Chapter 154: Blood Soil

The folk’s condition was terrible. Something had bitten his ears off, which gave him an abnormal, gruesome look.

Chuyi squatted and used his hand to check his breathing. Then he checked his chest. “We still have a chance at saving him.”

He cut his finger and dripped his blood into the villager’s mouth.

I was suprised. Is Chuyi’s blood some sort of elixir that could save people’s lives?

After receiving several blood drops, the villager’s pale face slowly regained color. Then, he tried to clear his throat by coughing. Eventually, he spat out some black fluid!

As soon as that black fluid hit the rock on the ground, it reacted like a strong acid. It created many bubbles. The acid then sank and dissolved the rock.

I gawked and dropped my jaw in shock. Holy moly, what’s going on?

If that black fluid was this toxic, how could that man still be alive?

Chuyi gazed at the black puddle on the ground until the fluid was completely absorbed into the rock. This took quite a long time. He then squatted and rubbed it a little bit.

I saw his hand smear the black substance.

“How could this be?” Chuyi muttered to himself as he studied his fingers.

All of a sudden, he seemed to remember something. He hastily tore the man’s shirt. The victim had wounds all over his body, especially on his chest and back. It seemed he had been attacked by some big-sized reptile. Some wounds were so deep we could even see his white bones.

Although his injuries were very serious, no blood had streamed from his body.

Zen Master Baimei took out a silver needle and stabbed the man. However, he was like a mud statue that didn’t ooze a drop of blood.

Zen Master Baimei was frightened. He didn’t care about his image as an aloof monk. He crouched and started to dig the ground.

When he dug up not even half a meter, I saw that the soil wasn’t black anymore. It had turned red. It was the red hue of blood!

After looking at the scarlet soil, Zen Master Baimei's face turned pale. His body shook hard. “That thing… is in this place.”

Chuyi also snorted. “It’s no wonder this place is called Wild Dog Mountain Ridge…”

I was puzzled. “Chuyi, is there any special story behind the name Wild Dog Mountain Ridge?”

He nodded. “We should descend the mountain quickly! We can’t deal with this devil.”

Li Mazi was loathing. “But where’s the Night Dragon Bait? We haven’t found the Night Dragon Bait yet!”

Chuyi said, “Our efforts have gone in vain this time. That thing isn’t the Night Dragon Bait. It’s a Xiezhi horn [1]. The people here can’t survive. We must leave now, hurry!”

“It’s not the Night Dragon Bait?” Li Mazi almost collapsed with disappointment. He stopped Chuyi. “Brother, are you joking? How come it’s not the Night Dragon Bait?”

Chuyi answered, “No, I’m not joking. It really isn’t the Night Dragon Bait. It was a conspiracy from the start. We should go.”

Then, Chuyi said, “All of us should stay close. If we scatter, only death awaits us!” It was really rare for him to advise us like this.

“What about this man?” I was worried and pointed at the man whose ears had been bitten off.

“He can’t make it,” said Chuyi. “We need to deal with his body too.”

Chuyi took out a talisman and mumbled something. Immediately, the talisman ignited. He put it on the body.

From what I had observed in the past, the corpse would burst as if it was burned with gasoline. However, this time, there was no high flame. After the talisman fell on the body, it quietly extinguished.

Chuyi inhaled deeply then took out two more talismans. He shoved them onto the dead body.

It was the same as the previous talisman. The papers went out shortly…

However, this wasn’t that strange because something even stranger happened. The villager’s face, which had turned better earlier, now gradually darkened. Eventually, he looked like charcoal.

This time, not only did Chuyi have a headache, but even Zen Master Baimei looked scared. “How could that thing live here? It's impossible.”

"What is it, after all?” Li Mazi and I asked in unison.

“The mist is coming again…” Suddenly, Chuyi sighed.

I turned and looked toward the distance. Indeed, layers of white mist started to cap the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge.

“What’s going on? Didn’t the Ghost Market end already?”

