Book 2: Chapter 17 – Absolute Killing Array!
At the turn of the seventh hallway, there were three guardians waiting with their weapons drawn.
“They’re here.” one of the guardians said in a low voice.
The sound of explosions could be heard from outside as the ground trembled.
The shortest guardian went to a spying hole to check out the situation ahead. He saw two gigantic frost snakes slithering across, their bodies whipping across the walls of the hall. Sometimes, the walls would crumble. Sometimes, the floors would break apart.
“Those two frost snakes are indeed ruthless. Out of this many arrays, none of them have survived the snakes’ attacks. Fortunately, the impact caused by the snakes on the array formations of the seventh hallway is the weakest,” whispered the shortest guardian. Array formations could be classified into many levels, and not all of them could be easily destroyed by the frost snakes.
“Get ready. We will activate the trap once they enter the seventh hallway,” the tallest guardian said.
“They are coming towards us. Wait for my signal,” the short one replied as he observed Xue Ying and the other experts closely.
As the five experts followed behind the two snakes, they had yet to find out where Lu Huai Ru was. Due to the octagonal shape of the castle, there were actually eight different Great Halls that they had to clear.
Right at this moment, they were heading towards a turn of one of the Great Halls.
Si Bai Rong and the black-haired Liang Yong were walking in front, with Jing Qiu and her staff behind them. She had already cast Frost armour on herself as preparation for any unforeseen events.
Xue Ying and Tang Xiong were behind her, respectively on Jing Qiu’s left and right sides.
“This inner chamber of the castle is actually this big. Where exactly did that Lu Huai Ru hide himself?” Bai Rong asked impatiently.
“Don’t be hasty.”
“We’ve checked every single place in the inner chambers. Up till now, we’ve checked six of the Great Halls . There are only two Halls left, with this being the seventh. If we still haven’t found Lu Huai Ru once the all of the eight Great Halls of the inner chambers have been thoroughly searched through, then the next possible location for him to hide in would be beneath the castle. With the Dragon Mountain flying ship outside, and us inside, there is no way he can escape!”
“En.” Bai Rong nodded his head.
“Rumble~” Suddenly, a vibration could be felt coming from the turning point into the seventh Great Hall. The ground seemed to be splitting apart, revealing large pits underneath. Within the pits, numerous sharp, upwards-facing spears could be seen! Even worse, the tips of the spears had clearly been treated with poison. Without hesitation, Xue Ying and the rest avoided the pits appearing from the widening gap in the ground. Fortunately, the two frost snakes had destroyed a large part of the ground just before, causing some parts of the array to stop functioning and preventing the ground from opening even further.
Thus, with just a little effort, Xue Ying and the other experts could easily avoid the activated trap.
“Rumble —-” The walls surrounding the experts suddenly crumbled apart. Numerous stones came tumbling onto the ground, revealing the many mechanical crossbows hidden behind.
The mechanical whirring of turning gears could be heard.
Countless arrows were facing the experts, each one as big as a person’s thigh. Looking at the situation, Bai Rong, Tang Xiong, Jing Qiu and the rest grimaced. Such thick arrows…
“Not good!” Jing Qiu’s face turned pale instantly. Looking at the mechanical crossbows, the mechanical gears controlling them were actually moving slowly, due to the debris from earlier on. The snakes destroyed the walls and the grounds was a good thing, but now, instead of preventing the crossbows from shooting, the debris was actually aiding the crossbows in gathering power. The longer it took, the more forcefully the arrows would be released.
“The four corners! Each person take one!” Both the experienced Tang Xiong and Liang Yong shouted out. They knew that they had entered a life or death situation.
Peng! Peng! Peng! Peng! Peng!
The jolting effects brought by the firing crossbows was felt clearly. The arrows were shot from every single direction, from the front, the back and even the sides. With Xue Ying and the others being right in the middle of the hall, the maximum distance between them and the crossbows was a mere few dozen metres. The closest crossbow was only 10 meters away!
Hu hu hu hu…
The arrows tore through the wind!
Within moments, hundreds of thick bolts filled the entire hallway!
It was fortunate that these mechanical crossbows were controlled by the arrays and their mechanical gears. Because of that, the amount of arrows that were actually headed for Xue Ying and the five experts was at most ten per person.
“Everyone defend yourself well!”
Tang Xiong and Liang Yong both shouted out.
