The night passed slowly. When the sun finally replaced the double moons, the trembling ground had not stilled.
The Fearsome Beast Forest.
The chaos started long before the trembling started. Beasts that sensed something wrong had made the first move, the others soon followed suit. Beasts that normally fought every day over resources didn’t bat an eye at each other, they were all running for their lives.
Maybe these beasts were more evolved than the rest, they just knew that what was happening was inevitable. They could do nothing about it so they only had one thing on their mind. A straightforward solution that hadn’t failed them or their ancestors...
Flee the danger zone!
Hence, the beasts ran in all directions. The peaceful forest was in chaos.
When the booming sound came, the ground started to shake. The forest seemingly lost its balance, its insides jumbling around involuntarily.
Cracks appeared down the land, the very land that millions of lives lived on. Some unlucky beasts even fell into the holes, releasing out horrifying screams as they descended. Many weren't able to stop in time and went plunging down the hole. Even those that did were pushed down by the ones behind them. The whole scene looked like a sick sacrificial ritual.
A beast leapt with its mighty legs over a crack but in a moment of misfortune, the gap grew wider.
Sounds of the ground cracking mixed with the screechings of the beast made the perfect background music for a nightmare.
Even the most ferocious beasts didn't stand a chance against this immense power of nature.
There was an indent at the top of the volcano that Shao Xuan saw before. The pond was no longer there. Instead, the warriors that went to check were greeted with some molten rocks in the indent.
Now, just as the sun rose, following a large "boom", ash and lava shot violently into the sky. The sky darkened at shocking speed and darkness spread further as time passed.
As the lava spewed out, the surrounding mountains crumbled.
The clouds seemed bruised from the eruption. Plumes of black, yellow and white from the ash and lava lifted into the sky.
The volcano that had remained silent for nearly a thousand years had exploded with such abrupt anger. Lava surged down the mountain, burning through the forest.
Lightning flashed in the dark clouds, thunder clapping a pair of gigantic hands. The lightning bolts scribbled within the clouds with no sense of pattern. Anything could be its next target!
Black ash came spewing out at a terrifying speed. It painted the sky in black like ink on paper.
The beasts in the forest ran for their life. They bumped into trees with such force that the trees came crashing down. Smaller animals smacked into the trees with so much force that they died.
The bodies of those poor animals wouldn’t stay intact for too long too. In a second, another beast would come running onto it, smushing it into the dirt.
The animals lost any intelligence they had in this chaos, solely relying on their instinct to fight through this mess to get out alive.
Some of the wanderers in the Flaming Horn tribe didn’t follow the group leaving from the area. They stayed there and rather enjoyed their first few days. They had the larger houses to themselves now, even the shamans and chief’s houses.
They searched the houses for items the Flaming Horn tribespeople left behind. There were some metal tools and food.
They planned to search through all the houses, then move on. They were not dumb, they knew they couldn’t stay for long too. They just waited for the tribespeople to leave first then check the area for whatever valuables they left behind.
However, everything came too fast. Before they were done with their search, nature had already struck.
The ground shook violently. Two-thirds of the houses immediately fell, many of them stone houses too. Seemingly sturdy houses could not stand against the forces of nature.
However, most of the wanderers stayed in the centre of the tribe, where all the chiefs and shamans lived. The houses there were even stronger than the others. That night, many of them did survive but the houses wouldn’t survive any longer.
Things were different today.
It started with a loud explosion. The wanderers stayed in their homes for protection as they looked at the endless stream of beasts run out from the forest.
The moonlit night before had many beasts running out but it was nothing compared to this!
The wanderers in the houses were drained of colour from their faces. Big drops of sweat flowed down their shivering bodies. The footsteps had no intention of stopping, they even got tighter as time passed. Many houses collapsed from the beasts crashing into it, even the sturdier houses fell after shaking from the vibrations on the ground.
A traveller gulped. He stood atop a table to peek out a window. All the windows were covered, that small window on top was the only one uncovered.
With a deep breath, he looked out into the sky.
The shaman’s house was located where there weren't many things obstructing its view of the sky.
With just a look outside, the fear in the traveller’s eyes reached its maximum. At that moment, he had given up on living.
The red clouds from the sunset were rapidly darkening to pitch black.
Huge flocks of birds flew desperately, trying to get out of this hell hole but they were soon swallowed by the darkness.
Rocks shot out like cannonballs, firing into the distance. Areas outside the forest were not safe from the rocks too.
The stone pillar that Shao Xuan built next to the fire pond wasn’t able to meet the same fate as its predecessor. It came crashing down that day, unlike the old stone pillar that was able to withstand a thousand years.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
The rocks rained down, landing onto roofs, the stone pillar, shards scattering everywhere.
The mixture of roars, explosions, rocks crashing would send chills down any person’s spine.
The last ray of light disappeared, enveloping everything in darkness. Yet the beasts continued to run for their lives.
The ash continued to spread further with no signs of stopping.