Chapter 35: Fodder
The horned, ash-gray monster was dragged out of the rubble by the group of people. Just as the people put the rope around its neck, a high-pitched, extremely loud howl suddenly came out of the monster’s mouth! It was a very mournful howl——
The ropes almost fell out of many of the people’s hands. Fortunately, the thing had only cried out and then was motionless. Its large head hung down and it looked almost dead. It was because it was so still that the people capturing it were able to see its true appearance clearly.
When they saw the monster’s true identity, the “search-and-rescue crew”, despite being experienced, jumped in fright:
This was a monster that they had never seen before. It looked extremely frightening! The mouth with an enormous span was opened wide and exposed layers of small, dagger-like fangs inside! The monster also had tooth-like gray scales on its body! Obviously, it had four limbs like a person, but its entire body was truly nothing like a human. The places that weren’t covered by scales had long hair as well…
“My god! This thing is a meat eater…” One of the search-and-rescue crew who captured the monster clicked his tongue. He raised its chin and gestured at his colleagues to look at the monster’s mouth: in the crevices between the teeth was flesh, blood and scales. Without a doubt, this guy had just experienced a fierce battle.
They conversed in low voices while they dragged the monster over to a cage. When their leader passed by, the group of people who were in charge of dragging it stopped.
The monsters weren’t randomly placed. Their leader had to judge where each monster was to be locked up.
The head person glanced down at the poor horned monster on the ground. His eyes were on the ash-gray scales and the numerous broken teeth in its mouth for an especially long time. After a while, he said:
“Drag it to the cage on the far right.”
The ash-gray monster was taken to the farthest right cage along with a few smaller monsters. Its bone-colored scales were pushed opened while being dragged and broke off. The blood in the wounds that had already coagulated gushed out once more and left behind a long, wet trail in the drag marks.
Helicopter propellers stirred up a gust of wind and the wet trail on the ground was quickly blown dry. It turned into a fine black powder, floated all around and eventually disappeared.
Hei Dan’s tiny body shrunk into the fur on Grandfather’s neck, looking just like a round shadow growing there.
As for the howl that the people who had just been dragging the monster heard, everyone had thought it was the monster’s dying cries, but it actually was not.
It was Grandfather speaking to Hei Dan…
“Hei Dan, climb quickly! Hurry and hide! Obediently hide in the shadows and wait for your uncle to get back!” In the same moment that the other human’s eyes reached them, Grandpa immediately knew that he couldn’t run. When those people approached them holding specialized ropes, he used the last of his strength to throw away Hei Dan who was hiding under him.
Hei Dan could already climb. If he climbed fast enough, he could certainly avoid the capture of those people!
But Hei Dan didn’t understand at all.
If adults said something to him, Hei Dan could only connect a few words to the things he saw often. All of the words that Hei Dan experienced the most were:
Such as “drink neinei.” Grandpa liked to use those words to coax Hei Dan, but Uncle disliked the babyish words and wouldn’t say them.
Hei Dan also understood “bottle” and “Dandan1.”
“Dandan” had two meanings. One meaning was to indicate Hei Dan’s favorite food, eggs, and the other meaning was Hei Dan himself!
Grandpa frequently called him “Hei Dandan.”
When there was no one around, Uncle would also occasionally call him that.
Hei Dan also understood “small biscuit!” Small biscuits tasted very good! Hei Dan could eat a lot at one time!
Hei Dan could understand quite a few words, but he couldn’t understand what Grandpa had said at all.
When the other people heard Grandpa’s terrible howl, it was no different from what reached Hei Dan’s ears usually.
Hei Dan wasn’t afraid at all.
So, having been thrown away from Grandpa’s warm belly, Hei Dan stayed down for three second. And very soon after, he quickly climbed back up.
Hei Dan hid away under Grandpa’s neck. As a result, Grandpa didn’t dare move and let those people drag him into the huge cage. There was a bang and then it was dark.
After a few bumps and traveling through who knows how many places, the cage of the captured Hei Dan and Grandpa was finally set back down on the ground.
“How do we handle the devil in this cage?” A slightly rough male voice said.
“Lock it away in the fodder storage. There are three devils in there that are seriously injured, they won’t live,” another voice replied.
As a result, the cage that had just been put down was lifted up again. After another long time passed of twisting and winding turns, the cage door opened.
The first to be dragged out were the two other devils in the cage. After they were dragged away, it was just Grandpa left.
The people were using a machine similar to a tractor to move the devils and insisted on using it for the entire journey. Grandpa had no strength left and he no longer had the strength to pull back his neck to hide Hei Dan under it. Therefore, as soon as the person in charge of “classification” moved Grandpa, Hei Dan, who had shrunk back into Grandpa’s neck, fell out.
The room was very dim and the little round devil that fell out looked like a ball of black fog.
“Didn’t you say three? Why’s there a fourth one?” The man came down from the tractor, grabbed the little devil and looked at it carefully: “A baby low-level devil? Definitely ——”
The movements were a little rough and after unexpectedly getting picked up by him, Hei Dan couldn’t grasp the baby bottle tightly enough in his claws.
