55 – Devourer of Myths – Crimson Vengeance (Burning Rage) [Part 1]
82 0 5
X
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Width
Reset
X
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.
Hope you have found some decent battle music. Well, you would need three different themes, one of them is for this character's perspective. It is okay if you cannot think of any. I personally chose to listen to this as I written this out. It is King Gnu - 飛行艇. You can choose something if you have prepared it. Just remember to set it on loop, so it lasts till the end of the chapter.

My thoughts on this was that I wanted to write an emotional fight. Yes, I do want an epic fight. And one of these scenarios is reserved from an emotional perspective. Don't you just bore when people just either write actions or descriptions? Remember all the sentimentality previously? Welcome to Burning Rage! This is only part 1, but 12k words huh.

 

Caution: Some swearing and vulgarities for this rage chapter. Also a tiny bit of gore.

Spoiler

Gan Xinjian's theme - Crimson Vengeance

uI9fqJG.png

[collapse]

-Gan Xinjian's perspective-

“Huh, what do you mean both of us. It is just you alone with a remnant soul.” 

Chuckling to myself, I took a deep breath as I turned my gaze. Glancing forth at the young man  charge forth, he was filled with vigor and power that far exceeded my feeble and frail body. Looking at myself, man I sure have aged. I wonder has all my energy and vigor gone? It has been such a long time since I thought about this. Over time, my body has aged and withered into this miserable state. What has led to this I wonder? Oh right, I have been scraping around here and there, struggling to survive. Sacrificing all my time and effort to get stronger, going around begging for help. To exert all my energy to seek power, to SEEK REVENGE.

It...it is all just for this very day! Looking above, Shaggoroth looked down towards us with disdain. Heh, we must look like tiny ants in front of him. Insignificant. Worthless. Things to be quashed. He probably does not even remember me. No, he would not remember that little frightened boy from before. He had already tormented and devoured countless victims after all. Is he perhaps thinking how weak and delicious we are? How do we taste, hmm? WELL, I WILL GIVE HIM A TASTE OF MY SPELLS!

To be honest, the odds are stacked against us. An early Core Inversion, pseudo-Core Inversion and pseudo-Bone tempering against a peak-Core Inversion and a sea of Core Formation and Bone Tempering beasts. Other days, perhaps I would take a step back and rationally consider this absurdity. BUT NOT TODAY!!! So what if the odds are stacked against us. What, it is impossible? Impossible, my ass!

jVSlhZE.png

Sitting down on the ground, I have only been fighting for an hour or so but I could already feel that my muscles are sores and my joints are aching. I chuckled softly, is this what it means to be old? I clenched my fist as I looked forward as I slowly got to my feet. The path to the boss was no longer clear, my front was covered by a sea of deep blue. One dark blue blob. Two dark blue blobs. Five of them. Ten. Many and many of those metamorphosing beasts. It was practically a whole swarm of them. Man, those two sure left hard work to these old bones. While they pick a fight with the huge meat sack, I have to deal with all of these lackeys. Well, this old man won't lose to them!

WjuFeny.pngGq0GXX2.png

"Well then, it is time to play, bastards!"

I laughed out as I looked ahead fearlessly. I swiped my hand out as dozens of yellow talismans flew from my sleeves. How much stock do I have left? Half? Less than that? I don't care. As long as I take all of you down with me, I will be content with that! Taking a step forth, I beckoned my copper mirrors as they trailed behind me. Both of them hovered silently as they zealously followed my every command. These two mirrors have been my companion for a very long time. I never had any money previously to upgrade them so they always had this dull lackluster look. But these dull lackluster weapons surely do fit a dull and lackluster cultivator like myself!

Dozens of them. Purple Swords. Crimson arrows. Green Spears. Fireballs. Covering my back as I continued to walk forth. What? Look who is outnumbered now? HAH!

The beasts in front shrunk back momentarily as they observed carefully, watching my every move. Why hesitate? Did you not attack my family and friends relentlessly without care in the past? WHY ARE YOU SCARED AND WARY NOW? Clenching my fist, I looked at all of them with venomous hatred. Perhaps you may not be the same beasts who attacked my village. Maybe, they had long died in the past. But you know what, I DON'T CARE! You are following that meaty bastard and you think I don't know your modus operandi? Ravage, toy around and devour! HOW MANY SOULS HAVE YOU TORMENTED!? HOW MANY HOMES HAVE YOU RAVAGED AND KILLED!? HOW MANY LIVES HAVE YOU DEVOURED!? I WOULD NOT LET ANY ONE OF YOU MONSTROSITIES LEAVE ALIVE!!!!

Look here, you are dozens to hundreds of you beasts and there is only one old man here. What are you scared about? Can't even handle one peeny weeny old man? Well, even if you are not coming to me, I WILL COME TO YOU!!! I cried out in a loud warcry as I jumped forward into the hostile sea of deep blue. I will tear them apart even if I have to die for it.

=============================================

[Flashback]

"Hey, mom. Are you alright?"

The young boy asked worriedly.

"Yes, I am fine. My child. Can you remember anything?"

A frail lady replied to him while asking him a question with concern.

"Uhh....not yet. I would probably remember things soon."

The boy had recently lost his father. This was during an accident while his parents were out on a journey. The three of them were traveling merchants who visited and sold goods to the surrounding area and one day, beasts attacked their carriage. His mother had escaped with him while his father bought time, resulting in the untimely demise of his father afterward. To be honest, the boy could not remember clearly the sequence of events as he was too terrified back then. His mother had also become sickly afterward and could not move around as well as before.

"Anyway, I will go and fetch the usual herbs from the forest!"

A young boy in grey tattered robes said out cheerily as he rushed out of the door. A small wave could be seen as he left in a hurry.

"Sure thing, Xinjian. Please remember to be careful, do not get hurt!"

A withered and motherly voice came from the bed as the frail lady in tattered clothing rested upon it. She then closed her tired eyes as she returned to her sleep.

--

The young boy dashed out as he rushed past the surrounding houses in the village.

"Good morning, Aunt Hui! Good morning, Uncle Xian! Hello, Brother Li!"

The boy greeted his neighbors. This was a family who was very close to him. Everyone in the village is close with each other, but his next-door neighbor was actually a caring family who assisted the little boy's family in troubled times. This was especially so since his father passed away six months ago, leaving behind a sick and frail widow and a small seven-year-old child.

"Oh hello there Little Gan."

A kind homely woman dressed in tattered pink robes greeted him with a wave. Beside her was a middle-aged man who gave a slight nod with a warm smile and a handsome young youth who smiled and winked at the passing boy while tossing a light wave.

The young boy waved his hand in response as he ran forward. He had a job today and that was to grab the herbs that could help to alleviate his mother's pain. It was located in the outer region of the Northern Vermillion Forest which was part of the Vermillion Ranges. Their village was a small and insignificant one that lay on the border between Jianlian and the Vermillion Ranges. Every day was peaceful as the place was guarded by the village elder who was a Core Formation old man who retired and decided to live in seclusion in this village. Ever since he arrived, the village had been much safer as the demonic monsters were warded off. This village was a resting point for cultivators who traveled to the ranges and they are usually protected by these passing by cultivators.

