The Great Worm Lich Chapter 6
Unfortunately, Zhang Lisheng was never a young man who loved adventures. Although he grew up in a mountain village, going deep into the jungle was a first for him.
Even so, he still possessed basic knowledge about surviving in the jungle. At least he could tell although the trees surrounding him was lush, they were just normal tree types such as birch, locust, jujube, and mulberry. The ground was damp but sturdy. It meant that he was located in a farmland to jungle restoration boundary. The ground where he was stepping on used to be a terraced field that belonged to a mountain farmer in Guawo Village a few years or even decades ago.
Just when he was feeling sorry, he suddenly heard a swish above his head. As he looked up, a blurry shadow flashed across and disappeared within the leaves on a bunch of crossing branches.
He faintly saw what seemed to be a tree snake slithering across the jungle. Zhang Lisheng suddenly became excited as he immediately chanted an incantation. He then shouted 'assimilate' toward the direction where the shadow vanished.
Affected by his witchcraft, a dark brown elaphe that was almost two meters long fell from the top of the tree, however, it did not fall to the ground. Instead, it hung on a branch that stuck out on the side.
And since it had been captured by Zhang Lisheng, how could this normal, non-venomous dark brown elaphe escape? A few moments later, it moved its body, following Zhang Lisheng's 'pst shh' chant and slithered from the branch to the young man's feet.
Zhang Lisheng was overjoyed as it was his first time performing witchcraft on a worm that he had never fed blood to, not to mention he managed to control it as he wished, just like how he controlled Qing Hong.
Looking at the blurry silhouette of the big snake with a round head, it did not bother him that it was just an ordinary dark brown elaphe. The elaphe was not categorized as a fierce one among the non-venomous snakes, and it could survive by just eating rats and bats. He was not stingy with his blood as he performed his unfinished witchcraft by spurting a mouthful of black blood.
Under the witchcraft's influence, the dark brown elaphe straightened its body and danced in the bloody mist. Its body rapidly expanded and started to distort as its flesh burst out of its skin. Soon, a bang was heard. Its body exploded, and what was left was a pile of mashed meat.
Zhang Lisheng turned much paler after performing witchcraft. Failure to transform the elaphe into a wizard worm made him look even more devastated.
He was stunned as he looked at all the blood stains all over the clean clothes that he just put on. He realized that there were possibilities of failure in witchcraftit was not as simple as he though.
Fortunately, this was all just the beginning. The minor setback did not depress Zhang Lisheng for too long. He sighed as he snapped back to reality and felt bad for half of the witch power and the mouthful of blood that he sacrificed. He then proceeded to walk deeper into the jungle.
The journey was getting hard.
After crossing the farmland to the jungle restoration boundary, what began to show up were gigantic trees that covered up the sky which had oddly shaped roots. Many natural barriers formed from the twisted vines on them.
Occasionally, there were a couple of wilted, oddly-shaped, big trees in the jungle. Though wilted, these trees seemed like they had never lost their lives although parasitic plants were already growing on them. They looked diverse and beautiful.
There were countless fungi on the jungle ground as well as a variety of exotic plants which blocked the travelers from walking.
Learning from the countless myths that were passed around among the mountain villagers, Zhang Lisheng, who was exhausted from walking, knew that he was in danger as he entered deep into the jungle. He then released his wizard worm Qing Hong.
He knew very well that although he had become a wizard, he was only a Rank 1 Wizard. There was no guarantee that the worms and beasts would not attack him whenever he was not chanting an incantation.
Qing Hong came out of the bottom of Zhang Lisheng's pants and slithered around the trees in the jungle in a ten-meter radius around him. All of the venomous worms and tiny beasts would avoid them wherever they went.
Zhang Lisheng now felt a little safer. He gulped, dragged his sore body, and sat under a withered tree that had slippery moss growing all over it.
As he took a couple of breaths and felt that he had recovered a little of his energy, he realized that he was even thirstier now, and his head was burning. It was actually a very wrong idea to enter the jungle by impulse without preparing anything beforehand.
However, since he had entered the deep jungle, Zhang Lisheng was unwilling to leave without bringing anything back. After a short rest and recovering his energy, he stood up under the withered tree and began to chant an incantation to wake the countless worms that were hiding. He decided to bet on his luck and see if he could hunt his second wizard worm.
Learning from the prior experience when the non-venomous, dark brown elaphe's flesh exploded out of its skin and died from his incantation, Zhang Lisheng intentionally avoided snakes as he picked his next wizard worm this time. After giving it some thought, he figured it would be the best if he could capture a venomous centipede. After all, he had more confidence in tempering centipedes as he had the successful case of Qing Hong before this.
Short-tailed mamushi, forest lizard, forest boa
The dense jungle had low visibility. Although Zhang Lisheng's knowledge on insects and reptiles exceeded even some of the naturalists all thanks to his father's strict education and the realistic and informative graphics on computers and video introductions, it was difficult to identify the animals that were walking around without a pattern under such condition.
