Friday, August 26, 2016
The First Alchemist - Chap 10
Chapter 10 - Journey through the Forest III
Everyone froze like rabbits suppressed by a tiger. The Wyrm before them had an aura that sent chills running down their backs. It was a creature they had never seen before.
To many, it looked like a huge, wide snake, but Chem Al knew that it was a baby dragon that had yet to grow its legs or wings. Thanks to eating almost all the desolate beasts in the surrounding forest, it had become massive, almost to the point where it looked like it was ready to evolve into its next form: the Dragon Newt.
“That’s a baby dragon?” Chem Au shouted, surprise lacing his voice.
His words seemed to have woken up everyone. Screams erupted from all the villagers as they abandoned their carts, pushing each other out of the way as they tried to get as far away from the beast as possible.
When some of the guards started running, Sorka Bo yelled, “What are you doing? Kill it! Kill it!”
That command got through to them. Together, they struck the Wyrm with their stone-tipped spears, but there wasn’t even a single scratch.
Watching all of this from behind a cart, Chem Al couldn’t help but think of how foolish they were. This beast may be the weakest form of a dragon, but its scales were still tough enough that weak profound cultivators such as them couldn’t even hope to hurt it. Still, he couldn’t offer any better suggestions.
A thousand poisonous pills ran through his head, each of them toxic enough to take down a Wyrm, but he couldn’t make any of it without the ingredients or a cauldron. There was nothing he could do. It looked like the best course of action was to run away with his family. If they were faster than the other villagers, they would be able to live a few seconds, or even a few minutes, longer.
Who was he kidding? With his big brother fighting amongst the other guards, he couldn’t just abandon him.
The Wyrm twisted its head, annoyed by the tiny little ants poking at it.
“Look out!” Chem Al shouted. He had seen enough Wyrms in his past life to know when they were about to swing their tail.
In the heat of battle, the guards didn’t know who shouted those two words, but it got them to back off. White light flashed around their legs as they tried to dodge. One of them didn’t make it. The Wyrm’s tail smashed against one of the guards, sending him flying. He was already dead before he hit the ground.
When the other guards saw his caved in chest, they gulped. If they had been just half a second slower, they would have joined him.
The Wyrm swung its tail again. The guards managed to avoid this blow, but only by inches. How much longer could they last?
“Soaring Crane - Second Layer!” A crescent white light flew through the air and struck the Wyrm’s body, leaving behind a small scratch.
Sorka Jiu ran towards the battle, white light flowing from his legs as he moved as fast as he could. With a swing of his sword, another white crescent light shot out, hitting the Wyrm.
“It’s the village chief!” one of the guards shouted. They all cheered.
The moment Sorka Jiu arrived, he began cutting at the Wyrm’s body while dodging its attacks. But it was a losing battle. Just one hit from Wyrm would have left him heavily injured, or even dead, while all he could do was leave little scratches on its body. If this fight continued any longer, he wouldn’t survive. The only thing he could do was wait for an opportunity.
As the battle raged on, all the wooden carts around them were smashed, splintering into pieces. The same would have happened to the guards, but they backed far enough away to avoid getting massacred. They knew that they couldn’t help their village chief. They would just be in the way.
However, Chem Al wasn’t one to sit by. Even with the odds against him, his mind still kept looking for a way to win. That was when he saw the splintered pieces of woods on the ground. An idea formed in his head. He looked around until he could find the thinnest sliver of wood there was.
It wasn’t a silver needle, but it would have to do. He didn’t have profound energy, but he could still throw accurately. With all that in mind, he focused on the Wyrm. The way it swayed, the moment before it strikes, anything to help him predict its movements.
The Wyrm leaned forward. There!
Chem Al aimed for the Wyrm’s jaw, then threw the sliver of wood. It flew … then wobbled to the ground.
He couldn’t believe it! He hasn’t missed in centuries! Chem Al felt frustration rising up his throat. It was because he couldn’t infuse the wood with any profound energy. His throws were usually faster, sharper, and they flew further. They used to be like a rising phoenix, but now they were more like a broken-winged chicken. He had to get closer.