The young boy ran past the numerous houses as he waved and greeted all the passing villagers. They also greeted back in response with a bright smile as they watched the young boy hop happily towards the forest. Perhaps in the past, only adults would risk it to step into the forest due to demonic beasts. Now with the constant quelling of beasts, the area has gotten much safer. This was just one of Gan Xinjian's many herb runs over the last two years.

Hours passed quickly as the young boy traversed the woods. It was just his usual run and nothing eventful had occurred as per usual.

"Huhum-"

The young boy skipped past the woods as he looked around the overgrowth.

"No Vermilius Grass here...weird, I normally find quite a bit here."

He scoured carefully among the bushes as he looked for the specific herb that he needed. The forest was a place that held many of such resources, this particular herb was good for treating a certain type of poison. Ironically, the place where this herb is found is usually frequented by the Equarian Toads, which are the source of the poison. However, since the arrival of the village elder, the population of these demonic beasts has dropped to zero in this region. This eradicated a large problem that had always plagued this village.

*Rustle*

"Hmm?"

The young boy was surprised by the movement of the leaves, perhaps it could just be the wind. He did not think much of it as there were so few monsters recently, it is likely to just be nothing. He then continued to look at the overgrowth as he looked for the purple white leaves that the Vermilius Grass had. Looking at the distance, he noticed a faint trace of a familiar leaf.

"Ahh-there you are..."

He reached out to grab the herb.

-

*Swooooosh-grab*

A blue tentacle wrapped around Xinjian's neck.

“Whaaaaa-“

The boy struggled to move as he placed his arms around the blue whip as he tried to break free. Arcing his neck backwards, he saw a blue translucent blob of liquid that exceeds him in size grabbing onto his neck. The appendage which extended towards him looked flimsy yet it had great strength.

“Grrr…”

His arms weakly pushed as he attempts to get free fruitlessly. Yet, the arm which looked to be made of fluid kept a tight grip. His breath hastened as the air trapped in his lungs was trapped without means of escape. His vision blurred as the strength of his arms began to fade…

*Swish*

Am I going to die? The boy thought to himself as he weakly struggled with his eyes shut tightly.

A white flash flew forth as a blade of wind brushed the boy’s cheek. It cut deep into the encircling tentacle as it separated it from the offender. The beast was enraged by its decapitated appendage as it diverted its attention, sweeping its other arms over towards the side.

“Hmph, how incredulous.”

A soft remark of derision murmured across as the boy heard further sounds of swishing.

“KIYAA!” *Splash*

A loud scream came from close to him as he noticed that liquid was sprayed all over him. The boy did not observe the sequence of events as his eyes were closed.

“Hey…are you okay, kid?”

A mature deep voice echoed out beside him as the young boy began to slowly open his eyes. Looking in front of him, a big figure overshadowed him. It was a young suave man wearing a white robe with an azurean crown on his head and a red scabbard and sword.

A cultivator! That was what his mother had told him before, humans who held superhuman strength which could fight against beasts and disasters, one who had similar strength to the village chief. He idolized such beings that were able to utilize this mysterious power called “Qi” and use spells and skills.

The white cultivator looked much more impressive than the village chief. The young boy looked towards the new entrant with anticipation as his gleaming eyes stared at the cultivator.

“Wo-“

“Wha?”

“WOW, that was so cool!”

The young boy shouted out in excitement as he jumped around, looking at the cultivator’s entire profile. The male sword cultivator looked at the jumpy kid with as he let out a light laugh.

“Haha, kid. Is this the first time you have seen a cultivator? Where are you from?”

“Err, my name is Xinjian! I am from a village nearby this forest!”

The white sword cultivator’s eyebrows frowned as he continued to inquire.

“A nearby village? I am not too familiar with this region but I have been sent to investigate a case where villages on the Xin Kingdom border are being massacred by a group of beasts. I have been chasing the perpetrators for a few months. One of these beasts is this blue beast over here.”

The man said as he pointed towards the blue mass of fluid that leaked onto the ground.

“Hmm, I have never seen this thing here before. I usually walk around these parts. Grandpa elder and the rest usually keeps the Forest clean, so mom says.”

The boy said in confusion as he placed his finger on his chin.

“Hmm, well be careful! I will go ahead and scout the area to make sure there are no more of these beasts on these parts!”

The white cultivator smiled as he withdrew his sword back into his scabbard, he was about to turn as he gave his last few words.

“Okay then! Mr. cultivator, would I see you again? How can I be as strong as you?”

Slightly reluctant to part with the cultivator, the boy asked a few questions. He had a great interest in the other side of life that mortals rarely come across. He was clearly inspired by his mother’s stories and the village chief’s escapades.

“How to be as strong as me, huh? Well, to be a cultivator, you first need an appropriate aptitude. Not many people are born with spiritual roots appropriate for cultivators. You will need to go to a sect to see if you are appropriate as well as ask for discipleship. The nearest should be the NuMeng Sect of Illusory Arts. I heard they are pretty strict with admissions though, even external disciples require pretty high standards.”

“Oh, then Mr. cultivator. Which sect are you from?”

The boy then asked with curiosity.

“Hmm, you should probably stop calling me Mr. Cultivator already. TianKun. You can call me that. I am from the Thousand Blossom Sect, this is a sect from the neighboring state which is the Xin Kingdom. My sect is pretty far from here as well.”

“Hmm, can Xinjian join your sect then?”

The boy asked expectantly.

“Hey, I already said I am from a faraway place. You will be away from your family and village. Would you be okay with that?”

The man asked with a troubled look. He clearly understood that this was just a child’s impulse.

The boy took a few moments to ponder before he agreed with the cultivator’s sentiment. It was probably better to join a sect close to home so that he could help his mother out. He silently pondered for a bit before nodding to himself.

“Well anyways, I will be going off now. Stay safe!”

The suave sword cultivator said as he floated gently in the air before flying away into the distance.

“Wow, that cultivator was strong! He looks more handsome and stronger than grandpa elder! I hope I can be like him in the future!” The boy thought to himself as he realized how dirty and unpresentable he was just now due to the monster’s innards still being present on himself. He slowly wiped all the blue grime over him.

“Oh right, mother’s herbs.” The young boy remembered as he picked off a few leaves from the previous spot before heading back home.

==================================

[Back to present]

Surrounded by hundreds of metamorphosing monsters, I smiled with derision as he swayed his hand releasing out dozens of spells as they rained down upon the approaching beast army.

*Swoom*

One of the metamorphosing beasts managed to avoid the torrent of spells as it attempted to lunge and devour me.

"Hmph, not this time!"

I retreated as he flicked his finger and a fireball popped out of it, engulfing the blue beast in deep orange flames.

