The Ultimate Evolution - Volume 6 - Chapter 23
Chapter 23: Blind!
Translated by: Chua
Edited by: TN and ELkassar
Sheyan turned to cast a glimpse at Reef, earnestly saying.
’’We need to hurry up and leave this place, I don't know why, but I can sense an immense danger.’’
Reef panted lightly as he replied.
’’Those uruk-hais wouldn't chase up so quickly. Although they can definitely trace our footsteps in the snow, but reaching this forest, how would they catch up to us? Moreover, they should be equally exhausted.’’
Sheyan shook his head, replying honestly.
’’Those uruk-hais were dispatched specially to recapture us. They have the numbers, and their physique has all along been preserved at optimum condition. Though this pine forest is vast, it only covers a stretch of several miles wide. They can definitely sweep ahead in a horizontal fashion by spreading themselves out. It would be just like catching a fish with a net in a pond.’’
Of course, Sheyan wasn't aware there were only 3 uruk-hais left. Yet similarly, he wasn't aware that their leader had a delicate dog like tracking sense, and could determine their position and fleeing direction with just a sniff. Hence, his words though wrong, weren't wasted.
Reef nodded, silently contemplating before replying.
’’Why not lay an ambush and finish them?’’
Sheyan thoughtfully considered, before slowly explaining.
’’Even though that avalanche was tremendously catastrophic, the chances of those uruk-hais surviving is high. More importantly, we aren't just trying to evade them, I'm afraid there's a hidden disaster.’’
’’Hidden disaster?’’ Reef was shocked, Sheyan continued.
’’Yes, think about it. Up till now, we haven't seen a single life organism., just look at these trees and the pine cones! What kind of thing would consume the pines so thoroughly, even the shell wasn't spared leaving not a single mark of pine nuts growing within! What does this mean? It means there's an unknown force acting around, influencing these trees;that even they have lost their reproduction capability. What kind of force can scare beasts away, and not even a trace of flying birds!’’
’’As we travelled deeper into the forest, the withering rate of the trees became increasingly severe. This indicates that we're steadily nearing the core of this contamination. We should hurry up and leave this forlorn ghostland;if not, we'll be in deep shit!’’
Reef nodded, but in the next second, he got the shock of his life. His eyes flashed, as the illuminated black lightsaber formed, swiftly engaging into his battle stance. Upon seeing Reef's sudden behavior, Sheyan's pupils shrank. He dove ahead making a forward role before turning to look.
A hundred metres behind them, was the astounding appearance of 3 pursuing uruk-hais!
Especially that demon size uruk-hai leader. His every footstep was like a hammer stomping onto the ground, the earth seemed to be trembling under his might. In its crazy frenzy, it exposed its sinister sneer. He had an appearance of handling a butcher's cleaver with ease, like a cat catching a tiny rat. It was obvious, the 3 figures ahead were as good as captured.
Sheyan squeezed out the word from the cracks between his teeth.
Against 3 powerful uruk-hais, naturally their only destiny was to return as captives. But more crucially even though Sheyan and Reef could return to the nightmare realm, the elf maiden Melody couldn't escape this terrible fate! This wasn't something Sheyan wanted to see at all costs!
As of now, this elf maiden was like an excellent stock with good prospects, as based on her unwavering pure affection for him, Sheyan felt compelled to not abandon her. Besides, his party's ability still hinged on the duration of stay in this world. Hence, no matter what, Sheyan would struggle till the end!
An intense chase broke out. Sheyan and Reef's vision gradually darkened as their energy drained;yet strangely, blood even trickled from the corner of their lips. The gap between them and the uruk-hai was becoming shorter. Gritting his teeth, Sheyan was forced to a desperate state, almost pulling off his final trump. Suddenly, he reached a downwards slope, his heart immediately flushed with joy!
Ahead was the end of the pine forest. A vast lake extended into the distance!
The atmospheric fog gradually lessened here, the sunlight intensified. The distant clouds casting a burning scarlet glow over the lake, thousands of glittering brilliant lights sparkling against the water surface, refracting. Every tender wave narrated its splendid elegance. Who would have even expected, that there would be such a huge lake in the midst of this mountain valley. Against the magnificent and tranquil scenery, it carried a matchless beauty, something Sheyan had never seen before.
