Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
The tentacles were long. Dong Zhi specially picked out the fat and tender meat and cut it. After filling a small bag, he stood up contentedly.
“The weather is cold now, and this is raw. It can at least keep for a day. This means we don’t have to eat dry food all the time.”
Empathizing with the same kind, Lui Si, who also transformed to a living form, looked at the scattered tentacle “corpse” that had been cut into pieces on the ground and couldn’t help but twitch at the corner of his mouth while softly whispering, “What if this thing is poisonous?”
Dong Zhi said, “It’s okay. The tentacles of ordinary octopuses aren’t poisonous. If the tentacles were poisonous, we would have been poisoned a long time ago. I brought salt and cumin, so there’s no need to waste it.”
Liu Si originally had some psychological barriers, but when he heard about cumin grilled octopus tentacles, he couldn’t help but silently swallow his saliva.
Liu Qingbo: “…I can understand salt, but why did you think to bring cumin?”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “When we were staying in Los Angeles, I went to the back kitchen. The chef found me favorable and gave me a small bottle of cumin powder. At that time, I thought that foreigners liked BBQ and might bring it for grilled meat, but who knew that they didn’t bring any and we ended up with grilled octopus.”
Liu Qingbo held his forehead. “Who taught you this habit of bringing everything with you? Does Boss Long know about this?”
Long Shen, who was far away in the eastern ocean, couldn’t answer this question. Dong Zhi happily packed up the pieces of tentacles and continued forward.
They weren’t sure if it was because of the loss of a tentacle, but along the way, they didn’t encounter any obstacles. They also didn’t run into people from the other teams. Until the evening, when the sun set, everyone had been walking in the maze for an entire day.
Compared to fighting zombies in the forest, naturally it was easier here, but everyone, including Dong Zhi, always felt that danger was lurking under the calm, and the upcoming night was the best protection for it. Often many accidents happen late at night, not during the day.
Dong Zhi looked up at the sky and said, “Let’s wait until it’s completely dark before stopping to rest. We can still walk for a while.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he saw a few drops of dark liquid on the ground at the corner in front of him.
It was blood.
Dong Zhi subconsciously wanted to step forward but was grabbed by Liu Qingbo. Dong Zhi gave him a comforting look and pulled his hand away as he slowly approached.
A person was leaning against the wall. His body was half-turned, and his eyes were closed.
When the other party heard the sound of footsteps, he immediately opened his eyes again and made an attacking posture. When he took a closer look and found that it was Dong Zhi and the others, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s you guys!”
Dong Zhi was also surprised that the other party was actually Tom, who William said disappeared in the maze halfway.
“Why are you here?”
Tom said weakly, “Don’t mention it. Do you guys have any food? I’ve finished all my dry rations.”
Dong Zhi: “Did you bring a BBQ stove?”
Tom: “Yes. I still have it in my backpack.”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “Then I invite you to have some BBQ octopus with us.”
Liu Qingbo: ……
The American was so hungry to the point of dizziness that he couldn’t even remember to ask where the octopus tentacle came from. Dong Zhi took out the mini grill from his backpack, skewered the octopus pieces, and grilled them. He also sprinkled salt and cumin on them, and in an instant, a fragrant smell wafted over, making even Liu Qingbo’s mouth water, let alone Tom’s.
The other party didn’t wait for the octopus slices to be fully cooked. He grabbed them and stuffed them into his mouth, greedily gobbling them down. His expression was so moved that he almost cried.
“God bless. Fortunately, I met you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be monsters who killed me, but starvation!”
He finished off most of the big bag of octopus slices and looked at the nearly empty bag apologetically. “Sorry, I ate your meal.”
Li Han’er and the others didn’t speak but only stared sharply at him, making Tom break out in a cold sweat.
“What’s wrong? Did I eat too much?”
Li Han’er: “Are you feeling unwell?”
Tom touched his stomach. “No, it’s good. My stomach is full, and it’s very delicious!”
The corners of Liu Qingbo’s mouth twitched. “Since it’s delicious, you can have the rest.”
Tom was moved. “You’re so kind!”
After saying this, he reacted belatedly. “But where did you get these octopus slices? Could it be…”
His face turned a little pale as Dong Zhi comforted him. “It’s not what you think. We fished it from the sea.”
In a sense, octopus monsters should indeed live in the sea.
