The Golden-Winged Roc
His steps quickened until he almost ended up sprinting.
He didn’t need to lift his head to feel that he was being hunted by a mutated creature from above. A strong sense of danger made his scalp feel numb.
Luckily he was not in a spacious land, but inside a city. The high-rise buildings around him blocked the huge bird’s vision, preventing it from attacking right away.
As he sprinted, Luo Yuan raised his head to take a look. It was indeed a gigantic creature, much larger than the Black Owl he had encountered last time. The creature spreading its wings was like a golden cloud hovering over the city.
It circled the air, looking for the best time to attack; its sharp eyes were watching the area like a cold hawk.
This was an uninjured mutated beast. Maybe it had been singled out from the battlefield, or had just come from another region. The system notification informed him that it was a Golden-Winged Roc, an energetic blue level mutated beast.
This was why Luo Yuan was sprinting down the street. The Golden-Winged Roc was his prey, but so was he to the roc. If it had been a dark blue level creature, he would have rushed into one of the buildings to hide.
Even so, Luo Yuan still felt an overwhelming sense of pressure.
That would not have been the case if it had been a blue level land creature; blue level beasts had always caused him a certain amount of pressure, but that did not include flying creatures. If Luo Yuan had to pinpoint which type of mutated beasts was the trickiest to handle, it would undoubtedly be flying mutated creatures. Flying creatures would always be more superior to land creatures, and most of the time they were really hard to fight.
Most importantly, Luo Yuan had never faced a flying creature and had zero experience against them.
He did not want to retreat though. This was a rare chance for him to level up by killing it. It would save him so much more time and effort than finding an injured mutated beast, which would not even guarantee a level up. It was more tempting to just do it and be done with it.
Besides, this was a blue level mutated beast.
He kept recalling how an eagle would catch a hare in nature, replaying the familiar scene in slow motion in his head again and again. Gradually, he slowed down and came to a stop in the middle of an empty shopping square.
Running would not only be useless, but also a waste of energy. When it came to this kind of creature, all one had to do was wait in anticipation.
The empty square lacked any disturbances. It was the best battlefield for both him and the Golden-Winged Roc.
He took a deep breath and looked at the sky.
Its golden wings, which were some ten meters wide, shone under the sunlight. While its circling speed got faster and faster, the diameter of the circles got smaller and smaller until finally, it retracted its wings to its sides and shot downwards. A second later, a boom was heard from the sky.
Its speed had broken the sound barrier, and a vapor cone had formed in midair. The strong sound waves shattered the windows on the nearby buildings.
“It’s coming!” Luo Yuan was startled, his gaze unwavering from the fast approaching giant bird while his hands grasped the handle of his machete. Adrenaline rushed in him as his heart thumped wildly.
His 13-point Dexterity was like a high speed camera. It caught the movement of the giant bird, yet it seemed pointless as the bird’s speed was too fast, almost bullet-like.
A long vapor cone had formed in the air, caused by its frightening speed. Sand and stones danced around as a strong wind blew before the bird had even come close to the ground. Luo Yuan’s skin felt like it was being pierced by knives.
The aggressive momentum made him want to run, but he understood well enough that it was not feasible anymore. His speed would never surpass the roc’s, even if the nearest building was only less than a hundred meters away. He was unusually calm under the circumstances, and could not help but squint as his clothes flapped around in the wind.
100 meters, 50 meters, 20 meters… A pair of grey claws not unlike old tree roots extended from its stomach as sharp nails flashed like daggers. These claws could not doubt penetrate steel boards.
They looked like they were about to pierce through his body when Luo Yuan suddenly closed his eyes. He felt the roc’s movement clear as day. There was nothing but its claws on his mind.
If he could avoid bullets, then he could avoid a giant bird too. It wasn’t faster than a bullet after all.
His body tilted unconsciously, and a long sound pierced the air as he withdrew his machete; a cold shine flashed like lightning as the blade soundlessly slashed through the tough claws, detaching them from the roc’s body.
