Shao Xuan had just left when Gui He, Mu Fa and a few people started to discuss what possible threat they might face. Then, they heard a low growl from Caesar, who looked very anxious like a threat was approaching.
Remembering what Shao Xuan said, they dropped their discussion to observe their surroundings. Caesar’s reaction must be a warning for something.
“Caesar, what’s the matter?” Gui He observed Caesar’s every move. He was growling deeply, occasionally looked out into the ocean, sometimes downwards. He did not look in any particular direction when he stared out but was still growling when he looked down. Either beneath the both… or in the ocean?
Shao Xuan said the threat might not be human. Did he mean a sea beast?
Mu Fa blew the emergency whistle, the atmosphere in the boat turned anxious instantly. Caesar was growling louder and louder, more and more restless like he was afraid.
When they hunted in the forest, Caesar never showed fear even in the face of difficult beasts. His current reaction was a bad sign to them. Perhaps the threat was greater than imagined.
Mu Fa took out a telescope to observe the sea surface. He did not see anything but…
Sniffing, he asked Mu Fa, “Do you smell something?”
“Something… stinks,” said Gui He. He previously thought he might have mistaken, or it was a smell from the leftovers when they were gutting some fish. But the stick grew more and more intense and differed from the leftover food smell. It was dizzying.
“Smells like rotten fish,” said a Longboat warrior, looking at the net he had just pulled up. A few of them had cast a net to catch some fish but this time, they caught very few. Their net was filled with strange pieces of something.
“What’s that?” Mu Fa knitted his brows as he came to look in the net.
“Not sure.” The warrior drawing the net took a sniff and turned his face, looking up. “It stinks!”
It was a nauseous smell to anyone unaccustomed to this smell. The Longboat warriors could barely withstand it, the rest could not.
“What the heck is that, toss it out!” said someone pinching his nose.
The warrior was about to toss the smelly pieces back to the sea but Mu Fa stopped him.
When out at sea, they occasionally faced food shortages but they would rather starve than eat dead fish from the ocean. Their bodies might be able to digest some without a problem, since they were totemic warriors, but other fish turned poisonous when their flesh rotted and stank. Even the strongest warriors would fall ill. They were still new to the ocean so they could not tell what type of dead fish could be eaten. Turns out, most of the dead fish they found could not so eventually, Mu Fa told everyone not to touch any rotten dead fish.
Right now, these pieces looked like rotten flesh from some animal in the ocean.
“Must be a big guy.” Mu Fa held his breath, poking at the flesh pieces with a metal rod. After studying it, he concluded, “There is a dead beast in the ocean.”
“Chief! Look!” gasped a warrior standing on the deck.
“?” Gui He hurried over to the edge and looked at the sea. He was shocked.
Many pieces of similarly rotten flesh floated on the surface, also releasing a pungent smell.
This was not the only patch. A huge area of the ocean was covered in pieces of various sizes, forming an eerie scene as they bobbled up and down the waves.
“There’s something wrong with the current!” An old warrior from the Longboat tribe frowned. Every change had a reason. And they could not find the explanation for this.
As they observed the movement of the water currents, they felt it might be due to a giant object moving through the water.
At least the spot with the most rotten flesh was a distance away from them.
Caesar growled even more anxiously, all his fur standing up like needles, the third eye on his forehead wide open but had a constricted pupil. This was the reaction of an animal to a larger threat.
The boat started to sway.
A wave rose from the surface. But the breeze was not supposed to be strong enough to cause this wave.
“There’s something below!”
The Longboat tribesmen quickly got to work controlling the ship, terrified of the ship capsizing if they were not careful.
A larger wave rose far away, but it was broken by another current. The surface swirled and turned, causing the pungent smell of rot to worsen. But this was not the time to care. All eyes were on the ocean surface.
A large wave rose, along with a giant, broken tail that broke through the surface. The rotten tail tumbled through the air and crashed into the ocean.
The waves caused the entire fleet to shake violently. Without the experienced Longboat tribesmen, if other people were controlling the boat, they might have capsized already. They were so far away, yet were already so affected. What would’ve happened if they were any closer? They did not want to think about it.
The waves slammed into the boats, sea foam bringing with it various pieces of rotten flesh and a horrible stench. Scattered across the deck were rotten flesh clumps, equally reeking.
Far away, a giant figure broke through the surface, revealing a part of itself, turned, then dove back into the ocean. No one could see it clearly but knew that it was gigantic.
Only a small part of it could be seen but it was already gigantic. So how big was the entire beast then?!
The most shocking realisation was that-- there were more than one!
More giant figures appeared far from the fleet.
“What… what’s that?!”
“Why are there so many sea beasts? We’ve never encountered anything like this before.”
“These beasts are very strange, it’s as if…” A Longboat warrior stuttered as he stared out into the sea, afraid to continue.
“It smells like death,” said Gan Qie, his eyes on the ocean surface.
“You mean…” Mu Fa stared at him in shock, waiting for an explanation.
“They’re all dead.” Gan Qie kept it brief.
“You mean those gigantic beasts we saw were all dead?!” Some of them did not understand. If they were dead, how were they moving?
But there were many reanimated corpses in the desert made of dead people. But those were humans and these were gigantic sea beasts!
So dead beasts could be turned into reanimated corpses too?!
It was a sunny day out but everyone felt a chill down their spine, as if someone dumped a bucket of cold water on their heads.
If those beasts attacked, will they even survive? They were out in the ocean!
“Look! They’ve left!” cried someone excitedly.
Other people turned to see those beasts, who were still mostly hidden but raising huge splashes on the surface, turn away from them.
“That’s where Shao Xuan went!” gasped Mu Fa.
“So the trouble Shao Xuan mentioned, was he talking about these?”
“Their target must be Shao Xuan,” said a Mang tribesman.
If Shao Xuan had not left, and stayed on the boat, wouldn’t these beasts have attacked the entire fleet?
If that happened, what were the chances of survival? Mu Fa did not want to think about it.
Meanwhile, after Shao Xuan left the fleet, he saw the occasional rotten body break the surface, some with bones peaking out of their flesh.
So Yi Xiang could enslave sea beasts too!
The beasts appearing on the ocean surface all had one target- Shao Xuan, who was flying in the air.
Sea beasts appeared from all directions. Most of them had lived their entire lives deep in the ocean, rarely ever coming up to the surface. They were supposed to be long dead too, yet today, they were out in the sun!
Shao Xuan did not know how many beasts Yi Xiang had enslaved but he was relieved to have left the fleet. He looked down at the partially exposed beasts and then patted Chacha. “Continue straight ahead!”
Chacha was much faster than the beasts. While Shao Xuan did not know how fast these beasts were when they were alive, right now, they were slower as dead reanimated corpses.
The horde was slowly left far behind as Shao Xuan flew according to the route in his plan. He could find a safe place to hide from this attack but he knew there would be a next one, then another one afterwards.
Shao Xuan had a feeling that if he avoided Yi Xiang’s attack now, he would have to pay a bigger price next round.
He had no choice. He must face Yi Xiang!