Chapter 599: Malice of the Forest [V6C129 - Sorrow of a Silent Parting]
Only then did Qianye remember that using Sweeping Calm in the forest would elicit a powerful reaction. He could no longer care about anything else—he grabbed the shadowy figure's dagger, cut off a segment of its robe, and fled promptly.
It could be said that Qianye had escaped even faster this time. The dozen or so aboriginal midgets lost their target upon landing on the ground. They proceeded to roam the area numerous times but eventually dispersed after making no progress. Qianye ran for several kilometers in one sprint and only managed to breathe a sigh of relief after finding no one on his tail. Thereafter, he reduced his speed and left at a steady pace.
The area had just calmed down when Eden appeared at the scene. He observed the nearby treetops cautiously, and then examined the four demonkin corpses with an expression of lament. These shadowy warriors possessed great combat strength and were adept in hunting and assassinations, a rare resource even for a major clan like the Dark Abyss. Their birth and bloodline belonged to a small demonkin tribe. Their reproduction was scarce, and not all of their descendants were born with talents for stealth. Additionally, the costs for grooming and equipping them was phenomenal.
Eden's potential had increased greatly after absorbing a part of the void essence in Giant's Repose, increasing his status and importance in the clan. He was already a mighty count at this point. At such a rank, he was bound to occupy an important position in the future as long as he didn't fall in battle. Hence, the clan had specially assigned four shadow guards to him for this battle. Who would've thought all of them would be wiped out in one go?
The purple substance on the ground was fluctuating gently like a breeze caressing the lake. Eden knew the insatiable substance had smelled the scent of blood and was preparing to devour the corpses. He immediately moved forward to study how the shadowy figures had died, hoping to find a way to restrain Qianye next time.
However, Eden had just taken a step forward when plopping sounds rang out around him. Countless midgets and beasts were breaking through the membranes on the treetops—many a pair of red eyes were glaring at him.
Eden glanced about at his surroundings and found numerous giant trees were all swaying about. He was greatly astonished to find that the once-calm forest was now filled with killing intent. Although he had no fear for these beasts and savages, he couldn't quite deal with so many at the same time. There were already hundreds of them in his vision, and many more were still jumping out from the treetops.
He would probably be surrounded if he didn't leave right now.
Just the beasts and natives alone couldn't get into Eden's sight—what he really feared was Qianye. From what the demonkins had discovered about the forest, Eden quickly realized that the reactions of the purple substance and trees had been delayed. He couldn't confirm whether Qianye had played some trick here. Things would get rather interesting if the other party was hiding in ambush.
Austere killing intent flickered in Eden's eyes when he recalled how Qianye had caused such a great damage with a standard sniper rifle. There was a limit to what a mass-produced weapon could do, no matter how high its grade—the exceptional accomplishment could only be attributed to the sniper's strength. Human sniper techniques had always been a great danger to the dark races. The damage inflicted by a powerful sniper in battle might even exceed an army squad.
Eden reaffirmed his resolution to kill this enemy at all costs, but the only choice he had at this moment was to retreat. He could do nothing but watch as the purple substance engulfed the four shadowguards. He didn't even have the time to retrieve the equipment from the other three corpses.
Qianye didn't turn back and attempt a surprise attack. His condition at the moment was fairly bad, and he was in no shape for further battle. His daybreak origin power had bottomed out, and his blood energy was fully engaged in resisting the corrosive properties of the black titanium. He might not even have the power to fire a Shot of Inception should he encounter another powerful enemy.
Qianye stopped after running about a hundred kilometers and found a safe place to rest. He leaned back after sitting down. However, the moment he did, he couldn't help but bounce forward with a muffled groan—the pain from accidentally pressing the wound on his back was extraordinary.
Even after a good while, the wound on his back had healed only slightly as the remnant black titanium was impeding the regenerative process. The auric flame blood had stopped the black titanium from spreading further in and was slowly neutralizing the destructive energy within it. However, it would still require some time for the injury to heal.
Qianye slowly removed his armor and rejoiced unconsciously as he observed the large hole at its back, as well as the dozen-odd blade marks. If it hadn't been for Young Dragon's extraordinary defenses, he really would've fallen in the hands of those shadows.
Qianye pondered for a moment before producing a box of ammunition from Andruil's Mysterious Realm. This was old stock from long ago that had been sitting in a corner all this time. It was fortunate that he hadn't thrown it away.
Qianye removed all the gunpowder from the ammunition and sprinkled it on the wound. Then, he struck the two metallic casings together at high speed, igniting a meter-tall blaze on his back. Even with his level of tenacity, Qianye couldn't help but let out a groan.
The flames went out in a flash, but the flesh around his wound was already charred black. Qianye then fished out his vampiric blade and proceeded to carve out the burnt parts, causing a great amount of fresh blood to seep out of the injury. At this moment, the necrotic flesh around the black titanium-corroded areas had been cleaned out, and the regenerative capabilities of his flesh restored. The blood stopped flowing in the blink of an eye and new granulation tissue emerged as the wound gradually closed up.
Qianye exhaled deeply after cleaning the wound on his back, feeling completely drained. Beads of sweat were dripping down from his forehead as though he had just walked out of the water. There were several other stab wounds at his back, but those weren't as important. The smaller injuries would recover naturally after the bleeding from his main injury had been staunched.
