A single claw viciously descended as a single sickle hacked away like lightning. Like a knife through butter, the sickle instantly cut through the claw.
The claw was completely unable to contend against the sickle whether it was in terms of sharpness or toughness. After the clash, the Heart-Devouring Bat and the tiny mantid quickly passed each other by. However, the Heart-Devouring Bat continued falling forwards as its body gradually stiffened, a layer of frost enveloping it as it fell into the ocean.
In this battle with over a thousand Heart-Devouring Bats fighting against thirty-five tiny mantids, this was the initial moment of contact between the members of both sides. And in that one moment, victory was decided with a single stroke.
As soon as the first tiny mantid launched its attack and triumphed, it instantly locked its eyes onto its second target. Once again, its sickle struck like lightning, severing a bat wing like a knife through butter. The second bat then fell lopsided.
At the same time, all thirty-five tiny mantids had already dived into the cluster of bats and started their massacre.
The tiny mantids were around the size of a crab and were almost as big as the Heart-Devouring Bats. However, their front limbs had a longer reach than their opponent's. At the same time, they had more limbs which they could use to attack, and which were much sharper than their opponent's.
The first tiny mantid to battle had already killed dozens of Heart-Devouring Bats in mere moments.
A Heart-Devouring Bat charged over and attacked with the sharp horn on its head. The tiny mantid responded with its sickle and immediately hacked the horn away. It was evident which side had the sharper tools.
Another Heart-Devouring Bat charged over and attacked with its sharp horn. The sickle shot out once more and stabbed into the eyes of the Heart-Devouring Bat, cutting away half its face and reaching down to its abdomen. However, another Heart-Devouring Bat quickly swooped in and grabbed onto the tiny mantid with its wings as it bit down with its sharp teeth.
Both the tiny mantid and Heart-Devouring Bat fell. The tiny mantid's sickles were stuck in the Heart-Devouring Bat's mouth. However, the Heart-Devouring Bat couldn't leave a single mark on the sickles no matter how much it gnawed on them. At the same time, screeching noises resounded as it scratched on the tiny mantid's abdomen with its claws.
Using four of its sharp legs, the tiny mantid stabbed the Heart-Devouring Bat holding it down. A layer of white frost soon enveloped the Heart-Devouring Bat.
Splurt! The tiny mantid simply ripped apart the Heart-Devouring Bat, immobilizing it. Spreading its wings, it flew back up and rejoined the fight against the army of Heart-Devouring Bats.
Even though the Heart-Devouring Bats had the superior numbers, they were no match for the tiny mantids. The tiny mantids were not afraid in the slightest of the venomous toxin covering the Heart-Devouring Bats' bodies, nor were they fearful of the overwhelming number of opponents.
In the blink of an eye, the tiny mantids that dived into the cloud of bats had already killed over two hundred Heart-Devouring Bats. One after another, the Heart-Devouring Bats fell, their bodies covered in white frost. They were dropping like flies.
"What are those?" Gu Sanzheng turned to Tan Lao in astonishment and asked, "Are those mantids? What kind of mantids are those?"
"I've never seen these kinds of mantids before either!" Tan Lao's expression contorted in frustration upon seeing his Heart-Devouring Bats slaughtered before his eyes. "I never expected Miao Yi to be a fellow practitioner. To think he knew how to tame beasts as well. It seems like these mantids were the ones that killed the Seeker Birds."
He immediately pursed his lips and made a sharp whistle.
The tiny mantids had completely blindsided the cloud of bats when they charged in, but the bats immediately flew around the tiny mantids to avoid engaging with them. Their objective was to hold back Miao Yi and the others. Such was the purpose of their sacrifice.
Occasionally looking back, Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei were in astonishment. The latter clicked his tongue and praised, "Awesome. Where did you get these tiny fellows from?"
Miao Yi was equally astonished, but he couldn't be bothered to make small talk. He realized that he had underestimated the tiny mantids' strength. Feeling a sense of relief, he conveyed his thoughts to order the tiny mantids to come back and help them kill the crowd of bats on their tail.
At the moment, the tiny mantids were still not strong enough to fight against cultivators. If they didn't return, and then ended up engaging against Gu Sanzheng and his group, then that would be the end for them.