Sheyan had grown up alongside the sea and ships, even his bones would exuberate a fishy seawater odour. No doubt, his swimming ability was unrivaled, even bringing along Reef and Melody wouldn't be a problem. If they could dive in the lake before the uruk-hais caught up, their chances of escape would greatly increase!
Witnessing the gleaming crystalline reflection of the lake surface, both Sheyan and Reef made an instant resolution. This new found motivation pumped speed into the legs, they were supremely confident of reaching the lake and escaping from their pursuing enemies!
But just when their hopes were flourishing, the uruk-hai leader released a cackling laughter. His laughter carried a delighted insanity. Sheyan swung his head round, his vision affirming that the 3 uruk-hais hot on their trail had suddenly halted their footsteps. Yet it seems like they were still turtles trapped in a jar.
’’Unless there's a grave danger inside the lake?’’
His heart flashed with this notion, but immediately brainwashing himself.
’’Whatever dangers lies ahead, compared to being captured by those uruk-hais, would be worth a gamble. No doubt death is certain in those uruk-hai's hands. Whatever deadly monstrosity inside the lake;perhaps it will be drawn away by Reef or myself, at least one of us has a chance!’’
But in the next second, nearing the edge of the lake, his eyes failed him. A sudden piercing pain, sinking him into an infinite darkness! A deafening roar carrying fear and rage vibrated into his ears, it belonged to Reef.
In an instance, they were both blinded!
Even if an ordinary person loses his sight, his heart would well up with horror. Besides, they lost themselves amidst a dreadful crisis. Losing their balance, they tumbled forward and crashed miserably into the ground.
Their hearts spiralled down into depths of despair. They had escaped from the clutches of death into the crystalline safe haven, only to be struck down by the darkness of fate. In just mere seconds;they had both experienced both spectrums of delight and despair. Something an ordinary person wouldn't even experience in a lifetime.
’’What the hell is happening, who did this?!’’ Sheyan's mind struggled for enlightenment, only catching onto wind. His facial muscles twitched, unwilling to give up. His limbs carelessly feeling ahead as he crawled forward....until the vile laughter of the uruk-hai leader drew in, stomping down on his feet.
’’Fools, without cleansing your eyes with divine water before ascending the snow mountains, obviously you would incur the divine wrath of blindness.’’
In actual fact, science played a huge part in this. The sunrays carried sheer quantities of ultraviolet rays which will reflect glaringly against the blinding white of snow. Its reflective nature was as high as 95%. If one didn't prepare measures against it, their cornea would be burned. This was known as snow blindness, due to overexposure of UV rays. The burnt eyes would temporarily lose vision, but after adequate rest, the symptoms would fade away.
Sheyan and Reef had never gone to snowy mountains before. Moreover, their eyes weren't exposed to much ultraviolet rays over their journey, due to the mist and fog. Yet now, they were rushing vehemently towards the sparkling splendor of the lake. Their eyes directly focused onto the violent UV rays, finally breaking through the threshold for snow blindness. Their hearts panic under this unprecedented phenomenon, this blindness an unfathomable mystery.
Of course, these uruk-hais naturally had no clue what snow blindness or ultra violet rays were. Yet having being exposed to snow for prolonged periods, this condition had manifested long ago. Thus, Saruman's doppelganger had concocted a healing water, allowing these orcs/uruk-hais a greater resistance against the glaring snow. Naturally, they wouldn't be affected by the blindness effect.
Hence, in this twisted reality, the orcs and uruk-hais hailed this condition as punishment from their god 'Saruman'. This was understandable.
The uruk-hai leader had experienced frequent pursuit of captives, captives falling to snow blindness was a common occurrence. Thus, he had full confidence;surely, the humans would succumb to this 'punishment' when they ran towards the lake. This explained their calmness as they observed their prey.
Before the earlier avalanche, the group of uruk-hai had a headcount of above 6. This blood debt was naturally pegged onto Sheyan. Not giving them any face, the uruk-hais stomped and kicked mercilessly at Sheyan, resorting to mocking slaps to his face as well. Then their leader halted with a command.
’’Drag them back first, then flay or roast them, it's up to you. The sun hasn't set, let us hurry back before any abnormalities strike!’’
Once he mentioned the word 'abnormality', the other two uruk-hais simultaneously shivered;as though they had recalled something. Without grumbling, they hoisted Sheyan and the other two up and left!