Tom was comforted and didn’t dare delve into it anymore, so he hurriedly divulged what had happened to him in the past two days.
Tom was walking in front of Lilith, but when he turned the corner, a tentacle suddenly stretched out. Before he could make a sound, it blocked his mouth and swept him away. He was caught off guard and couldn’t react in time, failing to take out his gun. In the end, he almost fell into the octopus’ mouth and became food. Fortunately, a group of Nordic people passed by and rescued him in time.
At the beginning, the Americans, Africans, and Northern Europeans were the ones who landed on Full Moon Island. However, after Tom disappeared, the Americans chose to withdraw halfway. They first went to Rose Island, which was infested with harpies, and then brought the British and Southern Europeans back.
In other words, if there was no accident, there should be many teams in this maze now.
Although Tom didn’t find his companions, he was happy to meet humans instead of tentacles, so he joined the Nordics. There was also a Russian member there. It was said that the other party was Anton. He was separated from his companions on Rose Island. Since he couldn’t find his companions and didn’t want to retire early to affect the honor of the team, he came to Full Moon Island alone. He also encountered the tentacles in the maze and was rescued by the Nordics.
Walking with a group of people was, of course, much safer than walking alone, but Tom didn’t expect that this was the beginning of his nightmare.
All of them rested on the spot that night. Tom’s sleep quality was never good, but because he was too tired during the day, he soon fell asleep and fell unconscious until he was woken up by a sharp pain in his chest.
“It was this little guy who saved my life.”
Tom took out a little squirrel from his arms. The other party was holding a pine nut and gnawing endlessly on it without making any sound. It wagged its big, fluffy tail and seemed to be in a good mood.
“This is my little pet. It’s very sensitive to smells. It bit me in the middle of the night and woke me up in pain. Guess what I saw?!”
Zhang Song was inpatient. “Don’t leave us hanging. Hurry up and tell us!”
Tom said that he saw a scene he would never forget.
In the darkness, a person squatted in front of another person, took out a bloody heart from his body, and chewed it with gusto.
After all, Tom was a practitioner, and no matter how frightened he was, he wouldn’t scream like an ordinary person. He thought he was dreaming and stared intently for a while, only to find that everyone else, except himself, had fallen asleep in various positions on the ground, covered in a mixture of the smell of blood and sweetness that was so strong it made people sick. However, they had not been awakened by the smell.
Tom quietly pulled a gun from his pocket, but the slight movement still alarmed the other person. The person stopped eating and turned his head to look, at which point Tom pulled the trigger.
“The exorcism bullet was useless on him!” Tom’s breathing was short. “He rushed towards me. I fired a few random shots, turned around, and ran away. He kept chasing me, but he couldn’t catch up. I ran for a long time before I was out of danger!”
Dong Zhi glanced at Liu Qingbo and immediately realized that, most likely, that person was possessed by the demonic qi.
“Did you see him clearly? Who is he?”
Tom shook his head. “I only know it must be a man, but in fact, I couldn’t see him very well. It was too dark, and I was too anxious at the time to carefully look.”
Dong Zhi patted him on the shoulder. “Then you can go with us.”
Tom nodded and looked at them carefully. “You guys—none of you are possessed, right?”
Dong Zhi asked for a bell from Li Han’er and threw it to Tom. “Tie it around you. If a monster approaches you, it will ring.”
Tom whistled. “How magical. Is this your eastern exorcism spell? What is it called?”
Dong Zhi lied. “It’s called an Octopus Bell.”
Li Han’er: ……
Tom murmured, “What a strange name.”
Night had arrived. Everyone gathered around a fire to rest. There were high walls to block the wind, so it wasn’t too cold. This was probably the only advantage over staying in the forest, since the wind kept blowing at them from all sides.
The news brought by Tom was very useful. At least now they knew the demonic qi was also in this maze, and they would be more vigilant.
It was Zhang Song and Yang Shouyi who kept vigil at night. Perhaps it was because the team was heavily guarded that the first half of the night was calm and safe. After the second half of the night, Zhang Song yawned and was about to wake up Yang Shouyi when something changed.
He saw countless huge black shadows falling from the sky, sliding down the wall from above, silently touching the people resting against the base of the wall.
At almost the same time he yelled, the bells on everyone’s bodies also rang.
Tom yelled, “The Octopus Bell is ringing! The Octopus Bell is ringing!”
