Chapter 273 The Battle of Rats and an Undead 1
Under the moonlight, they could see a swarm of rats gathered under the slope; some of the rats kept pawing the earth with their forelegs. They had clawed out a tunnel almost a man’s kneeling height. The tunnel extended downward.
Meanwhile, another group of rats ran around with red fruits in their mouths, spitting a few fruits into the tunnel at a time. To his great surprise, the fruits stacked up into a small hill.
Xie Yuqing watched on in amazement; she whispered in Ye Shaoyang’s ear, “What are they doing?”
“Fighting the undead and drinking their corpse oil.” Ye Shaoyang stared at the pile of red fruits, as he continued, “If I am not mistaken, the fruits are sage fruits, which is one of the herbs in potion-making, and it often grows in rat nests. The sage fruits can burn out the corpse Qi. I think they use the fruits to deal with the undead in the ancient tomb.”
Xie Yuqing was puzzled once she heard his words, “I thought demons and the undead were friends, why would they fight each other?”
“Who told you that demons and the undead were friends?” Ye Shaoyang rolled his eyes, “Demons and the undead are part of different gangs. The rat demon wants to kill the undead to obtain its corpse oil for cultivation, so it instructed its followers to prepare things. Let’s wait; there might be a battle later.”
Right after he said these words, a giant rat crawled out from the woods. Like Accountant Liu said, it was a giant, fat rat with green fur. Its two fangs were as long as daggers; and they dangled on each side of its mouth, while its pair of red eyes alertly checked the surroundings.
Ye Shaoyang and Xie Yuqing quickly hid in the bushes. Xie Yuqing said in a trembling voice, “What a giant rat! So big that I think it could easily kill a cat.”
“Not only a cat; from its green fur, it is an awakened demon. Even a typical sorcerer will have a tough time dealing with it.”
“I am sure you can defeat it, right?” Xie Yuqing asked as she looked at him.
“No kidding. However, the rat demon is fast, and it has many rats to protect it. That might be a little troublesome to handle.” Ye Shaoyang thought for a moment before he continued, “We came at the right time; they are about to fight. We will start our job after watching the show.”
“Are you waiting for the two to wear each other out?” asked Xie Yuqing.
“You are quite right. If the rat demon wins, we will sneak attack them after they drink the corpse oil and start cultivating. By that time, it can’t move. Maybe it is better if the undead wins the battle; it is easier to kill an undead than a swarm of rats.”
Xie Yuqing said nothing and agreed to his plan. The two of them rested, while Ye Shaoyang placed a small piece of ambergris on the ground to keep the insects away.
On the other side, the rats had finished digging the tunnel and transferring the fruits. Under the instruction of the rat demon, they lined up according to their size. All of them stood upright on their hind legs, raising their paws and facing the moon.
“What are they doing now?” Xie Yuqing asked, wide-eyed.
“Rat demons worship the moon and absorb the essence for daily cultivation; it also restores their power. It is similar to the breathing techniques of a Daoist or meditation in Buddhism.”
Xie Yuqing replied, “Ah, I learned this when I was young! My mum worked at a timber company in a rural area. There were plenty of blocks stacked up for the rail track. I used to stay overnight with her at that place. Sometimes, I could see a group of weasels standing on the blocks in the same position as these rats during the full moon. The elders said they were worshipping the moon.”
Ye Shaoyang nodded, “Weasels can be considered a rat species. All the rat species worship the moon.”
A moment later, the rat demon let out a squeak, as if it was giving an order. Immediately, the swarm of rats scattered around. Two rats went around the pile of sage and dived into the tunnel. Within a few minutes, a deep roar sounded from underground.
Xie Yuqing panicked at once and instinctively grasped Ye Shaoyang’s hand.
Ye Shaoyang hung his head down, thinking to remove his hand. However,, he did not want to make her awkward, so he did nothing. He guessed that the two rats must have entered the tunnel to gnaw on the undead; this was one of the simplest, roughest ways to wake up an undead from its slumber.
There were no more signs after the roar. The rat demon squeaked again to a group of rats that were bigger in size, and the rats dived into the tunnel without hesitation. After a while, another roar sounded, followed by successive roars that grew closer and closer to the outside.
All rats that waited outside the tunnel squeaked. In another half a minute, a figure crawled out from the tunnel with a rusted helmet on its head.
“It is an undead who was a general when it was alive,” said Ye Shaoyang as he smiled.
“Could he be one of the famous generals in history?” Xie Yuqing gasped.
“It’s unlikely. Even though this place has good Fengshui, it is not great enough for the aristocracy. Furthermore, prominent generals will be buried with either a gold or silver helmet. This general undead is wearing a rusted helmet, and I am sure it is not made up of gold or silver. So this undead should not hold a high rank in the past.”
Xie Yuqing felt even more amazed; she looked at him and said, “I didn’t know you learned so much other than Daoist crafts.”
As she spoke, the undead exited the tunnel. The armor had been scattered and smashed, revealing its green fur. Chills ran down Xie Yuqing’s spine when she looked up: several rats laid on the undead’s face, gnawing at its flesh, while black blood covered the undead’s face.
“Oh my god!” Xie Yuqing could barely look at this terrifying and bloody scene.
The undead stood upright; it grabbed and pulled two rats from its face. However, the rats were fierce and tough; they nipped on its face so hard that they tore off two large pieces of flesh when they were pulled.
The undead roared again. It threw the two rats into its mouth and chewed loudly, sending blood spurting everywhere.
One moment, the rats were biting at the undead; the next, the undead ate the rats. Xie Yuqing almost vomited, as she watched this brutal cycle. As the undead chewed, it grabbed another two rats and ate them as well. Its face changed beyond recognition: it had lost one eyeball, it lacked a nose, and its lips had been torn apart, revealing two rows of canines stained with blood.
Xie Yuqing took a deep breath before she said, “I think I should prepare pills for motion sickness when I come with you next time.”
The undead stepped up, as it chewed on the rats. Hiss! Hiss! The uncovered part of its sole burned once it stepped onto the stack of sage, and its skin peeled off.
The rat demon gave instruction again; all the rats rushed toward the undead, but they did not attack immediately. Each of them bit several sage fruits at a time and spat at the face and the other uncovered parts of the undead. The sage fruits exploded when they came into contact with the skin of the undead. Black smoke emerged, and the skin split and the flesh tore.
The numerous sage fruits were like raindrops, as they pelted the undead, burning its skin and tearing the flesh.
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