The Moment Between Life and Death (1)
Doubtlessly, throughout the Flame Dragon Continent, the dragons were long-considered powerful battle beasts. Any beast that was similar to a dragon, or even those hybrids between a dragon and another beast, would be formidable.
The giant thorn dragon, the hybrid of a dragon and some unknown creature, was undeniably powerful. As a peak level sixth-grade demonic beast, its attack capacity was almost equivalent to that of a cultivator in the peak level of the Realm of the General. Plus, on its back, the twelve black, giant and poisonous thorns protected it from other’s attack. Thus, even a cultivator in the Realm of the Marshal would find it difficult to bring it down.
Nevertheless, Qinghan was only in the first level of the Realm of the Commander and he still had a long way to go, before he would reach the second level. On the other hand, Little Black was still in its weak period, despite the fact that it was most likely a holy-grade battle beast. How could the “puppy” Little Black be able to kill the strong and two meters tall dragon?
“Boss, hold on tightly, I’ll increase my speed!” They almost flew through the openings between the high trees, trying to get rid of this terrifying beast behind them.
Meanwhile, at the same time, the giant thorn dragon chased closely, as his hefty body swung from one side to the other, knocking down one tree after the other, trying to make a passageway for himself. With waves of booming roars, all the nearby birds were scared away, and the leaves from the tree were flying up from the ground due to the vibration of the sound.
Qinghan lay prostrate against Little Black’s back, grabbing its neck as firmly as he could. Looking into the far distance, Qinghan made a decision. The whistling of the wind, blended with the roaring of the dragon, forced Qinghan to shout as loud as possible in order to be audible.
“Little Black, turn left, let’s flee into that thick forest. Otherwise, that damn dragon will soon outstrip you!”
Hearing these words, Little Black, or the soul-eating battle beast, made a perfect turn towards the thick forest on their left.
– Whoosh! Whoosh! –
Little Black shuttled back and forth in the forest, avoiding the big, top branches from the trees. Impressively, its speed didn’t slow down the slightest when it made these sharp turns.
Meanwhile, the outraged giant thorn dragon, was running like a bulldozer – the flourishing place he treaded on soon became flattened, leaving a visible “road” behind.
Comparatively, the speed of Little Black was slower than the dragon, but it was more nimble and light than the latter. It effortlessly turned, slid, and jumped among the flowering trees. On the contrary, given its size, the giant thorn dragon was forced to slow its speed whenever it came across the trees, or vines. Therefore, on average, their speed was almost the same. In the end, the distance between them remained at roughly 500 meters.
“Damn it! Why is this bastard dragon chasing us? Do we really look so delicious to him?” Qinghan was annoyed by the ceaseless fleeing. It had been fifty minutes since they had ran off, but the dragon didn’t show any signs of giving up yet!
“My flesh is delicious to eat! I inherited a memory, that the dragons and our species are natural enemies. Once we meet each other, a fight is inevitable!” Little Black conveyed its voice.
“Though I’ve never heard of the soul-eating beasts, if it’s the enemy of the dragon, it must be equal in power to those dragons.”
“I have to find an expedient way to get rid of this dragon. Alas, Little Black can only sustain this shape for two hours. Now, we have only forty minutes left.”
Qinghan thought to himself anxiously. If they couldn’t escape within forty minutes, they were doomed to die.
Suddenly, Qinghan’s eyes lit up, as though something had struck his mind. “Little Black, turn right! Hurry up. We need to go back to that place where the flock of fire wolves live.”
In the outside region of the Wild Mountain Range, a group of six men was hastily walking deeper into the mountain range. They exerted their Battle Qi along the way, forming a large aura of Battle Qi as a group. All the bypassing demonic beasts and huntsmen instantly made way for them.
All of a sudden, the man in the front halted and turned to the scrawny guy in their group.
“Niu Jin, tell us, how far away are we from our target? Sense it, immediately.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, Xue Yi.” He replied respectfully.
The short-sized man was named Niu Jin. He immediately sat down on the ground to sense the distance.
Obviously, these six men were the previously mentioned five deacons from the Xue Family, and one subordinate that was sent by Manager Liu. It had already been a couple of days since they had left Wild City.
