Chapter 202: Fear
“Let's begin! Ready the nets! Lingqi is everything ready on your side?” Yuying spoke in a loud voice as the jade slip in her hand crumbled to bits.
“The muscle relaxant is ready, I made sure to decrease its potency so it doesn't do too much harm to our people.” Lingqi said with a smile as she stood beside dozens of large clay pots.
“You're also sure it won't linger in the water after our uses for it are done?” Ling asked.
“It should disperse after a few hours, depending on how strong the water currents are. It shouldn't be too bad.” Lingqi replied as her hand patted one of the clay pots brimming with poison.
“Alright let's go! I can't wait to go catch myself one of those squishy looking jellyfish!” Ai said excitedly with twinkling eyes.
“Yea let’s go!” Nai Fan said with a face equally filled with excitement as Ai’s.
“I'll race you there!” Ai said as she took a deep breath a dove into the ocean, where a transparent orb tucked in her robes began to glow and a nearly invisible air bubble was formed around her body.
“Race me?” Nai Fan laughed as he dove into the waters after Ai.
Surprisingly enough once Nai Fan was in the water, Ai was nowhere in sight and before he could catch sight of her, the other beauties and the soldiers of the Blood Scale Army also dove into the water.
Riding atop their massive Mantis Shrimp mounts, the soldiers of the Blood Scale Army hoisted large nets behind them as they descended into the depths.
While the beauties and the Mantis Shrimp Legion made descended, the battle between the Flying Fish Legion and the forces of the Starry Sea Sect had come to a standstill.
Although the Behemoth Jellyfish had held a clear advantage at the beginning of the battle, they could not properly use it before the Flying Fish Legion took up defensive formations.
Speeding through the water in a spiraling motion while spray jets of water out of their mouths while swimming in a large group, the Flying Fish Legion was able to create an underwater typhoon.
Thanks to this typhoon, none of the Behemoth Jellyfish nor their riders were willing to move in and engage in battle.
Despite knowing for certain that they could easily cause severe damage to the Flying Fish Legion and dispel the typhoon, no one was willing to do is because it was without a doubt that whoever was brave enough to charge in first would be sent on a quick trip to hell.
Thus no one was willing to sacrifice themselves so a stand still between the two armies ensued. Of course, Zhang and Holy Son Shan Li were not a part of this standstill and could be seen locked in a breathtaking battle.
Worthy of being the Holy Son of a sect that ruled over a vast expanse of the Western Sea, Shan Li had a wide variety of skills and treasures at his disposal. Although his treasures couldn't compare to Zhang’s, in terms of skills and technique Holy Son Shan Li was somewhat superior, allowing him to avoid being one-sidedly bullied by Zhang.
“Lord Zhou Zhang, if you submit and have over the piece of the Ascending Beauty then I will be on my merry way.” Holy Son Shan Li said to Zhang through his divine sense.
“What are you talking about? I originally come from the Wulin continent and don't have a clue of what you’re talking about. I can't possibly hand over something I do not have.” Zhang replied, will feigning ignorance.
“I advise you to not try to fool me since doing so would only draw out our conflict and would only result in a third party benefiting.” Holy Son Shan Li said.
“A third party?” Zhang asked with a hint of confusion in his tone.
“Yea, the forces of the Golden Pearl Sect are currently on their way here and I'll have you know their Holy Son Hui Ying is a traitorous bastard who will wait until the last minute and swoop in for all of the benefits.” Holy Son Shan Li said.
“I take it you aren't too fond of that fellow.” Zhang said with a laugh as he slashed at Holy Son Shan Li with the Rising Moon Sword. While using the Rising Moon Sword as a distraction, Zhang withdrew a short sword from his interspatial and stabbed forward, managing to leave a long superficial gash on Holy Son Shan Li’s arm.
“Regardless if there is another incoming force or not, I simply have to finish you off and then deal with them.” Zhang said as he caught sight of Ai who was shooting through the water like a speeding arrow.
