Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
At that moment, another hand came out of the ground and grabbed Xie Qingling’s calf. Liu Qingbo was quick-sighted and slashed it with a sword. The arm landed on the ground and instantly turned into bones.
“Demons!” He yelled as the blade of his sword struck the ground, directly drawing a deep mark. After a few seconds, black liquid gurgled out from under the deep marks.
Song Zhicun rolled up his sleeves and said to everyone, “Get out of the way.”
Ou-Yang Yin’s calf had already sunk in. It wasn’t because everyone’s strength wasn’t strong enough, but the strength that was dragging was far too great. Everyone didn’t dare exert too much strength for fear that they would hurt their legs.
Song Zhicun walked up to Ou-Yang Yin and looked at his painful and tearful expression. He knelt down, pressed one hand on the ground, and slowly extended his hand into the soil. Although the soil under his feet was a bit wet, the foundation was still solid. After Ou-Yang Yin’s body was pulled into it just now, it wasn’t like they didn’t think about digging around the area next to him, but it was impossible for them to do something that Song Zhicun had seemingly easily done. His hands had reached into the ground, going deeper until it was buried up to his elbows.
Suddenly, his hand sank down, as if he was being held by something! Everyone’s hearts pounded seeing Song Zhicun frown while moving his arms slightly, as if competing with something under the soil.
“Don’t get distracted. Pay attention to your feet.” Long Shen’s voice sounded.
Looking back, Dong Zhi didn’t know when he had returned.
“What’s the situation ahead?” He asked in a low voice.
“A Japanese is dead,” Long Shen’s answer lightly.
Reminded by Long Shen’s words, everyone became extra vigilant as they looked around from time to time.
“Above!” Chi Banxia exclaimed.
When everyone looked up, they saw a pale hand stretching out about halfway the length from the top of their heads.
Chi Banxia: “I been looking around, but there was nothing there at that time!”
Liu Qingbo’s reaction was the most direct. He raised his sword and cut off the hand. As soon as the white hand fell to the ground, the corruption in that area intensified at a speed visible to the naked eye. It quickly became white bones while the rest of its body was still submerged in the earthen soil, remaining motionless.
Song Zhicun’s face was sweating slightly, and his shoulders were very tight, presumably exerting his strength underground.
“Get up!” He yelled, holding onto the soles of Ou-Yang Yin’s feet and directly lifting him off the ground. The soil around him was dug out as Ou-Yang Yin was able to escape the grasp. Only then did everyone see that there was a hand in the soil that had been broken up by Song Zhicun. It quickly turned into bones just like the others.
Ou-Yang Yin rolled up his trousers legs and a set of five fingerprints around his ankles were clearly visible, showing a dark purple-blackish color.
Upon seeing this, Li Ying said solemnly, “This is corpse poison*! You must extract it quickly!”
*(尸毒) Poison from zombies/the undead. Those who are infected will have their skin fester and lose their senses. In severe cases, their muscles will become stiff, and they eventually become a living corpse.
He turned his head to look at Song Zhicun again. “Boss Song, you…?”
Song Zhicun waved his hand. “I’m fine. I have trained my hands deliberately to resist corpse poison.”
He opened his palm and showed that it was fine.
Li Ying took out the cloth bag containing glutinous rice and a talisman paper from the bag. He ignited the talisman, then put it into the cloth bag, stirring it in, and then pressed the entire cloth bag onto Ou-Yang Yin’s leg.
Ou-Yang Yin groaned in pain as he gritted his teeth.
Song Zhicun said, “Ou-Yang, we’re not too far from the exit. You don’t need to participate in this training. Go back to recuperate first.”
Ou-Yang Yin looked up. “Boss Song. I can still go on. I insist.”
After applying the hot compress for a while, Li Ying took off the cloth bag and saw that the black marks on it had not faded but were gradually spreading.
Song Zhicun made a decisive decision. “Xiao Ye, you should immediately take Ou-Yang back to find help. There’s a Taoist priest named Chen at the branch. Ask him to heal Ou-Yang’s injuries.”
Ye Cheng repeatedly nodded. “Okay, I know Taoist Master Chen!”
Ou-Yang Yin was unwilling, but he also knew that not only would he not be able to continue forward like this, but he would only drag his teammates down. He couldn’t even move without the help of Ye Cheng.
“Sorry, I delayed everyone’s time.”
