Chapter 287 – Untitled
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
When her feet landed on the streets of the walled-in city, not a sound could be heard. The silence was terrifying. Human voices aside, she could not even hear the sound of the breeze blowing. Even the sunlight, though its rays lit up the ground, felt cold.
On either side of the streets, piled in corners and sprawled on the road were shrivelled up corpses. Men, women and  children, their faces frozen into grotesque horror, their limbs stretched out in desperation. Time and some kind of horrifying curse had frozen them into this terrible, piteous form.
As she walked, Shiyu studied the faces of these people and her anger collapsed into wordless grief. The people who died here were all innocent mortals. She had lived here for a time and was treated kindly by them. She had only left them barely a year ago and yet, today’s farewell was forever.
She kept her eyes open, angrily trying to keep the tears from falling.
However, when she reached the entrance of the Locust Tree Alley and stopped to stare at the shop that had once sold the best Cold Serve Rabbit. The tears could no longer be contained.
Shi Clan… what about the Shi Clan…?
 Her feet left the ground and she soon found herself rushing past the gates of Shi Estate. There was a corpse on the pathway but she easily leapt over it as she made her way towards the inner courtyard.  She stopped.
There, within the inner courtyard, under a large withered tree, a pair of corpses hugged each other tightly.
Shiyu dare not come closer. She dare not look at their faces. However, somehow she knew the withered person in the dark blue dress was Madam Shi.
Teeth chattering with dread and grief, Shiyu straightened her back and pushed herself forward, step by step. She stopped and stooped to look at their faces.  She will look force herself to remember their miserable condition.
She will keep this memory in her mind forever.
“I will avenge you!” She will never forget the appearance of their deaths.
Shiyu swore to Madam Shi, whose face was so dry that bones of her skull could be seen through her parched skin.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew across the yard. Fallen leaves were swept into the air until one by one, they fall around Shiyu’s feet. It was no ordinary wind. It was the silent roar of outrage from the resentful dead.
Shiyu got up and walked out of the Shi Estate.
She made her way to Dawn Academy, explored other houses and estates, restaurants… places that used to bustle with human life now lay silent.
The more she saw, the angrier she became.
Within Dawn City, there were hundreds of thousands of people but not a single person was spared. Just who was it?
Who on earth could be so ruthless?
Finally, Shiyu  came to the wall that surrounded the city. With a single leap, she was on top of the wall and could now look down into the city itself as well as the world outside. On one side of the wall, deathly cold permeated the city, outside the wall the sun shone and people were moving about,  some crying, others quarrelling.
The sun was bright, but no matter how bright it was, it could not chase off the gloomy chill within the city.
Under the blue dome of heaven, resentful spirits of hundreds of thousands of mortals tumbled endlessly within Dawn City.
Shiyu stood for a long time, staring down into the city.
Right now she was at a loss. From the moment she appeared in this novel, she understood that it was a world where the strong is respected and the weak trampled on. That was why she had chosen to work hard and to increase her own strength.
Mountains could collapse and people could run away, therefore, it is better to depend on herself rather than on others. If you want something, strive for it for yourself.
But now… looking at the terrible scene before her eyes… a different kind of emotion was breaking out of her heart…
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The sun slowly moved westward, gradually sinking into the mountains.
Not long after that, the moon rises, sets, then, the stars in the sky fade as the heavens lit up slowly with the rising of the sun.
Shiyu stayed where she was, unmoving on the wall. A layer of frost had formed on her body. When the sunlight hits her, the ice crystals shone brilliantly.
“Words are worthless,” she said suddenly. Her voice was hoarse. “I will show you results.”
Then, she turned to one side and stared  at a certain point near the foot of the city wall. “Since you’ve arrived, why are you still hiding?” She kept staring at that point. Presently, two of the three Panda Brothers shuffled out from behind a building. Their faces drooping with guilt, “S-sorry… if it’s not for us…”
“Who were they?” Shiyu jumped down and stopped before them.
“We don’t know,” the Panda Brothers shook their heads guiltily. “All we know is that they wore black cloaks and that the lowest level was at Divine Transformation stage. We can’t beat them…”
Shiyu’s eye twitched, “Them? How many of them?”
“More than 10,”
“All of them in black cloaks?”
“One of them wore a grey cloak. He looks like the leader, he has a Soul Drawing Flag with him.”
