emeraldragon workshop :p
Chapter 79 - The first test (ix).
Zilan’s tongue coiled around the piece of broken arm, carefully trying to ascertain if his theory was correct.
He closed his eyes, concentrating only on the piece before finally swallowing it down.
Being a cultivator his stomach was naturally much tougher than ordinary beings thus the fluids quickly did away with the piece, destroying it almost instantly.
However, a faint energy contained within the piece did not dissipate causing Zilan’s eyes to shine in excitement.
“This…It has to be……although it’s extremely weak, there’s no doubt these puppets were created using a soul flame. Unfortunately, it looks like they were mass produced so neither enough power nor sufficient care was put into their creation. Sigh~ they probably lack intelligence but are programmed well enough to deceive the naked eye.”
“Um…Brother Zilan, are you really that hungry? I have some….”
Before Fujo could finish his words, Zilan stood up and spat out a faint but extremely pure energy that dissipated almost as soon as it appeared, leading others to believe that it was just an illusion.
“What are they?” asked Kifo.
“Hmm, the best way to describe them are complicated pests, too bad.” Replied Zilan, bitterly smiling.
“Mm. We should probably leave here, if I’m not wrong it’ll be back shortly and it won’t be alone.” Without waiting for the others to respond, Zilan picked up a few more pieces and then quickly departed from the area.
Unbeknownst to anyone, on a tree not too far from Zilan’s previous location was a tiny squirrel whose body perfectly blended in with the environment.
A strange smile could be seen on its face as it puffed out green smoke from its mouth.
“Haha….this kid is interesting. My judgment was not wrong.”
While the crowd was busy having discussions on whether or not Zilan was a savage Half-Breed because of his taste for the puppets remains, on the Elders hill, the mood was entirely different.
The Crane Elder’s eyes narrowed even further than they previously were prompting everyone to remain silent.
“This child is extremely sharp, with an analytical brain that doesn’t suit someone of such a young age. However, he shouldn’t underestimate the wood golems.” He said while looking down at the red forest.
Hearing this, Elder White Snow nodded while Amani frowned. He was overjoyed with the discovery of Zilan’s talent but things weren’t as simple as they seemed in there.
As the group moved around, surprisingly they failed to encounter anymore of those ‘pests’ moving around.
Time moved on and although various materials continued to fill their voidless sacks, there were no smiles to be seen on their faces.
“Where has everyone gone?” wondered Fujo as he searched around in bewilderment. “Ever since we encountered that thing we haven’t seen anyone else around.”
Zilan also looked around but unfortunately no signs of harmful influence were detected by him.
“Ever since we encountered the puppet? That’s not right…..it should be ever since we moved in the direction opposite of it? Wait...I missed something!?”
“Not good! We might be ambushed soon.” Zilan’s teeth were clenched as he vigilantly looked around. “I made the mistake of assuming those things entire makeup, it looks like they’re all connected and collaborating.”
“Eh? Is that why we can’t see anyone?” inquired Fujo as his senses heightened ready to battle.
Zilan on the other hand visibly shook as he slapped his thigh.
“There’s an array at play here. It’s not strong but it’s doing its job of keeping us in this area. It’s separating us so that those things can easily and slowly deal with us. Unfortunately, that’s all I can tell, anything else we’ll have to figure out later.”
Just as he finished saying those words, a silver light flashed and four ten foot tall, lanky ‘pests’ appeared.
Without warning, they dashed towards the group with deadly intent.
Zilan immediately backed away allowing the duo of Kifo and Fujo to meet them.
“Hmph! Going through all this trouble just to walk to your deaths.” Snorted Kifo.
“Bring it on!” Growled Fujo as he stood as steady as a mountain.
Behind them, Zilan’s voice abruptly sounded out.
“Defeat them and we’ll be let out of the array. This is still a test after all.”
The duo instantly smirked. Unfortunately the bringer of the news was doing the opposite.
“I couldn’t even detect a whiff of it before I was already inside this bloody array. F*ck, whoever made this! If only I could use my eyes.” Despite thinking this, his true feelings were that of both shame and fear.
He suspected that the array was set up by the Association Chairman himself otherwise he’d at least be able to notice a few traces.
“If my strength was higher then this places wouldn’t be able to restrict me.” He lamented.
Taking action now, to break the array would take too long without the use of his eyes thus he could only await his comrades victory.
Not too far from them the strange red squirrel was quite animated. It would laugh one second then take a puff from his pipe before laughing out once again.
Seeing the embarrassed and annoyed expression on Zilan’s face, he was extremely happy.
“Whose garden do you think this is? Hmph! Swaggering about while plucking treasures, do you really think it would be that easy? Haha… this array Master passed onto me is really too good, all of these big geniuses who think they’re all that, always have that same stupid expression on their face, it’s too damn pleasing to look at. You can be considered good though since you managed to notice its capabilities, now hurry up into the inner area so we can play some even better games...hehe.” He smacked his lips as he said the final part.
The flaming sword made an appearance once again, sweeping out and occupying two of the four giant creatures.
The other two made a mad dash for Fujo who smiled as he slowly opened his mouth and let out a soft roar.
Despite the soft sound, a huge explosion suddenly occurred however, its origin was too strange. The two creatures that were supposed to be attacking Fujo actually collided with one another shocking Zilan.
They weren’t done though, almost as if the two hadn’t had enough of each other, their bodies glued together, unable to separate.
Fujo laughed as he saw this,
“When the King roars everyone must stop.”
His ability was related to suction at least that was the case in Zilan’s eyes and from the way the two creatures were stuck together, Fujo’s control of it was clearly exceptional.
He slowly walked up to the two creatures and with an honest smile raised his leg up high and smashed their heads to pieces causing red sap like blood to fly everywhere.
“Ho…purely with physical strength? Even with this pressure he can still showcase this much power? Impressive!” nodded Zilan.
As he turned to the other end, Kifo had long since dealt with the other two ‘pests’. In fact, he’d done so in only four strikes. Zilan wasn’t paying attention though.
“Not bad, my foot! Why aren’t you doing anything? What kind of laziness is this? Are you still the same person who wanted to spar with me so badly?” inwardly cursed Kifo.
After finishing off their opponents, the space around them blurred before a terrifying sight opened up to them.
Hundreds of trees had been uprooted, the ground had cracks, craters, ravines and even scorch marks. Swords, arrows and many other types of weapons were left scattered around, most of them broken with very few still intact.
This was not the most frightening though. In truth, dozens of bodies belonging to both the strange creatures as well as test participants were lying dead, never to awaken again. The worst part was the fact that most of the bodies were not even whole.
“What happened here?” Not requiring an answer, Fujo simply inquired due to the sudden shock.
“Let’s move on.” Whispered Zilan after bowing towards the dead. There was neither the time nor safety for him to bury them.
“I’ve been too careless.” He concluded.
When the first creature appeared, in Zilan’s opinion, its mission was most likely to mark their positions and not to outright destroy them, that’s why it was so quick to flee.
With their positions marked, it allowed the array to take hold of them easily, allowing more of the creatures to group up, surprise and overwhelm their opponents. Luckily, he figured it out in time otherwise the shock factor that comes with an ambush would result in an injury or two.
Even though, their lives weren’t in any particular danger due to their weak opponents Zilan couldn’t help but shiver when he thought about the outcome had their foes been stronger.
He was the one who led them through the forest thus if anything unfortunate occurred the responsibility would fall on him.
Apologies for the late chapter, I've been busy for the past few days but I'll be much more free in the coming days.
$15 = 1 extra Pob chapter to the schedule.