“Peng!” With a shield and a sword in his hand, the black-haired Liang Yong blocked one of the arrows heading towards him. At the same time as he tilted the shield slightly, so as to reduce the impact. With just one bout, 8 or 9 arrows were averted! However, even though he greatly reduced the impact of the arrows’ strike through his shield, their force was still substantial. Were he not to have his shield to aid his defence, even wearing a suit of armour could not saved his life from the force of 2 or 3 thick crossbow arrows.
“Dang dang dang!” The hundred and sixty years old Tang Xiong blocked the entire swathe of arrows heading his way only with the help of a short sword. What an experienced old man!
“Damn!” The Silver Moon Knight Si Bai Rong was trying his best with the two-handed Great Sword in his hands in defending against the incoming arrows. He was having a hard time compared to the other two old men.
Dang dang dang !!!
Arrows came flying at him one-by-one. Even though as a Silver Moon Knight, Bai Rong could keep up with the speed of the arrows with the help of his good physique, fast reaction time and quick movement. However,he spent a lot of energy defending himself due to the lack of profound understanding in the sword arts.
The ranking of a Knight did not determine how effective one was in battle.
In fact, to become a Silver Moon Knight, one could purely increase the Dou Qi within his body to achieve this level. However, one’s skill with the great sword depended on several other factors. Even though Bai Rong spent most of his time training against the experts of his Si Clan, he was still a long way from achieving ‘One with the Sword”. At most, his foundation was relatively firm. Him fighting against ordinary Knights would not be a problem. But today? In this life or death situation, with the swift arrows coming his way, he could only depend on his instinct and reflexes.
“No!” Bai Rong’s forehead was full of cold sweat. Suddenly, he fumbled.
“Hu–” Right at this critical moment, a shield came flying towards his direction, deflecting the thick arrow.
It was Bai Rong’s guardian, Liang Yong.
During the entire struggle against the arrows, Liang Yong was actually looking out for Bai Rong. After all, the reason why he partook in this mission was to protect the young master. Yet, the incoming arrows were too fast. With his skills, he could barely protect himself, how could he even have the strength to protect another person? As a result of lending out a helping hand, he stumbled and lost the momentum in defending against the arrows. The arrows coming right toward his face were not deflected completely. Peng peng peng! With the sword within his hand, he barely managed to avert two of the arrows. But the third…?
“Ah!” Liang Yong groaned, as he utilised all his strength in trying to avoid the third arrow.
The thick crossbow arrow tore apart his right arm.
Not long after, the crossbows finally stopped firing.
From the start, only a few seconds had passed.
“Ai… Facing such a monstrous weapon at close range, this Liang Yong did not even put it in his heart to protect himself. Moreover, he dared to divert his attention towards helping his young master Bai Rong. It was his luck that he did not die from this encounter.” Tang Xiong sighed to himself.
“Old Liang! Old Liang!” Bai Rong ran up to him, carrying his black-haired guardian in his arms. The wound on Liang Yong’s right arm was continuously spewing out blood. Without hesitation, Liang Yong took out a silk cloth from his possessions and tied it against the wound to stop the blood from flowing out.
“I’m alright. It’s just a right arm,” Liang Yong said. His character was not one of loyalty and faithfulness towards the Si Clan. It was just that he had been brought up by the Si Clan, with his own Clan depending on the Si Clan for survival. If Bai Rong was to die during this mission, then without a doubt, there would be dire consequences.
“This Xue Ying is actually quite formidable. I had to put in all my effort in defending against the arrows, yet Xue Ying could easily deflect the all the arrows without much effort.” Tang Xiong glanced towards Xue Ying. Just now, he was actually concentrating on defending himself against the arrows, and thus did not have the chance to see what techniques were utilised by Xue Ying. But looking at his calm and steady bearing…
“Such a pity…”
Xue Ying shook his head. Although he was antagonistic towards Bai Rong, he had no grievances against the black-haired Liang Yong. If given a chance, he would have lent a helping hand, but he was unfortunately situated behind the team, quite a distance away from Liang Yong. Of course, it was not to say that he could not reach Liang Yong in time, it was just that Jing Qiu had a higher priority.
Jing Qiu was situated right in the middle of the group. Furthermore, being a mage, she could not do anything against this encounter with the crossbow arrows.
