Chapter 218: Beating the Bush to Startle the Snake

 Chapter 218: Beating the Bush to Startle the Snake [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]   

A formal squad of arachne would definitely follow the grey swampspiders. Qianye closed his eyes and sank deeper—water gradually covered his hair without forming so much as a ripple.

The swamp began to shake as a number of giant shadows emerged from the distant mist. They were a type of arachne servspider known as giant swampspiders. These giant spiders possessed astonishing build, growing as tall as three meters and possessing a bulky abdomen that almost looked like a boat.

These giant spiders moved with a nimbleness that was out of proportion to their large bodies. It wasn’t too excessive to say that they moved like the wind. Even Qianye would not be able to flee from a giant swampspider within the marshlands—the only choice might be to stand and duel—there was simply no way to outrun a pursuing giant swampspider in such an environment.

There were probably half a dozen of them. Their heavy footsteps meant that they were transporting a couple of werewolves on their backs, forming a small but complete werewolf squad. Following at the very end were two arachne bringing up the rear. 

This squad soon rushed past Qianye and, judging from their direction, they were headed toward the camp.

Qianye gradually surfaced after the group had passed and the shaking of the swamp disappeared. Judging from the scale, it was an advance scouting party and their strength was one level greater than an ordinary patrol squad.

Qianye pondered for a while and, once again, went through topography around the camp in his mind. He decided to take them down!

Although it was said that beating the bush would startle the snake, it made little difference to the situation at hand. The dark races would never abandon their plan of transporting troops through the swamp, regardless of whether the humans had discovered traces of their movement. If he could force the dark races to change their route by killing a large part of their scouting party, that would be, on the contrary, just what he wanted.

Qianye found a dry high ground where he sat down to rest and wait in silence. He stood up only three hours later and moved stealthily toward the second campsite. The only ones truly difficult to deal with in the scouting party were the rank seven arachne and a werewolf captain of the same rank. However, Qianye was confident he could badly wound one of them in an ambush.  

Simple tents had been raised in the campsite. The two largest ones were for the two arachne, while the smaller ones were occupied by the werewolves. Some of the lycanthropes simply lay down on the dry ground and began to snore loudly.

Most of the arachne and werewolves had begun to rest. The march through the swamp was extremely arduous, leaving both races utterly exhausted. It was a total torment for the violent and restless werewolves to lie completely still on the swampspiders’ bodies and suffer the long period of jolting. On the other hand, the werewolves’ heavy bodies were a burden to the swampspiders.  

Qianye hid for another half an hour, watching as the giant swampspiders also fell asleep outside the stone pillars. Most of the grey swampspiders had crawled onto dry ground and only a few of them were left moving restlessly.

The arachne didn’t especially leave any sentinels. Their warning mechanism mainly relied on the sharp perception of the numerous small spiders. Such a system would normally be superior to the so-called sentinels, but their effects were greatly diminished in the current marshland environment. 

The arachne and werewolf captains weren't quite concerned because their current location within the swamp was quite central and very few humans would be able to traverse this deep. These campsites had been completely safe for the past several years and had never been raided by humans before. Besides, it would take at least a detachment of human soldiers to launch an attack against them. The noise from such a number of people approaching would wake even the sleepiest of spiders.

Amidst the silence, Qianye gradually rose from the muddy waters and inched toward the camp. 

The grey swampspiders only began to sense him when he was 50 meters away from the destination. The somewhat restless spiders collided with one another as they clambered and scanned the dark swamp repeatedly, however, the dense mist and the unique scent of the marshland occupied all their senses, rendering them unable to judge the source of this unease. 

Qianye stopped concealing himself and rushed into the center of the camp within the blink of an eye!

Despite the swampy terrain, Qianye was like an arrow let loose from a bow the moment he raised his speed. No sooner had the few grey swampspiders in the periphery let out a warning cry than Qianye rushed into their midst. 

His forward rushing posture abruptly dropped down in tandem with the descent of the pure and refined origin power within. Following which, a powerful stomp fell on the camp ground—energy from over 25 cycles of combatant formula surged out from his body. 

The firm ground suddenly caved in under Qianye’s foot as spiders of various sizes within a ten-meter radius were tossed into the air and flung away by the energy shockwave which followed relentlessly. 

Qianye once again rushed out like a cannon shell and crashed into a giant swampspider who had just clambered up. Only a dull thud was heard before the spider was knocked back to the ground with an ear-piercing snap. It seemed some of its limbs were broken. Following which, its large body slid several meters and fell into the water. The way was now open! 

Qianye had reached the center of the camp within moments.

The whole campsite erupted!

All the swampspiders clambered up and let out threatening hisses. But these slow-reacting creatures were gazing toward the exterior where Qianye’s initial attack had caused a large pit. This served only to interfere with the judgment of the other arachne and werewolves within the circle. 

Qianye stood at the center of the camp with his Twin Flowers aimed at the largest tent, waiting patiently for his prey to appear.

