Chapter 369: A Wave of Soulbeasts!
"If you wish to run, then run for the gates before they close! But, in accordance to the rules of the guild, those who run will forever be barred from our services! Those who stay and fight will be rewarded by the officials of Beast Suppression Pass two times what they've killed!"
Each word spoken by this elderly man was clearly heard by the crowd below.
"Just running away blindly won't save you from a soulbeast wave! Reinforcements from Beast Suppression City will come to fight the wave off!"
"Make your decision!" He paused to give everyone a moment.
These two men flying overhead were the ones in charge of the guild in this small town. They were the strongest people the town had to offer.
The man who had spoken was a late-stage Soul Exalt, and the person in green next to him was a mid-stage Soul Exalt. The Braves Guild had been founded by the officials of Beast Suppression Pass, so it went without saying that the workers of the guild were also officials.
Furthermore, they were people of the Tianhun School. The words the old man had spoken also represented the Tianhun School.
A few precious seconds passed before almost a thousand roars of laughter echoed through the town.
"Hah! A soulbeast wave that comes once every several hundred years? Since I was so lucky to see it, why should I run? We who go into the Soulbeast Forest now just need to stay here and the soulbeasts will come running to us! I'll kill them all to my heart's content!!"
"Well said! A soulbeast wave? So what! We're over a thousand men strong! Are we really going to let soulbeasts trample us!?"
"There's too many soulbeasts to even consider running away! Everyone, fighting together will secure our lives! We've no shortage of strong people here! We'll push these soulbeasts back and restore peace to this town!"
"Those who're Soul Warriors and under, take all the commoners into the guild! Think before you act!"
"Cutthroat Mercenaries! Prepare for battle!"
"Hear me, Sky Soaring Mercenaries! Prepare for battle!"
"We of the Iron Fist Mercenaries, stand at attention and prepare to fight!"
"There's no escape for us, only battle!"
The sanctity of a soul cultivator was not so easily shaken, especially those who managed to overcome their fears to reach this place. The braves were no stranger to the dangers of soulbeasts, and they feared less than what a regular soul cultivator might.
Indeed, what they saw in front of them wasn't enough to make them flee in terror.
Fleeing wasn't the best option to begin with. Sticking together was the most optimal strategy, and with two airborne Soul Exalts, morale was at an all time high.
There were, of course, dissenters; people who didn't contain the same amount of confidence as the others, but they were small in number and had already fled.
The frontmost part of the soulbeast wave was already near the gates of the town where the soul cultivators were priming themselves for a fight. Leading the front of the wave were two giant flying soulbeasts!
A late-stage class five, armored owl!
And a late-stage class five, four-winged elephant!
Both soulbeasts were of abnormal sizes. The armored owl had a wingspan almost fifty meters long and the four-winged elephant was practically a mountain! They both flew low to the ground, but not toward the same destination. The four-winged elephant was flying to the left borders of the town while the armored owl was heading straight for the gates!
These soulbeasts weren't aiming for the town, so the two didn't slow when they approached the town.
However, the armored owl was clearly being blocked by the people in the town and felt that these humans posed a threat. Rather than take a detour around the town, it let loose a shrill hoot and immediately flew in for an attack!
"Hmph!" The gray-robed elder who had spoken to the crowd first made his move. Nodding to the other man next to him, the two sped straight for the two soulbeasts!
An ominous glint was in the owl's eyes as it sped up. Its entire body was filled with a metallic light as it gathered the elemental metal in the world to serve as armor. From head to tail, its entire body was basked in a golden light that made the owl look like one giant arrow, aiming to strike down the elder blocking its flight!
"I can see fear in its eyes. What on earth is happening in the forest to cause it to run away in such a panic?" The elder muttered. He had a pensive look in his eyes. He didn't look as though he cared that he was on the verge of being attacked.
He disregarded those thoughts, "Whatever the reason, I cannot allow you to enter the city. You'll be dying here!"
His right hand stretched up, summoning a one-and-a-half-meter-long longsword of unusual shape. There was a hum of energy as it started to light up in a blaze of glorious fire. When all the elemental fire was fully gathered, the man was ready to strike. Raising his sword even higher, he delivered a mighty slash to the owl!
The metallic clang of sword hitting metal was made evident as the old man's sword slammed onto the owl's head!
"Crack..." There was a distinct cracking sound when the bright red light from the elder's sword pushed its way into the owl's armor. The red line continued to push its way through the owl and its armor. Without another screech, the owl was bisected in two!
