Chapter 28: The Swarm

lAs the man looked up horror and fear chilled him to the bone. Before he can utter a word two giant fangs embedded themselves into him. He felt something being pumped into his neck and soon his body went limp.

“There is nothing we can do, now everyone take up positions and prepare to engage that thing.” Zhang yelled out.

Yuying and Ai both pulled out bows and began shooting arrows rapidly at the giant spider.

This spider was huge and hundreds of times larger than the ones they’ve encountered so far and instead of the golden color like the rest it had a slight pinkish shine to it. However, it did not look as horrendous as the other spiders. Its features seemed a bit more refined and it gave off a sort of dignified aura.

Being in the treasury of the Sai empire it made this spider seem more like a guardian of the treasure then a monster.

Numerous arrows were shot out by Yuying and Ai but only a few hit their mark. The giant spider although very large was extremely agile for its size. When the arrows got close to it the spider would jump into the air and come crashing down elsewhere.

Each time it landed it would cause the mountains of gold and treasures to shift and splash everywhere.

Although not every arrow hit its mark a few still managed to embed themselves into the giant spider. Luckily the trio had arrows made from the scales of the Lightning Eater. These scales not only are extremely tough but also sharp.

However, the arrows did little to no damage to the queen spider. They simply did not penetrate deep enough and only made shallow wounds.

While the two beauties were keeping the spider busy Jian Wei ran toward the sailor who was bitten and with the help of another few men moved him outside of the treasury. Once they place the man in a relatively safe place they ran back in hoping to help.

A few sailors threw their spears at the queen spider. The spears pierced through the sky and homed for the queen spider’s abdomen. The majority of the spears upon impact simply bounced off the spider’s hard exoskeleton. All but one spear, this spear managed to penetrate one of the spider’s leg joints.

The spider shrieked horrifyingly once the spear connected. The joints of its legs had little to no protection due the nature of its design, which made it so they could quickly propel the spider.

A dagger shot out toward the spider as it was distracted by its punctured joint. The dagger weaved its way around two of the spider’s legs wrapping them tightly together while looping around many times. Following that another dagger appear and wrapped around the same pair of legs.

If Zhang had tried to cut the legs off it most likely would have failed due to their thickness. So he decided to bind the legs hoping to prevent the spider from being able to propel itself up into the air.

“HELP ME PULL!!!!” Zhang screamed.

Upon hearing him everyone stopped what they were doing, ran up to him and began pulling on the chain attached to the dagger.

“Pull towards there!” He commanded while pointing to a pillar sticking out of the ground and extending into the ceiling.

Their goal now is to wrap the chain around the pillar and immobilizing the queen spider. But instead of trying to get away the spider became furious and although three of its eight legs were disabled it sped its way toward the group.

The spider pounced on Jian Wei who was busy pulling the chain and was the closest person to it. With its fangs and mouth wide open it jumped at Jian Wei.

With no time to escape Jian Wei resigned to his fate and closed his eyes waiting for death’s embrace. But with his eyes closed he felt a shove from his side knocking him a short distance away. When Jian Wei opened his eyes he saw that Yan Li had pushed him out of the way and was punctured by one of the spider’s massive legs.

A smile could be seen on Yan Li’s face as blood spewed from his mouth. He tried to open his mouth and say something however all that came up was bright red blood.

“NOOOO!” Jian Wei screamed. Yan Li was a veteran of a hundred battles and had followed Jian Wei for countless years. The two of them had become close friends over the years and there was no one Jian Wei trusted more than this man.

With a sweep of its leg the queen spider sent Yan Li’s body flying and slamming into a pile of gold coins. Yan Li laid there gasping for his final breaths.

“My my family…..” Yan Li struggled to say as blood kept coming up his throat as he tried to speak.

“Rest assured I will treat them as my own.” Jian Wei said as he ran up to where Yan Li landed and grasped his hand.

The spider ignoring the two began targeting other people and this time spat thread from its mouth. The queen spiders thread was extremely tough and hard to cut through and once it hit its target the thread would retract and pull the target into the queen’s mouth.

“Kyaa!” Although Yuying rolled to dodge the thread it caught her leg. Once it latched onto her leg the thread pulled her toward the spider’s jaws.

Everything happened too fast for anyone to react by the time they came to their senses Yuying was already in front of the spider’s jaws and its fangs about to bite into her.
However, when it bit down the spider’s fangs slid right off and was not able to penetrate the armor she was wearing. The scale armor was too slick and strong to be penetrated by its fangs. Drool and venom from the spider queen’s mouth sprayed all of Yuying’s armor coating her in a layer of slime.

