Chapter 170: The Desperate Dash
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
When Giza raised her arms, Thales felt a tremor from belowground.
In the next second, the Blood Mystic rose from the ground!
No, it should be gigantic blood tentacles that were as tall as two people broke through the ground, rose from it and forcibly lifted Giza up. She was then raised a good seven to eight stories high.
Immediately following that was the sound of flesh rupturing as the gigantic tentacles exploded into numerous smaller ones. They spread across a terrifyingly large area and in every direction.
Each tentacle had a life of its own as they weaved forward. A few seconds later, the Blood Tentacles trembled collectively. Their presence was overwhelmingly pervasive as they snaked rapidly in Thales’ direction.
There was more than a hundred of them. Tentacles covered almost his entire view, even the moon was hidden away.
Thales’ face paled as he watched the scene unfold before him. In a daze, Little Rascal just clung to him as she had been scared silly a long time ago.
Asda opened his mouth wide and yelled furiously,
With a quiver, Thales pulled Little Rascal up, turned around and started running.
He gritted his teeth, then charged ahead without a care for anything else, without turning his head, and without changing his direction—just like Asda had told him to.
Giza’s delighted, maniacal laughter echoed from behind him. Thales had just covered a short distance when he heard a loud boom come from behind him.
An airstream surged towards him wildly and uncontrollably.
Then another loud bang.
Another airstream swept up endless dirt, stones, and snow in another direction and carried them all away.
Thales’ heart jumped.
‘This is bad. This is… The air wall is getting smashed!’
The thunderous bangs behind him sounded one after another. The airflow raged more urgently and grew more chaotic. Apparently, Asda’s air wall was being penetrated again and again.
As it happened, Thales felt a heavy weight in his hand—Little Rascal had slipped and fell onto the ground.
Thales felt a chill in his heart. Before he could react to the situation, the slightly slower duo felt darkness come charging towards them.
Countless tentacles struck from behind. Like a giant dome, the tentacles covered their heads…
… and blocked their way forward.
Within the darkness, Thales sucked in a breath of cold air. Right after he pulled Little Rascal up, he heard the sound of flesh scraping against each other rise from all around him.
In his line of vision, the tentacles shining with a red light came charging towards him from all angles, leaving no space forgotten.
Little Rascal hugged him tightly as she cried out in fear.
‘No… Is there no chance…?’
Thales desperately felt around his waist and touched JC’s dagger.
Right then, the tentacles surrounding Thales shuddered all at once. Blue glowing spots suddenly shot out from the red light that filled his entire vision.
The approaching tentacles paused.
Strange explosions rang successively in his ear.
Within the next second, a ray of moonlight appeared within the darkness. It grew bigger and brighter, until it chased away the shadows cast by the tentacles.
*Boom! Pow! Smash! Bang! Splat!*
Thales watched in shock as hundreds of the Blood Tentacles around him imploded one after another. When they burst, a vast layer of blood fog and broken limbs flew out of them like shrapnel.
Another moment passed as hundreds of the smaller tentacles exploded directly at their roots.
The giant tentacle beneath the Blood Mystic also wobbled internally. A big hole ruptured on its surface and blood seeped through it as innumerable droplets.
“Such fast reactions, wizard’s apprentice!” Giza laughed out loud and lightly caressed the tentacle beneath her.
Then, the scattered tentacles, due to the explosion, struggled swiftly on the ground and started transforming.
Some of the larger broken limbs had countless appendages and calves grow from it, making them resemble spiders and scorpions. The smaller broken limbs would stretch out to resemble tadpoles or snakes. Some of them even shrank into a ball and started rolling like the wheels from his previous world.
Their similarity was that once they transformed, they would run, crawl, roll, or use other methods to charge at Thales and Little Rascal.
As he watched the hundreds of oddly-shaped ‘little creatures’ and their convoluted figures chase after them, Thales felt his scalp tingle. He immediately turned around and ran with all his might.
‘Seriously, man, I have trypophobia!’
