Chapter 31.1 – Protagonist: Hold me then sit on it.
Xiu handed over the two passes to the demon gatekeeper. The demon examined the passes to confirm they were genuine before he looked at Xiu, Du Ze, and the two demon sisters: “Only two people can go through.”
Pointing to himself and Du Ze, Xiu said: “Just me and him.”
“Chirp!” The small Phoenix on top of Du Ze’s head tweeted, calling attention to its existence.
The gatekeeper stared at the trembling yellow hairball: “What is this? Chicken?”
If I say this is a Phoenix, would you believe it?
Du Ze’s face expressed melancholy. Ever since he woke up, he found that the little chick had made itself home on his head. Although the small Phoenix was still shivering, it seems to have become accustomed to it and just trembled while gathering Du Ze’s black hair in its claws. After finding a satisfactory spot, it settled down there. Whenever Du Ze tried to get it down from his head, the little Phoenix would bite Du Ze’s hair and stubbornly refuse to let go.
The demon guarding the gate glanced disinterestedly at the little Phoenix, put the passes away, then rang a bell. The heavy gates of the fortress slowly rose and a black swamp appeared in front of them. A thin mist hung over the swamp. The smell of decay was strong. This is the Death Swamp, the battlefield of the angels and demons and later, the gnomes and undead. Those who want to enter the Lost Land must first cross the Death Swamp.
Xiu did not hesitate and immediately pulled Du Ze with him to enter the gate. Du Ze looked back at the demon sisters. Though she had known that they would be parting today, Violet was still crying. Alice, who was gently holding her sister, noticed Du Ze’s eyes on them. The red-clothed girl smiled and said: “Bon Voyage, Lord Xiu, Mr. Du Ze. We will be your most faithful servants at any time.”
The heavy door of the fortress closed again, and the girl’s smile and voice were cut off.
After walking into the Death Swamp, the rotten smell irritated their noses. The baby Phoenix sneezed a dozen times. Fire spurted from its mouth and burnt some of Du Ze’s hair.
Du Ze: …
Xiu stopped and softly chanted a few syllables. A gentle breeze with a fresh scent enveloped the group. This was a very useful wind-type magic spell that can, at the very least, save some stupid person’s hair.
Wherever they walked, their feet sank down into the black sludge of the swamp. Xiu and Du Ze walked for a while before suddenly, a black shadow half-hidden by the fog appeared in front of them. They stopped walking but the shadowy figure still seemed to notice them. The dark figure was about three meters high. When it turned around, there were two blue lights in the mist.
Xiu stood in front of Du Ze, chanting a few words. A gust of wind tore the thin mist apart, revealing the shadowy figure. It was a tall robot with long, big hands carrying chains. A star was engraved on its left breast. Its body was a metallic iron-gray, and its eyes were simply blue lights.
Du Ze instantly felt as though he had been transported into a sci-fi world though he knew that the robot was a mechanical puppet, one of the gnome race’s best-known creations in “Mixed Blood.”
The blue light set in the eyes of the mechanical puppet scanned Xiu and Du Ze. It spoke in an electronic-synthesized tone: “Beep – lifeforms discovered, analyzing race. Beep – non-gnome, analyzing faction. Beep – unrecognized faction, analysis complete. Beep – activate the enemy program X, expel the lifeforms.”
The blue lights in the mechanical puppet’s eye flashed. It faced Xiu and Du Ze and its voice suddenly became louder.
“Warning! Please leave here within 10 seconds or you will be attacked. 10, 9, 8 …”
Seeing that Xiu had no intention of leaving, Du Ze tried to pull Xiu away. “Do you want to play?”
Xiu seemed somewhat startled. “What’s the matter?”
“It’s going to …” he said. Then, based on Xiu’s reaction, Du Ze had a bad feeling and guessed: “You don’t understand what it said?”
Du Ze thought that the mechanical puppet was speaking the language of the Chaos Continent, but now that he thought about it he remembered that in “Mixed Blood,” the mechanical puppets use the gnome language. For Du Ze, all of the languages of this world are unfamiliar, but there is a magic that translates everything for him. As if he had a foreigner in front of him speaking an unknown language and a translation machine, he can understand what is said but he can’t tell whether that person is speaking French or Russian.
Xiu nodded and asked, “What did it say?”
Du Ze did not have time to answer before the mechanical puppet’s countdown came to an end.
“…… 3, 2, 1. Activating attack mode.”
The blue lights of the mechanical puppet’s eyes turned red. “Mark target, access target information. Beep – start eviction.”
The mechanical puppet pulled out its chain and rushed over to them with a heavy pace.
Xiu pulled out his sword, moved forward, and took the initiative to “greet” it. The mechanical puppet flung its chain towards Xiu. Xiu’s colorless battle aura covered the sword which swiftly struck the chain.
An immense destructive power poured out of Xiu’s sword and into the chain, which broke.. The mechanical puppet fell to the ground.
However, even if the chain was broken, Xiu had to pull back. He looked at the sword in his hand. It was a sword bought in Agares City. Even though he had used his battle magic, the cracks still appeared on the sword blade which showed how powerful the mechanical puppet was.
The mechanical puppet did not care about the chain that broke. It simply pulled out several chains from its body and launched another attack.
This time Xiu did not strike at the chain. He chanted a few words. A breeze ruffled his blonde hair. Xiu bent his leg then leaped higher than a person could normally leap – it seemed that the wind was holding him aloft. The sun shone from above the blond youth and projected his shadow onto the mechanical puppet underneath him. As he fell down from his jump, Xiu held his sword with both hands, activated his battle aura, and mercilessly stabbed the head of the mechanical puppet.
The sword was finally overmatched and broke but not before destroying the mechanical puppet’s head. The headless mechanical puppet paused for a moment then stretched out a big hand to try to catch Xiu who was standing on its shoulder.
Xiu narrowly avoided capture and jumped down.
The headless mechanical puppet started waving its hands and moving in circles, trying to find its enemy.
To make the mechanical puppet stop moving completely, one must destroy its power center, but there was no need to destroy it at this time. Du Ze and Xiu simply walked past the headless mechanical puppet.
As they walked, Xiu continued their conversation: “What did the mechanical puppet say?”
Du Ze repeated the mechanical puppet’s words to Xiu. After listening to Du Ze’s explanation, Xiu seemed to be thinking deeply. They were able to spot several mechanical puppets from far away and were able to avoid them but as they traveled farther into the Death Swamp, the number of mechanical puppets increased. From the initial solo mechanical puppets, they had increased to groups of 2, 3, 4, and 5. It became harder and harder to avoid the mechanical puppets and sometimes they had to circle a very long way around them.
I accidentally deleted the image from the last chapter so half of the readers didn’t see it. Here it is again, for those who might have missed it.