GDK 403 – Gargoyle Swarm
At the same time when the Rebirth Pill helped Trunks reach the level of great swordmaster, it also helped him reform his body, causing his meridians to be more durable than a normal person's. It was precisely because of this that Han Shuo was able to use the demonic yuan energy to help him recover after they returned to the Soul Destroyer mercenary band's base.
As expected, when Han Shuo brought the severely injured Trunks back to the Soul Destroyer mercenary band's base, the mercenaries had the urge to almost immediately fight to the death against the three powers when they understood the situation. Some mercenaries even charged out in their fury and were only hauled back by Gilbert under Han Shuo's instructions.
Gilbert clearly had some standing within the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. Although the mercenaries were unwilling when they were unyieldingly hauled back by Gilbert, they still yielded to Gilbert's might.
This is to be expected. A mercenary band is also a place where the strong are worshipped. The person with the harder fist would have more persuasiveness. Within the Soul Destroyer mercenary band, even the strength of Trunks was below dark dragon Gilbert. As Gilbert has been in the Soul Destroyer mercenary band for so long, the other mercenaries have long since understood his fearfulness and difficulty to work with. At times, there was no difference between his orders and Trunks'.
While Gilbert was suppressing the impulsive mercenaries, Han Shuo immediately headed toward the inner dwelling without hesitation. He instructed Gilbert without lifting his head, "Use cruel methods to torture those people for me. However, do keep them alive. When Trunks recovers, Trunks will end them himself."
After speaking, Han Shuo already brought Trunks to the interior of the dwelling, leaving behind Asa and the rest whose legs have been pierced like skewers by the bone spears.
As Grant and the rest looked at Asa and the rest who had their tendons cut, their bones broken from head to toe, they still felt unresolved hatred in their hearts. Once Han Shuo left, they followed Gilbert to each choose a victim, bringing them to the dark and damp prison area. There was an entire set of torture tools there!
Bringing Trunks into a bright stone room, Han Shuo sat cross-legged behind Trunks. His palms were placed on Trunks' back, slowly sending strands of demonic yuan energy into Trunks' body, gradually mending Trunks' damaged body.
The reason why demonic yuan energy was more mystical than fighting aura was that apart from possessing enormous killing power, it could also possess more wonderful uses through practiced manipulation. Aiding the injured in recovering was one of these uses of demonic yuan energy.
Trunks' current situation was that the tendons on his limbs were all snapped. However, Trunks' fighting aura still existed and once Trunks' tendons healed, it wouldn't affect his strength. To a swordsman, tendons snapping signified that a person had become a cripple. Even stronger swordsmen would not be of any threat, hence Asa and the rest didn't do more than was required.
Regardless of priests or alchemists in the Profound Continent, their attainments in the treatment of the body and meridians would still be beneath Han Shuo. Hence, Han Shuo had a solution to an unsolvable problem to most people. Trunks' body which had been reformed by the Rebirth pill was easily cleansed of disorder by the circulation of Han Shuo's demonic yuan energy.
As it treated the injuries, the demonic yuan energy became like gentle flowing water, wrapping around all the broken meridians. Han Shuo's consciousness pried into Trunks' body, slowly reattaching the broken meridians and then activated the surplus energy from the Rebirth pill to gather around the broken meridians.
Trunks' body was much stronger than an ordinary person's, but it was still far from Han Shuo's. Hence, when Han Shuo treated Trunks' injuries, he didn't use up much demonic yuan energy. He only needed to get familiar with the precision of meridians and to proficiently set things right.
As time passed silently, Han Shuo who was seated behind Trunks didn't need to focus that attentively as Trunks' condition became better. The meridians only needed to be slowly nourished by Han Shuo's demonic yuan energy. Hence, Han Shuo was able to divert his demonic yuan energy to other matters.
The disappearance of Trunks and the experts of the three powers from the cave in the mountain was discovered by the next wave of people. The three powers were all flustered, not knowing what had happened. Laureton, Florida and Adam Menlo had once again got together anxiously to investigate deeper.
