Book 11: The Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament
Chapter 72.2: Hand of Death—Envoys of the Death God!
"No problem, leave it to us." A fierce flame seemed to have been lit in Ma Xiaotao's pinkish-red eyes. Now that they'd found their target, the only thing left for them to do was make their move.
Wang Yan said, "Everyone, change into your outfits. Shrek Guardians, prepare to move out."
As everyone began to move Huo Yuhao felt an indescribable sensation of excitement fill his body. When Wang Yan had said the words 'Shrek Guardians', he'd clearly felt his blood begin to boil. He wasn't even thirteen, yet he was about to fight for Shrek Academy!
Everybody was wearing a Guardian Ring that belonged solely to them, but the smaller a soul tool was, the harder it was to control it. Huo Yuhao wasn't even able to tell what class his Guardian Ring was, but he put it on the index finger of his left hand under Ma Xiaotao's instructions.
He'd already blood-bound the ring to himself during their rest last night. When he put it on, the ring immediately shrunk to fit itself to his finger.
He poured his soul power into the ring, and a bewitching layer of green light immediately flashed across its jade-green surface. He then took out its contents one by one.
The first thing he took out was a set of armor that covered his entire body from to toe; the only things it revealed were his eyes, nose, and mouth. This set of armor was extremely flexible, and was made from some sort unknown material, which made it feel like a very thin piece of leather. Its texture resembled that of skin, yet it was extremely durable. After testing it out for a bit, Huo Yuhao discovered that he was only able to send soul power outwards; he wasn't able to absorb any from the outside while he had it on. The defensive capabilities of this set of armor could be seen without a doubt; a faint layer of thin scales was even visible atop the surface of the armor.
Due to the differences between men and women, everyone naturally changed in two different areas according to their gender. Huo Yuhao had planned to drag Wang Dong along to change, but the latter shot straight into the woods and quickly changed before he could.
Other than armor, everyone had also been provided with a dark-green set of warrior robes and a dark-green mask, as well as a dark-green cloak.
Three Guardian-specialised flares were also strapped to their waists.
When everyone gathered back together, they felt an air of mystery when they looked at each other. Their cloaks covered both their heads and bodies, and were extremely tight-fitting; they seemed to be made out of the same material as their armor. They were very thin, yet seemed to possess a sense of tactility and an extraordinary amount of defensive power.
"Prepare to make a move," Wang Yan whispered, "Xiaotao, you'll lead the fight. I'll be in charge of commanding the preparatory team."
"Alright." Ma Xiaotao immediately replied.
Ma Xiaotao bent her body slightly, then leapt into the air first. Dai Yueheng and Chen Zifeng immediately flanked her on both sides, while the other four inner courtyard disciples quickly moved out as well. They maintained a neat formation as they quietly set out.
Wang Yan waved his hand a few seconds after they'd left and led the preparatory team up as well.
Bei Bei took the lead role of the preparatory team, while Xu Sanshi stayed at the very back. After all, their role was merely to assist their seniors from the inner courtyard; taking care of themselves was of the utmost importance. Under Wang Yan's commands, He Caitou and Jiang Nannan flanked their group on the side. Wang Yan himself, on the other hand, was directly behind Huo Yuhao's trio; he emphasized protecting the three people with the lowest level of cultivation in their group.
Ma Xiaotao and the rest were extremely fast; Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Detection was simply unable to keep up with them. Fortunately, he was still able to use it on his companions in the preparatory team and on Teacher Wang Yan.
They rapidly arrived at the hillside that Huo Yuhao had spotted earlier. There were no traces of Ma Xiaotao's heptet, but the area was completely silent.
"Let's head down as well," Wang Yan whispered, "Bei Bei, prepare for battle."
"Okay." Bei Bei didn't dare to be negligent. He quickly released his Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon, then descended from the hillside first. They quickly spotted a cave that was covered in a large and dense amount of vines. This was, without a doubt, the nest that the bandits had stationed themselves in.
There were already five or six fallen bandits near the entrance to the cave. Undoubtedly, their statuses as members of the Hand of Death had been confirmed, as Ma Xiaotao and the rest had already made their move.
At that moment, a muffled explosion rang out from in the cave. Immediately afterwards, noisy shouts began to ring out from the cave. After that, there were able to hear some muffled sounds and sense strong fluctuations of soul power.
Bei Bei turned his head towards Wang Yan, who said in a solemn voice, "Head inside. Yuhao, release your Spiritual Detection all around us. Everyone, you must be careful."
Huo Yuhao immediately released his Spiritual Detection to the best of his ability, which caused three-dimensional image in everybody's minds to immediately widen.
The entrance to the cave wasn't big, but its interior was extremely vast. Besides the corpses at the entrance, they only saw another corpse after they'd advanced fifty meters.
The dense smell of blood assaulted their senses as they advanced. Bei Bei, Xu Sanshi, and He Caitou were still somewhat fine, but the other four had somewhat pale expressions.
"Ah—!" Jiang Nannan suddenly screeched, and her body violently shuddered. Huo Yuhao, who'd originally released his Spiritual Detection in a single plane parallel to the ground, immediately increased its range as he looked upwards following her gaze.
