The snake head fell under the sharp blade, causing the remaining dozen heads to scream. As Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng watched, two new heads wriggled out of the smooth cut.
Cui Zuojing cursed. According to ancient Greek legends, the middle head should be Hydra’s immortal head.
His successive heavy-handedness completely infuriated Hydra. 14 long snake heads twisted wildly in the air. Cui Zuojing didn’t have time to adjust his body and dodge. A neck whipped across his stomach, sending him flying!
He crashed into a cluster of mangrove trees. After breaking through many branches, his momentum eased and he was finally able to stop. He found himself trapped among the treetops, with many small wounds on his face and the back of his hands. Blood oozed out, sliding down his cheeks and giving him a kind of heroic air.
Dong Zheng climbed with difficulties through the grassy reeds on the slippery shore and detoured around Hydra. The monster’s full attention was on Cui Zuojing and didn’t seem to notice that another person was approaching.
Dong Zheng observed the giant monster and carefully watched the third head. From the very first attack to now, this head had been hiding at the back and hadn’t initiated any attacks on Cui Zuojing at all. At the same time, the other snakes also seemed to be somewhat protective of it, as if they feared it might be harmed.
The large snake head had sharp spikes and scarlet pupils, and it was constantly flicking out its forked tongue as it hid among the other snake. Dong Zheng picked up a stone, aimed, and threw.
His aim was very accurate, but just before the stone managed to hit the snake head, the head next to it turned and blocked the small, insignificant blow.
Suddenly, all the heads swerved around to Dong Zheng.
Dong Zheng turned and tried to hide. Enduring the pain, Cui Zuojing picked himself back up with a grimace and re-adjusted the Tang Sword in his hands. He noticed Hydra staring at Dong Zheng and cursed in his heart. Taking a white piece of paper from his pocket, he threw it at Hydra, trying to attract its attention back to him.
But it didn’t work.
The water serpent was still staring at Dong Zheng. Even though he hid in a mangrove tree, the snake heads directly rushed over and snapped at the branches, turning it into a chaotic mess. A sharp, smelly fang even brushed across Dong Zheng’s arm!
In desperation, Dong Zheng rolled away. These small riverbanks that were solidified by the roots of mangrove trees were very steep. He tried to grab a reed to stop himself from rolling off, but due to the momentum of his fall, he ended up directly pulling out the reed instead and fell into the swamp below.
The deep underwater sludge seemed to have some kind of magic power. It created a strong suction force that held Dong Zheng’s feet firmly in place, making him unable to easily break free.
Dong Zheng didn’t struggle in panic and allowed his body to sink slowly. He allowed himself to fall forward so that his upper body was lying in the embankment and tried to slow the speed at which he was sinking. At the same time, he transmitted the information to Arabidopsis in his inner core.
The third one from the left is its immortal head!
Cui Zuojing immediately rolled onto the embankment and rushed towards Hydra. Meanwhile, Dong Zheng struggled to reach into his pocket. Finally, he threw out a jasmine flower. The flower landed in the swamp, which immediately nourished it, and the flower began to grow. Roots plunged into the mud, and white flowers soon emerged from a leafy green stem, exuding a rich fragrance.
The snake heads that were heading toward Dong Zheng were immediately attracted by the scent. They abruptly turned and bit down on the whole jasmine plant.
Dong Zheng, who had been so close to a snake’s maw that he could smell the stench coming from its mouth, finally got a chance to breathe. He crawled along the embankment with both arms, trying to pull his slowly sinking bottom half out.
At this moment, Hydra had already finished swallowing up the plant and was turning its attention back to Dong Zheng.
A blade flashed through the air.
Blood splattered as Cui Zuojing cut down the snake head closest to Dong Zheng. The head fell into the swamp, creating a loud splash full of bubbles.
Dong Zheng’s head was splattered with bloodstain, but he didn’t have time to care about it. He turned to get a better view of everything in the dark swamp.
In the center of his inner core, Arabidopsis’s leaves and tender stems were already somewhat wilted as the poisonous fog began to take affect.
Hydra’s huge wings flapped wildly. Because new heads were in the process of growing out from the old, severed stump, the other snake heads could only squirm frantically as they waited. All of this was reflected in Dong Zheng’s eyes. They turned into a data stream and rushed into his kernel.
They were quickly computed.
Numerous phantoms flashed in front of his eyes, and he began to see a trajectory of the snake heads movements that glowed in light yellow lines.
Dong Zheng didn’t know what it was, but there was a voice telling him: Follow that!
When Dong Zheng’s thoughts moved, that specific pattern immediately passed into Cui Zuojing’s mind. The youth was about to land on a nearby embankment. He gritted his teeth and pushed himself to the limit. Instead of landing, he stabbed the sword into the wood, using it as a springboard to flip back around, and leaped onto Hydra’s back.
In the next second, Hydra’s long tail full of sharp, bony spikes swung out from the sludge and smashed into the exact place where Cui Zuojing had intended to land on.
Seeing this, Cui Zuojing broke out in a cold sweat. If he hadn’t followed Dong Zheng’s instructions, he wouldn’t have been able to dodge in time and would definitely be injured.
But, he had no time to rejoice. Hydra was on his heels, making successive attacks one after another. Cui Zuojing jumped away, dodging, and landed on the fourth head on the right, according to the yellow line in his head. He grabbed one of the sharp horns on the snake’s head and used it as a starting block. He braced against the horn and ran at full speed. Using his whole momentum, he threw the Tang Sword with all his might.
