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A suffocating silence loomed over the edge of the corridor. Frigid wind breezed through and the girls who laid in ambush in the corner could not help but shiver. Except for Li Jiayu who had a cold expression, the others felt their hearts racing wildly and were unable to speak out of fear.
After a few moments, the rustling sounds encroached and soon, a bloated and shiny red-colored beetle scurried out from the corner.
Other than a Crimson Crowned Beetle, what could it be?
What stood out was that this particular beetle appeared significantly larger than usual. Its back was covered with sharp barbs, six robust appendages that were thicker than pig legs!
This was a Crimson Crowned Beetle that had lived for a long time and was near its evolution point!
Its combat prowess was definitely stronger than the others of its kind. However, the various materials on its body were also even more precious, especially its insect core. It definitely had a Higher First Tier Insect Core!
What surprised Li Jiayu was a gold-colored ladybug the size of an egg that fluttered above its head. Under the dim light, it seemed especially conspicuous, practically like a hovering, gold fireball!
“Golden Ladybug! This is unexpected. Turns out, it’s the companion of the Crimson Crowned Beetle! It’s good stuff! This Crimson Crowned Beetle has to die! Everyone, move out!”
A discreet “ee” sound rang out, followed by Li Jiayu’s order for everyone to begin the a.s.sault. Immediately, Li Jiayu shuttled out from the corner and Frost Moon emitted a burst of snow-white mist as it swung toward the gold-colored ladybug above Crimson Crowned Beetle’s head.
After the Gold Ladybug realized that it had been attacked, it anxiously let out a warning signal. However, it was too late as Frost Moon had already reached it! As though he was playing baseball, the blade smacked viciously against the Golden Ladybug and sent it flying. The Golden Ladybug crashed into the wall, then turned into a dead ice sculpture!
The infuriated Crimson Crowned Beetle roared out! Its companion was being mistreated in this manner, so it would have been a surprise if it did not flare up.
Both of its small, beady eyes glared at Li Jiayu as it leaned over. Its spear-like, sharp longhorn then streaked through like a flash of lightning as the Crimson Crowned Beetle lunged over to Li Jiayu with an intimidating momentum!
“It’s not a top tiered red beetle for nothing… Its speed exceeds those of its peers by threefold!”
Li Jiayu did a pathetic barrel roll and evaded the danger. However, the Crimson Crowned Beetle did not give up. Within three seconds, it unleashed a barrage of attacks, using either its horn to ram him, its body to knock against him or its forelimbs to slice at him. Its a.s.sault was so lethal that it broke the walls and the marble floor was crushed into smithereens.
“...Red beetle… Go eat s.h.i.t!”
Li Jiayu was being forced into the corner of the stairway and when there was no way to retreat, Crimson Crowned Beetle’s simple yet stupid voice finally came through. However, he then saw this fellow coiling its tentacles around heavy weapons, such as big hammers, machinery units, microwaves and so on and chucked them onto the Crimson Crowned Beetle!
If it was the average person, being a.s.saulted by hardware that weighed more than several kilograms each would have undoubtedly given them injuries that would last for a month or so.
Despite that, the Crimson Crowned Beetle possessed the toughness of a rock. Additionally, it was also stronger than most of its kin. So, the attacks only managed to inflict trivial wounds onto the Crimson Crowned Beetle, barely causing its carapace to cave in slightly with a few scratches!
However, it also succeeded in drawing the Crimson Crowned Beetle’s attention and hindered the barrage of a.s.saults somewhat. During this time, Li Jiayu seized the opportunity and slipped away from the corner!
“Nicely done! Octopus, follow my plan. I’ll tangle with it first. So, look for opportunities to suppress him! The rest of you, don’t be too quick to attack! Stay obediently by the side!”
Li Jiayu adjusted his breathing and attracted the hostility of the Crimson Crowned Beetle up ahead. In an instant, a fight broke out at the corner of the cramped stairway. Despite the narrow s.p.a.ce being unfavorable to Li Jiayu, it was even worse for the Crimson Crowned Beetle! It could not display its charging a.s.sault and could only execute minimal movements.
