First off, I will apologize beforehand for the battle scene, cause like I'm not all that good with it (cause you know, I a comedy author nor do I speak english that good)
Now that that is settled, enjoy.
It all started when Xiao Zhu was around the age of eight, or according to what sister Hong Er’s says. It was one of those days where they were fortunate to have enough food from the donation of kind passer-by’s to the orphanage. That day they managed to get enough food for themselves that there would actually be leftovers. Not knowing what to do with the left overs, they just wrapped them in the cleanest cloth they could find and left it in a broken down crate and then all went to bed.
Feeling a slight chill, Xiao Zhu got up in the middle of the night to notice that there was a ray of moonlight peeking through the place where the door was supposed to be. Walking up towards the light, he noticed an opening through it that wasn’t supposed to be there.
Quickly, he changed my pace towards a silent stride, remaining vigilance and keeping all his senses sharpened to their limits. Looking down at the hole in the door, there he noticed a few muddy prints and leaned down to examine them.
They were too strangely shaped to be human prints and too small to be beast tracks.
Silently thinking about the prints, he heard faint sounds of rumbling around from the northern part of the house. As he made my way towards the noise, he realised that it was coming from the kitchen. Making my way around the kitchen, he remained on full alert while surveying the area all around me.
The silent and eerie sound of something dropping in the middle of a silent night rang throughout the kitchen. Slowly turning my head towards the source of the sound, under the dimly lit room, he soon noticed a small figure crawling around a box. The instant it felt me looking at it, it quickly turned towards him as its entire body glowed a slight hue of amber making me see it properly in the dark.
It was an ant about the size of an adults arm glowed with fiery red eyes and a glowing body that looked as if it was on fire. It hissed as its pincers and antennae flexed themselves and he lowered his posture to begin an attack Xiao Zhu.
Overcome with fear, Xiao Zhu fell towards the floor and stared at the ant that was quickly running towards me. Under the impulse of the fear of death, he quickly rolled away from the area where he was originally at narrowly dodging the ant’s charge.
Wafting away the dust it created from its ram, he slowly opened my eyes to see the ant sitting inside a crater. Fear instantly struck me seeing what was in front of him.
‘If I was even one more second late in dodging, I would have died! This ant is no ordinary ant!’ he silently thought out.
A fait glow shined through the rising dust and a small scream sounded from the corner of the kitchen. Turning to the scream Xiao Zhu saw Hong Er gasping in fear as she stood there with her hands to her mouth standing still like a sculpture.
“Hong Er, quick, run away from here!” he shouted towards her but her eyes widened and she immediately pointed towards him. Only then did he realise that she wasn’t pointing towards him but towards what was behind his position.
He froze, unable to move.
‘If she was scared of what was behind me more that what’s in front of me, then certainly, there was not only one of these ants.’ Slowly turning his head back to check up on what was behind him only to be very disappointed that it wasn’t an ant. Red glowing eyes glared daggers towards him and a low growl could be heard as the small rays of moonlight reflected on its two sharp and outgrown teeth that was covered in drool.
‘Dang it! It was a rat! Why couldn’t it be another ant!?’
The rat was twice Xiao Zhu’s size when it stood on its hind legs with a threatening aura. Its grey fur seemed to glow a faint red hue, and as soon as he saw that, he quickly jumped to the side.
Narrowly evading the ant’s body slam, Xiao Zhu now realised that he wasn’t against only one opponent but two. Yes, these two are not ordinary insects or vermin, they are demon beasts.
“Xiao Zhu!” the two demon beast quickly turned their head towards the source of the sound, Hong Er, and began to growl.
“Hong Er, run, hide with the children!” [AN: lol, with the children] seeing as how she was unable to move from fear, Xiao Zhu shouted out his order to her, bringing her back to her senses. She replied with a quick nod and scurried out of the kitchen.
Noticing their new prey trying to run away, the two demon beast wouldn’t let her go and pounced towards her.
“As if I’d let you!” grabbing a blunt kitchen knife, Xiao Zhu hurriedly pushed himself in between the two demon beasts and Hong Er.
Obstructing the body slam from the amber ant with the side knife, he was pushed back and eventually the momentum caused him to crash into the wall. A numbing pain spread across my back, causing him to involuntarily cough up blood.
Trying to fix his vision which was becoming dim from the pain, Xiao Zhu saw the ash ant rushing up to me with its claws aimed at my neck. Panicking, he quickly pulled myself away from the wall and gripped the knife tightly with both hands.
