Chapter 657 Black Bug Sea
The black tide of bugs continuously spewed forward.
These tiny yet strange black bugs swarmed together and wildly climbed atop of each other. The pile of black insects slowly increased in height, quickly swelling into an odd, writhing humanoid shape.
The face of this odd humanoid was an ugly bug's face made of tens of thousands of squirming black insects. The bug man lifted his head and looked around him. His baleful gaze cut through the dense green sea and landed on the towering tree platform.
One war dancer and three sword dancers.
Three elven archers.
One pegasus knight in the reserve corps.
Two treants that weren't even a thousand years old.
Billis' lotus-like mouthpart split apart, and a strange screeching unique to insects came out from within.
He had kept a close eye on Rut'theran Village for three entire days. He knew perfectly the number of elves and the strength of the garrison here. This tiny elven village wasn't qualified to fend off an attack by a fully developed bug army.
However, the two tiny treants in Rut'theran made Billis somewhat hesitant!
The lowest level of animated magical plants in the elven kingdom's army was the treant warrior. Tiny Treants were the younger forms of the treant warriors.
If they were fortunate enough to live past a thousand years and make their bodies even sturdier, then they would gloriously advance to the long-living and sturdy treant warriors, whose defense and crowd control abilities were unparalleled.
These two tiny treants rooted in Rut'theran had yet to reach the lowest threshold to advance to treant warriors, but they were still very much lethal if they were to fight all out. That was why Bug Adept Billis had spent three days circling the village. He was waiting for the most appropriate opportunity to attack.
The timing that Billis chose to strike was the only time of the day in which the elves of Rut'theran were gathered together.
When all the elves gathered upon the tree platform, Billis let out a silent and wide grin. He waved his hand formed of countless bugs; the assaults had started!
The beautiful elven village that had been peaceful and magical the previous second suddenly changed the very next moment, turning into a bone-chillingly horrifying hellscape.
The earth of the green and grassy ground started to swell like the surface of the sea. As the field began to split and the dirt fell apart, a tide of fearsome black bugs swarmed out from within.
The black insects weren't large individually, but their numbers had reached a shocking size.
They crowded together into a terrifying sea of insects after breaking out of the earth and surged toward the few ancient trees at the heart of the village.
The black tide of insects was still running upon the ground, but even more insects had engulfed the surrounding trees. They crawled along anything that could be climbed and anything that could be scaled as they advanced toward their target. Along the way, the ground, branches, the vines that they walked past, and all the green leaves were utterly devoured.
From a distance, it looked as if several massive clusters of ink had erupted inside Rut'theran, staining and devouring all the green at an astonishing rate.
The sounds of an insect munching might be minimal, but when the sounds of tens of millions, hundreds of millions of insects devouring food gathered together, it formed a deafening and nauseating noise. The sound reverberated throughout Rut'theran Village.
Some elves quickly discovered the abnormality in the village.
As pained screams rang out in succession, the elves who were training in the tree hall rushed out. They watched this horrifying scene unfold before their wide open eyes.
What…what was this?
Countless elves cried wildly in their minds.
However, the black sea of insects firmly and stubbornly advanced, devouring everything in their way. The three ancient trees in the heart of the village were soon surrounded. Even more insects started to climb up the trees' trunks, the tree bridges, and the vines.
"Don't panic, everyone. This is a terrifying insect tide summoned by the evil witches. Everyone pick up your weapons. We must use our lives to defend our home."
The ordinary elves already felt their limbs go limp at the sight of this dense tide of insects, let alone being able to fight. At this moment, the only ones that could remain calm were probably the war dancer and the archery instructor assigned to Rut'theran.
The terrified elves helped each other up the platform above as the instructors shouted and commanded. The few blade dancers and elven archers gathered by their sides and formed a thin defensive line to keep the insect sea from continuing forward.
Countless insects climbed upward along the trees' trunks. A boundless sea of insects was still rushing over from a distance. Underneath the trees, the insects had already piled up to a meter tall. They were continuing the winding climb upward.
All the elves couldn't help but feel a chill from the depths of their hearts when they looked down from high up.
How many insects were there?
Ci! Ci! Ci!
Several enchanted explosive arrows flew in beautiful arcs and landed in the areas where the insects were most concentrated.
Boom! Boom! Boom! The sound of consecutive explosions rang out, blasting the swarm of insects and blowing black smoke and insect corpses into the air.
However, the area cleared out by the explosives were once again covered in insects within a mere two or three seconds. From a distance, it was almost hard to tell if the swarm of bugs was becoming fewer in numbers. In fact, there was an odd feeling that the sea of insects was only growing denser and thicker.
