Chapter 870: Black Coffin
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The area surrounding the Dark Haunted Tree King became a shura h.e.l.lscape. Zero approached the trunk of the tree, as the corpses of countless mutilated bats lay scattered across the ground. They had all been killed, and their black blood puddled on the forest floor.
The bugs flew around in the air aimlessly, not wanting to approach Zero. Even the Tree King itself shook with fear, and as it trembled, leaves cascaded to the ground and a low noise vibrated the air.
Emotionlessly, Zero resumed walking until she was standing directly in front of the tree. When she touched the rugged bark, her eyes made her look lost and confused.
Han Sen was watching Zero in complete wonder, and then, she began to punch the tree. The bark was beaten against harshly as each fist produced a flight of wood chips and splinters.
Without reprieve, fist after fist struck the tree. After a short but copious production of wood shavings, a meter-wide hole had been punched into it.
Han Sen squinted to get a good look, and noticed that the tree was hollow on the inside.
Zero then began climbing into the hole, and when Han Sen saw this, he greatly desired to follow. But there had been no change to the area, and upon taking a few steps forward, he began to feel his lifeforce drain.
The silver fox was quick to react to this negation of energy, too. Immediately after breaching the forbidden perimeter, it squealed and leapt off Han Sen's shoulder.
Han Sen didn't immediately pull back. Instead, he tried stepping forward once more. The drain on his energy only increased, and realizing the futility of approaching, he fell back to rejoin the silver fox. He didn't want to die from a sudden old age, as the people at the camp had told him would happen.
After Zero climbed into the hole that had been beaten into the tree, Han Sen could no longer see what she was doing with his naked eyes. She had also now escaped the vision of dongxuan aura and the devil-eye mask.
Han Sen was keen and eager to see what was going on, worried for Zero's wellbeing. But where his eyes failed, his ears took over. From inside that hole he could hear the sound of more snapping wood.
The Dark Haunted Tree King continued to s.h.i.+ver, and the flowers that adorned its canopy seemed to be wilting. Petals and tree leaves danced to cloak the air in a thick volume.
It wasn't only the tree king that was affected, either. The whole forest seemed to be suffering the same fate, as the flowers across each tree began to suddenly wilt and their petals lost themselves to the caress of the breeze that sifted through the canopies. Despite the sordid origin of the affair, its closure was a beautiful sight.
"What happened here?" Liu Fang and w.a.n.g Jiangang came running towards Han Sen. Something big was happening, so it only seemed natural for the change to be the result of their latest arrivals to the forest. Thinking something ill might have befallen Han Sen, they quickly came over to check.
Han Sen shook his head, continuing to gaze towards the crude hole in the side of the tree king.
But suddenly, screams sounded from the tents back at camp.
"Oh, no! Something wretched must have occurred at our camp!" Liu Fang exclaimed, as she turned around and started running back.
Although Han Sen was desperate to know what was going on inside the tree, he knew there was nothing he could do from where he was standing. Thinking he could still lend a hand someplace else, Han Sen accompanied Liu Fang in her hasty return to camp.
Before the three returned, they saw two people running across the meadow with faces of abhorrent shock. They were drenched in blood, as well, but it did not come from them.
"What happened?" w.a.n.g Jiangang asked aloud.
"Ghost! There is a ghost!" The two shaken runners could only respond that, as they departed for the cover the foliage of the wood could provide.
Han Sen did not say anything, and he simply resumed his race to the camp which had now been reduced to ruin. The meadow, the sole place that hadn't been covered in trees, was now a giant crater. Inside the pit sat a black, rectangle box. It was three meters long, and it appeared to have been constructed from wood. Upon closer inspection, Han Sen noticed it to be a six-sided box with curved shoulders.
"Is that a coffin?" Han Sen looked at the object and thought it looked reminiscent of the caskets that were used to bury humans, a long time ago.
Coffins did not exist in this day and age, and hadn't for a very long time. You would only see coffins in either museums or ancient TV shows.
Coffins had once been objects of great superst.i.tion for people, and if you wanted to see one now, you'd have to visit a museum in the Alliance. It was shocking to see one here, in the sanctuary.
Han Sen had never heard of creatures or spirits making use of coffins before, so the existence of one there seemed to be impossible.
Even if spirits died, they'd self-destruct their spirit stone. So, why might they possess a coffin?
It'd be even stranger for a creature to own a coffin. Super creatures might have been smart, but they weren't superst.i.tious. They shouldn't have even known what a coffin was.
Creatures were born in the wild, and expected to eventually die in the wild. And when their demise came about, their death usually resulted in food for the survival of others.
"Did humans bring a coffin over here and bury it?" Han Sen was shocked.
Liu Fang and w.a.n.g Jiangang looked equally shocked, now realizing they had been sleeping above a coffin all those years.
Its slumber there in the earth must have been why no trees grew above. Its existence provided them their sole meadow. It couldn't have been a coincidence, so the state of the forest had to be connected with the coffin somehow.
What was even scarier, people in the camp were bleeding in proximity to the coffin. The people that had remained there looked smaller than they used to, and their muscles appeared dry. They looked shrivelled.
Blood painted the gra.s.s in that area, and the people were nothing more than bled-out corpses.
Their bodies had no wounds, the blood seemed to drain from all of their face's orifices.
Liu Fang and w.a.n.g Jiangang continued looking at the coffin in shock. Its lid trembled and vibrated, suggesting something was about to come out of it.
Han Sen, too, stared at the coffin. But with his devil-eye mask, he could not make out the presence of a lifeforce.
Han Sen's eighth sense disturbed him.
After a loud noise, the cover of the coffin was pushed to the side slightly. Lengthy, creepy nails and fingers felt their way out. And unlike the nails of humans today, which were trimmed and well taken care of, they were thick and unkempt. They were black and red, appearing wild. Their appearance invoked a sense of dread.
The coffin's lid was pushed away slightly more, creating a gap big enough to invite a whole hand out from the black interior of the box.
And suddenly, that was what occurred. A pale white hand shot out of the black, grabbing the side of the coffin with frightening vigor.