Chapter 110: Stormy Spiral
The group of Hunting Wind Bandits fanned out and barked, “All of you, if you want to live, then surrender immediately and hand over the treasures you’ve found!”
Even though they were notorious for being the dogs of the Sky Country’s government, doing their dirty work for them, bandits were still bandits. Their attitude was just as fierce and straightforward as most human bandits.
But just because they were common bandits didn’t mean that they were weak.
The individual leading the rest of the Harpies had no wings.
These Wingless Harpies were a specialized kind of warrior that walked the path of physical strength. Because the Harpies possessed innately weak bodies, they lacked soldiers that could serve as meat shields and tanks. Thus, they had done their best to think of many different ways to train up such soldiers.
The Wingless Harpies were one such example.
When these warriors reached a high enough cultivation tier, their wings would fall off. They were meant to serve as a frontline shield for other Harpy soldiers.
However, the cultivation path of a Wingless Harpy was incredibly difficult and fraught with suffering. It required a large investment, and even then, the success rate was quite low. As a result, this project had been considered an overall failure.
There were less than a hundred Wingless Harpies in existence, and most of them were raised by large noble clans to meet their needs. To these Harpy clans, which were so rich that they sometimes didn’t even know what to spend their money on, price-to-performance was the least of their concerns.
There weren’t many Wingless Harpies in the first place, and even fewer of them were able to cultivate to a high enough tier.
The Wingless Harpy before them’s physical strength was roughly equivalent to that of a high-tier Totemic Warrior amongst the Ravagers. He was definitely not an easy character to defeat.
On the other side, the Wind-Gathering Clan’s elder was known as Wind-Gathering Evergreen, a Fifth-Ring Arcana Master. He wasn’t weak either.
But ‘weak’ was a word that could only be used relatively.
Wind-Gathering Evergreen clearly understood that most Wingless Harpies possessed an innate resistance to Arcana Techniques. Unless an Arcana Master was able to suppress them through their higher cultivation tier, it would be very hard for them to win against a Wingless Harpy.
Additionally, it was obvious from the glow of Origin Energy radiating from his opponent’s body that there was no way he would be able to suppress his opponent in terms of cultivation base. And that was not even mentioning the fact that the Wingless Harpy was surrounded by a group of powerful bandits.
At that moment, Youthful Abundance cried out angrily, “If you have the strength, then you should go and deal with the creatures behind us. Otherwise, that strength of yours would be worth nothing!”
“Hm?” The Wingless Harpy glanced behind them and saw a large group of bizarre creatures chasing after them.
He smirked disdainfully. “They’re just a bunch of weaklings. You guys, go and deal with them.”
Three Hunting Wind Bandits charged out of the bandits’ ranks.
These three Hunting Wind Bandits were equivalent to Winged Knights.
Winged Knights also cultivated their physical bodies. Even though they were weaker than the Wingless Harpies and even most humans that had close-quarters combat bloodlines, they were still much physically stronger than their average fellow Harpy.
Cavalry mages, Archers, and Winged Knights were the three main soldiers types that the Harpies had developed over the years. The others, such as Sanskrit Chanters and Wingless Harpies, were all very specialized professions, akin to the Ravagers’ Soulless or Bone Diviners. They were fostered for a very particular need. Of course, after Su Chen had taken the Origin Bone Scepter away, the Ravagers’ profession of Bone Divining had been forever buried.
These three bandits were Third-Ring Winged Knights. Their cultivation base wasn’t very high, but their combat strength wasn’t weak by any measure. The three of them applied protective barriers to themselves before simultaneously attacking a single creature.
The creature cracked a crooked smile, revealing a mouthful of sharp white teeth. It reached forwards and smashed the three swords together before making a violent headbutting motion.
A strange horn actually appeared in the middle of its forehead as it smashed its head forwards.
The horn pierced one of the Hunting Wind Bandits’ protective barrier. A moment later, the horn morphed into countless long, sharp needles that suddenly burst out of that Hunting Wind Bandit’s body, turning him into a porcupine.
The Hunting Wind Bandit had died before he could even make a single noise.
The other two Wind Hunting Bandits were badly startled and wanted to retreat, but they suddenly found it incredibly difficult to move, as the gravity had somehow intensified greatly. The creature swung both arms simultaneously through the air, causing them to strangely elongate as its metallic limbs penetrated the two of them. Shortly after dying, their corpses also turned into porcupines. The Harpies watching on felt their hearts tremble.
What kind of strange creature was this? How was it this savage?
More importantly, these savage creatures traveled as a large group.
Even the Wingless Harpy felt his heart jolt violently as he watched the large group of creatures rush at them.
He loudly yelled out, “Retreat! Hurry up, retreat!”
Moments before, they had been preparing to rob another group of Harpies, but now they had immediately turned tail and ran.
Now, the crowd of people trying to run had grown even larger.
As they ran, a few other scattered Harpies were also dragged into the fray, causing the death count to reach triple digits.
Thankfully, even though these creatures were powerful, they weren’t that fast, and most Harpies could maintain their distance.
But even though these creatures weren’t fast, the Harpies couldn’t speed up that much either.
The strong gravity field was restricting their movement, making it impossible for them to run any faster.
These strange creatures were great at leveling the playing field before using their extensive combat experience to defeat their opponents.
Most shockingly, these creatures were incredibly impatient, as if they were unwilling to let even a single one of them go.
“Damn it, is this really worth it? They don’t seem to have any intention of letting us get away. Is there really such a great grudge between us?” one of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s members complained woefully.
“I don’t know if they have any hatred or grudges against us, but I do know that you were the ones who brought these calamitous creatures over here,” the Wingless Harpy cursed angrily.