“EAT THIS!!!” A scream sounded out. A figure appeared toward the side of the spider’s head and in its hand was a glossy black shield.

It was Zhang holding a Lightning Eater scale shield! With the shield attached to his arm Zhang bashed the spider crushing one of its eyes. Then using the bottom end of the shield which was sharpened Zhang slashed at the spider wildly.

The spider shrieked and cut loose the thread that was pulling Yuying toward its mouth. Still wrapped by the thread she rolled onto the ground.

From his interspatial ring Zhang withdrew an arrow and plunged it into one of the larger eyes of the spider queen. Like regular spiders it possessed two large eyes and six smaller eyes. Once the arrow was lodged into the beast’s eye while gripping onto it Zhang made another arrow appear and stabbed it into one of its smaller eyes.

The spider jumped up into the air with Zhang hanging onto it. The chains that Zhang’s comrades pulled on slid out of their grips freeing the queen spider’s legs.
Once in the air the spider queen landed on a nearly invisible web. From a distance away no one would be able to see this massive spider web. Unlike the webbing it spat out this web was not as sticky.
Zhang had let loose his grip on the two arrows embedded into the spider queen’s head and fell onto the web. When he landed onto the web he noticed hundreds of cocoons laying around on top of the webbing. Some of the cocoons were too big to be human so most likely they were the remains of demonic beasts that the spider queen preyed on.

Without even a moment to rest the spider queen lunged at Zhang with its two front legs. Lifting his arm with the shield attached to it Zhang took the blunt impact of one of the incoming legs. The spider began pounding again and again against the shield. It’s massive weight alone made it hard for Zhang to continue keeping his shield up however if he didn’t the weight of its legs hitting against his body would give him heavy internal damage.

Zhang patiently waited for the next time the spider lifted up its leg and using the sharp end of his shield slashed at the webbing of the giant spider’s web.  He held on to one of the loose threads and swung to another part of the spider’s web.

“BURN!!” Zhang screamed as he lifted his numb arm and shot out a fireball. Once the fireball shot out of Zhang’s hand it soared through the air and splashed itself onto the spider’s web. The instant the two touched the spider’s web light on fire.

The flame began spreading rapidly setting a large portion of the spider’s web on fire. Being brushed by the heat of the burning web the spider queen shrieked. But eventually it’s body also caught on fire and it began shrieking even louder.

Zhang had used this chance to use the loose threads to lower himself back onto the ground.

“Is everyone ok?” Zhang asked as he got to where the group was standing.

No one said a word and instead looked at where Yan Li was laying on the ground close by. Seeing this Zhang quickly ran up to Yan Li and checked for a pulse.

“He’s on the brink of life and death.” Zhang said with a sigh.

“Luckily we have this.” A small bottle appeared in Zhang’s hand and from it red liquid flowed into Yan Li’s mouth. It was the phoenix blood that Zhang had bought before at the auction house.

Once the phoenix blood entered Yan Li’s mouth his wounds began rapidly closing up and his pulse stabilized. However, he was still unconscious but everyone around him was put to ease.
Once the giant web was extinguished by the fire the burning spider queen plummeted onto the ground. The group watched as it wallowed in pain and after a few breathes stop moving with small puffs of smoke still rising from its body.

“Glad that is over.” One sailor said as he wiped the sweat from his forehead and sat down onto the ground.

Suddenly the spider queen’s body began twitching and a large split appeared from its head. And from that split a spider leg popped out and slowly the split got bigger and bigger and from within it another spider crawled out.

The spider queen was molting in order to survive the fire.

“Shit everyone of you get out of here!” Zhang yelled while pointing for the door.

As everyone headed for the door Zhang walked toward where one of his chained daggers had fallen and picked it up.

“Wait aren’t you leaving brother!?” Ai asked.

“You guys go on ahead I’ll catch up really soon.” Zhang said calmly.

“But we can’t leave without you.”  Yuying said.

“NO buts! GO!” Zhang yelled.

Knowing they could not convince him and if they stayed they might hinder him everyone retreated to the door.

The spider queen sounded out a very distinct shriek which sounded very different from the ones she had done before. After doing so she lunged at Zhang looking to get revenge.
Zhang brandished his chained dagger while running full speed at the spider queen. Once he was close enough he slid under it and while under the spider queen slashing wildly at the joints of its legs. However, he was only able to make shallow wounds due to the shortness of his dagger.

