Sephiro didn't back down.
He shot arrow after arrow, kicking any approaching Winged Snake or whacking them with his bow.
'My body feels light.'
Was it because of the Grande Panther Necklace? He felt like he could move quicker than usual.
Not only that, but Cat Eye's effect was pretty fun; whenever it marked an opponent's weak point, he'd aim for it. Of course, he'd deal more damage too!
Extending his contract with Kang Oh had definitely been worth it.
'Hmm. If that many of them come out all at once, then...'
Winged Snakes poured out of the tunnels!
'You can't blame me for wanting to do this!'
Sephiro retrieved an arrow from his inventory. Truthfully, the arrow was far too large and contained too much magic power to be considered a mere arrow.
He notched the arrow and pulled back the bowstring, causing the bow to bend so much that it looked like it'd break.
The magic arrow flew into the tunnel. Then, six magic circles appeared nearby.
More than 100 arrows flew out of the magic circles.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
A shower of arrows rained down on the Winged Snakes.
The arrows perforated the Winged Snakes' outstretched silver wings, while those slithering on the floor were overcast by a shower of arrows.
The final arrow sank into the floor.
The ground was filled with arrows, and several Winged Snakes were sprawled on the floor.
However, Winged Snakes had tough skin and high vitality!
The Winged Snakes that had survived his Buster Shot continued to pour out of the tunnel.
Kang Oh parried a Winged Snake and headed for the tunnel.
He swung Ubist in a wide arc.
The tiger-shaped aura dashed through the tunnel.
[You have defeated a Winged Snake.]
[You have defeated...]
[You have leveled up.]
He massacred them!
Kang Oh smirked.
Sephiro had softened them up with a Buster Shot, and Kang Oh had finished them off.
"Aim your arrows and spells at the tunnel! Healers, cast AoE healing spells!" Krohn yelled.
He'd directed this to the nearby troops, or the healers, archers, shamans, etc.
Whizz! Whizz! Whizz!
The archers shot their arrows simultaneously.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
The sky was filled with fireballs, black spheres, blue lightning, etc.
"Warriors, push them back!" Krohn yelled.
The warriors, who wielded swords, spears, or axes, cried out and rushed at the Winged Snakes.
Kang Oh continued his shameless act, picking off only the Winged Snakes that were on the brink of death.
They killed the few remaining Winged Snakes one or two at a time.
The entire expedition force breathed haggardly.
"Good job everyone. Gather up all of their bodies; we'll strip them of their skin and meat. Gather all of the loot as well!" Krohn said.
Finally, their first battle versus the Winged Snakes was over.
Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro gathered once more.
He looked satisfied. It made sense. After all, Kang Oh had killed countless Winged Snakes, increasing his contributions, as well as yielding a large amount of experience.
Sephiro stared at him annoyedly.
"What is it?"
"Did you enjoy finishing them all off?"
Sephiro's Buster Shot hadn't really killed that many snakes. On the contrary, Kang Oh's Tempest Tiger had killed plenty.
"Yes, I did as a matter of fact."
Kang Oh licked his lips.
Sephiro clicked his tongue, and Eder patted his back.
"I'm looking forward to the next battle."
Kang Oh grinned.
* * *
Aman received a report on the outcome of the first battle.
"...They ambushed us from the rear, but with the adventurers' help, we were able to get through it. We killed every snake that we could see."
Bardona, who led their northern forces, used a communication bead to report to Aman.
"Good work. When you're done resting, continue to advance. And make sure you're ready for anything; the snakes could come out from anywhere," Aman touched the communication bead and said.
"Understood. How are the other squads doing?"
"They've all finished their first battles, but there were a lot of casualties in the west."
The Winged Snakes had popped out of the ground, right underneath the center of the western force's formation. Thus, such high casualties couldn't be helped.
"Is that so? Then we'll send some reinforcements."
Aman stroked his beard.
"They must've created those tunnels beforehand, right?" Aman asked the nearby Koong, who was the Sundra Tribe's representative.
"Yes. It's unlikely that they created those tunnels just now."
North, south, east, and west. With the sudden appearance of tunnels and the resulting outpour of Winged Snakes, the four squads were sure to sustain severe casualties.
Of course, their forces had won, but that didn't change the fact that the snakes had dug these tunnels beforehand and could use them whenever they wished!
"Tch. Troublesome bastards."
Aman clenched his fist.
'They're just snakes. How dare they cause us such grief!'
* * *
Krohn's expedition force advanced after they'd rested up.
As they advanced, they engaged another large force of Winged Snakes.
The Winged Snakes kept coming at them through multiple passageways.
However, there were distinct Winged Snakes in between them. They were more than 2 meters long, and had horns as well.
[You have discovered the Horned Snake, Crola.]
[It is a named monster.]
A named monster!
Their eyes glowed a purple hue as their tongues lashed in and out. However, they weren't joining the battle.
The ordinary Winged Snakes moved as one, following their cries and head movements.
Thus, the warriors had a harder time dealing with the Winged Snakes.
'They must have some sort of command ability!'
Winged Snakes normally worked well together, but became even harder to deal with when they were being directed.
