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HFA Chapter 15.1

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Chapter 15.1 – Nightmare

Dark flocks of birds, shrill cries, booming explosions of fire, and the smell of rancidity and scorching in the air.

In the end, the flock of infected birds gave up the attack and disappeared into the darkness with their broken limbs and feathers. The fighter aircraft and armed helicopters adjusted their formation and began to return.

A cheer went up from the command center.

The battle came suddenly. The Watcher of Abyss No.4 captured the abnormality of the distortion value, gave a timely warning, and gave Gleaning City a vital 3 minutes of preparation time, and Lu Tinghan, as always, fought a very beautiful battle.

Lu Tinghan put down the military terminal and handed over the first line of command.

His temples were slightly damp with sweat, and he returned to his office alone amidst a mountain of applause.

Turning on a table lamp, Lu Tinghan stood in front of the window, the slightly dim light fell on his side, reflecting his face in half-light and half-dark.

He did not have the joy after the victory, as if those cheers were not for him. He looked into the distance, his gaze seemed to pass through the city wall, and he saw frightened birds, boundless wasteland, and the wreckage of the burned helicopter lying in the mud, its only remaining rotor pointed to the sky, like a tombstone in the night. Far away, the value on the monitoring panel was pulsing, the giant searchlight flashed on, and the Abyss Watchers donned protective masks and walked in the echoing, rust-smelling wind of infection.

He just stared at it for a long time.

Until the door was knocked, the adjutant walked in and brought in the latest report.

Lu Tinghan took the report, returned to the table, and said, “Help me bring the things on that table.”

The adjutant responded.

Those things were not confidential, but more like personal items, all randomly written notes and drafts. The adjutant stacked them on top of each other and his gaze suddenly stopped.

The sketchbook just turned to the latest page – there was a beautiful young man drawn on it, with an evil appearance, devil horns on his head, and dark scales at the corners of his eyes.

Lu Tinghan’s drawing skills were very good, and the teenager on the paper seemed to be alive. The adjutant felt that he was looking at himself with unblinking eyes, in a strange demeanor, both calm and gentle, almost transcendent.

It was hard to describe what it felt like, and it was hard to tell whether he was the god of salvation in the ivory tower or a demon from hell. It’s as if he was attached to your ear, saying: ‘I like you so much, but we can only be damned together’.

Obviously, it was just a sketch, but the adjutant seemed to be stunned, and he couldn’t look away until a few seconds later.

‘Who is in the drawing?’ he thought to himself.

As soon as he looked away, he saw curved lines on the draft paper again. There were two or three lines. He couldn’t see what it was. It was a bit like…a knotted rope? Knotted tail?

He quickly threw this idea to the back of his mind, secretly laughing at his own wild imagination.

It was impossible for General Lu to draw a knotted tail, not to mention draw it two or three times.

The adjutant sorted out the things and handed them to Lu Tinghan. The sketchbook was placed at the top, and the beautiful young man was so eye-catching that he couldn’t hold down his curiosity: “General, this is…?”

Lu Tinghan glanced at the sketchbook, paused, and replied quite lightly: “A domesticated little devil.”

Adjutant: ?

He didn’t understand, but Lu Tinghan had already got up, put on his outer clothes, and strode out.

*

The battle lasted for nearly 5 hours, plus the subsequent time to tidy up, it was already 1 o’clock in the morning when Lu Tinghan got in the car.

He sent a message to Shi Yuan and asked him how he was.

Shi Yuan didn’t reply, maybe he went home and had fallen asleep a long time ago. Lu Tinghan was not worried about what happened to him. The underground shelter was perfect, and the patrol would guide civilians to a safe place, not to mention that the birds did not approach the city at all.

However, he intuitively felt something was wrong.

As the car drove past the corner of the street, this feeling reached its peak, he said, “Stop the car.”

The car stopped, Lu Tinghan opened the door and went down, stepping into an alley 30 meters away.

He didn’t know why he was doing this, but he felt that he had to come.

Someone was waiting for him.

The alley was dilapidated and narrow, a dead end with a red brick wall at the end. Lu Tinghan stood in front of the wall, a thick and long tail that had black scales with a metallic color hung down in front of him.

He looked up along this tail, and on top of the wall lay Shi Yuan, who was sleeping soundly.

