Chapter 43: Settling The Victory

Dark-green blood spewed violently out from the crack the golden spear had opened up in the ground.

At the same time, the Lurker Lizard’s ear-piercing shriek rang out from the depths below.

The land began to shake violently; clearly, the Lurker Lizard’s thirst for blood had been spurred, and it was about to tear through the ground to the surface.

Pan Tao had more battle experience than Jiang Miao and others. The moment he saw the blood spilling out from under the ground, he knew that Nie Tian’s judgement had been completely correct!

Ecstasy stretched across his face, and at the same time, his black pupils suddenly turned dark-gold!

His hands suddenly exploded with a wave of enormous spiritual power fluctuations as he pulled out the spear and vigorously pierced it back into the earth.

The long spear once again flashed with golden light, forcing Nie Tian to close his eyes.

CHING!

The spear’s earth-piercing sound rang out again, and the pained howls of the Lurker Lizard could once again be heard.

“Haha! Finally, I’ve got you!”

Pan Tao, after succeeding in both his attacks, grinned from ear to ear. More confident, he pulled out the spear one more time and prepared for a third attack.

However, after being hit twice, the Lurker Lizard finally realized that its whereabouts had been exposed.

Wounded, it immediately sank further down into the earth, sapped its will to fight Pan Tao.

“Yee?!”

Pan Tao’s face was full of disbelief as looked at the bulge in the ground rapidly making its way off into the distance.

The second grade Lurker Lizard was intelligent enough that it wouldn’t dare to continue fighting after having its body pierced twice.

Although Pao Tao had been prepared for the opposite, the Lurker Lizard actually fled!

Pan Tao got extremely excited, cheering loudly while brandishing his golden spear. “Zheng Rui! You don’t have to come any more. The Lurker Lizard has fled! Hahaha! It actually fled!”

Upon hearing his words, all the teenagers who had previously feared that the Lurker Lizard might sneak up on them from under the ground, were immediately filled with strength and spirit.

Without the threat of the Lurker Lizard, they no longer had to worry about attacks on their flank, and finally became full of courage!

Nie Tian noticed that none of them were looking down anymore, and instead went all-out against the spirit beasts in front of them.

“What! The Lurker Lizard has fled?” Zheng Rui, who had gone to help An Ying fight the Frost Python, grew excited as well. “Brother Tao! Well done! If we can escape death this time, it will be all thanks to you! Hahaha, you’re so awesome, bro! Respect!”

After Zheng Rui had joined her, An Ying was no longer in sore straits, and actually could spare some time to take a glance at Pan Tao.

Even though she didn’t know what exactly had happened, she was confident that Pan Tao wouldn’t lie, and since he said the Lurker Lizard had fled, it must be true.

The fact that Pan Tao was able to defeat the Lurker Lizard totally surpassed her expectations, and she was sincerely happy that he had managed to do that.

“Pan Tao, I didn’t know you had it in you. Good job!” She was quite generous with her praises.

Jiang Miao’s cheek blushed with excitement. “Big Bro Pan! You are amazing! It’s all thanks to you if we win!”

Elated, the rest of the teenagers also started shouting out, praising Pan Tao in every possible way.

“You are truly worthy of being a disciple of the Spiritual Treasure sect, Biggest Bro Pan! Much respect!”

“Thank you, Big Bro Pan!”

"…"

Immersed in an earful of praises, Pan Tao smiled in embarrassment, and subconsciously cast a glance at Nie Tian.

He knew more than anyone that Nie Tian had played the most crucial role in this, and it was only because of him he was able to severely wound the Lurker Lizard.

If Nie Tian hadn’t provided an accurate location, he would never be able to catch the Lurker Lizard off guard and inflict such incalculable damage on it, forcing it to escape.

The Lurker Lizard also didn’t think someone would be able to locate it, so it had let its guard down.

Pan Tao took it by surprise in the same manner it had launched sneak attacks on Qin Shun and Zu Fang. Otherwise, if it had come out of the earth and fought Pan Tao openly, it wouldn’t had suffered such a great loss.

After all, it was fundamentally stronger than Pan Tao.

Somewhat shamefaced, Pan Tao looked at Nie Tian from afar, only to find that Nie Tian had extended his arm high in the air and stuck out his thumb, making a gesture of praise towards him.

Pan Tao could find no traces of ridicule in Nie Tian’s eyes, only heartfelt congratulations.

Nie Tian also understood that although locating the Lurker Lizard had been the key, they couldn’t have wounded it without Pan Tao’s decisive attacks. He himself had been too depleted to strike early on.

As a matter of fact, both he and Pan Tao had played important roles in this battle.

The Lurker Lizard had previously been hiding in the dark and unleashing murderous attacks on the trial takers. Now that it had fled the battlefield, the whole situation immediately turned around.

Nie Tian had almost collapsed due to overconsumption of his power, but now that the Lurker Lizard had fled, he could finally catch a breath and regain his strength, knowing that the crisis had passed.

