142 Winged Creature in the Cave

    Chapter 142: Winged Creature in the Cave

    Dark shadows flickered amid the mist that surrounded them. When the team removed the night vision goggles, the shadows materialized into view, but when they put the goggles back on, they could not see anything any longer.

    "They are just illusions..." Gu Jun announced loudly. "Do not panic!"

    The reports all said that the Phoenix unit was not physically attacked by these dark shadows, but their minds were broken down. It was the start of the tragedy.

    "In any case, shouldn't we be more worried about those corpses before us?" Wu Siyu demanded as she pointed ahead. The five bloated corpses had stood up from the cabinets. They shuffled slowly, and their heads turned creakily to look at the team. The dark green faces were too swollen to allow any recognition. Their supposedly lifeless eyes appeared to have taken on shades of darkness. They were sunken like cursed jewels inside the head that was stretched bursting to the seams. The light from the guns casted shadows on them. It was not the shadow of any human being. They were large, strange, and indescribable. They were twisted and contorted. The image of the stone statue flashed before Gu Jun's eyes. The strange creature had similarly twisted appendages...

    "Can you guys see the shadows that they cast?" Wu Siyu asked. "Or is it just me? Please, someone tell me I have lost my mind..."

    "I can see them as well." Lou Xiaoning croaked out. Her left eye was pulsing with pain. The images she had seen through the keyhole appeared to swim before her vision.

    Xue Ba still remembered the details from the files on the zombies. "But they don't look like zombies. Aren't zombies supposed to have canine faces and human bodies? They do not look like that at all."

    "Are they another part of the illusion?" Uncle Dan was in shock. This was too much for him. "These corpses' soft tissues should have liquified already, so how did they still manage to stand up. What is supporting their body weight? Bacteria activity? Has the bacteria formed some kind of new organ?"

    "F*ck! Uncle Dan, do you think any of us here can answer that? Stop asking pointless questions!" Lou Xiaoning growled. "It's easier to shoot one and find out!"

    While they were hissing among themselves, the black shadows around them had not moved, nor did the five standing corpses. But something sinister glinted inside the narrow cave. It appeared like eyes of some kind of creature of darkness.

    "Everyone, stop and wait." Gu Jun stopped Lou Xiaoning. His brain was churning as he sensed his surroundings...

    The corpses indeed bore no resemblance to the zombies, but he was sure the zombies were around. It then hit Gu Jun. "They are averse to the sentence that I chanted. That is probably not something used to summon zombies but has other uses, probably to summon something else..."

    And it certainly had something to do with that stone statue.

    "But since it's something that discourages our enemy, all the more reason to do it."

    As he finished, Wu Siyu could feel the malice directed at them. "You might be right."

    "I will chant it again. Be on your guard." Gu Jun scanned the mist around them. Since the zombies were averse to this, chanting it might force them out as they attempted to silence Gu Jun. He took out the Carlot scalpel from his medical kit around his waist. He gripped it like a ritualistic instrument. Instantly, he could feel a serenity blanketing him. He trained his focus and started to chant again. "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu..."

    Suddenly, the appendages cast by the five bloated corpses became more hectic and chaotic. It was unclear whether the corpses themselves had moved or the shadows had moved...

    Right at the same moment, a shrill howl echoed from the mountains around them. It sounded at times like a wolf or dog, but at others, it was like a banshee's wail. The howl carried a strong mental assault. It caused headaches of varying degrees among the team and interrupted Gu Jun's chanting.

    "Well, we have that verified. They definitely want you to stop chanting that," Xue Ba said in a hurry, but that did not seem to have helped clear anything up.

    Before they could come to a decision, a strange shadow burst out from the narrow cave. It was followed by many of its kin. The air around them was disrupted as the monsters lashed through the air. The team could see through their night vision goggles clearly. They were... not zombies either. Rather, they were some kind of winged creature, looking more like giant bats. Each of them was about half the size of a normal human. With their wings fully extended, they could easily envelope even the largest among them, Xue Ba. The creatures had a hook-like tail, and they were covered in slick, furless skin. They flapped their wings and charged at the team!

    Their feet extended into sharp claws, and they were sticky with old blood. It was certain that they were sharp enough to sever skin and bone.

    "Open fire!" Gu Jun ordered as he pulled the trigger. Bullets flew, and cartridges emptied. He had no idea what kind of creature this was, but he could sense their intention to kill. His order was immediately picked up by Xue Ba and Uncle Dan. Their accuracy was low because even though there were many abnormal bats, they moved so fast, and they were too close for firearms. Thankfully, they could be wounded by actual bullets.

    Soon, their shrill and angered screeches filled the forest. They appeared to be not much more intelligent than animals. They flew right into the bullets. This reminded the team of the abnormal wolves that they had encountered at the shrine.

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    Some of the bullets strayed and hit the five corpses. Like a hissing balloon, the bloated corpses exploded from the pressure. Dirty gut fluids and flesh splashed open like a human grenade!

    An intense haze of decay suffocated every living creature in the area that depended on oxygen for survival.

    "Back away, leave this to me!" Lou Xiaoning shouted through gritted teeth. Her hands pressed against the eighty-nine heavy machine gun. It was already aimed at the cave. Once the others retreated to a safe distance, she pulled on the trigger. The machine gun unloaded rapidly, and empty shells soon formed a small pile on the ground.

    The winged creatures were torn open, split through and gut. Even their screams were drowned out by the rattling of the machine gun. Next to Lou Xiaoning, Wu Siyu busied herself to help with the reloading. It appeared like she was not going to leave her guardian angel any time soon.

    Soon, the land before the cave was a slate of ugliness and gore. Broken guts and blood seeped through the ground. It was impossible to discern between the human corpse and the giant bats. But the howling from the mountains had not ceased. If anything, it had picked up. The black shadows in the mist became more corporeal, taking on the human shapes. Underneath the howls, another buzzing strange buzzing echoed, like it was trying to tell them something.

    "Do not listen to that!" Gu Jun warned loudly. He had too much experience dealing with this. "Do not listen to the demon's words no matter what!"

    Lou Xiaoning continued to make quick work of the giant bats. Suddenly, a loud crash interrupted everything. A large part of the cliff face around the cave collapsed. Then, a large swath of darkness rushed out. Countless winged creatures zoomed about madly. It took them seconds to fill up the sky. Even the machine gun could make no holes in the seemingly physical blanket that they had formed.

    Not only Lou Xiaoning, even Xue Ba and Uncle Dan cursed at this sight.

    The giant bats did not charge at them but instead circled in the air above them, forming and dissolving into ritualistic symbols. When one was shot down, another would sweep in to take its place. They were twisting, twirling, and contorting. The surrounding mist and black shadows swam like they were looking through a veil of water.

    Gu Jun frowned as he sensed abnormal energy working around them. A chaotic energy was slowly gathering.

    "The space, the space is changing..." Wu Siyu could sense it as well. She shouted in shock, "They are trying to drag us into another dimension...!"

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