Hei Dan’s green baby bottle rolled across the floor.
“A baby bottle? Where’d this thing come from?” After looking around, the man stopped over, picked up the bottle and threw it away in the garbage heap, not wanting to stir up trouble.
The “wild fodder” caught from the outside world often brought back some useless things and it was thrown away.
Carrying on, he took another look at Hei Dan. So small…
The man then threw Hei Dan in with the other devils that he was dragging before. At the moment he was thrown, Hei Dan pinpointed the devil with ash-gray scales among the three. His tiny claws digging into Grandpa’s scales, Hei Dan was motionless.
The big white-ring eyes opened wide and looked intently where the man had just thrown his baby bottle.
Hei Dan’s baby bottle got further and further away from him.
After sitting back in the tractor, the man roughly threw the three monsters inside a room.
In the dark room, lights lit up one after the other. In the darkness, they were just like light bulbs.
These were the eyes of the devils hidden in the dark.
This was the fodder storage ——
In this world, beyond the “existences” that humans could see, there were also “existences” that humans couldn’t see with the naked eye.
“Not seeing” did not mean “not existing.”
Whether it was the West’s angels and demons or the East’s gods and spirits, humans of the past inevitably recorded the traces of their presence in all sorts of ways.
All the way until now, they still existed.
Today, some people referred to the existence of what could not be seen by ordinary people as “devils.”
The fodder storage, as the name implied, was a place to store fodder. The fodder there was fed to devils, and the very same devils also acted as fodder.
Inevitably, there would always be humans who could see “devils” and if they could be seen, they could be captured.
Thus, there were devils in the entire fodder storage.
It was a huge storage area and didn’t have even one light. Darkness was the most loved environment of devils everywhere. They were fodder. They were fodder to the attacking, higher level monsters outside. At the same time, they were also fodder to the other devils in the room.
The devils here weren’t locked up. When they were hungry, they “mutually ate each other” within the limits of the keeper. This free-range, wild fodder was replenished from time to time. Many were caught and brought in when they were seriously injured. In this situation, they were eaten by the other fodder inside since it was economical and advantageable.
And, it was also a way to select “good fodder.”
If the fodder itself was stronger, their flesh and blood would provide more nutrients.
This was the primary fodder storage and stored inside were all primary devils. The reason why the three seriously injured devils were thrown in was actually to provide an extra meal to the primary devils. If they ate “good feed” often, the low-level monsters were more likely to advance further.
“Little guys, let’s eat! There’s good stuff today~” After cheerfully speaking to the devils inside, the keeper closed the door.
The lights that had lit up in the dark immediately rushed to the fodder that had just been thrown in! In the darkness, the sound of an unearthly howl rung out ——
The ash-gray, horned devil had been unconscious and who knows where his strength came from. When a few devils bit at his body and climbed up, he suddenly screamed!
Many of the devils were shaken off by the high-pitched howl, and even a few that were shaken off fainted on the spot. Their bodies were immediately swarmed by devils next to them and quickly eaten away.
However, there was a devil that actually resisted the horned devil’s sound wave attack. Nimbly climbing up its hard, coarse scales, it climbed towards the horned devil’s neck ——
Staring intensely with a pair of white-ring eyes, the darkness couldn’t block his line of sight even a bit. Hei Dan could see the monster’s appearance clearly.
His little claws holding tightly onto Grandpa’s beard, Hei Dan’s tiny body was shaking.
His enormous white-ring eyes squeezed shut and Hei Dan couldn’t help but wet himself a bit, but he didn’t cry.
Looking at its mouth suddenly open wide, bloody like a sacrificial bowl, he clung tightly to Grandpa’s beard. Hei Dan looked intently at the monster.
At just that moment, the horned monster suddenly moved.
Not knowing where the strength came from, his mouth suddenly opened. When it was opened larger than the sneakily climbing devil, the horned monster quickly located and lunged at the intruder’s body. Then, he snapped his mouth shut.
Liquid exploded in front of Hei Dan’s white-ring eyes.
i managed to get more chapters done than i thought, so here’s a bonus one. ヾ(°∇°*) also, just to let you guys know, i’m going to be changing “granduncle” to the pinyin “shuzu” because it’s going to be coming up a little more and i don’t really like how awkward granduncle sounds in the text. it’s more like a title than a familial thing, so i think shuzu is better suited. i’ll be going back to previous chapters and adjusting them for it as well. let me know if you’d prefer the translated title, but i think it’ll be a good minor change!
anyways, things are getting pretty dark in the story. be brave, hei dan!!
1 蛋蛋 Dandan: this has been mentioned in author notes before, but now it’s a canon nickname. previously i thought it was a euphemism for “balls” but apparently the nickname is more innocent than i assumed…. it’s literally “egg egg”, LOL.
“Year of the Monkey, very auspicious! (chapter was originally released about a week after CN new years)
Although, this picture of the Ji Huan family is more like “Year of the Sheep”