Song Zhicun patted him on the shoulder. “While we ask that everyone not be afraid of death, we don’t want you to make fearless sacrifices. Let’s talk about recuperating your injuries first.”
Li Ying tied the glutinous rice bag to his calf and said, “This can temporarily relieve the corpse poison, but you must treat it as soon as possible. Otherwise, it’ll spread quickly.”
“Thank you!” Ou-Yang Yin’s gaze swept across his companions. He arched his hands, both as a farewell and an encouragement to them. Everyone also responded with the same gesture.
After the two left, everyone moved on. It didn’t take long for them to see a man leaning against the wall. He was bleeding from all his limbs and his eyes were wide open while his lower body was buried in the soil.
“When I saw him just now, he was still breathing, but he couldn’t speak anymore,” Long Shen said.
There was no doubt that this Japanese guy had been attacked by those corpses and suffered from corpse poison just like Ou-Yang Yin, however, he wasn’t as lucky, nor was there a Song Zhicun to help him, so he could only accept his miserable fate.
“So, those Japanese didn’t come much earlier than us. We can still catch up to them!” Liu Qingbo said.
Zhang Song curled his lips. “Isn’t it just fine? There’s danger up ahead, and they’re the first to encounter them, just as they deserve. These people didn’t have any good intentions to begin with!”
Long Shen didn’t speak. He still maintained a steady pace forward, but occasionally reminded everyone to be careful above their heads and under their feet.
After what happened to Ou-Yang Yin, everyone didn’t dare take things lightly anymore. They all held weapons in their hands vigilantly and were ready to take action at any time.
The sound of water flowing got louder as they progressed closer. Just a few dozen paces ahead, the passage suddenly took a sharp turn, opening to a large river.
Long Shen touched the earthen wall on the side of the passage and knocked on it.
“This should have been a passage originally, but it was sealed.”
Everyone took a closer look and found that there was a gap on the top of their heads, which looked like the original position of the stone gate.
“Then do we want to forcibly open the sealed door?” Liu Qingbo asked.
Long Shen shook his head. “Just follow the Japanese.”
He stepped forward first, and his figure quickly disappeared around the corner, and everyone hurriedly followed. The river was turbulent and wide. When they swept the flashlight over, they could only vaguely see the other side.
At the same time, the position of where they were standing suddenly narrowed. After turning the corner of the passage, they realized that they were walking along a cliff, as waves of water splashed up against it from time to time, wetting their feet.
There was wind blowing from seemingly nowhere that blew the water vapors towards their faces. It was so cold that many of them shuddered involuntarily.
The passage under their feet could only hold one person walking sideways. In some places, it could only accommodate half their feet, which was extremely perilous. Although everyone knew how to swim, no one wanted to tumble into the river. They didn’t know what was in there, so everyone walked cautiously at a slow and steady pace.
The position order changed after they entered the cliff. Dong Zhi still followed behind Long Shen, but Ba Sang was now behind him.
Despite his tough look, Ba Sang was actually afraid of heights. Although he hugged his body tightly against the wall, he seemed to have illusions that he would fall into the river within the next second but refused to show any sign of weakness, so he still followed closely behind Dong Zhi, though his footsteps were inevitably much slower.
Gu Meiren, who was behind him, did not rush him, but Dong Zhi noticed Ba Sang’s strangeness. He stretched out his hand and grabbed Ba Sang’s wrist. “I walk steadily, so just follow me.”
Ba Sang was moved and humbly accepted his offer, but suddenly at that moment, something happened! A huge black shadow jumped up from the river, flying towards everyone, exhuming a fishy smell that was blasted at them from the wind.
There was only half an inch of ground below their feet, and with companions left and right, no matter how capable they were, they couldn’t escape. Several people were swept into the water immediately.
However, Long Shen reacted faster. When someone was about to fall into the water, they were pushed back with a sudden force. A white light appeared in Long Shen’s hand before it suddenly pounced towards the dark shadow. Long Shen had drawn a sword out of nowhere.
Dong Zhi and Ba Sang were wide-eyed as they watched Gu Meiren fall off the cliff. They both subconsciously stretched out their hands to pull her, but as a result of the black shadow being hit by Long Shen’s attack, it landed in the river, causing a huge wave that rose several meters high and splashed everyone in the water at once.
“It’s a python. A giant python!” Someone exclaimed.