The squad watched on with trepidation. Their hearts pounded incessantly, completely taken aback by the Crimson Crowned Beetle’s terrifying momentum and destructive prowess. Large beasts such as the Polar Bear, Siberian Tiger, Panther would be too weak… They would be worthless before the Crimson Crowned Beetle!
What was even more surprising was Li Jiayu’s incomparable dodging skills! It was as though he was a prophet. He made perfect predictions of the Crimson Crowned Beetle’s next attacks, often avoiding the vicious a.s.saults by a hair’s breadth.
There were several times when everyone thought Li Jiayu was done for, but incredulously, under the barrages of a.s.sault, he maneuvered through the slight gaps with lightning speed, retaining his life. He even had the strength to lash out attacks with a flip of his hand, embedding scar upon scar onto the carapace.
Of course, even though Li Jiayu managed to expose a weakness, his reflexes could not keep up with his mind. Inevitably, his movements slowed by a beat. This allowed the Crimson Crowned Beetle to hurt him with its longhorn, leaving a gaping wound which bled profusely at the edge of his thigh.
“Ah, be careful!”
Ran Hongxia and Hsiao Wanqing’s went on an emotional rollercoaster, constantly alternating between being fearful and then rejoicing! They were sincerely worried for Li Jiayu’s safety, fearing that he may encounter a mishap. Meanwhile, their impression of Li Jiayu was soaring to another level.
The hearts of the male crews almost leaped out their mouths! If they were to be replaced with Li Jiayu, a moment was probably all it would take for the Crimson Crowned Beetle to finish them!
After a moment, Dark Octopus finally found an opportunity and jumped up, then pressed down on Crimson Crowned Beetle’s body. Nine of its tentacles clung desperately onto the beetle, restraining it. This hindered its speed greatly and with its power completely suppressed, it could only struggle fiercely.
“Its strength… is incredible. Octopus can suppress it for at most… three… five seconds…”
Crimson Crowned Beetle exerted all of its strength, inevitably causing its skin to turn from pink to purple-red. Li Jiayu did not dare to delay it for a second longer. After being pressured by the Crimson Crowned Beetle for such a long period of time, anger had long since acc.u.mulated in his heart. He then yelled loudly,
He then stabbed Frost Moon fiercely into Crimson Crowned Beetle’s mouth. Simultaneously, as soon as the command was issued, Chu Xiang scuttled over with his tall and strong demon-like body. Then with an unparalleled momentum, he raised his heavy weapon and struck it onto the beetle’s head with full force!
A blaring metallic thud resounded! The 300kg weapon was not to be taken lightly as the heavy impact caused the Crimson Crowned Beetle’s head to sag a little!
One of its eyes exploded under this frightening surge of impact, showing just how much damage it dealt!
At this moment, Li Jiayu’s blade had also successfully broken through the tough oral muscles of the beetle. It slid right in, invading its skull completely, and the chill emitted from the blade froze the brain instantly!
The Crimson Crowned Beetle’s body shuddered for a moment before it collapsed to the ground without an inch of a moment and died stiffly.
“Hu… This beetle was so troublesome to deal with.”
Li Jiayu retrieved Frost Moon whilst gasping slightly for air. He felt that this Crimson Crowned Beetle, which had been near evolution point, had frightening prowess, probably as much as the prowess of two Crimson Crowned Beetles combined. Without Crimson Crowned Beetle’s suppression, there would have been no chance for Li Jiayu to inflict heavy injuries onto it.
“No matter how troublesome it was, it still wasn’t your opponent.”
Chuxiang lifted his head with a hearty smile plastered on his monstrous lizard-like face. He was obviously prideful from being able to injure the Crimson Crowned Beetle and that a single attack had been all it had taken to smash the beetle’s eye! It felt exceptionally invigorating.
“No, that was only achieved under our unified efforts. Chuxiang, your performance wasn’t bad…”
“Haha… I did not help with anything, but your wounds…”
“It’s nothing much. They do not hinder my movements…”
Li Jiayu looked down at the wound on his thigh and responded faintly. He had long been accustomed to wounds of this degree and used the blade to touch the wound. The blade’s chill caused the tissues to contract and achieved the result of staunching the bleeding. He then considered the matter over as it was not that painful anyway.
