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219 It Ends with a Bloodbath

    On the side of the ship opposite to the area where the cabins were, was the ship's center of entertainment. This area contained the theater, the gambling room, the various restaurants, and even a few halls inside which people could exchange their objects with the items they required, or look through the items possessed by other individuals.

    Due to the length of the travels, this area would usually be the most lively of the entire ship. Everyone that wouldn't close themselves in their cabins to cultivate, would spend their day in these areas, where they could interact with other passengers, make trades, or even just enjoy being around people.

    That was the case until fifteen minutes earlier.

    -----

    Fifteen minutes earlier

    Within the theater, where a comedic performance about a silly merchant and a confused assassin was being played out, Der sat quietly on his seat. On his right, was a little girl of no more than ten years of age, that was happily watching the show along with her big sister, while on the other side, was the father of a family of five. He and his wife were sitting at the sides of their three children.

    The entire theater was capable of accomodating at least five hundred people, and at the moment, it was packed to the brim. At first, Der was slightly surprised by the generally low age of attendance, but right after the show started, he quickly came to realize that the show was actually a play for kids.. And that he was the weird adult that had come to a kid's play by himself.

    Too embarrassed to stand up and leave, he felt reassured after thinking to himself that, if people noticed him, at best, they would have thought that the two girls by his side were his daughters. With that thought in mind, he stayed seated, and watched the show play out.

    The story of the play talked about a young killer that had been hired to kill a crooked merchant. Unfortunately, due to his extreme clumsiness and lack of good fortune, he would always end up missing his target and damage a third person. It wasn't extremely complicated, and yet it was relatively enjoyable. It had even managed to get a smile to appear on Der's stern face, and made him remember when he used to take his own daughter to see these sorts of plays.

    For a moment, he forgot that he was here alone, and tried to enjoy the play.

    Unfortunately, this few minutes of peace in an otherwise rough life, ended just as quickly as they started. Just in time to join a part of the play where a few actors screamed in panic, the two doubled doors that lead into the theater smashed open, followed by a few screams that came from the back.

    The kids did not immediately realize what was happening, as the actors were screaming as part of the play, but those who were a little older, as well as their parents, immediately became alert for a simple reason.. The smell of blood.

    The first ones to die were those that were closer to the doors, and turned to look at the bloody monsters the moment they heard the doors smash open. Then, just like a wave, those who had witnessed to the sudden death of their family and friends.

    Panic started to spread in the hall, and hundreds of people started to scream in panic, while the bravest amongst them failed in their attempts to battle these monsters, and were slaughtered right away.

    Der had arrived relatively early, and was in the seats closest to the stage, so, when the monsters arrived, he was relatively far from them. Just like a general of the military would do, instead of jumping directly into battle, he quickly started to analyze the situation.

    Ever since the first moment, he had had the idea of jumping into the fray, but after seeing people more powerful than him be sliced and devoured alive, he abandoned that idea, and started to think of a way to survive.

    Right away, he noticed that the monsters would attack those who used their immortal essence.

    After just a minute, more than three fifth of the people had been slaughtered, and what was more terrifying than anything else, was that the deceased would soon get back up on his feet, and start to mutate. Their arms would split into two, becoming four bone spikes, their ribs would turn into little spikes as well, which would constantly try to pull food into the sternum, and finally, their heads would split like flowers.

    More than once he had seen people that had been transformed turn towards their family, and rip them to pieces. The unluckiest ones, were those who would end up joining their ranks.

    Including Der, the two sisters, and the family of five that were sitting next to him, only about a hundred and fifty people remained. The father of the family was only a cultivator at the sixth stage, and just like Der, had understood that fighting meant death, so, he turned toward his wife, and said "Go into the ring."

    The wife did not complain at all, and instead, she grabbed the oldest of her children, and used her comprehension of spatial energy to pull her into the pocket dimension contained in her ring.. But something went wrong.

    Too fast for her to realize, the spatial formation that was protecting the ship started to shake. This half interruption was not dangerous by itself, but due to the urgency that this mother felt, it caused her to subconsciously fight it with more power. The pulling force of her immortal essence, and the low-key interaction of the formation, caused the young girl to only shift halfway.. And explode into two separate mists of blood. One inside the pocket dimension, while the other, right in front of her family.

    The spatial blockade that protected the pocket dimension was not supposed to interfere with people that wanted to move into their pocket dimensions. It was generally seen as a stupid idea, as that would mean leaving the item that worked as the connection, completely unattended.

    But at the moment, for a reason of which nobody was aware of, the spatial formation was not working properly.