At this moment, he wasn’t even thinking about trying to rob them anymore.
“You act hard, but you’re actually super soft!” The Wind-Gathering Clan’s youths seemed to have lost their fear for this Wingless Harpy.
“Courting death!” The Wingless Harpy stared angrily at them. He suddenly had the idea that the reason why these creatures were chasing after them so relentlessly might be because they were hungry. Naturally, the next thought to surface was about sending the creatures some food. Perhaps they wouldn’t continue chasing them if they were fed.
Unexpectedly, just as he was about to attack, Youthful Abundance pulled out a purplish liquid. “This is Purple Sifting Miasma. If it touches you, you will lose all of your strength. If you dare attack them, then we will all die together.”
Purple Sifting Miasma?
The Wingless Harpy was stunned.
That thing was incredibly poisonous. He was aware that it had a large area of influence, and that anyone who breathed it in would suddenly find themselves drained of energy. The Arcana Masters might survive the ordeal as it didn’t affect Origin Energy, but to anyone who relied on their powerful physique to survive, it was an effective tactic. The Wingless Harpy might not die from the Purple Sifting Miasma, but he wouldn’t be able to escape the pursuing creatures either.
But this poison was incredibly hard to come by. Where had she gotten it from?
Even Wind-Gathering Evergreen stared at Youthful Abundance in shock. She wasn’t bluffing, was she?
Youthful Abundance then said, “Sir Azure Mark was the one who gave it to me.”
So it was him?
So this Sir Azure Mark was also an alchemist.
Wind-Gathering Evergreen sighed when he heard this.
The Wind-Gathering Clan had tried to shake off Azure Mark in order to traverse the secret realm without his influence, but unexpectedly, they were still forced to rely on Azure Mark’s medicines for safety.
The Harpy cursed madly, “If you had something like that, why didn’t you use it against those creatures earlier?”
Youthful Abundance shook her head. “It’s not effective against the creatures behind us.”
There was really nothing they could do but to continue running madly.
Unfortunately, those creatures seemed to have absolutely no intention of letting up, putting the Harpies in a rough spot.
Worse of all, a similar group of creatures had chosen this exact moment to appear in front of them.
Damn, these guys were everywhere!
Everyone despaired at their prospects.
As one of the gutsier Hunting Wind Bandits stared at the large group of creatures charging in their direction, he suddenly cried out, “I’ve had enough of these guys!”
As he spoke, he raised his blade and charged recklessly at the creatures.
Unexpectedly, the creatures made no attempt to kill him. Instead, they chose to back up a few steps.
What was happening?
That Hunting Wind Bandit was stunned.
He took another step forwards, and those creatures took another step backwards.
When he advanced three steps, they retreated three steps, fear and panic surfacing on their expressions.
Are these creatures afraid of me?
Am I actually really that powerful, and I just didn’t know it all this time?
All kinds of strange thoughts flashed through his head involuntarily.
His excitement surged as he loudly yelled, “Die!”
He slashed out with his blade.
The blustering blade wind slammed into the creature’s head, resulting in a loud clanging sound.
Sparks flew off of the creature’s head, but its skin wasn’t even scratched.
The Hunting Wind Bandit’s heart trembled, but the creature was still standing there. However, it seemed to be gazing at something or someone behind him.
This time, the Harpy finally realized that something else was happening.
He turned around to find that a mysterious Harpy had appeared behind him at some unknown point in time.
He wore a bluish demonic mask and was strolling onto the scene with his hands behind his back, giving off an incredibly otherworldly aura.
All he did was stand there, staring coldly at the creatures.
Youthful Abundance yelled out from a distance, “Sir Azure Mark!”
So this was Azure Mark? The producer of the Purple Sifting Miasma?
But why would the creatures…… fear him?
None of the Harpies present could believe what they were seeing.
This was impossible.
These creatures were so strong and in such great numbers. When their strength was added together, even a Seventh-Ring Arcana Master would find them hard to handle.
So why were they so fearful of this Sir Azure Mark?
As questions surfaced in their hearts, they watched as Sir Azure Mark stepped forward.
With every step he advanced, the creatures retreated one step.
It was obvious how scared they were of him.
The onlookers felt like their eyeballs were about to pop out of their sockets.
“Is he a Ninth-Ring Arcana Master? That’s not possible; his aura isn’t nearly that strong,” the Wingless Harpy muttered to himself in shock.
But whether he believed it or not, these creatures were displaying genuine terror at the sight of Su Chen.
When Su Chen saw the fearful creatures, he chuckled. “I will give you an opportunity to surrender. If you do, I can agree to not kill you.”
He wanted the creatures to surrender?
Nobody could believe what they were hearing.
“HISS!” The creatures bared their teeth threateningly at Su Chen.
Perhaps they hadn’t understood him.
When Su Chen saw this, he sighed. “Fine. If that’s the case, then we can only continue on as before. But to make sure that you guys don’t go running around willy-nilly, I need to take some preventative measures. This will simplify my job later on.”
As Su Chen spoke, he gestured with his hand, causing an Arcana Technique to take effect.
The sky suddenly darkened as a wave of wind surged through the air, intertwining and weaving a large net of violent wind and wrapping all of the Harpies and creatures inside it.
One of the creatures tried to retreat, but the wind rushed over it, dragging it violently back into the vortex, right next to where Su Chen was standing.
“Hey,” Su Chen said in greeting to the creature before slicing off the creature’s head.
The other creatures all cried out in panic, desperately wanting to leave, but they were surrounded by violent winds that would toss them back to Su Chen as soon as they stepped foot outside. As a result, the creatures would be trapped here for some time.
“Stormy Spiral?” Some of the more knowledgeable Harpies watching were able to recognize Su Chen’s attack.