”Poppet! This is terrible! ” cried Han Zhong jumping off the desk in the library room early in the morning. Last night, after he returned from the valley of humans, Han Zhong went straight to sleep and forgot about the Bible of Darkness that Grandpa Trixon gave him. When he remembered about the book and woke up, Han Zhong immediately ran to the library room, through the long hallway from his room to store it in a safer place.

But things never went the way he had hoped.

The Bible of Darkness that should have been on the table by the window was missing.

”Why is it bad, Your Majesty? ” asked Poppet, in a shrill, discordant voice. His feet perched on the window gripped the castle walls. Observing Han Zhong who was running here and there looking for the book.

”The Bible of Darkness that Grandpa gave me yesterday—it seems—is gone. ”

Poppets beak pecked at the air. ”This is the true darkness, Your Majesty. Not ten years from now, but the forecast has changed. ”

Han Zhong, who was checking the shelves of the cupboard, suddenly turned pale. ”Is that true? ”

Then Poppet laughed, his voice like someone pinching his nose. ”Im just kidding. ”

”You ignorant bird! ” Han Zhong cursed again looking for the wooden bound book along the shelves of the cupboard. Hoping hed snoozed last night and kept the book somewhere. But considering he never had a sleep disorder, it seemed impossible to believe that. Because now what Han Zhong had in mind was more than lost.

But, what if the book is stolen?

”Would you like to hear my advice? ” asked Poppet amidst the thumping sound Han Zhong made.

”Last time I listened to your advice, you just put me in a trap. Grandpa would be twice as angry if your suggestion just confessed to him. You know, its a bible. Which existence must be very important. And if the bible is stolen… ”

”And that thief is definitely an Abyss… ” Poppet added, making Han Zhongs throat go dry. He wasn prepared to imagine that last night was the Abyss sneaking past the border guard Jing Lungs light shield and stealing information from inside here…

”No way, ” argued Han Zhong. ”The Abyss couldn possibly enter here– ” They could enter this shield—of course, Han Zhongs inner voice muttered.

”Of course it is, Your Majesty. Didn you say to yourself that the power of the Abyss is very mysterious? Like the power of the gods beyond the universe, there? ”

Han Zhong flopped on the floor, then he cupped his face behind his folded knees.

”My life is over, Poppet. Grandpa will be mad at me. The book is lost. And worse, stolen. ”

”Oh, don worry. They won be able to open it. Can the book only be opened by an orb light? And I can assume that if the Abyss can open it, then it can only be through you or Dragon Trixon. ”

Poppets explanation makes sense. And somehow that calmed him down a bit. He didn know that the book could only be opened by the brightest light. If its true, at least theres still time to find it again. Han Zhong got up, with the anxiety vanishing instantly, he turned away leaving Poppet still perched on the window.

”Where are you going, Prince Trixon? ”

”I will look for Jing Lung. Ill tell him that his tall fortress is still impenetrable to the Abyss. ”

*

On the border wall made by the Flinch, Han Zhong flicked the cloth of his trousers as he dismounted from a female dragon who used to give him a lift from the castle to descend to the edge of the border. Several Flinches bowed when they saw Han Zhong.

”Where is Jing Lung? ” asked Han Zhong of Flinchs men who were on guard at the fort post.

”I think its still in his room, Your Majesty. ”

”Which room? ”

”Come with me, ” muttered the Flinch as he slung his sword at his side and then walked around the boundary wall to a sturdy medium-sized building attached to the side of the border wall. The building looks like a small house overlooking the forest.

”Thank you, ” Han Zhong mumbled and then he knocked loudly on the door of the building.

”Jing Lung, there is an urgent report! You have to wake up now! ”

From inside the building, Jing Lung heard the door open.

”Whats the fuss, anyway? ” Jing Lung grumbled while adjusting his clothes. Buttoning fabrics that dangle from the floor.

Han Zhong immediately recounted what had just happened. But Jing Lung responded casually instead. ”Gee, at least His Majesty took the book. You don need to panic. Im not sure theres an Abyss that came last night. Except when you leave– ”

At the same time, Jing Lungs eyes widened. Then someones voice interrupted their conversation.

”Chief Jing Lung! The settlement below was in chaos. It is suspected that an Abyss beast attacked them! ”

Jing Lung rolled his eyes lazily. ”You can arrange your men to get rid of those ugly demons, right? Why do you have to report to me anyway? ”

”The thing is, the Abyss is about to kidnap a baby. And—reportedly, that baby is the child that the God of the Dark directly handed down for the two hundred year war! ”

Han Zhong retorted, ”You mean the baby… who was born last night? ”

The Flinch lowered his head as Han Zhong threw a question at him. ”Thats right, Your Majesty! ”

”Jing Lung, we have to check the situation downstairs. This could be– ”

”What could it be? Do you believe my subordinates words? How could a child of the God of the Dark be born at the bottom of a valley in the middle of nowhere like this? Plus, our area is covered in Shields of Light, how can the God of the Dark lower his power in the midst of light like us? ” Jing Lungs words sometimes do make sense. But what Han Zhong was certain of was that apart from the Abyss who came to the castle last night, they also picked up their descendants.

It was impossible to know how the Abyss could enter the light shield, but if they did have anti-light powers from an artifact or other find, it was quite natural. And Han Zhong couldn just stay where he was. Moreover, there is a human baby who will be snatched away by an Abyss.

Han Zhong still clearly remembered what Grandpa Trixon had said last night.

That human child could become the leader of the Darkness ten years later. And if it was yesterdays baby….

”We have to go, ” said Han Zhong jumping down. Jing Lung snorted, ”May I just ask my subordinates to accompany you? ”

Han Zhong narrowed his eyes. ”I thought your intention to stand on the highest place of the mountain was in the castle. Turns out, its only limited to a dividing wall, huh? Well, I won force it. ”

With a final wave, Han Zhong jumped down from the border wall. As Jing Lung snorted lazily, he muttered under his breath, ”You damn little dragon. ”

***

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