A white-hot flame burst from the mouth of the middle head and obliterated anything within twenty feet of its location.
The full force of a being at the late stages of the qi spirit realm was fully unleashed as the triple headed snake blew up its own dantian in a suicide attack.
It was determined to take down as many of those hateful two-legged creatures as it could before death would close its eyes.
Sophie was knocked down to the ground by the shockwave of the blast and could hardly see as a thick cloud of dust bloomed.
Where was Astrid?!
Students near her lay on the ground disoriented from the blast, but Sophie stumbled to her feet and dashed towards the dust cloud.
A ringing noise echoed constantly in her ears from the loud boom created by the attack and it was throwing off her sense of balance.
Sophie darted inside but her vision was constantly being obscured by the dust particles flying into her eyes.
These particles caused her to tear up slightly, but Sophie was too worried to bother about these annoyances.
Several golden lights flashed around her which indicated that students were being teleported back to the transport ship.
Panic began to set in as Sophie spotted the charred remains of what looked to be a burnt corpse.
What if she was already.
"No, I need to remain calm," Sophie whispered to herself.
"Astrid!" Sophie shouted constantly as she kept searching for her friend.
More and more bodies came into view with the less intact ones having limbs scattered as far as the eye could see.
"Calm down. Calm down," she kept repeating the same string of words to settle down her emotional state.
As the minutes slowly ticked by, Sophie got increasingly more and more frustrated as desperation began to set in.
(Do you need strength?)
(Do you need vision?)
The Spider Whisper Art started to circulate automatically inside her dantian as a gentle voice spoke softly in Sophie's mind.
If anyone could see into the dust cloud, they would see the silhouette of an enormous arachnid hovering over Sophie's body before vanishing abruptly.
(I grant you the sight of my eyes)
(Seek only what you need)
Sophie stopped for a moment as her eyes shifted colours from a golden hue to a new shade of purplish black.
I need to find her.
The world around her shifted into a vision of black and white with a singular violet figure twenty meters to her left.
All her other senses had disappeared, and Sophie could no longer hear, smell, or taste anything in her surroundings.
It was like the only object in her mind was the violet figure.
Sophie walked automatically towards the figure and found Astrid unconscious with severe burns on her back and a deep cut on her hindleg.
Sophie blinked and the new colour faded away as quickly as it had appeared, and she was left in a state of confusion.
What just happened?
Who was that voice?
These were clearly questions to find out at another time and Sophie knelt on the ground to quickly check Astrid's body to look for any serious injuries that could be fatal.
It appeared that her warning was effective as Sophie could detect remnants of mana usage which indicated that Astrid may have casted a barrier spell before the snake blew up.
The supply crate that Sophie had gotten did not have any medicine or bandages, so Sophie was forced to transform the backpack into the sleeping bag.
She tore the memory foam into strip- like pieces and started to bandage Astrid's visible wounds on her back and legs.
Eventually, she would need to wash the burns to avoid infections but right now stopping the bleeding was a priority.
The duke had made sure that basic first aid was taught during the months of training before the entrance exam, so Sophie was fairly skilled at the task.
She got most of the bandaging done after ten minutes which was enough for the cloud of dust to disperse.
Precious few remained alive inside the blast zone and most of the surviving students were the ones at the outskirts.
Sophie took a small break to gaze at the surroundings and saw deep pools of blood and chunks of flesh from the serpent coating the ground in a scarlet hue.
Cries of pain and loss were heard as students discovered that many of their comrades had died due to the blast.
The temperature had risen so Sophie wiped a few beads of sweat from her brow and something caught her attention.
Inside a meaty chunk of flesh only three meters away from her was what appeared to be two golden boxes the size of a fist.
Curiously, she ventured over and grabbed the two items before returning to Astrid's side.
She was still in an unconscious state and Sophie could not determine if it were due to her injuries or mana exhaustion.
The boxes had small marks on each of its sides so Sophie turned them around to get a closer look at the details.
"One of five and three of five?" Sophie muttered.
Sophie was quite puzzled by the phrases on the boxes that seemed to have no purpose.
In addition, she had tried to open these boxes but despite her best effort they would not budge.
Furthermore, each of these strange items had small holes or protrusions that seemed to be some kind of puzzle.
Wait a moment
"F.u.c.k we need to leave right now!" Sophie hurriedly tried to bandage all the remaining wounds before it was too late.
It was truly a devious trap.
One could not get to the treasure without combining each of the five separate golden boxes hidden inside the serpent's body.
This meant that even holding on to four of the parts would grant no benefits to the cultivator who picked them up.
The exam testers had placed such a fearsome boss to contain the treasure and then ensured that a bloodbath would ensue due to the five separate pieces.
"Hey, look at what was inside the snake!" came a cry of excitement.
Sophie turned her head around to observe a student pick up one of the boxes and joyfully exclaim to his comrades.
This caused several of the students to rush towards the remains of the beast and hurriedly dig inside the flesh lumps on the ground.
The student was still celebrating when a dagger was pierced through his throat and the box was stolen by another examinee lurking in the background.
It did not take long for the sounds of fighting to resume as any box found immediately triggered fierce attacks towards the holder.
This was no doubt the intention of the devils in charge of the entrance exam.
It was only going to be a matter of time until someone discovered that all five boxes were required.
They needed a distraction to sneak away as people would treat those who left the clearing as potential box holders.
Sophie narrowed her eyes and casually slipped one of the boxes in her pocket before throwing the other one in the air.
"Look there is one of the boxes!" she yelled loudly.
Numerous eyes followed the long arc that the box travelled in the air before it landed on the far side of the clearing.
She had to make a distraction and possessing two of the boxes would undoubtedly paint a large target on her back.
There was an immediate stampede of students as they each rushed towards the unclaimed treasure.
No one paid any attention to Sophie and Astrid as one was severely injured and the other appeared to want no part in the fighting going on.
Sophie groaned softly while wrapping her arms around Astrid's body and then gently picking her up.
She circulated qi frantically towards the meridians in her arms and legs to enhance her physical capabilities.
This eight-foot-tall wolf girl was quite heavy!
Flying swallow knives!
Sharp blades headed towards their general direction from an unexpected ambush, but Sophie's spider appendages turned into blurs and deflected all the strikes.
She turned her gaze towards a student hiding in one of the bushes nearby and her eyes started to flicker from gold to red.
"Do you truly believe I can't slice open that throat of yours?" Sophie growled menacingly.
Killing intent washed over the poor student and he swiftly turned around to flee.
This student used to be a part of a gang on his native planet and those eyes reminded him of the killers in the gang who bathed in the blood of hundreds.
Fortunately, no one else was foolish enough to stop their departure and Sophie walked confidently with the weight of her injured friend on her back.
Shrieks and cries from the battlefield slowly faded away into the distance as the duo vanished into the dark forest.