As he was engrossed in fighting the spider queen something else happened. The ground began shaking and what seemed like an army of cavalry soldiers galloping through the land can be heard. Along with the sound numerous shrieks could be heard.

“It called for help!! Everyone find a safe place to hide now!! If they surround you use fire against them!” Zhang yelled toward the group.

Hearing this the group began panicky running trying to find a safe place to hide. Moments later hundreds of spiders began descending from the broken ceiling of the palace. And these were just the first ones to arrive. A spider colony consisted of hundreds of thousands of these monsters so many more were on their way. The queen had her own chamber and the rest of the colony had stayed elsewhere but when she called for help they would all rush over to help.

Tens of titanic golden spiders pounced at Zhang once they reached the ground. Zhang sent essence into the chained dagger and made it dance about around him slashing and killing the spiders. The only reason why he had not been able to kill the queen yet was due to its size but these regular sized titanic gold spiders were easily dispatched by him.

The rest of the group had found a small storage room to hole up in. Jian Wei pulled out a large jar of wine and poured it a short distance away from the entrance into the room and ignited it. This fire would keep the spiders away and out of the room keeping the group safe.

Hundreds upon hundreds of spiders filled the room after a while and they all targeted Zhang. At first Zhang slaughtered all that came his way but eventually he became overwhelmed. If not for his armor he would be dead long ago. The armor kept the spiders from ripping him to pieces but if he did not act sooner or later he would die from taking so many blunt hits.

As the spiders mobbed him the spider queen whipped her front leg and sent him smashing into a wall. Zhang’s dagger slipped out of his grip and fell to the ground. Weaponless Zhang would not have a chance at survival at all.

Just when everything seemed so bleak a sparkling blade could be seen popping out of a pile of gold coins right by where he landed. Thanks to Zhang’s impact a part of the blade could be seen as the gold coins slid away.

Zhang had somewhat regretted not picking out one of the swords before and had let the sailors take them. All he had so far was his daggers, arrows, and shield. None of which could cut deep enough to kill the queen.
Zhang sprang to action and used both of his hands to dig the blade out from under the pile of gold coins. After a few moments a beautiful halberd appeared in front of his eyes. The halberd’s blade was a crimson red and its shaft pitch black. And on its blade the words sky piercer could be seen etched into it.

With the sky piercer in hand Zhang stood up and to face the army of spiders. The blade was extremely sharp and cut through the spiders as if it was cutting through air. The spider queen jumped into the air and lunged at Zhang.

Once more the two engaged in an exchange of blows. However now that Zhang was armed with weapon more fitting for the occasion he was able to hack off the spider queen’s limbs after a few swings. Zhang would repeatedly aim for the same spot until the limb was chopped off. First went the spider queen’s left front leg and soon to follow it was the right front leg.

When two front legs were hacked off the spider queen’s speed slowed drastically. This allowed for Zhang to hack off one more leg and with that leg gone the spider queen’s body fell forward.
Zhang lifted the sky piercer into the sky and was able to chomp the spider queen’s head off when the regular sized titanic golden spiders began swarming him once more. But they could only delay the inevitable as Zhang hacked them into pieces also.

With a chomp Zhang cut the spider queen’s head into two. Seeing this the rest of the colony fell into a frenzy and attacked Zhang even more. Although he killed the queen there were still hundreds of thousands of her subjects around. Zhang tried as best he could to break out of the encirclement of spiders but a large portion of his strength had been exhausted fighting the spider queen.

He did not know how much longer he could last before running out of energy to retaliate. The spiders filled up almost every corner of the treasury as they attacked Zhang.
But from the corner of his eye he noticed oddly there was one corner of the room they did not seem to go near. He wondered if he made it to that corner of the room would he be safe.

“Guess I got nothing to lose.” He thought to himself as he tried to work his way toward that certain corner of the room.

While Zhang was fighting the fire that Jian Wei had started slowly began to dwindle. But before it went out he would supplement it with more wine and flammables. But once the spiders fell into a frenzy they ignored the fire and began jumping in trying to kill the group.

Luckily the entrance to the room at most would only allow one spider to get in at a time. The group would be able to defend themselves for a while unless something happened. And well something did happen one of the walls of the room started rumbling. Soon a small hole appeared on the wall and the eyes of a titanic golden spider could be seen peering in.
Then the wall began rumbling once more.

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