However, no matter how they guessed, they couldn't figure out how the extremely hidden cave was exposed. In the end, the three powers inevitably believed after deliberating that there was a spy within their men, inwardly thinking who among their men could be the culprit.
Without a doubt, the three experts understood that Trunks was rescued and it should be related to the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. The three powers who originally hesitated in taking action due to self-interest and all kinds of scruples now knew that there was no turning back. Laureton and the two others were experienced people, deciding together to immediately attack the Soul Destroyer mercenary band.
As matters stand, wanting to destroy the Soul Destroyer mercenary band while not incurring any losses by capturing Trunks clearly wouldn't work. Although the three powers who have fought which each other for so long knew that this time around they would again incur more losses, they couldn't care too much about it anymore.
At their orders, the Cairo mercenary band, Rainbow Sickle mercenary band, House of Menlo and another five or six smaller mercenary bands driven by profits rapidly gathered more than six thousand people who brazenly departed for the Soul Destroyer mercenary band.
They had no choice but to stop when they reached the location of the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. The various leaders gathered together and started to discuss how to attack the Soul Destroyer mercenary band.
The terrain of the Soul Destroyer mercenary band was extremely special. It was on a protruding wall under a precipice, like a piece of rock hanging halfway up the mountain. This location was just a sheet of whiteness when seen from below, totally concealed by fog. There was only one route that led from the precipice above.
However, if one tries to enter from above, people from the Soul Destroyer mercenary band would naturally discover it. Hence, attacking from above was an incredibly painful affair. It was certain that the losses of the few powers would far exceed their expectations.
As the proverb goes, it was easier to ascend a mountain then descend from it. This saying similarly applied to battling on such a terrain. Sieging a location was always extremely difficult. That was because the process of climbing up the city walls was truly too painful.
However, while climbing up a city's walls, although it was extremely disadvantageous when facing the attacks from above, it was still possible to raise your head and clearly face the sky and use your weapon to block incoming attacks. However, in this location, when descending from the precipice, it would be tough to deal with attacks from below and might even be impossible to see the situation underneath.
Firstly it was because of the fog, secondly, they had to be more cautious while descending as a slip would cause them to fall to their deaths. For Trunks to find such a place to be the Soul Destroyer mercenary band's base, it was an extremely wise decision. This location was hard to attack and if anyone tried to enter, they had to pay an unimaginable price.
Right at this moment, although Laureton and the rest had captured Trunks alive, they didn't dare to rashly attack the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. However, after Trunks had been rescued, they had no other choice but to face this special terrain. Even the method of entering had caused them to debate for a long time.
The three of them were all the astute type and understood that the one who descended first would definitely suffer the most losses.They naturally didn't want to be the first to descend. However, the others also weren't fools. None of the powers were willing to lead such a suicidal attack. Hence when they really had to attack, the delegation suddenly halted.
As they discussed, none of them were willing to let their subordinates be the first to descend. When he recalled that the Soul Destroyer mercenary band were not in the least inferior to them and that this was an easily guarded terrain, Laureton had a headache, not knowing what to do.
"How about we would just keep watch over this precipice. They can't always stay within their base. Otherwise, food and water would definitely become a problem. Once they emerge from their base, we can easily kill them with our strength. We would face cruel attacks if we descend. However, it would similarly be difficult for them to ascend. We can hound them to death by blocking up this position." Florida had a darkened expression as he proposed this malicious plan.
Everyone knew that this plan was useful. However, this would cause the battle to become a long war of attrition. No one could guess how much provision the Soul Destroyer mercenary band had and if they truly wasted their time here, they were unsure if there would be problems at their own bases.
"All of you also know that that fellow Gilbert is a dark dragon. Furthermore, the Soul
Destroyer mercenary band also has many mages that can use floating magic. If they depart and use spatial rings to transport provisions, there's no knowing how much time we would waste. I don't think this plan would work." Adam Menlo thought for a while, before suddenly voicing his opposition.
"In that case, what do you think we should do?" When Florida saw that his idea was overruled, his expression became more unsightly as he asked Adam Menlo.