Ducking under the rat’s incoming arm, he thrust the knife straight at its chest as hard as he could, using its momentum against it. Feeling a warm liquid envelope his hands, he turned to look to see the rat started to fidget under the pain of having its heart pierced as every blood flooding its lungs. With blood coming out from its mouth, it gave out a shrill cry.
Feeling his ears burning from the close proximity, Xiao Zhu twisted the knife inside its chest. Being in more pain, the rat started wildly scratching at him. Clenching my teeth from the burning sensation of the claw strikes, he shouted and dragged the knife through its chest all the way to its neck. Eventually the rat’s movement came to a halt as its body turned limp.
However, he did not have time to rest just yet, as the ant was agitated from the scent of demon beast blood as it glowed brighter with its antennae twitching madly. Its eyes stared Xiao Zhu down, seeing his body covered in fresh demon beast it shook its body before charging up at him.
As its body came closer, Xiao Zhu tried to run but the shock his body received from the impact with the ash rat from before still hasn’t cooled down as his body was covered with a tinge of fatigue as he slowly felt my legs giving out.
Seeing his prey fall to the floor, the amber ant did not waste this opportunity and jumped and held him down by its sheer weight. Opening its pincers wide, it raised its head and pecked down at Xiao Zhu’s head.
Being overcome with despair, Xiao Zhu took drastic actions and punched its head before it could close its jaws making it disoriented by the sudden attack. He did not delay any further and while it was shaking out the dizziness in its head, he grabbed its head and when it swung its head to the left, he immediately pushed further, barely twisting its neck, and struck the opening of its exoskeleton with a blunt kitchen knife.
Unable to turn its head, it screeched as it madly pounded all its limbs trying to stomp his attacker under it. Twitching from the pain, its attacks were now disorganised but even more madly oriented as Xiao Zhu tried to dodge its attack by rolling and bending his body.
Managing to roll away, Xiao Zhu quickly grabbed anything he could and stabbed anywhere he could see an opening. Sometimes he would miss and the recoil from hitting the shell would sting and numb his hands but he desperately went in over and over again not minding the crazed tantrum the ant was giving.
After a while, being impaled with various objects all over, the ant finally gave out and fell down on the floor lifeless. Xioa Zhu did not want to take second chances as he went up and twisted the head of the ant and slowly began pulling it out in a brutal way.
Falling on the cold wooden floor behind the ant, he panted hard as he finally had some time to care about himself for the time being. Hearing a small footstep by the corner, he turned my head to see Hong Er hiding at the edge of the passageway out of the kitchen and gave her a smile to comfort her.
Running towards Xiao Zhu, Hong Er grabbed his almost lifeless body and hugged him with tears rolling down her small face. She held his face in her hands as he looked at him with a shade of anger as she slapped him, “Xiao Zhu, never do that again!”
For a while the two were entangled like this in a room dimly illuminated by the moonlight that reflected off the blood stained floors while the other children who were awake from the commotion stood agape at the corridor. Losing my sense of time, Xiao Zhu began to feel sleepy, but a thought brought me back up.
He stood up and out of Hong Er’s embrace and turned to look at her, “Hong Er, you need to hurry up and clean this place up as fast as you can,” he told her with a solemn look.
Hong Er was surprised and puzzled as she stared at Xiao Zhu, not knowing why he would ask her something like this.
Sighing, he realised what happened to the ant when the rat died as he started to explain, “I don’t know if this is actually true, but when I finished off the rat the ant became a bit angry as if it was attracted by the scent of the blood,” he paused for a while to let her understand the situation then continued, “so this is my thought, I think that more demon beast would become attracted to the blood and the corpse if we left them here, also we need something to cover the scent of the leftover food,”
Struggling to stand up, Xiao Zhu tried to stop his knees from caving in as he walked towards the two corpses and turned his head towards Hong Er as his tiny hands grabbed the two carcasses, “don’t worry, I just need to dispose of these two, you just need to worry about making sure that nothing else happens here,”
“But won’t they attract other demon beasts?” she asked him out of worry.
Xiao Zhu shook his head in reply, “I don’t know, but it’s better than letting them all come here,”
“But, will you be okay?”
He sighed once again, “look, I can manage myself now, I’m no longer a kid; I’m almost ten years old now,” he said with a haughty tone and Hong Er replied by rolling her eyes.
“Just make sure you come back alive,”
“Heck woman, do you think I’m heading off for war or something,” Xiao Zhu joked trying to ease up the atmosphere as he walked off to the direction of the door, “make sure that you block every possible entrance till I return, we can never be too safe.”