A chain of elven arrows rained into the sea of insects. Most of them were ordinary arrows, and only a few were enchanted explosive arrows. These arrows that best displayed the accuracy and agility of the elves were practically useless at this moment.
Apart from the explosive arrows that could deal 'some' damage to the bugs, the ordinary bolts were like pebbles thrown into a roaring river– quickly drowned out and washed away without a trace.
As for the damage they were doing?
How many magical arrows could a rural elven village possibly have in their stocks!?
After the twelve explosive arrows had been let loose, desperation and helplessness appeared on the determined and firm face of the female archery instructor. Her pretty and slender fingers held on tightly to the last explosive arrow, yet she hesitated on the final shot.
Where to shoot? What to shoot at?
It was an ocean of squirming insects everywhere below the trees. She wouldn't miss even if she were to close her eyes. However, was it worth it to use such a valuable explosive arrow to delay the advance of the insects by just that bit of time?
The instructor had never doubted her power and ability before today. She had always believed that she could defeat any enemy and any opponent with the elven longbow and explosive arrow in her hand.
This confidence of hers was also a conviction that the elves had gained over so many years.
But now, she hesitated. She was confused. She was lost!
For the first time, she drew her bow and nocked the arrow, but she had no idea where she was to shoot and whether she was supposed to shoot.
"Quick, sound the tree whistle."
At this crucial moment, the war dancer was still the more composed and calm of the two.
Tree whistle? The tree whistle!
The eyes of the archery instructor immediately lit up upon hearing the shout. She tossed the bow in her hand to the assistant at her side and rushed to the edge of the tree platform. She took out an odd green tree whistle and placed it at her lips to blow it.
A few hurried shouts rang out from behind her.
As expected of a fighter that had undergone a strict training regiment, the archery instructor glanced from the corner of her eye and instantly discovered several odd black silhouettes lunging at her.
The archery instructor leaped upward and dodged two strange green scythes that slashed down in a cross. Her nimble feet quickly stepped upon the side of another pair of scythes and used this tiny point of contact to dodge aside agilely.
She drew her dagger in the air and went by the third black silhouette pursuing her.
The archery instructor let out an agonized scream as her right arm was severed along the shoulder. Blood splashed into the air. She barely managed to hang on and parry the enemy's attack before somersaulting onto the center of the platform. She crouched upon the ground and used her only remaining arm to brandish the dagger and protect herself.
Ci! Ci! Ci!
A series of elven arrows fired in a barrage. Crisp ringing sounds echoed out as they were slashed down by the terrifying scythe-shaped limbs of the strange creatures before them.
The ones that had secretly struck at the archery instructor were three odd mantises.
The reason these mantises were described as 'odd' was that they were far too big.
If these mantises were to stand up straight, they would each measure up to one and a half meters tall.
Such a massive mantis was a rare sight, even in the Fantasy Forest with its dense population of magical creatures!
These mantises were pitch-black in color, and the surface of their bodies was a weird shell that carried with it a metallic gleam. They had two semi-translucent pairs of wings on their backs– one large and one small. They also had three pairs of exceedingly sharp jointed legs beneath their abdomen. A pair of horrifying scythe-like appendages filled with sharp teeth were brandished in the upright front half of their bodies.
Earlier, these three odd mantises had relied on their quick speed and fearsome scythe limbs to ambush the archery instructor and defend themselves against the barrage of arrows.
"Who are your commanders? They dare attack us, and they don't have the courage to show their faces and fight us? Have him come out." The war dancer waved his two blades and stood in front of his injured companions, shouting furiously at the approaching mantises as he did so.
Sadly, his taunting did not affect these magical mantises.
The three magical mantises beat their thin wings rapidly as their flat and sharp bodies dashed forward swiftly while leaning close against the ground. Their scary scythe-like limbs even caused odd afterimages to appear and leave behind the sound of air being slashed apart.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
A series of metallic impacts rang out in quick succession. The war dancer barely managed to use his agile movements and tight defense to fend off the attacks from the three mantises. However, the difference in strength caused his entire body to tremble every time he parried.
With no option left to him, the war dancer was slowly forced backward. The area between his thumb and forefinger on the hands in which he held his sabers had already started bleeding.
Blood dripped upon the floor. It was a frightening sight.
With his cover, the injured archery instructor was finally able to find the time to blow that jade-green tree whistle.
A strange soundwave undetectable by ordinary people started to echo in the woods and ripple outward into the distance.