The Sacred Bats look incredibly terrifying. They were entirely black and were at least three times the size of a normal Shaman, looking to be nearly twenty feet tall. Their arms were thick and seemed as if they could rip apart a person.
They wore no clothes but were covered by fine feathers that looked like long robes. Almost every single one of them held a round-shaped blade in their hands. The blades were red, as if they had been dyed in fresh blood.
Roars reverberated in the air. Under the illumination of the moons in the sky, the Sacred Bats looked like murderous fiends that were getting closer to the valley of the Shamans.
Nan Gong Hen, whose hair on his temples had turned white, stood on the platform in the valley. He looked at the Sacred Bats closing in on them from the sky and asked in a low voice, "How is senior Tie Mu?"
After a period of silence, one of the dozen people standing beside Nan Gong Hen answered softly, "Senior Tie Mu is still in deep sleep… He’s not showing any signs of waking up. He was injured too badly last time. We don’t have enough medicine with us either, and even if he wakes up, his level of cultivation will fall greatly.".
"What about senior Hei Ya?" Nan Gong Hen sighed and asked another question.
"We sent someone to ask for senior Hei Ya earlier, but for some reason, he suddenly went into isolation and refuses to see anyone. He even sealed his cave abode…"
As they spoke, the black clouds in the sky tumbled about furiously and descended upon them swiftly. At the same time, piercing shrieks tainted with excitement resounded in the air. Eight of the Sacred Bats charged down and straight towards the valley.
Those Sacred Bats were incredibly fast and looked as if they were about to close in on them. Nan Gong Hen stood on the platform and glared at them, killing intent shining in his eyes.
The dozen people behind him all reacted in the same manner. Some of them had even clenched their fists, their expressions dripping with venom. They were not the only ones acting that way. The Shamans hiding in the valley had all seen that sight, and it was a nightmare plaguing their dreams, but also a brutal reality that was happening right before their eyes.
The Sacred Bats were already less than two hundred feet away from the top of the valley after a moment. With excited shrieks, they charged forward, but right when they arrived a hundred feet away from the valley, a loud bang reverberated through the air, and an illusory screen of light emerged around the valley. At that moment, violent waves of ripples appeared on the screen of light, and the eight Sacred Bats crashed into it.
However, they were completely uninjured by it and were only forced a hundred something feet back.
"The Sacred Bats’ battle strategy still hasn’t changed at all. They’re still trying to lure us to fight against them to turn us into their prey.
"Their physical bodies are now comparable to Berserkers who have reached the peak in the middle stage of the Bone Sacrifice Realm... they’re even stronger than the last time they came here. The next time they come, their physical bodies might already be comparable to a Berserker in the later stage of the Bone Sacrifice Realm," a thin, old, and wizened woman standing among the dozen something people behind Nan Gong Hen whispered with eyes that were filled with red.
"This time, even the normal members of their race who have joined the invasion have improved greatly. Then the physical strength of their Violet Thread ranked Sacred Bats should have already reached the Berserkers in the later stage of the Bone Sacrifice Realm.
As the old woman spoke, the screen of light in the valley that had bounced off the eight Sacred Bats started shining with a brilliant light. The light from started crisscrossing against each other in midair, turning into a gigantic web that charged towards the eight Sacred Bats, to trap all of them within.
Yet the moment that web closed in on them, one of the eight Sacred Bats placed his right hand before his chest and a string of complex and practically incomprehensible incantations spilled out of his mouth. As those incantations echoed around, the air behind the Sacred Air seemed to have been torn apart and a gigantic blood-red bat charged out.
That blood-red bat was several dozens of feet big, and when it shot out, it rushed straight towards the web with a roar. The instant they touched, the blood-red bat exploded and turned into several hundreds of red sparks that crashed straight into the web. The world rumbled, and the web instantaneously fell apart. The hundreds of red sparks seemed to contain life and started swimming in all directions, looking like several hundreds of crimson-red wandering souls.
"The strength of their divine abilities has also increased by quite a large margin. It’s incredibly obvious compared to last time. Even the normal Sacred Bats now have power equivalent to mid Medial Shamans…
"If… no accidents happen and we don’t offer up sacrifices, then the chances of us winning are one sixth, if we can maintain the screen of light… But the price for it is that three to five hundred of our people’s lives will be sucked dry by the screen of light and they will die," the old woman said gravelly, and there was a hint of sorrow in her voice.
Nan Gong Hen fell silent. All the people behind him also did not say a single word.
A dozen more figures charged out from the black clouds in the sky and rushed straight towards the screen of light with the other eight people from their race.
Booming sounds reverberated in the air.
In the valley there was an emptied spot in which was a gigantic Rune that was about several thousands of feet large. There were several Shamans that were sitting cross-legged within the Rune at that moment.
