382 The Hunt of Outer Island Part 2

    On the other side of the island, right when the floating number had decreased, the body of one of the unidentified beings had fallen at Nilo's feet. On its chest was a cavity formed by the impact of an incredibly powerful punch that broke the barrier of sound, as well as the sternum of the unfortunate attacker.

    The rest of blue-skinned cultivators that had emerged from the sea did not appear to be affected by the loss of one of their own, and instead, attacked as indifferently as the deceased one did just moments earlier.

    Four of these oceanic warriors leaped with their fastest speed towards Nilo, who was the closest to them. Their weapons were of the sort that made it easier to fight underwater, and included tridents, gauntlets with blades at the tip of the fingernails, and vambraces with curved knives attached to the external part.

    Their speed was nothing less than that of a human cultivator at the same level, and allowed them to shorten the distance between themselves and their targets, in mere fractions of a moment.

    To aid Nilo, arrived Cynna, Zack, and Finn, who immediately unsheathed their weapons, and blocked the advancement of two of the four blue-skinned cultivators. Fyro and Zack, on the other hand, had stayed behind to protect Ivan and Sigg, who while talented, had yet to reach the level of cultivation of any of these foes, and even less their battle prowess, which to those who had already exchanged blows with them, felt superior than that of their human counterparts.

    While the group faced these twenty to thirty oceanic warriors, a similar scene was taking place on the other side of the island.

    Back at the tunnel's gate, a few of the cultivators who were not busy with discussing what the meaning of the decreasing floating number could mean, finally started to notice the blue heads emerge from the surface of the water.

    "Who are those?" Asked one of the cultivators at the peak of the ninth stage of cultivation to the participants who were standing next to him. The three groups were standing on a cliff about a kilometer away from the entrance of the bridge, and therefore, they hadn't been sighted by the mindless warriors yet.

    "They could be the participants of a newly discovered humanoid race that is now part of the universal government. Let's go and ask, maybe they know something we don't." Said another cultivator to the first one, before disappearing from his position, and reappearing only a few meters in front of the blue-skinned cultivators. He then took a step forward, and said, "Are you also participants? Do you kn-"

    His companion had only arrived in time to witness as the spear of the oceanic warrior had pierced the heart of the other cultivator, killing him before he could even finish asking his question.

    "ENEMIES!!" Shouted the cultivator right before a blue-skinned female warrior flashed past him, and slit his throat with the three small blades that stuck out of her battle vambrace.

    The rest of the participants immediately noticed that an enemy had arrived, and that their test had finally begun.

    The young man in leather armor and green clothes was the first one to react, and after turning towards the two leaders of the other groups, he said, "We don't know if more will come, but we can't lose the beach. If that is the only way to the next island, we need to keep it free." He then pointed at a few of the most powerful and talented members of his group, and said, "Follow me."

    The leader of the second conglomerate was a forty years old woman with the semblance of a young woman in her late teens. Of all of Cato's participants she was, without a doubt, the person who had the highest talent in cultivation, which was reflected on the age at which she had finally broke into the stage of immortality.

    What she lacked, unfortunately, were the qualities of a leader. Her first reaction was to jump into battle without bothering to give orders to the member of her own group, causing them to stare awkwardly at her actions and not move.

    Her actions were followed by the reluctant participants of the Egregious Mercantile Ethics who, unable to complete their primary objective, were now forced to continue through the competition with the hope to encounter Nilo and the others one more time.

    Something that any of the participants had yet to notice, was the fact that similar numbers of oceanic warriors were emerging all around the island, and those who hadn't been distracted from their path, were steadily walking towards the core of the volcano.

    Back on the small patch of sand where Nilo and the others had landed, more than twenty corpses lay on the ground, dragged back and forth on the sand by the rough motion of the waves.

    "The number decreased. I think that the test consists in killing ten thousand of these puppets." Said Finn who, while protecting Sigg and Ivan, had kept an eye on the number that was floating above the volcano.

    If what Finn said was true, then the test could not be considered that hard. After all, more than ten thousand cultivators had been teleported into this island, and even though the number of their targets could more or less match their numbers, the speed at which these oceanic warriors were emerging from the water, was extremely manageable for those three massive groups.

    While the rest of the group were making their own assumption based on Finn's idea, Nilo was thinking about something else. From their position they had noticed many more of these warriors emerge further down both sides of the beach, but instead of joining in, had ignored them, and kept walking towards the core of the island.

    "It can't be that easy. There has to be a condition." muttered Nilo while looking back in the direction of the volcano. The target of the blue-skinned warriors, their starting point, the condition for the failure, all of these details slowly became puzzle pieces that, soon after, stuck together and turned into an idea. "We have to go back to the crater. Right now!" He said before disappearing.