"Archers, shamans, and mages, aim for the horned snakes!" Krohn yelled.
Krohn was very much aware that the Horned Winged Snakes were commanders, as well as the fact that they needed to be killed first.
As soon as their forces focused their ranged attacks onto them, the Horned Winged Snakes simultaneously let out a fierce cry.
At that moment...
Tunnels opened up everywhere, and out came Winged Snakes.
Red-spotted snakes popped out of a tunnel, spewing venom.
"Uaahk, it's venom!"
"We need some healing!"
"Behind! Look behind you!"
"They're right next to us too!"
"Die, you snakes!"
In an instant, the battlefield was engulfed in chaos.
Krohn had somewhat expected this, so he responded calmly.
"Don't panic. Take down the snakes that are closest to you! Continue focusing fire on the Horned Winged Snakes!"
The intense battle continued for some time.
Kang Oh waited patiently, and wouldn't hesitate when he saw an opportunity present itself.
His target: a Horned Winged Snake!
They were much more enticing than normal Winged Snakes!
Kang Oh quickly killed the nearby Winged Snakes with Blood.
Then, he rushed over to a Horned Winged Snake, which was already at the brink of death from the arrows and spells.
The snake was spotted, which meant it had venom.
It spewed out venom.
Kang Oh quickly rolled forward, avoiding the attack.
Blood disappeared, and Ubist appeared in his hand.
He cleaved a white line across the snake's body.
Kang Oh pushed himself forward, and relentlessly attacked the snake.
Nearby Winged Snakes came rushing over to him.
"Don't get in my way!"
Kang Oh spun around like a spinning top, his sword resembling a turning windmill.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
His jet-black blade swept through everything nearby!
The snakes fell to the floor.
Kang Oh struck the Horned Winged Snake's head.
Kang Oh quickly looked around.
Was there any other snake that he could kill easily?
'Next is... you!'
Kang Oh dashed through a group of Winged Snakes like a runaway engine.
* * *
The battle had ended.
It was a hard-fought, no, it was a bloody battle.
Krohn saw the casualty report and gulped.
They had lost several troops. Thirty of them had died, and several of them had been severely injured.
At least they gave as much as they got; though they'd lost several of their troops, they'd also killed several of the Winged Snakes.
"We're taking a break. Healers, make sure you heal our warriors," Krohn said.
Then, Krohn's subordinate passed him a communication bead and he reported to Commander Aman.
"You've lost a lot of men too."
He could hear Aman's voice through the communication bead.
"Yes sir. How is everyone else doing?"
"Every battle was hard-fought."
"Keep your guard up. The expedition is only over once we've killed the Snake Queen."
Krohn, who'd finished giving his report, walked around to see how his men were doing and to encourage them.
"Good work. We're almost there," Krohn said to a Nuwak warrior.
"I can keep going sir. It's a matter of our tribe's survival," the Nuwak warrior said resolutely.
After all, which village would be attacked first if the snakes managed to get out? It would be his village, the one where his family lived.
The warrior's words caused Krohn to steel himself.
The expedition force advanced once more.
They fought against Winged Snakes twice more.
Was it because they were nearing the Snake Queen? The farther they got, the more the snakes resisted.
"Grit your teeth! We won't lose!"
Krohn's fierce voice lifted their morale.
The warriors' spears, daggers, axes, and swords gleamed. Arrows and spells flew towards the Winged Snakes that rampaged about with their mouths wide open and their wings outstretched.
In the midst of all that, Kang Oh managed to accrue a ton of experience, and had contributed quite a bit too.
'I love this expedition event!'
This was already a large-scale battle. It felt like he'd already killed more than 200 Winged Snakes.
As a result, he'd managed to level up to 195 in a single day. Level 200 wasn't so far away anymore.
"C'mon!" Kang Oh confidently yelled.
'Bring it on. Send over even more!'
The snakes were, of course, nothing more than experience points.
* * *
The expedition's eastern forces, which were led by Aman, had found the Snake Queen's abode.
"This is it," Aman said.
"It is, I'm sure of it."
Koong nodded his head.
A disgusting smell wafted from the gigantic entrance in front of them; it was so bad that it made them grimace.
This smell was proof that the Snake Queen was here.
Winged Snake eggs reeked. The fact that it stunk this badly meant that there were a ton of eggs inside. Not to mention that the Snake Queen was inside as well.
"Tell our forces to gather here," Aman said.
They'd found where the Snake Queen was, so it was time to form their elite squad.
Koong softly nodded and left.
A short while later, the expedition's western forces arrived, combining all of their forces once more.
"The representatives will have a meeting, and the remaining warriors will rest and keep watch," Aman said boomingly.
Kang Oh silently went up to Krohn's side.
"You haven't forgotten my request, have you?"
"No, I haven't. I'll make sure I tell Commander Aman that you want to participate in the Snake Queen hunt."
"Thank you very much."
"Then, if you'll excuse me."
Krohn left to join the representative meeting.
'The Snake Queen hunt! There's no way I can miss out on that.'
Kang Oh's eyes gleamed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter