“The people here are innocent. How can do you such a thing?” Liu Meng spat out as the guardians encircled her and came closer.
“Innocent? Are you new here?” A toned man, covered by a full-body armor, scoffed at Liu Meng’s question.
“We should hurry up.” An old man rather short in stature walked out from behind, looking up at the thunderous sky while waving his dragon staff.
“You brought this upon yourself.” A woman wielding dual blades suddenly charged toward Liu Meng. She spun around in the air, preparing to deliver a deadly slash to Liu Meng’s chest, .
“Don’t come here!” Liu Meng yelled and before she knew it, her hands pushed forward, erecting a wall of fire between her and her assailant.
The woman was no longer in a position to halt her attack, so she gritted her teeth and made ready to burst through the wall of flames and cut Liu Meng down. However, her body disintegrated as soon as she made contact with the fire, leaving nothing behind but cinder.
“Phoenix fire?” Someone from the crowd recognized Liu Meng’s power.
“It’s pretty high level too…” Someone else added.
“NO! I’ll kill you for that!” The man in full armor roared in anger and picked up his broadsword. He jumped over the ditch Li Huaibei carved into the earth and charged at Liu Meng.
“Welcoming Phoenix!” Liu Meng waved her hand at the man, and a small bird made of flames flew toward the assaulting man.
Although he was expecting some kind of counter-attack from Liu Meng, the bird flew at such an extraordinary speed that he could barely raise his sword to try to parry it before it touched him. Instead of a deafening explosion, there was only a sizzling noise as the broadsword melted into a liquid puddle while the bird continued its journey after burning through the man’s torso.
The guardians who stood behind him, upon seeing the latter collapse with a gaping hole in his chest, scattered immediately, each fearing for their own life. The firebird continued its flight onto the city walls, traversing with no signs of slowing down and soon disappeared into the distance.
A dead silence reigned for a moment in the crowd. Some were even starting to wonder whether Liu Meng’s was yet another sage.
“Hundreds of us, and you’re scared of a little girl? Pathetic!” A voice was suddenly heard, and Liu Meng could already see her next challenger.
Liu Meng raised her hand again, sending three firebirds toward her enemy. However, this time, the attacker proved to have a much faster reaction, and after a few leaps, he appeared behind Liu Meng and thrusted his dagger toward Liu Meng’s heart.
Another dagger appeared out of nowhere and blocked the one which was about to pierce Liu Meng’s heart. A man with a pale countenance appeared behind Liu Meng.
The attacker jumped back and threw a cold stare at the new arriver. ‘So fast…’
“Eyeglasses…” Liu Meng turned back and saw her friend, who did not answer her call. Eyeglassses held his dagger with both hands and looked around, somewhat hesitantly.
“Another one? Today is a bargain sale for those who don’t fear death, I see…” The old man who led the group of guardians said as he raised his dragon staff and smashed it down toward the ground. A shadow that had the shape of a dragon appeared from where he stood and slithered toward Liu Meng.
A strange growl was heard, and the dragon shadow suddenly stopped in its track, swimming back toward the old man even faster than when it emerged. The staff itself began to vibrate violently, preventing the old man from holding his weapon still.
“What is that!” The guardians looked in the direction of the growl and saw a hideous monstrosity appear from behind the ruins of a house.
It was a chimerical creature with a human head, an ox’ body, a tiger’s claws, and a serpent’s tail. It dragged its five-meter-long body toward the guardians menacingly.
“Sai Gao…” Eyeglasses recognized the creature.
“I’m different from you. It’s my duty to guard this place.” Sai Gao interposed himself between the guardians and Liu Meng, glancing briefly at Li Yiming, who was still unconscious.
“A beast tamer…” A few whispers were heard. The guardians were confused at the continuous arrival of new enemies, including Li Huaibei, fighting against Heaven’s Laws which they promised to serve the day they climbed the Stage of Ascension.
“That’s not for us to worry about. Their demise is set… “ One guardian took down an object which hung by his belt. A moment later and a laser blade appeared, its tip pointing at Liu Meng.
The other guardians also brandished their weapons, and slowly their expressions hardened. Most of them were not fearing a fight but were simply confused that someone from their ranks would oppose them on such a mission. However, the person who just spoke reminded them that reasons and motives mattered very little; what mattered ultimately was the annihilation of Lianyun City.
