Book 7, Chapter 46: Solo Challenge (3)

After Hidden Cloud lost its wits, it began to mindlessly slaughter the Beasts around it.

The corrosive mist continued to expand ceaselessly as it devoured the Demonic Beasts. Even as Demonic Beasts keeled over one by one, Hidden Cloud’s true body freely teleported around, hunting to its heart’s content.

This only further increased the rate at which the Beasts were dying.

The Demonic Beasts were well and truly doomed. The ambush that they had carefully planned had been completely countered, and they were now being slaughtered by their own Elder. In addition, Su Chen was also using them as a distraction to waste Hidden Cloud’s time.

Su Chen was not yet strong enough to fight against a Desolate Beast all on his own.

But with a group of cannon fodder on his side, Su Chen would have enough breathing room to attack as he pleased.

His immortal energy reserves were also much higher now than they were in the past, which allowed him to repeatedly imbue his attacks with immortal energy even in a long, drawn-out fight. Even though Su Chen had no idea if he had enough immortal energy to actually finish off Hidden Cloud, he was sure that he would still be able to deal substantial damage to it.

In a one-on-one fight, Su Chen would need over a hundred times to kill Hidden Cloud just once.

Finding and utilizing cannon fodder was the key factor that had allowed him to turn this situation around.

First, Su Chen had used God-Sealing Method Power to create mountain giants to use as cannon fodder, and now, he was using the Demonic Beasts.

While Hidden Cloud was preoccupied with the Demonic Beasts, Su Chen constantly leapt in and out of the corrosive fog’s boundary.

Su Chen wasn’t greedy, either; every time he entered, he would only attack once before turning around and immediately leaving. The Seven Bloodline Microcosm Aspect was more than sufficient to protect him for each short foray into the acidic fog.

After each plunge into the fog, he would then spend some time hovering on the outskirts and recovering his spatial power before diving back in once again. There was a certain rhythm to Su Chen’s movements, and it seemed to maximize how long he could fight for.

In some sense, Su Chen was like a diligent ox plowing the field. Eventually, the field that was Hidden Cloud would be completely tilled.

You’ve carved so many lines into my back, but why can’t I touch you even once?

This style of fighting was indeed quite aggravating.

Of course, Hidden Cloud was also in a berserk state and slaughtering anything it could get its hand on. Despite the number of lives it had reaped, its killing intent towards Su Chen hadn’t decreased in the slightest.

Or, more accurately, its desire to slaughter anything and everything was still incredibly strong.

“Hiss!”

Yet another shrill shriek filled the skies.

An illusory shadow stepped out of the fog. It looked just like a sinister ghost, and in its hand was a black blade formed from condensed fog. Suddenly, it charged at Su Chen, blinking in front of him even before he heard the shriek.

Whoosh!

The black blade descended.

Su Chen raised the Lightless Blade to parry the attack, but the black fog blade actually passed right through it as it continued to descend upon Su Chen. Just like Hidden Cloud, this blade seemed to also have the ability to change between an ethereal and a solid state at will.

Su Chen hurriedly retreated, not willing to waste any precious spatial power to block an attack that he didn’t fully understand. His reactions were a little slow, however, and the blade nicked his chest.

“Siii!”

White smoke immediately gushed out from the wound as the affected area sizzled violently.

Su Chen lowered his head, glanced at himself, and then casually commented, “Wow, that’s pretty powerful.”

The injury that he had just sustained was not a light one. To his surprise, he found that simply revolving the Origin Energy in his body wasn’t enough to heal the wound — he actually had to use some immortal energy before it started recovering.

The “ghost” pounced at him once again. This time, Su Chen refrained from trying to use the Lightless Blade to block it and instead responded by throwing out a wave of flames that crashed into the ghostly figure.

The flames devoured everything in their path, but surprisingly, they were incapable of doing anything to the ghost. It easily burst through the sea of flames as it continued its attack against Su Chen.

