Although wary from battle, Zhang’s men were vigilant as they galloped through a road that cut through the forest.
“Quicker! We can't fall behind from the rest of the army or else we might run into those things!” A soldier yelled. They had been riding on the path for hours without rest.
The soldiers were constantly looking around hoping to not spot any of their pursuers. But every rustle behind a bush or every snap of a branch would add to their fear.
If they were caught in the forest, they would be surrounded and killed but that was not the end of it. Perhaps, like the women in the village at the foot of the mountain, they would join the ranks of the undead.
In front of the army while on top of his mount, Zhang was discussing with his generals on what their next course of action would be.
“My lord it isn't possible for us to continue riding directly to Black Wind City. Our horses will give out before then.” Sun Ce said.
“But if they manage to surround us out here, we would not stand a chance.”, Lu Xun commented.
“Once we find a large enough clearing, have the men and horses take a short rest. We can't stay in one place for too long, so every often, we will have a short break. Also we will slow down our pace a bit.” Zhang said.
Yuying, Ai and Ling were currently inside the magical carriage since it was the safest place they possible could be.
“Sis you don’t know what those thing are?”, Ai asked while looking at Yuying.
“They could be a number of things. There are numerous types of undead. But I know they aren't Jiangshi or else we would have been wiped out by now.”, Yuying said. (Jiangshi are Chinese soul eating undead vampires, the ones that hop around and choke the life out of people and those it bites or scratches become Jiangshi also but a lesser version.)
“If I can examine one up close, then perhaps, I can figure out what they are.”, Yuying added.
Ling could be seen peaking her head out of the window of the carriage.
A while later, the army found a large opening on the side of the road to rest. A few of the horse had foam coming out their mouths. Had the army continued any longer, then these horses would have died from exhaustion.
However, before anyone could catch their breath a soldier heard rustling sounds coming from behind a bush.
“Who goes there!”, he yelled as he drew his sword out of its scabbard.
Hearing the soldier yell, all of the soldiers around him quickly drew their swords. Soon, a small mob of soldiers gathered with weapons ready. Being an army of fifty thousand meant it did not take too long for lots of soldiers to gather in one place.
“Don’t attack!!”, a timid voice sounded from behind the bush.
“Walk out here slowly!”, the soldiers yelled.
Moments later, a young lady walked out from behind the bush with her hands up in the air. Following behind her were a pair of children roughly around the ages of six to eight. One being a boy and the other being a girl. From their appearance they seemed to be common villagers.
Seeing the two children, the soldiers were a bit taken aback. They were constantly reminded of the words that the dying woman had said. The soldiers who were present when the woman had mentioned her final words had told their comrades and her words had spread through the out army.
“Stay back! Don't come any closer!” A soldier yelled out while pointing his sword in the direction of the young lady and two children.
“State your business!”
“Ple-please help us. Our village is being overran by the undead. The other villagers are currently trying to fend off the undead. Please help us.”, the young lady said in a frightened tone.
Before the soldier could reply, the bush behind the young lady and children began to rustle again and a corpse appeared. Seeing this, the two children cried and quickly ran toward the young lady.
That instant, the soldiers charged and hacked the corpse to pieces. But of course many more corpses began appearing from behind the bush.
“Protect these three and take them to our lord! And get more men over here!!”, a soldier yelled.
Moments later Zhang could be seen rushing toward where his soldiers were engaging the undead. The three beauties along with the young lady and two children could be seen a bit away.
“Kill!!” He yelled as arrived at the scene.
Zhang’s halberd plunged into one of the corpses as he lifted it up into the air. With the corpse still stuck to it Zhang stuck the shaft of the halberd into the ground.
The Slaughterer blade appeared in his hand along with a large Lightning Eater scale shield. With a swing of his arm he bashed his shield into a corpse knocking it to the ground.
“Stay together! There aren't that many of them this time! Zhang yelled as he continued swinging his blood red sword.
Thankfully this time they only ran into a small group of undead and were able to quickly dismember them.