The tiny mantids quickly returned and resumed their massacre from within the cloud of bats. A tiny mantid latched itself onto the back of a Heart-Devouring Bat, stabbing its sickle into the back of the bat's head before immediately shooting over to its next target.
Miao Yi and his group were running for their lives in front, while the cloud of bats was quickly approaching from the back. Meanwhile, the tiny mantids were slaughtering the cloud of bats, killing their way to the front of the pack and preventing the bats from approaching Miao Yi and his group.
Throughout the chase, the bats kept falling, one after another. By the time they managed to get close enough to attack Miao Yi and the others, the thousand-strong-army of Heart-Devouring Bats had shrunk down to a mere dozen. The tiny mantids had speedily killed them all.
A Heart-Devouring Bat swooped in on Miao Yi's face, but a tiny mantid killed it before it was able to succeed. Just a dozen meters away from Miao Yi, the head of the Heart-Devouring Bat was immediately hacked off with a sickle.
In just a short two-thousand-meter-long chase, the tiny mantids had completely decimated the thousand-strong-army.
Not a single one of the thirty-five tiny mantids had fallen. They all descended upon Miao Yi's shoulder and awaited his inspection.
Miao Yi heaved a sigh of relief when he saw that all of them were intact. He would lose each one permanently if they died after all. He could clearly feel that the tiny mantids had become much stronger after growing up.
"Haha! These things are awesome!" Sikong Wuwei couldn't help praising the mantids when he suddenly remembered something. He turned his head and shouted, "Even the School of Imperial Beasts isn't much of a fight!"
Tan Lao had opened his transcendence vision and watched the complete annihilation of his army of Heart-Devouring Bats. He was already feeling a terrible pain in his heart, and when he heard what Sikong Wuwei said, he fumed with rage from the humiliation. However, there was nothing he could do.
He still had some creatures he could use inside his beast sack. However, they were either too slow or would have little effect at sea. He could give them a shot if they were on land, however. Otherwise, he would be a fool if he still decided to send them to their deaths while knowing that he wouldn't get much in return. He cursed, "Cowardly scoundrel that only knows how to shoot his mouth off. If you've got the guts, stop running and fight me to the death!"
"Kiss my ass! Why don't you catch up to me first if you've got the balls?" Sikong Wuwei chortled in his hoarse voice.
Tan Lao almost spat out blood from rage. He bellowed, "F*** you!"
"F*** you!" Sikong Wuwei returned the gesture.
"You won't be able to keep on running forever!" Tan Lao roared.
Then, Sikong Wuwei barked back, "F*** you!"
As they pulled him along, Miao Yi rolled his eyes and said, "Can't you save your energy instead?"
Sikong Wuwei chuckled. "Those mantids of yours are quite impressive. Let them have a go at those three and shut them up."
"..." Miao Yi was at a loss for words. It was possible to have the tiny mantids fight against the Heart-Devouring Bats. Even setting up ambushes were fine. But to have them fight against Gu Sanzheng and his group head-on was nothing short of courting death. Miao Yi immediately waved his hand and said, "Just continue cursing to your heart's content!"
The chase continued upon the mighty ocean from midday till the afternoon, then until evening. Even as they saw the sun setting in the west, Sikong Wuwei and Tan Lao were still at each other's throats.
At this moment, they noticed a distant stretch of land before them.
Sikong Wuwei finally stopped cursing and asked, "Are we going to continue running on the ocean or go ashore?"
Zhao Fei replied, "We'll circle around the island. It'll be hard for them to find us once it's dark. Then, we'll dive underwater and escape."
Miao Yi nodded in agreement as well when suddenly, a whirlpool appeared on the surface of the ocean.
The three of them had yet to understand what was happening. Splash! A giant pillar-like object erupted from the surface of the ocean, dragging along a massive indigo-blue pincer. The whole thing was dozens of meters long. The seawater cascaded off of it as it smashed down on the trio's heads. Its might was astonishing.
Sikong Wuwei let go of Miao Yi and brandished a small hammer with a wave of his hand. It shone with a blue radiance, and the mighty hammer was immediately tossed out. Sikong Wuwei had reacted very quickly.
Boom! It instantly smashed the hard-shelled, tail-like object to pieces, causing bits of its shell and flesh to fly about.
