Chapter 7: Vol1 Ch7: Falling into a trap
The hunting party continued their trek with an agitated state of mind. There originally wasn't too much wild game to hunt, and now that they weren't quite in their right state of mind and were in no mood to hunt, they weren't able to catch much.
"Hack, hack!" an uncontrolled cough came out, causing the entire group to stop and glance back at the person who coughed.
"I just felt an itch in my throat, I'm not sick!" the man was a bit panicked and hurriedly declared while trying to look calm, but he was already subconsciously backing off.
"Brad, pull up your shirt and let us see your skin" Dax ordered with a serious tone. In fact, it might just be his imagination, but he was also feeling an itch in his throat and he currently couldn't muster as much strength as normal.
Brad's expression froze, but he still lifted his shirt up, only to find that small dark spots had indeed appeared on his body. His breathing became a bit heavy, his expression turned from fear to despair.
"Brad…" Dax muttered the man's name, went silent for a bit before speaking: "The rest of us still haven't been confirmed to be infected, for the sake of the others, please leave the party"
"Don't abandon me" Brad was desperate, his body trembling.
"Brad!" Dax shouted loudly to catch Brad's attention, then spoke with a solemn expression: "Listen to me, for the sake of the village, you have to leave"
"We will continue onward to Tucker ridge, you can return to Xili river, where we originally cast the net. There should be quite a few that should have been caught in it already, you can have your fill and spend the rest of your life there"
Dax held his breath, gave Brad a hug before slowly backing away and took out his bow and arrow: "Now, follow the order and leave the party, do not get any closer to us, otherwise, for the sake of the party, I will have to kill you"
Brad's lips trembled, but said nothing in the end and turned to run away. Dax kept his aim on Brad as he left, maintaining an unclear look in his gaze.
Only after Brad had disappeared into the forest did Dax lower his brow and look at his other sorrowful comrades, speaking in a soft voice: "Let's go, we're heading to Tucker ridge"
"Quite resilient, aren't they?" Wang Yuan was standing under the shade of a faraway tree, observing this split-up party.
Yesterday, he had used his interference force to control the germs in the air near those that he wanted to eliminate and infected them. But these people's constitution was a bit strong, plus there weren't enough germs in the air, so only now had they started to show clear symptoms of being infected.
"I was a bit careless. Perhaps I should wait until tonight to act, I'm using up a bit too much white mist right now" Wang Yuan looked at the hunting party resuming their journey, calculated his consumption of white mist and formed a plan: "According to their current state, the epidemic should completely break out at around twilight, I will act at that time"
Their journey was heavy and tiring, Dax also wasn't in the mood to hunt anything, so he only continued to lead the party onward to the place he called Tucker ridge.
Some dry coughs could be heard from other members of the party around noon, but this time Dax only made them stay a bit further away from the party rather than outright exiling them as he did to Brad. Perhaps he had already realized that the epidemic was already with them.
At this point, the only person in the party who didn't show any symptoms at all was the youngest Comoros, while the other three were dryly coughing. Indeed, Wang Yuan only intended to leave the young man Comoros alive, if he was the only one who made it back to the village alive, Wang Yuan was confident that he would be able to dominate him and make sure he listened to anything he said.
Next to Tucker ridge was a small cliff as well as a mild waterfall. With the sound of water around them, the coughing members of the party were resting below the waterfall while Comoros awkwardly walked away and sat down a bit further.
Dax looked at the slowly setting sun. He was sure that his life was also setting just like it, but unlike the sun, he would not be able to rise again after this day was over.
Hearing the cawing of crows nearby, Dax glanced at the light of sunset once more and smiled, he also needed to leave his own blinding light behind.
"I knew you damned creatures would follow us!" Dax forced himself to stand, nocked an arrow and shot.
But, because the shot was too hasty, the mutated crows easily avoided it.
"A last-ditch struggle huh?" Wang Yuan was standing a bit further away, observing the party of four that was firing arrow after arrow at the crows; but didn't put their resistance in mind too much. The germs were quickly multiplying and doing their job, about half an hour later at most, they would lose their strength and fall, and be killed by the epidemic.
However, it would be best to let the crows kill at least one of them, that way Negary's image would be deeply rooted in their minds, the crows would become his representative and make the domination of the rest more convenient.
"But something doesn't seem right" while watching them struggle, Wang Yuan was hearing the constant sounds of the waterfall.
"Waterfall? Water, the Xili river!!" Wang Yuan suddenly realized and remembered what Dax had told Brad. He hurriedly checked the crows' situation and noticed that Dax's party was firing arrows with the purpose of luring the crows closer to the waterfall.
"Damn it!" Wang Yuan quickly ordered the crows to scatter but was still a bit too slow. A man had already jumped down from the waterfall with a net in his hand, the man's face was covered in black spots, blood was flowing from both his mouth and nose, it was Brad who was kicked out from the party earlier.
With the last of his strength, Brad spread the net open and captured all of the crows. He was already on his last leg, and in fact, if Dax's group had been any slower, he would've already died.
The final hug that Dax gave him was to tell him about this ambush, like Dax said, the village needed him. If they couldn't kill these followers of Negary, the epidemic would soon spread to the village.
The words that Dax told Brad this morning repeated in Wang Yuan's mind. Wang Yuan understood right away, Tucker ridge had always been right next to the Xili river, Dax had planned this from the very start, and Wang Yuan had fallen right into his trap!
"How dare he!? He couldn't confirm that the crows would attack them, he couldn't confirm the man called Brad would understand or even follow his orders, how dare he!!!"
Wang Yuan was feeling the humiliation of being tricked by his own prey and immediately headed over. The crows were cleanly caught within the fishing net, and despite Dax's group losing their strength, they still had the most basic ability to hit stationary targets.
The first arrow hit and Wang Yuan immediately sensed the consciousness of one crow weakening.
He didn't have a lot of white mist left, even if he could absorb quite a bit of white mist from killing these people, if he were to lose all of the crows here, without their help, without knowing how far away the human settlement was, it was possible for him to consume all of his white mist before he reached the human settlement!
"Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!! I was careless!!" Wang Yuan could sense the crows' consciousness fading one by one as he made a mad dash towards the humans with triumphant smiles on their faces.