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After leaving the pool, Zou Liang gradually recovered his night vision and started to probe at the situation he was in. It would have been fine even if he did not do so, but as soon as he did he felt tens of powerful Beast Spirits, far stronger than his and definitely exceeding the Rock Beasts.
Associating this with an introduction to the second layer of the underworld, he realised that his dogshit luck had struck once again for him to fall to such a place during his first excursion.
Finding his way back wasn’t the issue any more, but how to continue living.
Zou Liang climbed onto a tree with what little outdoor survival knowledge he had learned in university; normally speaking, it was slightly safer on the trees than on the ground.
The night passed…… filled with anxiety.
The cry of an unknown bird woke Zou Liang from his slumber on the tree; what was feared needed to be feared, and anyone who had run the distance of a marathon would be tired and broken. He had not been in such a predicament since he had first come to this world, and in fact this could be said to be the first time he had met life-threatening danger. At the same time, however, this was the importance of his trial by fire.
He wanted to affirm that his existence was real: not a dream, not an illusion, and definitely not some abduction by aliens. To achieve this, the best way was to face danger and stimulate his instincts for survival1.
He would not willingly go to the extremes to play with his life, but most of the time it was not something he could decide and he could do nothing to prevent it2.
The sky brightened and he gazed off into the distance while standing atop the tree. This was indeed a beautiful, primitive world; in the distance was the lake that he had fallen into, and on top of it was the hole he had fallen through. Unless someone managed to grow wings, they would be forced to remain in this place.
There was currently a group of unknown monsters drinking water from the lake. Since Zou Liang could sense the Beast Spirit of the beast tribes, he could also sense the Beast Spirit of the demon beasts. He was keener than the demon beasts in this aspect, and from feeling the undulations from their Beast Spirit even from this far away Zou Liang could tell that these guys were not noobs like the Rock Beasts.
Suddenly, an explosive sound echoed outwards as the lake erupted, an enormous monster jumping out from the water before opening his blood-basin mouth. The monster fiercely breathed in like a hurricane and several of the demon beasts had already been sucked in before they had even reacted. After this, the large monster concealed itself back into the water, and the demon beasts that had been scared away gradually returned.
Zou Liang’s saliva dropped: not in greed, but in fear. F**k, it was fortunate that the meat on his body was little and his Beast Spirit was lacking, else he would have become a meal yesterday.
What kind of bizarre place was this? At this moment, Zou Liang had a strong emotion of how lucky he was to be alive, giving him even more of a reason for his wish to return. Seeing his surroundings, he had realised this hope.
“F**k, you sure are unmoved by thunder3.” Zou Liang said while rubbing his stomach; he would first have to solve the issue of food.
After Zou Liang jumped off the tree, he gathered some firewood and pulled out a flint to light a fire before skewering the fish on his Engraving Knife to barbecue it.
The fishy aroma slowly started to spread. Zou Liang’s saliva had already dropped three thousand feet, but he was still hindered by the fact that the fish was not yet cooked through; he could only bear with it.
Suddenly, an ill omen appeared and—even though the food was enticing—one’s life still had to take priority. Zou Liang immediately gave up on his roast fish and retrieved his Engraving Knife before rushing up a tree with a ceng ceng.
Not long after, the thickets rustled and a black shadow silently edged from the side. Zou Liang tightened his grip on the knife, his hands beginning to sweat. It seemed as though his inner heart still needed to be tempered; he could not afford to be nervous in this kind of situation.
Pata, its footsteps were light and very subtle. If it were not for Zou Liang’s acute five senses, he would not have found it at all.
The other rushed towards his breakfast!
When the plunderer was reflected in Zou Liang’s eyes, he almost dropped his knife and died from dizziness; it was nothing more than a small dog…… To be more specific, it was a thing that appeared like a dog with curly hair all over its body. This thing could be said to be even more cautious than Zou Liang was, looking all around while guarding the fish.
Zou Liang’s head suddenly spun with thoughts: fragrant meat…… barbecued, fragrant meat. His saliva dribbled like a waterfall, hualala.
