494 Zoog and Cats


    No one knew how long the catnip Wu Siyu brought would last but at least for now, they were still there. Other than that, the cat toys, yarn balls, and salmon sticks were still present as well.

    "Meow." The black cat leaped down from the tree and landed firmly beside Wu Siyu. It showed great interest in the plant Wu Siyu was holding, "It smells wonderful..."

    "If you like it that much, here." Wu Siyu placed the catnip before the black cat. The cat took a deep sniff and its expression loosened with satisfaction. Then it yawned as if it was going to fall asleep...

    At that moment, the evil Zoog tapped furiously. The humans had no idea what he meant but the other Zoogs hurried into action. They gushed forward to surround Wu Siyu and the black cat. Zoogs were not rats, they were more like the size of racoons. Some of them were even larger like the evil Zoog. The Zoogs blocked off any exit. Then the evil Zoog communicated with the humans, "Grab the cat! Humans, help us!" Just as the Zoogs were about to pounce on the black cat who was hypnotized by the catnip, Wu Siyu raised it high out of harm's way.

    "Wait!" Gu Jun shouted. Yu Chi, Peacock and the rest understood him. They quickly formed a protective circle around Wu Siyu to prevent further conflict. Lucky had already slipped away. His mission was to lead the humans to Enchanted Woods, what happened next had nothing to do with him anymore...

    "What are you waiting for?" The evil Zoog stomped angrily, "If this cat escapes, our plan to ambush the Cat's Temple will be impacted!" He quickly clamped up when he realized he had revealed too much. He tapped his head to say, "Grab the cat! Grab the cat!"

    "But I am grabbing the cat." Wu Siyu said with the cat raised above her head. The tension was palpable. While maintaining this pose, she told Gu Jun, "Get this over with quick. My arms are getting tired."

    The black cat suddenly growled. It had awakened up from the allure of the catnip. It glanced at the surrounding Zoogs. "Are you Zoogs going to start a war?"

    "Indeed." The Evil Zoog answered, "Everything is ready, he he he..."

    "Let me." Gu Jun cut the Zoog off before he caused more damage. He greeted the black cat politely, "Hello, we are ambassadors from the human world. We're here to help negotiate the conflict between the Zoogs and the Ulthar Cats, we hope that it can be solved peacefully."

    The Evil Zoog added in rage. "What? Peacefully? Who said anything about that?!" Gu Jun turned to glare at him. This was Dreamlands, his eyes carried the power of the Eye of the Abyss. Therefore, the Evil Zoog choked on his words. His claws stopped in mid air... The other Zoogs looked at each other and curled up in waiting.

    "Cat friend." Gu Jun continued, "The Zoog do not wish to continue their tribute to the cats anymore but we humans can offer the tribute on their behalf."

    The black cat shook its head. "I don't know what you've heard from the Zoogs but our history with the Zoogs went further than the tributes. They often ambushed our straggling tribes, killing some while selling the others to Black Merchants. The Zoogs have caused great damage to our race." Gu Jun knew that the Zoogs were not kind creatures, after all, he was their victim as well. These small creatures were cunning and despicable. He wouldn't be surprised if the black cat was telling the truth.

    "Hmph." The evil Zoog did not deny it. The other Zoogs countered, "You cats started the ambush first!" Some wailed, "You raped and plundered us and then ate us alive. You forced us to give yearly tribute and now it's our fault?!"

    "Rape and plunder?" The black cat hacked. "That is some grand illusion of self-grandeur." The Zoogs tapped in argument and noises erupted all over the woods. Gu Jun's group had no idea who was telling the truth, perhaps there was truth on both sides. Yu Chi requested them to refer back to evidence but was told that the original conflict happened several centuries ago. The tension between the cats and the Zoogs had been in existence for a long time, so long in fact that most details had been forgotten. The way they were remembered was through verbal retelling... Evidence? There was none.

    In any case, the black cat's tales were more detailed and clearer. Curled up in Wu Siyu's embrace, it sucked on the catnip and said, "The peace treaty from our biggest war had human participation too. It was someone by the name of Rudolph Carter."

    The mention of the name startled both Gu Jun and Yu Chi. This lost owner of City of Dusk had been to the Dreamlands to settle the war between the cats and the Zoogs?

    "What happened to him after that?" Gu Jun asked.

    "I'm not sure." The black cat answered. "Our cat elders said that it was this man who helped us stop the endless war, he was also one of the parties who helped draft the treaty that requires the Zoogs to provide us with yearly tributes. In any case, since humans have participated in the previous treaty, the cat tribes wouldn't mind if the humans want to represent the Zoogs to come up with a new draft. More than enough time has passed since the original treaty after all."

    What the black cat said inspired the PM Unit. Before they departed, peace talk was just the best outcome possible for them but now it was well within reach!

    "But if the Zoogs raise another war." The cat's voice dipped. "All the cats at Dreamlands will join the war."

    "Lucky, where are you?!" Gu Jun shouted but Lucky was nowhere to be seen. He turned to the hesitating Zoogs and persuaded, "Zoog friends, if there's a war, there will be casualties on both sides. If we can solve this peacefully, why not? How about we try to discuss this with the cats first?"

    "Don't listen to him!" The evil Zoog tapped his body while he closed his eyes to Gu Jun's influence, "Just like what the cat said, the humans participated in our pain, they are also our enemy! They wish to eliminate us with the cats. This is a conspiracy, a human conspiracy! Move, move out now!" The evil Zoog was ultimately the leader. His strength instilled faith in the other Zoogs. His shout instantly mobilized the other Zoogs. The humans tried to stop the Zoogs but there were so many of them. Furthermore, they could not harm any of the Zoog for that would defeat the purpose of a peace talk. More Zoogs disappeared into the forest and headed towards their destination.

    The evil Zoog's eyes were closed so he could not find his way. Just as he tried to escape, Malachite jumped to grab him.

    "He he he..." The Zoog patted Malachite's face. "It's too late now. Everything is ready and in place."

    "What exactly is your plan?" Wu Siyu asked. Feng Peiqian and Bell Grant did not think the creature would answer... But just like any good villain, the evil Zoog had to run his mouth. He giggled wickedly, "Our initial plan is to have you humans lead all the cats into that broken temple and then we'll light it up! We've made purchases of powerful explosives from the black merchants and placed them strategically inside the temple. But never mind, since there's a change of plans now, our older Zoogs will sacrifice themselves to lure the cats into the temple and then Boom!"

    "Wait a minute..." Wu Siyu tried to imagine what the Zoog described, "What is supposed to happen to us humans after we've lured the cats into the temple in your initial plan?"

    "Of course, you're supposed to burn with the rest of them." The evil Zoog guffawed.

    The black cat leaped out from Wu Siyu's arms and headed towards Ulthar.

    "Keep up!" Gu Jun ordered the others to follow the black cat as he weaved through the trees. Lucky finally showed up. He volunteered to guide the way. After some thoughts, he decided he did not want a war. That would cause Zoogs unnecessary sacrifices too. The fire would ruin everything.

    The evil Zoog in Malachite's grip kept tapping himself, grinning and howling insidiously.
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