One month before, Niu Jin, as per the instruction of his boss, Manager Liu, had planted a concealed worm in Qinghan’s hair. These lice-sized worms were able to firmly stick to one’s hair. Usually, it wouldn’t fall off from the hair, even by the blowing of the wind, or by washing one’s hair with water. Only be cutting the hair of, would these worms fall off.
“Your Majesty, I have successfully sensed that our target is now in the inside region and he is coming towards us. If we continue to walk in this direction, I guess, that in half an hour, we’ll meet him.” Niu Jin merrily responded after a short while.
While, Xue Yi’s face remained rigid and indifferent, his cold eyes glanced at Niu Jin, “Oh? He’ll soon slip into this gateless hell we’ve created for him then. Xue-Er, please quicken your pace, and bring that bastard to us. Oh, don’t forget to take Niu Jin with you. I can’t stand this damn place any longer.”
“Yes, Big brother!” Xue-Er submissively replied.
However, when he was about to lift the little Niu Jin, the latter refused and explained why, “I admit that this road is a shortcut to where our target is. However, not far from here, there is the territory of a flock of fire wolves. We’ll be in trouble if we take this route.”
“Fire wolves? Oh, these are fourth-grade demonic beasts!” Xue Yi frowned, “How many of them in total?”
“About eighty to a hundred, I suppose.” Niu Jin replied honestly.
“Let’s go!” Xue Yi was confident to strike a massacre among these fire wolves with their combined power. He arrogantly strode in front of the group, leading the way.
“Little Black, how much longer can you sustain?” Now, after fleeing for a long time, Qinghan’s face had turned as white as a piece of paper. The speed, as well as the anxiety about being caught by the dragon, all of this had driven Qinghan crazy. Anyone in his shoes would feel the same way.
“Ten minutes, at most! It’ll all depend on you in ten minutes, boss.” Little Black was almost exhausted, as he was panting heavily. Since Little Black had a Soul Agreement with his master, it would perish as soon as his master died. Therefore, despite the limitation of its physical strength, the unremitting Little Black decided to carry on for another ten minutes.
“Ten minutes? I think that’ll be enough.“ Overlooking the landscape below, Qinghan murmured.
The previous adventurers, who had first come into this mountain range, had called this place Fire Wolf Hill, as roughly a hundred fire wolves lived here. Each fire wolf shared the same skill, spitting fire balls. That was where their names came from.
One fire wolf might not pose a threat, however, to face a whole group of them, that would be terrifying. Moreover, the fire wolves were an extremely united species, once one of their members was attacked, the rest would immediately seek for revenge. Countless of fireballs would be thrown into the direction of the attacker. Only those who were at least in the Realm of the General, and could exert Battle Qi outside their body to form a protective armor-like aura, would have the courage to come here. For those less competent cultivators, once they stepped into this place, they were doomed. It was said, that the head of the fire wolf group was a fifth-grade demonic beast, whose fireball could also serve as a protective armor. If a cultivator unfortunately encountered this group-leader, he would be kill within a second, including those in the Realm of the General. Therefore, the Fire Wolf Hill was long-deemed as a forbidden place for low-ranked cultivators.
At present, Qinghan was only in the Realm of the Commander, plus, Little Black would soon change back into its original shape. For them, the Fire Wolf Hill was undoubtedly a forbidden place. However, strangely enough, Qinghan couldn’t wait any longer to run into this group of fire wolves, and greet them with a, “ Darling… I’m coming.”
The beast that was running after them, was ten times more powerful than the fire wolfs. Once the giant thorn dragon and the group of fire wolves met with each other, a fierce battle would unfold. The fire wolves would burn the dragon by spitting fireballs, while the dragon would smash them into tiny bits and pieces within seconds.
“Boss, I’ll take a break.” Little Black couldn’t stand up any longer.
Soon, Little Black lowered down, and Qinghan jumped off from its back. Qinghan gathered all of his Battle Qi, and dashed towards the Fire Wolf Hill. Meanwhile, Little Black changed into a streak of smoke and penetrated into Qinghan’s chest.
Once Qinghan arrived at the hill, he loosened his footsteps. He jumped from one tree to another, as light as a swallow and as alert as a leopard cat.
Without any hesitation, the giant thorn dragon rushed into the Fire Wolf Hill, looking around searchingly to find Qinghan and Little Black.
The head of the fire wolf group was apparently provoked by this giant, aggressive intruder. It howled back, in an attempt to claim its absolute authority over this land.