Chapter 108: Evolution
I'll be lurking here O_o.
Also I forgot to clarify but the one who took over Ran Kaitou's kingdom was the Siwang empire and not the Sai Empire. There was a typo sorry :D
Another thing is o_o please support me on Novels Nao o,,,,,o thanks. I might update there first and here later idk O_o
As flickering torch light glimmered in the dark, a wall of blood red eyes stared at Zhang and his men. Hundreds of blood red eyes glowed in the dark while emitting killing intent that suffocated the air.
“Prepare to engage!” Zhang roared as he lifted his halberd up and gripped it with both hands.
From out of the darkness a monstrosity crept out, revealing what could only be considered a living nightmare. This abomination possessed hundreds of arms and feet that stuck out throughout its body, hundreds of blood red eyes that dotted its body, lastly and most horrifically were hundreds of heads and torsos that stuck out from its body.
It resembled what would happen if someone were to stitch hundreds of people together, and the bodies melded together into one monstrous thing. A sight that would give children or perhaps grown men nightmares for the rest of their lives.
This thing was something that seemed to have crawled out from the darkest depth of hell was slowly inching its way through the corridor, squeezing through since it’s body was too large. It’s slowness and size gave everyone present a feeling of impending doom as they stood face to face with this monstrosity, well everyone but Zhang of course.
“Die.” Zhang snorted as he flung his arm muscles flexed and his halberd shot out from his grasp. The halberd screeched through the air at unbelievable speeds and plunged into the wall of flesh that stood in Zhang’s way.
The halberd sunk itself into one of the many torsos sticking out of the wall of flesh causing a fountain of dark red flood to spray out. Moments late the hundreds of heads on the abomination all let out eardrum piercing screeches as the torso that had been impaled by Zhang’s halberd, ignited and turned into ash. Then a small partially black, white pearl rolled onto the ground. But almost instantly one of the many arms on the abomination struck out and grabbed the pearl, then fed it to one of the hundreds of mouths.
Many of Zhang’s men fell to their knees as they covered their ears, trying to block out the deafening screech.
“So I can’t call this a single monster, but rather hundreds of monsters melded together. Sort of a colony of monsters, I guess. But now all there is to do is to kill attacking until all that is left is a pile of ash. Sadly, these men will only get in the way…” Zhang thought.
“All of you fall back and make a defensive line!” He ordered, as he sprang into action, deciding to engage the monster in close combat instead of manipulating weapons from afar like he had done so before. This was because he did not know if anything else would appear or how large this monster really was, so needlessly using up large amount of essence wasn’t very wise.
Taking long strides and moving at as fast as the wind, Zhang sped through the dark corridor as his pitch black cape fluttered behind him. Moments later he arrived in front of the wall of flesh and in an instant the two swords that were hung by his waist were drawn.
As his sword slide out of their sheaths two bloody arcs were sliced into the wall of flesh. In an attempt to stop Zhang, a barrage of hundreds of arms and legs stretched outward. Claws and fists swung out as they tried to stop Zhang but to no avail.
Zhang’s blades were made out of Mirage Viper fangs and were able to cut through the wall of flesh as if it was made of butter. Whatever came in his way would be met by a whirlwind of slashes and cuts, leaving a trail of ash behind him.
“If all my enemies were simply big and not strong then life would be much easier.” Zhang said with a grin as he continued his onslaught of attacks. Of course he was not purely on the offensive, he also had to make sure to avoid the attacks from the wall of flesh that came at weird angles and couldn’t be dodged.
Perhaps on a battlefield a monster such as this would be able to do a lot of damage but in close quarters combat it wasn’t too strong. It was too big to use its size as an advantage in such a small space, whereas Zhang was able to move nimbly and slowly but surely chip away at it. But as a pile of dust was accumulating behind Zhang he could notice that it’s movements were slowly getting quicker, he also noticed that no more pearls were dropped after that first one.
Despite peeling and turning layer after layer of the abomination’s flesh and limbs to ash, it seemed as though no progress was being made at all.
“Guess I’ll have to try something else…” Zhang thought as the Ruler’s Domain ring flickered and a circular spiral that seemed to fluctuate space appeared behind him. From within the spiral countless of human sized golden spiders scurried out. But that was not the end of things, from Zhang’s shadow dozens if not hundreds of beasts creeped out.
Zhang’s men had to move further back as the number of beasts under Zhang’s control crowded the corridor.
Without having to give any orders the horde of beasts under his control charged at the wall of flesh, as their master moved back and stood watch. With fangs and claws bared the beasts ripped through the wall of flesh. Although the Titanic Spiders tried to feast after being kept in the Ruler’s Domain for so long, all that was left after they tore through the abomination that stood in their master’s path was dust.
“After this I’ll feed you all something good.” Zhang said as Silky could be seen on the ground by his side. Despite being hatched first, Silky was only half the size of the other titanic spiders. But of course she made up for this in terms of strength. If compared to the other spiders, Silky’s toxins were twice as potent and in terms of raw physical power she possessed twice as much as the others.
As the battle of monsters drew on, the spiders began injecting their venom into the wall of flesh. Once vast amounts of venom were pumped into the wall of flesh, a blood curdling barrage of screeches sounded out and then the corridor was filled with silence. All that was left was a sea of dust that glittered with countless black and white pearls.
“Release…” Zhang said and an instant later the Abyssal Beasts that he had summoned all faded away into black puffs of smoke.
While Zhang was releasing the Abyssal Beasts, a titanic spider had caught sight of the pearls laying in the dust and before its master could stop it, consumed the pearl. Soon it’s brothers and began finding the pearls that littered the ground and eating them also.