Staying silent for a while, Adam Menlo seemed to be making up his mind. He raised his head to look at Laureton and Florida, saying, "Our House still has a batch of tamed flying creatures. Adding them to the current flying creatures present, they are able to carry three hundred people at one time. If these three hundred men are the experts from our three powers, if they utilize large-scale killing spells when they reach, they should definitely be able to hold for a short while. After that, the flying creatures will repeatedly shuttle our men down. In this way, I feel that we wouldn't need to undergo the process of slowly descending."
Hearing his words, everyone was overjoyed. Florida was equally excited as he smiled and said, "Old thing, you obviously have such a good method, why didn't you mention it earlier?"
Adam Menlo's expression darkened as his eyes twitched, thinking inwardly. Those are what is guarding my base and I originally intended to use them to deal with you all in the end. If not for us really no having other means, why would I bring them out? Of course, Adam Menlo naturally didn't say these words aloud, only appearing calm and silent.
"Hey, with this method, every issue can be solved. If we are able to annihilate the Soul Destroyer mercenary band, the contribution of your House of Menlo is the biggest. Come, come, let us carefully discuss how many experts each power would send." Laureton laughed refreshingly as he shouted at the leaders of the various powers.
After a whole day and night, Han Shuo who had brought Trunks into the interior of the mountain finally exited the cave. Gilbert, Grant and the rest quickly hurried over when they heard the news. Once Gilbert saw Han Shuo, he hurriedly inquired, "Master, how is Trunks?"
"Don't worry, after resting for a month, Trunks would be able to be as before!" Han Shuo consoled Gilbert. His expression darkened soon after as he said, "The three powers and other small mercenary bands are already in the vicinity and a currently discussing how to attack us. They have six thousand people, we must deal with them cautiously."
"We have a thousand and seven hundred people here. Rely on the terrain advantage, they can forget about easily attacking us. Hmph, Leader had been tormented by them till such a state. We must make them pay the price. Whoever dares to descend will die by our hands." Grant and Trunks were friends for many years and had even worked together in the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band. He was unable to restrain his anger and shouted loudly.
Han Shuo could totally understand Grant's anger. However, he still shared what he heard, "The House of Menlo is dispatching their secret flying creatures. These creatures can carry three hundred men down each time. If there are tens of mages within this three hundred, large-scale killing spells would cause an enormous obstruction to us.
During that time, these flying creatures can bring another three hundred people down. At that time, the advantages of this location would no longer exist. Hence, we absolutely cannot lower our guard and must have the proper preparation. Otherwise, we would definitely lose this battle."
Hearing what Han Shuo said, Grant was shocked and suddenly calmed down. He knew that if it was truly as Han Shuo described, the one thousand and seven hundred people in the Soul Destroyer mercenary band simply had no way of resisting the attack of six thousand people.
"What should we do then?" Grant somewhat anxiously inquired.
"Master, Lania and I will transform into our true forms and exterminate them from the sky." dark dragon Gilbert shouted viciously, prepared for a massacre.
"If it was only three hundred ordinary swordsmen, Lania and yourself transforming into your true forms would be enough. However, there are many mages within these three hundred experts. The two of you definitely wouldn't be able to resist the attacks of so many experts. Furthermore, their goal is only to descend here. How many people can you and Lania prevent from coming down? Although this is an idea, it doesn't cover all grounds!" Han Shuo looked at the eager dark dragon Gilbert, calming stating the facts.
"What should we do then?" This time it was the hydra Lania who asked, the coquettish Lania and the wanton Gilbert were truly a match made in heaven. When the two lascivious races bonded, their turbulent feelings caused even Han Shuo to be stupefied.
"Yea. Master, what do you think we should do?" Gilbert had a puzzled expression as he bitterly asked Han Shuo.
"We'll follow your suggestion, with Lania and yourself intercepting them in the air. In addition, I will summon many gargoyles to help you. When they are about to land, the archers below will fire constantly. As long as the first wave of the strongest experts is killed, it would be hard for them to win this battle." Han Shuo sneered as he replied Gilbert.
