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Bestial Blade Chapter 10: Man-Eating Mountain

Please read first my general translation notes for this novel and my disclaimer before you continue.

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[T/N: This chapter was last modified on June 30, 2020.]

By the time Chang An returned home, A’Yan had already fallen asleep. He hesitated at the door for a while, but in the end, he didn’t enter. Standing on tiptoe, from the window, he looked at the woman’s back for a moment. Then, he wiped away the ash on his face with his sleeve and whispered, “Amah [1], I’m going.”

In this way, he left without even saying a word to A’Yan.

Chang An passed through the familiar woods, through the training ground where he’d often peek on the warriors, then through a crack in the door. After some time, he picked up a scrap razor. He held it in his hand, and continued running up the hill without stopping.

Constantly running fast made his chest painful. It felt like a long needle was piercing through him, making breathing difficult. He was so bold, he ran all the way to Yufeng Mountain, which was often regarded as a forbidden place by the people.

The elders who knew of Yufeng Mountain said that it was a real man-eating mountain, where only true gods and devils could live in. From the moment they walk up the hillside, oridnary people couldn’t help but want to prostrate in worship. One could hear their tremors and fears from the depths of their souls.

However, Chang An, perhaps because he was too young and his soul hadn’t yet time to develop, held his breath and rushed to the forbidden land. He decided to go to the man who had taught him that trick.

Regardless of whether he was a true god or a devil.

There was no difference between Yufeng Mountain and the bottom of the mountain, but it was still a dense forest. And the thinner the mountain, the colder it was.

The sweat on Chang An’s thin clothes soon dried up in the night wind. He shivered fiercely as he grasped the rusty iron in his hand.

Chang An went up the hill but then stopped. He looked up to find the peak between the clouds, but he couldn’t see it. He was at a loss. Suddenly, he realized that the mountain was too high, too steep, and too big. He could not even distinguish the southeast from the northwest.

A person on their own could easily lose their way.

But there was no turning back.

After burning the carpenter and running out of A’Yan’s house, Chang An felt that he had completely betrayed Zhe Yan’s wishes.

There was grace to repay grace; enmity to repay enmity. Once the deed was done, you couldn’t go back on it.

This saying was what Zhe Yan would constantly tell him ever since he was younger–he probably lived very poorly and wanted to cultivate Chang An into a tough man. These words made Chang An meditate every morning and evening. Like chanting sutras, Zhe Yan would repeatedly say these to him; otherwise, the day would never feel complete.

Growing up with such education, Chang An had merely nodded his head first. But now, he had gone back on his words. He decided to carry such a “serious crime” and go up the mountain to find the man who could teach him how to wield a blade. Making such a solemn commitment, if he cowered and gave up right now, wouldn’t that be going back on his words again?

Chang An, seven years old, did not know what this thing called “conscience” was, yet he felt condemned by something mysterious.

At the thought of this, he heaved a breath and went on heedlessly to Yufeng Mountain.

The night was dark, and the sound of sha sha came from around, as if there was a shadow endlessly chasing after him.

When Chang An looked back in the darkness using the moonlight, his heart jumped. Behind him were many pairs of glowing red eyes. He did not know how long these creatures had been surrounding him. One by one, they salivated at him.

Chang An stopped in his steps, unsure if he should run away or do something.

As soon as he stopped, those things following him also stopped. The leader took two steps forward, exposing himself in the moonlight.

It was about the same length as a lizard, with long tails, slender limbs, and a pair of fangs, reflecting a colorful light on the body. It walked very lightly. Each one was as thin as an ant with a huge head on it. They walked along the road in a staggering way that it looked like its head could fall down any moment.

It looked funny.

But when they lined up one by one, with their red eyes looking at Chang An as if they were trying to figure out which part of him would taste best, it wasn’t funny at all.

What kind of monster was this? Chang An had never heard of it. He stepped back half a step, and those things crept on him inch by inch. They formed a half-circle and surrounded Chang An in the middle.

