Chapter 231: Sandworms
Translator: Cynthia Editor: X
The sudden distress signal surprised everyone.
As the fighting continued, people in Central Pine City began to know more about the blood fiends and became more tactful when fighting with them. The ferocious and dangerous blood fiends were gradually losing their advantages. People now knew how to separate the blood fiends, how to cooperate with each other, and how to identify weaknesses.
Human beings were good at learning and summarizing, a feature that was fully displayed in Central Pine City. As long as they found the weakness of a kind of blood fiends, the Mayor's residence would announce it to the whole city. Meanwhile, the method to deal with the blood poison spatter was also found, which had saved many lives.
The blood crystals of the blood fiends were gifts of the war. Many elementalists had largely improved their ability after using the blood crystal. Whether clever or stupid, everyone knew that only stronger people were likely to survive.
The situation in Central Pine City became more and more steady.
The quick increase of the elementalists' fighting skills made it easier for them to deal with blood fiends. Therefore, it was now rare to see urgent distress signals. Even if an elementalist met with a relatively ferocious blood fiend, he would call the companions nearby for help and carry out the tactics of a "wolf pack."
Now, some bold elementalists were even beginning to set baits and traps to obtain blood crystals.
On the other hand, there was a big difference between a distress signal and an urgent distress signal. The latter only appeared in times of emergency. The issuance of an urgent distress signal meant that the fight was out of control and every second counted.
Without hesitation, Shi Xueman grabbed her spear and asked calmly, "Who still has the strength?" There was firmness in her starry eyes.
Many students stepped forward. Shi Xueman was prestigious in the team, and almost everyone else in the team had been helped or saved by her. When she asked, all students responded.
Shi Xueman did not hesitate. She chose more than 10 people and said, "Follow me. Everyone else, please stay on guard and be alert."
Those who were chosen walked to the side of Shi Xueman. They were very calm. None of them panicked.
Jiang Wei immediately started to arrange sentries and lookout posts.
Shi Xueman turned to Ai Hui and said coldly, "Take care of yourself."
She gave Ai Hui a deep glance, then left with the students. Moving quickly, she soon disappeared in the darkness.
Ai Hui dumbly watched Shi Xueman's back. The capability and skillfulness Shi Xueman had shown was out of his expectation. Compared with what she was like at the beginning of the blood disaster, she was now a totally different person.
Then, Ai Hui realized something, and could not help laughing at himself: who wasn't?
Even Fatty's attitude toward training was far more serious than before.
Duanmu Huanghun was also with Shi Xueman, which made Ai Hui more relieved. They were both talents. While their level was not high enough, their fighting skills were already on par with the average elementalists. Furthermore, their levels had been largely improved in battle.
In the Avalon of the Five Elements, a really powerful and experienced fighter could not be replaced by a dozen average fighters. Likewise, in Central Pine City, the capability of all the elementalists added up together could not be compared to that of a single master in a real battle.
That was why people had high hopes for Ai Hui.
In addition to Ai Hui, all the other students were relieved too. They were busy with their own matters. Some were engaged in training, some were lost in thought, and the rest were discussing and learning from each other in groups. They were already used to fighting like veterans.
Ai Hui contemplated how to solve his own "problem."
When Shi Xueman and Duanmu Huanghun arrived, many elementalists were already there.
"This is where we killed the blood-traced earthworm," one student said, but no one seemed to hear what he said.
Their eyes were fixed on the scene, and all of them were dumbstruck by what they saw.
The solid ground was now like quicksand, with a huge vortex slowly rotating in the middle. In the sand, something seemed to be moving. The debris of the nearby ruins was continuously drawn into the vortex and ground into sand.
The diameter of the vortex was more than 100 meters. Such a large vortex visual impacted everyone present.
What was more shocking was that it kept growing larger by devouring the ground adjacent to the area.
The other elementalists were also stunned and frightened.
Shi Xueman was the first to react. She asked loudly, "Who sent the signal?"
"It was us."
Some elementalists recognized Shi Xueman and they all came forward.
Currently, the A-1 Unit was the most powerful team in Central Pine City, so the main members were well known to everyone.
Shi Xueman breathed deeply to calm down, then asked, "How did you find it?"
"We heard the alarm of the recumbent parasol bell. When we arrived, we found that there seemed to be something in the hole, so we immediately attacked the hole, but it didn't help. Then, the ground became as soft as a dough, and a small vortex appeared..."
Shi Xueman interrupted without hesitation, "How large was it?"
"The diameter was only about 20 meters." There was still fear on these elementalists' faces. "We attacked the vortex, but it was of no use either. The vortex kept growing at a fast speed. There was nothing we could do but ask for help."
