Published at 18th of October 2020 07:00:31 AM

Chapter 1004
Any living being would become an unparalleled existence once reached the sixth rank. That was the peak of the heroic ranks and the power limit of the lower planes. Divine beings would usually leave the weaker worlds unless they were in peculiar situations.

Magical beasts in the sixth rank would be easier to hunt compared to cultivators and hybrids on the same level, but that didn't make them simple prey at all. Moreover, the forces in the hidden world weren't ideal for the task.

However, a hunt was different from a regular battle. Hunters could prepare the territory and their weapons before approaching their prey. As for studying the target, the cultivators in the hidden world had dealt with the Kesier species for ages. Each one of them was akin to an expert when it came to those Apes.

Noah stared at a simple mountain peak surrounded by a series of red waterfalls. That region was close to the rebel's headquarters, but it was still inside the range of the Ape God's mental waves.

According to Skully, the black sky helped the God spread its influence, so the rebel forces mined it. The lava lake where they lived was a blind spot in the divine beast's sight, and its summoning didn't reach there.

Skully had confirmed that the best target would be there. Those were the edges of the Ape God's domain. Any reinforcement would take at least a day to arrive, giving Noah and the other forces enough time for their plan.

Noah had eventually agreed to fuse Skully with a rank 6 Kesier Ape, but he had taken his time to prepare. More than fifteen years had passed since that agreement, marking Noah's twenty-first year since his discovery of the hidden world.

That period had been necessary to complete all the preparations needed to hunt a magical beast in the sixth rank. Yet, Noah didn't feel confident even after fifteen years spent plotting and training.

A rank 6 Kesier Ape in the lower tier lived in the mountain, and Noah had studied its habits and the terrain for almost five years by then. The creature was a perfectly healthy female specimen that came out of its lair twice a month.

Planting traps with such a predictable schedule was easy, but Noah knew that they wouldn't be enough to kill the Ape.

The plan saw him and other cultivators at the fifth rank's peak exploiting the traps to attack the creature. Still, their target was a magical beast in the sixth rank. They had to consider themselves lucky if they managed to hurt it.

The real killing force was in three disposable weapons that Noah had managed to create in those years. He wouldn't even have agreed to actuate the plan that day if it wasn't for them.

'I hope they are enough,' Noah thought as he stared at the mountain. 'I almost emptied their stash of black metal to complete these three.'

Three needles appeared in his hands, and Noah inspected them with the utmost attention. He had done that multiple times already, but he never felt that it was enough when it came to facing a creature in the sixth rank.

The needles were quasi-rank 6 items that Noah had forged after years of failures. Their core material was the black metal imbued with the Ape God's mental waves and processed for months in Noah's dark matter.

They were the best that Noah could do with his current expertise and power. His darkness needed to reach the solid stage for him to do better than that.

Of course, Noah was ready to fail. Yet, there was a slight chance that the plan could work. The only issue was that their strategy saw the Ape eventually getting tired, which was one of the most unlikely outcomes when dealing with a magical beast.

"I was wondering," Carl, one of the peak rank 5 cultivators that had joined the mission, said, "Do we have to be careful of its runes? I don't want to ruin the leader's body."

Noah turned toward Carl and saw that even the other four cultivators in his team looked at him with similar worries in their expressions. His eyes couldn't help but cold at that sight, and his aura became violent.

"If I catch any of you holding back," Noah said as growls fused with his human voice, "I'll switch to plan B and use each one of you as bait."

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There were five peak rank 5 cultivators in his team, but all of them felt a lingering fear rising from the back of their mind. They didn't show any surprise at that feeling though. They had become used to the fact that Noah could scare them even if his centers of power were on a lower level.

A silent nod from their side ended the matter, and the group of six returned to stare at the mountain from their hiding spot nearby, waiting for their target to appear.

A tall Ape with six white runes on its fur eventually came out from one side of the mountain and floated toward the ground as expected by its usual routine.

The beast landed and walked toward a hole in the terrain. That was the entrance to a tribe's underground home. The Ape had the habit of taking a bite from one of the humans living under its domain.

However, a loud explosion happened as soon as it stepped on the edges of the hole. The detonation shook the earth and opened large cracks that spread toward the mountain, spreading tremors even on its rocky surface.

Noah and the others had come in contact with the tribe by digging long tunnels during the years of inspection. They had used the underground area to plant Instabilities at the peak of the fifth rank during the last week to minimize the chances that the Ape could notice their actions.

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A storm of saber-shaped runes came out of the black cloud that formed after the explosion. They raged in every direction, but clinking sounds echoed from inside the corrosive smoke.

Noah had improved the Instabilities before the hunt. He had added the threatening properties of the Demonic Form and the Black Mark to increase their power.

The core material used was the black metal once again. There seemed to be nothing that it couldn't withstand, so Noah had used it in all his creations.

The cloud suddenly froze, and its smoke began to condense into a small sphere. The figure of the rank 6 Kesier Ape became visible again, and the hunting party could see that the explosion didn't even burn its fur.

The sphere descended into the hole, and the ground under the Ape's feet opened as if moved by an invisible force. The beast wanted to punish the humans that had dared to rebel, but it soon discovered that there wasn't anyone in the underground structure.

When Ape expanded its consciousness to look for its assailants, all the tunnels detonated, engulfing it into a vast cloud.

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