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849 Wang Zhong, Run!

 However, before he could walk closer to Wang Zhong, a rattling chain sound rang beneath his feet and scorching heat overwhelmed him. Suddenly, a fiery red shadow appeared in front of the Sword Saint, obstructing his vision. The blazing flames on the chains were gleaming with a white glow as if it could burn everything in its path!

This thing appeared too suddenly, and even the Sword Saint didn't manage to see exactly how it appeared. It certainly didn't move here from a distance, and it wasn't quite like a normal human's Dharma Idol; at least those had Soul Power fluctuations that alerted people of their existence. However, this 'toy' seemed to be conjured out of thin air.

The black iron chains had already started coiling and trapping the enemy the moment it appeared. Salamander's huge hands tugged at the chains fiercely, causing them to contract immediately and trap the enemy. However, the unfortunate thing was that the enemy was a Sword Saint.

He lightly waved the long sword in his hand, unleashing a sword beam that seemed to be able to slice through everything with a primal force. The chain's defenses became a total joke in front of this magnitude of attack, shattering instantly. The sword attack pierced through Salamander, who was still seemingly aggressive, and his body was split into two. That wasn't the end of the attack as a force shot towards the wall of the cave where Wang Zhong was plastered at after he was blasted there earlier on. This caused the wall that was already collapsing to be smashed into smithereens, with debris flying everywhere.

The Sword Saint raised his eyebrows. He sensed that his attack didn't strike his target. That mouse was fast at escaping.

His divine sense locked on a figure that zoomed past his left instantly. Being able to run so quickly after receiving a kick from him earlier on, this human was considered to be rather extraordinary. Not only was this human fast, he had a tough physique too and grasped his timing well.

That swift figure paused shortly the moment Salamander was sliced in half. Though it was just a slight pause, it was evident that Wang Zhong was affected by Salamander's condition.

That wasn't just another normal attack in which Salamander was crushed. There were many instances whereby Salamander's body had been crushed into pieces while in battles by Wang Zhong's side. During those times, it only took a moment for Salamander to heal, and his power was only slightly reduced. However, when Salamander was sliced in half this time, Wang Zhong could feel an intense headache coming on, and his spiritual connection with Salamander was cut off immediately. The enemy's level of attack was too strong, causing Salamander's soul imprint and essence to be damaged. Not only was it impossible to summon Salamander now, it also dealt some damage to Wang Zhong's own soul, as if he was struck by a heavy attack. It was lucky that his soul was strong enough. If it was an average Heroic Soul soldier in this situation, this sort of soul damage would cause one to faint and start foaming at the mouth.

Nonetheless, now wasn't the time to ponder over this. There was no time to lose. Wang Zhong clenched his teeth and took advantage of the moment of confusion that Salamander bought with his life. He successfully sneaked past the Sword Saint and dashed towards the only opening of this cave.

The Sword Saint sneered.

"Trying to run?"

His tone was leisurely and not hurried as if he was in control of everything. He didn't even take out his sword. While he was speaking, a golden figure moved at lightning speed, appearing behind Wang Zhong who was running for his life.

Trying to beat him in speed? That was impossible.

The reason why Wang Zhong was able to escape from him for so long was because there were too many paths that branched out into numerous routes in this energy cave. Though the great Sword Saint was in charge of the Black Boulder Energy Cave, this didn't mean that he would follow miners into the cave to familiarize himself with the topography of this dirty cave. Compared to Wang Zhong, this Sword Saint was even less familiar with the intricate paths in this cave that branched out like a spider's web. Furthermore, he had to spend effort on locating Wang Zhong's position the entire way, and he had an unhurried mindset, which was why he played the cat-and-mouse game with Wang Zhong for so long. Just because of this, that pitiful ant thought that he had a chance of winning against a Sword Saint at speed?

With a golden flash, the Sword Saint extended his muscular arms and curled his fingers, heading straight for Wang Zhong's back. He was going to capture Wang Zhong alive and torture him to see whether he could extract any information from this human with a unique combat style.

However, this grabbing motion failed to capture Wang Zhong as smoothly as the Sword Saint expected to. Another figure appeared out of thin air, blocking him. It was a little human girl who looked pitiful. She opened her arms feebly, like a child calling for her mother to hug her.

The little girl's presence evoked a strong emotion, and even a man would mistakenly feel that he was a 'mother' in this instant. However, the Sword Saint wasn't affected by this at all. Putting aside the fact that he belonged to another race and had a vastly different way of expressing emotions, but even if he was blindfolded, this sort of weak illusion wouldn't be able to have any effect on him.