Lu Tinghan: “……?”

He had just finished saying that Shi Yuan was a domesticated little devil, and then Shi Yuan went to sleep in the wild, or in a place that was completely unimaginable.

His perfect expression, which hadn’t changed all day in the fierce battle, finally cracked a bit, and his eyebrows slightly throbbed: “Shi Yuan.”

Shi Yuan slept very sweetly and quietly.

Lu Tinghan raised his volume: “Shi Yuan! Wake up!”

Shi Yuan did not respond.

The sound of footsteps came from outside the alley, and a female voice said, “Eh, why do I seem to hear the general’s voice?”

The other was a male voice: “Where did you hear it? You must be hallucinating from exhaustion, right?”

There were no civilians on the street at this point, so he guessed it was the two soldiers at the end of their shifts.

The female voice hesitantly said, “It seems to be inside that alley…”

“Hahaha! How is that possible?” The man laughed out loud. “This hour? In that dark alley? General Lu will only squat there if his head was squashed by the door. Hahaha!”

Lu Tinghan: “……”

The woman was instantly convinced, the two laughed and walked away.

Lu Tinghan, whose head was squashed by the door, reached out, tugged Shi Yuan’s tail, and shook it: “Shi Yuan, get up.”

This time, Shi Yuan responded, he was confused and answered, “……hmm?”

“Get up,” Lu Tinghan repeated.

Shi Yuan woke up, turned over on the wall, and fell down. Lu Tinghan subconsciously stretched out his hand to catch him, however, Shi Yuan’s tail gave him a strong ability to balance. He twisted his body in the air and plunged steadily into Lu Tinghan’s arms.

Lu Tinghan had many questions. He wanted to ask: why are you here and why have you not complied with the “City Regulations” to go to the shelter in time? He wanted to say: now that the alert time has passed, it is already curfew, you should have gone home a long time ago, otherwise, you will be severely punished if you are found by the patrol.

Lu Tinghan: “Shi Yuan—”

Shi Yuan said, “You found me again.” He looked up at Lu Tinghan, his cheeks and neck matched Lu Tinghan’s black military uniform and the rich deep night, his skin was so white that it was almost ghastly. He smiled brightly and said, “You can find me every time.”

Lu Tinghan didn’t know where this “every time” came from, but Shi Yuan was really happy, his tail swaying happily in the air. He hugged Lu Tinghan’s waist and buried his head in his chest – he always seemed to be a warm mass, his soft black hair rubbing against Lu Tinghan’s chin.

Shi Yuan asked again: “What did you just want to say?”

“…nothing.” Lu Tinghan touched his head. “Let’s go home.”

The night was deep, only the emergency lights on the street were on, the whole world was dark and obscure, and the buildings on the side of the road were all black. Don’t know if it was an illusion, it was a bit more depressing than before. Shi Yuan didn’t care about this and followed Lu Tinghan back to the car, sleepy and full of joy.

The driver was surprised for a moment when he saw the general picking up someone in the blink of an eye. But he had good professionalism and kept silent. The vehicle started and glided silently through the night.

Lu Tinghan’s home was not far from that place, it was only a 10-minute drive away.

In the car, Lu Tinghan asked, “What happened today? Why did you suddenly come to me?”

Shi Yuan told him that the troupe wanted him to play the God of Salvation, and he was torn: “I can’t play this role, it’s not for me.”

Lu Tinghan said, “Try it first, maybe you can play it well. How can you say it’s not suitable when you haven’t played it yet? Why do you think so?”

Shi Yuan felt guilty for a while, but did not dare to say the real reason. The seat was very spacious, he just squeezed with Lu Tinghan and said, “You have to touch my head.”

The headlights pierced through the boundless darkness, and there was silence all around. In the warm car, Shi Yuan got the touch as he wished, he narrowed his eyes slightly and asked another question that he had been struggling with all night: “Lu Tinghan, I want to know, why do you want to be an Abyss Watcher?”

Lu Tinghan didn’t answer.

Shi Yuan asked again: “Why ah?”

Lu Tinghan remained silent, he lifted his hand suddenly and touched Shi Yuan’s head, rubbing his hair all over the place. The effect was outstanding, and Shi Yuan immediately forgot about it, and made a satisfied sound: “Purr.”

He was successfully fooled in this way.

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