Chapter 1 Surviving (1)
March, the beginning of Spring.
At a corner of the eastern part of Nanhuang* Continent.
The hazy sky was a stretch of gray and black, emitting a heavy sense of oppression. It was as if someone had splattered ink on drawing paper, allowing the ink to soak the sky, smudging the clouds.
The clouds folded over each other, merging together. After that, streaks of red lightning could be seen shooting out, accompanied by thunderous rumbling sounds.
The sounds were akin to the low-sounding roars of Gods reverberating through the mortal world.
The blood-colored rain emanated sorrow, falling onto mortal soil.
In the vast land, there was a ruined city. It looked devoid of vitality as it sat silently under the hazy blood-colored rain.
Within the fragmented city walls, desolation and dilapidation painted the scene bleak. Everything was withering, and collapsed houses could be seen everywhere. One could also find numerous greenish-black corpses and torn flesh around that resembled crumbling autumn leaves as they silently withered.
The once-bustling streets were now in shambles.
The sandy paths that were once crowded with people were now silent.
The only things that remained were shredded flesh, dust, and paper mixed with blood-soaked mud to the extent that one was indistinguishable from another. It was an extremely shocking sight.
Not far away, a broken carriage could be seen deep in the mud. Degrees of deterioration could clearly be seen on it, and the only thing there was an abandoned bunny puppet that was tied onto the carriage’s shaft, gently swaying with the wind.
Its white-colored fur was long dyed red, exuding a gloomy and eerie aura.
Its cloudy eyes seemed to contain some resentment as it stared lonely at the mottled stones ahead.
A figure could be seen lying there.
This was a youth that seemed around 13 to 14 years old. His clothes were tattered and filled with dirt. Also, there was a damaged leather pouch tied to his waist.
The youth squinted his eyes as he lay there unmoving. The bone-piercing chill seeped through the holes of his clothes from all directions, enveloping his entire body, gradually causing his body temperature to dip.
But even when the rain fell onto his face, he didn’t blink. He was coldly staring at a place far away like an eagle.
If one followed his gaze, at a location roughly seven to eight zhang* away, there was a skinny vulture currently chewing the rotting corpse of a wild dog. It would occasionally cast a vigilant glance at its surroundings.
It felt like in this ruined city where danger abounded, the moment a slight gust of wind caused the grass to sway, the vulture would instantly soar into the air.
The youth was like a hunter, patiently waiting for his chance.
A long time later, an opportunity came. The greedy vulture finally completely buried its head into the wild dog’s stomach to feast.
Hence, the youth instantly narrowed his eyes as a cold light could be seen gleaming within.
His body shot forward like a fired arrow, dashing rapidly ahead for the vulture. His right hand stretched to the leather pouch on his waist and pulled a black-colored iron stick out.
The tip of the iron stick glimmered with cold sharpness.
Maybe it was the vulture’s perception of killing intent, but at the moment the youth dashed forth, it immediately became aware. Due to fright, it flapped its wings and wanted to take off for the safety of the air.
However, it was too late.
The black iron stick—as the youth with a face devoid of emotions lightly tossed it—transformed into a black line that erupted forth.
The sharp iron stick instantly pierced into the vulture’s head, breaking its skull and killing it in one strike.
The powerful impact blasted the vulture back, finally pinning it onto the horse carriage not far away.
As a result, the blood-soaked bunny puppet also moved due to the collision impact and began swaying.
The youth showed a calm look. From the start until now, his speed didn’t reduce at all. He dashed toward the horse carriage and grabbed the vulture’s corpse and iron stick.
His strength was great enough to break apart a small piece of the carriage at the location where the vulture was pinned earlier.
After doing all these, he didn’t even turn his head as he rapidly headed toward the streets.
At this moment, the wind here seemed to blow even stronger. The blood-colored puppet on the carriage seemed to be observing the departing back of the youth as it swayed in the wind.
He moved further and further.
The wind indeed grew stronger. It brought along the chill in the rain and blew past the thin clothes that the youth was wearing.
The youth involuntarily shivered. After that, he furrowed his brows slightly and wrapped his clothes tighter around him as the sound of breathing could be heard.
He hated the cold.
And the solution to resist the cold was to find a place that could block the wind and rain to rest. However, the currently running youth didn’t reduce his speed at all as he passed by numerous tattered-looking shops.
He didn’t have much time left because the hunting of the vulture had taken too much time. He still had a place he had to go today.
“It shouldn’t be far now,” the youth muttered to himself and continued sprinting in the streets.
On his way, numerous greenish-black corpses could be seen everywhere. Their faces that were devoid of hope were filled with malice, causing them to emanate an aura of despair that threatened to taint the youth’s spirit.
However, the youth treated this as normal and didn’t even bother to spare a glance at them.
Some time passed. The youth would occasionally glance at the sky as anxiousness appeared on his face. It seemed like the darkening sky was more frightening to him compared to the corpses.
Luckily, he saw a medical shop in the distance not long later. The youth then heaved a sigh of relief and rushed over there.
The medical shop wasn’t big and many medicine cabinets were lying on the ground, emitting the stench of mold. It was like a tomb that had been forced open by others, and everything in there was a mess.
Also, there was the corpse of an old man in the corner. It was completely greenish-black and sat there with its back to the wall. The corpse’s eyes were wide open as though the owner didn’t die peacefully. It was listlessly staring at the world outside.
The youth shot a glance at it when he entered, and he immediately began to search.
The vast majority of the medicinal herbs had turned greenish-black like the corpses. Only a few were still normal.
Among these normal medicinal herbs, the youth spent a long time identifying them.
He seemed to be recalling his past experiences. Eventually, he picked a strand of golden-sore grass up and removed his thin clothes, revealing a large wound across his chest.
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The wound hadn’t completely recovered, and one could see the sides of the wound already starting to turn black. There was even some blood seeping out of the wound.
The youth lowered his head to glance at the wound. After crushing the grass, he inhaled deeply and gritted his teeth before lifting his hand to smear the grass paste on his wound.
In an instant, intense pain akin to a surging tide gushed forth from the wound, causing the youth to involuntarily shudder. However, he forcibly endured it. Even so, there was no way for him to stop the sweat from emerging on his forehead. The droplets of sweat then began flowing down his face, dripping onto the dark ground.
 Nanhuang 南凰 can be literally translated as Southern Phoenix
 1 zhang = 3.3 meters