The massive earthen giant stood before the three carriages of differing quality at a distance of a kilometer.
Even with the expansive stretch of land that appeared to present some modicum of security, Shen Haoren who was leading the group felt his back flooded with cold sweat.
Limbs of a hundred and twenty meters respectively, whilst the torso was as large and sturdy as the iron palisade that guarded the Wang City – the most fortified location the middle-aged man could think of on the spot.
The boulders that served as the joints of the giant were larger than the volume their three carriages would generate once stacked upon the other.
Given how the monster’s height was roughly a little over a half of a kilometer, the safety presented behind the length of a kilometer’s in distance seemed to be nothing more than a façade.
The middle-aged man found to his dismay, that he wasn’t even able to fool himself of his welfare.
Though the dust storms prevented his gaze from properly inspecting the ‘attractive’ features of the giant, Shen Haoren swore in his heart that the creature of earth was displaying a mocking smile on its countenance.
“Damn…” the middle-aged man cursed numerous times, his hands quivering as they loosely held onto the reins.
The young woman called out from within the carriage, her voice tinged with a deeply startled fear and apprehension.
The young woman consoled the faintly trembles with one hand, whilst digging through another inconspicuous bag with the other.
“Lord Shen, what shall we do!?”
The voice of a disheartened but still relatively energetic youth echoed throughout the empty plains, forcing the middle-aged man to jolt in his seat.
A completely distasteful and wry smile manifested on Shen Haoren’s countenance, and the middle-aged man turned to the right to face the ruddy countenance of a dusty and worn-down youth.
Tang Shiqi had disembarked from his carriage to run towards Shen Haoren, of which he felt a degree of stability and assuredness.
The youth of the Tang Clan panted with his hands on his knees, his brow dotted with cold beads of unforgivable terror.
“Young Tang, what do you think we can do?”
Shen Haoren grimaced, his hands patting around his pockets to soothe his agitated consciousness.
“An Earth Giant that’s at least half a kilometer in height; such a fierce creature as that possess the might of a peak Core Formation Realm cultivator – and more! Now, lad, I know you have some secrets regarding your uncanny cultivation, but the Body Tempering Realm won’t stand a chance against a single huff of air from that monster!”
The middle-aged man emphatically waved his arms to emphasize his point, and the two’s countenance dimmed a step further after opening themselves to the grim reality that stood a kilometer away.
Tang Shiqi took another glance at the menacing tower that constituted an Earth Giant – one of the recorded mysteries of the earth and subsequently, one of the recorded terrors.
The spiritual world of the Shattered Star Continent was divided into three general realms that spanned the entirety of the jianghu in a single breath.
Spirit Beasts, practitioners, and fierce creatures.
Spirit beasts were animalistic creature that gained a fundamental evolution in their intelligence in addition to their strength following the baptism of atmospheric spiritual essence.
Though they were not particularly powerful nor cunning as the other two categorizations, spirit beasts constituted the majority of intellectual animals found within the continent.
The small fox was a spirit beast, as well as the little raven – however much it protested, it still constituted a spirit beast in essence.
Practitioners were as obvious from their title; they were the cultivators of the continent, but did not necessarily have to be human.
Mixed races were the most common of practitioners, though some spirit beasts, upon a significant attainment in their cultivation, transitioned into a higher being of intelligence as they devoted themselves into developing extensive utilization of spiritual essence rather than their fleshly body.
Nonetheless, the phenomenon of spirit beasts forgoing their balanced nature in bodily physique and the manipulation of the elements, deeming the notion of doing so as subpar and ill-befitting of their pure bloodline.
Lastly were the fierce creatures, their existence of which was one of the mysteries of the jianghu.
Fierce creatures could barely be confused as spirit beasts upon first examination; other than sharing a common form, the differences were far too strict and unforgiving for the assumption to be casually made.
For instance, the primary difference between spirit beasts and fierce creatures was their composition.
Spirit beasts, just like human practitioners, consisted of a mixture of flesh and blood, and were privy to the same animalistic proponents that amalgamated into the phenomenon known as life.
They possessed a heart, a brain, and the other vital organs necessary to maintain the phenomenon.
Once injured, they bled; incur a sufficiently lethal injury, and the soul had no choice but to flee – and be absorbed into the world without any hope of resistance.
On the other hand, fierce creatures were composed of the natural elements of the earth.
The stone giant before them was simply a mixture of fibrous material, soil, and stones.
They possessed neither flesh nor blood; the same organs and vital meridians that supplied life and animation to the soul that prompted the bodies of spirit beasts and practitioners to move, simply did not exist on the fierce creatures that roamed the earth.
And yet, these fierce creatures that should be denied the privilege of life, were able to roam freely and interact with the world.
It was only that their actions appeared more autonomous and rigid than the others, but the terror of a fierce creature was not to be underestimated at any cost.
“If I remember correctly, an Earth Giant has been discovered to possess three weaknesses,” Tang Shiqi quickly relayed to the middle-aged man as his eyes remained fixated onto the lumbering figure of the Earth Giant.
“First, they cannot handle impacts to their joints as much as they can to their limbs – once we can pop out a stone boulder that serves as the joint, the giant isn’t able to recover from the damage. Second, Earth Giants are weak to corrosive natures and an intense fire – the soil would burn away the necessary components that allows it to remain a stable structure. Third, they – “
“Look, I know you know a lot from your mysterious secrets, young lad, but this simply isn’t helpful in any way, alright?”
Shen Haoren interrupted with a disgruntled expression.
“This Uncle is barely at the peak of the Spirit Building Realm, and I have yet to discover the passageway that enlightens me into the ream of Core Formation. You’re of the peak pillar of the Body Tempering Realm, and the young lass over there isn’t even a cultivator at the slightest – so how do you want us to blow away the joint of an Earth Giant of the peak Core Formation Realm?”
The middle-aged man sighed as he released the reins, before scouting the inside of his carriage to assist his wife search in the prepared bags.
Left alone, the youth of the Tang Clan leaned against the wall of the Shen carriage in deep thought and dismal emotions, before his ‘endowed’ mind discovered a rather interesting detail.
“The young girl didn’t possess any cultivation?” Tang Shiqi muttered, his brows furrowing into a contemplative frown.
“But spirit beasts can’t be tamed unless the owner is a practitioner… so how is a raven and fox following that person?”
…unless An Fei was a cultivator who hid her attainment of enlightenment for a particular reason?
The raspy sound of the wooden door of a carriage opening dragged across the tumbling thoughts of Tang Shiqi, and the youth raised his head to discover the yawning figure of a young girl stepping out of her carriage.
A little raven was perched on her left shoulder, whilst a small three-tailed fox lay curled in her arms.
An Fei’s eyes briefly narrowed as they glanced over the Third Young Master of the Tang Clan’s figure, before landing onto the Shen carriage with the empty driver’s cabin.
“Where did the old man go?”
The youth leaning against the carriage stumbled at the soft and charming voice that soothed the rampant emotions in his heart, his consciousness nearly descending into turmoil from the chaotic stimulation.
Rubbing his hand against the tortured beats of his heart, Tang Shiqi raised his had to gesture towards the interior of the exquisite carriage.
“Lord Shen… should be in the carriage.”
“Oh…” the young girl nodded her head in sympathy.
“A massive giant is standing outside the door, and he still hasn’t finished his morning duties… I se – “
The towering giant raised a massive foot as An Fei spoke, smashing apart her final words with a tempestuous shockwave and an earsplitting roar.