Just as Su Chen was about to intercept it, his spine tingled, and he immediately teleported away instead.

A blade slashed through the spot that he had been standing on just moments before. Another ghost had somehow appeared behind him without him noticing.

Suddenly, Su Chen realized that he was surrounded by ghosts, and each one of them exuded a vicious killing intent towards him.

There was one ghost that was obviously in charge. It was dressed in tattered war armor and riding a ghostly horse. Two blue wisps of ghostly fire burned within its eye sockets, and the tattered triangular war banner that it carried behind it emanated a sinister and gloomy aura that spread for thousands of kilometers.

As the eerie pennant swayed in the wind, the ghosts surged forward as one, each one as fast as a lightning bolt. In the blink of an eye, they arrived in front of Su Chen.

Su Chen punched one of the ghosts right in the forehead, cleanly blowing its head off. However, the ghost merely dissolved into a cloud of fog before reforming and biting down onto Su Chen’s hand without missing a beat.

Su Chen’s hand immediately emitted a white glow as a bolt of lightning arced across it before leaping to the many ghosts surrounding him. As soon as the lightning touched the ghost, they exploded into miniscule wisps of fog.

“So lightning is still my best option,” Su Chen muttered to himself.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!

As the eerie pennant continued to sway in the sky, even more ghosts rushed forwards.

“Thunder Prison!” Su Chen clenched his fist, causing a ring of lightning to explode forth before settling into a web-like defensive structure of lightning in front of him.

The Ninth-Ring Arcana Technique, Thunder Prison, actually had the power of a legendary Arcana Technique due to Su Chen’s mastery of lightning Method Power. Although a legendary Arcana Technique would not do against a Desolate Beast, it was quite effective against the ghosts that Hidden Cloud had summoned.

The ghosts swarming towards Su Chen were immediately blown to smithereens by the web of lightning.

These sinister ghosts were not Hidden Cloud’s most powerful trump card, but they were quite useful when it needed to catch a slippery rabbit like Su Chen.

Even so, the ghosts were rendered utterly useless when that rabbit suddenly transformed into a porcupine.

Hidden Cloud stopped summoning ghosts when it saw Su Chen’s move. Instead, it tilted its head back and let out a long, keening cry.

“What’s it doing now?” Su Chen was quite curious.

Most Desolate Beasts fought by relying on their overwhelming physique. But Hidden Cloud was obviously an exception to this rule. Its physical strength was actually quite limited, but it could transform at will, travel at the speed of sound, and even summon ghosts. Now, it seemed that it was about to reveal yet another unique ability.

Following this keening cry, a streak of light appeared in the sky.

This strange light looked like a giant rift had been cut straight into the sky.

Then, this rift slowly but surely began to expand, giving off the feeling that the sky was going to collapse.

There didn’t seem to be anything on the other side of that rift, but for some unknown reason, Su Chen had a feeling that he was in serious danger.

Something was definitely off!

Just as the sense of crisis was about to overwhelm him, he teleported away.

The spot that he had been standing in mere moments ago was suddenly struck by numerous spatial rifts.

Dimensional Slash!

Hidden Cloud knew how to use Dimensional Slashes!?

No, it wasn’t Hidden Cloud — it was something else!

Su Chen activated his microscopic eye.

Only then did he notice that a few, faint shadows were floating in the sky. Even with his microscopic eye, he was only barely able to perceive them.

Invisible figures.

And their invisibility was obviously at a very advanced level, likely at the same level of Method Power.

If it wasn’t for his eyes’ unique perceptive abilities, it would have been impossible for Su Chen to detect their presence.

Additionally, their Dimensional Slashes barely had any noticeably preparatory energy signatures.

Then, Su Chen suddenly remembered something. “Dark Assassins.”

Dark Assassins were a unique ghost-like creature that originated from a foreign realm. They were naturally invisible, allowing them to stealthily roam the various realms. They were hard to capture and even harder to communicate with, which meant that they only obeyed powerful creatures. Su Chen had only ever heard of them in the legends, as it had been tens of thousands of years since one had appeared on the Primordial Continent.

