The experts flew out of the Main Hub and summoned out their Spirits in preparation to maul the beast horde that was charging upon their town. Being Spirit Lords and Spirit Kings, the cultivators in the air emitted a tremendous amount of spiritual pressure, forcing many of the civilians on the ground to drop to their knees. Even the battle-hardened warriors that defended the walls of the Main Hub had trouble keeping their senses together with the turbulent mana overhead.
“The Premier is leading a force to wipe out our enemies!!!” One officer roared out in delight.
“Y-Yeah! With the Premier here, our safety is all but assured! There’s no way a mere beast horde can topple us!!!” Catching on quick, another soldier let out a war cry, hoping to bolster the morale of those around him. “So what if there are ten thousand beasts?! We will weather this storm!!!”
“OHHHH!!!!” Hundreds of soldiers raised their weapons, uplifting their downcast mood. “The Premier will reign supreme!!!”
With a newly found desire to protect their city, the soldiers worked twice as hard as they prepared to fix the holes in the semi-built barricades. The Premier had led some powerful cultivators to thin the numbers of the beast horde, there was only so much a handful of people could do. Eventually, the beast horde will claw their way into the walls, threatening the thousands of innocent civilians living in the Main Hub.
“Boom!!! Boom!!! Boom!!!” Raining down terror from the skies, the elites of the Main Hub cast every spiritual ability that they had, completely decimating tens of Spirit Beasts with each strike. Angered by the constant bombardment, the stronger Spirit Beasts took to the skies so that they could punish the humans that were murdering their brethren. However, due to the Premier’s excellent defences, none of the Tier 5 Spirit Beasts could make it past ten metres.
“Keep it up! We have only just begun! To completely clear them out, we need to keep this pace for at least an hour!” The Premier estimated. “Once you run out of mana, retreat back into the walls! Take a potion from my office if you have to! If we die, the Main Hub dies! Remember that!”
Continuously barking out orders as he sliced down each War Monkey that flew into his path, the Premier tried to keep his subordinate’s morale high. However, while he was putting on an expression of a valiant warrior that would do anything to protect his home, inwardly the Premier was cursing the entire situation.
‘Tch, there’s so many of them… Who the hell could be responsible for manufacturing such a large-scale attack on us? And for what purpose?’
The Land of Dreams had its fair share of natural disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes and floods were frequent for the equatorial nation. However, the one natural disaster it always lacked was the threat of a beast horde. Surrounded by all fronts by the three major superpowers, there was no way that ten thousand Spirit Beasts could have moved unnoticed. Of course, if he knew how the Black Masks operated, the Premier wouldn’t have been so surprised.
‘Whoever that asshole is, once the town is secure, I’ll find you and tear you apart myself!’
“P-Premier! Another bunch is coming from the east!”
“What?! They had reinforcements?! This day really has just begun, huh?” The Premier spat out as he gazed into the horizon. Just as his second in command reported, over a thousand shadows had appeared and were slowly marching in their direction. Anticipating yet another thousand beasts, the Premier gritted his teeth and was ready to fly over and intercept their movements, however, as he got a closer look, his draw dropped in astonishment.
“An army? No, could they even be called a military force?” The Premier’s second-in-command flew next to him and carefully observed the newcomers.
Donned in wretched attire, the humans that bore just the faintest bit of mana, trudged like zombies towards the beast horde. A faint dark mist that was barely visible to the naked eye rose up from the humans’ heads, filling the air with a sense of dread and melancholy. Their eyes glazed over, the men and women among their ranks looked as if they were possessed as they followed the few warriors that had their faces hidden behind a dark mask.
“The Black Masks… So they’re behind everything.” The Premier frowned. “I’ve heard stories about them, about how they brainwash weakened members of society to do their bidding. I never expected to see it firsthand.”
“They even brought a thousand Dalits to attack us! What is it that the Black Masks want?!”
“Unclear… However, now that they have shown their hand, we can expect a tough battle ahead. Look! Some of the Black Masks that are leading the Dalits are emitting a crazy amount of pressure.” The Premier’s face turned dark as he observed his opponents. Based on his intel, the Black Masks that bore the mark of the golden tree were all Brahmins that were at least at the Rank 60 Spirit King realm; and currently, there were three of them staring him down.
“Those assholes…” A raging fire ignited within the heart of the Premier subordinate. They had been peacefully minding their own business and had mostly stayed out of international politics. Yet, the Black Masks still sought to burn them to the ground. “Fine, then! If it’s a fight they want, then it’s a fight they’ll get! Let me be the first person to…”
Before he could conclude his declaration, the Spirit King fell silent. Wondering what had happened, the Premier turned back to his subordinate, only to find a pair of lifeless eyes staring back at him. After a brief period of time, the Spirit King’s head rolled off the top of his body and fell cleanly onto the floor.
“What the hell?!” The Premier immediately leapt back in horror. “How did he just die like that?!”
His subordinate wasn’t the only one to lose his life. Almost instantaneously, dozens of heads flew out from their bodies, reducing the elites number in half. Stunned by the sudden change of events, the Spirit Lords and Kings, who would generally remain unfazed even when facing the toughest of enemies, panicked as they guarded themselves against the invisible threat.