GIIIIYAAAAAH!

The beast cried out as it retreated in pain, before slowly shriveling up and turning into a small pile of ash.

I heaved a sigh of relief as he continued to scan the battlefield while dropping down more talisman spells. Well damn, that was pretty close! I was almost by caught by that disgusting blob! And the numbers don't seem to be visibly decreasing even though I have launched out that many spells. It looks like they have learned to retreat and recover, what conniving bastards!

"Well, eat some of this!"

I shouted out as I threw three purple sword talismans which evoked three elusive qi swords which pierced three of the beasts, sending them to their deaths. Well, it is good to know that I am at least actively decreasing their numbers.

*Sear*

A burning sensation was encroaching upon my chest as the engravements around my body started to deepen in red and blood started to leak from my orifice. I guess this is the cost of using a forbidden spell, huh? The pain spread through my body was excruciating, yet it could not compare to the agony which I have suffered that day! It could not compete with the suffering I have lasted through these five decades!

==============================

[Flashback]

The day had slowly came to pass as the sun was already approaching the horizon. Normally, the boy would have already be done with his herb picking and resting at home. However, since there was that scary encounter previously as well as the talk with the cultivator, his return was quite delayed till it was twilight.

The boy slowly walked up to the village entrance as he grabbed onto his light cloth sack. Inside it was filled with the herbs that he spent the entire day traveling and collecting. The boy walked around as he began to ponder.

“The village is rather quiet today. Usually, there would be some chattering by now as everyone is back home for dinner.” He thought to himself as he continued to walk back to his hut.

As he continued to walk his way back, he noticed that the surrounding streets were vacant as there was nobody around. This was rather weird as their village of about a thousand people generally had one or two people loitering about even at these times. It was really strange for there to be not a single soul.

“Oh well, everyone is probably busy with something.”

The boy put off his discomforting thoughts as he passed the neighbor’s house. Walking past the window he noticed a familiar silhouette. It was the young man, Brother Li, who always lived beside him and greeted him every day. A terrified expression was on his face as he was waving his hand towards the young Xinjian. His mouth was opened and closed twice without any voice being released. His body was submerged inside a thick blue viscous fluid sack. Help....Me. These two words seem to be what he was trying to say. The boy was stumped by the current scene. In fact, this has reminded him of the event that occurred this afternoon.

It couldn’t be!

The boy thought as he shakily took a step forward.

Swooosh.

A blue shadow rushed forth as it attempted to grapple onto the young boy.

“Waaaaah!”

The boy jumped back in fright as he barely managed to dodge the incoming predator. Boing. A large blue fluid beast appeared in front of him as it landed with a failed ambush.

The boy then looked inside the room in fright as he observed that not only the young man, the kind middle-aged lady, and her husband were also encased in blue fluid as they were struggling to break free to no avail.

Oh no! Those beasts are here! Inside the village!

His panicked thoughts rushed through his mind as Xinjian retreated immediately, not giving the blue viscous beast another chance to jump upon him.

He then ran away from the house as he began to think of his next move.

Where should I go? Is there any way to help them? But I am just a kid! How about the village chief, he should be able to deal with this right? Wait a moment. Is mother alright? She should be, I should go and check.

Thoughts raced through his mind as Xinjian who initially stepped away began to run forward toward the small dilapidated hut he usually lives inside. Inside, there was his mother. She lay on the ground still without any movement.

“Mom!”

Xinjian shouted out as he worriedly lifted her up. Tears began to well up in his eyes as he ran up to her. He grabbed onto her shoulders as he hoisted her up to rest towards the bed. Looking at her, her chest was expanding and retracting as faint breath sounds could be heard from her mouth.

“Mother, you are alright!” 

He said with relief.

“Child, I heard a commotion outside. I wanted to go check up on it but my legs gave way. What has happened?”

She asked with worry as her panting breath hastened slightly.

Xinjian thought about his experience with his neighbors as he began to recount his story.

“I saw our neighbors, Brother Li…they all were being eaten by blue beasts!”

He said out in terror as he slowly got his mother to her feet.

“Hurry mother, we have to run!”

He said as he pulled her forth.

“Run? But where to?”

She asked in confusion. It was understandable since the village was already unsafe. Who knows where would be the safest spot?

“The village chief! Everyone always said that he was the strongest! He should be alright!”

Xinjian said out in a hurry. He had already planned out their actions in advance. Considering their neighbors are already being eaten, this was definitely not a safe spot at all!

The two then hurried out of the hut in a hobbling gait as Xinjian supported his weakened mother out. It was rather fortunate that there were no nasty surprises around as there were none of those blue beasts insight. The village itself was still back to its serene state as if there was nothing happening. This sent chills down the boy's back as he slowly recalled what happened in his neighbor's house.

What if...? Bad thoughts popped up in his mind as he slowly ran towards the big house at the edge of the hill. The boy shook his head as he chose to ignore such bad premonitions. Right now, we have to go find grandpa elder! Such thought eluded his mind as the boy continued to rush forward with his sickly mother in tow.

Rushing past the village square, the area was silent as not a soul was present. The well located at the center was also laying there silently.  As the two hurriedly moved past, a slight knock was heard.

*Thump-dump-dump*

The bucket which was used to draw water fell off the edge of the well as it bounced off the ground. A blue appendage then drew upon from the well as more of the beasts started to crawl out.

!!

The blue beasts that crawled out of the well started to reach out in their direction as if beckoning the mother and son to approach them. Are they coming out from the well? How can we run from all of them? Many of such questions flooded the boy’s head as he dragged his mother away with haste while heading towards the village chief’s house.

“Huff..huff… slow down, son. Mother ca-cannot keep up!” 

A breathless panting voice came from his side as the boy observed his mother’s pale white face. She seemed to be in pain as she forced to keep up with his pace.

“Just…just endure a bit more! We are almost there!”

The boy said as he supported his mother while moving forward. He could feel the soreness build up in his limbs as he walked forth, whilst trying to avoid all the blue beasts that are slowly moving in their direction.

Soon the duo approached a large and luxurious detached house that was more decorated than the other houses in the village. It was the abode of the village chief. The surrounding area was still as silent and eerie as before as the two slowly walked towards the house cautiously. Could it be that even grandpa elder…not that can’t be right? The boy reassured himself as he slowly hobbled into the mansion.

The inner design was indeed more extravagant than the other villagers. However, the village chief was a cultivator who had immense wealth and power, and this was not out of expectations. Looking around the place, the usual maids and servants were not present as the place was silent and still as the rest of the village. This continued to deepen the worries of the child who initially thought that reaching the elder would mean safety. But, reaching here would be the safest place out of everywhere else since then he is the strongest human cultivator in the village.

"Child...mother will rest here for a while. You can go and find Elder Li."

The frail woman said as she gently rested herself upon a wooden chair as she caught her breath.

"Grandpa Li! Grandpa Li!"