His curled fingers clawed into a fist without hesitation, becoming a golden glow that launched a fierce attack on the little girl. There weren't any pauses in his movements.

He was going to blast this illusion along with the human hiding behind it!

BANG...

The illusion of the little girl disappeared into nothing in the face of such a powerful force. However, the Sword Saint's fist didn't pass through her completely. She managed to defend against his fist attack!

It wasn't that his fist came into contact with something that was hard to break. It was the judgment of a power of the natural laws that deemed his power ineffective at that moment!

Finally, a sliver of surprise appeared on the Sword Saint's face. This judgment of the natural laws was even more absurd than the fact that the dude was able to escape from his attacks earlier on. How could such a weak ant be able to harness the power of a God?

The Sword Saint had a dark expression on his face. At the same time, he realized that the human was about to reach the entrance of the cave. Wang Zhong clenched his teeth. Alice was the key to his escape plan. She was able to buy him a little time, but her condition was not any better than Salamander now. However, the enemy was already nearing him from behind.

The sword gleamed, exuding a glow that followed a curved trajectory in the air. It was a vicious attack aimed to kill!

This human had a certain value, but it was only enough to make him slightly interested. Since this human dared to play tricks on him, he would just kill him then!

A terrifying Sword Qi emerged as fast as lightning and unmatched in power. It moved over a hundred times faster than Wang Zhong! However, Wang Zhong didn't look back, disregarding the horrifying lethal threat behind him, and just dashed forward. Behind him, a blanket of mist suddenly appeared. While it obscured Wang Zhong, an angry howl could be heard too.

Return~my~head~~~

A black figure appeared amidst the mist. With a powerful aura, it took on the vicious sword attack directly.

Rumble bang bang~~~

This sword attack was much stronger than the previous one, exuding a turbulent Sword Qi. Although it had the power to annihilate the Headless Knight immediately, the Headless Knight didn't care about defending at all and launched a lethal attack on the Sword Saint instead. After all, the Headless Knight was a Heavenly Soul Warlord. It was restricted by Wang Zhong's level of power and only had the combat power of a Peak Heroic Soul warrior, but it was good at attacking. Its spear skills, fighting will, speed, et cetera, were definitely at the level of a Heavenly Soul warrior. At this moment, the spear attack made the Sword Saint feel a sense of threat and avoid it subconsciously.

Right after, the Sword Qi that crushed the Headless Knight continued spreading across the cave in all directions.

Rumble. Bang bang...

Though this cave was huge, the incredible destructive power of the Headless Knight and the Sword Qi caused a good portion of the cave to collapse. Numerous debris piled up and blocked the Sword Saint's path. Rubble and dust were everywhere. Constant rumbling sounds could be heard as a result of the attacks, echoing around the cave in all directions. Debris was piled up near the opening of the cave too, and Wang Zhong tried his best to dash out in this situation. The three Soul Guards could only do so much in holding the enemy back. This was the power of a Sword Saint. The difference in their level of power was too vast. How was Mu Zi able to deal with this sort of monster previously?

Less than ten seconds later, the white glow of a sword could be seen coming from chunks of debris.

One, two, three...

Boom! With more white glows, chunks of debris exploded, and clouds of dust filled the entire cave. A golden figure emerged from the debris and dust, landing on a central location in the cave. From there, there were seven or eight paths that branched out, and it was impossible to tell which one Wang Zhong chose.

The Sword Saint's expression darkened.

This was the first time he was toyed with and deceived by such a low-tier creature! How could he have let the other party escape from him! Although he just lost sight of him temporarily, this was absolutely an insult nonetheless!

The crystal-like antennae on his head lit up as he extended his powerful divine sense into the surrounding cave passages. That little guy had escaped quite far away, and his divine sense couldn't detect his location right now. However, it could detect the traces that the little guy left behind. It was a lingering, disgusting smell that was unique to humans.

That dude didn't dash towards the cave entrance but dived deeper into the cave instead. This human was smart. He knew that the cave entrance would be heavily guarded by soldiers. The guards outside the cave only needed to keep him busy for a minute or two, and the Sword Saint would be able to catch up with him thereafter. That dude wanted to find another exit. Obviously, he had found out that this energy cave was unlike the normal ones.

Zeng!

A golden figure moved in a flash and followed the cave passages that had Wang Zhong's smell.

Two times. That ant had escaped from him two times though he was just toying with that human the first time. He definitely wouldn't allow that pesky human to escape a third time. Now, he was going to find that detestable pig and hack him to death!

Swish swish swish...

Wang Zhong's Speed Circuit had been activated to the maximum. He had used every means to escape from that terrifying guy, but he had paid too great a price.

