Chapter 51: The calm aftermath after killing someone
This wasn’t the first time that Han Shuo had killed someone, but compared to killing forest trolls, the impact Han Shuo’s heart received from slaughtering Claude was exceedingly great.
After all, forest trolls were a different race from him, and were renowned robbers. Han Shuo killing them felt as natural as killing magical creatures, but Claude was completely different from them. Han Shuo had been forced to kill him because he knew within his heart that if Claude didn’t die, Han Shuo could put all thoughts of peacefully living his life in the future out of his mind.
Watching Claude weaken and sag into a pool of blood, Han Shuo felt a bit numb in that moment. There was an empty feeling in his heart, he hadn’t hesitated when he made his move, and it was only when he watched Claude die in front of him that a feeling of nervousness grew in Han Shuo.
Claude was a noble, and the youngest son of the commander of the Empire’s Gryphon Legion. If news of this matter leaked, only death awaited Han Shuo.
Gazing at Claude’s corpse, Han Shuo stared dumbly into space for a while. His originally slightly panicked expression became more and more resolute and harshly cold.
Finally, Han Shuo rearranged his clothes and stood up, walking up to Claude with a calm face and rummaging through his clothes. He poured out a few gold coins from his money bag, a crystal card, and some scattered medicine.
After thinking for a bit, Han Shuo only put away the gold coins. He set aside the potentially incriminating crystal card and Claude’s other belongings.
A little skeleton, wielding a bone knife, appeared in front of Han Shuo after his incantation had finished. Han Shuo searched out a desolate clearing as one man and one skeleton wielded bone knife and dagger spent a few minutes digging a deep hole. After burying Claude in the hole, Han Shuo carefully cleaned up the traces of blood that Claude had left behind. He even slowly covered up the traces in which he’d fallen down and rolled around.
Circling around the forest patch and confirming that no clues had been left behind, Han Shuo did not return along the original way. Rather, he made an additional circle and dug a deep hole to the north of Drol, burying all of Claude’s belongings. Finally, he returned to Drol using another street.
He did all this because he was careful and cautious. They hadn’t garnered anyone’s attention on the way to the forest with Claude earlier because Claude had intentionally done so.
Now that Han Shuo had killed him and carefully buried his body, logically speaking, no one should discover it. Even if someone unintentionally discovered Claude’s body, Han Shuo had taken all the belongings off the body, creating the impression of murder in the course of robbery. These things happened quite often in the town of Drol and should be able to conceal the original reason of death.
After Han Shuo had dealt with these loose ends, he concealed himself in the surroundings of the hotel of Irene and the others for the next two days, silently observing the movements of the light major students. He discovered that whether it was Irene or Beacher, none of them came looking for Claude. It looked like they thought that Claude had wronged them first and so left him alone.
Claude was certainly the one who understood his bodily condition the most. No matter how he tried to explain under those circumstances, it was more than likely that not many would believe his words, and judging from the timing in which Claude had come for him and his understanding of the psychedelic aphrodisiac, he more or less surmised that Claude had come looking for revenge as soon as he’d sobered up, and hadn’t had time to explain anything to Irene or Beacher.
After two days of observation, Han Shuo finally relaxed and let down his guard upon seeing that Irene and Beacher made no moves to look for Claude and only focused their attentions on spending money as they visited various weapons and armor vendors as well as pharmacists.
At dusk on this night, Han Shuo did not venture out again to keep an eye on Irene and Beacher, but instead stayed inside to quietly practice magic. He repeatedly expanded the width of his body’s meridians and improved their pliability.
Han Shuo was seated primly on the edge of his bed, completely naked, sweat pouring down his entire body, starting from his forehead. The tendons of his body jumped as they bulged out like endless numbers of worms moving through the surface of his body. It looked even more cringe worthy and scary than even the most evil tattoo.
During this entire process, a sudden tremor ran through Han Shuo’s mind as he sank into a senseless realm. For the moment, he forgot himself, forgot time, and was like a sculpture, without life. Only a faint hint of black splendor circulated beneath his skin.
A sudden round of fierce knocking abruptly awakened Han Shuo. When Han Shuo came back to himself, he took stock of himself internally and understood that he must have unknowingly sunk into the demonic mental state just now.
The knocking was still continuing and Han Shuo was a bit irritated that his training had been interrupted. He grabbed a random towel and wrapped it around himself, saying with irritation, “Coming. Coming!”
When the door was opened, Han Shuo received the shock of his life. The irritable expression on his face vanished without a trace as it immediately transformed into a smiling face. He said merrily, “Eh, it’s you guys. I’ve been waiting a long time for you. You’ve finally come back.”
