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383 The Hunt of Outer Island Part 3

    Cato, Two hours later.

    Two hours had passed since the beginning of the contest, and yet, the streets that surrounded the headquarters of Cato's conglomerates, were still full of cultivators. All of them were spectating the competition thanks to a few floating arrays that had been installed in the skies of Cato's main cities. These arrays would produce three-dimensional illusions, which the observing cultivators could use to follow the movements of the participants.

    Only four of these arrays had been left in Cato, and each of them depicted a single one of the four islands in which Cato's participants were competing on.

    In between the territories of the three conglomerates whose participants had been placed in the same island as Nilo, Finn, and the others, was an illusion which, along with depicting every event that was taking place in the volcanic island, gave an outsider perspective of the entire test.

    While in three of the four illusions the observers were watching their students and children struggle to pass their test, the observers of the volcanic island were too ashamed to even speak.

    In the two long hours since the beginning of the test, the only reason why none of these twelve thousand cultivators had failed, was thanks to the strenuous efforts of five cultivators. However, as cultivators themselves, they knew that, at some point, Nilo and the others would run out of immortal essence, and would be overwhelmed by the oceanic warriors.

    That was unless the other participants figured out the real objective of the test, which was not as simple as staying next to the tunnel's gate, and kill a few hundred oceanic warriors as they emerged from the sea.

    The participants of the other islands were going through similar tests, but with different kinds of enemies. Luckily, they had been able to assess their situation earlier, thanks to the lack of limitations to their sight, and hadn't had any problem with figuring out the objective of the test.

    "Just go back to the volcano!! YOU DAMN IDIOTS!" Shouted one of the observers with exasperation. He was forced to watch as, for two long hours, twelve thousand cultivators were carried through the first test by a small group of unknown warriors. The state of how things were now was not only disappointing to them, but plain embarrassing.

    Finally able to take his hand off of his face from the shame, another one of the observing cultivators said with disappointment, "These idiots will end up getting killed by the first cultivator that offers some damn candies to them.."

    "It is better that they fail like this and come back home alive, than die like them." Said an old lady to the two enraged cultivators. However, when she directed her sensing ability towards the volcano's crater, she immediately noticed that not only were Nilo and the others still alive, but that they were not showing any sign of exhaustion.

    Floating right above the crater, not at all surprised about how things were going, were the old man Golden Cauldron, and his son, the Silver Alchemist.

    An additional two and a half hours passed, and during each second, Nilo and the others kept fighting wave after wave of oceanic warriors without letting any of them through.

    Only minutes after the first arrow had been shot, Fyro had noticed that these royal archers would voluntarily attract a group of oceanic warriors at regular intervals. Knowing this, the group had created a rotation which consisted in splitting the group into two teams of two, that took care of two different waves at the same time, while being supported by Fyro's ranged attacks. Each couple had a limited amount of time to finish their wave before having to move on to the next one.

    Ivan and Sigg, unable to contribute to the killing effort, had tried multiple times to stop the archers from speeding up the arrival of these already marching warriors, but alas, these archers were protected by powerful barriers that would prevent them from approaching further than arm's reach from their armored bodies.

    The attention of each of the observing cultivators had slowly shifted from the disappointing crowd that had been waiting in front of the cage for almost five hours, to either Nilo and the other four, or at the father and son couple that had been floating above the island from the very beginning of the competition.

    When the fourth and a half hour mark passed, Nilo and the others were starting to feel anxious. Only small groups of enemies were attracted by the royal archers, but the five hours mark, was the moment in which the undisturbed oceanic warriors would complete their march towards the volcano. If nothing changed, they would be overwhelmed.

    The seemingly grim luck of the five of them appeared to change at that moment, when on the other side of the island, the green-clothed cultivator turned to look at the number placed high up in the sky, which was now at six thousand, and was going down at a steady pace.

    By keeping their perimeter, they had had the chance to kill their fair share of warriors, yet, from a single glance, one would notice that there weren't four thousand corpses on the sand that surrounded their perimeter. At best, there were five hundred.

    The green-clothed cultivator did not fail to notice this, and suddenly said, "RETREAT DEEPER INTO THE PERIMETER, AND STOP ATTACKING!"

    "What are you on about?" Asked the teenage-looking woman that lead the second conglomerate of Cato, with deep confusion.

    "Just do it, I only need a few seconds." Responded the green-clothed cultivator with a tone that betrayed his confident attitude, and revealed a fair amount of urgency.

    "What makes you think that you can order my people around?!" Asked a lean man in dark red and black clothes with anger. He was the leading figure of the participants of the Egregious Mercantile Ethics, as well as the grandson of its leader, Gen Stein.

    The green clothed cultivator did not waste any time arguing, and instead said, "The number is decreasing too quickly. We haven't killed that many of them. We might not even be supposed to kill these warriors!"

    "Fine.." Said the young cultivator in dark red robes before turning to look at his group, and shouting, "Do as he said!"

    After the young woman did the same, the three of them turned to look at the number in the sky, and noticed that it was decreasing at almost the same speed as it was before, which meant that, of the thousands of warriors that had been killed, their contribution was much smaller than they had thought.

