Chapter 19: One Must Not Overestimate
With Zi Di following, Zhen Jin returned to the hunting grounds of the pale blue spiders.
“Sir, you came back! You really didn’t abandon me. Thank the heavens!” Huang Zao cried out with pleasant surprise and emotion. But his mood quickly sank and he asked disappointedly, “Sir, is it just you two? Where are the rest?”
“It’s just the two of us,” Zhen Jin replied.
“S-sir, are you sure?” Huang Zao stammered, nervous as his life and death were at stake. “Perhaps we ought to get more people.”
Zi Di coldly snorted, “Are so many people coming so they can save you or get themselves killed? You can only have trust in us.”
Huang Zao was stifled for a moment before he said, “Sir, you must be careful!”
Zi Di took out potion bottles from her leather bag and handed them to Zhen Jin. He proceeded to throw them one by one in a flurry. The vials struck tree trunks or rocks and broke apart, spilling the liquid contents in all directions. The air became filled with an unpleasant malodor of what smelled like chicken feathers, dog excrement, and dried squid mixed together and burned.
If magic could be used, using a lightness or flight spell, it would have been easy to free the trapped Huang Zao. However, the current environment forced the two to rely on this potion-based tactic.
These potions were fire accelerants and Zhen Jin had thrown them at critical spots with pinpoint accuracy. Upon recovering from his injuries, Zhen Jin noticed that his strength had increased significantly. After conversing with Zi Di, she hypothesized that it could be the effects of the makeshift mixture potion that used the monkey bear’s blood.
This kind of potion was not rare. The most famous one was the strength potion. After taking it, it could grant the consumer a permanent increase in strength. Of course, the effect sharply decreased when ingested repeatedly.
There was also the possibility that the life-and-death battle had somehow awakened a bloodline within Zhen Jin. The nobles were a group that possessed some of the most outstanding bloodlines in the world. As a result, they were filled with talents and gifts. The Bai Zhen’s bloodline was naturally outstanding. It was said that the source of their bloodline could be traced back to a Legend magic beast, the golden needle queen bee.
Those who possessed this bloodline would have excellent speed, stability and extreme accuracy in their strikes. This bloodline did not specialize in matters of strength but it was quite possible there were hidden bloodlines in Zhen Jin’s body. The most commonly seen bloodlines included the bloodlines of dragons, giants, ogres, and even demons.
Nobles often married each other and were very promiscuous in private, resulting in their bloodlines often mixing with each other. Sometimes, a bloodline could be hidden for their entire life. Furthermore, due to the lack of effective testing methods, it was very difficult to determine how many bloodlines someone had. Similar to Zhen Jin’s situation, cases of individuals who were undergoing life-and-death trials bursting forth with their potential in the midst of a dire crisis and awakening a hidden bloodline were not uncommon in the histories of all races.
Another possibility was what Zi Di had speculated previously. That his true cultivation was not Silver but Gold. Silver cultivation reached the utmost limits of the human body’s capabilities. Gold, in turn, transcended human limits, bringing forth qualitative change in many aspects such as speed, strength, and recovery. If Zhen Jin had Gold cultivation, then it was unlikely for him to be a highly experienced Gold expert. Based on his age, he must be in his cultivation growth period. Therefore, his increase in strength might be the result of Gold battle qi constantly secretly nourishing his body. Regardless, his increase in strength was a good thing.
When almost all of the fire accelerants were thrown, Zhen Jin took out two star flints and struck them, creating blue-colored sparks. The sparks fell on the splattered potion. With a whoosh, a flame violently erupted. The flames rapidly spread, igniting the fire accelerants in its path, and in the blink of an eye, a raging wall of flames had formed. The fire burned furiously and began to climb the surrounding trees, burning higher and higher.
Screeches came from the towering canopy as the spiders became agitated. Huang Zao felt the air beneath him rapidly burning and his heart started pounding madly. He had not expected the two to make such a big move. So that girl is a pharmacist. But how can they save me with this? As Huang Zao was guessing, Zhen Jin made another move.
He grabbed a javelin from his back, the tip of which was smeared with the fire accelerant. He swayed the javelin tip over the flames beside his feet. Quickly, the tip began to burn with ease. Then, Zhen Jin lifted it and swung his arm back and threw the javelin. The javelin flew through the air in a beautiful arc before precisely stabbing the head of one of the trapped creatures.
This one appeared to be a leopard that had long since suffocated in the spiderweb. After the javelin pierced it, the ensuing fire spread across the spiderwebs and burned the web to ashes. The victim then fell to the ground. It was indeed a scaled leopard as Zhen Jin had guessed. Because of its scales, the small fire quickly died out.
Zhen Jin would throw a javelin, a trapped creature would fall to the ground. This recurred unfailingly. Some of them continued to burn while in others, the fire died out.
“They are here,” Zi Di said. She palpitated at the sight of spiders descending and weaving again their webs around their prey that had fallen to the ground. For prey that were still aflame, the spiders spat a thick stream of green liquid from their mouths, which extinguished the fire. Then they began weaving. It was evident they were not helpless against fire.
