Chapter 630: Dry-Vine Gourd
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The raven continued to watch them, as if it lacked the motivation to move. The red-cloud donkey now drifted over to Han Sen's side, which had more people, and neighed at them every now and again.
Seeing the red-cloud donkey come closer, Xu Dong Jin felt at ease. If it was the raven that chose to come after them, the danger would be far worse.
There was a chance of surviving the pursuit of the murder-donkey, but not the raven. If it was the raven that chose to be upon them, there would be no hope of survival.
Although they felt great remorse for the selfless deed Chen Ran had proposed, they each wanted to live. And it was because of this they were thankful in their hearts and gratefully relieved, as well.
When the timer reached zero, Chen Ran shouted "Run!"
Chen Ran bolted out from beneath the bones as fast as the morning light.
Seeing Chen Ran run, Xu Dong Jin's vigor was re-instilled. He and his people left their end of the skeleton, too.
The Queen was about to leave with them, but Han Sen pulled her back. She turned to him with a bewildered look, not understanding why he did not want to run.
But quickly, the Queen realized what was happening. The raven had taken flight, but its target was not Chen Ran. It had flown towards the skull.
Xu Dong Jin and his people had already made their departure, but the donkey was already on their heels. It prevented their return to the safety of the skeleton. With no way of turning back, they had no choice but to continue on their way down the mountain as they had planned.
The Queen turned back to look at Chen Ran and noticed he had already run a distance of two hundred meters.
"It looks like the raven follows the larger crowd." The Queen frowned at the thought.
"b.o.l.l.o.c.ks!" Han Sen coldly said. "Chen Ran, that old b.a.s.t.a.r.d; he played us! The tail may have looked to be a more dangerous exit at first, but look closely. Would the skeleton of a creature this large only have a tail that was a few meters in length? It is broken off. The rest of the tailbone most likely resides below the soil, and that's why Chen Ran was happy to head in that direction. We may not have noticed it, but the creatures are most likely able to sense it. That's why they have favored chasing us."
The Queen was mortified, "He led his own people to a slaughter?"
Now, the Queen was beginning to understand the situation, as much as she would have liked not to. Chen Ran was willing to sacrifice his own followers for just a bit more time in his attempt to escape.
"That a.s.shole." The Queen couldn't help but swear. It would have been okay if Chen Ran tricked them alone, but it was a wretched thing to betray the people you have sworn to lead and nurture. He was insane; a man willing to do whatever it took to survive.
"Don't worry, though. The way he did this has given us a chance to survive." Han Sen said coldly, watching Chen Ran run off without stopping.
The Queen acknowledged what he meant. Standing inside the ribcage, they had nowhere to go. When they heard screams from afar, it told them Xu Dong Jin and his people were meeting a grisly end.
After ten minutes, the screaming stopped. They must have all been killed.
After the raven and the red-cloud donkey were finished with them, they returned. They coldly watched Han Sen and the Queen, who continued hiding between the bones of the ribcage. Believing that they were not willing to make an exit any time soon, the duo of bloodthirsty creatures took off in Chen Ran's direction.
"I will count to a hundred. When I say 'one hundred,' we run out together from the skull. This will be our only chance of escape." Han Sen started counting up. He unlocked his gene lock to keep track of where the raven and the donkey were.
The fact they had gone off after the treacherous Chen Ran brought a modic.u.m of gladness to their hearts. Once the monsters had gone far enough, Han Sen was prepared to make one last run for escape alongside the Queen.
When he counted to one hundred, he was no longer able to see where the raven and donkey were. Acknowledging they had to be a great distance away by now, Han Sen knew it was time.
They both darted out from beneath the bones like arrows. A little while later, Han Sen's heart felt as if it was going to leap out of his chest. Tugging on the Queen's hand, he yelled at her to go back.
The Queen looked around and did not espy any nearby danger, but she had come to trust Han Sen's judgment a lot. Without hesitation, she returned to the skull with him.
As Han Sen retreated, he looked around himself to confirm whether or not there was any danger but could not see anything. Still, he trusted his instincts and his instincts were telling him to turn back. There was a danger of some immediacy in the area, and it was something that could kill him.
Running as fast as he could back to the bones, the feeling of danger began to choke him. It was getting stronger and stronger. With his gene lock at max capacity, the sense of impending doom was unbearable.
In the next moment, a bright light flashed by Han Sen's neck. He didn't hear anything, but he jumped forward. That was when he saw the looming black shadow that had crept over him. Blood gushed like a bouquet of flowers.
Han Sen felt as if his back was burning. He suspected a bone in his back had been broken. But the wound was the least of his concerns right now, as he rolled and climbed towards the bones of the ribcage once more. It was a life or death gambit, and what had seemed like a short distance to traverse, now went on and on instead.
The raven was furious at its inability to finish off Han Sen. It flapped its wings and disappeared once more. When it reappeared again, the wingblades of Han Sen's nemesis sliced against the back of Han Sen's neck.
Han Sen's heart let out a cry, "It's over."
The raven was too powerful, and its speed denied him the ability to dodge.
But at that precise moment, when it appeared Han Sen was about to lose his head, the dried-vines that strangled the bones came to life.
They were each like toxic snakes, las.h.i.+ng out at the raven that had drawn too near to the ribcage. They trapped the beast, and though it pecked and swung its wings as hard as it could, the raven could not cut its way free.
Han Sen felt a chill. The raven had wanted to kill Han Sen so much, and now its body was being dragged into the ribcage he had previously sought shelter in. The gourd vines were choking the life out of it as it struggled to get free.
Han Sen froze. He had never expected the seemingly lifeless vines to have so much power, power enough to restrain a super creature such as that.
Now Han Sen understood. The creatures weren't afraid of the bones – they were afraid of the vines that were wrapped around them.
Having managed to remove the gourd from the vines earlier, Han Sen hoped the seemingly-sentient vines did not think poorly of him.
In Han Sen's chest pocket, the gourd began to pulsate once more. This time, it was stronger than ever.
Bringing out the gourd to hold in his hands, he really did feel like it was a heartbeat. Han Sen now knew for sure that this was no trick of his mind. The weak pulse was like the heartbeat of a baby. It may have been faint, but it was life all the same.