Simultaneously, there was another flare of energy accompanied by an earth-shaking explosion. Turning their heads, everyone saw the four-winged elephant smash into a crater ten meters deep. It didn't get back up.
The elder in green stood above the crater by borrowing the power of the elemental winds. Slowly bringing back his right hand, he moved back to the other elder's side.
These two class five soulbeasts had been killed in single strikes!!
"Don't worry about the sides of the town, focus on defending the front! Don't let any of them storm the town! We must protect the town from the soulbeasts at all costs!" The elder in gray commanded before jettisoning off for the wave of soulbeasts.
Slaying the two soulbeasts in a single move had motivated all the soul cultivators who witnessed the act. Shouting in unison with one another, they began to channel their own soulforce and elements before following the two elders into battle.
"How... how strong!!"
Bai Yunfei's eyes slowly drifted away from the corpse of the armored owl. He looked back at the two Soul Exalts walking in the air. His eyes were shining bright. This was the first time he'd ever seen or even heard of a soulbeast wave, so his reaction was slower than most. Taking in the sight of the soul cultivators already charging into battle, he looked at Zhang Yunpeng, "Boss Zhang, what should we do?"
"What to do?" Zhang Yunpeng repeated with a smile, "We fight, of course! Don't tell me you want to run away?"
He wasn't the only person raring to go for a fight. Even Kun and Zhou Feng looked like they'd burst into action any second now, and Ye Zi radiated a similar look of impatience.
No one seemed to want to run away in this group.
Extending his arm, Zhang Yunpeng retrieved his two-meter-long metallic staff, "Will you be fighting, brother Bai?"
"Haha, do you think I'm some sort of coward, boss Zhang?" A laugh involuntarily escaped Bai Yunfei's mouth, "Since I've joined your team, of course I'll help you fight this battle! There's already so many soul cultivators here, so defending the town together is the best option anyways."
"Haha! Alright then! My opinion of you hasn't been wrong, brother Bai! Let us fight and kill and be merry then! An opportunity like this comes only once in a lifetime!" Whooping loudly, Zhang Yunpeng brought his staff up and started the charge, leading his team into battle.
The battle between soulbeast and humanity was already breaking out when Zhang Yunpeng and his team joined the fray. The combined powers of over a thousand soul cultivators was equivalent to an iron wall that the soulbeasts simply couldn't tear down, so they fought viciously to open a hole in the wall.
However, the soul cultivators couldn't simply contain the entirety of the soulbeast wave. The town was small, but the wall of soul cultivators could only guard the front of the town. Thus, plenty of soulbeasts still managed to slip through the sides and enter the town from the back.
"Xiao Kong and I are heading for the front, Kun and Zhou Feng, you two follow me! Ye Zi, you'll be providing support! Xiao Yan and brother Bai, since you two are weaker, you'll wait in the back; kill any soulbeast you can, like the ones that are injured already!" A list of orders started to be relayed as they approached the battlefield. "Don't die! Reinforcements will be coming soon. We just need to protect the town, so ignore the soulbeasts running to the sides!
"Everyone clear? We'll b-wha? Brother Bai, what are you doing?" Right as Zhang Yunpeng was about to charge forward to start fighting, he realized that Bai Yunfei had suddenly stopped moving.
"The perimeter..." Bai Yunfei's eyes scanned the area around them for a moment before looking to the where some of the soulbeasts were running to. "Oh no! Xiao Yi!"
"Brother Bai, what are yo-" Confused, Zhang Yunpeng was about to ask for clarification when Bai Yunfei's next action took the words out of his mouth.
Bai Yunfei waved his hand once, retrieving a bright-green long sword that hovered by his side. Leaping onto the sword in a flash of light, he and the sword then took off into the sky in a burst of green light!
"Tha-" Kun's eyes were wide open as he stared down the green trail left behind by Bai Yunfei, "Fly-flying sword? Is he... is he running away!?"
Zhou Feng shook his head, "I don't think so. Didn't you see where he's flying off to?" A bewildered expression was on his face a well.
"The direction?" Kun repeated before realizing what Zhou Feng meant, "That direction is... oh! Don't tell me Bai Yunfei's planning to..."
"He said 'Xiao Yi' just now, didn't he? Isn't that the name of the kid who wanted some stargrass a few days ago?" Zhang Yunpeng interjected, "Is... is he planning on saving that village?!"