“Where is your village.” Zhang said while looking at the young lady.
“Your lordship our village is in that direction.” The young lady replied while pointing toward the direction that she came from.
“You go tell generals Lu Xun and Sun Ce to prepare to continue the march toward Black Wind city. Tell them I'll be taking a small group of soldiers with me and we will keep in contact through flares.” Zhang said to a soldier by him.
“Yes my lord.” The soldier shouted as he ran off to look for Sun Ce and Lu Xun.
“You men come with me.” Zhang ordered his soldiers.
“Yes my lord!” The soldiers yelled as the gathered up.
“Can you two stay here with Yuying? Then move out with the rest of the army?” Zhang said to Ai and Ling while looking at Yuying who was looking at the corpse he had stuck to his halberd.
“Stay safe.” Ling said while Ai nodded.
“Lead the way.” Zhang said to the young lady. Although he wanted to tell the young lady to leave the two children with his soldiers but from the looks of it they wouldn't be willing to be separated.
“Ye-yes this way.” The young woman said while holding hands with the two small children.
Zhang walked beside the young lady to make sure that nothing jumps out on her while they make their way to her village.
Since the village was located a bit into the forest neither Zhang nor the soldiers he took with him could ride horses. Meaning they have to set out on foot.
“All of you stick close together and be on alert.” Zhang said to his soldiers.
While traveling through the forest the worst thing that could possibly happen was to be separated from the group. Especially when undead could pop out at any moment.
As they continued through the forest Zhang asked, “what’s your name and the two kids.”
However, before the young lady could respond one of the kids spoke. The little boy said, “big sisters name is Ha Rin, and our names are Ha Yin and Ha Mei.” First pointing to himself and then the little girl beside him.
“So you three are siblings I take it.” Zhang said.
“Yes my lord we are siblings.” Ha Rin replied.
After chatting a bit Zhang asked, “How much further until we reach the village?”
“It should just be over that small hill over there.” Ha Rin replied as she pointed into the distance.
Moments later they walked up the hill. On the other side of the hill there was a small village that was being surrounded by the dead. From the hill Zhang could see some lit torches inside the village which could mean that there were still survivors inside.
“Stick close to me.” Zhang said to the three siblings as he began descending the hill.
Once they descended the hill they in front of them were hundreds of undead who were slowly walking toward the village.
Zhang signaled for his men to move out with a wave of his hand.
Without uttering a sound his soldiers moved in and quickly dismembered the corpses. First they went for the head, then the arms and legs.
While watching his men Zhang thought, “why couldn’t they just be regular zombies….” Because had they been zombies then a swing to the neck would be able to stop them. Instead of tediously having to sever all of their limbs.
“Onward to the village!” Zhang yelled out as he led the three siblings into the village while swinging his sword at the undead who came his way.
When they entered the village Zhang saw a trail of destruction telling him that a large battle happened. Broken farm tools could be seen laying on the ground and of course there were many undead also.
“They must have moved back to center of the village.” Ha Rin said with a worried look on her face.
“Let’s go.” Zhang said to her as they began moving once more.
While Zhang and the three siblings headed for the center of the village, his soldiers were making short work of the undead surrounding the village. Luckily for them this group of undead was not as numerous as the one they had faced before.
One could imagine how large the other group was just from the fact that they almost overran an army of fifty thousand soldiers.
“You men follow me and let's go help our lord.” One soldier said as he slashed the head off a corpse.
Soon a group of soldiers gathered up and moved into the village following Zhang.
As Zhang made his way to the center of the village he sees faint trails of red blood on the ground. This confirmed that Ha Rin was right when she said that the villagers most likely moved toward the center of the village.
The trail of blood led Zhang and the three siblings to a mass of undead who seemed to be trying to pry down a makeshift barricade in front of them. The barricade was most likely made up of whatever the villagers could get their hands on in such short notice. This was because Zhang could see things such as doors, carts and shelves being a part of the barricade. Behind the barricade were many villagers desperately trying to keep the undead back.
