21 Chapter Twenty-One
(Correlated with the manhua's chapter 21)
A ghastly growl so deep it made the earth tremble resounded within Herbage Valley, frightening the students into jumping to their feet as they realized they wouldn't get the rest they needed.
"It's a monster! There's a monster nearby!"
Several students shouted in the case that their peers were panicking, hoping to shake them out of it as they eyed their surroundings, looking for the beast. Eventually, more students laid their eyes on the same unnatural formation in the cliff walls and prepped for battle.
Mo Fan attempted to take control of the situation, commanding, "Classmates! Gather together around Mu Bai! With over ten of us here, even if there were five one-eyed demon wolves we'd have more firepower! Do not panic!"
His words, although not exaggerated in the least, were dependent on if the students could work together efficiently. It was possible for a magician, especially a young amateur one, to mess up and put the lives of their peers in danger. One wrong move and many could die. However, Mo Fan chose not to worry about such a situation because it wasn't worth the brainpower. He couldn't anticipate such screw-ups, and even if he could, there wasn't much he could do to prevent them without being sufficiently more powerful than the mage who messed up.
Just as the students formed into a unit around Mu Bai like Mo Fan instructed, a figure appeared from the dark burrow in the cliffside. A few students gasped at the sight of the four-meter-long wolf with dark purple and red fur, contemplating a retreat. The beast was horrifying! Its stature alone was enough to make them think twice about fighting it, but that wasn't the main problem. If the students correctly assessed the energy emanating from the wolf, then…it was probably level two!
However, they were given no time or option to extract themselves from the fight, because, from the entrance to the burrow, the wolf leaped, hurtling in their direction with its fangs bared! The motley group of level one magicians quickly found their footing before casting spells in unison at the wolf, creating a multicolor cloud of magical missiles which struck it with such force that its momentum was canceled and reversed! The beast was sent hurtling backward, unsuccessful in its first attack.
"Huh…maybe it isn't actually that stro-"
The dumb student who jinxed himself and his classmates couldn't even finish his sentence before the wolf recovered and jumped to its feet, eyeing the students with newfound caution.
"IT'S ACTUALLY LEVEL TWO!"
Seeing the monster shrug off their combined attacks was like a bucket of icy water poured down their backs. If over ten focused attacks could not harm the damn thing, then they had no chance of killing it. One student lost their grip on reality right there, dropping to his knees from shaking too hard. The menacing, blood-thirsty aura the wolf exuded was too much, especially after watching it brush aside an attack that would have obliterated them if the tables were turned.
"H-h-how could t-the instruc-ctor have us fight this…?"
The guy on the floor began mumbling to himself, shakily holding his head with both hands as though the powerful threat facing him would disappear if he ignored it. One of his friends even shook and yelled at him, but he'd lost the stable mind required to cast spells. He was dead weight.
"Damn it!" Mo Fan clenched his teeth and grimaced, completely aware of how much strength their combined attacks would lose if more students lost their will to fight. "Don't worry, guys! Surely the instructor wouldn't have made us fight this just to let us die! He and other mages must be watching us to see how we perform!" Again, Mo Fan rationalized the situation to his classmates.
Besides the one who gave up, the students prepared another round of spells to defend against the furry missile of death. Except, this time, the wolf did not simply lunge at the students, instead choosing to take its time with a slow gait, waiting for the students to act first.
Eventually, as the giant wolf made it within fifty meters of the students, Mo Fan noticed that the giant purple and red wolf…had two eyes! It wasn't a one-eyed demon wolf! Mo Fan wasn't sure how it mattered, but before he could decide what to do with that information, one of his peers lost their nerve and fired at the wolf.
Poof. Their lone water spell did nothing useful, merely pushing the wolf a little.
"Damn! Just fire!"
Another of the students ordered for his peers to attack, thinking that attacking was better than letting the monster walk right up to them.
Before Mo Fan could void the command, his classmates began casting, throwing their spells at the beast. Yet, the beast easily dodged those attacks, sidestepping them and switching from its walk to a charge, becoming a beam of light hurtling toward them.
"ATTACK AS ONE!"
Mo Fan attempted to gather the attention of his peers, but his voice could barely be heard over the sound of the various explosions caused by their attacks striking either the wolf or the ground around it.
*"FUCKING IDIOTS!*" Mo Fan raged in his mind. *"INDIVIDUAL ATTACKS WON'T DO SHIT, BUT IF WE COULD ATTACK IN UNISON IT'D BE SLOWED DOWN!"*
Fortunately for Mo Fan, he was standing beside Mu Bai, who was also level-headed. "Mo Fan, I'm going to surround it in ice, so don't screw up! Hit it!" He said. Mu Bai's words were just loud enough for a few others nearby, including Zhou Min, Xiao Hou, and Xu Zhaoting, to hear, who prepared themselves to take advantage of the right moment.
Twenty meters. When the monster made it within twenty meters of the students, Mu Bai finished casting his spell. He bent down and slammed both hands onto the ground, causing huge icicles to shoot out from his position in the wolf's direction. When they approached each other, the wolf could not dodge to any direction but up, so it jumped. Up in the air where there was nothing to kick off of, the wolf became an easy target for Mo Fan and his group as they channeled their magical energy and sent a volley of fire, wind, and lightning at it.
Although their attacks didn't hold nearly the punch they did when supported by their classmates', they contained enough force to cancel the wolf's momentum again, causing it to fall. However, this time, the students managed to stop firing randomly to capitalized on the situation and hit it while it wasn't moving, constantly staggering it, preventing it from regaining its footing.
*"We've bought ourselves a few seconds, but we'll eventually run out of magical energy or mess up again. We need to get out of this situation! If only there were...*"
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Then, Mo Fan found the solution to their problem!