“No, it’s different,” Chuyi said indifferently. “Let’s go. No matter what, don’t lag behind!”

Then, he grabbed my hand.

His hand was so cold it was almost chilled to the bone. I couldn’t help but shudder.

I then grabbed Li Mazi’s hand and Li Mazi held Zen Master Baimei’s hand. We moved in this formation down the mountain.

However, the more we walked, the thicker the white fog became. Not long after we had departed, the white fog was so thick we could only see around two meters ahead of us. With this short-distanced visibility, our chances to run away turned to zero.

We had walked for quite a long time before we saw that we were near the massive pit. I was desperate and knew that we had been wandering around the place.

I sighed. We are trapped here, aren’t we?

WOOF! WOOF!

At this moment, dog barks came from the dead silent forest.

It’s weird. All the dogs in the village were killed, weren’t they? Where is this barking coming from? 

The dog barks were really strange. I thought it sounded more like a kid crying, which was really scary. When the noises seemed to be near, my heart began to flutter.

Chuyi muttered, “Cover your ears. Don’t let the dog bark overwhelm your spirit!”

I immediately covered my ears. However, it didn’t work. The dog barking lingered as if it could drill through my ears.

I suddenly felt numb in my shoulder, like something had just bitten me. I quickly turned my head aside and saw that Li Mazi was biting me!

Li Mazi smiled. Blood from my wound trickled down the corner of his mouth. He was sucking and gulping my blood as if it was something very delicious.

However, what terrified me was that although Li Mazi had bitten me, I only felt a little pain, as if it was just a mosquito bite.

I was really scared and grabbed Li Mazi’s hair. I slapped him twice. “Li Mazi, wake up!”

I knew Li Mazi was enchanted by the dog bark.

When Li Mazi was hit, his eyes were still dreamy. He stood up and stumbled. He tried to bite me again.

I was lucky that Chuyi was fast enough. He tackled Li Mazi and sent him to the ground.

Using his left hand, he thrust his forefinger and middle finger into Li Mazi’s mouth.

Li Mazi crouched on the ground and retched. After a while, he slowly recovered. “What just happened to me? Why did I feel like I was a dog?!”

“Do you know why this place is called ‘Wild Dog Mountain Ridge’?” asked Chuyi. “Because there’s a wild dog spirit here. It even has a horn.”

“Wild dog spirit with a horn?” I couldn’t help but laugh. What kind of theory is this? If Darwin knew this, would he curse you to death?

Then came another dog bark from a close distance. Zen Master Baimei cleared his throat and tried to make his voice deep and scary. “Go home. You’ve already eaten too much. Why are you out here causing trouble?!”

I didn’t know if I should cry or laugh. Is Zen Master Baimei joking? That’s no ordinary dog! How could you just shoo it away by shouting at it? 

But what happened next made me dumbfounded. Zen Master Baimei’s method worked. I clearly saw a shadow that dashed through the white fog. It was sobbing and running away.

“Was it that simple...?” I stammered. I looked at Zen Master Baimei because I couldn’t believe in my eyes.

“It seems we can’t leave the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge,” Zen Master Baimei said. “We should go back to the village.”

Chuyi was unwilling. “We can still try. Perhaps the Yu Footwork could work…”

“What about the villagers down there? Do they know Yu Footwork?” Zen Master Baimei was merciful. He couldn’t just stand still and watch the villagers get killed.

Chuyi kept silent. Eventually, he nodded. However, his eyes turned to us. “How about you two? I’m going to take you two out first. Even if you two stay, the both of you won’t be able to help much!”

Li Mazi and I exchanged looks. We were thinking the same thing.

Of course we wanted to run way. However, if we did really ran away, were we deserving of Zen Master Baimei’s and Chuyi’s help? No matter what, they were in danger because of us. If we ran away like this, we would be really ungrateful!

Moreover, there were many villagers that needed our help.

Li Mazi and I discussed the situation, and we decided to stay!


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiezhi

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