At the first glance, Junior Leopard thought that this creature which hiding in the rocks and had made such a strange noise must be an earthworm or water-snake, but after looking more closely he realized that it was not.
This black-colored creature was not very long — only about 30 centimeters or so — and its body had a diameter of only two or three centimeters. This peculiar thing was also densely coated in black scales, much thicker than the scales on an earthworm. Under the moonlight, the black scales gave off a faint metallic sheen, what around its neck was a circle of fins. When it made that groaning noise, these fins stretched out, giving the creature an appearance as though it had an umbrella around its neck.
"So I was frightened by a strange monster just now!" seeing how small this creature was, Junior Leopard had let his guard down a little. It seemed that this may not be an earthworm, but it was something similar. Actually, earthworms in this world looked different to how they did in his previous life. But this was not rare in such an amazing world At worst. It may be a little toxic — but so long as he didn't go underwater this was no risk to him.
On that thought, he relaxed and looked around once more. Apart from this strange creature in the rocks, there was nothing else untoward around. Sensing that the coast was clear, he jumped down and headed toward the rootless grass.
There was enough rootless grass here. So then, with four days remaining, he needed only to find some wandering flower and then the task was complete.
In such a good mood, he could not help further letting his guard down. He took a few steps towards the rootless grass, and stretched his hand out to take it — and then something unexpected happened.
While Junior Leopard approached the rootless grass, the sound of that strange creature in the rocks became shriller and shriller, but Junior Leopard ignored it. That was just an earthworm. No matter how loudly it screamed, it made no difference to him.
But, just as his hand was about to reach the rootless grass, the strange creature which had been in the rocks all along suddenly hurled itself through the air, lunging forth with its mouth wide-open, ready to bite down on Junior Leopard's hand.
Junior Leopard let out a terrible yell and pulled his hand back, narrowly dodging the creature. He had never thought that this earthworm would be able to spring out of the water; nor had he thought that it could be so fast or jump so high. The fact that this creature could jump out from the rocks, with its gaping mouth wide open, had really terrified Junior Leopard.
How could this creature be an earthworm? It was just like a mini monster from the deep sea as what was shown in Alien . When it opened its mouth, the white teeth revealed cold lights row after row. And on the top row, there also were countless sawteeth, emitting a faint pale blue glow. Junior Leopard believed, if he was bitten by this creature, he would most likely lose his life.
Junior Leopard pulled back quickly and the monster's bite missed him. Its body twisted round in mid-air, contorting itself into a strange angle so that it dropped down towards Junior Leopard's foot. After it had fallen, it moved along the ground like a snake and, as fast as lightning, rushed to bite Junior Leopard's foot.
Junior Leopard was fired up and raised both hands to cast down two Kunai towards his feet.
"Ding! Ding!" A sound rang out as the two Kunai ricocheted off the creature's body. Two bright and beautiful sparks shot out, bringing the creature's momentum to an abrupt halt.
In those few moments, Junior Leopard activated his Yanfu Inner Strength and leaped up 30 or 40 feet through the air, and almost in the same instant that creature also leaped up, snapping at his feet.
"What a strange creature!" Junior Leopard went into a deliberate hard fall, falling to the ground and moving smoothly into a roll, and picked up the two Kunai from the ground. He jumped down towards the crevice and grabbed a handful of the rootless grass; he dared not stay any longer, and prepared to use his body movement skills to break free of that strange creature. But all of a sudden, he felt a chill on his back, and then almost every pore on his body felt like they were bursting open.
"Awful!" Junior Leopard threw his body forward in shock, and fell flat on his face on the ground. The moment when he crashed to the ground, he felt a scorching hot air out rightly brush his face.
Though Junior Leopard had fallen down, he had not stopped moving. He performed another roll, rolling away several meters until he found an opportunity to get back up, and could finally see clearly what had happened just now.
There was a blaze.
A black blaze!
A large black fire was blazing, and the trees ahead of where he had landed before were engulfed in this strange combustion. Dozens of them had already burned down to stumps shorter than one meter, but the fire that had caused this was shrinking.
He turned his head to look back and saw the earthworm stayed where it had come from, trembling slightly. Junior Leopard's heart leaped, as he tried to grasp what had happened.
"My God, a sneeze of that thing's flame is like me using up an entire dharma of the Three Realms Division. It seems like it shot out from inside its body and completely exhausted its life-force; so turns out that there was no need for me to have rolled away like that!"
Junior Leopard thought of how he had rolled away and his face contorted into an ugly expression. "While you're feeling rough, my knife will be enough; I don't believe you're really that tough!"
He jumped over, his right hand reaching down to his waist and with a flash of black light his coal dagger was already in his hand; his right foot stamped fiercely on the ground as he leaped towards the earthworm.
Just as Junior Leopard had supposed, that strange earthworm-like creature had exhausted its physical strength pursuing him, and after it had spat out that flame, its body had no strength left at all. Although this was an odd creature, it was after all very small, and with low spiritual intelligence. Junior Leopard darted forward quickly. The coal dagger in his hand was also the weapon of choice of Xue Wuya, a Level Eight master. Even though this strange earthworm was as hard as a rock, a hit from Junior Leopard was enough to break it into two before it had a chance to react.
"Clang!" The dagger chopped, and Junior Leopard's heart tightened up. It felt like he was using some sharp weapon from the Wu's ironware shop to cut through metal. Although it was a clean cut, it was somehow not quite smooth, and he could feel a faint aftershock.
"Oh, what on earth is this monster?!"
The coal dagger in Junior Leopard's hand was made from a very high grade, well-tempered steel, and much sharper than the so-called "wizard weapons" in the Jianghu. When Junior Leopard had tried it before, he found that no matter how thick the trees were that he chopped down, it always felt as frictionless as slicing tofu.
But cutting through this creature cost him a greater effort.
"No wonder my Kunai had no effect on it, this creature's body is stronger than steel!"
However, despite this, it had been cut in two by his dagger.
Junior Leopard finally relaxed.
But just as he relaxed, something strange happened.
His heart leaped.
"There must be something wrong… The danger has not yet passed!"
Black colored streamers flew out from the two halves of the earthworm's corpse, floating in the air, and sparkled serenely in the moonlight.
"Is this... a blaze?"
Junior Leopard fixed his gaze upon it, and saw that the black streamers floating in the air formed a black flame. The blaze was small, about the size of a soybean; it congealed together tightly, and although it had the shape of a flame, Junior Leopard could not feel any heat.
But Junior Leopard did not dare to relax in the slightest. He could not feel any heat now, but in the depths of his heart, he could sense that this thing had sent out a powerful deterrent as if this soybean-sized black fire contained some incredibly destructive power.
Junior Leopard took a few steps back and looked reluctantly at the creature's corpse before turning around to leave.
Things happened today were really strange. And so did the creature he encountered. He did know the corpse of that creature he had cut in half may have great value, but that black flame which appeared before him reminded him that leaving was a wiser choice.