Liu Qingbo and Li Han’er spoke at the same time as two sword lights struck the tentacles on the wall.
Although those tentacles were huge, they were extremely flexible. Despite not having eyes, they accurately sensed threats. At the moment when the sword lights were about to hit them, the tentacles shrank quickly, causing the sword lights to hit the wall and leave two deep indentations behind.
A few tentacles waved in the air and immediately fought with everyone.
The tentacles had great strength and strong destructive power. Most of the time, they were heavily pulled down. Even if people dodged, the tentacles would hit the maze wall, causing broken bricks and stones to fall. Even if it wasn’t fatal, it was still painful.
Li Han’er was busy dealing with the tentacle in front of her when suddenly another one appeared behind her, wrapping around her waist and lifting her up in the air. Liu Si’s eyes were sharp, and he acted quickly. He whipped his whip at the tentacle, causing it to shrink back in pain. Li Han’er fell from mid-air and flipped over, landing steadily.
Tom also drew out a big knife on his back to fight the tentacles. Despite his tall stature, his speed wasn’t bad. However, the tentacles were impervious to the knife. Only by infusing a blade with true qi could he cause damage. Otherwise, even bullets were useless. For a while, the sword lights and whip shadows danced around the thick and tough tentacles, leaving scars on them, which seemed to only anger them and make them launch an even fiercer attack.
A tentacle was thrown against the wall. The yellow stone brick wall quickly cracked, and the gap immediately widened. In the loud noise, the wall collapsed like a building and pressed down on everyone.
The tentacles seemed to be aware of the damage the brick wall could cause them, so they started to slam against the wall.
Visibility was originally in the dark. Even though Zhang Song and the others were agile, they could only protect their heads and were unable to avoid injuries to their hands, feet, and backs. Their faces were also scratched by the flying stones. However, the tentacles continued their rampage and even increased in number, dancing above everyone’s heads while being covered by the mist. The strong smell of the sea spread around them and was almost suffocating.
Liu Si whipped his whip and fended off the tentacles that came towards his head, but immediately another one attacked from behind. He reacted quickly, turned around, and launched an attack. However, the immense strength of the tentacle almost dragged his whip away. Liu Si poured his qi into it, causing the whip’s aura to become fierce and icy, like the wind on top of a cold mountain. The cold made the tentacle helpless and unable to find a gap to invade, so it switched targets, looking for another victim.
Zhang Song held a talisman in one hand and a sword in the other. After igniting the talisman with flame, he shot it out with his sword qi. One after another, the talismans fell onto the tentacles. The tentacles seemed to fear the fire and immediately shrank back. Zhang Song was like a person who discovered a new world, slowly, step by step, moving forward. Mount Longhu was rich and powerful, and Zhang Song was the legitimate heir of the Neishan School. No one knew how many talismans he brought this time. Although the fire talismans he used now weren’t as valuable as the Shangqing pill, they were still valuable goods for ordinary Taoists without any source. If they saw Zhang Song treating the fire talismans as toys, they would definitely curse him for wasting money.
Tom cut a gap in the tentacle with his knife and was so tired that he was gasping for breath. When he turned his head to look at Zhang Song, his eyes straightened.
“Oh my god, are you a magician or a wizard who knows who to play with fire?”
Zhang Song rolled his eyes. “You’re ignorant. This is called talisman magic!”
Tom imitated his tone, “Talisman flowers*?”
*Clarity: Because Tom isn’t a native Chinese speaker, he misheard Zhang Song say talisman magic [fu hua] (符花) and pronounced it back as talisman flowers [fu fa] (符法).
Because he was distracted, a tentacle slapped down and almost hit Tom’s shoulder. At a critical moment, Zhang Song pulled him back and used his sword to fend off the tentacle, causing his hand to become numb from the impact.
Compared to Zhang Song’s dazzling skills, Yang Shouyi seemed much more stable, but his attack wasn’t weakened in the slightest and was more than enough to fight three tentacles alone.
Although everyone was unhindered by the attack of the tentacles, this was only temporary. The owner of the tentacles was a giant monster with great strength. Even if they were practitioners, it was still difficult to deal with it, and with the passage of time, the loss of physical strength would only increase, which would eventually doom them.
Dong Zhi put on thick gloves, leaped onto a brick wall, and climbed up through the gaps between the bricks on the wall. He was fast and looked like he had practiced climbing trees on the rooftop of the Special Administration Bureau building all day—the wall was five or six meters high. When Dong Zhi climbed to the top, he turned on his flashlight and tried to find the body of the octopus monster.
