Generally, vampires lived much longer than humans. In fact, according to the records of human legends, no vampires ever died from old age.
Vampires, as a species, besides having a long lifespan, were also much stronger compared to humans. Fortunately, vampires were small in numbers.
On top of that, there were a lot of subtle things in the world. For example, richer people were greedier for wealth and older people were more afraid of death.
That was why the vampire captured by Rody showed that he was afraid of death.
Before Rody could even start to utilize the interrogation methods he had learned from Dandong’s notes, the low ranked vampire had already started to answer all of Rody’s questions.
The vampires had great difficulty expanding their blood family as they were suppressed for hundreds of years by the gods of the two continents. On the Radiant continent, for the current generation, there were only three Prince ranked vampires. One of them, Simao, had already been killed by Master Autumn in the Imperial Capital.
At present, there was a Prince ranked vampire hiding in West Hill. According to the captured vampire, that high-rank vampire was called Prince Jackal.
Rody then asked about those strange creatures.
A few months ago, before Prince Simao died, he received an important task from the Elder Vampires to go to the Southern mountains of the Empire. That vampire did not know where the Elder Vampires had learned of the Southern mountains having a peculiar valley. The thing that surprised Rody was those Elder Vampires also knowing about the existence of the Mystic Dragon.
At first, Prince Simao was collaborating with Prince Barond in the Imperial Capital. However, when he received orders from the Elder Vampires, he left for the Southern mountains with some followers. At that time, Rody had already left the mountains with that fatty, Sky. That was why Simao was not able to find the Mystic Dragon.
As he had the strength of a Prince ranked vampire, he did not encounter too much danger in the Death Valley.
He had lost a few subordinates to the bloodthirsty spiders when they entered the Death Valley. After that, they crossed the Samsara River that was made stagnant by Wuya and finally reached the forest.
That forest had a lot of different mythical beasts. Naturally, most of them were low-ranked mythical beasts. Although Simao was not able to find the Mystic Dragon, he was still able to bring back a few young mythical beasts from the mountains.
The captured vampire was unable to give an answer as to why the vampires captured those mythical beasts. It was not something a low-ranked vampire like him would know.
Simao brought back a total of six young mystical beasts. They were supposedly the stronger and higher ranked creatures in the Death Valley.
Three of those mystical beasts were distributed to Prince Jackal. Those three mystical beasts were the two strange creatures in front of Rody and the large octopus-like creature that he killed the previous day.
The three-eyed wolf was an intermediate ranked mythical beast. Its real name was Fox Wolf. It had the cunningness of a fox and the aggressiveness of a wolf.
The night owl was a little weaker. Its name was Red1 Monkey2.
Hearing that, Diane could not help but look at the night owl again. Sure enough, she noticed that the owl really looked like a monkey except for the fact that monkeys did not have wings and small fangs.
Since Prince Simao was killed in the Imperial Capital, the Church started to hunt vampires again. Prince Jackal came to West Hill not too long ago and the reason was simple. It was because the Church’s influence was not strong in the province of Westwood.
In fact, the Church’s influence was built on two foundations: the support of the Empire’s officials and the devotion of the common people.
Westwood Province was undoubtedly a special place. That place was the fief of the Tulip Family. The Imperial officials’ power there basically belonged to the Tulip Family. The citizens also had more faith in the Tulip Family. It was because of those two reasons that the Church’s influence was relatively weak in the entire Westwood province. As a result, West Hill was also an exceptionally good place for the vampires to recuperate.
The captured low ranked vampire’s job was to raise the mythical beasts.
At that point, Rody looked at the vampire skeptically and coldly said, “Raise them? You are just a low ranked vampire while the mythical beasts are precious things. Would they actually let you manage them?”
The low ranked vampire felt the grip on his neck tighten and quickly shouted, “Really! I am telling you the truth!”
Under Rody’s cold gaze, the low ranked vampire quickly explained the reason. Apparently, the other higher ranked vampires think it was beneath them to do a job like an animal breeder. The higher ranked vampires preferred to spend their time cultivating or sleeping. The strength of vampires was derived from their long lives, where they had more time to cultivate compared to humans. That was why they were unwilling to spend their time doing a boring job like breeding animals. Prince Jackal, too.
In fact, Prince Jackal did not have a harmonious relationship with dead Prince Simao. He was actually unwilling to care for the mythical beast that Prince Simao had captured. However, he could not defy the orders from the Elder Vampires.
Since the high ranked vampires did not want to do that, the task fell onto the two pitiful lowest ranked vampires.
“Wait!” Rody showed a smile and asked, “What did you say? Two?”
That vampire sweated buckets as he trembled. “Yes, yes, two…”
Rody casually asked, “How did the two of you breed of the mythical beasts? Does one person attend to one mythical beast?”