Afterward, Crimson Crowned Beetle extracted a Crimson Crowned Beetle’s Insect Core that was the size of a quail’s egg. Its appearance resembled a bloodstone as it exuded a blood-red l.u.s.ter. The Insect Core laid silently in the heart of his palm and provided Li Jiayu with a wonderful warmth.
“As expected of an Insect Core nearing the Second Tier... It contains such an abundance of life energy. It’s a pity that it does not suit me. Otherwise, I would’ve absorbed it…”
Li Jiayu looked at the envious Chuxiang and spoke emotionlessly,
“You should use it. This is a weapon for pure strength. It’s most suited for you.”
“Ugh… How can this be? It looks precious. You should use it…” Chuxiang’s eyes grew wide and he shook his head firmly. He was an upright a.s.sistant instructor, definitely not greedy or selfish, and naturally, he knew Li Jiayu needed to be strengthened.
“There’s no need. A strength-oriented Insect Cores isn’t suitable for me… For future development, my first Insect Core must be a spirit-oriented Insect Core, so there is no need for you to hesitate. Rather than keeping it, I might as well let you use it.”
Li Jiayu also possessed an Insect Core of the Scythe Beetle Lord. If he needed to absorb one, he would have long since a.s.similated the Lord Cla.s.s Insect Core...
“Ugh… spirit and strength? There are distinctions between Insect cores? How complicated…” Ran Hongxia inquired.
“En, there are distinctions between Insect Cores, such as with ranks and types. Strength types are the most common. There are also Vitality, Spirit, Regenerate, Element, Endurance and Immunity. In short, it’s very complicated and if we include Mutated Insect Cores, everything will become even more complicated…”
Li Jiayu looked towards Feng Liaoyuan and Lan Xiaoyue, then said,
“The Crimson Crowned Beetle’s Insect Core isn’t suitable for you guys. As opposed to that, the Fire Element and Regeneration Insect Cores are more suitable… Of course, you can use other cores to replace them if you can’t find those. They will still speed up your awakening speed, but that would waste your potential and you’ll be at least 20% weaker…”
“Do not underestimate this 20%. It may have no effect when your rank is low… but once you reach the higher tier rankings, even if you are weaker by a hair’s breadth, it will be akin to the distance between the earth and the heavens.”
“Forget it, let’s talk about this later… Chu Xiang, hurry up.”
After a moment of hesitation, Chu Xiang no longer refused to do it and a.s.similated the Insect Core. His muscles instantly swelled up and appeared much stronger. His suit that had been almost split by his body was now completely ripped apart, revealing his greyish-brown strips of muscles, like pieces of cast iron!
“How invigorating! This is the power of strength! It feels as though I have inexhaustible strength seeping from my bones!”
Chuxiang’s nose exhaled out two puffs of white smoke. With a face of excitement, he tightened his hand into fists and suddenly drove them into the marble floor!
A loud crash resounded and the marble floor was smashed into pieces!
“Excellent… Your Draconian lineage belongs to the pure strength type. Coupled with such a good quality Insect Core, you probably rose to another 2.5 times the normal strength of an ordinary human. A conservative estimate would be that the power behind your punch contains 700 Newton Force.
Li Jiayu said plainly. At the same time, he then turned and commanded the 6 axe-wielders.
“This Crimson Crowned Beetle… It probably weighs around over 300 kilos. It should be possible to transport it to the 13th floor if you guys work together.”
“What? Move it to the 13th story?”
The axe wielders were stunned as they looked at Li Jiayu. They wondered why he had issued such an order. The 13th story had already turned into the student headquarters. If they dragged this ferocious-looking carca.s.s back, wouldn’t some of frailer girls be frightened to death?
'Moreover, what’s the use of an insect’s carca.s.s? Is it for dissection?'
“The flesh of a Crimson Crowned Beetle is extremely delicious. It also cures colds and is much more nutritional than most tonics. If one eats more of it, it will gradually improve one’s const.i.tution. Its brain paste also has a miraculous use: it can loosen your nerves and relieve stress substantially. If a person wishes to commit suicide, feed them the brain paste and that person will calm down...