Shiyu’s eyes sharpened, “A Soul Drawing Flag?”
“Yes. The sky above Dawn City suddenly turned dark, and we…”  the Panda Brothers proceeded to tell her how they had run away to the forest. However, when the sky suddenly darkened over Dawn City, they immediately tried to return but were stopped by the trees. “The trees stopped you?” Shiyu frowned. “Why?”  The Panda Brothers looked even guiltier, “They say that… we shouldn’t just go out and die…”  “The trees only let us go when those people left, which was not long ago. We came here right away to look for survivors and- and-”  “And?”  “We only found him…”  The Panda Brothers led Shiyu to a small house where the room had been cleaned and free of corpses. The youngest Panda Brother was there with a young man.  “That child is probably the last living person from Dawn City,” said the oldest brother.
Shiyu looked at the young man and recalled who he was.
“Thank you, let him rest first.”
The Panda Brothers looked at each other. Their expressions were guilty and miserable. They stole looks at Shiyu but was unable to meet her eyes.
Finally, they managed to muster up the courage to say, “If those people had not discovered us in the city, this would not have happened. If we hadn’t gone into hiding, would these people still be alive? We didn’t mean it. If we had known… we wouldn’t have stayed…”
Tears streamed down their cheeks and their voices choked with grief.
Shiyu looked at their miserable appearances and reached out to touch their heads. “Don’t blame yourself.” Her voice was very gentle. “Us humans have a saying, ‘He who has the mind to beat his dog will easily find a stick’. Those people are clearly out to commit sin, if you had come out, they would have harvested three more souls.”
“But, if not for us, why would they suffer?”
“In the first place, being weak is the original sin. Everything else is just excuses. Because our side is weak, they could do whatever they want to us without the slightest thought.”
“Then, what should we do now?” all three pandas have tears in their eyes.
“What should we do?” the gentle look in Shiyu’s eyes was replaced by a sharp glint. “Take revenge, of course. A group of black-cloaked experts at Divine Transformation real… Soul Drawing Flag… left their victims as dried up corpses. This is more than enough for us to track them down.”
It’s rare for her to go on the offensive because it would cause too much trouble. After all, the death of one could bring the rest of the nest after you. In this case, there’s a good chance that one death would bring the wrath of a certain organisation down on their heads. The first death would be the tip of the iceberg.
However, she was not afraid. The blood in her body had been ignited by anger. If she avoids or retreats now, all her previous efforts to gain strength will be nothing but a joke.
Things could become dangerous. However, that was no reason to back down.
She’s still a human being. A person made of flesh and feelings. She cannot turn deaf and blind to what had been done.
Therefore, she could only fight!
Suddenly,  Ding Qi suddenly sat up. Third Panda Brother had been caring for him all this time and he had been in a catatonic state until now. However, the word ‘revenge’ seemed to have stimulated him.
Shiyu and the pandas looked at him.
“I know where they are heading,” Ding Qi said in a scratchy voice. “Eastern Empire. The Eastern Martial Empire.” 
[Gumihou: I wish author-san would be clear which panda brother is speaking. It’s not like all three are speaking together in chorus, right?]
 Added Details for Dramatic Purpose: Add details for a more horrifying picture.  Fix sudden POV change that lasted for a total of 1 paragraph. POV changed to Panda Brothers, for the sole purpose of revealing that the trees refused to let them go… adjust detail to show this information without POV change. Also, split up the huge chunk of text to slow down narrative and increase dramatic impact.
Original text was kind of… perfunctory?
Adjust for logistical issues. Ding Qi is not a rabbit in a hat. Adjusted Detail for Logistic Purpose: Original text was ‘Suddenly, Ding Qi, who was being carried by Third Panda Brother, opened his eyes. He had already woken up before, but he just didn’t want to open his eyes to face the reality.’
… ‘being carried by Third Panda Brother’ after he was ‘brought out from behind the obstacle’ is kind of…? Are you guys moving? Are you having a serious and awkward conversation in a room? In the middle of the street?
Gumi decide to just let them stay in a room. That’s what the man said.
Delete that last dramatic ending because it doesn’t really contribute drama or intrigue the senses. More information does not a drama make, unless it’s a clumsy attempt at a red herring? Or foreshadowing? It’s not foreshadowing if it’s said outright.