Chapter 910: Tree Door
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Han Sen had better eyesight, and he saw that the person was dead far before Chu Ming did.
The dead person was a man, and he was clad in an outfit of the Alliance. He had been there for some time, it seemed.
Han Sen's best estimate placed the man's death at around sixty years before their find.
What Han Sen could not guess was how the surpa.s.ser had died all the way out there. There were no wounds, and there were no visible tears or damage to the outfit.
All that could ultimately be determined was that the man had been dead for quite some time, and now, only the lifeless body and its dusty garb were left to tell his tale. While the man's face had dried up like a husk, it was not rotten.
"This person was a human, one who died a very long time ago, it would appear," Han Sen told Qu Lanxi and Chu Ming.
When the three of them ventured nearer, they were able to get a better look at the person. The clothes were well-preserved and the face was fine.
He was a middle-aged man with a beard, and although they could not be certain, he seemed to have pa.s.sed away peacefully.
As they examined the man lying against the tree, Han Sen made a more accurate reading of the tree's lifeforce and was surprised to find it stronger than he initially believed it to be. But curiously, he believed there to be something living inside the imposing wood of its composure.
But aside from how he felt, there was no indication that what he thought was true. There was nothing suspicious in the area surrounding the tree, though that in itself could have been the more dubious fact. Aside from the dead body perched against it, not a single thing was in the area surrounding the tree—living or otherwise.
"Let's see if he has something on him. Perhaps we can learn more." Chu Ming wasted no time in patting the man down to see what he might have been carrying. The man did not possess a rucksack or bag, just a number of pockets.
From one pocket, he found something.
Inside this pocket, there was a wallet and a few little trinkets that did not seem to indicate anything special.
"Let me check the wallet; perhaps we can learn of his ident.i.ty." Chu Ming opened the wallet to see a number of cards and some money.
There was no identification card, however. And neither were there any licenses. Still, Chu Ming examined each card that was there.
There were only a few technology cards, and so it seemed as if the ident.i.ty of the mysterious corpse would have to remain a mystery.
Han Sen, however, did see that one card possessed the Nine-Life Cat symbol. This told him that the man must have had some a.s.sociation with Blood Legion.
This also told Han Sen that Chu Ming and Qu Lanxi did not know of Blood Legion's significance. As Han Sen mused on this, Chu Ming continued to search the body of the man for any secret pockets he might have missed.
"Stop this desecration and show some respect. This person died here, alone. Let's give him the burial he has so long been deprived of," Qu Lanxi said.
Chu Ming, however, did not listen to her pleading and continued rummaging through the man's pockets. As he did so, he said, "I don't think he'd like to be buried here. Perhaps if we can identify him, we can give him a proper Alliance send-off sometime in the future."
While what Chu Ming said may have seemed considerate and even heartfelt, the words were only spoken to subdue Qu Lanxi's feelings. Chu Ming wanted to see if the deceased person had some goodies on him, and she wasn't going to get in the way of that.
If he could discover high-cla.s.s geno weapons on the man, they'd be incredibly rich. It wasn't as if dead people could make use of such armaments, after all.
But unfortunately for Chu Ming, he could not find anything. Upon this miserable realization, Chu Ming then sought to flip the body over and have a look in the pockets of the man's backside.
So, he did. And upon rolling over the body, something slipped out. They each looked at it with curiosity.
Han Sen bent down to pick it up and noticed it was an old-fas.h.i.+oned watch.
The likes of this did not exist anymore, and people tended to make use of smart.w.a.tches. The delicate arts of watchmakers had mostly been lost to the annals of time and advent of technology; old fas.h.i.+oned watches lacked programming and worked off the extremely accurate synchronization and unerringly calculated movements of cogs and gears. If you wanted one of these, the best place to find one would be in an antique store.
The watch had stopped at nine o'clock, what day or year was unknown, as such old-fas.h.i.+oned devices did not give such information.
But that did not matter, for in the sanctuaries, such watches did not work.
Han Sen then examined the upper-portion of the watch, and what he saw made him freeze. There was a picture inside it of a middle-aged man holding a boy who had to be around eight or nine years old. The middle-aged man was the person who had died.
But the boy in the picture was a person Han Sen had seen before.
The little boy in the picture was Han Sen's father. In his family photo alb.u.ms, Han Sen had seen many pictures of his father when he was young. He was certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that the boy was his father.
The little boy was even wearing clothes Han Sen could recognize.
And the accessories he wore were ones he had seen before, as well. Han Sen knew he could not have been mistaken, and neither was what he was seeing a coincidence. The chances of two human boys wearing the same clothes and accessories, having the same hairstyles, and looking similar in the face was all too unlikely.
If the little boy was Han Sen's father, the bigger question now was who the dead man was. And whoever he was, why did he have such a photo?
The man was not his grandfather nor his great-grandfather; he did not look like them at all.
And wrack his mind as he might, Han Sen was unable to think of who that person might have been.
"San Mu, that little boy looks just like you," Chu Ming joked, as he looked at the little boy.
"Fate has led me to this watch, so I will be taking it." Han Sen pocketed the watch, planning to bring it back and show it to his mother when he returned to the Alliance. Perhaps she would possess the answers he sought.
"It's just a watch, though. That thing is useless. Why do you want it so bad?" Chu Ming laughed, as he continued digging through the man's pockets despite not finding anything more significant.
Just as Han Sen planned to roll the man back over, he noticed something amiss. There was something wrong with the place the man had been previously lying against.
That portion of the tree looked slightly different. They had not noticed it before, as their focus was on the dead body.
Han Sen decided to inspect it closer, and he was surprised to see the faint outline of what looked vaguely like a door. Feeling the bark, Han Sen's hand ran over a lump shaped like a doork.n.o.b.
The man had died with his back against a tree door.