Someone shined their flashlight around the water, and occasionally they would see the reflection of something scaly on the monster’s body, confirming its identity. Dong Zhi had heard of the largest python in the world was the amazon anaconda, which could reach lengths up to 6 meters and could as thick as an adult man. They were able to swallow an entire alligator whole.
But the Amazon anaconda was nothing compared to this python in front of him. It wasn’t even significant enough in size to even slip through the crevices of its teeth.
Long Shen was fluttering in the water, holding onto Gu Meiren tightly while swimming towards the shore. Her head was knocked on by the tail of the giant python as she fell, rendering her unconscious and she was about to be washed away by the river.
On the other side, Long Shen was fighting fiercely with the giant python. His opponent was huge in size that its upper body hadn’t even been shown yet to reveal its face. It only just surfaced its tail, like a cat chasing a mouse, teasing the prey in front of it.
However, it quickly discovered that these prey were not as easy to bully as it thought, which reminded it of the unpleasant memories not so long ago. Several of its “prey” had also slipped away right under its nose.
When Long Shen slashed at the python’s tail with his sword, he left blood marks from a single cut. The pain and blood enraged the python, causing it to slowly stretch out its head from the river, trying to see clearly what its prey looked like.
“It has three heads! Be careful everyone!” Chen Xun shouted.
In the dark, six red “lightbulbs” wandered up and down. The brightness was faint yet luminous, but everyone felt terrified by its gaze.
Not to be outdone, Liu Qingbo tried to find the python’s tumbling torso in the water. Once he found it, he slashed it with his sword. Unfortunately, his sword was different from Long Shen’s as it simply bounced off the hard scale, leaving no cuts or blood behind.
Liu Qingbo was stunned. He had thought to himself that he was masterful in his swordsmanship and possessed enough strength. Even if the sword qi wasn’t as good as Long Shen’s, with the power of his Fejing Sword, shouldn’t he have been able to cut the scales? Could it be that Long Shen’s sword was even more powerful?
While he was puzzled over his predicament, everyone else had started to use their own weapons and magic. Even Chi Banxia started chanting a spell, though with such a huge body, it would take time before it could come into effect. Li Ying’s talismans were packed in a waterproof bag, so they wouldn’t get wet, but they didn’t have much effect on the python.
This three-headed python was too big. To a certain extent, when an object was this large, even if it had many injuries, it was equivalent to just a drop in the bucket for it. What was more, it was a behemoth that had survived in this kind of environment for many years!
The giant python seemed to be irritated by everyone’s “small movements”. One of its heads bent down and spouted out a mouthful of black mist at Chen Xun. Song Zhicun quickly grabbed his collar and dragged him back, but he couldn’t fully avoid inhaling some, and he started coughing.
In the confusion, Song Zhicun didn’t have time to pay any more attention to him. After putting Chen Xun aside, he jumped onto the python and lowered his body. The scales were too slimy, making them slippery, so it was difficult for him to stand still. After a few tries, he was thrown into the water by the python’s tail.
He could see that the python itself was a bit injured. It might have been left there by the Japanese, or perhaps something even earlier. Normally it would sleep underwater, but due to this injury, it was enraged, so they had caught it in its worst moment.
Everyone looked pale and weak in front of this massive behemoth. It was as if it was invulnerable. Liu Qingbo’s sword couldn’t cut through it, and the attacks of Li Ying, and the others had no effect. Ba Sang wanted to summon an eagle, but they were now deep underground, where no birds would live.
For this mythical monster-like three-headed python, the only threat was Long Shen. It was extremely irate at the sword in Long Shen’s hand. Knives and spears had never left any cuts on it, yet this sword had pierced through its scale like nothing. Its three heads hissed and twisted, opening their mouths to spray black mist towards Long Shen. Long Shen avoided the attack and slid down the python. Taking advantage of the situation, he used his sword to cut a long, bloody grove on the python’s neck. Suffering from the pain, its body twisted more violently, stirring up the river and causing monstrous waves.
Under such circumstances, many people could barely maintain their stability, let alone attack with their hands.
At that moment, another figure jumped onto the python with lightning speed. It stood still and climbed up dexterously and quickly, attracting many people’s attention.
Dong Zhi instantly recognized him. He saw Lin Xuan holding a hammer in his hand as he climbed on the python’s body, step by step. Every few steps, he would nail a nail onto the python’s body. The nail was as slender as a needle, which would feel like a mosquito bite to the python. Since it wasn’t painful, Lin Xuan took advantage of it and eventually reached the middle section of the python’s head. He then raised his hammer and slammed it into one of its eyes!