Laureton, Florida and Adam Menlo simply had no idea that their every move was under Han Shuo's surveillance. They were still under the impression that their attack would be extremely unexpected and at least the first wave of flying magical creatures would be able to easily descend and cause huge problems for the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. They would then be able to unceasingly transport experts down, settling the battle in one go.
Unfortunately, they would never have guessed that Han Shuo was able to know their every intention and was able to calmly put in place preventive measures to attack their "hidden" descend head-on. With a large number of gargoyles, Han Shuo had confidence in dealing a disastrous setback to the first wave of experts.
Once most of the experts in the first wave were killed, not only would it have a great impact on their morale, the next wave of experts would also be afraid to descend on the flying magical creatures. With the advantageous terrain, Han Shuo believed that the three powers wouldn't achieve what they wanted this time around.
The twelve mystical demons scrutinized every action of the three powers. Han Shuo methodically instructed Grant and the rest to gather the mercenaries that were good at shooting, distributing all the various bows and arrows. Even the spears and javelins were all brought out, in preparation to face the first wave of experts on the flying magical creatures.
As time passed silently, Laureton and the rest had discussed for a long time. Finally, they finally determined the three hundred experts in the first wave and they would be protecting tens of valuable mages. The first wave could be described as the concentration of the strongest experts in the few powers, with the weakest swordsmen which were included in the first wave also reaching the rank of senior swordsmen.
The dead of night was able to conceal their movements. At night, the fog would also become denser, hence the operation was expectedly arranged to be a night mission.
As the full moon slowly rose into the sky and shined gentle moonlight, the lofty precipice was shrouded in white mist. More than two hundred harpies, frost eagles, griffins, pegasus and various flying magical creatures were formed into teams. They were gathered from the House of Menlo under Adam Menlo's orders.
The three hundred experts picked out from the various powers were ready and waiting for these flying magical beasts to appear. At the instructions of the heads of the three powers, all of them mounted the tamed magical creatures. The leaders Adam Menlo and Florida were also among them.
Florida himself was a mage and didn't require any flying magical creature mount. Adam Menlo rode his super rank golden-winged roc, which had finally recovered after he had spent a huge amount of resources on it. However, the feathers on the golden-winged roc were very sparse, making it look a little miserable.
The golden-winged roc was in such miserable circumstances due to protecting Adam Menlo. It was also because of Adam Menlo's endless hatred toward Han Shuo that he made a move on Trunks.
Although Laureton could reach thrice berserk and his strength was higher than both Adam Menlo and Florida, he still was unable to fly.
Furthermore, they needed someone to control and arrange matters for the majority left behind. Hence Laureton rationally stayed behind to take charge, instead of joining the first wave of attack.
Under the hazy moonlight, the flying magical creatures spread their wings, forming a screen in the sky which obstructed the moonlight. Lifting his head as he gazed at the ascending magical creatures, Laureton was actually somewhat uneasy.
Actually, ever since Trunks had suddenly be miraculously rescued, Laureton had an uneasy feeling. This was because, no matter how he saw it, the Soul Destroyer mercenary band should have sunk into frenetic circumstances after they lost their leader Trunks. He was clear about dark dragon Gilbert's strength, but as he had been in contact with Gilbert before, Laureton knew that Gilbert was purely a subordinate and definitely wouldn't be able to come up with any meticulous plans!
The reason why Laureton waited for so long was that he firmly believed that the Soul Destroyer mercenary band would leave their natural stronghold and attack. At that time, they would be able to easily annihilate the Soul Destroyer mercenary band's experts. However, the Soul Destroyer mercenary band's ability to stay calm surpassed his expectations. Not only did they not exit their natural stronghold, they even recalled all their experts in the surroundings.
When the news of Trunks' disappearance had spread, Laureton was truly surprised. After much contemplation, he gradually felt that there was another hidden hand within the Soul Destroyer mercenary band controlling the ground. It was precisely because of this hidden existence that the Soul Destroyer mercenary band were able to stabilize and slowly start to organize their resistance.
"I must be thinking too much. Currently, it has reached an important period of time within Ossen City. That fellow shouldn't have come."Laureton rubbed his head as he muttered to himself.