Chang An glanced at the unknown monsters waiting to gobble him up, and he did not know what to think. He looked down at himself and thought incomprehensibly, “Are all of them gonna eat me?”

Then he looked at the big heads on the slender bodies of the monsters. He was so anxious that he blurted, “I have so little meat that you can’t eat it!”

These big-headed monsters didn’t care if they could eat enough. Smelling the scent of flesh and blood coming from the little guy’s delicate body, they decided that, even if everyone rushed up and grabbed only a lick of blood, looking pathetic wouldn’t be in vain.

Run?

Chang An thought in his heart, but he didn’t dare look back. He could see that if he moved even just a bit, the biggest monster in front of him would pounce on him. Chang An clenched the handle of the blade and finally felt a little scared.

But he came up the mountain to find the man that could teach him how to wield the blade. How could he die halfway?

This fear, on the contrary, sobered his mind unprecedentedly. But although he was sober, it was a pity that he had no time to learn any skills. His mind was blank, and he could only think of that trick the strange man had taught him.

It was all he could do, and he didn’t know how long it would take. However, if he didn’t want to die right there, he could only try it.

Chang An quietly lowered his center of gravity and lightly adjusted the angle of his wrist.

He revealed his knife, but not at all was it able to cause the other party to cower. The monster stretched out its long tongue and hurled and puffed in the air. Chang An could clearly see that the tip of its tongue was covered with barbs. If he was caught by it, a bulk of his flesh could be torn off.

The sound of sha sha once again pervaded all around him. Chang An’s foot firmly stepped on the ground. He thought f the man’s movements that day, and slid his foot back half an inch even without a teacher to guide him–and this made him feel even stronger.

The moment he tighten his grip on the handle of the blade, the fear in Chang An’s heart disappeared miraculously. It was as if he found a great backing, as if the scrap copper and iron in his hand was a heavenly weapon that could behead gods and kill devils.

However, his weapon was not useful at this time.

Just as the big-headed monster was about to rush towards him, a sharp cry suddenly came from the distance. It sounded like a crane’s snap, much sharper than the crane’s snap; it could numb the scalp and pierce the clouds.

When the big-headed monsters around Chang An heard this they immediately retreated a step at the same time.

Then, there was the sound of wings swaying, and a huge black shadow came down from above. Chang An wasn’t thinking about it. He didn’t even see what it was. He rushed forward through the clearance opened by the big-headed monsters. He ran very fast but was still caught by the wind caused by the wings of this who knew what kind of giant bird as it slammed into the roots of a big tree.

This almost smashed Chang An’s small body, which wasn’t very strong in the first place. The world looked black in front of him, but still he gritted his teeth and groped for the root of the tree behind him. He propped himself up, breathless, and climbed up the tree dizzily.

After a long time, he finally slowed down a bit and looked down to see what it was that crashed.

It was a strange big bird that was around seven to eight feet in length with its wings open. For Chang An, it could cover the sky and the sun. However, it had only one wing with flesh and feathers. Somehow, on the other side, was a dense row of skeleton.

As it wobbled, the skeleton rattled.

The big bird’s mouth was hooked and made of the same steel. With a nod down, it could poke three or two big-headed monsters to the ground at the same time. It was very powerful.

Chang An gazed at the big bird then looked down at his little hand with disdain. Suddenly, he felt like he was so far behind and that he’d never be able to catch up [2]. Being envious was out of the question, but how he wished he had that kind of might. He even opened his arms foolishly and mimicked the movement of the bird spreading its wings–this nearly made him fall from the tree.

For the first time in his life, he thought about this question–how could I be so small and weak?

Whether it was the creature that flew in the sky or those that run on the ground, they were all so strong. If they wanted to, they could eat him. If Chang An encountered a big monster on his own, he may still have the courage to fight, but what if he had to face the big bird?

With a spread of its wing, he would be blown three, four battlefields away. With a peck of its beak, his skull would split open.