To capture the thief, first capture the king. If they wanted to stop the tentacles, they had to completely get rid of the octopus monster.
The light of the flashlight was limited. The huge body of the octopus writhed and waved in the darkness, covering a large area of the city wall. As far as the eye could see, the source of the tentacles couldn’t be seen.
Without saying a word, Dong Zhi jumped directly onto one of the tentacles and grabbed it tightly with both hands. The tentacle felt something and shook hard in the air, trying to get rid of him, but Dong Zhi grabbed the suction cup of the tentacle and started climbing up on it. The tentacle failed to shake him off.
Liu Qingbo was stunned, but that didn’t stop him and instead he imitated Dong Zhi and grabbed the tentacle closest to him and climbed up.
There was mucus on the tentacles, which made things slippery. If it weren’t for the dense suckers, it would be impossible for anyone to grab it, especially when the octopus monster kept waving its tentacles around, making an even greater obstacle for their action. Liu Qingbo’s hands were sticky and slippery. As he smelled the fishy smell like seafood itself, he almost gagged.
“Fuck your uncle, Dong Zhi, I only wore this outfit*!” Not only did Liu Qingbo have to hold onto the octopus tentacle, but he also had to hold his breath from time to time due to the smell, which was more uncomfortable than being slashed with a knife.
*It’s an expression expressing frustration or dissatisfaction with one’s current situation, implying that they weren’t adequately prepared and didn’t expect to encounter a difficult situation. || In this context, Liu Qingbo is basically just venting his frustration.
Dong Zhi ignored him, or more precisely, Dong Zhi was unable to divert his attention to Liu Qingbo. He struggled to move to the end of the tentacle and aided by the light of the flashlight, saw a huge black shadow moving on the city wall from more than ten meters away. Its body was so huge that it was like a small mountain, which was truly a rare sight.
In order to find the stone tablets, in the underground river behind Liang Xuan’s tomb, they had fought against a three-headed giant python, but compared with the behemoth in front of them, the three-headed giant python seemed petite.
Dong Zhi found himself encountering a difficult problem.
There was only a small portion of the suction cups on the end of the octopus tentacle. He had climbed to the end of the suction cup, and beyond that was a smooth tentacle with no friction. He couldn’t stabilize his body on it, let alone get close to the octopus monster.
Dong Zhi laid on the tentacle, being tossed around like he was on a rollercoaster. He was racking his brains, but then he saw Zhang Song “playing” with the tentacles with talisman fire below. His eyes lit up, and he suddenly had an idea. He took out a Sunlight talisman from his pocket, chanted a spell, ignited the talisman, and threw it towards the tentacle.
The octopus monster was highly sensitive to fire. As soon as the symbol touched the tentacle, it immediately retracted. Dong Zhi was ready for this and held on to the tentacle tightly. He felt like he was riding a rocket as the tentacle retracted, bringing him closer to the octopus monster.
He had made the right bet!
Excitement, anticipation, and nervousness surged through him. He gripped his Changshou Sword. Having lost his flashlight somewhere along the way, he had to rely on instinct to judge how far he was from the octopus monster.
There seemed to be something blocking his way ahead, but Dong Zhi wasn’t sure. At that moment, a vigorous roar came from behind.
“Dong Zhi, your grandmother is a bear*!”
*(奶奶个熊) Offensive expression generally use to insult someone’s intelligence or character. It’s a euphemism for the more explicit and profane insult (grandmother’s legs), which is considered even more offensive.
Dong Zhi felt that Liu Qingbo might have become angry because he wasn’t as smart as him. He had recently directed his anger towards his uncle, but now he was directing it towards his grandmother. Dong Zhi wanted to tell him that both his uncle and grandmother had passed away long ago and that he had to look for someone else*.
*Clarity: Basically, Liu Qingbo first cursed using his uncle, and now he’s cursing using his grandmother. This is a joke on those curses in the literal sense that Dong Zhi’s uncle and grandmother are already dead, so it was better to find another curse saying from a relative that was still alive.
Liu Qingbo didn’t have talisman fire, so he couldn’t use fire to force the tentacle back like Dong Zhi. He could only cling to the tentacle as it thrashed about. While cursing Dong Zhi’s mother, he struggled to take out a flashlight and turned it on.