Little Rascal seemed to have realized the severity of the situation. She clenched her jaw as she relentlessly caught up with Thales’ pace. However, they simply could not outrun the creatures.
Suddenly, a six-legged, one-eyed monster with a pair of claws leaped to their side.
As Thales caught a glimpse of this thing out of the corner of his eyes, his body erupted immediately with goosebumps. In the next second, the monster suddenly trembled and exploded like the tentacles. The countless others behind it also exploded into blood droplets that rained down from the sky. Blood completely drenched Thales and Little Rascal’s face.
Before Thales could rejoice, he suddenly felt that the blood on his head started jerking around as if it had life. Like millions of little tadpoles, it started to move and tremble on his skin simultaneously.
‘What the f*ck!’
Disgust and fear simultaneously flashed through Thales’ mind.
Fortunately, an unprecedented gust of wind then came and swept Thales and Little Rascal into the air.
This wind seemed to have its own awareness; it entered from every spot imaginable and swept off Giza’s blood from their skin. Thales and Little Rascal slipped onto the floor again, disheveled and exhausted.
That strong gust of wind grew stronger still. With a rumble, it blew several houses apart as it curled towards Giza’s direction. It broke her newborn tentacles, scattered them and caused them to explode in mid-air.
Without hesitation, Thales got up as he pulled Little Rascal with him. With the momentum of the wind, they ran forward desperately.
He gasped for breath. The fluctuations had been activated for a long time in his body and it was for this reason that Thales held Little Rascal’s hand from time to time, in case she was unable to keep up.
He clenched his jaw, knowing that everything related to blood and living things behind him could become a weapon to bring about his death.
‘Just run. This is a desperate dash for survival!’
Finally, the two of them ran out onto the street, and saw living people again.
The Northlanders on the other street seemed to have heard the massive noise and vibrations. Many of them came out to see the commotion, and those who saw Thales sprinting engaged in fervent discussion.
Thales wanted to yell for them to escape. But running with Little Rascal already left him winded; he had no strength to even open his mouth, he could only keep running subconsciously.
Back at the street Thales fled from, a violent gust of wind billowed through and a figure stood in the air.
The Air Mystic’s eyes glowed blue. The blue light flowed onto his entire face, making it seem as if his face was cracking. He was silently confronting the Blood Mystic on the tentacle.
But at that moment, the density, brightness and frequency of the blue light’s current on Asda’s face was stronger than when he fought against Black Sword.
“Hahahaha!” the Blood Mystic seemed to be ecstatic. She laughed as she said to Asda, “See, evolving wasn’t that hard, was it?”
“You were right, evolving has increased the precision of my control.” The Air Mystic’s words were emotionless, neither was there any intonation in them, like he did not want to respond to Giza. “Air is indeed omnipresent in… Let’s say, all life forms?”
As his voice fell, the giant tentacle beneath Giza exploded yet again into numerous holes from the inside out. It shriveled as it shrank.
“You don’t have much more blood to spare,” the Air Mystic said coldly, “Give up, how about that?”
The Blood Mystic smiled as she landed on the ground.
“No blood.” Giza’s words became more casual, her accented laughter turned strange. “No blood?”
When she said that, her eyes lit up and the blood vessels on her face became more prominent than before. They began to tremble with increasing frequency as they branched into millions of tinier branches.
“Continue evolving.” As Asda flickered in the blue light, the blue rays in his eyes grew brighter, yet his tone remained surprisingly flat. “You’ve indeed turned insane.”
In the next moment, Giza laughed impudently. The ground beneath her feet cracked suddenly as constant tremors were heard.
The cracks in the ground stretched nearly a hundred meters wide, and the terrain began to bulge upwards.
Amid the loud crashing, a giant monster tens of meters tall burst out of the ground with Giza as the centerpoint. Debris and snow crumbled away from its body.
The gigantic monster completely covered everything within the surrounding hundred-meter radius.
It was just like a rooted old tree. It also resembled an incomparably enormous Blood Octopus.
If Thales turned around, he would have recognized it as the terrifying ‘hydra’ in the birch tree forest. The only problem was that it was a dozen times larger than before.
