Chapter 4: King of the Beasts (II)
The Crogerdragon’s strong and sharp claws hit the ground heavily and shattered the tree roots that were exposed above ground, lifting the dirt and dust into the air. It roared and spewed out its toxic acid tongue again. Wu Qi carefully watched and avoided it with his blade, but a small droplet of acid fell from that tongue, dropped on Wu Qi’s shoulder, and corroded the leather jacket instantly.
Each smash and each claw was crucial. Wu Qi’s adrenaline was pumping hard, his body temperature was rising, his movements were getting stronger, and his eyes always focused!
Now! Wu Qi’s keen senses caught the slight flaw in the Crogerdragon’s movements as it lost a bit of its balance when it fought back. With ninety percent of all of his power, he struck that blade in that tattered neck horizontally. The anti-erosion blade that was sharp enough to pierce through the tough beast skin had temporarily become a part of the Crogerdragon’s neck. The residual acid on the blade entered and corroded the delicate flesh inside.
The Crogerdragon could not even scream at this trauma. It lifted its strong arms but could not reach Wu Qi’s body. The vital part of its body was choked by a long blade, its lively body was like a leaking vase, dripping away all the vim.
The beast was wounded but still had some fight left in it. What came next was a long stamina tug-of-war. Twenty minutes later, with Wu Qi’s master skills and a little bit of luck, the Crogerdragon finally died in hatred and despair that it could never hurt Wu Qi again.
Pulling out the long blade from the prey’s neck, he felt like a born-again after showering in the scorching blood of a beast. That was way too close. Wu Qi tightened his fists and shattered the task that had locked his heart in the mountains.
The final task before leaving the mountains that Ruorong left him was finally completed!
Afterward, as Wu Qi examined the Crogerdragon’s body, he realized that its broken tail showed significant regeneration within the past twenty minutes, much to his surprise. Wu Qi believed in survival of the fittest, but he did not arrogantly believe that he would one hundred percent be the winner. He knew how the factor of luck played a big role in his success too. The Crogerdragon must have swallowed a mutated animal that possessed the ability of “speed recovery.” If there had been a little more time for this ability to amplify, then he would be the loser in this hunting operation, even resulting in his own death.
However, life and death, or winning and losing, whatever happened, happened, and there would never be a second try.
It wouldn’t be realistic to drag the Crogerdragon’s body back to the cave. Thus, Wu Qi only gathered the parts that were useful to him and put them in his knapsack to bring back. He also recorded the Crogerdragon’s data on his leather notebook as a reference.
After living in this familiar cave for nine years, Wu Qi felt something in his heart of steel as he decided to leave.
It was as if he saw Ruorong, sitting on the rock stool, barbecuing beast meat, and teaching him knowledge. The feminine body, captivating voice, and charming smile had made him wish to be by her side no matter what.
“Why did you leave me, Sister Ruorong?” Wu Qi murmured something to himself. Then, with his hands, he dismissed those old memories that emerged in front of his eyes.
As he put that large pelt carpet in his knapsack, Wu Qi could truly leave this place any time he wished. Ruorong said these mutated animal pelts could sell for a nice amount of money once he exited the mountains. But what was life like outside the mountains?
Maybe it seemed to be more complicated than the dangerous wilderness. But as long as I could find you, does it matter what danger there is? Besides, you said I never belonged in the wild.
Wu Qi asked himself, and he finally carried his belongings and left.
It was a long way to the bottom of the mountains and Wu Qi had prepared for a long expedition. But just as he walked ten meters away from the cave, he sensed a living creature fussing in his vicinity.
Wu Qi cut away the bushes and exposed the little animal that crept within his five-meter radius under his eyes.
It was a red fox, covered in silky, fiery red fur. It looked like a teen that was about to enter its adult stage. Wu Qi put away his long blade after he recognized the creature. After all, he had seen a family of red foxes and they were not threats to him.
In his memories from nine years ago, the family of red foxes snacked on the animal guts that Ruorong didn’t eat outside the cave. Three years ago, when Ruorong left without a goodbye, he followed his memories and just kept on letting them munch off of him, never having any conflicts.
But now that I’m leaving, are you here to say goodbye?
Wu Qi was confused. He carefully examined this little red fox and looked into its eyes. Ruorong once mentioned that foxes understand humans well and can easily form a connection. Wu Qi had always been skeptical of that, even now.
Suddenly, the little red fox howled at Wu Qi. It was a soft, high-pitched sound, almost like a whimper. It lifted its bushy tail and turned around, walked a few steps, then looked back at Wu Qi.
Wu Qi understood something and followed. He followed the fox and saw the fox nest that he hadn’t seen over the past nine years.
Sadly, it was a fox nest that had been trampled on by the feet of a huge beast. The female fox that frequented his cave for beast guts was only left with the heart-wrenching half a body and bloodied fur that scattered on the ground. Wu Qi was used to seeing animal bodies, but as the little fox circled around the female fox’s dead body and whimpered, his heart rate accelerated.
Wu Qi carefully examined the fox nest and did not see any other little foxes. There wasn’t much blood on the ground, but judging from the size of the beast’s footprint, its body was large enough to swallow little foxes as a whole.
The scent of this huge beast was way too darn familiar.
Wu Qi quickly came to the realization that the beast that trampled the fox nest not long ago was none other than Crogerdragon.
His eyes met the mourning eyes of the whimpering little fox that stared at him. At that moment, he truly believed foxes can connect with humans.
“It wouldn’t be troublesome for me to travel with a little fox,” Wu Qi said, then reached over to carry the little fox. He saw a bloody cut on the little fox’s right hind leg, and it looked like it had been cut by a branch when it was running.
“You’re hurt, the wound got infected.”
Wu Qi shook his head. His abilities were not enough to help the delicate little fox to combat the mutated bacteria in this forest. However, just as he was about to give up on the little fox and let natural selection take over, he saw the wound was healing at an amazing rate. The rate was slow but definitely much faster than the process of natural healing.
Needless to say, that was the “speed recovery” ability. That’s where the incredible ability demonstrated by Crogerdragon at the end of the battle came from. It turned out that it got it from devouring the family of red foxes.
Confusion, answer, then his lips curled into a smile. It was the first time Wu Qi had smiled happily ever since Ruorong had left. He didn’t even know how the heck did he manage to smile from the bottom of his heart.
“If you would like to be with me, then, from now on your name will be July.”
The little red fox howled in joy. The tone was much different than the miserable whimper before. Its eyes sparkled with beastly glare, but Wu Qi seemed to understand.
It was time to begin their journey.
Long, long had been the road and far, far was the journey.