Chapter 48: A Bird's Nest
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Gu Shenwei was plummeting at high speed, but he still held onto his will to survive, flailing about and trying to find a purchase to break his fall. Though he could not see anything, he could feel himself bump into some trees or half-decayed stones.
He was unsure how much time had passed. Gu Shenwei finally landed on something. He felt as if his bones had fallen apart, but he immediately fainted and did not feel the sharp pain, which went deep into his marrow.
He was alive. The obstacles along the way had slowed down his falling speed and the place he landed happened to be full of twigs and soft grass.
He immediately regained consciousness. The full body-encompassing pain swallowed up him. For a while, he was not able to think, see or hear anything.
When he eventually regained control of his body, he tried to sit up to observe his surroundings. The first thing he saw was a mass of cloudy mist, which indicated that he did not land at the bottom of the cliff, but on the side of the mountain.
Then he saw something unbelievable and unacceptable to his mind. He had not noticed it because it was so strange that he refused to admit that it could exist.
Not far away from him, there was a giant python, which was as thick as an adult's thigh. It did not attack the invader that fell from the sky, as its mouth was filled with a huge egg. The egg looked like a smooth grey stone, which was as large as Bighead Kingpin's head.
The python's mouth was fully open so that its yellow eyes could only look up at the sky, which interrupted its view. This was one of the reasons why Gu Shenwei was still alive.
It looked so strange and incompatible with the real world that Gu Shenwei thought that he must be in the netherworld. He felt like he had drunk Meng Po's soup and had forgotten his previous life, his revenge, and the girl who killed him. He just blankly watched the python and remained motionless.
His strong will to survive stimulated all his potential. Ignoring the great pain, Gu Shenwei stood up and drew out the dagger from his left shoulder. The weapon had not fallen out during his tumble.
He wanted to take a few steps back to keep a safe distance, but after only half a step, he found there was no more space for him to move.
The place he had landed was a large nest. It looked like a gigantic bowl made of twigs and hay. If it were turned upside down, the nest would be the size of a small human house. Now he was standing on the edge of the nest, the twigs teetering under his feet.
The python was trying to swallow the bird egg. With its muscle contracting, the python swallowed a little bit more, leaving little still exposed.
Gu Shenwei did not realize that it was a good time to kill the python until it completely swallowed the egg. If he waited, the python would push the egg into its belly and twist its body to crush it. Then it might be willing to eat a human teenager.
Half of its body was left outside the nest. In order to swallow the egg, the python wriggled its body and moved forward about a third of a meter. Now it was closer to Gu Shenwei.
Gu Shenwei took several steps toward the python's head and stabbed between its two yellow eyes. Then he stooped and gingerly moved forward, the tip of the dagger moving along the python's body. The cuts left were deep in some places but shallow in others because of its bones.
As soon as he reached its tail end, Gu Shenwei turned around to lean against precipice. The rock behind him gave him tremendous power and confidence.
The python's back had been sliced from head to tail, but it seemed insensible, neither feeling any pain nor resisting with any fercoity. It continued to swallow the egg and wriggle its bloody body.
After a while, the python gradually stopped moving. The bird egg was competely exposed. The python lost all its blood and showed its white flesh. Hundreds of nematodes swarmed out between the skin and the flesh. Every nematode was about half a meter long. Shaking their head, they seemed to want to find a new home.
As the terror changed into disgust, Gu Shenwei leaned against the precipice more closely, wishing he could turn to stone and mix with the precipice. He originally thought he could kick the python off the nest when it died, but now he did not want to take even half a step forward.
The bird egg on the python's head suddenly cracked. Gu Shenwei did not consider the bird egg's safety while cutting the python. The tip of the dagger had left a scratch on it, which allowed the shell crack.
Gu Shenwei would not have been surprised even if immortals and ghosts appeared at the moment. He stared at the egg, which joggled slightly and then shook fiercely, with an urgent cracking sound. Eventually, a nestling came out.
The nestling was so ugly; even a ghost was not comparable to it.
It was a third of a meter tall and much bigger than ordinary birds. Without any feathers, it looked emaciated, as if its skeleton were covered by a layer of pink skin. Its yellow eyes were a small replica of the python's.
The nestling had a long beak. It did not cry or run around. It held its head high and did not know that it had been a dish for the python just moments before.
It seemed to suffer from starvation in the egg, because the first thing it did was to eat the mucus left in the egg after looking around. After a few bites, it was attracted by the python and stepped forward. It pecked at the yellow eyeballs with two bites and then began to eat the squirming nematodes. The nestling enjoyed its meal and ate them all from the python's head to tail.
It seemed it was still not full. After swallowing several pieces of the python flesh, it finally finished its dinner. It raised its head and stared at the human being standing against the precipice with its yellow eyes, as if it was trying its best to recognize whether Gu Shenwei was its food, enemy, or friend.