The hydra’s tentacles continued to penetrate deeper into the ground. Its limbs twitched violently, the tremors spreaded slowly without pause.
Very quickly, in the streets and city districts hundreds of meters away, numerous terrifying giant tentacles erupted from the ground. One of them appeared on the street Thales had just run into.
Thales stared blankly as the giant tentacle seemingly sprouted from the ground.
The surrounding citizens burst out in cries of surprise and scattered in all directions. But their luck was clearly horrendous.
In the next second, the tentacle immediately split into countless smaller tentacles. Like a predator, mercilessly and swiftly attacking all living beings around it.
He felt his skin crawl, but Thales did not turn back. He pulled Little Rascal with him and continued his desperate sprint. Internally, he was howling in grief with all his might.
The previous Blood Mystic was not like this at all.
Among the loud noise, the wails, pained screams, pleas for help, and desperate cries to live from countless citizens came traveling into his ears in succession like enchanted sounds.
“What is this?!”
“Chop it off! Chop… urk…”
“Run! Hurry up!”
“Damn it! You damned- Aaahh!! Let me go!!”
In several streets, numerous people were wrapped up by these small-sized tentacles and sent back to the huge tentacle serving as the root. They were made to fuse into that horrifying flesh-and-blood mess. It did not even let go of domesticated animals like cats and dogs, and even birds, insects, trees and flowers.
No matter what it was, just like their lives, their voices came to an abrupt halt when they entered the tentacles’ flesh.
Thales gritted his teeth relentlessly as his tears fell continuously. The tragic scenes, far beyond what his mental state could endure, attacked his heart.
Little Rascal just held her head low. She did not look to the sides, the rear or anywhere around her, and just kept crying and running.
Several tentacles reached for them but Thales was already at the brink of exhaustion. He could not even think about dodging. There were only wisps of the shadowy airflow and the air wall that unwaveringly kept these terrifying predators at bay.
Asda floated gently in mid-air. Everything in the air told him what was happening in the huge city district.
On this end, the Blood Mystic grinned at the expressionless Air Mystic. “I actually… have an entire city’s worth of flesh! How can there be no blood?”
With the new life energy provided, the hydra’s body became stronger and wider. The tentacle closest to Thales suddenly trembled and exploded into even more tentacles. They charged towards him.
The Air Mystic turned his radiant eyes and glanced in the direction of Thales’ fleeing form, far away and almost gone.
He immediately turned back around. The blue lights on his body slowly changed from a streaked form into starry shapes. It was like a dazzling constellation.
The words Asda said also grew calmer and more apathetic, “Life must depend on air.”
The Air Mystic slowly raised a hand, “If there is no air… How will life survive?”
Giza’s smile slowly sank. Asda balled his hands into fists.
During that instant, while in the distance, Thales felt another circle appear around him.
In his field of vision, it seemed like it was just him and Little Rascal being contained in a transparent sphere made out of blue light. Then, Thales was surprised to see that everything around him was different.
First of all, the sound in his surroundings had dissipated. Then, the snow on the ground began to… boil at a rate that was visible to the naked eye.
No, not just the snow. Everything before his eyes gradually evaporated into steam… as they boiled.
A man next to them suddenly clutched at his neck, as if he had difficulty breathing. He opened his mouth in desperation as he tried to inhale. Steam emerged and dispersed rapidly from his eyes and mouth. A good ten seconds later, the man collapsed, then his body began to swell.
Thales and Little Rascal watched everything, stupefied. At the same time, they realized that the snow and items near them were still normal.
“What’s going on?!” Little Rascal asked fearfully.
Thales shook his head, flabbergasted. Even with his knowledge, he simply could not understand the current situation. He raised his head and saw numerous citizens around him began to bloat up one after another.
Even those terrifying tentacles emitted steam in the struggle before they, too, collapsed onto the ground.
Thales only felt horrified as he subconsciously grabbed Little Rascal and continued running onwards. In his eyes, the blue sphere was like a layer of protective film, protecting him and Little Rascal, not affected by the terrible situation happening in the outside world.