Those big-headed monsters who were majestic just now retreated like the tide. It could be seen that they only bullied those weaker than them. The strange big birds were not pursued. Wherever the birds went, countless monsters of all sizes would become ugly corpses, all lying on the ground and being cooked by others.

Alive, the big bird didn’t care. These dead monsters could be a good meal for it.

However, just as it began to eat, Chang An suddenly felt something behind him brush against himself, set off a fierce wind, pulled up the leaves and scratched his neck, unexpectedly, leaving a shallow cut on him.

Chang An didn’t even see what it was. The bird’s shrill voice rang again. He looked closely at it and saw that it was a big double-headed snake. It didn’t even look at Chang An when it rushed towards the big bird. One of its heads was as big as three or four Chang An’s. Which lion would bother stepping on ants?

Two ferocious snake heads bit the big bird at the same time. The big bird screamed in pain, flapping its wings as it tried to leap high. But the double-headed snake pulled it back. A bird and a snake wrestled together, blowing the wind and dust to Chang An’s face.

The big bird crazily pecked the snake’s body with its beak. Black blood ran down the snake’s body, but it did not let go. The huge poisonous teeth were embedded in the big bird’s body.

Once again, the big bird tried to soar into the sky, in the direction of Chang An’s hiding place. One of the heads of the snake loosened its mouth. At this time, the scaly body was lifted up, and it suddenly opened its big mouth, which was several times larger than its own head. Then, at a distance of less than two feet from Chang An, the snake bit off the bird’s head.

Warm blood sprayed all over, and Chang An wasn’t able to avoid it. Blood was all over his face and he turned into a little bloody man.

The bird’s blood was a little hot. He quickly reached out and wiped it on the trunk and looked down.

The big snake and the big bird fell to the ground together, and the whole ground trembled within tens of feet of a square meter. Except Chang An, all the living creatures ran away, fearing that they might be caught up in the war between the two.

The bird twitched and died. The two-headed snake slowly coiled its body around it before swallowing it up. The bone of the bird was strangled and deformed by the snake’s head. The clicking sound was especially evident in the silent night.

Chang An didn’t expect that the big bird that was so magnificent just now would turned into someone else’s food so quickly. He wondered what the reason was, and then he felt awed. When the big snake was full and coiled itself into a hill to sleep, Chang An slowly slid down the tree, carefully rounded the double-headed snake and ran forward.

But the danger of Yufeng Mountain was far more than this. Little Chang An ran but then suddenly stopped. He keenly felt that something was wrong. The cries of insects and ants disappeared and the surroundings suddenly fell into silence.

By the time Chang An stopped, the blood stains on his face had dried up, which made him uncomfortable. He casually rubbed his hands together and tightened his grip on his most loyal knife partner.

Like a vigilant wolf, he walked forward cautiously, looking and listening in all directions.

However, even if it was a wolf, he was still a young wolf. His ears, eyes, jaws and teeth were not complete. Chang An had not even taken ten steps when a huge shadow suddenly pressed down from his head. This time, the child failed to respond. He was tense all over in a moment, but he had no time to dodge.

He was turned upside down and dropped.

In the dark room, Chang An reached out and touched a very smooth mucus. The mucus rubbed against his delicate skin, and it burned painfully. Chang An subconsciously waved his hand to the side. The razor inserted into something, stopping his body from falling further.

The hands were covered with blood and a layer of skin fell off. Chang An could feel it.

When the razor was inserted into the wall covered with mucus, Chang An felt an obvious tremor around him. He looked down and saw something flowing under it. It was like a pool of water. He didn’t know how deep it was, but it was less than two feet away from his feet.

Something fluctuated among them. Chang An had adapted his eyes to the dark and carefully looked down carefully. It was a bone.

He realized then that he had been swallowed and was now inside a stomach.


Translator’s Notes

1 Amah refers to a nursemaid, but its characters 阿妈 can also mean mother. Return ▲

2 望尘莫及 – lit. to see only the other rider’s dust and have no hope of catching up (idiom); to be far inferior. Return ▲

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