Ever since he became a Rank 1 Wizard, there was a supernatural power in his incantation, but there was more consumption when exerting the power.
Zhang Lisheng felt that the wizard power in his body had begun to drop slowly after not seeing any rare xenogenetic centipedes that he desired for a long time.
If he were not to decide soon, perhaps he might not even have the power to attempt to temper his wizard worm in a while. Feeling helpless, he then settled and targeted a venomous, long-limbed tree lizard.
He chanted incantation non-stop with his mouth and fixedly stared at the moving long-limbed tree lizard that was crawling across a muddy land with its four slender legs.
Just when he was about to yell 'assimilate', he suddenly heard a loud shriek coming from afar.
"Please! Help! Help! Someone come rescue me"
The most important thing in learning a foreign language was the context.
Although Zhang Lisheng grew up in a remote Western Sichuan mountain village, the teacher was very serious in teaching a foreign language to the extent that they would not speak a word in Chinese during foreign language classes.
Moreover, he had some talent in language so he could understand the basic words in English, which was the most known language in the Western countries. He could totally tell that it was a call of help that sounded like something along the lines of, "Help! Someone come rescue me"
In such an old, deep mountain forest in Western Sichuan, Zhang Lisheng would think that the call might have come from a mountain people's spirit if it was in Mandarin. However, since the call for help was in English, it might be a foreign tourist who loved adventures without the accompaniment of a tour guide.
In reality, cases of death and casualties would happen on occasion in popular natural attractions around the world. Sometimes, these casualties would happen due to the negligence of the attraction management, but most of the time, the tourists had themselves to blame.
After all, popular attractions that were explored without using the official and specific paths could turn into an invisible murder hell.
Although Zhang Lisheng disliked adventurous travelers who brought troubles to others due to their disobedience and longing for excitement and sense of achievement, he could not just ignore the call for help.
After thinking about it, he sighed and let go of the long-limbed tree lizard that fell into his trap. He quickly ran toward the call's direction and shouted back in English, "If you're in trouble, don't stop talking. Talk to me, I'm going to you now."
"Oh my god, oh god!"
"There's someone here. Thank you, thank you. T-There's a ferocious animal here. I-It isn't that big. It looks like a small, black-spotted Labrador Retriever, but it has a face of a cat."
"Oh god, its speed is fast and it has sharp claws. I didn't manage to see it clearly!"
"I'm hurt, my boyfriend is hurt as well. Save us, save us!"
Zhang Lisheng did not understand what the words 'Labrador Retriever' meant as it was a less common noun in his English standard. However, that did not stop him from understanding what the help-seeker was trying to say. A black-spotted cat that looked like some dog was no doubt a type of leopard.
People usually thought that a leopard was extremely fierce since their imagination was exaggerated by the false induction on television. In reality, if one was located in a flatland with a broad vision, a lone leopard of any kind was nothing too dangerous.
However, the cruelty of such an agile predator would be over ten times amplified in a lush mountain jungle such as this. It was even more dangerous than encountering a tiger or a wild bear since a leopard could easily hike, wade, and climb trees like it was walking on flat land.
"Sh*t, that's a leopard. It's usually rare, you guys are so 'lucky'."
"Please stay away from trees. Leopards are the best hunters in the jungle, especially when it pounces on you from the tree." If he had not become a wizard, Zhang Lisheng would immediately run away selfishly after learning it was a leopard that attacked the tourists. However, he was confident this time as he shouted.
Unfortunately, his kind reminder only elicited an 'ahh' from the tourist.
It was hard to walk in the jungle. Although Zhang Lisheng was running as fast as he could, it was impossible for him to arrive at the scene of attack immediately. All he could do about the shriek was to shout, "What happened to you?"
There was deathly silence. Perhaps the tourist who was screaming for help was already killed. Zhang Lisheng slowed down his pace. As a mountain person who grew up on the Sichuan grounds, it would be beautiful if he were to die in the mountain. The burial ground would feel like home to him, however, he did not intend to collect a dead person's body.
"I injured my shoulders, it's bleeding a lot. I might not be able to wear a bikini anymore."
"Oh god, I don't want to die, I don't want to die" However, the crying that came again proved that Zhang Lisheng's speculation was wrong. It had forced him to walk faster in the dense jungle.
The crying was getting closer and closer. Zhang Lisheng knew that he was not far away from the tourist who was attacked by the beast. He felt relieved, and there was even an impulse of excitement growing inside of him.
However, just when he was experiencing a wave of emotion, an agile silhouette flashed on the right side of the gigantic tree out of nowhere.
A leopard with a body length that was a little over one meter with a seventy to eighty-centimeter long piebald tail quietly pounced toward him.
Such a quick and violent attack was completely unavoidable for Zhang Lisheng who had the physique of an ordinary person. He was pushed onto the ground by the black-spotted leopard, and soon, a warm, stinky breath came on his neck.
It was the fatal blow of biting off its prey's neck that the leopard was mustering its strength for.