Zou Liang swiftly jumped from the tree, scaring the small demon beast into a meter-high jump of fright with an unstable landing as it tripped itself up. The thing quickly picked itself from the ground and alertly stared at Zou Liang before opening its mouth, a wuwu of deterrence released shortly after.
Zou Liang’s mouth split open in a laugh at how cute it was. He used to love small dogs, but in his previous world dogs were more expensive than humans and he consequently could not raise one. This was not even bringing up how lazy he was, and if some misfortune occurred to the dog, he would be sad, causing him to abandon the thought.
Seeing this cute little beast caused hundreds of emotions to well up inside him and he therefore waved his hand and spoke, “Go, I’ll forgive you this time.”
Governor Zou’s4 heart felt a bit of regret. This was two meals; he was far too kind-hearted.
But when Zou Liang was ready to stick out his hand to pick up the fish, the demon beast snarled and revealed two sharp fangs, the fur on his entire body sticking up straight.
To this provocation Zou Liang still tried to speak reason. He pointed to the roast fish and then back to himself, “This: mine, not yours!”
Unfortunately, the small demon beast believed that the fish was found by him.
“NO, NO5,this was cooked by me! It’s mine!”
This little demon beast was also very aggressive and Zou Liang couldn’t be bothered to waste any more words with it. With his stomach grumbling, Zou Liang reached out to pick up his own roast fish, and it was right at this time that the little demon beast reacted, charging over and biting Zou Liang on the wrist.
This was even more painful than Ao Li Quan Ya’s pinches causing Zou Liang to flail, and only after the seventh time did he manage to get rid of the dog. The little demon beast rolled several times before it immediately stood up, cautiously studying him like a tiger eyeing its prey.
“F*****g hell, I must be too easy to bully as a big brother! Quickly scram before I change my mind to peel off your skin and turn you into a meat skewer!”
Zou Liang spoke while gesturing towards his Engraving Knife, but the other did not acknowledge their superior and continued to bark with a huhu, flashing its fangs all the while.
He didn’t have the heart to kill it and couldn’t shoo it away, either, but Zou Liang was also hungry. He bore with it and put away his knife before dropping his hands to the ground, positioned on all fours and revealing two large teeth as he replied: huhu.
Without doing anything more, this was already more useful than showing the knife. The small demon beast was scared into a slow retreat, and Zou Liang—understanding this—drew closer while snarling. The small demon beast behaved as though it had met its nemesis and retreated back step by step all the way to the roots of the tree, legs trembling; it did not understand when such a large species similar to his own had appeared.
Zou Liang imposed an atmosphere as though he was cracking a joke. He opened his blood-basin mouth and bit towards the small demon beast’s head.
The small demon beast’s legs immediately gave way. It slumped to the ground with its hips sticking up.
“You bit me, I bit you; we’re even,” Zou Liang mused. This had been far too creative an idea.
Zou Liang picked up the roast fish and wiped it before placing it inside his mouth to take a bite. The meat wasn’t cooked quite how he liked it, but this time he could only make do.
Not far away, the small demon beast had picked itself up and stayed two meters away from Zou Liang, anxiously looking at the roast fish.
“No need for you to keep looking. Even if you look, there will be none for you,” Zou Liang steeled himself to say.
But the small demon beast continued to stare at the roast fish with teary eyes.
“F**k, this brother has a heart of stone; you can just keep watching me eat,” Zou Liang said while revealing his teeth in a threatening manner.
This time it worked and the little demon beast was scared once more into retreat. It again squatted on the ground while watching the roast fish anxiously.
Zou Liang opened his mouth and closed it again. He longed for the hot and numbing spice, but his mood had been ruined. This time, his heart softened and he made a gesture. “Come here.”
The small demon beast immediately came over and stopped one meter away from Zou Liang, still fearful about how the other could swallow his head in a bite.
Zou Liang pulled off the fish tail and threw it to the ground. “Eat.”