As the rank seven arachne emerged, tearing the tent open and letting out furious roars, the first thing he saw was the two illusory flowers blossoming in the air. 

Amidst the resounding explosion, a bloody mist immediately erupted from the arachne’s humanoid face as half its brain was blown apart! The distance was simply too close—so close that Qianye didn’t even need to aim accurately. The two pistols bombarded the arachne’s head with full force. The weakest and most vital part of the enemy was struck by the beautiful and almost illusory origin power radiance of the twin flowers, turning it into a heap of bloody flesh.

Despite losing its brain, the arachne’s body didn’t turn rigid immediately due to its strong vitality. The headless body, dragging half the tent along, charged forward madly. Its sharp limbs suddenly pierced through a werewolf who had just climbed out of a nearby tent and easily punched a hole through the unfortunate fellow’s chest. 

The werewolf captain was an extremely strong black wolf. He had torn through the tent’s roof and jumped out immediately only to witness this scene play out before him. Both shocked and infuriated, he roared, “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Are you courting death!?”

But the arachne leader could no longer respond to the wolf’s words with half its brain missing. The uncontrollable spider charged directly into the werewolves’ camp area. Under the flailing of its eight limbs, a certain werewolf who was sleeping outdoors failed to escape and was cut into pieces. The werewolf captain could no longer say anything as he let out a roar and pounced forward to save his subordinates. 

Qianye changed positions several times amidst the chaos and made use of the certain blind spots to arrive near a smaller tent, waiting for the rank five arachne to appear.

He holstered the Twin Flowers and drew the Radiant Edge. A scarlet glow began to emerge on the blade’s edge!

A brilliant red blade radiance suddenly illuminated the campgrounds when the second arachne emerged. The spider let out a blood-curdling scream as its chest and abdomen were completely separated!

After finishing off the two arachne, all the servspiders were thrown into chaos. From the giant swampspiders to the small grey spiders, all of them were going around in circles—they completely had no idea as to where the enemy was.

Meanwhile, the out-of-control arachne leader had died completely. Its gigantic body fell in a pile beside a half-smashed stone pillar. Consequently, the nearby spiders immediately got into a conflict with the violent werewolves survivors.

Qianye calmly fell back and then turned around to exert his strength—he flashed past a giant swampspider’s strike and, with a flicker of his blade, split open the latter’s abdomen. The giant spider immediately fell to the ground and stopped moving as blood gradually seeped out, dying the muddy waters a sanguineous red. Covered by its large body, Qianye’s figure disappeared noiselessly into the mists of the Black Clay Swamp. 

The camp had fallen into complete disorder. The servspiders, with their limited intelligence, began to reveal their fierce nature after escaping the constraint of the arachne leaders. The bloody stench continuously agitated the nerves of the werewolves and arachne. This made them increasingly violent—the conflict expanded to a bloody battle in the blink of an eye. 

A giant swampspider had fiercely pinned a werewolf to the ground. It opened its mandibles and was about to bite down when it suddenly raised its head and let out a miserable hiss. The werewolf captain had already pounced onto its body and pierced his glowing claws deep into the spider’s back shell. Then, with a powerful lifting motion, he split open the whole of the victim’s back.

This slightly alleviated the violent werewolf captain’s bloodthirst. He let out a roar, hoping to reassemble his subordinates. The chaos was partly stopped under the loud voice suffused with suppressive might.

However, the werewolf captain suddenly felt an intense sense of danger. He immediately leapt off the giant swampspider’s back, but it was already too late. The twin flowers rumbled once again—the origin power bullets erupted with a mass of dazzling light upon the captain’s body, turning his whole back into a mess of flesh and gore! 

This shot wasn’t quite lethal, but it drastically reduced the werewolf captain’s combat capabilities. There was no longer any suspense in the following battle after the last rank seven opponent was badly wounded.

The werewolves’ heavy bodies were ill-suited for marshland combat. Additionally, the giant swampspiders, unweakened within the swamp, had lost their masters and turned into indiscriminate enemies. Just like that, Qianye roamed the area around the camp and continuously killed the werewolves who, unable to restrain themselves, rushed into the swamp to fight him. In the end, half of those dozen-odd werewolves were devoured by the bottomless mire.

After patiently disposing of the swampspiders of various sizes, the whole camp area became silent once again. 

The spoils of war weren’t exactly abundant. Werewolf armor and claws were of no use to humans, and the same went for arachne battle armors. Fortunately, the arachne also used origin guns—Qianye found a grade four origin gun within a tattered tent. 

There were good rank three items among the looted melee weapons. Unfortunately, the heavy battle-axes favored by the arachne easily weighed a couple of hundreds of kilograms. Qianye didn’t want to carry such a huge load all the way back. The two origin grenades, however, were a good harvest. Although they weren’t as powerful as the ones used by vampires, they were still much better than human grenades.  

Qianye went around the campsite and cleared away traces of himself before setting out once again toward a different camp. In the following days, he encountered two more scouting parties of the same size, both of which he easily eliminated.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts