The skin of the Nightmare turned golden the moment all the strikes landed on her body. Not only she wasn't injured from them, but all of her earlier wounds started to heal leaving no mark. Her golden legs finally moved and started counter-attacking.
The closest cultivators, who attacked in a melee range, were pierced by them right through the middle of their chests, dying on the spot. Most of the cultivators here were in a Spirit King stage so they didn't have much chance against hit like that.
"Retreat! There is something wrong with this barrier." Scarface commanded before also escaping tens of meters away.
The Nightmare killed five unlucky cultivators until the rest distanced themselves from it. They thought she would chase them but the Nightmare stood still while the golden barrier faded away. She looked at the cultivators as if provoking them to attack her once more.
'Ling, Analysis! Did you find out anything? How can this Nightmare have an ability like that? How can a Spirit Beast possess a Fate Fragment?' Xuefeng asked anxiously in his mind. That golden barrier Nightmare used, definitely looked like a Fate Fragment Holder power.
'There is no way a Spirit Beast can connect with the Fate Fragment. There must be a different reason for this. The ability the Nightmare used is called, from what I remember, a Perfect Defence. A man in the Central Region, about 20 years ago, used it to defeat many famous warriors. This ability was also once ranked in the top ten of all Fate Fragment powers.' Ling started analyzing the situation.
'So how did this power land in Nightmare hands?' Xuefeng still didn't understand.
'Let me finish. Perfect Defence was a passive ability that blocked and absorbed any damage that was incoming towards its host. It would consume any attack before transforming it into Spirit Qi. The last man who possessed this ability, died cause he absorbed too much Spirit Qi and due to his mediocre talent, couldn't advance to another stage. His dantian exploded and so did he too.' Ling explained further.
'So if Spirit Beasts can't possess Fate Fragments, does that mean that the next generation Fate Fragment Holder with this ability might be in the Nightmare stomach?' That was the only reason he could think of.
'Exactly my thought. Because he is in the Nightmare stomach, the moment anyone attack into his direction, he covers himself and the Nightmare with Perfect Defence. The Nightmare then absorbs the Spirit Qi instead of him so, unless we make the Nightmare explode from the excess amount of Spirit Qi, we can't kill it.' Ling confirmed his thoughts.
Xuefeng glanced at Xiao Wen to find out if she realised what was happening and she happened to look at him as well. They both nodded at each other as a testimony of their understanding.
The only one who didn't have any knowledge about what just happened was Wuying. She looked at them, both nodding and asked confused, "Can you tell me what is going on?".
"Wuying, you will have to trust us in this matter. Let's not involve ourselves, for now. Even if they have to die, let them attack the Nightmare as much as they can. We will act after they feed him a little bit." Xuefeng knew that it would be hard for them to dodge the subject of Fate Fragments while explaining it to her.
"What was that Golden Barrier? I have never seen that kind of ability on the Nightmare species." She asked confused. She knew that Xuefeng was hiding something from her and her intuition was telling her it was connected with it.
"Can you trust me? I will tell you everything you need to know in detail after we finish this mission, okay? For now, I can tell you that there are some people in this world that have special abilities. I and Xiao Wen happen to be one of those people. We speculate that, in the stomach of this Nightmare, there is a person with a special ability to absorb attacks of other people. When someone attacks the nightmare, he uncontrollably creates a barrier around it." Xuefeng tried to explain so she could understand.
"So that's why... Your ability is to increase cultivators inborn talent right?" She finally understood what was happening with Xuefeng. She sighed in relief that it wasn't something serious and asked.
"Yes... I wanted to increase yours earlier but my ability had limitations. After we are done with everything here, I can do it for you." Xuefeng decided to tell her about his ability. He knew it was risky, but he believed Wuying was a trustworthy person. She was after all his woman already. She would learn about it sooner or later if she stood by his side in the future.
"It's okay, I'm already thankful for your thoughts." She smiled at his pledge. As long as he was thinking about her, she was happy.
"Cough..." Xiao Wen stopped their affectionateness with a fake cough.
Wuying cheeks turned rosy from embarrassment but she took a deep breath and asked "So, what are we doing now? How can we kill this Nightmare?"
"The only option is to fill it with so much Spirit Qi it will explode from the overabundance of it. We should wait for all of them to die first. If they leave and inform everyone about weird Nightmare ability, it will bring a lot of trouble." Xiao Wen answered.
"We should wait then." Wuying agreed without any objections. If it meant to protects Xuefeng secret, that the lives of these cultivators didn't matter.
The cultivators were still in shock witnessing the Golden Barrier created by the nightmare. Some of them were already in a sceptical mood and didn't believe they could kill it. They wanted to withdraw but they restrained themselves for now. If they left and the others stayed, that would be a shame on their names.
Nightmare seeing that no one was coming to attack him, picked a body of one cultivator and started to enjoy his meal. This action pissed of many people, especially the companions of the eaten cultivator.
"Scarface do you recognize this barrier? This bastard absorbed all of our attacks." One man who lost his party member questioned angrily. He wanted to throw himself and kill this beast this instant, to get revenge for his companion.
"No, but I speculate that it's just a one-time ability. I never heard that a Nightmare had this type of power. Let's test it again. If the result is still the same, we can always retreat and bring some backup later." Scarface proposed. He knew that something was fishy from the start, so he only attacked from a distance with a spell instead of his signature Halberd move in close range.
"Let's spread and advance from all directions once again." The man who asked a question was clearly pleased with Scarface decision as he couldn't wait to pounce on the Oversized Spider.
"Okay, everyone! Move to your positions!" Scarface commanded. If the situation repeats itself, he will be the first to run away. He wasn't willing to risk his life for a small part of the bread.