Because he was too far away, the light could only vaguely illuminate a silhouette, but it was enough!
Dong Zhi saw a pair of dark and round eyes slowly turning, which then flashed away under the light of the flashlight, allowing him to instantly determine the direction of the octopus monster.
With a flick of his wrist, the Changshou Sword turned into sword light and flew towards the target. The sword was cold, like dazzling starlight in the eternal night, and it was able to break through all the dark prisons and finally reach the other side of light.
The moment the sword light came into contact with the octopus monster, he seemed to hear an extremely shrill scream. It wasn’t a substantive sound, but it was like a heavy hammer pounding a hole in his mind. The shock caused Dong Zhi’s body to shake violently, almost causing him to fall from the air. The tentacles also trembled violently, swinging in the air with an even crazier arc, as if reflecting huge pain from the body’s owner.
At the same time, not only Dong Zhi but an earth-shattering cry sounded in everyone’s mind.
Liu Qingbo’s hand trembled, and he almost dropped his sword.
He subconsciously thought it was Dong Zhi crying, but then he realized that it sounded wrong. Such an impactful soundwave couldn’t be emitted by a human.
Holy shit, the noise is terrible!
He watched in disbelief as the tentacles he was holding suddenly shrank sharply, quickly shrinking to a size that was thinner than his sword. He could no longer hold on to it and fell directly from the air.
Dong Zhi was similar but a little better than Liu Qingbo. He managed to land on top of the wall. With a buffer, he didn’t fall too badly. The Changshou Sword also fell from mid-air and Dong Zhi reached out to catch it.
The huge tentacles disappeared in an instant, leaving everyone stunned. They didn’t know what happened. Only Dong Zhi, who was the closest, was able to guess the truth. He hurriedly took out his phone from his pocket and took a few random shots.
From his high vantage point, Dong Zhi was indeed able to find something useful quickly: a black lump under the base of the wall on the other side.
The thing moved slowly on the ground. Because one eye was blinded by Dong Zhi, black blood was flowing out and formed a small puddle underneath its body.
Dong Zhi was stunned as he looked at the octopus, slightly larger than his palm, unable to imagine that this was the octopus monster that had almost swept away everyone just now.
The crying continued in his mind. Whether it was the behemoth or the delicate little octopus in front of him, the crying voice was equally harsh and unpleasant. Zhang Song couldn’t bear it and shouted, “Stop crying!”
The little octopus really stopped crying, but its voice still trembled. Everyone’s temples seemed to ache along with its voice.
“They lied to me. They said only my tentacles would be cut, but they didn’t say my eyes would be stabbed too!” the octopus cried.
Dong Zhi discovered that the soundwaves transmitted by the little octopus could actually be turned into a tangible language and passed through his mind. Although it was English, it indicated that this octopus monster could communicate.
“Who are they?” he asked.
“The people who brought me to this island,” the little octopus replied.
“The organizing committee? Did they send you here to test us?” Dong Zhi asked.
Octopus: “Yes, they said there would be a competition here. They asked me to come to this island and act as an obstacle. I will be rewarded after the competition.”
Dong Zhi: “What’s the reward?”
The octopus cried out, “If you cut off one of my tentacles, they’ll compensate me with a ton of fish, but they didn’t say that they would compensate me if you poked out my eyes!”
The author has something to say:
Let’s wrap up this part first and then move to the other side of the story, Boss Long’s plot. Otherwise, there will be suspense left, so we need to let Boss Long fly for a little longer~
A small theater that has nothing to do with the text:
Dong Zhi: Master, I brought some local specialties back for you.
Long Shen: A specialty from the United States?
Winter Solstice: No, seafood.
Long Shen: ???
Kan Chaosheng rushes over: I want it!
Dong Zhi: …You’re both born from the same root. Why are you in such a rush to kill each other?
“The same kind” refers to all non-humans. Whether it’s Kan Chaosheng, Liu Si, or the octopus monster, they basically cultivated enough to gain sentience, knowledge, and form similar to that of humans.
It’s kind of a joke as once they gain this cultivation form, it would be considered cannibalistic to eat “the same kind”, which is why Liu Si empathized at first when Dong Zhi was harvesting the tentacle.
Thinking it from another perspective, if one day cows, chickens, ect, possessed human knowledge, can communicate with you, will you still be able to eat them?
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