Wuxiaworld > The Bleak Walker > 14 Hunting the Shadow Trekkers 2

14 Hunting the Shadow Trekkers 2

The room was dim, the smell of oil lingered in the air. Daggers, crossbow, a coil of ropes, pitons, grappling hooks, oil lamp, and a leather vest modified heavily. A sharpened sword engraved with six runes lay still on the table. A hand carefully caressed the sword, the tip of his pointer finger feeding the runes that were embedded on the blade.

The lingering oil that seemed to be translucent stayed on the sword. The light reflected, his eyes squinted in return as he draws his eyes back to the table. Four small flasks of poison and four phantasmal oils that seem to emit a terrible feeling that makes the skin stand. The poison came from Vie's hair, while the phantasmal blade oil came from concoction known by Walkers.

"It should be enough to hunt two trekkers," he thought. "These monsters are werewolves with faces resembling ghouls, they are fertile and strong, their regeneration makes their offspring's stronger than a trained human."

He eyed the small crossbow and took the silver embedded bolt. "I can neutralize them by coating this bolt with the poison from Vie's hair and phantasmal oil." He thought while stroking his chin. "The sewer's large and narrow, the trekkers can adapt to the shadows. The lamp oil will be shining the way. The trekkers will be hesitating to approach us until they can find a way to maneuver."

He recalled the way they fought in the barren lands. He had to dodge their attacks, keep the light from dying and attack them with a coated weapon. It was far easy because of the wizards. He knows how to make use of the runes to carve an element on his sword. But doing so means that he will have to fatigue his soul and lessen his ability. The body can handle the burdens but, the soul cannot easily do so.

He grabs hold of a dagger. "I can coat the throwing daggers with poison." He thought while his hand fiddled the dagger, twisting it around his fingers. "It's much better to use the crossbow that the Talon Knights made." He examined the repeater crossbow that the Talon Knights made. "It's fast and reliable, but it will be hard to reload them inside the dark sewers. Better use the other weapons first before using them. A quick succession of bolts to the chest should do."

He looked at the coil of ropes. "I can use the ropes to the bind them, a simple lasso around their waist, then place the piton on the ground to bind the monster should theoretically work. Their pulling strength would mean that I have to tie them using five pitons each. I have ten pitons and three coils of rope."

"As for where I should put them all," his eyes slide through the table and landed on the heavily modified leather vest. "The leather armor had to be modified. The metal wires I used to stitch the pockets and bandoliers should allow me to store them. It is a makeshift bearing vest, but it'll do the job," he thought, his eyes pointing at the saddlebag on the back of the bearing vest. "I can keep the coil of rope and the rest of my items inside. The holsters and slings should keep my weapons intact. The vials can stay in the pouches around my pocket. It shouldn't be heavy, the loadout should be fine."

Nolan nodded his head. The room he was in was dim and a few steps away from him are the stone stairs leading up to the quarters of the Bleak Walkers. Vie trotted down the stone stairs and craned her head to where Nolan was. She caught her fitting the bearing vest.

"You are heavily armed...can you even move with that?" she asked. It was unusual for a Bleak Walker to be heavily armed.

Nolan was covered in a web of pouches. His sword was around his waist along with the small crossbow, and the repeater crossbow. His front was covered in pouches filled with daggers and bottles of flasks. Vie could spot the items around his belt where the vials of flasks are located.

"That doesn't bother you?" asked Vie.

"Nope," replied Nolan. "I am used to carrying many items around the journey. It's better to be ready for every possibility that might happen." He slowly removed the bearing vest and put it back on the table. He folded his arms and tilted his head. "What's happening?"

"Just came here to see what you were up to." She shuffled around the room. "You are always either disappearing somewhere, coming back smelling like blood. A while ago you smelled of burnt wood, your dagger and tunic had spots of blood. You even throw that old cape of yours. I thought we Bleak Walkers rarely slay other people."

Nolan's face tightened. His eyes turned cold. "They were scum that needed to be punished. Letting them stay inside a jail does no good. If they cannot be executed then that only way is to permanently put them to sleep."

"So you admit that you executed all of those thugs?" Her face stayed aloof. "I noticed that you always have this serene fury. I admit that even I could not see through you. What is your reason for all of this killing?"

"They deserve it." He wheezed. "I did this city a favor by killing them, that's the only reason."

Vie studied him. "We always dwell within the grey area. But acting out justice and going on a rampage does this city no good either. You burn warehouses and hideouts, Nolan. You are lucky that they haven't caught you."

"I know how to hide well." He mouthed with confidence. "So why are you asking me all of this, Vie?"

"Nolan," she said slowly. "You saved me from that well. I would have been buried in that place. I know that we are used to all of these troubles. But I accepted you as a good friend. You gave me your name and I gave mine. All I want is for you take care of yourself. I can tell that you are sometimes unhinged. Your ways are brutal and practical. You are inherently kind but I think that under your kindness there is a seething fury. Your single-mindedness is the one thing that I am afraid of most." She turned. "So please be careful."