“What’s going on?!” To get a better idea of what was happening, the Premier tried to ascend even higher into the sky. However, before he could even rise a single metre, he felt his entire body locked into place as thin silver threads bound him together. “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!”
As if to answer his query, the earth cracked in fervour. From the largest opening, a silken cocoon emerged and emitted a terrifying mana surge that froze any being that was near it.
The cocoon throbbed like a beating heart and released even more spiritual energy. The Spirit Beast horde halted their steps and immediately dropped into a submissive pose, completely forgetting their original purpose for attacking the town. As for the Black Masks that were acting as reinforcements, they all ran backwards. It didn’t matter if they were a high and mighty Brahmin or a lowly Dalit that had an unstable cultivation base, in the face of absolute power, they were all poultry waiting to be slaughtered.
Badum Badum Badum
The throbbing continued to intensify as bulges formed, hinting that whatever inside was about to break free from its constraints to make its way into the open world.
Grkkkttt!!! Grkkkttt!!! Grkkkttt!!!
First, small cracks formed on the outer shell of the cocoon, and within seconds, a pale white human hand burst forth from the interior. Bit by bit, the creature within the cocoon unravelled itself as it shook off the warm slime that coated its body.
The Premier widened his eyes in horror as he finally recognised the identity of the monster that had slain half of his men. An effeminate woman, whose entire torso was unhealthily pale, raised her hands to clean her purple hair that had been coated with slime. Fully naked, the Premier could clearly see the curvaceous figure that would tickle the lust of any men. However, the elderly man didn’t feel any sexual attraction to the woman. Why? Because she wasn’t human.
With eight eyes that were as black as the night and a lower body of an eight-legged purple spider, the creature stretched its arms out wide, as if it had just awoken from a long nap. The sharp ends of its purple legs sunk deep into the muddied floor with every step that she took, greatly annoying the ghastly Spirit Beast. To combat that issue, the spider-woman created a web of silver threads in the air, and comfortably rested itself at its centre.
“Oh god… An Arachne!!!”
Bearing the upper torso of a woman and the lower body of a spider, the Arachne was the queen of all spiders. There was no spider-type Spirit Beast that was greater than it. Almost exclusively found in the Uncharted Wilderness, the Arachne was a Tier 9 Spirit Beast that never wandered out of its base alone. A monarch of the Arachnid species, the Arachne had no need to intrude into human territory. However, on the few occasions that it did, hell became a place on earth.
“We’ve got to run! RUN AWAY YOU FOOLS!!!”
The moment the Arachne made its appearance, every elite in the Main Hub had lost all hope of defending their land. Against a Tier 9 Spirit Beast, they were basically ants waiting to be stomped on. Amused that the humans actually thought that they were capable of escaping, the Arachne let out a playful smile before creating a thousand more silver threads. With one wave of her hand, the Tier 9 Spirit Beast executed all of the elites in the sky and brought back their heads as if they were her trophies.
“A-Arachne! Why are you doing this?”
The Premier had a face full of tears as he roared out at the Tier 9 Spirit Beast. At its level of intelligence, the Arachne was able to understand and speak in the human tongue with ease. Before he left this world, the elderly man needed to know the reason why he, alongside his subordinates, were being massacred by the Spirit Beast.
“Hungry~.” Instead of giving him a concrete answer, the Arachne opened its mouth wider than an alligator’s jaw and swallowed a deceased Spirit King’s head whole. “Mmmm, that’s good~.”
“ARACHNE!!! ANSWER ME!!! WHY DID YOU KI…”
“Annoying~.” Beheading the insolent human that dared to disturb its meal, the Arachne wiped out the final member of the elite force and continued to mow down the fifty-over heads that it had collected. After slumbering for so long, it was famished. Finishing the head buffet in under a minute, the Tier 9 Spirit Beast grieved at the lack of food.
“H-Highness Murasaki…” At that very moment, a Brahmin walked next to the irritable monster, with jelly legs. Even though they were on the same side if the Arachne wished to kill him for the fun of it, no one would be able to save him. “What are your plans for the forces inside of the town?”
“Forces~ More heads~?!”
“Y-Yes, Highness! There are thousands of heads for you to feast on inside of the town! The Allfather specifically asked for us to clean up the town…”
“The Allfather ordered that~? Okay, I’ll kill them all~.” Like a cheerful little girl, the Tier 9 Spirit Beast beamed in delight and brought her hands towards the crack in the ground. A torrential mana surge flowed down into the dark crevice.
All of a sudden, the earth trembled in fear as thousands upon thousands of low-tiered spider beasts made their way to the surface quadrupling the overall force sent by the Black Masks. Retreating back in horror, the Brahmin gulped down a mouthful of saliva. For the first time since he joined the syndicate, the Black Mask found himself rooting for the enemy team.
“My children~. Bring me more food~!!!”
Obeying Murasaki’s order, the thousands of spider Spirit Beasts crawled straight towards the Main Hub, in the hopes of pleasing their master.
And to please they did.
It didn’t matter whether you were a Spirit King or a Spirit Practitioner. A mighty warrior or a feeble young child. To the spiders, if it moved, it was a head that could be presented to their queen. In less than an hour, the entirety of the Main Hub had been wiped clean.
For the second time in the Land of Dream’s history, their entire population had been utterly massacred.