158 Chapter 104: How the Hell is that a Prairie Dog?
When Joshua observed the creature the moment he got close enough he saw that it had three stars next to its name while being level forty-eight in comparison to the level forty-six horse. The only horses that would stand a chance in holding it off for a short period of time were the more experienced stallions of bigger herds, but that wasn't what shocked Joshua. No, what shocked Joshua was the fact that the system was calling this ugly looking abomination that had enormous teeth and spiky brown fur with thick hide a prairie dog. That's right, a prairie dog. The cute little adorable rodent like creatures that dug holes and worked together in grasslands. Those little fur balls that didn't look like they could hurt a fly let alone a horse were now turned into these abominations.
Joshua had seen some fairly strange evolutions for creatures since he had started exploring, but this was the first time he was seeing something so farfetched. Prairie dogs looked more like something you would use as a mascot for a theme park or something instead of a monster in a horror film. What made things worse was the fact that its mouth and head were so big in comparison to the rest of its body that it made it look a little disturbing. Its arms and legs were muscular, but small and were probably only used for holding down their prey. It seemed like it used its large teeth to burrow through the ground in some way while also using them to attack its enemies.
If that thing got one bite in on a horse then that horse would be done for. Not only would its large teeth probably shred the insides of a horse, but he was certain the thing could drag anything it got a hold of deep underground where it reigned supreme. Luckily it was too big and noisy to stealthily attack anyone. If anything you could hear the rumbling sound it was making from a football field away and that gave the horses a chance to escape. Of course the leader of the herd could probably hold it off if they were experienced enough in handling the prairie dogs. They did seem a bit stupid and straight forward since the entire time it was chasing the horse it did nothing but leap towards it instead of leading it in to a pit or some other clever trap. There were several holes all over the place so it would have been easy for the prairie dog to lead the horse into one of those types of traps and have it break its leg or something else along those lines.
Joshua just sighed at the injustice of the current situation as he closed in on the creature's path waiting for the moment where it would leap out of the ground once again. If he could knock it off course then he could destroy all of its momentum. He waited for the creature to come leaping out of the ground once again before rushing forward with an aura blast charged fist and slamming it into the prairie dog's side. Although the creature was massive the force of Joshua's attack took it by surprise and sent it spinning in the air and crashing into a nearby hill. The horse it was chasing stopped to look back in surprise at the situation which was enough for Lilly to run over and meld her aura with it. It was so taken off guard by the whole situation that it didn't even put up a fight as Lilly tamed it. She quickly put it away back into her soul realm before letting Cinder and Tank both grow to a larger size. They didn't grow to their full scale size since it wasn't necessary against their current opponent, but they were more than big enough to take the thing head on.
The Prairie dog picked itself back up and shook off Joshua's blow before glaring at him and growling angrily. Its large front teeth were grinding against each other as it looked from Joshua to the two giant beast behind him. It was in that moment that Joshua confirmed that the creature was stupid. Not only did it did not get freighted from seeing two beast that were bigger than it glaring right back at it, the stupid thing started growling more as if to say it owned the area. Joshua shook his head before turning to look at Lilly to see if she wanted to tame the thing, but by the way she was looking at it he was certain she found the thing way to disturbing to want to try and tame it. Now that he knew he didn't have to hold back against the creature he pulled out his scale blade preparing to fight with his aura shroud starting to cover him.
The prairie abomination of a dog grew angry when it saw Joshua pull the sword from off of his back and started to screech at him for a moment before it closed it mouth completely. Its little beady eyes seemed to enlarge for a moment and its mouth swelled up making its cheeks bulge outward. The entire scene unsettled Joshua and he could feel a sense of danger coming from it, so before it could do anything he dodged to the side just in time as the creatures mouth opened wide and shot out what looked like a large amount of vomit towards where Joshua had been standing. It was disgusting and Joshua could already hear Lilly gagging at witnessing the scene. These horrid looking things not only looked disgusting, but acted disgusting as well.
Soon Joshua knew what that ball of vomit was intended to do. He could see that the stuff was a dark brownish color most likely do to the mix of dirt that the creature had been constantly eating while digging through the ground. It wouldn't have been all that dangerous if Joshua didn't see what came next. The vomit started to solidify like cement and from the sounds it was making it was probably harder than normal stone. If Joshua had gotten covered in that stuff then it would become incredibly difficult for him to move unless he was able to find a way to break out of it which he highly doubted would have happened quickly. To make matters worse if it had covered his mouth then he might have died from suffocation if he couldn't get it off in time or worse, he could have just died from having the smell so close to his nose.