He watched Vie clamber up the stairs.


Nolan simply left the outpost and wandered along the elevated streets. He found himself on a wooden bench overlooking the City. On this spot, he could see the hills of sands and the sandy houses below. The teeming crowd below moved naturally. The soft whistle of the wind came by. He smelled the scent of the palm trees that grow around the City. His hands cupped together, Nolan softly sighs as he looked at his palms.

"When did I become so murderous?" he thought. "I still remember being transported into this world. Weak and confused. I begged in the streets and learned the language through the crowd. I trained my body and worked as a soldier. No God appeared before my dreams. No heavenly and divine prophecies came to me. It was just me lost in this world."

He looked up at the sky. "I died twice already. I don't remember much but my life before coming to this world was pretty normal. I endured hardships and studied hard to get a job. One day, it all got flipped out as I died and found myself here. I was sure that I died. Yet, here I am in this world. To die and relieve these days."

"I never thought I'd end up this way." He grumbled while tugging his cloak. "I hated criminals and monsters because of this city. I hated them and I murdered to protect myself. If it weren't for the dim days ahead I would have continued killing thugs and pariahs. If I didn't join the army and saw Ciara's brilliance. My misery would have been worst. Like a good dog, I followed her. I fought and fought until I was filled with scars. She was my light in those days." He felt the searing sun on his face. "I am back here against but I cannot even dare to come near her, afraid of messing things up."

He recalled the pain of seeing his brothers and sisters of battle die. He remembered their dying faces as they haunt him forever. His eyes endlessly recalling their deaths. Nolan would never be able to see pleasant dreams as long as the sigils that have marked his eyes remains.

He dreams of death and despair, a constant reminder of death made him afraid of taking the guiding light he had in this world. He was back here in time but yet he could not even take her hand and profess his love. He could only watch and get angry at anyone who would hurt her madly. Nolan had learned how to control his anger by always muttering that 'Everything is only as it is.'

It keeps him still from ever trying to be rash about things. In death, Nolan learned how to be proactive. There are things that he cannot control and things that he can. Every action he does could change a lot of things. It could be good and bad. He thought to himself that if she continued on her lonely path. Wouldn't she become the war maiden that survived the dim days?

"I used her to heal the wound of lost."He mumbled at the air. "I thought that maybe she'd know the pain of being alone. I did love her, but in the end, I used her make up for the lost family. Who wouldn't be sad if they suddenly find out they can no longer go back home?"

That was one of the reasons he wanted to keep away from her. The guilt lingered and at the end she truly loved him. Every single time he was not doing anything he would remember her being swallowed by that attack. At the end that cemented the idea that she was better off without him. She was strong and determined. Nolan had watched her weary back with admiration.

He knew that there will be ripples in the timeline. Things will undoubtedly change with his meddling. He doesn't know if it is bad or not. Yet, he can only trudge on and continue the path he had chosen. Nolan thought that he could easily advance forward and hold his feelings. But in the end, one single bruise made him angry enough to eliminate the thugs roaming around along with their hideouts and warehouses. He only had the items he had because of his killing spree. He spent roaming around evading dangerous creatures with senses far dangerous than humans. How could they ever find him when stalking around the shadows has been a part of his life?

"How pathetic of me," he cursed himself. "I should have controlled myself. Damn it, when it comes to her I am really a mess." He clenched his fist so hard that he felt his palm ache. A strong wind blew from the desert and it made him flinch badly. He squinted and covered his eyes with his arm. He stood up and turned. He was about to move when he spotted a figure walking towards the bench. She was covering herself with her own cloak, her brigantine was dirtied by the sand that blew.

Nolan froze at the sight of the woman. He bitterly smiled as he looks at the woman whose was face half burnt. "Oh, yeah this was her favorite spot in this city." He thought as his eyes stared helplessly towards Ciara. She rubbed both of her eyes and moved forward. Finally, she was able to perceive the person who was staring at her.

"You are," said Ciara.

Nolan extended his hand unconsciously. "Nolan," he said. It took him a while but seeing that she had already taken his hand. Nolan could only smile bitterly inside his heart. He shouldn't have come here and bear this heartache. He felt like he was suffering just by touching her hand.

Ciara gazed at the man who didn't even change his expression. Although she felt that his face was cold and distant. His melancholic eyes betrayed him. All she could see was the face of a man who was weary and tired. She recalled that Bleak Walkers do not stay too long in one single place. She thought that he was only here because of the incoming horde.

"Are you leaving?" she asked.

Nolan hesitated. He looked at the sky and shook his head. "I was about to. Want to talk? I have nothing better to do."

"Oh," her face showed a hint of surprise. "I can do that." She walked to the bench and sat. Nolan gingerly followed her and together they looked at the city. His heart in turmoil for being unable to control himself.