The young boy shouted out as he walked past each room cautiously. Silence greeted him back as there was no response. The side rooms were all vacant as not a single soul was present. What should he do if the village elder was not there as well? The boy could not fathom such a thought.

"Grandpa Li!"

The boy then scoured across the large mansion as he walked past each hallway. The walls and rooms were dimly lit with lanterns as the area that looked glamorous started to look eerie as the day set and darkness crept around. The area was still empty as there was not a single echo of a sound besides his hurried footsteps.

*Tap. Tap*

His footsteps went as he walked past every room while opening each room and calling out the village elder's name. Yet, the village elder was nowhere to be seen.

*Ding*

Soon, the end of the corridor was seen as the number of remaining rooms in the large house steadily decreased one by one. The sound of something landing on the ground came from that room. The boy was partially scared yet relieved that there was a sound in response to his attempts to finding someone. Perhaps, it was one of the servants who were hiding or the village chief himself. He then turned and walked towards the last room as he opened the slightly ajar door.

"Grandpa Li?"

--

A flash of blue then appeared as his vision got dyed in deep blue.

The boy's breath got caught as he was being drowned in the fluid. He struggled as his arms tried to break himself free, but to no avail. A terrifying thought rushed to his head as he recalled the scene in the village and how people were being eaten up by these blue monsters. He struggled desperately as he tried to grasp everything around him, yet his movements were slowed by the encircling fluid.

No, I can't get eaten, I can't die here! What about mother?

The boy thought as he continued to struggle relentlessly to no avail. His breathing was starting to run short as his mind started to numb. His body swayed side by side as only his upper body was encased in the thick fluid, while his lower body was free. In the world of deep blue, he could see a faint light from his front as he stretched out to reach it while slowly walking towards it.

===========

[Back to present]

*BANG* *BOOM* *BANG* *BOOM* *SWISH*

Numerous spells rained down as I look upon my surroundings with weary eyes. The number of metamorphosing beasts around has clearly lessened as compared to before. Yet, I could not possibly have much hope in this situation. My arms and legs were dyed red with blood as the soreness in my body extended throughout my limbs.

"Huff...well, you all sure are tough. But you know what, I am tough too! Let us continue this and see who will be the last one standing!"

As if responding to my words, the blue beasts slowly crawled forward. These disgusting bastards will look for any opportunity to devour me! They are just voracious beasts with an endless appetite, a plague to the world.

X$2j^#n%....

Wait what is that I am hearing?

"Xinjian, why didn't you help me..."

Reminiscent voices crowded my ears as I could hear the voices of people long gone.

"It hurts, I can't breathe..."

"Help me..."

"Why did you leave?"

"Help me..."

Various voices started to echo out from my surroundings as the blue beasts approached me. Wait, could they? Are they possibly the ones from the village? I was stumbled by such a thought as my guard was momentarily laxed.

*Swoomp*

My vision got dyed in blue as unknowingly one of those bastards managed to circle my back and actually ambushed me without being intercepted by my mirrors. My hands were grasping inside the thick viscous fluid as I struggled to grasp onto my talismans.

"Why struggle...."

"We are waiting...."

"Why resist pointlessly..."

"Join us...."

"Join..."

"Join us..."

"Become one of us..."

"Let us return home..."

"Let us be one..."

"One big family..."

"Aren't you lonely?"

These voices continue to crowd my head as I try to break free. It is as if they are trying to break my will. They are right if it was me in the past, perhaps I will give up back then. But no longer now, I am not the powerless little boy from before. I am not alone as well!

I clenched my fists as I barely managed to grasp onto one of my yellow talismans.

"Foirbol"

Words struggled out of my air-deprived mouth as a burning blaze gather before me.

==========

[Flashback]

"Stop..."

The young boy struggled to break free as he tried to grasp surrounding objects. He knocked across a small stool and several other items but it was to no avail.

"Help..."

His soft words echoed from within the encasement, yet there was no one to hear his voice. The boy started to feel lightheaded as he continued his fruitless attempts before losing control of his feet. He stumbled forward.

*BANG* *DING*

The table in front of him was knocked over as his entire body weight along with the blue beast pressed upon it. The oil lamp sitting above it fell onto the grow as the snapped apart and spilled the oil with the spreading flames.

*GIYYYYYAAAAAAAAHHHH!*

The boy suddenly felt air enter into his chest as his lungs were no longer starved for it. His thoughts began to clear as he noticed that he was free from all his previous restraints. Looking backward, he saw the deep blue viscous beast struggling in pain as the fire slowly encroached upon its entire body. The boy was initially startled by the scene and almost landed on the floor in surprise, yet he was aware that this was his chance. He could not possibly fight against the beast, thus the best option was to take his mother and escape. Grandpa Li and the other servants were not present as well. This place was definitely far from safe.

The boy thus decided to rush out of the final room before running back towards the entrance. He then saw that his mother was no longer rested upon the seat which she had initially laid upon. The front meeting hall was empty as well. Confusion welled up upon him, as the boy looked at his surroundings. It was nothing but a dark grim silent atmosphere. His sole support had vanished. There are still threats lurking around. He could feel the hopelessness sink into him as he slumped down onto the ground. He could no longer think of what to do.

"What do I do now..."

He said with dismay as he looked down upon the ground. He had tried his best to escape from this ordeal, yet everything just kept on appearing wrong. Why can't he find his mother? Why can't he find the elder? Why is the village being attacked? Why have these best come here? Such questions buried his mind as he could only find questions but no answers to any of them.

*CLING*

The sound of a loud metallic roared out from the distance. The boy was then jolted from his melancholy as he could hear the signs of a struggle, perhaps hope itself. The sound happened to be quite distant as the sound was rather soft. Now the young boy was faced with two choices: To sit and wait for help, or to go and seek the source of the possible help. He was rather perturbed with such a choice as he could feel the soreness in his limbs from traveling into the forest the entire day, then running home to find an invasion, afterward bring his mother here and being ambushed by that blue beast. His inner thought told him that it was okay to sit and wait for help. It was very dangerous outside. Yet, he chose to walk out into the unknown. His mother was missing as well, and she is not inside the village elder's house. He had to find her outside.

The boy then decided to venture out into the darkness. The sun had long set since he had entered the mansion. The surrounding area was dark as the normal lanterns which lit every household were unlit this very day. The silent streets were only illuminated by the dim moonlight. Tonight was only a dark crescent moon, casting dark shadows upon the dreary streets and small alleys.

"Mother..."

"Mother..."

The boy called out as he slowly walked around with caution. Despite his young age, he knew that his voice would not only alert his dear mother but also whatever unpleasant beings lurked in the darkness. Yet, he had to take this risk. The boy continued to shout out in the darkness while walking on the wide street. It was a smarter choice to walk out in the open and risk being spotted than go into a small discrete place and get cornered due to his lack of vision and increase in unvisible spots.

"Mother..."