    "Oh no.." muttered the green robed cultivator after coming to a conclusion.

    "What is it?" Asked the teenage-looking woman.

    "How many people are missing from your groups?!" He asked with clear urgency.

    The young woman did not think twice about it, and instead turned towards her group, and after a few seconds, said, "Aside from a few that have died, it doesn't look like anyone is missing."

    Similarly, the green clothed cultivator turned to look at his group, and made a quick head count through the use of his limited, yet sharp sensing ability. He soon found out that aside from the few that had died against the oceanic warriors, no one else was missing from his group either.

    "What about you?" Asked the green-clothed cultivator to the cultivator in dark red clothes.

    "We are all here. Just.. a group of seven people disappeared soon after we were teleported." Responded the young cultivator in dark red clothes.

    "It can't be them. Look at how fast the number is going down, there has to be a reason why these warriors are heading towards the volcano." Said the green robed cultivator before turning pensive. After a few long seconds, he raised his head, and said, "They might not be our targed. What if there is something we have to kill in the volcano, and we only have ten thousand warriors to aid us?"

    "That is ridiculous. Why teleport us in the volcano then? Why not directly to the beach?" responded the cultivator in dark red clothes.

    What the dark red-clothed cultuvator had said made sense. Why place them here if they had to support these warriors?

    "You are right. We-Oh **.." Said the green-clothed cultivator as his eyes opened wide in realization. "THERE IS SOMETHING WE HAVE TO PROTECT! GO BACK TO THE VOLCANO! NOW!!" he then ordered as loudly as he could before disappearing along with the young looking woman, and the cultivator in dark red clothes.

    When the three of them reappeared next to the volcano, their jaws dropped from the shock. In front of them were a hundred royal archers that surrounded what appeared a lone crowned individual, but what was truly shocking about this sight, was the amount of corpses littered on the space between the line of archers, and the king they seemed to be trying to protect.

    In the same area five figures flashed by at an amazing speed, and whenever one of them would approach one of the oceanic warriors, the latter would fall on the ground and join the others as a harmless corpse.

    Surrounding the volcano, was a wave of oceanic warriors who mindlessly marched towards, and climbed up its ridge. Their numbers were much larger what the floating figure showed, and it amounted to at least tens of thousands.

    "GET DOWN AND HELP THEM!!" Ordered he green-clothed cultivator soon after, causing thousands of participants to land on the crater, and join the defensive effort of Nilo and the others.

    The young woman immediately followed the example of the green-clothed cultivator, and gave the order to her group to land on the crater and give their support to the archers, while on the other hand, the young man in dark red clothes was looking at Nilo and the others with worry. The five of them were now in the spotlight, which meant that carrying out their primary objective was out of the question.

    Their only hope was to complete this test, and hope that the next one would give them a better chance.

    With all of the cultivators where they were supposed to be, the strain on Nilo and the others was greatly decreased, despite the much larger number of incoming enemies.

    For the following hour, guided by the tactics of the green-clothed cultivator, the many participants were able to handle the constant wave of oceanics warriors who, as soon as the floating figure in the sky reached the zero, stopped advancing, and retreated back into the sea.

    Immediaetly after, the limitation to the sensing ability of the participants was released just in time for them to sense the explosion of power that came from the tunnel's direction. This explosion had been caused by the removal of the gates, and while it left no damage to the landscape, its impressive power was indicative of the fact that, had any participant stayed next to it when the counter would reach zero, they would have likely not survived it.

    As soon as the gate was destroyed, the twelve thousands of cultivators teleported right next to the entrance of the tunnel, but before they could go through it, they noticed a list of ten names and numbers which was not present before.

    It did not take long for the many participants to realize what this list meant. It was a list of the top ten performing participants in the test.

    What was unsightly about this list, however, was the fact that the first five individuals outclassed the others by manyfold.

    ____________________________

    Fyro Tigg - 1008

    Cynna Lon - 976

    Zack Rei - 972

    Finn - 954

    Nilo Grea - 922

    Dahlia Icefire - 41

    Gannet Stein - 34

    Lorwin Fenice - 31

    Non Seahawk - 23

    Meek Toel - 19

    ____________________________

    Lorwin, Gannet and Dahlia were the respective leaders of the three groups that had been teleported in this island, and while everyone expected them to be at the top of any competition they were part of, their performance was, while more impressive than that of most others, quite lacking when compared to the top five.

    However, a test was a test, and as long as they managed to pass it, they had no problem with not being at the top. So, instead of bothering with their position, they headed towards the entrance of the tunnel.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    Gannet, the leader of the group which belonged to the Egregious Mercantile Ethics, was the first one to enter the tunnel, and as soon as he did, a barrier formed behind, and in front of him, trapping him at the entrance.

    Before he could even begin to panic, however, a transparent box of spatial essence slowly formed right next to him. Once completed, inside it, one essence gem after the other began to appear from out of nowhere. When they stopped, this box contained exactly three hundred and forty essence gems.

    Unable to even breathe-in from the surprise, the thousands of participants collectively turned to look at Nilo's group horror, before swallowing a mouthful of saliva.
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