Standing outside the door, Fanny and Lisa looked a bit worn out and their hair was a bit messed up. They carried items in the hands and packs on their back, looking quite tired from the road. It appeared that they’d just returned from the Dark Forest.
“You Bryan, you actually made it back to Drol such a long time ago. We were worried about you for quite a while. Oh, how’d you get money to live in such an expensive room? If it’s wasn’t for the owner’s certainty, I truly wouldn’t have believed that you were the one living in this room.” Fanny’s clear eyes swept over Han Shuo and she spoke with a bit of a bite to her words.
“Bryan, what happened the day you left? You didn’t return for two days and I thought something happened to you?” Lisa said.
“I got lost after I left, and when I found the original camp, I discovered that you’d long since left. I couldn’t find you guys, so I went one step ahead and returned to the town of Drol to wait for you. Good thing that everyone is fine. That’s wonderful.” Han Shuo smiled slightly and faintly explained himself.
Fanny raked a gaze over Han Shuo, thought for a moment and spoke to Lisa beside her. “Lisa, go and finish arranging the rooms with Master Gene and the rest. I have some things to discuss with Bryan.”
Lisa looked at Fanny with some suspicion and said, “Master Fanny, that incident has passed for quite some time now. Bryan even saved our lives… are you still holding a grudge against him?”
Her face reddened when Fanny heard Lisa mention last time’s incident again. She said furiously, “No, I have other things to discuss with him. Go select a room for me and I’ll be over shortly.”
Lisa still wasn’t fully at ease upon hearing Fanny’s explanation, but didn’t say anything further as she turned to leave, muttering something in her mouth.
As soon as Lisa had left, Fanny raked her gaze over Han Shuo and looked at the room she’d once lived in, seeming to remember what had happened last time as her cheeks flushed even redder. She humphed lightly and said, “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
“Eh, Master Fanny, this way please.” Han Shuo was taken aback and hurriedly turned his body to the side. When Fanny had stepped inside, he stuck a head out for a look in the hallway and hastily shut the door tight, like he was acting with a guilty conscience.
“What are you doing so surreptitiously? I ask you, what happened the day after you left camp? How do you have the gold coins to stay in this room?” Fanny nailed Han Shuo with a patrolling look after she sat down.
Han Shuo still hadn’t fully recovered from killing Claude. Upon hearing Fanny’s words, he was a bit surprised. He thought for a bit and then explained with a laugh, “When I left the camp that day, I stayed nearby practicing necromancy magic. I met an injured Windblade Wolf afterwards. I kept chasing the injured Windblade Wolf and finally killed it when it wasn’t paying attention. When I returned to the camp, I made my way back here after I realized that you had gone.
After returning to Drol, I sold the Windblade Wolf core and pelt. That’s how I got the gold coins. I thought that you guys would likely be staying here again after returning, which is why I rented the room to wait for you guys. This is what happened.”
Fanny didn’t immediately speak after Han Shuo had finished, but rather gazed upon Han Shuo in apparent thought. She exhaled lightly after a while, “Bryan, you’re truly completely different from before!”
He started and managed to squeeze out an honest smile. He scratched his head, “Really? Where am I different?”
“In many ways. Your appearance, body, and height, as well as your personality and expressions when you talk are all much too different from how I knew you before. It looks like you were the one who changed the most after experiencing the trials of the Dark Forest. All the students have undergone some changes after constantly facing battles of life and death, but who would’ve thought that your change would’ve been the biggest? How shocking!” Fanny stared dumbly at Han Shuo and said with a face of severity.
Han Shuo understood that during this time’s outing in the Dark Forest, unbeknownst to him, a change had truly occurred in the way he viewed things. This change had accompanied the increases in his strength and the dangers that he had faced. After killing Claude with his own hands the day before yesterday and a serious round of reflection, Han Shuo had gained a clearer understanding of the harsh realities of this world, and with it, his heart had become colder and crueler.
“Master Fanny, you left a note saying that you guys had met the two man-eating monsters. Did you get into a conflict with them in the end?” Han Shuo laughed lightly and didn’t explain things in further detail, but rather started asking Fanny what had happened to them afterwards.
“Of course, the two man-eating monsters kept following us. They even colluded with a few forest trolls to attack us. We finally made it out, but our paths were deviated significantly from our original direction because we were avoiding the man-eating monsters and the forest trolls. That’s why we returned to Drol so late.” Fanny responded.
Nodding, Han Shuo was about to open his mouth, when he suddenly frowned and abruptly stood up. He said with a face full of seriousness, “Looks like we’ve got trouble.”
“Everyone on alert! The orc wolf riders have appeared in the southern part of Drol. They are headed this way, everyone make ready for battle!”
Large yells suddenly sounded from the streets outside the hotel, all having to do with the imminent invasion from the orc wolf riders.