Soon, no new spiders came to the ground. In all, there were twenty-six vicious Bronze spiders in front of them. Most of the spiders were trying hard to recover their rations so only three turned toward the two. Zi Di was relieved. In the end, these spiders were still beasts, they were not as cunning and sinister as the blue-furred wolf. It made her regain her advantage and confidence as a human being.
As the three spiders approached, Zhen Jin stood still. He waited until the spiders approached an ideal distance, then he calmly lit the fire accelerant beside his left foot. A second wall of flames roared as it rose up, trapping the three spiders inside it. The spiders screeched in horror and attempted to shoot threads at the canopy so they could hoist themselves away but as these threads shot into the air over the fire, they were burned.
As the fire spread, the three spiders were easily cornered by Zhen Jin. With no alternatives, the three spiders tucked in their heads and were forced to break out of the enclosure. They succeeded in breaking through the wall of fire with only a small amount of flames on their bodies.
“Screech, screech!” They produced a series of shrill sounds in fear and confusion. The spiders that were trying to reclaim their prey were also thrown into confusion upon seeing their three companions skittering toward them aflame.
Now! Zhen Jin’s eyes flashed. He threw three javelins in quick succession, which burst into flames, and struck the spider silk above Huang Zao. There were four strands of threads suspending him, like four snow-white hemp ropes. When the strands encountered the flames, they burned in an instant. With only one strand holding up Huang Zao, the web lost its stability, arced in the air, and slammed into a tree trunk with a thud.
Then, Zhen Jin shot a fourth javelin and burned the last strand of spider silk. Huang Zao cried out as he fell to the ground. Although he was in pain, he was not injured. This was due to the spiderweb having excellent ductility. When he hit the tree trunk, the spiderweb stretched out leaving him only two meters from the ground.
Unfortunately, a spider that had just re-hoisted a spiderweb trapping noticed the disturbance and immediately pounced on Huang Zao. Upon seeing this, Huang Zao’s eyes widened in fright, and with a low shout, he unexpectedly rolled into the wall of fire. The fire instantly burned the webs around him and then started to burn his body.
But at that moment, Huang Zao displayed his fortitude and ferociousness as a sailor. Without a word, he continued rolling through the fire until he left the wall of flames. He had succeeded in freeing himself from the spiders, however, his entire body was on fire and it was very likely he would miserably burn to death on the spot.
“Good!” Zi Di praised. “Come here quickly!” She did not need to shout as Huang Zao was already subconsciously running over to them. Zi Di raised her arm and swung an open potion vial toward him.
Blue dust that sparkled like stars was sprinkled all over Huang Zao. At once, Huang Zao gave a blood-curdling scream. The flames on his body strangely converged then vanished. The blue dust had throttled it to nothing.
Huang Zao shuddered from head to toe. In just a few moments, his face had been disfigured, most of his hair had burned with it still smoking, and his face, hand, and arms were all charred black. He breathed in a large breath with his mouth and quickly ran past Zhen Jin and Zi Di, and said, “Run, run, there’s still a big one!”
As soon as his voice fell, an intense aura of a beast descended from above. Zhen Jin and Zi Di immediately blanched. It was a Silver spider leader. It was larger, had thicker blue hair, and its eight legs were longer. It cut through the air with an astonishing speed and a piercing hiss as it moved to attack the three.
“You guys leave first!” At this crucial moment, Zhen Jin was the first to react. He glared furiously at Huang Zao and then stepped forward with an expressionless face.
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. He threw his javelins rapidly. However, the spider was swift like the wind and easily avoided them all. Soon, Zhen Jin had used up all of his javelins. Gritting his teeth, he raised a spear high and lunged at the spider leader.
“My Lord!” Zi Di cried out in fear from behind him.
“Leave quickly, don’t let ourselves become a burden to him,” Huang Zao also shouted. However, because of his hesitation, he missed his chance. The spider leader suddenly shot three strands of spider silk, precisely hitting each of them.
Zhen Jin’s spear and hands were bound by the silk and he could only try his strength against the pull of the spider leader. The spider silk struck Zi Di’s cloak and the young girl fully displayed her agility and flexibility. She quickly doffed her cloak, bent down, and drew the dagger from her right calf.
“My Lord, catch!” However, just as she was about to throw the dagger to Zhen Jin, a clump of spider silk came toward her. The spider silk rapidly expanded in the sky and formed an exquisite net. It hit Zi Di, enveloped her chest and waist, knocked her down, and glued her to the ground. The moment it impacted her, her throw was interrupted and instead of landing beside Zhen Jin, the dagger fell near Huang Zao.
The spider silk strand had struck Huang Zao’s right foot and he was frantically struggling on the ground, but he was not able to resist the spider leader and was being dragged away. When he saw the dagger he subconsciously reached it. He took it and swung it with all of his strength. In his panic, he missed twice before he managed to sever the silk strand. He then hurriedly retreated.
“Quickly! Throw the dagger to His Lordship!” Zi Di screamed.
“No, no, I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!” But Huang Zao acted like he did not hear it and fled while shouting like a madman. The spider leader did not bother with him anymore which allowed him to disappear into the forest.
“Damn it!” Zi Di cursed with both fear and anger. They had tried to rescue him, but in the end, he abandoned them and fled for his own life.