"How long did it take to grow from 20 meters to what it is now?" Shi Xueman asked.
"About 10 minutes."
Shi Xueman was calm. Within only 10 minutes, it grew from 20 meters to 100 meters with no sign of stopping. Her gaze was fixed on the rotating sand vortex, as if she wanted to see what on earth was in it.
Suddenly, she noticed something moving in the sand, something small.
She turned to Duanmu Huanghun and asked, "Can you get one out?"
Duanmu Huanghun nodded without saying a word. His face was solemn. He could feel strong earth elemental energy from the sand vortex and also wondered what the tiny things in it were.
His fingers stretched like blooming flowers. The others could only see a blurred streak in the air that had an unspeakable rhythm.
Above the vortex, a green twined vine abruptly appeared out of nowhere and pierced into the vortex.
Then, it stretched taut under the strain. Just when everyone worried that the vine would snap, it contracted and pulled a struggling, tightly tied up worm out of the sand and into the air.
When they saw clearly what it was, everyone's expression changed.
The sandworm was as large as a palm. Its flat body consisted of many segmented limbs that allowed it to twist freely. Sandworms were horrible social creatures. Their flat bodies were rigid like an iron spring leaf and could vibrate at a certain frequency. When tens of thousands or more sandworms vibrated together, the ground would fragment and be ground down to sand and dust.
They could move easily in the sand.
Sandworms were horrible predators, but their method of hunting was different from other beasts. The desertification of the soil and stones could make everything in the area, including plants and beasts, their food.
These sandworms were dark red, a sign of blood poison infection.
Sandworms seldom appeared above ground, because they disliked the light. Though there was less abundant food compared to above, their territory was usually underground where there was no light.
Shi Xueman looked morose. The time when sandworms were most likely to appear was the evening.
And it was now the evening.
The vortex continued growing. Its diameter currently exceeded 100 meters.
The sandworm tied up by the twined vine squeaked. Suddenly, a streak of sand shot out from the vortex like a speedy tongue and precisely struck the sandworm suspended in the air.
Duanmu Huanghun shivered as the twined vine broke. The sandworm disappeared.
Everyone was dumbstruck once more. Fear appeared on their faces.
The sandworms were experts on controlling the earth. They were large in quantity, and nothing in the quicksand could threaten them. That was why they were all worried when they saw the sandworm.
The vortex grew larger and larger, but no one had any idea how to deal with it.
The quicksand that slowly churned was the best protection for the worms. It would be extremely hard to strike through the thick sand and hit the sandworms hiding beneath.
Shi Xueman was worried. The appearance of the sandworms was very odd. They typically lived more than 2,000 meters under the ground and seldom surfaced.
Now, however, they appeared in Central Pine City. She did not believe it was only a coincidence.
She did not know why, but she was worried.
The sandworms had to be stopped, otherwise all of Central Pine City would be turned into quicksand. By then, they would have nowhere to hide.
Sandworms had almost no natural enemies, but this excludedhuman beings of course. Human beings had already studied these horrible creatures. There were many useful resources underground, but sandworms could devour them all. Therefore, in the eyes of elementalists, they were undoubtedly pests.
The Shi family also had relevant records, which Shi Xueman still remembered.
The Cirrus in her hand scattered and turned into a cloud of mist. It floated above the vortex and attracted the clouds in the sky from all directions.
Shortly, the cloud above the quicksand became very heavy, like a ball of cotton that was saturated with water.
More and more mist merged into the cloud.
Finally, liquid poured from the cloud like a waterfall.
The water flowed into the sand, and the ground immediately turned into sludge, slowing the rotational speed of the vortex.
The sandworms sensed danger and moved in a frenzy, but no matter how they moved, they could only cause the mud to ripple without stopping the flow of water. Instead, it accelerated the permeation of the water into the sand.
Shi Xueman clearly remembered that sand worms loved dryness and disliked wet environments.
The water from the cloud continued to flow into the sand vortex which had now become a quagmire.
The sandworms could move flexibly in the quicksand, but in the sludge, they currently could hardly move or breathe. Soon, many sandworms suffocated to death, and the rest hastily burrowed their way deep under the ground, but the water flowed into the routes they drilled and permeated deeper.
The dry sand soon turned to sludge and became softer and muddier.
People around the mire began to cheer delightfully. No one thought the horrible sandworms could be killed so easily.
Everyone looked at Shi Xueman in admiration.
To their surprise, they found Shi Xueman's face was extremely pale, and her eyes were filled with fear.