“I'm here!” Ai’s cheerful voice echoed into Zhang’s mind as a massive black colored vine whipped through the water. This vine, of course, was the Black Thorn Whip made of the Queen of the Night demon flower.
As the thorny black colored whip lashed through the water, the disciples of the Starry Sea Sect in its path began to flee with terrified expressions on their faces.
As if fighting possibly to the death wasn't frightening enough, the thought of possibly getting crushed by Ai’s whip only helped to ramp up the amount of stress they were currently experiencing.
Luckily for the soldiers of the Flying Fish Legion, they had broken off from the enemy or else they too would have been in the path of Ai’s attack.
“Thankfully that thing is somewhat slow.” A few of the disciples of the Starry Sea Sect thought. However, they soon retracted their words, once the Black Thorn Whip actually split apart into three.
With gleaming eyes, Ai began to exert her otherworldly strength and rotated her wrist that was gripping onto the Black Thorn Whip. In a flash Ai’s whip turned into an underwater typhoon, causing the disciples of the Starry Sea Sect to be spun around and around.
“Uncle Lu! Stop her!” Holy Son Shan Li said through his divine sense, upon seeing what was happening to some of his subordinates.
“Right away.” Uncle Lu who had been observing Zhang and Shan Li’s battle, replied as he sped toward Ai.
Seeing Uncle Lu aiming to attack Ai, Zhang tried to intervene but was blocked by a curtain of lightning conjured by Holy Son Shan Li.
Despite biting his tongue and charging straight into the curtain of lightning, Zhang simply ended up injuring himself and was unable to arrive by Ai’s side before Uncle Lu did.
“Triple Barb Strike!” Uncle Lu roared as he arrived beside Ai while gripping onto a weird looking trident in his hand and brimming with killing intent.
“Get out of my way!” Zhang roared as two balls of black fire ignited beside him and shot at Holy Son Shan Li, who continued to try to hinder Zhang’s movements by conjuring up curtains of lightning.
However, as once as he was able to sense the frightening nature of Zhang’s Soul Devouring Flames, Holy Son Shan Li ceased his attempts of hindering Zhang and used the utmost of his abilities to evade.
But of course like in most cases when two experts engage in battle, only a fraction of a second is needed to determine a victor, so even though, Zhang’s black fire was able to frighten off Holy Son Shan Li, it was deemed to be impossible for him to intervene and stop Uncle Lu’s attack in time.
So while cursing himself and praying nothing happens to his lovely wife, Zhang could only watch as Uncle Lu’s trident pierced through the water and neared Ai’s delicate neck.
Inch by inch, the barbed trident moved ever closer to Ai’s neck, threatening to pierce through her jade like skin and more than likely end her life. However, when the trident was a fraction of a centimeter away from impaling Ai, a frightening roar reverberated into everyone’s mind causing.
“Go Away!” Ai’s voice could be heard, ringing into the minds of every friend and foe present, while a darkened expression was visible on her face, an expression which could normally never be seen on Ai’s face.
Under normal circumstances Uncle Lu, who possessed the powers of a full saint on top of being the descendant of a mythological beast that most people call an Aquatic Qilin, would have already ended Ai’s life and claimed her head as his trophy, but instead upon hearing her voice ringing in his mind while feeling her immense aura, a frightening change occurred throughout his body.
“What is she…” Uncle Le thought as he could feel every fiber of his being screaming for him to get as far away as Ai as possible. The ancestral blood that he was so proud of was actually signaling for him to flee from the frail and delicate-looking young woman who stood in front of him, utterly stunning Uncle Lu.
Perhaps it was because he wasn’t as close as Uncle Lu or because he is her husband, Zhang wasn’t really dazed like everyone else, rather he found the perfect opportunity to come to Ai’s aid, regardless of whether she needed it or not.
But like his previous attempt, Zhang was not able to arrive by Ai’s side before someone else beat him to it. In a flash, a powerful water current wrapped around Ai’s body and pushed her upward while a massive net pulled by gigantic Mantis Shrimp descended down toward the depths of the sea.