The hammer then flew back into Sikong Wuwei's hands. A low, pained growl could be vaguely heard coming from under the sea. Then, mighty waves stirred as several more tails, each as peculiar as the last, appeared above the ocean before Miao Yi's group. It was unknown what manner of creature they were.
Sikong Wuwei wanted to continue attacking, but Miao Yi, after turning around to look at their pursuers, suddenly brandished the Mystic Yin Mirror with a flip of his hands and shouted, "Don't stop! Just press onwards and head to shore. Leave these monsters for the people behind us to deal with."
Zhao Fei quickly surveyed his surroundings and realized there wasn't anything stopping them from running ashore to the island in front. He said solemnly, "Why does it feel like these monsters are intentionally stopping us from circling around the island and instead are forcing us to go ashore?"
"We don't have time to be thinking about all this right now," Miao Yi noted.
Zhao Fei and Sikong Wuwei quickly dashed towards the island with Miao Yi in tow.
Boom boom boom! Mighty waves rose and fell as the giant tails came crashing down, splashing water everywhere. It was unknown what kind of monsters were hiding at the bottom of the sea.
A giant tail descended upon Miao Yi's group, but Sikong Wuwei once again blasted it to bits with his hammer. The Mountain Suppressing Hammer had an overwhelming advantage during head-on collisions like this.
Miao Yi and his group ran across the surface of the ocean and managed to escape the towering pillars protruding from the depths of the sea. They swiftly leaped across the water and landed on the shore. Then, they turned their heads to see Gu Sanzheng and the rest still hot on their tails. They hastily dived into the forest in front.
As they continued to chase after Miao Yi's group, Gu Sanzheng and the other two quickly came to a stop and eyed the strange towering tails sticking out of the ocean.
They could also quickly pass by these monsters like Miao Yi's group had done. However, things were not as easy for them. Although they could escape from these monsters unscathed, they still had plenty of fellow disciples following behind them. Even though the three of them could easily pass through these monsters, the people behind them might not find it so simple.
"Unsheathe!" Gu Sanzheng shouted. Then, ringing sounds immediately echoed forth from the Thunderclap Sword Furnace on his back, and the one hundred and one Thunderclap Flying Swords shot out like dragons.
Clanging noises reverberated across the ocean as the sluggishly giant tails were all chopped off in the blink of an eye. The might of the Thunderclap Flying Swords was extraordinary indeed.
Immediately, from the bottom of the ocean, roars could be heard. It was like an earthquake had happened in the depths of the sea. With their feet on the rumbling waves, Tan Lao and Ye Xin quickly scanned their surroundings.
Gu Sanzheng raised his arms and dived into the ocean depths. He opened his transcendence vision and caught sight of numerous massive creatures, partly resembling lobsters and partly resembling scorpions. It was a terrifying sight. They waved their mighty pincers about as they rose to the surface.
Gu Sanzheng rose to the surface as well. When he saw their shelled exteriors floating over the ocean surface, he quickly performed his sword arts with both hands, and the Thunderclap Flying Swords that were circling in mid-air immediately rained down.
After a bout of slashing and cleaving, they soon dyed the ocean red with blood. The Thunderclap Flying Swords then returned to the sword furnace on Gu Sanzheng's back, a vibrant ringing noise resounding as they did.
In mere moments, he had completely annihilated the monsters that had just surfaced.
Realizing the carcasses of the monsters were about to sink back down, Ye Xin's whip lashed out and pulled one of them over, which she then flipped around to examine.
"This is strange. For a creature to grow so big, even if they couldn't become demons, they would still have some self-awareness. How could they be killed so easily?" Tan Lao mused. His gaze then fell upon an old wound on the creature's stomach. Gu Sanzheng's flying swords obviously hadn't caused that wound.
He broke off a plate of armor from his chest and tossed it out. It shone with a blue radiance and immediately transformed into a spiked shield. Then, he used it to cut open the wound on the creature's stomach.
He jumped onto the creature's stomach and examined it. As he called back his shield, he shook his head and sighed. He lifted his head towards the other two and said, "I don't know who could have done this. What impressive skill. Someone had actually extracted the Yao Core within these creatures while they were still alive. No wonder they barely put up a fight."