“En, more importantly, food resources are extremely scarce in the apocalypse. We must not let this precious Crimson Crowned Beetle to go to waste. Organize some men and use sharp saws to grind away the carapace, then dry its meat.”
The six axe-wielders hesitated and waves of nausea rose to their throats whenever they looked at this grotesque insect carca.s.s.
'd.a.m.n, this is a human-eating insect. Yet, unexpectedly, we need to reverse the situation and eat their flesh...'
No matter how they tried to figure it out, it was still odd.
“Go, stop idling. Just do as I say. Why are you guys hesitating?! When you’ve tried the flesh of insects, you will not feel disgusted anymore!”
The six men braced themselves. Each person picked up a leg cautiously and hauled it up the floors with gritted teeth while Li Jiayu went to receive his spoils of war, the Golden Ladybug.
This companion of the Crimson Crowned Beetle had a rare magical effect. Li Jiayu did not know much about it, but he quickly kept the Golden Ladybug. If he met a Second Order Alchemist, he could get them to refine some medicine for interrogating souls.
If one made it through the drug-induced hallucinations, it would increase one’s spirit energy. One had to know that this Guilty Heart Drug was of shocking value. Even three Lower Third Tier Insect Cores could not be traded for the Guilty Heart Drug.
Compared to that Crimson Crowned Beetle, which had been near its evolution point, this Golden Ladybug was evidently 10 times more precious!
“Very good, we’re off to a good start… Having formed a team, we’ve killed our first Crimson Crowned Beetle and harvested so many good items. The first phase of the apocalypse is indeed the best period of time to acc.u.mulate wealth…”
Li Jiayu continued to lead the team with satisfaction and killed off three Crimson Crowned Beetles on the 6th story, one after the other. Seizing their ICs, the team used them without delay.
One was given to Sonic Warrior Chen Kun and one was given to an Axe-Wielder that had outstanding performance. Following those, another one was given to Chu Xiang, raising his strength by 1.8 times the strength of an average human. This made him extremely terrifying.
The number of Crimson Crowned Beetles on the fifth floor was not high and only numbered at four. This time, the team began attempting the challenge of taking on two Crimson Crowned Beetles simultaneously. The four-man team, consisting of Li Jiayu, Chuxiang, Crimson Crowned Beetle and Ran Hongxia, fought and emerged victorious without many injuries. Additionally, the harvest was gratifying.
After clearing their way to the 4th story, Li Jiayu encountered a pair of Crimson Crowned Beetles copulating in a cla.s.sroom!
‘This pair of r.e.t.a.r.ded insects!’
After they had stuffed themselves with human flesh and vented their insanity, they then began the “insect making” game. Unfortunately, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and allowed Li Jiayu to encounter them.
Originally, the vigilance of Crimson Crowned Beetles was not weak, but unfortunately, the blood scent was too overwhelming. Additionally, there were several corpses in the cla.s.sroom and so much blood all over the floor that they could not pick up the scent of Li Jiayu and crew.
Added to this fact was that they could not separate during the “critical juncture”. Therefore, they could only sense danger when the blade neared them!
This fight was extremely easy as the ambush went smoothly. This shameless couple, which had been mating in public, could not put up resistance in time and died from Li Jiayu’s and Chuxiang’s onslaught. Even after they died, their bodies remained intertwined.
“Oh, this is a good sacrifice. Two bodies intertwined… En, double the quality but costs only one portion of spiritual prowess… No, I need to bet on this!”
Li Jiayu had previously called forth the Dark Octopus and Frost Moon, so he did not have much mental strength left over. Although he had recovered through resting, Li Jiayu was still slightly hesitant to use it recklessly.
After all, these Crimson Crowned Beetle carca.s.ses were not that valuable as they could only be used to call forth Higher First Tier insects. That would be of no help at all and would only cause Li Jiayu’s combat and mental strength to decline, making it not worth the effort.
However, the sacrificial material before him had exceptional circ.u.mstances. Its value was worth summoning and if everything went on without a hitch, he may be able to summon special consumables, such as a Berserk Pill, Lightning Bead, Thunderclap Crossbow and the like...