Ahead of William was about a half-dozen people, a giant snake, and a number of fallen trees. It was easy to imagine what had caused that, as he saw the snake moving through the trees. It was quite agile, but occasionally it wrapped around one or two of them as it tried to encircle the humans it was fighting. For their part, the humans seemed to be guiding it to do so on purpose, as they tried to avoid being encircled themselves.
The snake was almost unbelievably huge, except of course William could see it with his eyes and it was definitely real. It was hard to estimate its length with it being twisted around as it was, but it was more than two feet in diameter, not that it was truly a circle. This made it a gigantic snake… and maybe even more than twice as thick as the largest ones on Earth. That would make its total size much more than twice as big. Would it be four times? William supposed he probably shouldn’t think about that in the middle of a combat scene, even though he currently wasn’t directly involved.
Looking at the humans, they should be warriors from Liaoyang. Their physical features were right, and William could feel their ki. Even so, they didn’t seem to be winning. They seemed to all have passed the second or third major breakthrough, though William didn’t have time to do an in-depth analysis of their power. Regardless, they seemed to be running out of energy. Looking at the trail of destroyed trees, this combat had gone on for some time. Though he saw a few wounds on the snake, there were also some on the haggard faces of the warriors.
Their relatively small amount of injury meant that, so far, they had avoided its attacks. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have looked the same. This wasn’t a venomous type of snake, but a constrictor. If it caught them, it would squeeze their bones and organs into a paste, and William didn’t doubt that in the slightest. He knew it would squeeze his bones into paste, and he was a gevai. William thought he should probably do something before that happened… or someone was crushed under its weight.
His first instinct was to use magic. He could do that now, and he very much liked magic. He loved it, in fact. However, there was a problem with that. Regardless of whether his spell could hit just the snake as it slithered around and none of the warriors… it would also cause his disguise to fail. He didn’t think these warriors would look kindly upon a demon appearing, even if he helped them out of a dangerous situation.
Thus, he moved closer, gathering ki for whatever he needed to do. He would probably be noticed soon, but he wasn’t exactly trying to hide. Then, the moment came. After the snake toppled a few more trees, it sprang forward and knocked over one of the warriors who was not fast enough to dodge completely. Then, it coiled around him. It was really only a little bit more than two coils and the man’s body was completely hidden from sight.
At this point, everyone acted. The snake was briefly still, and all of those warriors who could struck with sword and spear. Meanwhile, the snake crushed, and the man who was coiled expended all of his ki to prevent that. William saw at least one spear penetrate into the beast, but it wouldn’t be enough to kill it immediately. He was already moving and pulled Chris off his back… though Chris was still in a leather case.
It only took William a second to cross the gap between him and the snake, though he knew that it might already have been too long for the warrior. He struck with Chris like a spear, not because it would cause more damage, but because it would reach more quickly. He wasn’t planning to bludgeon the snake to death anyway. It had been some time since William had actually used them, but William had still kept up practice with his soul techniques. As Chris struck, energy flowed out from him, piercing through whatever defenses the snake had. Then, all of its tension was gone as it collapsed.
It was rather anticlimactic, but the snake’s scales didn’t block his power nearly as well as the forest dragon he’d fought before had. In the end, it was merely just a very large snake. Deadly, but with certain weaknesses. As the snake fell, it uncoiled enough that they could see the warrior in the middle. William could feel that his ki had run out… but it had lasted up until the last moment. However, he didn’t seem to be in a good state.
One of the warriors helped the unconscious man out of his position, while another- a woman- turned toward William, cupping her hands in greeting. “Thank you se- elder, for your help.” Even though she said that, she and the other warriors looked rather nervious.
“Ah, it is… no problem.” William took a moment to get his mind into the right language. He was glad he had already changed his disguise to that of a somewhat older man with features that would make him fit into Liaoyang. It would be more strange to find someone from Ostana in this part of the forest. “I was just passing through.”
“This one is Na Sun. May I know elder’s name?”
“I am… Yu Hui’Lam.” William hadn’t really prepared for that, so he used his real name, or at least… one of them. It was just a name after all, and anyone who had remembered him would be long dead. On the other hand, if many people remembered him for some reason, the name might be more common. Outside of the Yu Clan and the Order, though, he didn’t expect many to remember him.
“Na Sun greets Elder Yu. I do not mean to be rude, but the six of us are here to hunt magical beasts, and we hope you would let us keep this snake’s magic core.”
“I have no intention to take anything. That said, you won’t find a core in that snake’s body.” William shrugged, “It’s not a magical beast. Just a big snake.”