Zhang withdrew the chained daggers from his interspatial ring and make them fly about in the air. The chained daggers weaved around in circles until finally the plunged down into the mass of undead. With a single thought Zhang made the daggers pierce into one undead after another. Then using the chains attached to the daggers Zhang chained the undead together.
While this was happening Ha Rin screamed out, “Mother! Father!! Are you there!? It’s my Ha Rin!!”
Moments later a middle aged woman could be seen peeking out from a small hole in the makeshift barricade. “Ha Rin!! Why are you back! Didn’t I tell you to take your siblings to the city and ask for help??” The middle aged lady yelled back.
“Mother I did bring back help.” Ha Rin said.
The middle aged lady was about to say something until she noticed Zhang dismembering the corpses with his blood red sword.
“We’re saved!!! Our saviors have arrived” A mix of voices yelled out from behind the barricade. But suddenly screams of horror could be heard.
“Run!!! One of the barricades have been knocked down.” A scream sounded out.
“Shit…” Zhang cursed as he continued dismembering the undead who had been chained up.
“My lord we have come to help.” Some voices could be heard from behind Zhang.
Without looking back Zhang said, “You guys take care of these and protect those three I have something I have to do.”
After finishing his words, he ran toward the barricade and while using the various things sticking out of it as stepping stones jumped over to the other side.
Once on the other side Zhang weaved through the mass of villagers toward where the screaming with the loudest. And the moment he arrived Zhang plunged his sword into an undead. Then using the sharp edge of the shield in his other arm, he slashed of the head of another undead.
“Everyone break down the barricade in that direction and run!” Zhang yelled as he pointed toward the direction that he came from.
More of his soldiers should be arriving soon making the direction that he came from the safest and most secure.
As his words entered their ears the villages scrambled to knock down the barricade that they had previously erected. Once the barricade was knocked down they were greeted by dozens of Zhang’s armored soldiers.
Ha Rin’s parents ran to their children and embraced them, happy to be able to reunite with each other.
“Everyone follow us in an orderly fashion! Do not push or shove!” Zhang’s soldiers yelled. They did not want any of the villagers to die from being trampled over by others.
“Lead them toward the hill!” Zhang yelled to his soldiers,
While his soldiers were leading the villagers away Zhang swung downward with his sword trying to cleave the last undead in the area into two halves. But he overestimated the length of his sword and slashed into where the corpse’s chest cavity was instead.
Oddly however the corpse stopped moving and fell toward the ground. That was when Zhang noticed something squirming about in the chest of the corpse. Using his sword Zhang tried to inspect the corpse.
Upon closer inspection he found a creepy looking dozens small green worm squirming about in the corpse’s heart. Zhang leaned in to get a closer look, but suddenly something jumped out from the corpse's chest cavity.
Although he was startled Zhang was able to quickly move to the side to evade.
“What was that…” Zhang murmured as he tried to find the thing that jumped at him.
A bit away from Zhang there was a huge red worm squirming about on the ground. As if trying to get away the worm began pushing itself forward.
“Oh no you don’t.” Zhang murmured he walked up toward the worm.
“A Goliath Heart Burrower.” Zhang said once he got a better look at the grotesque worm crawling on the ground as he walked toward it.
As he continued looking at this worm a grim thought appeared in Zhang’s mind.
“Yuying please be safe…” He murmured as he ran toward his soldiers and the villagers. The image of the huge red worm jumping out of the corpse at him crossed Zhang’s mind however instead of seeing himself he saw Yuying.
Worms O_O Parasitic mind controlling worms .___. Thoughts? Thanks for reading 😀 Also I had a patreon account a while ago but never got the chance to use it. It's linked on the right hand of the screen though if someone wanna use it lol. Also a reminder to the readers, I'm currently working with a group of editors/proof readers on fixing the all of the chapters starting from the beginning as a heads up once we are done I'll be reposting the series 😀