He continued to call out as he saw upon a figure in the distance, it was standing alone on the wide square where the well was initially. Based on the profile, it looked as if it was a human. It was kind of worrying that those beasts crawled out of that well initially, but if it is another person, it should be alright to call out to him right? The boy then sighed in relief as he slowly walked up upon the lone figure in the moonlight.

"Hey..."

His voice of relief traveled out as he reached out towards the tall figure.

The figure then turned over as blue appendages stretched out of the figure's face. The rest of the body still resembled a human's but the entire face was wrapped in that viscous blue fluid and the man only had the white of his eyes around him.

"Ohhhh.....what is wrooong, Xiin Jiann? Come, l-let Un-uncle Bi h-have a looook..."

A familiar voice resounded towards him as the man stretched his hands towards the young boy.

"Hiiiiih!"

The young boy jumped back in fright as he turned and ran away in another direction. Energy welled in his weary feet as his fear gave him the motivation to push forth over the paralysis which shocked him of such a sight. The boy ran as fast as he could, ignorant of all the pain and tiredness as he rushed down a narrow path away from the square.

"W-waait. Whhy are you r-running from me?"

A distant voice resounded as the figure slowly walked in the boy's direction. Yet, the boy was long gone.

--

"Huff. Huff."

The boy panted as he slowly caught his breath. In his panic, the boy had chosen a random direction to run in and now he was stuck in one of the dark and narrow alleyways in the village. It was already deep into the night as the moon hung up high in the sky, there was not a soul to be seen or heard. The boy remained alone in the darkness.

Looking at his surroundings, they seemed familiar yet foreign. The reminiscent image of the comfy village that he initially knew was wiped with the dread of possible danger and the unknown at every corner. Unease welled inside the boy as he looked around warily, he was already caught by a rude surprise once and it would not be nice to be fooled again.

The boy slowly walked forth with quiet footsteps while looking about. He had stopped calling ut for his mother at some point, and his cautiousness towards the possible ambushing beast caught his voice in his throat.

Walking about the narrow walkway, the shadows stretched deep into the walkway as his steps blended into the darkness. Anxiousness crept in him as the boy slowly walked onwards. Looking at his sweaty palms, he could recall the feel of his mother's pale and cold hands. His worries over the situation are swept over with his deep feeling of powerlessness.

At some point, the boy noticed that the endless row of houses had ended as the narrow and dark alley opened up. It was replaced with a wide opening at the end as the area had cleared up to one edge of the village. The boy's front was now surrounded by a thin wooden fence as well as a small wooden gate that opened up towards the wild.

The boy could easily recognize the wooden posts and gateway which blocked the village from the outside. Yet, tonight it felt vastly different as the usual guards that patrolled and stood guard were not present. The gateway was also usually lit with torches and such but tonight everything was only brightened by the moonlight. A stray thought entered the boy's mind.

The sound of the fighting seems to be coming from outside, perhaps I can find help over there. Though it is likely that mother is in here somewhere...no, I need to find help first! I cannot deal with any of those beasts!

The boy shook his head as he came to his decision. He resolutely grasped onto the wooden gate as he prepared himself to open the unmanned gates. Suddenly, he felt a tight grip on his shoulder. This sudden motion shocked the boy still. He was unsure what could have stopped him, but he had no good feeling about this. Lightly gulping down the welled saliva, he stiffly turned his neck back.

The hand came from a tall male. The figure had an extending beard and an ornate robe. Taking a closer look at the figure's face, the boy finally heaved a big sigh. It was the village elder!

"Little Xinjian, what is the problem? Why are you leaving the village at such a late hour?"

The old man's voice echoed out.

"Grandpa Li, you won't believe this! There are beasts attacking the village! They have this deep blue fluid-like body! I have tried to search for you before at your place, and one of them was there! I thought that they had gotten you!"

The boy said out worriedly. Yet, the village elder's face seemed to be as relaxed as ever.

"Hoho, an invasion? I have not seen any of that. Did any of you observe anything?"

The old man turned to his back as he spoke to his two servants. All of the people behind him shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders to assert their opinion of not noticing the impending crisis.

"Well, looks like my followers also have not noticed anything. Little Xinjian, perhaps you are just thinking too much?"

He looked back toward the young boy as he tilted his head towards the side. The boy himself was confused by the scene as the scenes that have occurred today were too weird, it completely deviated from any previous routine. Yet, the surrounding people were not suspicious or questioning the change. Was it just him? Was this just all paranoia, an illusion?

"But...the villagers...Brother Li, mother...yes, mother! I cannot find mother anywhere! She was just with me a short while ago, but then..."

"Son, there you are..."

A familiar female voice came from his side as the boy turned back. He noticed his mother appear from the shadows at the side as she slowly walked from the distance in the dark.

"Mother..."

The boy said as he looked at the familiar figure he saw every day. The frail lady hobbled forth as she grasped onto a thin stick. She seemed to have found a stick laying about and used it to support herself.

"Son, everything is alright...Grandpa Li is here now."

"But...mother, the beasts..."

"Beasts? Right there were those beasts that you have seen..."

She continued to reply in a weary tone.

"Child, we have seen none of the beasts? Are you sure they are there?"

"Indeed, the child is pointing out legit concerns. But to believe his words..."

The elder and his subordinates discussed among themselves.

*Clang*

The sound of another clash between metal was heard from the outside as the group began to talk.

"Look! There are sounds of a fight!"

The boy pointed out warily, there has to be something strange going on! This could not possibly have all just been a ruse, he had clearly seen and felt everything.

"Oh my...it looks like it is still going on..."

"How troubling..."

The two subordinates talked among themselves as they held rather disturbed looks.

"What?"

The boy asked in confusion, they are already aware of a fight occurring outside but are still unwary of what is happening?

"Shush...do not worry the child. My subordinates and I have noticed a wild beast approach the village this evening. We have been using our manpower to exterminate this pest. It will hopefully be done soon."

The elder berated his two subordinates before slowly reassuring the child with a smile on his face. He then removed his hand from the little boy as he turned his body and slowly walked back towards the square.

"Well, since Little Xinjian said that there is something wrong around here. Why not let us have a look?"

He pointed out as he strode forward confidently. His subordinates zealously followed behind as they gripped onto their weapons by their sides. The boy followed behind with small doubts in his heart. Yet, he felt reassured as he held upon the touch of his mother's hand. Looking back at her face, he could see a faint reassuring smile as he began to feel more at ease. Thus, the group slowly made their way back to the heart of the village.

Perhaps, there may be still something wrong here. Or it could have all been just my imagination.

The boy lightly thought as relief filled his heart. Even if this was just all a lie, perhaps he would just choose to turn a blind eye towards it.

--

Walking to the center, the same square was passed once again. This time everything seemed different. As they walked past the houses near the center, lights could be seen lit from the houses. Sounds of merriment and joy were spread as one could see many villagers gathered towards the center. Some of the young men and women were dancing around a small bonfire. Other adults and children were also participating in the festivities. Some joined in the dance, others spectated or engaged in their own merriments. The center of the square was very lively as if everything previously was naught but an illusion.