So Hidden Cloud could actually summon these creatures, huh?

Well, it made sense that ancient creatures could summon ancient creatures.

The most terrifying aspect of the Dark Assassins was their invisibility. As soon as they were spotted, the threat they posed would significantly decrease.

More Dimensional Slashes once again descended upon his new position.

Su Chen’s figure flickered as he continuously dodged while using his Light Shaking Phantom to close in on one of the Dark Assassins. Dark flames spurted forth from his palms and leapt onto the Dark Assassin.

Counterintuitively, Dark Assassins were beings made of light. They were just able to control their bodies’ reflectiveness to an insane degree, allowing them to absorb virtually all light rays around them. This was what created the illusion of invisibility. Since they were creatures made of light, it was only natural that they would fear Shadow Origin Substance the most.

This meant that Su Chen’s Shadow Flames were a perfect counter to their existence. As soon as the Shadow Flames leapt onto its target, powerful light began to glow from within the Dark Assassin’s body.

This phenomenon would only happen once in a Dark Assassin’s life — when they were close to death.

Just before they died, all of the light that they had absorbed throughout their life would burst forth in a glorious splendor.

An instant later, Su Chen was enveloped in a blinding light as if a sun had suddenly emerged from nowhere.

Su Chen continued to calmly and precisely strike at his foes, using Shadow Flames to incinerate the remaining three Dark Assassins.

“Hiss!”

A third hiss echoed through the skies.

Su Chen knew that Hidden Cloud had made another move.

Its main body was still wantonly slaughtering the Demonic Beasts around it, but at the same time, it was also attempting to use other techniques to finish off Su Chen as well.

The rift in the sky did not disappear; instead, a large group of black dots began to gather at its edges.

These dots were miniscule in size and blurry from a distance, but they could not escape Su Chen’s notice.

These dots were actually extremely small insects, but their small size belied their ferocity. They had a long proboscis that protruded from their head, making them look somewhat similar to mosquitoes.

Su Chen chuckled when he saw this. “You seem more like a summoner than an assassin to me.”

Hidden Cloud had used three different summoning techniques in rapid succession, surprising Su Chen quite a bit.

It seemed that their earlier evaluation had been a bit off. Hidden Cloud was actually a summoner first and foremost, and the creatures that it summoned were all quite ancient.

Su Chen didn’t know what kinds of bugs they were, but they were likely to be far ancient ones as well. It was already quite impressive that he had recognized the Dark Assassins.

But that didn’t necessarily prevent him from having a way to handle these bugs.

“Bugs? I have some too.” With a calm gesture, a transparent box appeared in his hand. When Su Chen opened the box, a large swarm of bugs surged forth: Catastrophe Bugs.

This was the fourth generation of Catastrophe Bugs. They were typically kept in a dormant state, as they would die soon after being awakened. Their numbers were maintained by designated brood mothers, who lived in the Mother of All Bugs — quite the fitting pairing, in Su Chen’s opinion.

However, Su Chen was rarely able to use them in battle, which meant that they spent most of their life in a dormant state.

Since Hidden Cloud had summoned a swarm of bugs, Su Chen decided to do the same.

The two opposing bug swarms began to viciously attack and devour one another.

Neither swarm was composed of simple, average insects, and neither swarm was afraid of death. As such, insect corpses soon began raining from the sky.

In the blink of an eye, the bugs that Hidden Cloud had summoned were completely wiped out, and most of the Catastrophe Bugs had been killed as well.

Su Chen, however, didn’t seem to mind the outcome at all. The Catastrophe Bugs were not going to live for long anyways, so the only important thing was that they accomplished their mission.

After wiping out the swarm of bugs, Su Chen turned to face Hidden Cloud. “So what other tricks do you have up your sleeves? Keep going.”

“Hiss!”

Hidden Cloud was utterly infuriated by Su Chen’s provocations.

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