The scene awaiting them didn't seem important, but all of their expressions instantly changed.
Unexpectedly, there were ten sheets of human skin hanging from the walls. There was even an infant's corpse impaled on a stalagmite. Earlier, Jiang Nannan had raised her head when she felt the drops of blood coming from the corpse above them.
"Bastard!" The usually-scholarly Bei Bei angrily roared. These were the sins committed by the Hand of Death bandit group! At that moment, everybody present felt their eyes go bloodshot. These bandits didn't even let little infants off! They were simply worse than beasts.
As they continued forward, the number of corpses began to gradually increase, while the sounds of combat began to grow more intense. The bandits within the cave had died in all sorts of strange ways, but nobody gave them even a shred of sympathy. This was because the two walls of the cave were entirely lined with sheets of human skin hanging from them. From the time they'd entered the cave till now, they'd seen more than a hundred, some of which had even been dried by the wind.
"Rouse yourselves. These are all evil men; killing one of them is equivalent to saving a countless number of people." Wang Yan shouted, causing Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, Xiao Xiao, and Jiang Nannan's hearts, which were in an extremely nervous state, to shake.
The terrain in front of them suddenly widened, and they finally saw the true situation of the battle that was happening. The constant flickering from soul rings dazzled everyone's eyes. Ma Xiaotao's Evil Phoenix was most noticeable, and none of her enemies were spared from the berserk activation of her scorching flames. Her surroundings were littered with bandit corpses.
Gong Yangmo stood at the very centre of the group, and multi-colored rays of light continuously shot out from his body and landed on his companions. The others had loosely surrounded him and kept him in the middle of them.
Yao Haoxuan had already transformed into his massive body, and was continuously pounding on his chest with his fists. He protected Gong Yangmo's back, while Ling Luochen took the other side. The three of them didn't participate directly in the fight, but if anybody were to assume that they'd be easy to deal with, they would be wrong.
The bandits that still had the ability to fight all had bloodshot eyes. A large number of them were soul masters, with some of them even having relatively strong cultivations; there were even three Soul Kings. However, they were still forced to retreat step-by-step by the inner courtyard disciples of Shrek Academy.
Waves of bandits continued to surge forth from the depths of the cave to participate in the battle, but Ma Xiaotao, Dai Yueheng, Chen Zifeng, and Xi Xi all managed to cover very large areas.
Gong Yangmo's powerful auxiliary abilities revealed their true capabilities at that moment. There was no need to mention the two who were already Soul Emperors, but the Soul King-ranked Chen Zifeng and Xi Xi weren't the least bit inferior to Soul Emperors with his assistance.
"Roar—" Dai Yueheng tore an enemy Soul King apart, causing his blood to splash everywhere. Immediately afterwards, he sent out a dazzling White Tiger's Meteor Shower in an attempt to blast away the enemies attempting to launch a sneak attack on Gong Yangmo's trio.
Ma Xiaotao's battle was even more spectacular. Nobody knew what she'd done, but her fiery phoenix wings were now more than three meters long. Her wings were the most terrifying weapon she had at her disposal; they would either injure or kill anybody they touched. There was a Soul King in front of her, yet he simply didn't even dare to approach her. He could only put on a false show of bravado from afar.
According to the information they'd been given, the leader of the bandit troupe was a Soul King. Evidently, he was one of the three in front of them. When he saw that the situation seemed to be settled, Wang Yan waved his hand. "Everyone, move. Don't let a single one go. We can't leave any future troubles for ourselves."
The opponents in front of them weren't very powerful. The strongest members of their troupe had been blocked by the inner courtyard disciples, while the remaining few were only Soul Grandmasters and Soul Elders. Some of the bandits weren't even soul masters; they were just ordinary humans.
Bei Bei let out a shout and rushed forward. The others followed behind, and Wang Dong released his dazzling Radiant Butterfly Goddess. In reality, he was still somewhat nervous. The moment he moved, he launched a Light of the Butterfly Goddess towards an area that had a comparatively large number of bandits.
Several dozen bright golden balls were released, which were then amplified by his Golden Light soul bone. This was only a thousand year soul skill, but absolutely none of these bandits had a thousand year soul skill of their own. Moreover, Wang Dong's skill was being boosted by Huo Yuhao's Spiritual Detection and his own Golden Light Left Arm Bone.
The bandits frantically released their own soul skills in an attempt to defend themselves against Wang Dong's attack, but they were still left in a complete mess and let out bloodcurdling screeches as they were struck.
Once he'd succeeded with his first attack, the panic that Wang Dong felt drastically decreased. Even if he didn't dare to attack anyone near him, wouldn't long-range attacks work?
Xiao Xiao had already released her Threelives Soulcrush Cauldron, and the three large cauldrons formed a "品" shape as they protected the trio. Xiao Xiao had clearly assumed a defensive stance. For a small girl like her to kill someone was simply too difficult.
Huo Yuhao couldn't help but get excited by the thrill of the hunt when he saw Wang Dong succeed. Of the two white-colored soul rings beneath him, the first instantly lit up as he looked towards a one-ringed bandit with his pale gold eyes. Like him, that bandit's lonely first soul ring was only a white-colored one.