In the silent, treacherous world, Thales ran past several people who fell to the ground. Some of their figures swelled like the man’s, but more people were apparently dead as their bodies receded to their normal size in death. Their skin tightly stretched over their skeletons, like an old corpse.
In that instant, Thales felt an unprecedented chill in his heart. His intuition told him that there was no one alive in this city anymore.
He squeezed Little Rascal’s hand tightly with his own trembling one. The girl was also dazed, just subconsciously following Thales.
They ran past multiple corpses in all forms, shapes, and postures, but whom all have died with pain on their faces.
Thales clenched his teeth tightly and wiped his tears away. He desperately suppressed a second wave of tears from his eyes. He knew that the deaths of these men and women were all because of him; he brought death and disaster.
Thales shook his head fiercely as he tried to expel everything from his heart. He tried to not think about anything. Panic-stricken, terrified, and alarmed, he only had one objective left in mind.
‘Run. Run quickly, the further the better.’
In the silent world, the Air Mystic calmly floated in the air.
He glanced at the Blood Mystic and her pet aloofly as they fell to the ground trembling and boiling. The blood in Giza’s body was constantly evaporating, but the Blood Mystic still barely looked at him and even smiled.
In the next second, the blood vessels on Giza’s body ‘grew’ profusely again. It was as if all the flesh had enveloped her.
The huge tentacle beneath her suddenly moved. Large amounts of flesh shrank inwards, and from a gigantic hydra of several hundred meters, it shrank rapidly into a black and tiny but bizarre creature. It extended an even tinier-looking but much sturdier tentacle, though it resembled a black bone spur.
The Air Mystic remained expressionless but his eyebrow twitched slightly. He clenched his right hand as tightly as possible and the blue light that flashed on his face grew rapidly.
That thing suddenly shot three thin bone spurs from its body and sent them straight through Asda.
The blue rays on Asda’s body flashed and flickered. The Air Mystic’s right hand unclenched.
Then, as if a powerful force had struck, the entire Shield District exploded baselessly in a loud bang!
Everything suddenly exploded and shattered, as if someone had suddenly struck them with their palms.
Gravel flew everywhere and fragments were scattered in all directions. Quite a large number of them flew at Thales and Little Rascal, but were forcibly blocked by the blue-light sphere.
That was when Thales felt as if all of Dragon Clouds City was being rocked in a circular motion by a giant before it suddenly exploded.
Both he and Little Rascal were knocked to the ground. But after that, Thales noticed that everything in front of him had reverted to normalcy.
At the instant of the explosion, sound seemed have returned suddenly. Snow and water stopped evaporating. The withered, mummified corpses of the people started returning to normal.
Thales gasped in shock. He turned his head and looked in Asda and Giza’s direction, but could see nothing.
Little Rascal trembled as she tugged at his sleeve. Thales turned his head around and saw Little Rascal staring blankly ahead.
There were corpses strewn all over the street spanning several tens of meters, over a hundred of them.
Thales knew in his heart that there were probably more corpses lying around on the other streets.
He tried desperately to control the trembling in his chest and forced down the lump in his throat.
Little Rascal was sobbing quietly.
“Why…” Little Rascal shivered and shook her head in grief. Her tears fell steadily. “What exactly are these…”
“Don’t look.” Thales took a deep breath, clenched his jaw and resisted his own urge to cry. He resolutely covered Little Rascal’s eyes and held her as they continued forward. “Don’t look.”
In that moment, an immense feeling of sorrow welled up in Thales’ heart. He gritted his teeth and said, “It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. Soon. It will pass soon… It will pass.”
Far away, the Air Mystic recovered slowly under the blue light’s restoration. He stared blankly at Giza.
“Surprised?” Giza giggled as she returned a look, “But this is life, isn’t it?
“Did you know, even in a vacuum void of air, there is a life form that will live on tenaciously?”
Asda stared at her, the blue light on his face sparkled.
