Rey hid behind a huge tree, listening to the noise coming from afar.
‘About a hundred meters ahead.’
Moments like this one were very rare in the Forest. During previous eleven days, he met animals, which were not afraid to behave themselves so noisily, for the first time. At some point, Rey even though that it was not animals because of the strange mooing and screaming coming from there.
Upon approaching the source of the strange noises, Rey finally managed to look at these strange creatures. At first sight, outlines of their bodies resembled human ones, but these creatures definitely were not humans. Each of them had two small crooked horns. Their bodies were covered with short fur. And there could be seen a number of sharp fangs in their quite wide mouths.
After using [Animal Detection] on them, Rey noticed that there was a green light in their bodies, meaning that they still could be considered as animals, despite the fact that they walked on two legs instead of four.
Currently, in front of him there were six of them running around a huge carcass of a lizard, tearing pieces of meat from it.
At this moment, Rey noticed that one of the animals tore off the reptile’s big tail and stepped a little to the side. It was obvious that the rest of the strange creatures did not like it, since they immediately attacked the one that had just stolen the tail.
However, the beating did not last long, because it was interrupted by an arrow, which successfully passed through the neck of one of the creatures and stuck in the shoulder of another one. Although the creatures were in the middle of controversy, their reaction turned out to be quite good. Two of them instantly rushed to Rey, while the one with the tail in its hands still did not recover after the short beating.
Rey did not pay any real attention to the creatures, which rushed towards him. He aimed at the most distant one, which stood still and with confusion stared at its two fallen fellows. An arrow pierced its head, instantly turning off its weak brain, which seemingly was not created for hard reflection.
Afterwards, Rey hid his bow and took out the daggers, which were rarely used by him. To his surprise, the creatures moved pretty quickly, sometimes using all their four limbs. Such a good mobility coupled with their short stature made them slightly uncomfortable opponents.
The first one of them, which leaped towards him, Rey met with a usual kick. However, the beast turned out to be so weak that a single kick was enough to knock out it. Upon noticing how easily was defeated its fellow, the second one beast hesitated for few moments. And this brief hesitation cost the beast’s life: Rey’s dagger entered its chest almost without resistance.
‘Hm? They seem really fragile. Though, they are considered as animals, so triple damage must be working with them.’
Having killed the last of the rushing towards him beasts, Rey took out the bow again. He placed an arrow in the bow, making it shine with a green glow, and shoot into the sixth beast, the beaten one.
The poor creature had managed to take only few steps, before the arrow went straight through its head.
Rey looked around the battlefield and started collecting souls. Upon checking the Status, he learnt that these creatures were called Zurds. Then Rey broke one of the souls to restore his wasted energy and realized that the amount of energy inside a Zurd’s soul was much more than he expected.
‘It's still less than in a soul of a Forest person, but these creatures are simply too weak to have so much energy in their souls. Maybe their perception is also superior?’
Upon deciding to check this, Rey undressed and changed his form. His height decreased by half a meter, but the body felt quite well. Looking around, he realized that he was right. Zurds actually had improved hearing; same was with their sense of smell. And as it turned out, their muscles were pretty developed too.
‘Though, their bones aren’t really strong.’
The only problem was a Zurd’s vision, which was inferior even comparing to a Human one.
After looking at his sharp claws and appreciating it, he turned back into a Forest person
‘So in general this body is quite average. Seems like they have strength in numbers.’
In distance there could be seen two more fallen Zurds, which, apparently, died during their fight with the lizard.
‘Hmm, it would be nice to find more of these creatures. Their souls are a pretty good source of energy.’
Upon deciding to stop moving towards the north and explore the nearest area instead, Rey spent three hours and finally found some footprints. Though, it would be rather strange, if he had missed it, because Zurds moved only in groups. And these brainless creatures did not even hide themselves.
After following the trail for some time, he found huge hand-dug pits in the ground. They were one and a half meters in diameter, and, obviously, served as houses of these creatures.
‘So such a poor vision is result of the underground way of life.’
Upon choosing one of the pits, which was located at some distance from others, Rey started to wait.
Right now, it was noon, and these beasts seemed to be night creatures. Even though he met them in the morning, it happened due to the fact that the Forest was still very dark at this time because of the thick foliage.
Waiting for Zurds, Rey approached the pits several times, but, unable to notice any movements inside, he simply continued to wait nearby.
When the sun just started to set, countless Zurds began to come out from the pits. At least hundreds of these creatures came out from the pit, at which he was looking right now. Then they divided into several groups and split up.
Rey watched their chosen directions, remembering both the total number of groups and their sizes.
Making sure that they did not notice him, Rey slowly walked a little bit away, as one of the groups with twelve Zurds in it moved into his direction.
‘Things are getting more interesting,’ thinking out a plan for the upcoming hunt, he grinned.
Upon hearing a strange noise, the Zurd, which was in front of the whole group, turned its head in that direction. Only a vague shadow flashed before the Zurd’s eyes, but this was more than enough for such beasts. Screaming loudly, the Zurd chased the shadow. The rest of the group, without any delay, followed their leader.
After a minute of the chase, the small group stretched for several tens of meters, still running after the unknown being. They continued their chase, until they heard a loud whistling sound.
A green arrow scratched the shoulder of the Zurd’s leader, pierced the neck of another Zurd, and, with a flash of green light, turning slightly to the side, stopped only in the head of the third Zurd. After taking few more steps forward, the Zurd’s leader fell to the ground, unable to breathe the air.
The rest of the group froze up, watching the whole scene before them. At this moment, Rey stepped out from behind a tree and shoot an arrow right in the eye of the fourth of them. The Zurds, after noticing the enemy in front of them, instantly rushed to him. Rey did not even move. He continued to stand still next to the same large tree, which he was ready to climb if something goes wrong.
He placed another arrow in the bow and shoot, nailing another Zurd to the ground. A second later, the sixth of them shared the same fate.
‘Maybe I should use a shortbow against them?’
Despite the fact that Rey’s mind very excited right now, it did not stop him from analyzing the effectiveness of such a hunt.
When the Zurds were already twenty meters away from Rey, there were only five of them left. And Rey did not retreat for a pretty obvious reason. The Zurd, which was in the very front, suddenly stopped due to the green spikes, which appeared right under the beast’s feet. The spikes pierced not only the creature’s legs but also the lower part of its belly.
The rest of the Zurds did not pay much attention to the unfortunate fate of their fellow, continuing to rush forward. And after few steps, another one of them died because of Rey’s trap.
‘Alright, that’s enough.’
Hiding the bow, Rey took out his daggers. The remaining three still rushed towards him, as if they completely lost the instinct of self-preservation.
One step forward and the blade of the dagger entered the throat of the first Zurd. The other two was about to reach him with their claws, but Rey simply used [Retreat], and the beasts hit nothing but the air.
With a quick strike, Rey crushed head of another Zurd and looked into the small eyes of the last beast, which froze up right before him.
‘It’d be much more difficult, if the system didn’t consider them as animals.’
Thinking about this, Rey slowly walked around the last Zurd. Suddenly, the Zurd growled something and rushed to the side.
Such a move was quite obvious, so Rey quickly threw one of his daggers into the back of the fleeing beast. Although his weapon was not really throwing, its balance was perfect.
With the dagger in its back, the Zurd fell on the ground.