Chapter 80: Life and Death by Fate
Carving the wings wasn’t complicated at all, and they didn’t even need to be polished smooth. Su Hao only needed to follow the rough structure provided by Little Light, making sure the shape was reasonably accurate. Then, he added some simple control mechanisms to the wings.
The principle of winged flight relied on the difference in airspeed between the top and bottom surfaces of the wings to generate lift. With Little Light’s calculations and simulations, crafting the wings was quite straightforward. In just two hours, Su Hao had roughly carved out the shape.
The wings were similar to those of a fighter jet, tilted backward with a span of a little over a meter. Once Su Hao attached the wings to his armor, they looked sleek and impressive, although the details were somewhat rough.
Su Hao tested by swaying left and right, and it didn’t affect his ability to wield his blade.
After searching around, he couldn’t find any ropes to secure the wings, so he took on the role of a carpenter once again. He crafted a simple latch to securely fasten the wings to his armor.
With everything in place, Su Hao waited for nightfall.
He needed to conduct a test flight to familiarize himself with the controls and speed of flight. However, he couldn’t attempt it in front of the seven martial artists. He had to wait until it was dark.
Soon, night descended. The clouds were relatively thick today, blocking out most of the moonlight and making it difficult to see the surroundings.
Seeing the opportune moment, Su Hao attached the wings, enhancing them with ‘Sturdy,’ ‘Sharp,’ and ‘Skybreaker’ effects. He also cast a ‘Coordination’ effect on himself. Crouching low, he followed the predetermined path, accelerating as he ran, then suddenly leaped forward, launching himself into the air, activating the ‘Burst’ rune under his feet.
Su Hao instantly accelerated and shot high into the sky.
“What’s going on!?” The seven martial artists were startled by the loud noise and immediately jumped up, preparing to defend themselves.
Old Cao opened his eyes suddenly and said, “This is bad; he’s trying to escape! Quick, chase after him!”
The seven of them immediately ran in the direction Old Cao pointed.
After a while, Old Cao furrowed his brows and said, “His speed suddenly increased!”
“No problem; we’ll just tail him,” one martial artist reassured.
Old Cao shook his head and said, “In a little while, we might lose him.”
“How is that possible?”
Everyone was shocked.
At this moment, Su Hao was already soaring in the sky, experiencing the exhilaration of winged flight. At first, he was somewhat anxious, fearing that a mistake might cause him to crash. However, as he continued to activate the ‘Burst’ rune, his speed increased, and his flight became increasingly stable.
He could even feel the strong lift provided by the wings behind him, and he couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief.
Su Hao sensed the whistling wind outside his armor, and a sense of exhilaration filled his body. The excitement within him was almost overwhelming.
Although he had achieved flight through the use of wings, it was true flight.
There was a time when he longed for extreme sports like wingsuit flying, but due to financial constraints and lack of courage, he knew it was a dream that would never be fulfilled. Yet now, he had actually achieved it with his own two hands, soaring into the sky.
Su Hao knew that this was just the first of many achievements to come.
In the future, he would be able to realize one dream after another, dreams that had once seemed like distant fantasies.
He added a ‘Sturdy’ rune to the wings, activated the ‘Burst’ rune under his feet, and shot upwards into even higher altitudes.
He needed to test various flight maneuvers at a sufficient height, just in case something went wrong, giving him enough space to adjust.
“Little Light, start recording flight data. Analyze the fastest horizontal flight speed, the fastest ascent speed, the maximum turning angle, the highest descent turning speed, the lowest noise flight mode…”
As Su Hao continued to ascend, breaking through the lower cloud layer, his vision cleared. Moonlight illuminated his path as he continued to climb. After reaching an altitude of over three thousand meters, he began issuing commands to Little Light for data recording and analysis.
Then, he began various flight experiments.
Rising and falling, sometimes using the ‘Impact’ rune for sudden turns, and at other times, tracing out a large ‘S’-shaped flight path.
At first, Su Hao was a bit unfamiliar with flying, but as time passed, he became more proficient. He gradually pushed the boundaries of what he could do for fun. If he wasn’t concerned about the wings on his back, he could have performed even more daring maneuvers.
