Madam! Don't stop the movie at this moment! I need to go up and down these stairs every day, alright—"
The moonlight was blocked by the black clouds. In the darkness, the flashback of his past life that happened for no reason was interrupted by a terrifying roar.
This voice was like a person who had been dreaming about drowning suddenly jolting awake from their suspended animation states. But to Thales, who had been severely tormented by the memories of his past life, no matter how he heard that sound, it was like a shrill howl of a thousand-year-old malicious spirit that had just resuscitated overnight!
Thales suddenly recovered from his absent-minded state when he realized in a daze that the ghostly hand that held on to the edge of the coffin was climbing out swiftly along with that terrifying roar.
A hand and wrist that looked like it belonged to a mummy. The small, charred black arm looked as if it was burned in hellfire; the badly damaged shoulder that looked as if it had been attacked by countless ants. All these things were revealed one after another outside the black coffin!
This ghostly hand and the "main body" attached to it, which was now practically no longer in human shape, were slowly climbing out of the black coffin!
That thing continued climbing out until a hair-raising skull appeared slowly out of the coffin under the dim moonlight.
This emaciated "skull" had dry, withered, long, white hair, and a rotten, charcoal-black face. It had a disproportionate, large, black mouth, and the spot where the nose was supposed to be was a layer of darkness where the bottom could not be seen!
Thales felt his goosebumps rise from his scalp before they traveled downwards and covered every inch of his skin right up to his fingertips.
Hidden by the white hair, "it" opened it's black, hollow "mouth", which was dark and gaping until the edge of the mouth reached right below its ears.
Its shrill cry traveled into Thales' ears from the direction right before him. Thales felt his skin crawl, and he almost collapsed onto the floor like jelly.
This strange creature did not stop. It slowly but steadily crawled out of the black coffin as it fumbled about its surroundings.
From the head to middle of the body, from the left arm to the right arm; the "skull" finally crossed the edge of the coffin and fell face-down onto the ground. At last, that dry, ghoulish left hand lightly touched the ground.
Thales' mind became blank. He trembled, slowly sucking in a mouthful of cold air. At this time, the skull that was touching the ground seemed the sense something. It paused for a moment, turned towards Thales' direction and slowly raised its head.
The withered, white hair parted to the sides of its head, gently revealing its "face" directly to Thales.
Where there was supposed to be eyes, Thales instead saw—
Two irregularly large black holes.
The boy almost fainted from fright.
It looked like a mummy that was not completely burned. But it seemed like after the transmigration, his bountiful experience from the streets allowed him to be a lot more daring. Although Thales was afraid, he still managed to muster what remained of his rationale in his mind while shivering.
No matter what that thing is… Thales trembled as he quietly thought to himself, I must run! Even though it looks scary, it isn't fast. I just have to—
Thales tried his hardest not to think about the plots in the horror movies he watched in his past life. Spinning on the balls of his feet, twisting the comfortable child-sized shoes that Gilbert specially prepared for him (even though it was largely worn out after all the running about he did), he prepared to depend on his speed to escape this dangerous place.
As long as I can last till Yodel's rescue… Thales thought, but the moment he moved his leather shoe, the ghoulish creature unexpectedly leaped out of the coffin!
It was as if a headless ghost that had been moving about without purpose suddenly regained consciousness!
"Uh- Ah!" The shrill cry resounded.
Thales, who was now utterly terrified, turned tail and ran!
The pale-stricken Thales took two steps towards the balcony!
1. Ripples in space: Otherwise known as gravitational waves.