The thing seemed proud of itself for surprising Joshua at first, but when it realized he avoided its attack it got angry once again and charged directly towards Joshua in its rage. Before it could get close though it was met with a blast of water that shoved it back and slammed it into a nearby hill. That wasn't the end of things though as Cinder followed up with a large fireball to its face that instantly caught the thing on fire. Sadly for the creature it actually had a bunch of hair so the fire was spreading pretty fast. It wasn't enough to kill the large rodent, but it was more than enough to deal a lot of damage to it. Before the fire could cover its entire body it dived back into the dirt and started digging straight towards them.
Joshua had a feeling the creature was probably more dangerous underground than it ever could be on land. In fact he would have preferred to deal with it out in the open since he already had a good idea of everything it could do. Even though the creature had the advantage while underground it was still stupid and tended to do stupid things which came as no surprise to Joshua. For some reason it was locked on to Joshua still and charged directly towards him. He could see it coming his direction do to the large mounds he could see form in the ground as it dug in his direction.
At the last moment before the creature could burst out of the ground from beneath Joshua's feet he blinked to the side catching it off guard. With its head now fully exposed Joshua wasted no time in putting the half burnt creature out of its misery and charged his scale blade with an aura blast before slashing directly towards its large bulging neck. He put as much force as possible in to the blow and watched as the scale blade cut almost all the way through causing its filthy blood to start to spray everywhere. Luckily he had his aura shroud to prevent it from getting all over him. The creature screamed out with a loud shriek that nearly caused Joshua to wince in pain from being so close to it at the time. He decided to finish it off with an echo strike that completed the job for him.
Soon the creatures head went soaring through the air and crashed nearby. The rest of its body flopped down with half of it still stuck in the ground. Joshua could feel that he gained a large amount of experience from killing the creature and smiled at that fact before putting its body away into his inventory. He didn't really see what he could use the body for, but he figured having teeth that could bite clear through just about anything in the prairie could be useful for blacksmiths. One thing he knew for sure was that he wasn't planning on eating any of its meat like with the rabbits or lizards. This thing was disgusting and all though he did know that pigs could be just as bad he at least knew that pork actually tasted good. He wasn't so sure about puking dirt eating rats though.
"Well that was definitely a little bit more disturbing than I was expecting." Joshua said as he let his aura shroud calm down and disappear. He used an aura pulse to check his surroundings to make sure that there weren't any more of those creatures coming their way after hearing the shrieking that the one they had just killed made. "You sure you don't want to tame one? I thought you loved cute things?"
"Cute?! Rabbits are cute, hell lizards can even be considered cute in my eyes. I mean Cinder is a beautiful creature that deserves all the pampering I give her." Lilly said getting a happy and excited nod from Cinder in return. "That thing was anything but cute. It was one of the most hideous things I've ever seen. I'm not sure if it would be safe to even have it around my other pets. Who knows what kind of diseases that thing could have?"
Joshua just smiled at her antics before chuckling a little bit. "Well I get the feeling that those things are probably what we are going to have to deal with when we go to the dungeon in the area. I mean outside of horses there doesn't seem to be anything else around so I think it is safe to say the dungeon will be filled with them. Hell there might even be bigger and more horrendous ones inside." He said before laughing hard at the face that Lilly made at that idea. Her skin seemed to pale at the thought and she looked like she was trying her best not to hurl.
"Well let's hope that isn't the case. Spending a week around those things sounds like a nightmare. I can't even bring myself to tame one and make myself feel better about it." She said with a sad frown.
"True, but there could be some variant horse inside the dungeon as well with my luck…honestly at this point my luck might as well be your luck too." Joshua said with a small laugh before stretching a bit. "Anyways let's head towards the middle of the prairie. The further we go in the more of those holes we keep finding so I'm guessing we're headed in the right direction. I wouldn't expect us to run in to many more horses the further we go in so we best catch any we see on the way. When we get to the dungeon it'll be time to get serious."
Lilly still looked disgusted at the thought of a dungeon filled to the brim with those supposed prairie dogs, but she nodded her head and followed alongside Joshua further into the grasslands. Hopefully it wouldn't be too bad in the end…hopefully.