Making his way out of the door and towards the forest, Xiao Zhu soon realised that the burden that he was having was way more than he could handle. Instead of dragging the two carcasses, he felt as if he was dragging his legs instead.
Overcome with a great surge of fatigue, he was beginning to lose hope. Looking back, he could see that the orphanage building was not that far from where he was so he couldn’t leave these two here either, it would be too risky.
He had no choice but to continue forward, but soon realised that he have neither the energy nor the strength to drag the corpses any further. He was running out of option and time, if he doesn’t bring these two further, it might end up attracting other demon beast and endangering the orphanage.
Realising that he could no longer drag them, Xiao Zhu made up my mind. There was either two ways to finish this, either decreases his load or increases his strength, but he could not afford to do either. He was unable to pull anymore and if one left one and came back for it later, I either tire myself out or the corpse left would attract demon beasts. Hence he was left with no other option.
Suddenly bent down towards the heavier corpse, the amber rat, and start to dig his hand into its flesh that was exposed from the cut made earlier. Rummaging his hand through it, he dug my nails and started to pull out a lump of flesh from the inside.
Looking at the large clump of bloody meat in his hand, he was at first disgusted as he hesitated, but something overcame him as he soon found himself unable to hold in the urge to eat the bloody cluster on my hand. Unknowingly, Xiao Zhu was already indulging himself into his second handful of meat, the smell of blood stung his nose as the meat seemed to melt smoothly in his mouth but the rough texture and the rat-like smell were unable to escape from his tongue.
Wanting to instantly regurgitate the mass of meat that he had swallowed, he found out that he was unable to. After struggling for a while to stop himself from eating, and as soon as he did, he realised that he have already devoured almost half of the rat.
Not wasting any more time, he quickly picked up the two corpses, muddle the soil where he have been eating and then quickly left.
He doesn’t know if it was because he ate or because it was lighter, or maybe even both, he felt as if he was running with the corpses slightly faster compared to his previous pace, even the pangs of fatigue seemed to have eased.
After putting up sufficient distance, he heaved out a heavy sigh of relief as he dropped the corpses and himself onto the ground.
HIs breathing was disoriented from all the running that he was not used to, he lied down on the ground with fatigue seemingly taking over his body again.
Deciding to go back, he suddenly felt a strange urge, or rather, he would call it curiosity. After eating the flesh of the ash rat, he began to wonder, how would the amber ant taste like?
Unable to shake of these thought and before he knew it, he was already pulling out a leg from the ant. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem as if he was indulging himself into a tasty lobster, but in reality he was eating an ant-like demon beast.
Drinking the bitter acid that oozed from the corpse he felt his body suddenly revitalized, after all the stories which they said that people have died from eating demon-beast meat, he was unable to shake off his worry, but he was also unable to stop himself from enjoying his meal.
Unknowingly, the acid from the amber ant has dispelled all traces of blood from Xiao Zhu’s body and now made him look as if he had taken a bath in the river, of course this was no river, and even if the acid had not smell, it did not stop the burning alcohol-like sensation it gave off when it passed through his throat.
Hearing various strange noises from the distant, Xiao Zhu immediately stopped himself from eating anymore and quickly stood up and dashed back into the direction of the orphanage, taking different routes hurriedly wiping off the vestiges of his meal.
Arriving at the orphanage, he was thankful that nothing bad has happened and was greeting in by the children diligently doing their task that he has given them.
Feeling fatigue of a long night finally overcoming him, he fell asleep as soon as he entered the building, making the already busy Hong Er to carry him to his sleeping quarters.
And that was when…
“See, what did I tell you?” a long nosed man with a tail gave off a smug smile towards the big burly man beside him, “have I ever been wrong before?”
The burly red skinned man just huffed out air and stared coldly at the only person out of place in this world seemingly filled with endless darkness.
Xiao Zhu stared with his mouth agape unable to believe what is going on in front of his eyes. He pinched himself and asked the two, “is this a dream, who are you two?”
The long nosed man laughed, “you can interpret this as a dream young one but if there is one thing you need to know, it’s that from now on you are our disciple!”
Unable to comprehend what was happening before him, the long nosed man smiled at the burly man and the black space lighted up filled with what seems to be pages of a manuscript.
“Amber, go get him,” the long nosed man said with a smile.
“Wait what?” before he could have his question answered the burly man jumped up at him.
Unlike his cold demeanour when Xiao Zhu first entered, the burly man now exhibits a joyous smile as he laughed out lough lounging an attack at Xiao Zhu, “I am going to enjoy beating some knowledge into you!”
And from that day on, Xiao Zhu’s entire life was turned upside down.