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Bestial Blade Chapter 21.1: Contradictions

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The straw mat at the entrance of the guest house had fallen. Two men’s corpses were laid crosswise with each other. One was in beast form, while the other hadn’t transformed yet. It seemed he was killed from behind when he tried to escape. Part of his body was missing. Based on the trace left behind, it may had been carried away by a passing beast.

Hua Yi looked at the corpse and thought for a moment. When he turned his head around, he caught sight of several bright green eyes in the forest not far away. They were covetously looking at the body. Without hesitation, Hua Yi transformed into his own beast shape and roared at the wolves.

Chang An then saw the animals, who had been salivating for the dead meat, hesitate to move forward and could only wince before slowly retreating. He couldn’t help but look at the big guy with envy, thinking that this move was really useful.

Chang An then bent down, but he didn’t feel dirty. He opened the body with his hands, carefully examined the wounds of the dead man, and judged: “There are bows and arrows, two long swords and a machete. He was finally killed by the machete.”

In fact, long swords and machetes were the first choice of most beastmen hunters.

Machetes were very common in tribal wars. They could be used straight away and had a wide range of attacks.

Long swords were usually three to five feet long, for an adult man’s hands were quite wide. The lightest swords, which were fit for growing children, were about 30 jin [1]. There were also legendary ones that weighed up to a hundred jin. And since beastmen were naturally strong and tall, they weren’t good at using weapons that were too short. The small blades they carried were generally tools, and were by no means used for fighting and hunting… Of course, there were special cases. Hua Yi’s nine-inch blade, for example, was not for roasting meat but for assasination.

However, a person like Chang An who’d carry a saber everyday was very rare. In real combat, a double-edged sword was always easier to operate than a single-edged sword. 

Chang An probed his hands into the corpse’s clothes again. After touching around, he found a black iron plate from the dead man’s arms. He picked up the small bloody plate and examined it for a while. He didn’t know what it was for, so he asked Hua Yi. “Do you know what this is?”

“It’s a cry for help card,” Hua Yi said with a glance after turning back into his human form. “He’s an envoy sent to ask for help from nearby tribes. There may have been a tribal war.”

Chang An glanced at him and knew that Hua Yi hadn’t told the truth. He intuitively knew that Hua Yi must know something he didn’t know. However, Chang An didn’t say anything. Whether it was a tribal war or not, it had nothing to do with them.

It was the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It was time to have a good harvest of wheat, whether it was grown by people or in the wild. Many fruits and vegetables could also be picked. The weather was neither hot nor cold. The animals in the forest weren’t far away either; hunting was no problem. Surviving was not impossible. Normally, at this time, everyone would be preparing food for their tribe in the winter. Who would go out of their way to fight with other tribes?

Unless one encountered a legendary ghost tribe.

These so-called “ghost tribes” had almost no sub-beasts within them. Most of their women were also kidnapped. They don’t work. They don’t live in a fixed place and they would wander in all directions, bypassing powerful tribes but targeting the vulnerable ones. All year round, they’d rob for a living.

Hua Yi was deep in thought–Here… was not far from his employer’s tribe. As he looked at the direction of the envoy’s escape, perhaps these small tribes were under the protection of his employer.

Hua Yi nudged Chang An’s shoulder, stood up and said, “It’s none of our business. Let’s go.”

Chang glanced at the empty guest house and asked, “You won’t stop to rest?”

Hua Yi spoke thoughtlessly: “Shut up you, it’s so busy out there yet you’re sleeping? Could you even sleep? Aren’t you afraid of something flying into the window and hitting you?”

Chang An said “oh,” apparently unmoved. Hua Yi then recalled his unique skill of falling asleep anytime, anywhere. His teeth hurt–Fine ba, he almost forgot that this one could sleep anyway.

Both of them were not slow on their feet, and they hurried on the journey in the dim light of night. Deep in an unfamiliar forest, even an old hunter could only estimate the general direction. Unless they were locals, it was impossible to find the exact way. As a result, although Hua Yi had wanted to skirt around the other tribes, he still carelessly passed the battlefield.

It was inappropriate to call it a battlefield though–the war seemed to be over.

Hua Yi’s ears twitched. In the wind, there were people’s shrill cries and screams. Even children’s young and tender voices had gone hoarse from crying.

However, apart from the wrong season, wars like these were nothing new in the entire North.

Every tribe occupied a certain area and enjoyed the surrounding animals, plants and food. In barren places, people suffered from hunger and cold. In abundant places, people could eat and drink to their heart’s content. Therefore, there was no reason why this tribe was so weak when it occupied such a good place.

So they should have either washed their neck clean and waited [2], or get the f*ck away as soon as possible.

As for the fate of the defeated side, it would depend on the mood of the victor.

If they were merciful, they would spare the aborigines and let them join their tribe. And even if they weren’t merciful, there was nothing wrong with killing all the prisoners of war. However, whether they were merciful or not, the leaders and elders of the defeated side cannot stay. One had to cut the weeds and dig up the roots [3]. Their young children would be put on fire and baked to dry, leaving body oil for the souls of the warriors who died in battle.

Moreover, this was obviously a sneak attack by a ghost tribe. This was precisely what it meant to rob maliciously. People would be better off hoping for the blessing of the drowned gods who had fallen into a river who knows where instead of counting on their mercy.

Listening to the child’s shrill and hysterical scream, Hua Yi knew it was the sound of being roasted alive. However, his footsteps did not stop the slightest. His face was almost unfeeling–he didn’t know when it began, when he had become such a person.

It was the first time for Chang An, who had been following him quietly, to encounter such a scene. He stopped several times, but seeing Hua Yi’s indifferent appearance, he had no choice but to catch up with him.

At this moment, the young man suddenly asked, “Zhe Yan said you were very young at that time. Why did you try to save him with your own food and even hunted a deer for him?”

At first, Hua Yi thought that Chang An was hinting or criticizing something, but when he saw the young man’s expression, he realized that he might have really just been expressing his doubts. He poked away the pricking bush in front of him, kept silent for a while, then shook his head and sighed exaggeratedly, but his voice was very soft.

With a distressed expression, he said to Chang An: “Look, a man like me who can’t do anything, can’t speak well, and has bad brains, only has the skills to fight a deer. At that time, helping was just a matter of lifting a finger.”

“… Oh.” He was blurting out nonsense, but Chang An didn’t look into it. He just nodded his head and answered briefly, making it impossible to see what was in his mind.

Hua Yi felt that he had been stabbed by this “Oh.” He stopped talking and concentrated on walking, but he couldn’t help asking himself. When he was fourteen or fifteen and saw a child with a dirty face, he couldn’t help but hold him and wash his face by the river. Back then, would he be so reckless to rush over and rescue the child being burned before running away?

However, he couldn’t remember … After so many years, he couldn’t remember what kind of person he was then.


Translator’s Notes

1 Chinese metric unit equal to exactly 500 grams. Return ▲

2 Waiting for someone to kill you, since to behead is to chop at the neck. Return ▲

3 Destroy evil, leaving no chance for its revival. Return ▲

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