“That boy, he must have been born under a lucky star. Are you prepared to begin the second round?” the Blood Mystic charmingly shook her head. The veins on her face turned into an even more terrifying shade of dark purple. “I’m coming.”
“If you evolve again, you’ll have to ‘knock on the Door’.” Without any emotion in his voice and as if he was pure logic, the Air Mystic stared at Giza calmly, as if she was not going after the potential Mystic he wanted to protect. “Are you sure?”
“Ah, little puppy Asda.” The Blood Mystic licked the corner of her lips. With mischievous charm, she said,
“I am sure. You might want to guard him closely now.”
A distance away, on a small roof in Armor District was a young man in white. He stared at the terrifying scene in Shield District with a grave expression as well as the frightening creature of about dozens of feet tall.
He was not the only one who came out to watch the commotion. On both sides of the street in Armor District, citizens appeared outside large and small houses. They gesticulated at the monster in horror.
But the young man seemed rather special. For some strange reason, he seemed to be… talking to air.
“Yes, right,” the young man in white said somewhat anxiously, “It has begun. However, there are several small- no, large mishaps.”
The young man took a deep breath, raised his right hand, and said to the air, “That homicidal maniac seems to have gone more berserk than expected. Did Black Sword really have the ability to push that monster to this extent?”
The young man paused and nodded his head. “Right, at this rate, I suspect that the whole of Dragon Clouds City will be torn down by it.”
In the distance, the monster shriveled suddenly.
“Alright, I will keep watching… Well, it seems like the commotion has abated.” The young man sighed in relief and continued, “But I suggest that we should stay cautious and consider a few other possibilities. Maybe there will be some unexpected factors this evening.”
A violent explosion suddenly erupted from Shield District.
The young man’s eye widened. He stared intently at Shield District in the distance. Shield District, filled with single-story houses of various sizes, had just one layer sliced cleanly off.
“Oh God, you will not believe this!” the young man said hurriedly, “This is preposterous. That monster practically wants to destroy the world!
“An accident must have happened. Be it Ramon or Black Sword, I don’t believe that they can push the monster to such an extent!
“… You’re sure there’s no problem with that?” The young man froze, his expression was unpleasant.
“Yes.” He exhaled. “We shall do it that way then.”
The young man put down his right hand and stopped talking. His expression was graver than before.
“Your Majesty, have you seen it?”
Nicholas hastily rushed to the dais to report back to King Nuven.
The old king stared intently at Dragon Clouds City beneath the dais, his gaze locked at the furthest, lowest, largest, and most populated city district.
“Ah.” King Nuven clenched his teeth and his eyes were bloodshot. “I saw it.”
Just then, a blood-red, giant monster suddenly appeared, followed by the sounds of endless vibrations and blood-curdling screams that could be heard clearly even from Heroic Spirit Palace.
Then, the monster went silent once again.
Several minutes later, another loud bang sounded. The entirety of Shield District visibly became one layer lower.
“How unexpected.” King Nuven’s words contained a heavy vehemence. “Besides Raikaru, I presume that I am… the first Northland king who is ‘fortunate enough’ to witness it after more than six hundred years.”
King Nuven clenched his fists tightly, his eyes surged with the flames of anger and hatred.
“Since childhood, a monster that could only be seen in illustrations… The Hydra, Kilika. Raikaru’s archenemy.”
King Nuven slammed his palm on the platform, his palm burst with blue veins.
Nicholas gritted his teeth and glanced at his blade. He grasped the hilt tightly.
“What exactly happened to Shield District?”
King Nuven restrained his own tone, and only by every last ounce of his strength did he manage to say calmly, “How many citizens were evacuated? What about the patrol’s report?”
Red Witch Calshan solemnly walked up from behind him. She looked at the city district in the distance, saturated with smoke and dust. Slowly, she let out a sigh.
When she looked up again, the Red Witch’s eyes became clear and indifferent once more.
“Your Majesty,” Red Witch said flatly, “forgive me as I speak forthrightly. I’m afraid that…”
Calshan made a slight, respectful bow.
“There’s no longer a Shield District.”