Before the roc could feel any pain and react, Luo Yuan made his move again.
With a step strong enough to crush the square’s sidewalk, his shoulder collided against the roc’s stomach.
Strength was a flexible attribute, unlike attributes like Intelligence or Dexterity that had almost zero flexibility; the average human strength and the strength of people who had undergone professional training differed vastly. There were famous wrestlers much stronger than Luo Yuan, but being 2.25 times stronger than average was not bad either.
The roc had seemed gigantic at first, but that had been mainly due to its wings. It was only about 3 meters tall without them. The roc was still in midair when it was thrown 5 – 6 meters away upon the brutal collision. It fell to the ground, where it lay on its back.
The bird cried sharply, making Luo Yuan’s eardrums thrum.
It seemed to have finally come to its senses – this was not just food, this was a scary beast. The pain coming from its severed claws and natural danger instincts made it struggle wildly, its wings flapping and producing a strong wind.
Luo Yuan was not going to give it a chance to escape now that it was already on the ground.
Crouching and creeping, using both his arms and legs, he run like an arrow against the direction of the wind.
The 5-meter distance was closed within a breath but just as he reached it, the desperate Golden-Winged Roc flapped its wings forcefully. The rapid collision between its feathers and the sidewalk created a several-meter high spark and an atmospheric pressure hemisphere. Even a marble table nearby had been blown away by the force. Just a touch of that force would be enough to blend flesh and blood into a gory mess.
Although Luo Yuan had been prepared, his breath was still caught. He dared not slow down though. He went ahead and slashed one of the roc’s wings off with his machete. While he had managed to avoid a direct attack, he was still blown about ten meters away by the strong current of air.
He felt some moisture in his throat before he started puking blood.
Licking his blood-stained lips, he wiped them carelessly on his sleeve and looked at the feetless roc with the one remaining wing. A chilling smirk formed on his face.
Birds without claws and wings obviously had reduced capabilities, but Luo Yuan was still cautious. His fragile body was always reminding him that he could never be too wary when battling mutated beasts. If he wasn’t careful, he would get killed.
His gaze turned cold as he walked towards the roc, exuding a strong aura.
The roc was clearly disturbed by his aura. It cried and flapped its remaining wing continuously, but it was useless. Its lack of balance prevented it from flying. All it could do was roll around on the square.
To prevent any additional problems from cropping up, Luo Yuan picked up his pace and dashed over.
He pulled out his machete and slashed through horizontally.
Another wing fell down.
He rolled to the side to avoid the incoming current of wind before his machete went for the Golden-Winged Roc’s stomach. The dark blue level weapon stabbed through without obstruction and the blade twisted inside the roc’s guts, following Luo Yuan’s rolling motion and inflicting a spectacular wound.
The agonizing pain triggered the bird’s bestiality, its sharp beak coming at him relentlessly. A bird’s peck was akin to a snake’s – extremely fast and unperceivable to the naked eye – one of the most lethal attacks, especially when coming from a blue level beast.
A deafening boom was heard.
Luo Yuan had barely enough time to tilt his body before he heard a second boom. A hole about the size of a skull appeared beside him. Sand and stones sprayed outwards, pricking his back that was already drenched in sweat from fear.
Pecking sounds came endlessly from his back. Luo Yuan had managed to escape unscathed with a few rolls thanks to the restricted movement of the roc.
He wisely decided to temporarily hide and just watch the Golden-Winged Roc, which was slowly approaching its death.
About ten minutes later, the massive blood loss and twisted guts, as well as its excessive earlier movements, had weakened the roc considerably. As it lay listlessly on the ground, its eyes lost their shine and its eyelids sagged.
Just to be safe, Luo Yuan took out the Desert Eagle and pulled the trigger lightly as he aimed at the bird’s head.
Its body trembled for some time before all signs of life disappeared. The synthesized dark blue level bullet had gone through its brain easily.
The Golden-Winged Roc