[T/L Note: just a reminder that beast = ordinary animal, fearsome beast = a type of beast that is more ferocious and its blood has invigorating properties if consumed]
Even though the fish reacted fast, it was still a moment too late.
A gust of wind swept past.
The surface of the river was split apart like a piece of cloth ripped into two perfect halves. The strange fish that tried to escape was caught and brought into the air. Following a sharp slicing sound, the pungent, coppery smell of blood spread through the air.
Bo Luo, who initially wanted to take a chance and jump into the river, felt a sudden shove from the wave. If he did not catch on to the raft, he would’ve been hit and sent into the air by the sudden impact.
River water splashed into his eyes. The ferrous smell spread through the air, but he smelled something else too. When he opened his eyes, he saw something fall from the sky into the river. The water splashed upwards, causing his raft to shake even more.
The strange fish was torn into two halves. When it fell into the river, the tail-half sank while the other half with the head floated to the surface. That half did not sink, so Bo Luo could still see the three lips of the fish’s mouth open and close. It no longer had the same arrogance from before and clung onto its last breath.
Everyone, on the shores or the person on the raft, all were shocked by the sudden scene.
What…… What was that?
“Watch out, Bo Luo!”
“Jump into the water! Hurry!”
The people on the shores screamed in terror.
The person on the raft also felt like he was targeted by something. When he lifted his head, a giant figure swept past him, so fast he couldn’t even react and jump into the water. It lifted both him and the raft into the air.
Bo Luo looked down as he was lifted quickly off the surface of the river. His terror could be heard through his cry of despair. He had just escaped the mouth of the strange fish, but ended up in the claws of another bird.
The reinforcements had just arrived, but even now, nothing could be done. They didn’t even have time to fire their arrows.
With such fast speed and massive size, it was no ordinary bird.
“That’s a fearsome beast!” the person who rushed over shouted.
The people along the shorelines could only watch helplessly as the bird flew farther away and soared upward. It slowly disappeared from their field of vision.
Seeing the figures disappearing in the distance, a kid who tried to run after it was forcefully pulled back by the others on the shore. When the child snapped back into reality and noticed what had happened, she cried, “The beast took my big brother away!”
The people who were looking at the bird withdrew their glances and turned over to look at the child. Panting, they were already running as fast as they could, but they were still a step too late.
“Didn’t we warn you guys to stay away from here?! Are you all deaf? You could’ve died!” The leader of the group that had just arrived was so mad that even his beard straightened. He went over and slapped all of them. He did not touch the kid that was crying. After all, she had just lost her big brother.
“Bo Luo…. he’s gone? Just like that?” someone asked with a trembling voice.
“What do you think?” The leading middle aged man seemed irritated when he pulled on the hunting net that hung from his body. “You think he can survive after being captured by a beast?!” As he said this, he turned to look out to the surface of the river.
The wind was blowing towards the other side of the river. The remains of the dead fish was drifting to their side, and seeing the movements around its body, the piranhas had already begun to nibble on the dead fish. Would it reach the banks before the piranhas finished it up? This was also why they rarely went into the water. It was too dangerous. They usually readied their nets on the rafts and only withdrew the nets as they approached the shores.
If they left the shores, they had no advantage in the river. No matter how powerful their nets were, nothing could save them.
It was getting closer to evening. The remnants of the fish finally reached their shore. It was barely recognisable, but they brought it back to their tribe. The team were all feeling sullen as they walked, and they could hear the child sobbing.
They had also searched upstream, where the bird flew past. They held onto the “hope” that maybe they could find him and searched that part of the forest, but they found no trace.
People who came into contact with wild beasts all knew what would happen to a child carried away by a beast. It was clear that anyone caught by a fierce beast would only become its meal.
Depressed, the team returned to their tribe.
At the entrance of the tribe was a giant net woven with thick ropes. The pattern was denser near the centre of the net. If seen from far away,a clear picture could be identified.
It was a totem sign with criss-cross patterns and looked just like a net.
When Bo Luo woke up, he felt like he had been grabbed by a beast’s claws. No, he actually was grabbed by a beast’s claws!
As he slowly regained his consciousness, he started to remember what had happened before he blacked out. He was not the type who didn’t understand anything. If the bird was so massive and could tear the strange fish into two halves, how could it be an ordinary beast?
If he was indeed caught by a beast, it was likely that he would be eaten. He finally realised how unlucky he was….
No, that’s not right!
Bo Luo moved his body and opened his eyes. The sunlight almost blinded him. After he calmed down and used his hands to block it out, he opened his eyes again. Even moving his hands made his body ache.
He was alive!
When he noticed this, he suddenly felt excited. But what actually happened?
Before making sure what the situation was like, he did not dare to move recklessly. Sometimes when he encountered wild beasts, he even had to fake his death. What if that beast was still waiting nearby?
He slowly turned his head and noticed some strange buildings and people.
Bo Luo pushed himself up and sat upright. There were a few people around him, either standing or sitting. All of them looked at him with curious eyes.
Was this someone’s home?
He could hear and smell the river. Even though he didn’t see it, he was sure about this. Plus, the house was slightly shaking and felt just like when he was on the raft.
They’re floating on water?
Which tribe’s houses floated on water? Bo Luo couldn’t think of anything at the moment.
“Yo, you’re awake?” a person who was fiddling with a fishing rod grinned at him.
“You….you...guys saved me?” Bo Luo asked. He had never seen these people before. They did not seem like any tribe he knew. He could tell right away.
These people were all strong and muscular. Even another girl about the same age as his own sister who was lifting a giant seashell single handedly looked just as if she was playing with a tiny rock.
These people did not look mad or evil. When they stared at him, he felt like a fierce beast in the forest being targeted by hunters. This gave him shivers.
“Well, guess you could say that,” a young man who was sitting on a short wooden stump said.
What did he mean by “you could say that”?
His excitement after finding out that he was still alive had slowly dissipated. He mainly thought about these people who were in front of him now. How did they save him? Did they battle the beast? Or did the beast abandon him halfway and leave?
“Uh, how did you all find me? Did you guys see an unusually large bird? A fearsome beast, it was definitely a fearsome beast,” Bo Luo asked. After he asked that question, he noticed that something wasn’t right. These people all smiled at him together.
He knew something was wrong. Bo Luo scratched the goosebumps that had appeared on his arm.
As if he sensed something, Bo Luo turned his head and looked behind him, and then slowly looked up.
A bird four times his height was standing right there, looking right at him.
A moment of silence ensued.