Shao Xuan ran as far as the underground tunnel brought him, the underground chamber quickly collapsing behind him. The collapsing area was quickly approaching.

He pulled open the slate to escape but sensing something, he dodged his head aside.

An arrow flew directly ahead, going through his hair. The longer sections of his hair were sliced off by the arrowhead. His ear and cheek hurt from the current that came with the arrow.

Thud!

The arrow landed in the sand not far from him. Dust and sand flew where it landed, like a flower blooming.

There was no time to look back. Shao Xuan did a flip.

Another sharp whistle echoed, the arrow piercing through the air. It covered more than ten meters in the blink of an eye, charging directly at Shao Xuan. The razor-sharp arrowhead brushed across his hip and stabbed into the sandy ground, creating a one-meter wide crater.

Without giving him time to breathe, another arrow flew the moment the previous hit the ground.

Shao Xuan leapt with all his might, turning to unsheath his knife and hit the arrow aside. Instead of retreating, he rushed towards where the arrows came from.

All his attention was on the shooter now.

It was a person in a cloak. The face was covered so he could not see who it was. The person’s long hair flew in the wind, it had lost its lustre perhaps due to weathered days in the desert, messy and dishevelled. The dusty clothes also flapped in the wind, you could barely make out some curves. This person wore very humble metal armour, it was not shiny or golden.

This was a woman, and she must be quite high-ranked too. To be able to wear metal armour, she had to be one of the slave masters from the three major cities.

She was staring intently at Shao Xuan. Although they were more than fifty meters apart, he could feel the coldness in her eyes, just like the cold and violent arrowheads.

She held a longbow similar to the one Shao Xuan saw Dao Yu hold. He could tell how powerful she was from that few shots. In fact, she was a bigger threat than the arrows Dao Yu fired that day.

Whistle!

Another arrow!

The bow vibrated as the arrow spun quickly in the air. There was a loud whistle with the friction in the air. Like a shooting star, it was coming for Shao Xuan.

He quickly dodged every arrow, each leaving a blooming sand lotus in its wake. Every flower was very near Shao Xuan.

Ignoring the flying sand and everything else, Shao Xuan locked his eyes on the shooter, including every minute movement she made, every look in her eye to predict where the arrow would come from, as he dodged each arrow.

At this moment, there only the shooter and the arrows were on his mind.

Shao Xuan was coming closer and she did not have many arrows left. In the end, she quickly tossed her bow aside to unsheath a double-edged sword, four fingers wide. She slashed her sword in an impressive semi-circle, stepping forward towards Shao Xuan.

The sword crashed against his knife, sparks flew.

The sword, which was initially headed for his chest, was pulled away with a greater force.

Twang---

The sound of metal vibrating was enough to make anyone’s hair stand on end.

Thud!

The ground shook, the two people separated and Shao Xuan quickly took ten steps back. 

A beast charged in front of Shao Xuan, every step seemed to shake the ground. Its heavy hooves picked up more sand as it charged ahead.

This was the beast who had been previously kicking. It was using all its might for it too. The extremely heavy beast stood on its hind legs, then stomped heavily onto the ground.

The wave of sand triggered by this stomp was deflected away by the blade.

At this moment, more than half of the underground chamber had collapsed. There was a massive sinkhole where it used to be.

Shao Xuan looked at the human and the beast not too far away from him. He had not seen such a beast in Beast Battle City but he could tell it had been enslaved. And its master was the woman in the cloak.

His opponent’s sword reflected blinding light under the sun. SHe did not attack, merely stood her ground.

She was standing on a sand dune and Shao Xuan was positioned lower than her. That was why, when she looked at him, she was also looking down.

The beast horizontally parked itself in front of Shao Xuan, shaking its muscular hooves as it waiting for the next order from its master to stomp once again. However, its next target was no longer the chamber, it would be the small and insignificant Shao Xuan.

He cocked an eyebrow when he heard a fast approaching rumble, which was coming from behind him.

Rattle rattle! Rattle rattle!

Behind the sand dune, a gigantic snakehead emerged.

The snake slithered over the dune and headed towards Shao Xuan. It did not approach, stopping fifty meters away. 

The rattle sound came from its shaking tail.

However, Shao Xuan was focused on the person standing on its head, not the snake.

“Shi Shu?” He did not expect to meet Shi Shu here.

“We meet again!” Shi Shu’s tone sounded like they were friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while. If it weren’t for the current situation, it would have sounded like two friends meeting up. 

This person does not bear good intentions, thought Shao Xuan.

“Why are you here?” asked Shao Xuan.

“Just for a slave,” said Shi Shu very casually, as if it was not important.

“Dao Yu?” Shao Xuan’s heart clenched. “Dao Yu works for you?”

“Not really.”

“He’s dead,” said Shao Xuan. 

“It’s better that way, I want him dead.” Shi Shu seemed to prefer a dead Dao Yu. “Dead people are more obedient.”

Then, he suddenly changed the topic as if they were having a friendly chat. “But, since we meet her, why not join us?”

“And if I don’t?” Shao Xuan looked towards Shi Shu, keeping an eye on the woman in the cloak in his peripheral vision in case she attacked.

“You’re refusing my offer?” It sounded like a simple question, there was no resentment in it.

Shao Xuan was surrounded by two enemies with two beasts. He was not in an advantageous position at all.

Shao Xuan did not speak but the rest did not either, as if waiting for his response.

Suddenly, Shao Xuan smiled and broke the tense silence.

“I refuse.”

Shi Shu was about to speak when his eye caught something. He peered closer. 

Something blue had burrowed out of the sand by Shao Xuan’s feet.

It was a beetle. 

Then, rustle rustle rustle---

Tiny, black beetles emerged from beneath the sand, gushing out like water. 

The yellow sand was quickly covered with a layer of black beetles- not just around Shao Xuan but everywhere, including around Shi Shu and the cloaked woman. It was as if they were flooded by a wave of black beetles.