Chapter 35: On Foreign Soil
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As their flight took off, Vivian and Lily pretty much swapped personalities.
Normally, Lily was the lively one at home. She was always up and about, so driven by curiosity that she would stare at something for hours on end to learn about it. Chances are that she might just chew on pebbles to test their hardness if no one was around.
Vivian on the other hand, was the mature, collected one. Though she was stricken by a streak of misfortune, she still maintain a certain dignity characteristic of the vampire nobles. At least in comparison to Lily.
But now, the roles seemed to be reversed. Lily was lounging about waiting for meal services while looking up the inflight entertainment for something interesting. Vivian however, was having a ball! She was looking out the window in excitement, gaping as she saw the clouds passing her by. "Wow, it really does fly... and at such heights!" Vivian exclaimed.
It was Hao Ren's first time flying as well, and he could understand Vivian's excitement to a certain extent, but he couldn't help but wonder aloud "I thought you could fly? What's the surprise?'
"It's so different compared to when I'm flying myself" Vivian sneered. "Also, I don’t usually fly this high, too easy a target for stray thunderbolts. Besides, at such high altitude, the cold is no joke. There was once when I wanted to see the stars and flew a wee bit too high, I literally fell from the sky as a block of ice and almost got caught by the demon hunters. Rarely fly that high ever since."
Hao Ren raised his eyebrows "Then... you were flying low when you were travelling around the world last time? Weren't you afraid of getting shot down by bows and whatnots?"
"When I was travelling the world? I flew and walked since I'm much stronger than humans, and time was not an issue. It wouldn’t be a problem for me to walk from Europe to Asia and back again." Vivian said with a giggle. "Though at times I would still fly high, especially when hiding from those pesky hunters. They can't do much when I'm that high up."
"Speaking of bows, those are child's play, nothing to be afraid of. Even those Welsh longbowmen can't reach me. How far do you think arrows can fly anyway? That said... I did get shot down by an anti-aircraft gun once during World War Two..."
Hao Ren gawked at the revelation. Vivian sheepishly said "You humans are sure good at building this sort of murderous contraptions. Not too long ago your lots were fighting each other with rocks and sticks and were praying to gods to cure headaches. Didn't took you guys long to be shooting tonnes of steel up into the air. At that time I thought it was a new fancy catapult and almost took a shell right in the face. Luckily I managed to disperse with my bat form, otherwise I'd probably be the vampire who died the most hilarious death."
The experience of flying in a plane might have gotten the penniless Vivian a tad bit more excited than usual that she was revealing her embarrassing past one after another. At first, he was rather engaged by the conversation but half way through, he was gawking at Vivian’s tales. Some of it was so outlandish that Hao Ren wasn’t sure how to react.
When Vivian came to the part where some old chap she knew in North America got killed by a meteorite, Hao Ren decided it was time to change topic and turned to Lily. "You seem like a seasoned flyer."
Lily looked up lazily and grinned "I had only been on those early Stinson models."
Hao Ren looked puzzled. "What are those?"
Vivian was readjusting herself on her seat when she heard, "That was during the era of the republic... How rich were you back then?"
"Those days I couldn't afford air tickets as well." Lily waved her hand "But I would sneak into aircrafts, hiding in the cargo hold, or just hanging outside the aircraft. Back then, security systems weren’t as advanced as they are now, and there were lots of place that were not checked. With my agility, avoiding a normal human’s sight is very easy. The only difficulty was landing, I did try jumping off once, it wasn't fatal but it was pretty scary."
Hao Ren immediately retorted "Nonsense, most people would be dead trying to pull that stunt of yours"
Lily stuck her tongue out in defiance, "Well, at least I learned and adapted from experience. That's why I said, that that bat is too stiff. Plus, she is not at as smart as me at times. She just don't know how to properly utilise her body."
Vivian shrugged "I don't think hanging outside an airplane to avoid paying fare is something to be proud off."
That said, Vivian couldn't help but to talk more about it with Lily. Their chatter mainly revolved around how one could safely hang oneself outside human transportations. Lily was going on about how one could hide in a cargo hold while Vivian gave pointers on how to dodge anti-aircraft missiles. It was pretty much hogwash to Hao Ren, but at least this talk gave these two who are always at loggerheads a common ground: They share interest in pulling off outlandish stunts.
Looking at Lily's cheerful face, Hao Ren was sure that this werewolf is much more competent than she looks. Being able to hang outside an aircraft half-way across China wasn't very surprising for a werewolf. What was impressive was her resourcefulness despite her usual derpiness. He could only imagine her untold tales and escapades, but immediately decided against it.
After that, it was a quiet eleven hours flight for the trio. Before long, they landed at their destination, Heathrow Airport.
As they stepped out of the plane, Hao Ren had to drag along Lily, who was half-asleep while Vivian walked out looking fresh. He took the opportunity to breathe in the air deeply and found it no different than that back at home.
Vivian looked up. As it was still early dawn, the skies were still dark. There was a veil of mist that shrouded the air, making the sky much darker than it was. Being in a foreign land, beset by cold winds and gloomy skies, it's usually not something tourists look forward to, but this was much to Vivian's taste.
"This illuminance is just nice for my skin. The past two days was hell! Have you ever see a vampire sunbathe in broad daylight?"
Hao Ren rolled his eyes. "Have you ever see a vampire out and about hunting for jobs?"
Vivian turned away in embarrassment. Trying to change the topic of the conversation, she said, "Hmm.... this place looks very different from the England I remember...."
A very groggy Lily still managed to stab at Vivian. "You couldn't even afford air tickets the last time, what makes you think you remember how the airport even looked like?'
Dread befell Hao Ren. Vivian quickly interposed and said, "That’s not it, last I remember, this area was supposed to be an empty plot of land, or a rocky beachhead... if my vampiric memories are correct."
Something suddenly dawned upon Hao Ren, the tingling unease when they departed earlier came to a head. "When was the last time you came to England?"
Vivian took some time to ponder and slowly lowered her head "I remember then there was this king called Lionheart fighting a war...."
Hao Ren's jaw fell and he exclaimed, "That’s freaking 1190!" Well, at least he knew his history well.
"How then you be so unsure?" He couldn’t help but to look at Vivian in astonishment. He never thought that one could be this forgetful, like Lily.
"I've lived for so long, can't I have the liberty of remembering something wrongly?' Vivian tried to defend herself defiantly, but then relented. "And you do know that my memory is not that strong..."
"Now what?" Hao Ren scratched his head. He was not an experienced traveller and was ill-prepared for this trip. Vivian, who was supposed to be his guide and translator was about as clueless as he is concerning the lay of the land. Not to mention their mission was to locate a client with an unknown name and looks in a small, nameless, and uncharted village. His first mission did not turn out to be the cakewalk he initially thought it would be.
"At least I have a better command in English compared to you, right?" Vivian shrugged.
Hao Ren had his doubts, but he could say nothing and just nodded.