    "AAIEEEEEEE!!" The sudden death of the young girl was a heavy hit for her mother. She knew that it was her fault. She started to emit a blood curdling shriek, just like her other two children, and her husband.

    One of the monsters closest to them suddenly turned towards the family, and after letting go of the bloody corpse that was now starting to turn, it dashed towards them, and started to wave his four bony and mangled limbs, killing them in a matter of moment.

    A few meters away from where this had happened, Der and the two young girls were looking in sheer terror. The youngest of the two sisters breathed in, and was about to shriek in horror, but she was suddenly interrupted by Der's big hand, which covered her mouth and heavily reduced the volume of her scream.

    The family was relatively close to Der, and by observing what had happened, he quickly realized what other thing was attracting these monsters.. Sound. Thanks to Der's prompt action, the monster that had just killed off the entire family, was distracted by another scream not much further away than they were, and walked in that direction.

    As he noticed this, Der turned towards the oldest of the two sisters, and hinted to remain quiet.

    Big tears were streaming down the girl's face, and she was trembling like a leaf battered by relentless winds.

    One minute later, the three of them found themselves standing quietly surrounded by hundreds of monsters.. Without taking a step, moving a muscle, or even breathing too loudly.

    It took a full hour before the last of the monsters finally left the theater, leaving the three of them as the sole survivors of this carnage. At their feet, pools of blood, limbs strewn everywhere, and bodies cut into little pieces could be seen everywhere.

    The three didn't dare to move for a few long minutes after they had seen the monsters leave, and only then, the little girl turned towards her older sister. She then started to cry while burying her face on her sister's chest, and hugging her tightly.

    Der instantly entered into a state of panic, and whispered to the older girl "Make her stop crying, they are attracted by noise!" His tone in the end a little louder than intended.

    The older girl, which was about thirteen years of age, quickly understood what Der meant, and immediately tried to stop her little sister from crying. She only succeeded a few seconds later, and the two joined Der in waiting to see if any of those monsters had been attracted.

    Aside from a few screams that came from outside the theater, nothing else happened.

    Slightly relieved by not having been found out, Der turned to look at the two little girls, and with a wisp of sound essence, he said "Do not respond.. Just nod in response." Then waited for the two little girls to nod. After they did, he asked "Are your parents in the ship with you?"

    The little girls shook their heads in unison.

    "Do you know where they are?"  He then asked. After receiving a nod from them, he said "Are they passengers?" It didn't make sense for him that two kinds like these would roam around alone, so, a guess had appeared in their minds. This time, just like Der expected, the two girls shook their heads instead of nodding.

    "Are your parents part of the crew?"

    Der asked a few more questions to the two, and soon enough, he found out that the two girls were the daughters of the staff captain. The second in command of the entire ship. The place where their father was supposed to be, was on the bridge. Right where the course would be set. After a bit of consideration, he decided to take the two little girls there, as he wanted to know what the actual hell was going on in the ship.

    Trying not to make the slightest sound, the three of them slowly walked towards the backstage of the theater, where no screams were currently coming from. Der had asked the little girls to lead the way towards the bridge, where her father was likely to be. The fastest way was to pass through the back of the theater, and into the kitchen. From there, they would arrive in the room where the the crystals were fed to the propulsors, and after going up a few stairs with a ladder, they would arrive just a hundred meters away from the bridge.

    With as much courage as they could muster, and as little noise as possible, the three made their way towards the bridge.

    -----

    At the same time, in the bowels of the ship.

    "WHAT IS THAT!?"

    "AAAARGHH!"

    "NO NO NOOOOOAAIEEEEEE!!"

    Shrieks and battle noises were heard in a dark and humid corridor. At the end of this corridor, was a single small door. This door was in fact so small, that it was difficult to walk through it. A normal adult would probably need to crouch to enter.

    Right before this room, on the right of the corridor, were two large cabins. These cabins had exactly seven beds each, and most of them were not done.

    In these two large cabins, just a few minutes earlier, fourteen men were playing cards, and chatting amongst each other without a care in the world. Now, their blood was painting the walls of a bright red which shone with the candlelight, and the flesh of those who hadn't turned, was decorating them.

    Inside the room at the end of the corridor, a man was chained against the many different tubes that came out of the ceiling, and entered into another part of the wall. His body was almost completely covered in sweat, due to the high temperature of the room.

    As the screams of his guardians ended, and the monsters walked back from the way they had arrived, the man quietly opened his eyes, and observed them through the porthole in the middle of the room's door.
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