Chem Al circled around what was left of the carts, making sure to pick up another slim piece of wood along the way. He stopped behind his big brother who was watching the fight.
“Au,” he said.
Chem Au jumped. He was about to stab his spear at whatever had startled him, until Chem Al shouted, “Stop! It’s me! Me!”
“What are you doing here? It’s dangerous.”
“I need your help. Can you get me closer to the Wyrm?”
“What?” Chem Au rubbed his ears, wondering if he was hearing things. “You want to get closer to that thing?”
“Don’t worry, I have a plan.” Chem Al held up the splinter of wood. “I’m going to stick this into the Wyrm.”
Now he knew he was hearing things. “Are you crazy? What’s that going to do?”
“Trust me, okay? Just take me to the Wyrm.”
Chem Au was about to tell him no, but then he saw the determination in his little brother’s eyes. “Look. Even if I wanted to get you closer, how do you expect me to do that? Carry you? I can barely dodge its wild attacks without the extra weight slowing me down.”
Chem Al rolled his eyes, then he stepped forward. “Body slam. Right tail swing. Left tail swing. Bite attack from the top….”
At first, he didn’t understand what his little brother was saying, but as time went on, Chem Au’s eyes got wider and wider. Somehow his brother was accurately predicting what move the Wyrm was going to make one second before it made it.
“It doesn’t matter. Are you going to carry me or not?”
Chem Au faintly nodded his head. With a jump, Chem Al climbed on to his big brother’s back. Once he was secure enough, he said, “Okay. Do whatever I say the moment I say it. Wait for it....wait for it. Now! Jump forward!”
“Soaring Crane!” Chem Au’s legs started to glow with white light, activating the first layer of the Soaring Crane Cultivation Skill.
To the surprise of all the other guards, Chem Au jumped into the range of battle while carrying the cripple on his back.
“Left! Jump left now!”
“Take one step back!”
“Five steps to the right!”
“Now move forward!” Chem Al kept yelling out instructions. Like some kind of magic trick, they didn’t get turned into meat paste.
“Okay, this is it! The moment it leans forward again, I want you to jump diagonally to the right. Get ready. Wait for it… Now!”
The Wyrm tried to bite down on Sorka Jiu, but he managed to dodge, barely this time. Sweat poured down his forehead, his legs felt weak. He didn’t know how much longer he could hold on. But before he could worry about his next move, one of his guards ran forward. Why was he carrying the cripple on his back?
Chem Al threw the sliver of wood. Due to the short distance, it was able to fly majestically. It hit the Wyrm right on its jaw, between its scales.
“Now run away,” Chem Al shouted at his brother.
Chem Au’s legs pumped as fast as it could as he ran to the circle of guards, away from the battle. They fell to the ground, rolling as they landed. Catching his breath, Chem Au said, “Now can you tell me what that was all about?”
Chem Al smiled. “I hit one of its nerves. Now it can’t close its mouth.”
“That’s it? You made me run around a life and death battle just to do that?”
“Just watch the fight, and remember what I said about its weakness.”
The guards didn’t know what the hell was going on, but Sorka Jiu did the moment he saw it. Somehow the cripple had managed to force the Wyrm to keep its mouth open. That was the opportunity he had been waiting for.
Profound energy surged throughout his whole body, his sword glowing with the most brilliant white light since the start of the battle. It was obvious that he was putting all of his effort into one final strike.
He jumped. With his fast speed, he made it into the Wyrm’s mouth. It tried to bite down on him, but all it managed to do was drive one of its fangs into his arm. Sorka Jiu forced back his painful scream, trying to focus on his task.
With his other hand, he stabbed up with his sword, trying to force his way through the Wyrm’s upper jaw. It may have been its weakness, but the top of the jaw still had some resistance. With one huge burst of profound energy surging into the his sword, he pierced through.
The sword stabbed past the upper jaw and into the Wyrm’s brain.
A loud roar pierced the heavens. All around the forest, birds took to the sky. With blood trickling down his sword, Sorka Jiu pulled it out and jumped back, avoiding the Wyrm’s violent death throes.
Finally, it slammed into the ground and died.