“Looks like we made it just in time.” Lingqi’s said as her voice was transmitted into Zhang’s mind.
Caught off guard, the forces of the Starry Sea Sect soon found themselves like fish in a barrel as the shadow dozens of massive nets that Zhang had prepared loomed over their heads.
“Cut the net! Use your swords!” Holy Son Shan Li yelled as he commanded his subordinates to draw their weapons. However, all was for naught since the nets were all made entirely of silk that originated from Yuying’s horde of Wraith Spiders.
So with few options at their disposal, a large number of disciples of the Starry Sea Sect found themselves tangled in the nets and unable to escape. What made things worse for them was soon after the nets descended, a greenish colored goo snaked about in the water and numbed the muscles and weakened everyone it touched.
In the blink of an eye, the tide of battle which had gone stagnant with neither side claiming superiority was completely overtaken by Zhang’s forces. The previously defensive Flying Fish Legion scattered in all directions with spears and swords in hand, hoping to slay as many enemies as possible.
“That bastard… To actually think he was able to move half of his army out of the cove without alerting us… Since all of our attention was focused on the enemies in front of us, they were able to swoop in from above without anyone noticing before it was too late…” Holy Son Shan Li mumbled to himself as he began to piece together Zhang’s ploy. Although he was somewhat unhappy due to being blindsided by Zhang, Holy Son Shan Li couldn’t help but feel a hint of respect for his foe.
“All forces prepare to retreat!” Holy Son Shan Li said to all of his subordinates as he transmitted some commands to his personal Behemoth Jellyfish, who was double the size of all of the other behemoth Jellyfish.
Upon receiving its master’s command, Holy Son Shan Li’s Behemoth Jellyfish began to link arms with its brethren. Once a dozen or so other jellyfish had gathered, Holy Son Shan Li appeared and pressed his hand onto them.
“Heavenly Lightning!” He roared as a large bolt of lightning as thick as a person shot toward the net that held thousands of his subordinates captive. One after the other, Holy Son Shan Li shot a hole into everyone single net that Zhang had prepared.
“Retreat!” Holy Son Shan Li commanded once the bolt of lightning struck the silk net and burnt a large hole in it, the lightning bolt also turned a few of the disciples of the Starry Sea Sect into char, however, their deaths would allow for thousands of others to escape.
“You think you can escape on my watch?” Zhang’s voice resounded in Holy Son Shan Li’s mind as he could be seen standing beside the beauties while his saint level subordinates were busy engaging the saint level members of the Starry Sea Sect.
“Besting you in battle in my current condition would be out of the question, however, if I wish to escape I doubt you can stop me! Although I’ve used a bit of my strength to free my subordinates, I still have a few cards to play.” Holy Son Shan Li said in a confident tone as he proceeded to move toward his retreating forces.
True to Shan Li’s words, it was without a doubt that he still had a few hidden techniques and treasures that he had been saving. He had yet to even reveal his true form so obviously, he was still holding back and unwilling to fight Zhang with his all.
“Brother, it seems we underestimated them quite a bit. I didn’t think they'd be able to break out of the nets so quickly.” Yuying said to Zhang as she looked at the torn silk nets that her Wraith Spiders had weaved.
“I also didn’t expect the jellyfish to be immune to my poison…” Lingqi added as she watched the Behemoth Jellyfish swooping in and grabbing their riders and swimming away.
“We also forgot to factor in something else.” Zhang said as he looked downward at the seafloor. Like Zhang, Holy Son Shan Li could also be seen gazing toward the seafloor.
“I knew it… That bastard Hui Ying…” Holy Son Shan Li cursed as he saw the muddy seafloor began to come to life.
“All forces! Disengage!” Zhang commanded as he saw what appeared to be giant clams rising up from the ground. Before long countless giant clams the size of houses came into view.
“Shan Li, are you perhaps trying to flee from the battle? To think the holy son of the Starry Sea Sect was no more than a coward. It seems that it’s up to me to finish up this battle.” A haughty voice entered Shan Li’s mind, prompting his brows to crease and a scowl to appear on his face.