Translator: 阿萌 Editor: Kurisu
Held at gunpoint of a dozen firearms, Long Qiu dropped to the ground without warning and started wailing, her screams ripping through the dark night. One could feel the excruciating pain just by listening to the sounds she was making.
Members of Team Six were startled at most, only Old Qin was visibly stung as he shouted, "Fall back! Fall back now!"
Some team members were yet to digest the command, but the instinct of following orders made them drop back several steps in unison. Xiao Qing also shivered as an utter fear enwrapped it. With a whoosh, it disappeared into the darkness.
The incident earlier at the Miao village was covered up by the government.
They had carried out investigations, interrogating each of the Miao people in turn. The conclusion was that the man was a fierce hand-to-hand combatant, the woman a master summoner, and the undead-insect girl a carrier of a spectacular undead insect which was said to be able to eat people.
The notion of 'said to be' had summarized the whole idea. Everything was in rather general terms, for there were no recorded images and no one had been eaten so far. The Miao people could only speculate, producing a vague idea: well, that thing is very dangerous and it will come out when the woman screams.
The inheritance of Grass Ghost Women from one generation to the next had always been extremely secretive. Naturally, it wouldn't be an inheritance if everyone knew how it worked, would it? Long Tang seemed to be the only one with some idea, but for some reason, she had held herself back.
As a result, these guys here only had half-baked knowledge of the matter and some even doubted its authenticity. After all, the undead insect did not sound as profound and awe-inspiring as cultivation. It was a bug, that's all…
As mentioned before, the Golden Silkworm was incredibly spiritual and needed to consume a person every year. It would 'settle the account' with its host at the end of each year and act out when its appetite was not satisfied.
However, once the current year passed, it would fall back into following orders starting from a new year and attend to the account again at year end… and so on and so forth, until it successfully ate someone or the host was drained of her essence and blood and died, killing the undead insect with her.
Such was the habitual nature of Golden Silkworms, or law of existence, using a more exaggerated term.
Now that Gu Yu had sealed it off for so many days, forcing it to change its behavior, the consequence would not be too hard to imagine...
Long Qiu remained huddled up on the ground, her shrill cries filling the air. Seeing her in such pitiable state, the team members
were at a loss what to do. Xiao Liu asked, "Boss, what should we do?"
"What the hell are you doing all standing around! Tranquilizer, shoot!"
Old Qin was decisive and ordered with a wave of his hand. One of the men aimed at Long Qiu with an anaesthetic rifle. In it was a highly potent drug that could cause instantaneous loss of consciousness.
He raised his finger and was about to pull the trigger. At that moment, however, the scream stopped abruptly as Long Qiu gave a violent jolt, then lay dead still.
What had just happened?
The gunman was puzzled slightly. The next second, his right hand felt lighter in weight and empty, as if the gravity had stopped working. Unconsciously, he looked down at his gun. The scream he let out was more blood-curdling than those of Long Qiu's.
"Ah… my hand! My hand!"
"Old Gong, what's wrong?"
"Is there another snake?"
Other team members turned around and realized that the right hand of the man was gone, in the same way that part of a picture was cleaned away by an eraser. It had disappeared into the thin air, leaving behind no trace at all.
Immediately after that, the emptiness expended swiftly to his right arm, right shoulder, right cheek, all the way to his entire upper body… it was as though an invisible monster was tearing at and devouring the man.
The gun fell to the ground and slipped away. On the spot where its owner used to stand a few seconds before, an entire person was wiped out from the face of the earth, leaving behind no blood, no bones... nothing at all.
"Zap! Zap! Zap!"
Other members of the team were infuriated and went into a shooting spree. The bullets flew into the night sky and hit the hard ground, but the only outcome was the spattered dirt and the dents the bullets made.
Being one of the top-grade undead insects, the Golden Silkworm was usually worshipped by whoever managed to get their hands on it. However, it just happened to find a host like Long Qiu this time, who had not only starved it for three years in a row, but also found a way to lock it up.
Right now, when it finally broke free, the undead insect went into a complete frenzy.
The guns went on firing. Once attacked, the Golden Silkworm became even more savage. It turned into an invisible flash of light and whizzed straight out.
With a bang and a cloud of blood mist, one of the team members who was shooting shuddered. He had seen his own chest punched through, revealing a hole the size of a fist.
He fell to the ground with a thump and was dead before he could feel the pain.
"What is this thing?!"
Some were running away crying, some took cover behind the vehicles. One
One of them was quick to react, he ignored the order of taking her in alive and raised his gun, aiming at Long Qiu.
As it turned out, before he could pull the trigger, he had become the primary target of the Golden Silkworm. His skull was neatly drilled through from his left temple to his right.
Xiao Liu wormed his way back to the vehicle, squeezing his 180-cm body into the backseat and hid away from the scene outside. He was frightened, really frightened. He was so nervous that an unnatural noise was forced out of his throat.
He was no soldier, but a member of the police force before being transferred to this unit. All the major cases he had worked on before were nothing in comparison to what was happening now.
The screams outside came into his ears loud and clear. That thing took advantage of its invisibility and was slaughtering the team like a reaper.
Xiao Liu did not believe it when he heard about it at first. Now, he finally understood what exactly was an Undead Insect of Golden Silkworm!
In this wildland, the dazzling beams of light were surrounded by all the darkness out there, creating a strange sense of harmony. Under the light, however, were splashes of blood, which obscured the light as they drifted profusely to the ground like a scarlet drizzle.
Not far off, a blush of color rose onto Long Qiu's pale cheeks despite her unconsciousness. Vital energy and blood seemed to be invigorated inside her. Undead insects were in a symbiotic relationship with their hosts—the stronger the host, the more powerful the undead insect, and a powerful undead insect would feed host back in return.