Gu Shenwei had been watching while the nestling was eating. With the dagger in his hand, he was eager to stab the monster to death several times. However, he was blocked by the disgusting corpse of the python. He could not move an inch, as if his feet were rooted in the ground.
The nestling did not reach his knees, but its eyes was evil as if it was the reincarnation of a demon. Gu Shenwei felt shocked and had no confidence to defeat it.
The nestling suddenly spread his bare wings and dashed at the human being. Before Gu Shenwei realized, the nestling had begun pecking his two legs with its sharp beak.
It was painful. Gu Shenwei kept moving his leg, but he could not avoid the rain-like barrage of its pecks in such a small place. It did not seem to have any vicious intentions though, because it just pecked, but never bit him. If it had snapped at him with the strength it had used while eating the python flesh, the nestling would have bitten off a large piece of his flesh.
Even so, Gu Shenwei still could not bear it, whereupon he lifted his dagger and tried to frighten it off. "Go. Go away. I have a dagger."
Gu Shenwei waved the dagger while kicking it off. The nestling did not seem to mind. It thought that this was a game after its meal, so it enjoyed playing with him. Its eyes were so keen that it was able to hit the foot he stuck out.
If it went on like this, Gu Shenwei knew his legs and feet would be broken. He decided that he could not show any mercy to it and held the dagger high. When he was about to stab it, he felt that the sky suddenly became dark.
There were clouds and mist over the nest, with sunshine slanting through them, but the darkness, like a massive black cloud, blocked all the sunshine.
Gu Shenwei could not help looking up and immediately felt lucky that he had not killed the nestling. He should have thought that the nestling should have huger parents, since the egg was huge.
A giant bird was one head taller than an adult human. It almost covered up half of the sky, when it spread its wings.
The giant bird quickly landed on the nest. It was covered entirely in black feathers, with a pinch of golden feathers standing on the head, like a small crown. Its long iron-gray beak was like two sharp blades combined together. Its eyeballs were as yellow as the nestling's. They looked less vicious, but more proud, thoughtful and perseverant.
The giant bird loosened its claws to release a small living beast while landing. The small beast curled up, groaning in a low voice. It did not intend to run away.
Gu Shenwei was petrified. He was completely sure that he was not the giant bird's match.
The giant bird looked at the nestling, and then glanced at the human being. Finally, it noticed the dagger lifted in the air.
Gu Shenwei hurriedly lowered his hand. He subconsciously wanted to cast the dagger away, but immediately thought it would be so intentional that the giant would see through his trick. He did not know why he believed this bird could perceive human emotion.
He pulled the dagger close to his chest, and said with one hand pointing to the python corpse and the other hand pointing to the nestling, as if to say, "I killed that and saved it."
The giant bird was hesitating. The nesting did not seem to be interested in its kindred and kept pecking the human being's legs and feet. Gu Shenwei did not dare to dodge it and could only bear the pain.
The giant bird took a step forward. Its eyes suddenly became fierce.
When Gu Shenwei thought the giant bird would attack him, the sky became dark again. The second giant bird came back.
This giant bird was bigger than the previous one, and the golden feathers on its head were more striking. Gu Shenwei had to raise his head high enough to see it clearly. He speculated that the latter was male and the former was female.
The male bird also caught a small beast. After it put it down, the male bird kept its wings unfolded and immediately pounced upon the invader.
The female bird spread its wings, but did not attack with the male bird. She hopped in front of him to block his attack, with her beak pointing at the eggshell in the head of the python. She turned out to have no vicious intent either. Gu Shenwei had misunderstood the viciousness in her eyes.
The two giant birds touched each other using their beaks, which was their way of communication. It seemed that the birds here were unable to chirp.
Gu Shenwei waited in fear.
The two giant birds reached an agreement soon. They folded their wings and nodded at the human being.
Gu Shenwei breathed a sigh of relief. It was the first time that he had felt a little safe since the moment Shangguan Yushi stabbed him with a dagger. He had been worried for long and almost could not calm himself down.
The nestling had not received any response from Gu Shenwei, which made it finally notice the two giant birds behind it. It tilted its head and looked confused.
The female bird lowered her head and pecked the head of the small beast caught by it. The small beast gave a cry of misery and soon died. The female bird did not care about it. It held a bloody eyeball and looked expectantly at the nestling.
Gu Shenwei just knew that it was not a small beast but a grown grey wolf. The grey wolf's cry before it died sounded like the strange sound he had heard on Ghost Cliff.
The nestling immediately understood who its real parents were and rushed to them. It first received the eyeball from its mother's mouth, raised its head to swallow it, and cheerfully pecked the giant bird's claw.
The giant bird's claw was covered with crusted skin and thick calluses, so it not only could bear the nestling's sharp beak, but also gain more pleasure.
Gu Shenwei seemed to become obtuse from having fallen off the cliff. After quite a while, he finally realized that what he saw were the giant rocs. Golden Roc Fort was named after them.