"Leader, it would be absolutely safe this time around. The person you are worried about wouldn't appear. I've received news yesterday that he is definitely still within Ossen City. It is impossible that he would show up in the Valley of Sunshine. Don't worry, we will definitely be able to eradicate the Soul Destroyer mercenary band." Harris understood what Laureton was worried about. The reason why Laureton had chosen to act this time around was precisely because he was sure that Han Shuo was too busy to worry about the matters of the Valley of Sunshine. Otherwise, Laureton might still be hesitating!
"I hope that is the case. Although Trunks was frightening, he still isn't my primary concern. Only that fellow would be the most troublesome opponent. Ah, it's a pity. Trunks and that fellow are true men. If not for Trunks' Soul Destroyer mercenary band becoming the biggest threat to our mercenary band, perhaps I could still be friends with them." Laureton sighed as he said to Harris.
"This is their choice. When they first arrived in the Valley of Sunshine, Leader had already tossed them an olive branch, only for them to reject it. Now that things have reached this point, Leader can't be blamed to have acted ruthlessly. This is all due to their ambition to seize the power in our hands." Harris knitted his brows as he reassured Laureton.
"Forget it, let's drop the conversation. However, I feel that something's not right. I hope that Florida and Adam Menlo wouldn't disappoint me this time." Laureton's bald head was illuminated by the moonlight. This meant that Adam Menlo's flying magical creatures no longer concealed the moonlight and had already entered the foggy area.
"Everyone be careful. Although they are unable to notice us, we still need to be attentive and be cautious of any changes!" Adam Menlo said to the surrounding people while on his super rank golden-winged roc.
"Leader, be at ease. We know what needs to be done." The people from the House of Menlo smiled as they responded, grasping the magical staffs in their hands tightly, prepared to deal with any possible changes.
A short distance away from Adam Menlo's flying troop, Florida's eyes sparkled as he carefully watched for any potential anomalies. He then softly whispered to his trusted aides, as though discussing details of the operation later.
As the wave of people passed through the dense fog, they reached an area where the fog was thinner. In a few hundred meters, they would have entered the territory of the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. A huge indistinct shadow gradually appeared from within the thin fog. Transforming into a dark dragon, Gilbert's lantern-like eyes stared at the three hundred intruders. Without saying a word, a dragon breath which was mixed with a fishy smell was shot out.
Having evolved into a rank two magical creature, the toxins in Gilbert's breath was even more frightening. In such a humid environment, the strength of the toxins was enhanced substantially. More than ten swordsmen and mages who rode on harpies were the first to be sprayed head-on by Gilbert's breath.
An extremely stifling feeling was suddenly felt on their chests as if they were suddenly being crushed by a mountain. Apart from the harpies who were also poisonous magical creatures, the humans were all dizzy with blood flowing from their nose and mouth. Besides the toxins, the force of the dragon breath was also equally terrifying. The harpies shrilled loudly as they swayed, throwing off more than ten people in the process.
"Dark dragon! It's that dark dragon!" Terrified shouts could suddenly be heard. Some people have clearly spotted Gilbert.
"Hey, all of you dare to come to my territory, die for me!" Gilbert's imposing voice resounded through the sky. With a swing of his neck, a raging fireball was shot out, burning down more than ten magical creatures and humans who had scattered.
"Attack, it's just a dark dragon, there's nothing to be afraid of!" Adam Menlo who had just arrived suddenly shouted aloud, the wings of the golden-winged roc underneath him suddenly set off a hurricane, covering an area of ten meters, directing Gilbert's fireball to the side.
Riding the golden-winged roc, Adam Menlo who held a pike which sparkled in silver radiance charged toward Gilbert like lightning. On the other side, a few mages who had steadied themselves interweaved magic spells and continuously shooting them toward Gilbert.
If it was only Adam Menlo, Gilbert wasn't afraid. However, just as Han Shuo described, the first wave of attack which gathered the strongest experts from the three powers was definitely not something Gilbert could deal with himself. Several magic spells of different types suddenly flew over and Gilbert had no choice but to dodge the attacks and hide within the dense fog.