A savage roar resonated throughout the battlefield. It was not the guardians who struck first, but Sai Gao, who was imbued with the powers of Ya Yu and Bai Xi. He rushed into the crowd of guardians with bloodthirsty eyes. He did not care much about Li Yiming reason for betraying his own kind. His main focus was to kill all of the guardians who stood in front of him.
A bloody massacre erupted in an instant. Sai Gao was outnumbered by a hundred to one, and yet he used every single limb of his body to fearlessly kill his enemies, like a fierce tiger fighting a pack of wolves.
Liu Meng, who was still enveloped by fire, shot one firebird after another. After witnessing the power of these delicate creatures earlier, no guardian dared to underestimate their destructive power.
Eyeglasses also roamed around inconspicuously. After taking the vampiric serum, his speed had increased to an outstanding level, and he used it to protect Liu Meng. They both, however, could not move too far from where they stood as they needed to protect Li Yiming.
Although Liu Meng, Eyeglasses, and Sai Gao were both capable in their own rights, the foes they faced were not innocuous either. Most of them waited patiently for an opening to deliver a fatal blow, and, in the absence of it, tried to create their own opportunities.
After deflecting a bullet for a third time, a dagger suddenly appeared behind Eyeglasses — a vicious slash was aimed at his throat.
Just as Eyeglasses bent his body backward to dodge the attack, an almost transparent, ethereal arrow was shot at him. The moment Eyeglasses saw the projectile, he knew that he had no way out; if he dodged, Liu Meng would be struck down by it.
Eyeglasses gritted his teeth and prepared to parry the dagger at the cost of getting hit by the arrow. The man who was attacking Eyeglasses was ready to use the opportunity to deliver a fatal blow once the arrow was about to hit his target.
However, the next instant, he suddenly felt the ground beneath him warm up. A pillar of fire burst out from where he stood, and he was consumed by the flames in an instant. The arrow also flew into the fire and quietly burned away.
Eyeglasses let out a sigh of relief, but before he could say his thanks to Liu Meng, he suddenly felt a sting at his left shoulder.
A gunshot noise was heard the next instant. It was the same kind of sniper rifle he used to use. ‘A taste of my own medicine, huh…’
The moment Eyeglasses recoiled from the impact of the bullet, a blue bamboo stick appeared on the side of Liu Meng and made its way toward her chest. It was a young girl in her mid-twenties, wearing training pants, a jacket, and a pair of black running shoes, just like one would expect from a normal city girl. She had been waiting for an opportunity for a while already, and contrary to her young and naive demeanor, she had the experience and viciousness to find the right moment for the fatal blow.
Liu Meng had barely just finished casting her spell, leaving her defenseless, whereas Eyeglasses had yet to recover from being hit by the rifle shot.
‘You’re dead…’ The girl smiled at the sight of her bamboo stick piercing Liu Meng’s heart.
However, the scene that unraveled before the eyes of the other guardians was completely different from what the girl was witnessing. Although she chose the opportune moment to strike, she stabbed air which was more than half a meter away from where Liu Meng stood.
Just as the rest of the guardians wondered why she missed by such a wide margin, a blue crescent appeared right next to Liu Meng and also flew at her.
‘The perfect timing…’ Some of the guardians thought.
Instead of going for Liu Meng, it suddenly changed trajectory and cut the girl with the bamboo weapon into two. The bloodstained bamboo stick onto the ground with a clonk.
‘Seriously?’ Some people were speechless. Not only had the blow missed, but it caused a friendly casualty.
Before the guardians could try to comprehend the situation a giant mech arrived right above Li Yiming, shooting out lasers and projectiles from the cannon tubes at its chest. Most of the guardians scattered while uttering insults at the person who had been stupid enough to try something like that. However, they quickly realized that it was, in fact, not an area of effect attack. Li Yiming and his friends were unscathed.
The mecha soon ceased fire and floated quietly in the air. The guardians raised their head and looked at the giant robot. Some had already recognized the model of the mecha: a level five construct.
The woman who killed her friend by “accident” earlier jumped out of the crowd and landed in front of Liu Meng. She glanced at Eyeglasses and shouted in an angry voice.
“Can someone tell me what the hell is going on here?”
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