Qianye brought out the dagger he had picked up from one of the grey corpses and examined it. The blade was built in a straight design and could be used to stab opponents with great penetrative power. The material also contained black titanium—the amount was too small to have any effect on Qianye, but it would still affect the healing process more or less.
Additionally, the dagger was made of precious materials and its quality could marginally qualify as a grade-six weapon. Add to that the black titanium within, its price should be fairly high—the sales value in the market should equal a grade-seven origin gun.
Weapons containing black titanium were at least 1.5 times more valuable in the imperial black markets, far surpassing mithril-containing weapons. This seemed odd at a glance since black titanium was used to deal with daybreak life forms, but this price was quite logical after some thought since there was no lack of in-fighting among the humans. Moreover, black titanium was produced entirely within dark race territory and could be considered one of the rarest materials.
The grey robe appeared simple at a glance, but in truth, it was filled with origin arrays. Fabrics capable of housing origin arrays were already expensive, to begin with, and those arrays were extremely rare ones that could improve stealth and restrict one's aura. The value of this grey robe was likely even greater than the dagger.
These shadowguards were already far above Qianye in terms of equipment and also possessed powerful abilities. It was no wonder they had managed to force Qianye into a miserable state. It was just that their luck was quite bad to have encountered Sweeping Calm. The demonkin race, as a whole, was mediocre in defense. Moreover, these shadowguards had raised their concealment and assassination abilities to the extreme, leaving much to want in terms of head-on confrontation. Qianye's heavy armor and sword happened to counter them quite well.
Qianye could still feel vague spells of pain from his back as though he had pulled on something. A tingling sensation would appear from deep within his bones from time to time, provoking an urge to scratch it. This was a sign of his injuries healing at a rapid rate.
In order to divert his attention, Qianye thought back to the entire process of the battle just now, and his brows gradually became knitted together.
Numerous signs pointed toward the fact that the assailant was fairly close to Qianye in terms of concealment and sniping abilities. Moreover, the other party's patience in waiting for the perfect opportunity was frightening. Judging from the distance of the shot and the ineffectiveness of Qianye's counterattack, it could be concluded that the difference in visual range between them was fairly limited.
The Misty Wood had become that much more dangerous with such an enemy around.
Fortunately, the enemy hadn't caught up to him along with the four shadowy figures. Qianye could judge the other party's strength from the information at hand. From how the assailant had produced two consecutive shots of such firepower, he had to be a demonkin count at the very least—even if he was completely drained after the attack.
Qianye trembled at the thought of this. The demonkin possessed greater combat strength than warriors of the other races at the same rank. It definitely wasn't a good thing to be targeted by one.
Attempting to use the Profound Combatant Formula to absorb void origin power was also problematic. Ignoring whether or not the forest would react, it would also be courting death if a powerful dark race expert sensed the fluctuations in void origin power. Qianye only had a limited number of drugs and stimulants in stock. Moreover, their effects were gradually diminishing with his increased strength.
Qianye couldn't help but sigh in secret. It would be great if he could devour daybreak origin power like he could, darkness.
But he soon broke into a laugh. The Profound Combatant Formula was already a top-grade art in terms of cultivation speed. Add to that the purification powers of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, it could be said that there was barely any weak point in his cultivation—yet here he was, being greedy for more.
Qianye inhaled deeply and calmed down his restless emotions to cultivate. The Combatant Formula wouldn't be noticeable as long as he didn't exceed the fifty-cycle threshold. Although it was much slower, a night of cultivation should help him recover his origin power.
It was at this time that a faint silhouette suddenly emerged beside Qianye as a small, purple snake shot up from the ground to bite Qianye's hand.
With Qianye's attention elsewhere, the serpent managed to succeed in its ambush. But how could he let the assailant go after taking such a loss? He quickly caught the creature with a flip of his hands.
The little snake struggled with all its might, squirming about from head to toe and biting Qianye's hand once more. However, the latter's hand had been enforced with blood energy at this point—it was shrouded in a faint golden glow and even harder than steel. There was simply no way for the little critter to bite through.
Qianye was somewhat startled as he felt a sudden numbness at his wrist. Looking down, he saw a red dot there where the snake had broken through his skin on the first bite. This numbing sensation was no stranger to Qianye. It was a sign of being poisoned.
Auric flame blood circulated in response to Qianye's will and burned the greater part of the toxins beneath his skin. The remainder was condensed into a drop of translucent liquid and expelled from the breakage. What surprised Qianye was how this little serpent had produced such an extremely powerful venom.
He had never seen snakes before in Misty Wood. This little creature was as quick as lighting and equipped with powerful venom. Although rather weak on its own, even a rank fourteen human expert might have to retreat if thousands were to swarm over at the same time. Otherwise, the results would be disastrous if bitten a couple of times with no time to expel the poison.
This wasn't a good thing for humans because the dark races were much more resistant to poison. The demonkin, with their demonic energy, were even more impervious to toxins. Their poison resistance was only slightly inferior to Qianye.
"The malice of this forest is really becoming more and more evident." Qianye couldn't help but frown.