"What....this."

The boy sounded out in surprise as he looked at this scene. This scene had blown him away, everything that he previously experienced all felt fake before this usual scene of merriment. The mood was festive and it was understandably so as it was indeed the date of celebration towards the harvest goddess which was towards the end of every month. The villagers usually spend long hours preparing for the festival and end up celebrating once the night arrived. It was not really a fixed date as the villagers may have situations to tend towards but they had a tentative plan to celebrate usually. As a child, Xinjian would not be privy nor care about such niceties as his job was mainly to enjoy the festival like other children.

"Ohhh....so it was just a festival day...."

He said in relief, this would greatly explain why he had not seen many people as they would usually be busy preparing the food and props. The familiar setup had made him feel more at ease as he slowly relaxed towards the joyous environment.

"Look there, Xinjian. Everything is still the same as usual. Why not you go along and enjoy the festival with everyone?"

The village elder said as he gestured the boy towards the crowd of celebrating people.

"Umu-"

The boy nodded excitedly as he threw off all his worries and hopped towards the festivities...

---

The boy slowly enjoyed the festival with all the other villagers. A sight of merriment as he ate upon delicious barbequed meat, drank thick and filling soup while talking with the other village children. He also participated in activities such as dancing by the bonfire. He no longer had any doubts that everything was probably just his superstition. Perhaps the events in the forest had spooked him and caused him to misinterpret the entire situation when he returned.

The festivities continued into the night as the loud laughter and cheers continued. As the boy walked around, he spotted someone familiar. It was the neighboring older brother. He had a bright smile on his face as he held onto a small paper lantern. The boy then walked up to the familiar brother that he was very close to.

"Hello, Brother Li."

"Oh, hi there Xinjian."

A simple conversation. Brother Li himself was engrossed with the paper lantern as he carefully held it in his left hand.

"What is that lantern for?"

"Ohh, some of the houses had broken lanterns. Thus, I have been tasked with fixing them."

The young man casually replied to the child.

"Oh I see."

The boy soon lost interest as the task looked boring, unlike the ongoing excitement.

"How about coming along with me and we will go and change the lantern at Old Jiu's house?"

The young man gestured kindly as he lightly tapped the young boy's shoulder. This was a familiar action that was commonly done between the two. It would usually feel normal to Xinjian. Yet, this time he only felt chills. Looking at the glint of Brother Li's eyes, a sense of disconcert and doubt welled deep in him. A quick flash of a recent memory washed upon him. The sight of Brother Li being engulfed by a blue beast, whilst stretching out the very hand that was currently grasping on his shoulder out while his mouth was mimicking out words, Help...Me. Yes, help me, was what he probably meant to say. Yet, the powerless young boy chose to turn his back as he ran away from the scene.

This thought shivered in the boy's heart as he strongly shrugged the hand off his shoulder. The sudden movement was unexpected to the young man as he was gently knocked back, swaying the lantern off his hand. The unstable lantern fell backward as it landed onto the unsuspecting young man. The flames and oil had swept past the lantern as it traversed over onto the young man's clean robes.

"OOOWWWW-IT IS HOOOT!"

The young man landed onto the ground as he began to roll himself around whilst trying to douse the flames that had spread upon his clothes. The noisy scene had deeply interrupted the festivities as many of the villagers stopped their actions while looking towards the commotion. The young boy himself panicked as he had not expected such a situation to occur as well.

"Oh no! Brother Li are you alright, give me a moment! I will go and grab water from the well."

The boy said as he was about to run towards the well at the center of the square.

"H-HEEELP! GIIIIYAAAAAH!"

Brother Li cried out in terror as his voice started to distort. A sudden outburst of a foreign voice occurred. This sudden change stopped the boy's movement as he then slowly looked back towards the young man on the ground. The idea of running to get the water had completely run off his head as he heard that sudden screech. It was a familiar sound. Not familiar for a long time, but something he had already heard twice this very day. Once was during his trip to the forest, and the second was whilst at the mansion. And the common thing between both was the blue beast!

Looking back onto the scene, the young man rolling on the ground had sudden leakages of blue fluid. It came off his orifices. His ears, eyes, nose, mouth all started leaking out out viscous fluid. Something that was very familiar to the young child. The young child was awakened from his reverie as he slowly stumbled backward while looking at the young man frolic on the ground in pain. The abhorrent sight shocked him still.

"GIIIIYAAAAHH-H3LP.....$%#8&*@!"

Screams and foreign undecipherable words started leaking from Brother Li's mouth or whatever that was in it as blue viscous fluid leaked from even that orifice. The young boy looked in shock as he recalled all his experiences after he returned to the village. Indeed, everything was weird. The lights not being lit up, the festival starting this late, nobody being present throughout his entire escape. Everything only resumed to normal only after meeting the village chief. He quickly shifted his head as he looked towards the village elder who was looking over in surprise. The young boy hurried rushed towards the chief as he tightly grasped onto the old man's wrinkly aged hands.

"Grandpa Li...please help Brother Li (same spelling, different Chinese word btw). Something has clearly gotten into him. It is them...one of those blue fluid beasts! I told you that they have invaded our village!"

The boy said out in a panicked voice as he tried to pull the old man over to assist the young man. Yet, he felt a slight resistance as the arm that was being pulled refused to budge. Feeling confused as to why the village elder did not immediately follow, he turned back to look at the old man. A foreign gaze looked at him as the old man glanced at the young boy. A very distant and discomforting gaze it was.

"Why, there is nothing wrong here, little Xinjian. Why don't you go and enjoy the rest of the festival while Grandpa here goes to help Brother Li?"

The old man suggested while staring deeply at the young boy.

The young boy's uneasy heart suddenly quickened as he felt something wrong. Something gravely wrong with the current situation. The entire plaza was still lit up bright in glowing lights. Yet, the entire place was silent besides the screaming of the beast-infested Brother Li. All the villagers, adult, and children all stopped their festivities and were looking over. The darkness that cast over their faces and clothes as the bright fire burned behind their backs gave off a creepy feeling. Their eyes looked towards the boy. Their mouths were all shut tight. This entire feeling creeped out the young boy as he took small steps away from the crowd.

Fear drove deep into the boy's bones as he looked at the foreign scene. He was no longer just preoccupied with the burning 'Brother Li', but more of how all the villagers and the elder feel different from usual. He continued to move back as he cautiously looked behind to make sure there was nobody obstructing him.

"Hmm, what is wrong Little Xinjian?"

One villager asked.

"Come here and join us."

Another said.

"Xinjian, xinjian lets us play!"

One of the children called out to him.

In normal scenarios, the young boy would perhaps have relaxed and joined the festivities. But all of the people that spoke just now were familiar people, or at least used to be familiar people. Their emotionless stares looked at the young boy as they beckoned him to join them. The boy could feel his guts trembling and telling him not to move forward. The countless stares continued to observe the boy's every move as he slowly took another step back.