    The rest of the group followed right after, and when they reappeared around fifty meters from the crater, they finally noticed them. A row of heavily armored archers that stood on the borders of the volcano's crater, and right in the middle of it, a man with regal clothes, and a crown on his head.

    The archers immediately took notice of Nilo's group, but contrary to the oceanic warriors, they did not seem to care for their presence. Instead, their attention was directed at the woods that surrounded the volcano, from which they seemed to expect their mortal enemy to appear at any given moment.

    Nilo had a theory. What if killing ten thousand of these blue-skinned cultivators was not the only requirement? What if the number indicated how many of them needed to die while they did something different? Something like surviving an assault, or even protect something, or somebody.

    This idea was supported by the simple fact that not every oceanic warrior would bother to fight against them, unless they entered a certain area around them, meaning that their first priority had to be something completely different.

    These archers were placed in a protective circle around the edge of the crater, and from the power they emanated, one could feel that each of them was stronger than any of the humans or blue-skinned cultivators present on the island. However, just like the humanoid race that had come from the sea, they lacked any form of thought process, and were commanded by a will that, instead of ordering them to attack anyone that appeared within a specific area around them, simply ordered them to protect the king from the invading force.

    What forced Nilo's group to take a sharp breathe in, was the fact that there were only a hundred archers, while according to the floating number, the test would send more than ten thousand oceanic warriors to kill the king that these archers were tasked with protecting.

    The test had put them in the difficult position of defending a weak party from a massive assault.

    While worried, none of them let himself fall into panic. From the speed these cultivators were walking, it would take them five hours to reach the middle of the crater, and that meant that they would have enough time to share this discovery with the rest of the cultivators and organize a plan.

    Unfortunately, this theory was quickly proven wrong by one of the archers, who nocked an arrow, drew it to the anchor point next to the corner of his eye, and released the string. The arrow was extremely quiet, and traveled past what Nilo and the others could sense, landing directly into a patch of the woods that surrounded the base of the volcano.

    Before the arrow could land, however, the group turned to look up at the number in the sky, that had decreased by around fifty more, and noticed that immediately after the arrow disappeared, the number decreased once again.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    "It hit." Said Finn before approaching the archer that had just shot the arrow, and looked at the patch of wood in which the arrow had disappeared. What he saw next made a cold shiver run down his back.

    While the oceanic warriors had not reacted to the death of their companions when Nilo and the rest had killed them, that was not the case for the Royal archers. When one of the blue-skinned warriors was killed by one of them, every oceanic warrior that was within a radius of fifty meters from the hit one, became enraged, and dashed towards the volcano with a much faster speed, giving only a few seconds of time from the shot arrow, to the arrival of their group.

    Unable to even discuss with each other, Nilo and the rest of the group approached the area from which the oceanic warriors were coming from, and prepared themselves for battle.

    Originally Nilo had thought that this test would give them enough time to organize, and everything would have worked out if the thousands of participants had waited enough for the royal archers and king to appear, but they had acted too rashly, and abandoned the very place they needed to protect.

    To make things worse, while the royal archers were extremely powerful and would be able to kill a foe with a single arrow, they were placed there not only to defend the king, but to taunt the oceanic warriors, and push the participants into a more difficult, and even desperate defensive attempt.

    Nilo and the others observed with worry as a path was formed out of demolished trees, they were hoping that the more than ten thousand participants would notice that something was wrong. After all, they were only seven.

    What they did not know, was that the three groups had now formed a perimeter around the tunnel's entrance, and were guarding it from the incoming oceanic warriors that, due to the size of the area that the participants were occupying, were killed at a rapid rate that masked the kills performed by Nilo's group, and the royal archers.

    Ivan and Sigg had been sent into the One Above All just to deter the suspicion of the leading figures of the Hiel Academy and Golden Karma company, after all, anyone would have found it odd if one of the most greedy conglomerates decided to simply give up five tokens for a group that wasn't even one of their companies. That made Ivan and Sigg the two sacrifices who, unaware of the conglomerate's real plans, had been sent into a competition that, as cultivators at the middle and late stages of immortality, was way above their reach.

    However, that did not mean that Nilo and the others would leave them to die.

    "You two, stay behind us, and warn us if any other archer moves!" Ordered Nilo before putting his reinforced gloves back on, and turning to look at the bottom of the volcano with a serious and focused expression. Yet, just as the incoming enemies appeared in their line of sight, from the corner of his eye, Nilo noticed that one more Royal archer had reached for one of the arrows in his quiver.
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