These Shamans were all thin and pale. As they sat within the Rune, their power was continuously sucked inside to become the source that would keep the Rune operating.
This Rune was not a static Rune. It continuously sparkled, and the frequency of those sparkles was directly proportionate to the rate of hits dealt to the screen of light. As the screen of light sparkled even more brightly, the thirty something Shamans shuddered, and some of them coughed out fresh blood. They looked on the verge of collapse, but before they could fall, someone around them would immediately come forth to carry them off, and someone else would take their place to continue keeping the Rune running.
The people who were carried off would immediately sit by the side and exercise their breathing without a single moment of delay to try and recover more strength.
However, there were some of the people who did not manage to be carried off in time. As the Rune continued shining and sucking away their life, these people started laughing brokenly and their bodies rapidly dried up. When they eventually turned into skeletons, they fell apart into dust and scattered into the air. All their life and aura had turned into power to maintain the Rune.
As time continued trickling by, the number of Sacred Bats who were ramming themselves against the screen of light in the sky beyond of valley had already increased to nearly a hundred. These Sacred Bats continuously crashed into the screen with strange screeches, causing the screen of light to let out creaking sounds as if it was already incredibly difficult for it to maintain its form and it would disintegrate at any moment.
"Sir, let’s attack! Sixteen of our people have already died to the Rune!" someone from among the dozen people behind Nan Gong Hen said in agitation.
In silence, Nan Gong Hen shook his head with a pale face.
Rumbling sounds continuously echoed in all directions. After a moment, the number of Sacred Bats who were attacking the screen of light had increased to about a hundred fifty. When the Sacred Bats’ screeches fell into the Shamans’ ears, their hearts trembled.
"Wait a little longer. We only have one chance, we can’t waste it…" Nan Gong Hen gritted his teeth and whispered under his breath.
"Sir, forty-three of our people have already died maintaining the Rune. If this continues, then even more will fall."
Nan Gong Hen looked at the nearly two hundred Sacred Bats outside the screen of light, then at the black clouds above them, and clenched his jaw.
"Prepare the Fiend Bows!"
The instant he said those words, someone immediately moved out from the group standing behind him. A dozen something breaths, and nine men immediately walked out of some of the cave abodes in the valley.
These nine men were all Battle Shamans. They stood on the balconies connected to their cave abodes with their heads lifted towards the sky. Each of them held a large black bow in their hands.
Those bows were taller than an average human, and these nine men began drawing these bows slowly. The instant they drew those Fiend Bows fully, three Spirit Mediums, three Soul Catchers, and three Thought Soothsayers walked out from behind all of them.
The Spirit Mediums started chanting softly, and a dense wave of aura of death gathered from under the valley, charging straight towards the Fiend Bows that were being drawn by the nine Battle Shamans, turning into a faint arrow on each of the bows!
The Soul Catchers opened their eyes, and the strange power that belonged to Soul Catchers stirred in the air, as if their minds and souls were gathered on the arrows in the Fiend Bows, and would not disappear.
The Thought Soothsayers closed their eyes as if they fell into a trance. The instant they closed their eyes, a white glare instantly appeared in the nine Battle Shamans’ furious eyes. It was as if they all had lost their souls at that instant, and their white eyes looked empty.
"Draw the Fiend Bows!" Nan Gong Hen roared, and the instant his voice reverberated through the valley, the nine Battle Shamans growled and drew their Fiend Bows a little more. Their shoulders and arms were torn, and as fresh blood poured down their arms, they continued pulling the strings until the Fiend Bows were fully drawn and then abruptly let go.
Humming sounds instantly echoed in the valley and reverberated between the sky and earth. At the same time, nine black dragons charged out from the valley at an extreme speed, piercing through the protective screen of light and closing in straight on the two hundred Sacred Bats just outside the screen of light.
Shrill screeches of pain instantly filled the area. The nine arrows were filled with a wave of madness and a force that would press on without stopping. The instant they pierced through nine of the Sacred Bats, they shot past their bodies without any decrease in power!
Booming sounds spread through the air, and all the Sacred Bats whose bodies were pierced through by those arrows exploded and turned into pieces of flesh and blood that splattered everywhere.
Each of the nine Fiend Arrows took at least three lives. When all the remaining power in the nine arrows was spent, they did not disappear but instead exploded. That explosion turned into a wave of aura of death that covered the entire screen of light in the sky.
"With the aura of death as a lure, we will release the power of the aura of death once!" Nan Gong Hen let out a huge shout, and the valley instantly trembled. Wisps of aura of death charged forth from the ground and gathered at the center of the valley, causing the valley to become obscured from view.
Several breaths later, there was an explosion. With a loud bang, all the aura of death within the valley surged out, crashing into the Sacred Bats in the sky like a gigantic pillar of air.