Xiao Liu kept himself completely still. He had lost count of time—it could have been a matter of minutes perhaps—when everything fell silent all of a sudden.
Sticking his head out a little, he gingerly got off the vehicle after seeing no motion outside. The surviving team members also moved in, terrified and confused. They did a head count: there used to be eleven of them and now there were only five.
"Boss, have you guys taken it out?" Xiao Liu asked with a shaking voice, resisting from looking down at the ground.
"No, it disappeared on its own. I don't know what happened."
Old Qin's lips were shivering as well. He had held his ground and remained in the battlefield. He actually thought he was going to be killed. The narrow escape was unexpected. He had no intention to blame Xiao Liu for his desertion and only said, "Move. Let's go check it out over there."
They advanced carefully, one step at a time. Long Qiu was lying on her side, apparently still unconscious.
The team was slightly relieved at the sight. Right there, someone suddenly aimed his gun at her head and was
and was ready to fire. Old Qin pressed down the gun barrel and shouted, "What do you think you're doing?"
"We need her alive!"
"But she has killed so many of our people!" the man roared, blue veins standing out on his neck.
"Follow your orders! We are bringing her in alive!"
Old Qin clutched his wrist with an increasing strength. The two men stared into each other's eyes for a long time before that man spat on the ground and dropped his gun, still full of hatred and anger.
"Take her to the car!" Old Qin waved.
Immediately, another two hatred-filled men lifted Long Qiu into a vehicle.
The five people then divided themselves into two groups, one of which left for Dakang that very night, where they would regroup before heading to the city of Urumqi. Being the center of the Northwest, Urumqi would have the adequate facilities and capability to handle this incident.
The other group was to stay put and wait for reinforcements. With another six people dead, there was much cleaning-up to do for sure.
The vehicle drove among the wilderness, guided by nothing but the headlights.
Old Qin was driving himself. He would dart a look at the girl in the rearview mirror every now and then. In spite of her unconsciousness, the girl was putting a tremendous pressure on the others in the vehicle.
He was furious, panicked, shaken, and curious at the same time. The undead insects, the Taoist skills, all those strange and inexplicable things were really incredible!
Fortunately, it seemed that she was unable to control it. Otherwise, today would have… sigh!
Old Qin was filled with a mixture of feelings. Little did he know, however, that after the feeding spree the Golden Silkworm had enjoyed itself with, it had long retreated into its host. Despite breaking her vow of not hurting people, Xiao Qiu was able to control it now.
Similar to the incident in Iron Mountain, what happened that night was soon covered up and suppressed by the authorities. It was even easier than before. The place was a no-man's-land in wintertime. No one would ever know about it as long as the members of Team Six kept their silence.
As a matter of fact, the authorities found the incident humiliating. It was the first special task after the BIMAUP's establishment. The result was, well, a Pyrrhic victory.
Had it not for the undead insect's unexplained retreat, Team Six would set an embarrassing record of 'the shortest time taken for a team from setting up to being annihilated'.
BIMAUP was a novel creation. They were still trying to find a way to operate and make it work. The start this time was a rotten one.
They had kept the temporary station and left a few men behind to keep surveillance. Although, the emphasis was not shifted to the city of Urumqi. After all, compared After all, compared to Li Suchun's zombie, the undead insect amazed them more.
Invisible, undetectable, and capable of killing with a strike, what a lethal weapon was that!
Three days later, the Bogda Shan region.
The snow was gleaming white and now a profound silence prevailed over all. In the vast forest of coniferous trees, two figures were moving at full speed, each step bringing them forward by a long distance. If it hadn't been for the footprints they left behind, one would take it for the legendary skill of 'passing the snow with no trace'.
"It's been eight days. What do you think Xiao Qiu is doing right now?"
"She's probably in the mountains by now. Keep an eye on the surroundings. We might spot her."
"We'd have made it back a long time ago if it were not for the avalanche!"
"We'd never get the seal if it were not for the avalanche either!"
The duo was none other than Gu Yu and Jiang Xiaozhai, who were hastily making their way back after digging the tunnel entrance open. Both were incapable of holding a proper conversation at the moment due to their agitation. In the end, they decided to shut up and focus on running as fast as they could.
It did not take them long to reach the periphery of the mountains. They could make out the plain in the distance. They slowed down a little bit, taking care to look around.
All of a sudden, Xiaozhai stopped and turned to another direction.
She stood still at a thick growth of withered grass and called out with certainty, "Xiao Qing?"
As expected, a green snake swooshed out right away, diving into her arms. Had it been able to cry, it would have drowned itself with tears.
"What are you doing here? Where is Xiao Qiu?"
Xiaozhai gestured around and the green snake replied by twisting its long body here and there, as if making a description. A moment later, her face grew stern. "Xiao Qiu is not in the mountains… there were a lot of people…"
"A lot of people?"
Gu Yu's heart sunk. Without doubt, he knew what that meant.
The two frowned as they strained their brains before they continued talking after a long consideration, "I don't think we'll find anything in Shuimogou, not sure about Dakang either. Do you think they'll send her to Urumqi?"
"Could be, or the capital city."
"The capital… Urumqi…"
Gu Yu was growing all the more frustrated. Either of the two cities was a formidable giant to them, something they had no way to stand against. That being said, they must go to Xiao Qiu's rescue. They only needed to find the right way.
To some extent, since they had brought Long Qiu out and he put the seal on the Golden Silkworm, she was their responsibility. Moreover, they had made the promise: till death do them apart.