“Yes…that’s right.” The vampire replied, “But, that guy had been executed by the Prince yesterday as he did a poor job. Now…I am the only one left.”
Rody coldly said, “Good! This means that there should be one more of this whistle that you used to control the mythical beast! Am I right?”
The vampire’s expression changed.
Suddenly, with one grab, Rody lifted the vampire up by his legs. Sure enough, after shaking him vigorously a few times, a strange black whistle fell out from the vampire’s bosom. It looked not much different from the first whistle.
Diane bent over and picked up the whistle. She held it in her hand and looked at it for a while. After that, she looked back and accused, “You are still hiding this. Are you looking for an opportunity to steal back the mythical beasts?”
“No…no, I don’t dare!” The vampire started to sob.
Rody’s expression remained unchanged. He dropped the vampire onto the ground and asked again, “One last question…why did you raise mythical beasts here?”
“In the whole of West Hill, this is the only place that is wide enough and not very populated. After all, this is the Tulip Family’s private hunting ground. Normally, there would be people guarding outside and nobody would come in here.”
Rody gazed coldly and lightly said, “What else? A mythical beast was already killed yesterday. What is it about that octopus?”
“Yes, yes, I will tell you!” He looked at Diane who was playing with her scimitar and eyeing his neck at the same time. The bearded and burly man, beside him, was swinging his sword. The vampire loudly replied, “The water in this lake is weird! We found out that the lake water was particularly suitable for the growth of the mythical beasts. The octopus that was killed yesterday was originally a low-ranked baby monster. However, it had evolved three times in less than a month. That is why we still left the other two mythical beasts here. However, Prince Jackal felt that this place is no longer safe and ordered me to take back the mythical beasts tonight.”
After saying all that, the vampire sighed and thought to himself. If only I was here one day earlier, I would not have encountered these guys in front of me!
Rody then asked with interest, “The water in this lake is weird? What is weird about it?”
The vampire scowled miserably. “I don’t know. Just that, the baby mythical beast that was placed in this water had grown extremely fast. It had grown much faster than the other two mythical beasts. As for the rest, I really don’t know!”
Darke suddenly whispered, “I am afraid that what he says is true…” He thought for a moment and then whispered again, “Didn’t we think that it was strange as well just now? It looks like the trees that are closer to the lake grew exceptionally well.”
Rody nodded. He took another look at the vampire who was lying weakly on the ground and said, “You better think again carefully. What else have you not told us? If you had missed out anything, the consequences…”
“Yes, yes, I know!” The vampire had a distorted and fearful expression. With gritted teeth, he carefully thought for a long time and finally said, “Nothing else. Really nothing left. I have already told you all that I know.”
Rody shook his head. He sighed and asked, “You have said everything already?”
“Alright.” Rody nodded and then he said, “I know you hope that I would spare you your life…In fact, I do not have much hatred for vampires. I am also not interested in the enmity between the vampires and the Church. But unfortunately, now I really hate you bloodsuckers…That is because I have a friend who was killed by a vampire!”
When Rody spoke his last sentence, a pained glimmer crossed his eyes. He then slowly raised his hand…
A trace of thin black flame gradually shot out of his hand. Diane and Darke were surprised and took a few steps back. The black flame from Rody’s hand gradually wrapped around the vampire’s body…
The vampire screamed bitterly and his body quickly turned into ashes…no, not even the ashes were left. In a short moment, nothing was left.
Darke took a deep breath and looked at Rody vigilantly. “Hellfire! Who in the world are you? Rody, how come you know how to use Hellfire?”
Diane bit her lips and had a complicated expression. She certainly knew why Rody could use Hellfire. That was not Rody’s own strength. That was power given to him by the Mystic Dragon.
The fire that could burn and destroy anything. That certainly meant one was the reincarnation of the Mystic Dragon.
The two mythical beasts, next to him, seemed to have instinctively felt something. They felt a kind of aura. The moment Rody used Hellfire, they whined, retreated and trembled on the ground.
“Alright!” Rody said with a sigh, “Now, let us examine this lake to see what is so strange.” He then looked at Darke and said, “I will answer your question in the future, but I hope that you can believe that right now, we are still friends!”
Diane thought for a moment and then asked, “What should we do with these two mythical beasts?”
Rody smiled and replied, “It would be a pity to kill such interesting mythical beasts. It might a good idea to keep them.” He once again put the whistle in his mouth and blew it. After a long sounding whistle, the two mythical beasts obediently lay down on the ground.
“Looks like these vampires are quite skilled. They actually had such a method to make the mythical beasts obey them.” Diane said with a smile.