Meanwhile, the seven individuals below the cloud layer were utterly confused. They exchanged puzzled looks and then turned to Old Cao, asking, “Old Cao, are you sure he’s here?”
Old Cao began to doubt himself a bit, but relying on his perception, he pointed ahead and said, “Yes, I’m sure. According to my perception, the ‘passerby’ is right there. He’s been moving rapidly, first to the east, then doubling back, and now to the south. I’m not mistaken!”
Old Cao’s core perception rune could only track the target’s plane direction, with a broad range. However, it couldn’t provide precise coordinates like Su Hao could. This was the difference between plane coordinates and spatial coordinates.
Everyone exchanged skeptical glances, staring at the spot Old Cao had indicated, but they couldn’t see half a person there.
Old Cao explained, “Maybe it’s too dark, and you can’t see him. It’s normal.”
Everyone silently complained. Although the night was dark, they were Grandmaster-level martial artists with sharp senses. How could they not detect a person right in front of them, moving rapidly? It was unbelievable!
Someone said, “Old Cao, are you trying to cover up the fact that you lost him and make excuses?”
Old Cao remained silent, but his attitude conveyed a firm message: he was absolutely right!
This situation left everyone feeling uneasy.
They also considered that their opponent was a “Silver Armor Rune Grandmaster,” so maybe he had a way to conceal his presence and movements. It made everyone alert, fearing that their opponent might suddenly attack.
After a long time, Su Hao, who had become proficient in winged flight, lowered his altitude while keeping his eyes on the ground. When he was about two thousand meters from the ground, Su Hao sensed the location of the seven individuals.
Hiding amidst the clouds, he slowly drew his long blade, activating all the runes on it and on his armor. He also applied ‘Skybreaker’ and ‘Coordination’ to himself.
‘Skybreaker’ reduced air resistance and minimized flight noise, making it barely audible, like the sound of the wind. ‘Coordination’ allowed him to adjust his position in mid-air flexibly.
Lastly, he used a rune that he rarely used, ‘Light Absorption,’ which made him appear completely black from the outside, blending into the night like an invisible entity.
Su Hao called this flight mode “Stealth Flight Mode.” Although it was slower than flying at full speed, the ‘Stealth Flight Mode’ was still significantly faster than running on foot, and it excelled in stealth. He could glide past silently, eliminating his enemies before they even noticed him.
Prepared and ready, Su Hao began his descent, passing through the cloud layer silently.
Following the pre-designated order, he locked onto the fourth martial artist with his perception, the long blade pressed closely against his thigh, making no sound. He was ready to strike and claim the enemy’s life at any moment.
At the same time, Old Cao’s heart skipped a beat, and he turned pale as he exclaimed, “He’s coming! Quickly, he’s right ahead! Run!”
After saying this, Old Cao took the lead in fleeing.
Everyone tensed up and immediately followed Old Cao in escape.
They kept looking back at the direction Old Cao had pointed to, but they didn’t see anything.
Just as they were about to ask Old Cao in confusion, a sharp whistling sound suddenly passed by their ears. Before they could react, the head of the martial artist who had been following Old Cao was suddenly thrown into the air and then fell to the ground. His body collapsed without a sound.
Everyone reflexively scattered in all directions.
“What was that just now?” someone asked loudly.
“I don’t know; I didn’t see clearly! It sounded like something passed by, but I didn’t see it.”
“It seemed to come from above.”
“Oh no, Old Cao is dead. He was our only perception user.”
“What should we do now?”
“Should we abandon the mission and report back?”
“This time, the nine city lords are waiting for us to bring the person back. If we return empty-handed, it won’t end well.”
In the following moments, there was a long silence.
With Old Cao present, they could still confront the opponent, but now that Old Cao was dead, it was as if they had lost their eyes. If the opponent wanted to escape, their mission would be nearly impossible to complete.
The outcome of failing the mission was clear: death. There was no escaping it, no matter where they went.
If the opponent didn’t run but instead tried to attack the remaining six of them, they still had a slim chance of turning the situation around.
At this moment, everyone knew what choice to make.
“Life and death are determined by fate!”
“Leave it to Old Crane! The five of us will act as bait and look for any opportunities.”
“Stay vigilant for attacks from above.”
Everyone nodded in agreement.