The black Tang Sword passed accurately through the gap between three snake heads. It penetrated the heavily protected third snake head on the left at a very tricky angle.
There was still a remnant of slayer’s power left on the sword and so the sword ruthlessly and cleanly sliced through the snake’s neck, almost cutting off its entire head!
Screams pierced their eardrums. Dong Zheng’s brain dulled, his vision turned black, and his shocked ears felt as if they were bleeding. However, he insisted on continuing to strengthen the data flowing through his visual port and tried his best to transmit that unprecedented, mysterious “vision” to Cui Zuojing through the kernel.
After throwing the sword, Cui Zuojing couldn’t maintain his balance and fell onto the embankment. He rolled a few times before finally slamming into a mangrove tree.
He pushed himself up with great difficulties, his entire body feeling faint. The poisonous fog had completely penetrated into his body. That last blow had taken all his remaining strength. At this moment, his hands and feet were completely weak, and he had no strength left at all.
Dong Zheng finally managed to pull his lower body out of the swamp. Grabbing onto the mangrove roots and grassy reed, he climbed back onto the embankment.
After being given such a fatal blow, Hydra was going through its final death struggle. Blood and muddy water splashed everywhere. To avoid them, Dong Zheng had to raise his hands over his head and face and leaned into the side of the embankment.
He closed his eyes and sank into the inner core. At this moment, the weed’s condition looked very bad. Its tiny leaves were tainted a poisonous deep purple, and they looked weak and wilted.
Dong Zheng didn’t know what to do, so he could only materialize a watering can to water the plant. At the same time, he also immediately summoned Cui Zuojing, who’d fallen on the other side of the shore, back to the prisoner’s space.
Cui Zuojing’s face was pale, but he didn’t forget to say, “The sword…”
“I’ll find it,” Dong Zheng said quickly. “You’re poisoned so take a good rest. After we get out of here, we’ll go find Uncle immediately.”
He also felt very uncomfortable. Although he hadn’t taken in as much poisoned fog as Cui Zuojing, it was still enough to make him feel unwell.
He tried his best to breathe smoothly as he searched his program kernel, hoping to find a way to filter out the poison that had entered his body.
It took more than ten minutes for Hydra’s struggle to gradually weaken, until only feeble sounds were coming from its chest.
This Hydra’s strength was far less than compared to the legend. After all, the box didn’t intend to kill everyone. The strength of the monsters spawned here would definitely be relative to the strength of the pilgrims, so that everyone wouldn’t be completely helpless against them.
Otherwise, Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing alone wouldn’t be able to solve it in this way.
Dong Zheng waited until it became completely quiet before he climbed up the embankment. By this time, a little of his strength had already returned. The monster was completely motionless. Its third head from the left had not grown a set of heads. Blood was no longer gushing out from the cut, and the crimson flesh could be seen.
At this moment, Hydra’s huge body was spread out over the swamp, filling the entire waterway.
Dong Zheng sensed a faint fluctuation, which seemed to be coming from Hydra.
After confirming that it had indeed died, Dong Zheng climbed onto its back, followed the pulse toward its source, and found himself in front of the severed third head.
A dark red crystal was glowing inside the ferocious snake head’s mouth.
Dong Zheng picked the red crystal up, wiped it on his pants, and put it in his pocket. He searched for more useful items but found that there was nothing else.
The fluctuation that came from the red crystal was similar to the one coming from the wooden box they’d found in the engine room. Since it was obtained by killing Hydra, it would definitely be useful.
Dong Zheng once again climbed up the embankment. With the boat gone and him only halfway through the swamp, there was no way to move forward.
Since Hydra’s death, the poisonous fog in the forest had greatly dissipated. The fog didn’t seem to be fatal. Although it only affected his ability to move to a certain extent, it also left him with barely any strength.
Dong Zheng took a look at the prisoner’s space. Cui Zuojing was resting motionlessly on the bed. Based on Arabidopsis’ condition in his inner core, there should be no serious problem. Cui Zuojing had just inhaled too much poison, causing his body to become weak and exhausted.
Dong Zheng had an unspeakable feeling in his heart. He closed the spiritual link between the two of them and silently sighed, feeling an irrepressible sense of guilt.
Every time he encountered danger, Cui Zuojing was the one who had to face it head-on. Although he was the most capable of them all, this was the second time he’d been injured in this box.
Without Cui Zuojing, their team would have been badly wound. In fact, most of them would have died But now, he was suffering more than he should.
He didn’t need to be like this.
This realization made Dong Zheng a little uncomfortable. This wasn’t a feeling he’d had when he first entered the Pure White Realm and signed the blood contract with Cui Zuojing. At that time, his only thoughts were to keep himself and Linhai alive.
When had it changed?
Dong Zheng knew it very well.
When he was in the real world, there were always countless things for him to do at work. These things squeezed all his time, so that he had no time to think about emotional matters.
This, coupled with the realization that his sexual orientation was different, made it difficult for him to find a genuinely suitable partner, so Dong Zheng never wasted time on dating.
But in the Pure White Realm, everything was different.
There was the threat of death, and there were dangers everywhere. He may not be able to see the sun tomorrow. In this way, the goal narrowed to basic survival, making everything much more simpler.
So, just like what Cui Zuojing had said to Allen at that time, they were people who’d died once already, why should they care so much about little things?
Maybe… he could follow his heart and try to take that step?