Originally, Lin Xuan had followed them, and no one took him seriously. They thought of him as an outsider and would secretly guard against him, but Lin Xuan didn’t take it to heart and just smiled all day long. Coupled with the fact of his identity as part of the Lin Family of Lingnan, it wasn’t easy for them to give him face, or even get close to him, as they didn’t have much to talk about.
However, Lin Xuan didn’t care either. Except for teasing Dong Zhi from time to time, he communicated more with Song Zhicun. As for Long Shen, he treated him equally like everyone else, and would speak very few words.
A towering wave could be heard from the python’s movements. This showed just how much strength Lin Xuan used. The eye that was like a red lightbulb was smashed as blood splashed out from its eyeballs. It hissed and shook fiercely, throwing Lin Xuan off more than ten meters away. He fell into the river, and his fate was unknown.
Blinded in one eye caused the snake head in the middle to become confused, then retaliated more violently. Long Shen, who was in its sight, became the object of its revenge. The three heads bore their fangs at the same time and rushed towards him.
The black mist spewed out of the python’s mouth and was divided into three strands, almost covering Long Shen’s entire body.
“Be careful!” Someone shouted, but their voice was quickly drowned by the surging river.
Long Shen’s figure rose steeply, hoping on a cliff nearby, avoiding the black mist. He kicked his foot and used his strength to pounce on the python, hugging its neck as he pierced it with his sword.
“I’ll hold it off. Everyone, go first!” Long Shen shouted. His voice was slightly hoarse from the excessive exertion, but his strength was still there and indomitable.
Dong Zhi was floating in the water. He drew his sword and slashed at the python’s body. With a clank, the sword rebounded, proving to him that the python had cultivated an indestructible body. Even the Changshou Sword, which could cut iron like mud, couldn’t even scratch it.
He wasn’t sure who would win or lose if Kan Chaosheng fought against this three-headed giant python. Of course, it’s impossible for an ordinary python to match a Jiao, but the three-headed giant python in front of them was like a fierce mythological monster. Perhaps it’s even more powerful than Kan Chaosheng.
The giant python became impatient with all the tickling. Its huge body swayed and churned in the water, as if it was turning the river upside down. A huge wave rolled towards Dong Zhi, who had just narrowly avoided the python’s tail. However, the current slammed into his head, making him dizzy enough that he blacked out for a few seconds. In addition, he had drunk a few mouthfuls of the fishy river water and had even swallowed some of it.
Looking at the place where he fell just now, he saw a person leaning against the wall, waving her hands, as if she was doing some ritual. Taking a closer look, it turned out to be Xie Qingling. She seemed to be waving aimlessly with empty hands, but in fact there were two extremely thin silk threads tied to her hands.
Suddenly, two children fell on the python, walking steadily step-by-step. Their expressions were lifeless, but their movements were dexterous with an indescribable weirdness.
“What is that?!” Ba Sang was dumbfounded.
“Puppet master! She’s a puppet master!” Chi Banxia exclaimed, to relieve his confusion.
Ba Sang suddenly realized why Xie Qingling had been so secretive about her abilities. Most likely, she was worried her companions would look at her strangely if they had known.
At this time, two puppets in the form of children were holding daggers as they walked slowly on the python, as if looking for a weakness. Xie Qingling continued waving her hands with her eyes closed, as her brows twisted into several folds.
The python had lived here for many years, so while its scales were hard as iron, some had worn out over the years.
Suddenly, the child puppets stood still. The little boy raised his dagger and plunged into one of the scales! The dagger was halfway in, but it was popped out again in a blink of an eye. The python’s left head turned around and hissed at it, biting off the head of the boy puppet in a single bite, then swept towards the girl puppet.
With a cough, Xie Qingling spurted out a mouthful of blood.
Others were in no better condition than she was as they all struggled in the water. They had all kinds of abilities, but they usually dealt with zombies, evil spirits, and demons. In front of this fierce monster that exalted absolute power, they were completely helpless.
Hearing Long Shen’s words, Song Zhicun also shouted, “Hurry up and try to leave. Don’t try to fight recklessly. Bring up the rear!”