“What the…” Zhang mumbled as he caught sight of his horde of Golden Spiders all twitching and laying on the ground. Before Zhang could say another word, cracks began appearing on the golden bodies of his spider horde.
From these cracks pure white, almost ghostly limbs sprang out. “Their shedding?” He thought as he continued observing. Soon enough a ghostly horde of white spiders appeared in front of Zhang as they crawled out of their golden shells.
These spiders looked many times stronger than their former selves, because now their limbs looked sharper and stronger, their fangs were larger and they emitted a powerful aura that would send other demonic beasts fleeing.
As he combed through his horde of spiders, Zhang saw a single spider that had not shed yet. It was digging through the dust trying to find something, until it uncovered a glittering black and white pearl and swallowed it. Moments later it too would join its brethren and shed its golden shell.
“So the pearls caused them to shed and become stronger. Hmmmmm.” Zhang said as he eyes Silky and a pitch black pearl appeared in his hand. This was the same pearl that he had obtained from one of the three Jiangshi that was slain before he had gone to the provincial lord’s mansion.
“Here you go Silky.” He said as he tossed the pitch black pearl into the air, where it was swooped up by silky and consumed. Under Zhang’s watchful gaze, crack appeared on Silky’s shell and she began shedding like the others spiders.
“Suddenly a hand as white as snow broke free of the golden shell, and a beauty that can compare to a goddess emerge. How funny would that be if that really happened.” Zhang thought with a chuckle. But of course this did not happen, what did happen was pure white metallic looking spider limbs emerged from the metallic pink and golden shell. Not long after a white metallic looking Silky with a beautiful shade of light purple covering part of its body appear.
Unlike the rest of the spiders, Silky actually grew a bit in size and from the purple patterns that appeared on its body one could tell it was vastly superior to the other spiders.
“Alright you better not tell Yuying I fed you something funny. Got that?” Zhang said to Silky, who in response gave off a low screech.
“Okay let’s go.” Zhang said as he looked back at the hundred men that had followed him thus far.
The group broke into formation with the hundred men in the center and the newly named Wraith Spiders surrounding them. While Zhang and Silky led the group in the very front.
Once more the group continued onward into the darkness but now it was not they who would be afraid but those who happen upon their path because now Zhang had unleashed his horde of spiders and to make things worse for whoever or whatever shows up, the spiders had undergone a transformation and have become stronger.
As they walked through the sea of dust, every single black and white pearl was collected and presented to Zhang. He did not know what these pearls are called but he could tell that they possessed an uncanny ability that could prove useful to him later on. If anything he could fed these to the next horde of spiders or beasts that come under control. Or maybe he could give them to Yuying and if they are lucky, an army of Jiangshi might be spawned. Nonetheless there was no harm and only good could come from collecting the pearls.
An hour or so later the group was still making its way through the same corridor. Occasionally as the group would run a few humanlike monsters like the boy they had encountered before, but they’ve yet to run into anything like the wall of flesh or the hundred defective Jiangshi that were chained to the entrance of the corridor.
“My lord, do you think perhaps there is some kind of hidden passageway behind the walls or something? We’ve been walking for quite sometime now and there have yet to be any turns or other corridors.” One of Zhang’s men said, breaking the silence that had been instilled for a while now.
“No, I’ve been scanning the walls with my essence are we walk pass them and so far all that lay behind these walls are solid rock or dirt.” Zhang said as he continued walking forward. Thus none of his men asked anymore questions and simply followed behind him.
Roughly after another half an hour of walking, flickering flames could be seen in the distance.
“Everyone stay on guard.” Zhang said as his men drew their weapons and the spiders became more vigilant. Soon the corridor opened up into a large well lit room. The walls of the room were lined with large jars that had talismans wrapped around them, while the floors had dozens of barred pits in them, then there was cloth draped cages that were situated all around the chamber. Lastly there was a mid-sized set of iron gates at the far end of the chamber.
“Spread out and yell if anything of interest pops up.” Zhang ordered. His men and the spiders then fanned out across the room. Besides the jars, pits and cages there was also an assortment of furniture and shelves of books that could offer clues to what was being done in this chamber. Perhaps even an answer to the weird creatures that they have been encountering thus far.
Although Zhang had an idea of what had happened, he could never be sure because there were many coincidences in life and just as many unexplainable mysteries.
While the books on the bookshelves were being examined, a loud scream broke out and echoed through the chamber.
“Help me! Something’s caught me leg! Help!”
Looking in the direction where the scream originated from, one of Zhang’s men could be seen being pulled into a cage that was covered by a white curtain. Dozens of men rushed over to help him but were not able to pull the man free from whatever was pulling him from the other side.
Seeing this Zhang made his way over to the cage and with a sweep of his hand, pulled off the white cloth that was covering the cage. Once the cloth was pulled off, a wall of iron bars with strange inscriptions etched into them was revealed along with group of ten shirtless men inside the cage. One man in partially was pulling on the leg of Zhang’s subordinate.
“Let go or lose your arms.” Zhang said as he unsheathed his sword. From the things he’s seen so far down here, he did not know if these people were still human or if they were human to begin with.
Understanding Zhang’s words, the men released his grip and sent a team of Zhang’s men who were trying to pull their comrades free, tumbling onto the ground. From this along one could tell how strong the man in the cage was.
“Fr-free, u-us…” The man said, in a voice that belonged to someone who probably hasn’t spoken for a long time.
“How do I know if you will attack us or not once I free you? So first you must answer a few questions for me.” Zhang said.