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The small demon beast licked the fishtail immediately, its little eyes lighting up before it started taking small bites while wagging its tail.
Zou Liang’s mood was very good and he was also very pleased with his own meal. The fish was quickly eaten, and although it was not quite enough and he still felt peckish, he thought back to the enormous monster in the lake and gave up. That wasn’t even mentioning that he couldn’t swim; even if he went into the water, it would be the fish capturing him instead.
After resting for a while, Zou Liang decided to circle the lake to survey the surroundings and find himself a midnight snack in the process, but after walking a short distance he realised there was a small tail behind him.
Zou Liang fiercely turned around and threatened, “Don’t follow me! If you do, I’ll bite you!”
The little demon beast jumped up in fright, releasing a huhu sound as though it had been wronged.
“F**k, you’re scared? Come here.”
The small demon beast immediately walked over while wagging its tail.
“Not bad, you understand humans to some extent. Stay around with me in the future,” Zou Liang stated while rubbing the small demon beast. Though it looked like this little guy wasn’t that big, it turned out he was quite the fat one. “In the future, I shall call you Little Ball.”
Zou Liang opened a path with his Engraving Knife while the little rascal followed blindly behind. The truth of the matter was that Zou Liang was afraid of being lonely and—in this wilderness with layers upon layers of danger—this little thing would allow him to not go crazy.
This journey of hardships1 had an unbearable taste and Zou Liang felt that his surroundings were filled with powerful Beast Spirits. It wasn’t a surprise to him that he found a monster shortly after he started out, and not long past that he realised the little fellow behind him had felt it as well, perhaps even earlier than he had.
The monster had been illustrated in the encyclopedia and was called “Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast”. It was a type of humanoid demon beast with a tough hide, thick flesh, and a certain degree of intelligence that made it difficult to deal with.
Zou Liang would detour around all of the higher-grade beasts, but just as he was about to leave the idly walking Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast fiercely charged towards them, the tree in the path directly knocked over as though it were a twig with such quick, violent speed. Zou Liang immediately prepared for battle; not only could he not run after meeting a demon beast, but he had finally gotten himself into one-on-one situation and wished to test the monster’s abilities.
Zou Liang effortlessly climbed up the tree and the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast followed suit, jumping upwards and directly snapping the tree. Zou Liang dropped from the skies with the piercing edge of his Engraving Knife pointed towards the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast’s eye, but a fierce attack came in response as the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast’s large bat smashed towards him.
It was as though Zou Liang’s entire body had been struck by lightning and a spurt of blood sprayed out as Zou Liang was smashed flying. Now he knew what a plain-grade demon beast meant!
His sense of crisis was still lingering on the image of the monster; this time, he was the one being pushed into a corner2.
The Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast gave a nasty laugh before picking up his large bat. As the monster was walking towards Zou Liang, a huhu sound came from behind him and a shadow fiercely dashed out; the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast’s ear was bitten by Little Ball.
This would normally not be a big issue, yet the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast released a sky-shaking scream of a misery. Zou Liang realised that the ear was the monster’s number one weak point, and without any defenses the attack had caused it an enormous amount of pain.
Little Ball was slapped flying by the demonic beast like a tennis ball smashing into a tree. Little Ball fell straight to the ground, and when the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast was going to deal with its earlier target it realised that the prey had already arrived by its side.
Zou Liang fiercely attacked the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast’s at the pit of the stomach with Clasping Avalanche, and though he had originally believed that his full-strength attack would be able to topple the enemy, it only resulted in causing its back to arch. It was at this moment that the movement exposed the throat—a vital—that the chin had been protecting, and Zou Liang pierced towards it without any hesitation.
The heavily-wounded Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast slapped Zou Liang with a hong, leaving Zou Liang’s chest with such heavy pain as though his skeleton had been separated from his body. He trailed through the air as though in flight, but the motion was closer to that of the ammunition from a slingshot before he landed on the cement.
Zou Liang drew out all of the potential from his bones and forcibly swallowed blood. He flew out to kick with all of his might at the handle of the Engraving Knife, completely immersing the blade into the Hemp-Clothed Tower Best’s head.
The Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast stopped and began to violently struggle, knocking down a tree in the process to no avail; he was unable to keep himself from being pushed directly through death’s door. Zou Liang swayed and fell to the ground and stared at a pair of bear eyes in the sky…… What kind of situation was this? Even if he wanted to give a bitter laugh, he couldn’t, his vision blurring as he lost consciousness.
The time that had passed was unknown to Zou Liang as he felt a warm breathing sound from something licking at him. He exerted all of his strength to open his eyes and Little Ball entered into his sight. Seeing Zou Liang had awoken, Little Ball immediately started barking with a huhu.
“You bit me back when I was unconscious, didn’t you? Heh…… cough cough3.”
The sky colour had already darkened, showing that the amount of time he had been unconscious was not short. The Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast lay not far away and, although Zou Liang wished to stand, as soon as he tried to use any strength he felt pain so great it was as though his body was going to abandon him. His consciousness grew fuzzy and he fainted once again while Little Battle anxiously barked a few times and started to lick at Zou Liang’s face.
The next time Zou Liang awoke, he did not know how long it had been but the day had already become bright once more. Though his body was still in acute pain, he could already move. He stood up with a struggle and picked up the sleeping Little Battle from the side, rubbing at its head; this little rascal had guarded him continuously and—by the grandmas of bears—if someone wanted this ancestor’s life, Little Ball would not make it easy.
To escape from death with his life, Zou Liang had used a fierce explosive force and the Hemp-Clothed Tower Beast’s Beast Spirit had already faded to almost nothing, wasting it. Zou Liang’s stomach reminded him once again to eat something, and although this monster released a dense stench Zou Liang had to endure; in a matter of life and death, humans would forget many things.
Little Ball was woken by the smell of roasting meat. Zou Liang shared a large piece and Little Ball immediately climbed to the meat—nearly the same size—with a strong gaze and dripping saliva. Little Ball revealed two small incisors, but it also immediately had a sad expression.
“What, you don’t want to eat?”
Zou Liang picked it up and took a bite. Immediately, there was the impulse to throw up; it truly was far too disgusting.
“Good boy, it’s better to be disgusted to death than starved to death. Only after we are full can we find good things to eat.” Although Zou Liang said this, gazing at this putrid, stiff and hard meat had caused Zou Liang to feel sorrowful; it was similar to gnawing at tree bark.
Little Ball barked and pointed its paw towards the lakeside.
“I want fish, too, but I don’t know how to catch—”
Before he had finished, Little Ball had already rushed towards the lake. “Wei, the lake is dangerous!”
But it was already too late; Little Ball had already charged forward and Zou Liang unhesitatingly followed with a heart filled with worry.
With his injury, Zou Liang could not be compared to Little Ball; by the time he had walked half way, Little Ball had already returned with a branch and two large fish hanging from it.
“Hehe, there’ll definitely be a share for you!” Zou Liang exclaimed. Seeing the fish had caused his stomach to somersault4 and without a second word he immediately started to kindle the fire.
Before the fish were completely cooked, one man and one beast began munching away and they even devoured the fish heads. By the end, Zou Liang had eaten one and a half while Little Ball had eaten half of one, the two resting with their bellies facing upward. A life with a full stomach was a beautiful one.