Anqing pointed at the next island.
\"We should hide there!\" she yelled.
\"We shouldn't, we have to keep running\", Ming Yue shot down the idea.
\"I think that the new lord is trying to make its name known. So it might be going through the entire zone in a massacre. If it isn't going to be killing everything in its way, it will probably leave its victims in a half-dead state. These things are territorial, aren't they?\"
Hearing her explanation, Anqing and Xukun understood her thinking.
\"In that case, let's try to reach the next zone then.\"
What came after was constant running. From one island to the next, they dared not to stop. The new leader of the Third Zone seemed to coming closer and closer. It was only when they reached the sixtieth island, that they managed to catch a glimpse of the creature. It was then that they realized two things.
It was following them and it was another Diving Dragonfly.
This one was sleeker, a bit smaller than the one they faced. With two wings on each side and a dark blue shell, it seemed hellbent on chasing them.
\"Don't tell me we killed its parent!\"
Xukun couldn't help but curse his own luck. He looked back before sending off his sword but this dragonfly avoided and attacked him, swiping its two foremost arms at him. Anqing grabbed his hand and pulled him forward, evading the strike.
\"Let's just run!\"
Both Hei Yue and Xiao Yin moved to the front. With their keen senses, everyone steered clear of any unforeseen dangers. Under the island's foliage, it was fairly easy to pause for a few minutes and rest but that was all they had. This creature was unlike the previous one, tenacious and violent. It wasn't until the ninety-ninth island that they managed to lose the dragonfly.
The fact that they were able to evade the dragonfly for so long was a feat of itself. It was a game of cat and mouse between them. Having to hide behind trees and bushes only to be found minutes later. It had come to a point where constant attacks were needed to fend the creature off.
Traversing the bridges were the worst part. With nowhere to hide, they could do nothing but run. There were multiple times where one of them were almost caught, nicked by the creature or even taking a misstep and nearly falling into the water
At the ninety-ninth island, it was empty. There were no trees or any foliage, just a flat field. It was then that they stopped to face the Diving Dragonfly. There were no other creatures left, they were either killed or in hiding.
The dragonfly flew above them as they breathed heavily. Both mentally and physically exhausted from several days of running, they stopped and tried to recover as quickly as they could. There was nowhere to hide and they stared at the insect.
\"Should we just fight it here? There's nothing here. It's just us and that damn dragonfly.\"
Anqing breathed heavily as she looked at the others.
If it was before with that wave of beasts, they would've continued running to the last island. However, it was just them and the dragonfly. It would've been better to have escaped to the next pavilion but after being chased day and night, Anqing was feeling fed up.
She glared at the dragonfly.
It looked back at them, thinking that they had given up.
Three humans and two beasts!
Such a feast was more than enough for it! In a moment's notice, the dragonfly screeched loudly. It was ear-ripping and it echoed through islands.
\"What is it doing?\"
Xukun stared in confusion.
\"Maybe it's celebrating its victory, thinking that it has avenged its family.\"
Ming Yue could only speculate, she wasn't an expert in these types of things.
\"It's mouth is open, I'm going to toss the most agonizing poison I have into it.\"
Anqing readied herself, pulling out a small black pellet. It brought out a sweet scent, a mixture of fruit and flowers. For something so sweet to be called her \"most agonizing\" made it all the more scary. Unfortunately, she had no chance to use it.
Upon the dragonfly's call, a group of insects followed after. In fact, it was a group of seven other Diving Dragonflies. Each one in varying colors of emerald and azure. Flying behind the leader, they waited in tow.
\"What? Where did they come from!? How are they here!?\"
Anqing put back her poison pellet and turned to the others.
\"We should probably run\", she said, \"It's the next island anyways, right?\"
Everyone had decided at that moment, and sprinted hard. With newfound strength, they ran with all their might. On flat land like this, they headed straight for the final bridge. In a distance, they saw a towering citadel, most likely the fourth pavilion.
\"Let's go, past this bridge and they shouldn't be after us anymore.\"
Xukun ran forward, eager to reach the next pavilion. The quicker they arrived the less time they had to spend with these damnable dragonflies.
All they had to do was pass this bridge, something they've done for the past week. However, such a venture would not be easy. It was bad enough having to run from one dragonfly by to deal with the attacks of seven more made it exponentially worse.
Stepping foot on that final stone bridge, the dragonflies dived into the water before shooting out, aiming to take one of them into the waters.
\"Come here!\" Ming Yue grunted, grabbing Xiao Yin in her arms and keeping the owl close to her.
She wasn't going to have a repeat of before where that Rank 4 dragonfly knocked, Xiao Yin out of the air. Hei Yue didn't need to be carried. He was a Mistral Fox, a creature with speed much greater than Ming Yue. If anything, he had the best chance of surviving.
Just a quarter of the way through the bridge and everyone already had several close calls. If not for each other, they would've died ten times over.
One of the dragonflies flew out of the water and went straight for Xukun. In his high strung state, he was too focused on running and did not notice it come. It was only after it left the water that he saw it but by then it was already reaching over the bridge. There was not enough time for him to fully avoid the attack, he would have to sacrifice his arm to survive.
Suddenly, Ming Yue jumped forward just enough to get to the side of the dragonfly. Strengthening her body as much as she could, her arms wrapped around the neck of the dragonfly and she slammed it headfirst into the stone bridge. The impact was enough to crack the dragonfly's head and Ming Yue hopped over it and continued running.
Too shocked to even react, Xukun continued to run through the bridge.
After that move, the dragonflies started to become more aggressive. Rather than ambush tactics, they landed down on the bridge and screeched at the group. Half in front of them and half behind them, there was no way to run. The leader stood closest to the group and prepared to attack.
Without missing a beat, Anqing pulled out several vials and tossed them on the dragonflies's bodies. Each one produced a gas that they breathed in and in seconds, they started to stagger.
\"Run over them and don't breathe it in!\" she instructed.
Everyone put their sleeves over their moves as they ran past the dragonflies in front of them. The ones behind them approached their kin with curiosity, avoiding the gas. Seeing what happened to the others, they found that this meal wasn't exactly worth the trouble and flew off.
Anqing looked behind them and breathed out in relief.
\"Oh good, they stopped chasing us.\"
By now, the sun was beginning to set and they reached finally reached the fourth pavilion. It was a great castle of some sort, heavily fortified with stone and steel. There was even a gate at the front but it was wide open.
\"Hooh, we're finally out of the third zone.\"
Xukun plopped on the ground and tried to catch his breath.
\"But, we're finally here, the fourth zone.\"
Past the castle was another bridge, one that lead to a great forest.
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