“My Lord, what’s your plan?” Yu Kai asked, “If we don’t kill those monsters, we won’t be able to retrieve the treasure.”
“The treasure is secondary right now.” Cheng Yang replied, “We need to make sure every single one of these feathered bastards dies here today.”
“My Lord. Look over there.” Liu Wei tapped on Cheng Yang’s shoulder before guiding his gaze towards the tree on the peak of the hill.
Just like Yu Kai said, there was a nest there which was larger than all the others and, the owner had just landed.
Cheng Yang grinned. “That’s the leader! Great job Liu Wei!”
However, only moments later, Cheng Yang’s expression fell. There were a few hundred nests in between them and the leader. Not to mention, with the sparser foliage, there was no chance that they could sneak to the peak.
“My Lord, why don’t you just forcibly attack? With your Physical Defense, there shouldn’t be much danger.” Yu Kai suggested.
Cheng Yang shuddered at the thought of being ripped apart by Spined Eagles on all sides. “I’d rather not. Even if I can survive, what if they notice you two? You might survive, but Liu Wei would definitely die!”
Seeing that Yu Kai had accepted his last-minute rebuttal, Cheng Yang offered a new solution.
“Look over there. Do you see that cave? It’s a decent place to fight from so. I think we should bunker down there and then aggravate the monsters. That way, we won’t get surrounded.”
Cheng Yang called it a cave, but that was a bit of an exaggeration. It was more like a shallow dent in a side of the hill. It might have been effective against normal monsters, but it didn’t provide much protection against aerial attacks.
Since he didn’t have a better plan, Yu Kai reluctantly accepted Cheng Yang’s proposal.
“Let’s go.” Cheng Yang ordered. Once he did, his companions scrambled forwards, groping their way up the steep, rocky hill.
They were faster than before since there weren’t many thorn bushes, but they weren’t fast enough. After traveling less than twenty feet, a Spined Eagled dove at them with a shrill cry.
Giving up on stealth, the group started running towards the shallow cave. When they did, Cheng Yang looked up into the sky.
The monster above him was terrifying. It moved like a storm of black clouds as its wingspan covered the ground with shadows. It was massive, three or four times bigger than the Spined Eagles that had attacked them earlier.
“Liu Wei, look out!” Cheng Yang shouted when he noticed who the bird’s target was. At the same time, a dozen more monsters flew over.
“Fuck!” Cheng Yang forced himself to fire an icicle at the big bird despite his fear. Unfortunately, his shaking hands let him down. His aim was slightly off, allowing his target to dodge out of the way.
As a small mercy, one of the other ones got hit and fell to the ground alongside two others. Although Cheng Yang was struggling to keep calm, his companions had acted as soon as they noticed the monsters attack.
Now, it was time for the counter-attack. The few remaining monsters stretched out their talons and, instead of diving, swooped towards their targets.
“Don’t let them catch you!” Cheng Yang shouted when he realized what they were trying to do.
When the Spined Eagles attack Phoenix Village in Cheng Yang’s previous life, the worst possible way to die was being dropped out of the sky. If the monsters decided you were to difficult to kill directly, they would pick you up, fly into the air, and then drop you a few hundred meters.
The god’s system measured fall damage numerically, but as far as anyone knew, a fall from that high up was an instant death even for Pinnacle-Grade Apprentices.
Once Cheng Yang warned them, Liu Wei and Yu Kai focused more on dodging the monster’s grapples. Although it didn’t stop them from attacking, they avoided the worst fate.
The monster’s corpses barely hit the ground before another pair tried to carry off Cheng Yang’s teammates.
Moving quickly, Cheng Yang shot the Spined Eagle heading for Liu Wei, opening himself up to an attack in the process. The cooldown on her skill was far too long to withstand a continuous assault.
Then, with a crisp sound, Cheng Yang’s arm was torn to shreds by the claws of a Spined Eagle. But, he had saved Liu Wei.
Ignoring both his wounds and his fear, Cheng Yang dashed forwards like a madman, like a bullet train, hurtling forward. An unstoppable calamity. He reached Liu Wei in an instant, and when he did, he forcibly stopped himself before gingerly placing his arms around her waist. Once he did, he sprinted towards the cave.
“Lie down, as long as I’m here they won’t be able to reach you.” Liu Wei suddenly found herself on the ground, underneath Cheng Yang’s protective form. Despite the danger she was in, a small blush had crept onto her cheeks. Luckily, Cheng Yang had already turned his attention towards the much slower Yu Kai.
Just when he did, Cheng Yang was greeted by the sight of Yu Kai being lifted off the ground.
Without hesitation, Cheng Yang raised his stave and knocked the Spined Eagle out of the sky.
Even though Cheng Yang acted as soon as he could, Yu Kai still fell nearly a dozen meters after being dropped.
As such, when he hit the ground, Yu Kai was stunned and unable to stabilize himself.
At this point, the leader of the Spined Eagles sprung into action. It dove towards the ground, intending to finish the job its subordinate failed to complete.
Cheng Yang’s instinctively began to cast Icicle Blast before coming to a realization. Even if he hit the leader, unless it died, Yu Kai would be carried to high for Cheng Yang to make a second attack.
Forcibly canceling the spell, Cheng Yang cast Hibernation Chill instead, freezing the Spined Eagle’s movement.
With a sickening crunch, the leader’s wings snapped as it hit the ground. Then, an Icicle and an arrow embedded themselves in the leader’s skull.
By now, Yu Kai had reunited with the rest of the group in the cave. It wasn’t an ideal position, but at least now, the monsters couldn’t attack Liu Wei, and there wasn’t the possibility of a sneak attack from behind.
Flexing its shattering wings, the leader of the Spined Eagles broke out of its icy prison. At the same time, it let out an earsplitting screech and, like a whirlwind, released the hundreds of spikes the covered its wings.
While shielding Liu Wei with his body, Cheng Yang released another Icicle Blast. No matter what level the monster was, Cheng Yang wasn’t scared that an AOE attack could kill him in one shot.
Shockingly, the bird didn’t even try to avoid Cheng Yang’s attack, and despite having been hit by several already, it charged directly at him.
“Oh shit!” Cheng Yang panicked as the birds claw grew menacingly big in his eyes.
A moment later, the bid grabbed him, ripping apart his abdomen before yanking Cheng Yang up to its beak and ripping out his throat.
Every one of his defensive items lost nearly five durability at once, and Cheng Yang took sixty-seven damage.