After seeing recognition in Nie Tian’s eyes, a faint smile could be seen on Pan Tao’s face, which was... one of heartfelt admiration and pleasure. “Hahaha.”

He nodded at Nie Tian, and the both of them exchanged a look of tacit mutual understanding.

At that time, Zheng Rui reminded him in a loud voice. “Brother Tao! Don’t just stand around. Come and help us get rid of this Frost Python!”

“I’m on it!” Pan Tao said, laughing.

However, just as he was about to rush towards them, his eyebrow twitched, and he noticed that Nie Tian was in a poor state.

Face serious, Pan Tao instructed. “Tong Hao! Don’t bother with the spirit beasts any more. Go to Nie Tian’s side and guard him for a while. He seems to be under the weather.”

Tong Hao was the only one whose spirits didn’t rise after the Lurker Lizard fled. He was still standing there looking stunned.

He knew very well that if Pan Tao hadn’t jumped in to fight off the Lurker Lizard, he would have been its next victim, and he... would have surely been killed.

As of this moment, he was still seized by fear.

Upon Pan Tao’s order, he glanced at Nie Tian, and found that Nie Tian was sitting on the ground with a pale face, and appeared to have lost all his spirit. He furrowed his brows and seemed to be somewhat unwilling to take action.

He wasn’t aware that it was Nie Tian who had really saved him.

While everyone else was bathing in blood, Nie Tian, on the other hand, was sitting on the ground...

That made him feel that it was a bit unfair.

He thought Nie Tian did nothing to help.

“Tong Hao! Did you hear me?!” Pan Tao glared at him.

Only then did Tong Hao respond. “Yeah, got it. I’m on it.”

From his point of view, it was Pan Tao who had saved his life, and he was in his debt.

Therefore, as long as Pan Tao instructed him to do something, he had to follow it, regardless of whether he was willing or not.

Soon, he arrived to Nie Tian’s side.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” he asked indifferently.

“It was nothing major, but I’m a little weak.” Nie Tian didn’t explain, so as not to make Pan Tao, who had been incessantly praised by everyone, feel embarrassed. “Thank you for protecting me.”

“You’re welcome. I’m just following big brother Pan Tao’s orders.” With an unconcerned look on his face, Tong Hao sized up Nie Tian, before putting on an enigmatic expression, saying, “You’re quite the talker. Moments ago, you told us to cast aside our fears, but now... look at you!”

Truth be told, Nie Tian’s poor state and pale face did add up to the image that he was scared.

He took it for granted that Nie Tian had been scared to death, seeing no hope of surviving the fight with the Frost Python and the Lurker Lizard.

Nie Tian let it pass and didn’t argue, since he didn’t have the energy to waste on a person like him.

“As it turns out, you’re nothing but a talker,” Tong Hao murmured, looking at Nie Tian again with his eyes full of disdain.

All of a sudden, the other teenagers started to cheer.

“The Frost Python has also fled!”

“The rest of the spirit beasts are all retreating back into the depths of the glacier area!”

“Hahaha! We’ve won! We’ve fought them away!”

Nie Tian looked over with rapt attention, and only then did he realize that the Frost Python, at an amazing speed, had indeed fled to the deepest parts of the glacier area.

After losing assistance from the Lurker Lizard, it was forced to face An Ying, Zheng Rui, and Pan Tao together. Apparently it understood that once the three of them joined forces, it would be almost impossible to defeat them, and thus it left decisively.

The moment it left, the remaining spirit beasts certainly didn’t dare to linger around, and scattered in all directions.

“Do we chase them?” Zheng Rui asked, trying to conceal his excitement.

An Ying stood there holding her long saber, panting heavily, beads of sweat rolling down her forehead. “No, we don’t. I’ve consumed too much of my spiritual energy dealing with the Frost Python. I don’t even have thirty percent of my spiritual power remaining in me. I have to recover as quickly as possible, and only then can we march further into the glacier area.

“Who knows if there are more second grade spirit beasts there.”

Pan Tao agreed. “Right. To be safe, we’d better recuperate for a bit.”

The trial takers, having just escaped death, wanted to chase the spirit beasts, but after hearing An Ying and Pan Tao’s comments, they all quickly gave in.

After this battle, every single one of them looked at Pan Tao differently.

In their eyes, it was Pan Tao who had severely wounded the Lurker Lizard that had been hiding in the dark. He had single-handedly made the greatest contribution to this battle!

Pan Tao was the one who had laid the groundwork for their victory.

Without him, the Lurker Lizard would be a huge threat to everyone, and Zheng Rui and An Ying wouldn’t have been able to force the Frost Python to flee.

Even though they didn’t say it publicly, but after going through such a tribulation, everyone had come to view Pan Tao as a leader, just like An Ying.

They even began to muse that Pan Tao should be the one to give orders.

Pan Tao had earned respect and stateliness for himself with his performance in this battle.

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