Since one projectile had successfully smashed into the ground without much difficulty, it was natural to assume the presence of others.
The group of people under Shen Haoren’s lead clenched their teeth in dismay, their bodies twitching with fatigue and agony.
And to be fair… there were quite a lot of stone boulders raining over their heads.
A powerful blast of nature’s artillery splintered into fragments in front of Shen Haoren’s feet, causing the middle-aged man’s countenance to warp with agony.
The Young Master of the Shen Family howled as his dwindling reserves of spiritual essence mobilized to mitigate the subsequent shockwaves from injuring those behind him, before waving the double-headed war hammer in fury.
“Damned giant, see how I smash your head into a million fragments!”
Shen Haoren cursed as his chubby fingers roamed his pockets for another coin, the war hammer in his right hand twirling in a full circle as his eyes narrowed onto the environment before them.
The middle-aged man’s heart sunk with pain as he pitched forth a golden coin embossed with the symbol of Great Yong, tossing the metallic disk into the air along with his aspirations.
“Tak – damn!”
However, the Earth Giant’s reply to his preparations was another stone bullet larger than his entire body aimed directly towards his head.
The middle-aged man grunted as the spiritual essence he had infused into the hammer had to be forcefully withdrawn to compensate for the taxing consumption required to construct the defenses necessary to withstand the earthen giant’s assaults.
The gold coin was thus forgotten, landing onto the soft earth with a faint emission of sound.
The tendrils of grass eagerly swarmed around the newcomer, their hopes of stealing a little portion of vitality squashed after they were exposed to the painful realization that what awaited them was nothing more than an inanimate object devoid of life.
As they were forced to retreat for the umpteenth time in the span of a single hour, Tang Shiqi’s lips drew into a downcast grimace. The youth’s eyes remained fixated onto the back of Shen Haoren, a river of startling thoughts swarming through his mind.
They were only able to survive due to the middle-aged man’s concentrated efforts in either smashing apart the incoming projectiles or diverting their trajectories to mitigate the damage as much as possible.
Given how Shen Haoren had additionally launched five more strikes against the Earth Giant, his spiritual essence reserves were practically nonexistent.
The dust storm that prevented their senses from aptly observing the actions of the giant made of soil and stone similarly prevented the Earth Giant from precisely targeting their location.
Thus, the stone projectiles were akin to artillery bombardments; crudely empowered and difficult to eliminate a threat, but spectacular in roughening up a person’s morale.
The constant fear of having stone splinters slash deeply into the ground besides the foot was one thing, but the young girl’s peculiar reaction was another…
A second cannonball of stone smashed into the hole-ridden ground a few meters away from Tang Shiqi with great velocity, the secondary shockwaves blowing the youth headfirst into a previously formed cavity.
Crawling out of the crater and poking his head to examine the dreadful plains, the youth of the Tang Clan’s gaze inadvertently landed onto An Fei’s figure.
In the midst of terror and a war-ridden plains devoid of cover or security, the mysterious young girl was dancing.
Regarding her dance, Tang Shiqi could not discover any rhythmic pattern to the movements, nor could he discern any intentional purpose. When a shockwave struck the earth, the young girl spun in circular movements as she either retreated, stepped forward, or pirouetted to the side.
Compared to the others who had elected upon the route of constructing a defense that was resilient to the incoming ravage of stone, An Fei’s dancing was akin to a cotton ball floating in the air in the middle of a hailstorm.
Since there was no resistance against the attack, it was natural that there would be no incurred harm.
“External martial arts technique…”
The youth hoarsely muttered, his eyes flashing with a tinge of shock. Tang Shiqi steadied his breath to manipulate the ubiquitous and contravening stone held against his chest to inspect the mystery to greater detail, but was forced to repel the scattered splinters of stone aimed towards his head.
As he shamelessly ducked his body back into the cavity of the earth that he had just fled from, the youth of the Tang Clan’s mind shook from the profound natures shrouding An Fei’s figure from his gaze.
Tang Shiqi palmed a riverbed stone in his right hand, wondering if it was the right time to discuss his plan with –
The twin-headed war hammer released a sonorous cry of frenzy and shadowed bloodthirst as it slammed forth another golden coin towards the Earth Giant’s left kneecap.
The golden streak of light smashed apart stone and sediment upon contact, prompting the earthen tower to quiver and howl with rage.
They had drilled a rather severe hole through the boulder that served as the joint, but the Earth Giant had yet to fully kneel a single time. As he continued striking coins with his hammer, Shen Haoren’s mind flashed with two disheartening thoughts.
The first was that to escape from this calamity, they had no choice but to completely extract the left knee joint of the Earth Giant.
Only then would the shower of stone cease, for the inability to retain standing would force its aim and depth perception to be rendered askew, permitting the group to flee for a considerable distance.
The carriages were lost, but the middle-aged man was confident regarding the capability of the group to sidestep the Earth Giant and escape the danger.
The second was that… he had practically expended the entirety of his spiritual essence reserves!
“…only two shots left, and perhaps one if I have to block another…”
Shen Haoren cursed in his mind as his hand energetically swung the war hammer in a circular motion around his body. The middle-aged man commanded for the rest of the group to retreat, but his feet propelled his body forward.
Such a phenomenon was merely due to the fact that if he were to drop this double-headed war hammer that weighed over a few hundred jin of sheer gold, he wasn’t going to be able to preserve the necessary strength to lift it from the ground once again.
Thus, Shen Haoren could only advance forward, the hammer in his hand singing a song of war and death as the large hexagonal blocks slammed into an incoming boulder.
He was able to wield the terrifying weapon based on the physical property of momentum.
As long as the giant refused to fall, Shen Haoren could not relinquish his grip on the horrendous weight dragging on his arm, even after the muscles in his right hand had long since torn from the overexertion.
Behind the middle-aged man of the Shen Family, An Fei’s lips quirked into a gleeful smile.
Though a splinter of stone had yet to traverse into her territory, the young girl’s right arm slashed through the sky as it raised towards the heavens, before cleaving the earth into two.
A fragmented cry struck the empty plains ablaze as the passionate song of murder and desecration swept over the infinite souls of the plains’ inhabitants, invoking the deepest terror in their hearts.
From within the swirling storm of dust, a scarlet sun blossomed into existence as it reduced everything in its surroundings into ash.
Behind the veil that allowed its figure to be obscured from the observing eyes of many, the Earth Giant whimpered in pain and terror as a massive gash cut across its entire back from the upper left of its shoulder to the right side of its waist.
Finely diced stone and sediment dislodged themselves from the earthen body in small, perfectly formed cubes, falling onto the ground with the soothing war drums of a spring rainfall.
The Earth Giant was not forced to stumble onto the ground, but had indeed received a lethal injury to its largely unprotected back.
The massive, towering creature’s throat released keens of fear and pain as the blocks of stone and sediment extracted from its body formed into a large pile below its feet.
Just as the earthen giant was about to resume its combative nature, its core flashed with a dreadful light towards the south.
In that process, the suspect responsible for the artificial Mourning Sun rose into the air, the steel blade flickering with a malicious gleam of scarlet murder.
And firmly connected to its tang was a –
“Old Shen? It’s you!?”