Reality has hit the spirit of the group of young people hard, almost completely wiping out their morale. Their single solution could only be this. Li Ying took Gu Meiren, and the others started to run in the opposite direction of the python, but it seemed to notice the intention of its “prey”. Having already lost an eye, it became more ferocious. It rolled up its tail and slapped the water fiercely, causing the river to suddenly rush to the narrow riverbank. As it continued slamming its tail into the water, it caused the river to continually rise so rapidly that eventually it swept Li Ying and the others into the river again, all while it was still fighting against Long Shen and Song Zhicun, sparing almost no effort to attack the others.
Liu Qingbo was frustrated by his failure, and his heart became angry. He looked at the figure of Long Shen still fighting fiercely with the giant python and gritted his teeth. He held onto his flashlight and plunged into the water with his sword.
Its common knowledge to hit the snake seven inches and three inches*. Everyone knew this, but the problem was that when facing such a behemoth, let alone finding its seven and three inches, they couldn’t even leave a dent on it.
*(打蛇打七寸，打蛇打三寸) Metaphor for one must grasp the main link when speaking or doing things (AKA hit them where it hurts). This, though, also has a literal meaning as they are fighting an actual snake. In terms of whether it’s 7 inches or 3 inches, it’s referring to the location, with 7 being the snake’s heart and 3 being the snake’s spine.
The python was churning in the water, muddying up the river, while the range of everyone’s flashlight was limited. Liu Qingbo could only rely on his intuition to judge the location of the python as he swam forward through the dark and muddy waves.
Suddenly, a huge undercurrent surged, and he subconsciously waved his sword to resist, but forgot that against the waves, his sword power and speed were halved. The undercurrent came towards him and pushed him back involuntarily. A hand suddenly stretched out from the side, grabbed his arm and dragged it to the side.
Liu Qingbo was taken aback, as he was about to stab the figure subconsciously, but the flashlight shone a vague face. He was furious and shook the other party off and made another gesture to keep the other party away from him.
The other party reluctantly refused to relent, and kept holding on to him, gesticulating, as if to tell him what he wanted to do.
While practitioners could hold their breath much longer underwater than ordinary people, they didn’t possess gills that would allow them to breath endlessly underwater. After being delayed by his opponent, Liu Qingbo’s breath was almost exhausted that he had to float to the surface. He shouted viciously, “Can you fuck off!”
Dong Zhi ignored his bad mouth. In front of this three-headed giant python, everyone had the same goal.
“Do you want to sneak attack underwater? Let me help you!”
Liu Qingbo sneered, “It would be nice if you didn’t drag down your own legs. What can you do for me?!”
Just now, Dong Zhi saw Long Shen and Song Zhicun dealing with the python to buy them some time to escape, but the python was quick, and though they wanted to run, it didn’t let them. He not only wanted to help Long Shen, but also wanted to help himself and his companions get to safety.
Dong Zhi wiped the water from his face and said quickly, “I heard that three inches and seven inches are the python’s weaknesses, but you’ve already seen it. It’s so huge that it’s impossible to find, but it should still have a weakness underwater. I have a Changshou Sword and you the Feijng. We can work together!”
Liu Qingbo: “What weakness?”
Dong Zhi: “The anus!”
“What?!” Liu Qingbo suspected that he had heard it wrong.
Dong Zhi thought he didn’t understand and said anxiously, “The chrysanthemum*!”
*Another way to refer to the anus.
Liu Qingbo: …
Dong Zhi: “Do you want to do it or not?”
Any kind of creature that was stabbed with a sharp weapon would not feel good, and this place was almost the same key points as the others*.
*Referring to the 7 inches/3inchs (heart/spine).
The corners of Liu Qingbo’s mouth twitched: “Do you know where its chrysanthemum is?”
Dong Zhi said, “I have seen a specimen of this type of snake. It should be near the tail. Its upper part is not easy to get close to, but its lower body is relatively easy. The structure of this python should be similar to that of an anaconda’s!”
The situation was urgent, and Liu Qingbo couldn’t bear to think about it further. He nodded casually and agreed to the plan.
The author has something to say:
Liu Qingbo: One stumble and you’ll become eternally hated.
Dong Zhi: There is no smarter person than me.
WTF LMAO. An intense battle has now led to this.
BTW, just want to make a note that there are about 20+ people in this group, so the actions that the author is describing is all happening simultaneously. So when Long Shen shouts that he’ll hold it off while everyone runs away, it’s not that they’re not doing it, but the POV jumps to someone else that’s currently in mid-action before he said it. It’s a bit confusing, but this is the result when there are too many characters in a scene.