“Be careful!” Jing Qiu suddenly exclaimed. She was on the lookout for any further danger.
Sou Sou Sou!
Three shadows sprang out from behind the crossbows. Looking at their speed, they had the strength of Silver Moon Knights at the very least. Within a blink, they had already covered the distance between them and Xue Ying’s group.
“Liang Yong!” Tang Xiong shouted out.
“Young master!” Liang Yong shouted out. Using the shield in his hand, he defended himself and Bai Rong against the ambush of two of the guardians. Clearly, based on the previous actions, the guardians knew that the weakest among the experts was … Bai Rong. And now, with the injuries incurred by the black-haired old man, these two were the easiest to be dealt with.
As for the third guardian, he charged towards mage Jing Qiu.
“Stop!” Tang Xiong ordered. With the short sword, he confronted the third guardian.
Xue Ying, at the back of the group, also brandished his long spear and went charging towards the enemy.
“Young master, let’s work together.” guardian Liang Yong was ready to withstand the onslaught with the shield held by his only arm.
Bai Rong turned pale instantly. He was using the two-handed Great Sword to fight back against one of the guardians, but the guardian was extremely fast. With a slight movement, he dodged against the attacks. Comparing techniques, one could easily tell that this guardian had the upper hand. Thus, what Bai Rong did was something nobody would have expected. He abandoned his guardian and stopped caring about what Jing Qiu thought of him. He decided to retreat.
He ran, ran towards the back of the group, hoping that others would shield him from the enemy.
Actually, if Bai Rong had kept his wits, defending against the enemy with Liang Yong, they definitely could have lengthened the battle. By then, Xue Ying would have reached their location and helped resolve the situation.
Yet Bai Rong only cared about his own life. His decision was to retreat! The guardian who was chasing after Bai Rong changed targets, slashing at Liang Yong.
Liang Yong was already having a hard time defending himself against one of the guardians, guardian with only the shield in his hand. The moment he was pincer-attacked by two enemies guardian, he could not hold on any longer.
“Pu!” A sabre came flying from his back, slashing through his throat. Widening his eyes, Liang Yong was not resigned to death. Within those eyes was a sliver of hope, a hope that even though he had died in battle the Si Clan would still be able to provide a place for his own grandchildren to live on.
Falling to the floor, the guardian Liang Yong died!
This was the first death in the group of the five experts.
A battle between Silver Moon Knights was indeed extremely fast-paced.
If one were to talk about how fast a sword could be, within a single second, over a hundred slashes would have been dealt by a Silver Moon Knight! As for why this battle ended so quickly, one of the reasons was the fact that Bai Rong actually ran away. With the onslaught of two experienced knights, Liang Yong could only defend himself against one or two moves before succumbing to his death.
Two shadows could be seen flying across the space as snow floated along the way.
The two guardians who had just killed Liang Yong did not have the chance to react. They were instantly stabbed through their throats by the spears. Their eyes were wide open and filled with astonishment.
“Y… You… You… “Neither of them could believe it.The spear came their way too fast.
With one move, two people died.
The people present were shocked.
Actually, the technique Xue Ying practiced was senior Gu Yuan Han’s Dark Ice Spear Technique. This technique specialised in speed. Back when he was a Meteor Knight, he had already utilised the speed brought by the Dark Ice Spear Technique to kill a rank 5 Shadow Leopard! With just a casual flick, he could bring forward the strength of a Silver Moon Knight. The speed brought forward by Xue Ying could easily be used to kill the two guardians, given his understanding of the profound realm of Spear Techniques, coupled with a Transcendent’s technique.
Other than himself, Xue Ying had never met someone who had attained the realm of Great Spear Mastery. After all, reaching such a stage was no easy feat.
Those who could be as diligent as Xue Ying, spending hours training every day were very few in numbers. Even his father and Zong Ling could not keep up with the routine. Even so, one had to also be astute, not just diligent, in order to achieve great feats. Xue Ying was precisely someone who could think quickly and adjust his training routines based on the Trascendent’s technique. After the numerous trials and errors he underwent, Xue Ying had finally achieved the state of being ‘One with the Spear’, entering the realms of Great Spear Masters.
It was only with the use of the medicinal baths, the demonic training routines, the Transcendent’s technique, a castle full of warriors to spar with and an astute brain that one could reach such an achievement. Xue Ying was exactly the kind person who could achieve it!