Salamander, Alice, and the Headless Knight were his strongest trump cards. However, the three Soul Guards had only appeared for a moment before they were severely damaged. Injuries to their soul imprint meant that the Soul Guards' essence was damaged too. This was an entirely different concept from ordinary physical attacks that caused them to lose their form. Wang Zhong sensed that his connection with them was almost gone, and it would probably take a very long time for the Soul Guards to recover.

There was no way he could fight his opponent at all. The enemy was way too strong. After hanging out with Oscar and the others for a long time, he often heard groups of people at Queen's Bar boasting about several Dimensional Devourers that had the power to fight against a Heavenly Soul Great Teacher. Though he took it with a pinch of salt and had his own judgment, after hearing this sort of gossip repeatedly, he couldn't help but feel that there wasn't such a big difference between a Heroic Soul and Heavenly Soul. Furthermore, in the few dimensional secret-realm battles he had participated in, his comrades had been the main attack force while he assisted from the side. Therefore, he didn't have firsthand experience of how terrifying it was to face a Heavenly Soul expert head-on. However, now that he was placed in this situation, the horrifying dominating power that the enemy possessed didn't even allow him a chance to feel despair. This was way too different from whatever he had been imagining.

He could only run with all his might. With such a lethal enemy behind him, it wasn't feasible to head for the cave entrance. If there were two or three Great Swordsmen at the cave entrance who stalled him for a while, he would be dead in a matter of seconds.

Previously, when he ran around the cave recklessly, he discovered that this energy cave was unusual. It was extremely huge and deep, as if there was no end to it. This was definitely not a man-made cave. There was no reason to continue digging and expanding cave passages and to leave all the mineral ores intact on the walls of the cave.

There was probably another exit. He was pinning his only hope on that. However, before anything else, he had to ensure that the Sword Saint didn't catch up with him. Though he was able to evade the enemy's divine sense temporarily, the sense of threat that enveloped him still hadn't disappeared. This definitely wasn't an illusion that arose out of fear. Wang Zhong was wearing the clown mask now, and his sixth sense was abnormally accurate.

The only thing that he could do now was to find another exit or be killed!

He activated his Speed Circuit to the maximum. Wang Zhong didn't dare to rest for a moment. He dashed around the cave, turning into a gray shadow that moved at the speed of wind.

......

The thunderstorm that lasted for an entire night finally came to a halt. The Wanderlust Team had started moving again. They were able to have a good night's sleep without any monsters disrupting them. Filled with determination to work towards their new goal, everyone was full of energy now.

The swamp was abnormally quiet and calm after the thunderstorm. In this world, not only the Mizobudapi people respected nature, even wild creatures harbored the same belief. Many terrifying Dimensional lifeforms hadn't recovered from 'God's Wrath' last night and were still dormant.

This was a good opportunity for the Wanderlust Team to travel. With sufficient rest and a peaceful environment, everyone's speed doubled as compared to the previous two days. Originally, their goal was to make their way through the central area of the swamp by evening. Once they reached the periphery of the swamp zone, life would be much easier. However, it was only noon when they saw a blood-red figure heading towards them at high speed from afar.

"Careful!" Small Eyes, who was in charge of alerting the team, reminded everyone. This caused everyone to stop in their tracks.

However, Oscar got a clear view of the person's face, and his face changed. "It's Grai!"

Rushing out from the energy cave and sucking blood for the first time gave Grai immense power, but this power wasn't endless. It couldn't even heal his sword injury. The Sword Qi on his chest that was left behind by the Sword Saint was forcefully dispelled by the power of his bloodline. However, his wound wasn't able to heal even after such a long time. The power of his bloodline forcibly held his wound together and kept it from opening.

To think that a Sword Saint's casual sword attack was this powerful!

Grai had been clenching his teeth and pressing on. The energy that he had absorbed earlier on had been gradually used up on the journey here. He had been using all his power to support the Speed Circuit in his Soul Sea, preventing it from crumbling. He traveled as fast as he could. He didn't even dare to think of anything else, lest he got distracted and collapsed.

He only relaxed when the Wanderlust Team was in sight. Right after, he sensed that something bad was going to happen. His Speed Circuit that had reached its maximum a long time ago collapsed instantly, and his whole body fell forward due to inertia.

Pa!

Oscar caught him. "Grai! Grai?!"

"Leave... Trap... Sword Saint..." With a sense of duty, Grai managed to articulate a few key words with much difficulty. He no longer had the strength to form a complete sentence. Once he said the most important keywords - 'Sword Saint' - Grai blacked out as his wound split open. The little blood left in his body gushed out, and he completely lost consciousness.

Everyone was dumbfounded.