Darke shook his head and replied, “That is not entirely true…It is not hard to tame the young beasts. As long as they are trained, punished and rewarded daily, these young beasts would develop habits. Once these habits became their instincts, everything would become simple. For example, this whistle; blowing a long whistle definitely gives them a frightening impression as it means punishment. That is why they acted with fear when they hear a long whistle.”
Rody waved his hands and said, “Let us talk about the mythical beasts later…Let us take a look at the lake first!”
However, the next question arose.
If the lake needed to be investigated, then the best method would be to send someone into the lake to explore.
Unfortunately, Rody did not know how to swim and Darke was not particularly good at swimming. Both of them were embarrassed. Diane sighed. She then gave a wry smile and said, “Looks like I would be the only one going down. I am surprised that the two of you do not know how to swim.”
Rody frowned and asked, “Do you know how to swim?”
Diane smiled sweetly and replied, “Our tribe is next to a big river. From young, I am already used to swimming in the river.”
Rody still frowned and hesitantly said, “I am afraid there is something strange in this lake…You…”
Diane felt happy when she saw that Rody was looking at her with concern. She no longer felt afraid and smiled. “Don’t worry.”
The three of them took out the ropes they brought and tied them together. They then tied one end of the rope to Diane’s waist and the other end to a tree. Diane also put away all the loads and weapons she was carrying and only took with her a small dagger. She then walked towards the lake barefooted.
As she moved forward, the lake water gradually covered her knees, waist, chest until her whole body could no longer be seen.
Rody and Darke felt a little nervous as they saw the rope quickly slip into the lake. Rody could not help but walk to the shore and tightly hold a knife in his hand.
At that point in time, the sky had started to turn bright and the morning breeze started to blow. They could not help but feel cold. The two mythical beasts on the ground were also slowly getting restless. Darke was worried about Diane and he felt anxious. He walked over to the two mythical beasts and kicked one of them as he shouted, “Damn! Behave yourself!”
Sometime later, suddenly there was a ripple as Diane reappeared from the lake. With her head above the lake, she forcefully swam back to the shore. Rody immediately grabbed the rope and quickly pulled her back.
Diane was breathing rapidly. Her hair was wet and stuck to her head and face. Her face was pale and her lips were purple. Evidently, it was because the lake was extremely cold and unbearable.
She had been wearing a red dress that revealed her arms and calves. Her clothes were thin and stuck to her body after being soaked in water. That highlighted her graceful body. Rody took a single glance and could not help but get a strange feeling. He quickly took off his coat and wrapped it around her body.
Diane trembled as she was gently held by Rody. She suddenly opened up her arms and hugged Rody. Rody thought that she was cold. Originally, he just helped to wrap his coat around her body, but he did not expect to be hugged. He could not help but freeze for a moment. Immediately, he thought that this was her reaction to the cold. He smiled and asked, “Is the lake water very cold?”
Diane’s teeth chattered as she smiled sweetly and replied, “I am fine.”
Rody sighed and slowly brought out his fighting energy. In the darkness just before dawn, it looked like his body faintly issued a mass of golden light. The mass of golden light was like a burning flame, wrapping Rody and Diane inside it.
The water vapor faintly evaporated and Diane felt like she was covered in warmth. Her cold and wet body gradually warmed up and became dry. She could not help but groan softly as she leaned on Rody’s chest.
Rody felt the trembling of her delicate body in his arms as she gradually calmed down. Rody took pity on her when he saw her pale face and blue lips. He then whispered, “Do you feel better now?”
Diane stared at Rody. She seemed to have gone crazy and, for a moment, forgot to reply to Rody.
Suddenly, Darke’s voice came from behind. “Golden fighting energy! You are actually a Sacred Swordsman!”
Rody gave a wry smile. He immediately let go of Diane to turn around and look at Darke. He then smiled and said, “Yes.”
Darke had a shocked expression. He wanted to say something else, but then he unexpectedly saw Diane’s cold and ferocious glare. Feeling frightened, he swallowed his words.
Diane fiercely glared at Darke, feeling abnormally angry.
Scoundrel Darke. He did not speak earlier. He did not speak later. He purposely chose to speak at the time he was hugging me…
This scoundrel, Darke!
After glaring fiercely at Darke for a while, she took a deep breath and said slowly, “Down there…is certainly weird.”
1. The red here is 赤 chì instead of 红 hong. Hong is more red/festive. Chi can mean red, loyal, empty or naked, depending on the context. The red here is maroon red. Based on the context, I picked red as the other three choices would not make sense.
2. 赤猴 Can also mean a patas monkey. It is also known as the wadi monkey or the hussar monkey. I do not know why it is called a monkey when 夜枭 ye xiao, literally ‘night smuggler’ or ‘night owl’ has wings and should be an owl instead of a monkey. I also chose to call it Red Monkey because a patas monkey is an existing species that is not a mythical beast.