"Hmph, with just a dark dragon, what can you achieve!" Adam Menlo loudly ridiculed, waving his hand and said, "Our whereabouts are exposed, we need to quickly head to that place. We must not delay and give them the chance to prepare."
"Charge. After tonight, the Soul Destroyer mercenary band would forever disappear from the Valley of Sunshine!" Florida similarly shouted coldly, utilizing floating magic to take the lead toward Adam Menlo's location. "Huhu… Huhu… " strange noises suddenly appeared from all directions.
"That's weird, what's that sound!" A mercenary said what was on everyone's mind as everyone looked around puzzledly, not knowing what was that queer sound.
Out of a sudden, a dense crowd of creatures enveloped them like a dark cloud as dense as a swarm of locusts. They saw thousands upon thousands of gargoyles that were arranged in orderly lines rapidly approaching the area.
Gargoyles aren't formidable undead creatures, their individual fighting strength was lower than any flying magical creature from the House of Menlo.
However, gargoyles usually appeared in groups!
There would definitely not be just one or two gargoyles appearing. This time around, with his greatly improved mental energy, Han Shuo had summoned more than four thousand gargoyles at once, which seriously seemed like a dense dark cloud.
Any living creature at scale would be extremely terrifying. Even for mosquitoes and ants, once they were at scale, they would also be the nightmare of stronger creatures. For gargoyles who individually had an extraordinary attack, once they were at scale, they would naturally be more terrifying. When the surrounding gargoyles seemed to fill up the entire space, the first wave of experts who had thought that their sneak attack wouldn't be detected were all momentarily stunned.
"Light mages, purify these filthy existences for me!" Florida was only distracted for two seconds and was the first to shout out orders when the gargoyles were getting closer.
After he shouted, Florida himself started to act, rapidly retrieving his magic staff and reciting a magic spell. A ring condensed from light elements suddenly flew toward the gargoyle swarm. The ring immediately turned thirty gargoyles into asses when it charged into the gargoyle swarm.
There were another seven light mages within this group of experts. They were unwilling to fall behind, all of them unleashing the light magic they were proficient at when they saw Florida making his move. As each light magic spell entered the gargoyle swarm, they really caused huge damage to the group of gargoyles.
However, the strongest Florida was only a light archmage. The stronger of the rest were only adept mages while the weaker ones were only novice mages. There was a limit to the strength of the light magic they could unleash and a loss of two hundred gargoyles was simply negligible when compared to their total number of four thousand.
"Idiots! Undead creatures do fear light magic, but other elements of magic were also useful. Why are all of you staring blankly over there, act quickly!" When Adam Menlo saw that the remaining mages merely watched when the light mages acted, he cursed them exasperatedly.
Being scolded by Adam Menlo, these people suddenly reacted, the mages started chanting different spells one after another. Wind blades, lightning and fire serpents whistled as the flew from every direction toward the gargoyles, suddenly causing the deaths of another four to five hundred.
However, at this moment, the gargoyles had finally charged into their ranks. Groups of gargoyles scattered, clawing and biting specifically at these mages. The magical creatures under them also spared no effort in battling the gargoyle swarm.
Suddenly, magnificent rays of light radiated in the whole sky as a dark shadow flew about, accompanied by mournful cries from time to time as one person after another fell from the towering height, their bodies torn and their bones crushed.
"Wakaka, I'm here again. I want to see how do you all beat me this time around!" dark dragon Gilbert shouted arrogantly once again, his enormous body extending out.
By dark dragon Gilbert's side, hydra Lania was like an enormous octopus, charging together with dark dragon Gilbert towards the experts who were attacked by the gargoyle swarm.
"Florida, we meet again!" Han Shuo's voice suddenly sounded. Within another wave of gargoyles, Han Shuo had a dark expression as he walked on the air toward Florida.
Behind Han Shuo, the numerous gargoyles whistled and danced violently, as an enormous undead flying creature slowly appeared from within the gargoyle swarm. The majestic little skeleton raised his three-meter long bone spear as he rode on the bone demon, closely following behind Han Shuo.