There...there is definitely something wrong here! The villagers...Brother Li...the village elder...there is definitely something going on here!

The boy thought out as he quickly turn his body and ran away into the depths of the darkness.

"Wait, Little Xinjian!"

The village elder's distant voice shouted out, yet it slowly faded away as the boy continued to run into the darkness.

--

"Huff. Huff."

The young boy ran away from the city plaza as he rushed up towards the gate once again.

Clang.

Faint sounds of metal clashing could still be heard in the distance as he rushed his footsteps forward.

There must be help outside! Something is clearly wrong in the village now. I need help!

The boy thought as he brought his small feet forward. His arms and legs were long weary by the tiring sequence of events throughout the day as lactic acid quickly build up in his limbs. It was quite the distance from the village plaza to the gate as normally one would require ten minutes of walking to exit the place. The young child kept pressing forward even as his legs complained in soreness and pain. Doubts filled the depths of his mind as he remembered all of those foreign and distant gazes. They aren't the usual villagers at all. It...is as if they were someone different guised as people he knew.

As the boy once again approached the gates, a familiar voice called out to him.

"My child...why are you here?"

The familiar voice rang out. It was his mother! The appearance of a frail lady holding onto a walking stick approached him as she slowly hobbled forward.

"Mom...mom! There is something wrong with the village at the moment! Everyone is weird, they are clearly weird. They act differently and all their eyes look at me differently. Look! There must be help outside! Let us go out and find help!"

The boy begged out as he brought up his previous suggestion. He looked at his mother who gazed at him lovingly while lightly panting as she moved forward.

"Hmm, if you suggest that the village is unsafe. How could we be sure that everything would be safe outside?"

The lady mentioned in a troubled tone. What she mentioned was indeed true, they were just a remote village. And even if there are the sounds of a sword clash, it could be quite a distance away. Despite the forest being constantly patrolled, wandering around in the darkness is a recipe for disaster. The boy was lost at his mother's words as he continued to ponder with a worried look.

"How about this child, why not we wait until tomorrow morning before seeking help? We could just go home and sleep it off. Perhaps everything will return to normal tomorrow."

Her comforting voice sounded out as she gently chided the child back towards the village.

"No, mother something is clearly wrong."

"Child, do not be too stubborn. Mother, will get angry."

Her voice raised in tone as she still maintained her gentle look. The boy decided to listen to his mother's words as he took a step forward. But the sudden flash of a thought struck him.

--

"Little Jian, run away!"

A distant memory. A broken carriage. An assault onto a family of merchants. The father stood to protect the other two as he held upon a spear while struggling against a bunch of beasts. These beasts were familiar, with their viscous body and their deep blue color.

"Run, both of you! I will hold them off!"

The brave man said as he waved the spear with shaking hands. The lady dressed in simple robes grasped onto the child's hands as she dragged him away from the fight. She pulled upon his hand as she hurriedly ran away from the scene.

"Darling, please stay safe! I will bring Little Jian away from the danger. Remember to run when you have the chance!"

She cried out as she brought the terrified child away.

"Mom, I am scared..."

The child said out with tears in his eyes as he shivered at the sight of the horrendous beasts.

"Don't worry child, everything will be okay. Mom is beside you, dad will come along later!"

The woman comforted the child as she dragged him away from the danger. The two of them ran a short distance away from the ambushed carriage as they seek a place of safety.

SWIPE. CRASH.

A gust of wind blew forward as the faint image of a peach-colored whip flew past the boy. The boy looked around confusedly as he no longer felt the warm hand that pulled him forward. Looking behind him, he could see his mother knocked deep into the trunk of a tree. Blood dripped from her head and abdomen as numerous wounds could be seen.

"God dammit, why are you always so violent!"

"Sorry, I cannot help it that these humans are always so frail."

"Look here, you better control that arm better. Or I will be the one to take control of it in the future!"

"Yeah, I agree!"

"Totally, what a buffoon!"

Numerous voices came out. An old man's, a young boy's, a young lady's, a middle-aged man's...many different voices spoke at once in an argument with each other. Yet, the boy confusedly looked forward. There was nobody there. It was just a hill that was seen between the trees. Where had these voices come from? What happened to mother?

Such questions littered him find as the young boy was paralyzed on the spot, unable to comprehend the situation.

"Run away...child! Do not care about me or dad. Just run!"

Her voice resounded out as her weary eyes looked forward in fear. The boy looked back at his gravely injured mother as he was still shocked on the spot.

"But mother..."

"JUST RUN!!!"

His mother's anguished voice cried out as tears leaked from her eyes. The boys small feet responded to those words as he took flight in a different direction. Yet, the panicked child easily tripped on a tree root as he was quickly brought onto the ground.

"Oh my, how careless!"

"And we gave him a chance to run too!"

"It would be more exciting to have a chase."

"Oh well, too bad!"

"Hey, can we get to feasting yet?"

Countless voices erupted from his side as the boy slowly turned towards the direction of the voices. It was still nothing but a large cliff face. Actually, no...the cliff face seemed different as the color of the large hill seemed different. Despite the sunlight casting a large shadow down and blurring the sight of the mountain's features. The young boy noticed the peculiar features of the hill. The front had a large cave crevice filled with stalagmites. Looking upwards there was a slightly bright and a rather shiny surface above. Looking carefully, he noticed that these shapes were repeated throughout the hill.

"Hey, stop talking all of you."

The cave that was closest to him suddenly opened and closed as words exited from it. Wait, that is a mouth. And all of those shiny surfaces, there is also a dark spot. Are those eyes?

"Hey, boy want to play a game? I will call it house. We will act like a family."

The large cave before him echoed out such words as it displayed a disgusting grim smile.

"You shall return with us back to the village."

The mouth continued to talk.

"But mother..."

The young boy uttered words in a shocked and confused tone. To be honest, the young child is unable to comprehend the current scene as he was talking to a large mountain.

"Nooo...Little Jian, run. Run!"

His mother's voice echoes out from the distance.

"Shut up already, you whore!"

The large crevice shouted out in rage as a large flash past by the young boy.

BANG. "Kyaaah!"

His mother's voice scream out in pain and terror as a loud sound of impact was heard. The boy looked to his side as he saw a large pillar of flesh rammed deep into his mother chest as the woman lifelessly looked forward.

"Ah-ah, what a waste of a perfectly good specimen."

"Indeed, you were too rough, main body."

"Seriously man, we can't be using broken second-hand goods."

The voices continued.

The boy looked at the bloody sight of his mother's corpse as his vision slowly began to blur and fade.

"Hey...hey, child. I hope you can remember the details of our game."

The voice came forth. But the child had already fainted as these words buried deep into his consciousness.

--

"Ooooo...."

The child groaned out as he slowly opened his eyes. It was a familiar scene as he was back into the carriage. Everything seemed to be normal as the carriage was still in pristine condition with all their wares still untouched. It was as if everything was just a dream. His mother was resting by the side as she slowly scooped up some food and placing it in her mouth while chewing it.

"Om-nom...oh you have awoken, child."

"Uhm...mom. You are alright, I am glad.  So it was all just a bad dream..."

"Oh really? What is it?"

A simple conversation occurred between the two as they sat on the rocking carriage. The carriage slowly dragged forth as the child looked around dazed.

"Nothing much...our carriage got attacked. Dad protected us and we ran. Then we met this weird mountain and then you died..."

Morbid words leaked out of the child's mouth as he had a downtrodden expression, soon he shook his head as he threw all the bad thoughts away. He then looked at his mother with relief as he lay by her side while resting his head.

"It is great that everything was just a dream..."

"It sure is my child, why not you rest some more?"

His mother said out in a tired tone as she slowly brought some food to her mouth once again.

"Yes, mom..."

The child said as he gently closed his eyes. Before he went to sleep, a burning curiosity itched within him. His mother seemed to be pleasurably enjoying her meal, yet he could recall that they had already run out of the chicken meat partway through their journey.

"Hmm, mom. What is it that you are enjoying so much? Did we stop by a village or something?"

The boy nuzzled up cozily as he slowly fell into a slumber.

"Hmm, not really."

"But you are really enjoying it so much."

"Yeah, it is really tender and filled with juicy fat."

She replied.

"Your dad, that is."

She continued in a casual tone. The boy who initially rested in ease, woke up in rude surprise as he looked at him other in shock. Taking a closer look at her. The lady was like the person he remembered, yet her face was filled with gory blood as she chewed upon bloody raw flesh. A slight grin could be seen on her face as she gave the boy a kind smile. A slight look of disdain and derision could be seen in her pupils as she continued to look 'lovingly' at her 'child'. Her blood-soaked pristine white teeth were revealed as she took another bite upon the raw flesh.

"Whaaaa-AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH"

"What is wrong child, aren't you tired? Why not have a rest? We will arrive home soon enough. Maybe when you wake up, all the bad dreams will magically vanish....nom."

The motherly voice said as the lady continued to take another bite off the piece of flesh. The boy's sights start to blur as the shock and panic sent him to another deep slumber.

--

"No-no!"

The boy shook his head as he looked back at his frail mother. The gentle lady looked at him in confusion as she once again opened her mouth, revealing a bright set of white teeth.

"What is wrong my child...could it be that you have finally remembered everything?"

The frail woman said out with concern initially before resuming into a similar grin. One that sent deep chills into his spine.

"W-wait...mom, this has to be a joke right? All of this is just a big prank right?"

The lady continued to look at him with a calm expression as she retained her silence.

"Mom, speak to me. All of this isn't real right?"

The boy pleaded desperately as he grasped onto the frail lady's shoulders and shaking them vigorously. This would not normally be how the boy treats his frail mother. But currently, his fears, insecurities, and doubts were washing him deep with confusion—he was not rational at this point so to speak. Yet, the frail lady retained her gentle smile as she looked back at him in silence.

"Sigh...can you stop playing around with your food already. You have caused us so much trouble, Mouth."

A tired elderly voice came from the back as it heaved a great sigh. Looking back, the village elder was present by the boy's back. The rest of the villagers were not present. The village elder gave the boy's mother a stringent look before glaring at the child.

"The boy knows too much, eat him up already."

He said in a hoarse and angry voice.

"I know, I know, Eye. Shut up already. I can already taste it. The sweet, sweet taste of despair from the tender young flesh. The finest spice and seasoning! It is so hard to resist...panting...the urge to devour him right off!"

The female voice said out in laughter as a familiar grin was sighted where the white teeth were present to the young child.

"Mother...elder....who are you two. You aren't them at all!"

The boy said out in shock as he shook off his mother's grip on his shoulders.

""Who are we?""

Both voices echoed out as they looked right at the young boy.

""It is not 'we' but 'I'. I am Shaggaroth, the Devourer of All Beings, the Mimicker of Flesh and the Gourmet of Despair.""

The reply came from both of them as they slowly approached the young child.

"Noooo....noooo. Get away from me!"

The boy yelled out in fear as he slowly took steps behind.

"Why should I? I cannot possibly ignore such a feast. Time to eat!"

The lady flashed out a grin as saliva dripped from her mouth and white teeth. The lady then opened her mouth which quickly expanded wide, big enough to swallow an entire boar.

"Now time to taste the seasoned meat!"

The voice laughed out in derision as the mouth slowly enclosed the young boy.

"Nooo....."

The boy cried out helplessly.

"HELP ME!"

*CLAAAAAANG*

The sound of metal clashing rang in front of the young boy as he slowly opened his eyes. A familiar back, a white robe. It was the cultivator from the afternoon!

"Hey, little one. You okay?"

He said while repelling the large mouth.

"W-what!? How dare you interrupt my meal!?"

An angered female voice rang out.

"That is what you get for playing around with your food too much. It was a pain to hold this cultivator back for so long. It seems that he has finally broken through."

"You are so useless, Eye!"

"This was all due to your procrastination, Mouth. Anyway, let us deal with the situation at hand."

The two figures then looked hostilely towards the unwelcome intruder after their bickering. Their unwelcome gaze sent shivers down the young boy's back as cold sweat developed.

"Hey, boy we are running!"

The young handsome man in white robes swiftly picked the child up before flying up into the air. The two then zoomed off quickly into the distance.

"H-hey wait!!"

"ARGGGGH, MY MEEEEEEEAAAAAALLL!"

Two separate voices were heard as the frustration of Shaggaroth could be felt. Yet, the two had swiftly disappeared into the darkness.

==

[Back to present]

"GIIIIYAAAAAH-"

The metamorphosing beast that engulfed him swiftly jumped off as it rolled on the ground trying to extinguish the flames. However, the flames did not simmer as it continued to burn bright until the body was reduced to nothing but ash.

"Well, fuck! You assholes sure made me remember something really unpleasant! Well, I am not the old me, and I won't run away from you all any longer! Time to burn up, s*ns of b*tches!"

I glared forth as I wiped off the sweat that trickled down my forehead. That fucker, Shaggaroth. I will not be eaten so easily!

 

 

oMgF22Z.png

Just saying, this story is probably not that suspenseful to most people as it is told in the third person. But just imagine this from a child's point of view. Their judgment may not be as sharp or developed as most of the readers here. Anyways, I would argue the main story revolves around the present and not the past. This is despite most of the story being told in flashbacks. This also gives a bit of insight into how the slimes work and the character of Shaggaroth as a whole. Do take note of how the mother addresses Xinjian as 'Little Jian', while Shaggaroth calls him 'child'. Things are more interesting that way, the game of house that is.

Sorry that I have not written much, really busy period at the moment. I guess I will release the story in parts though I really dislike that since not even half the fight is written yet.

 

5