Chapter 443 – Spiritual Forest
“They were annihilated?” Violet Rain asked, bewildered.
“Yes. They’ve discovered seven corpses, some of them turned into puddles of blood; they should have been completely annihilated! It wasn’t just that squad, but a nearby squad that had six people was also eliminated. Without a doubt, all of them were killed. The two squads should have been killed by the same squad, the manner of death is similar.”
Fire Ax couldn’t even believe the words he said. If they encountered a powerful enemy and knew they couldn’t win, some of them should have been able to escape. Unless, the difference in strength was too great.
For instance, a squad led by two or three late Xiantian realm masters might be able to accomplish this.
Within the squads of South Aurora Island, there were only two squads that could continuously kill two squads of the South Sea Demon Region, and not only kill them, but completely annihilate them. However, these two squads had no need to hide their actions.
“Who did it? Nobody came to claim the military exploit points?” Enchanting Shadow asked.
Fire Ax shook his head. If someone came to collect the military exploit points, there wouldn’t have been so many doubts.
At this time, within the command center of the Wartime Alliance, an old man was holding the latest intelligence report, pondering something.
This old man was responsible for the alliance operations on South Aurora Island. In truth, those that were placed in charge weren’t too strong. They were often limited by their talent, but they were rich in experience and knowledge, like this old man.
“Old Liu, any news from that strange investigation this morning?” A calm voice sounded out. The one speaking was a middle-aged late Xiantian martial artist.
“Mm. Whoever it was only killed people, but didn’t claim any military exploit points. He should probably be a master with some great background, therefore he doesn’t have any liking towards our rewards.”
“Perhaps. Or maybe it is an extreme Xiantian master who was passing by and decided to help on a whim.” The South Sea battlefield was vast and broad. If the medium-grade true essence stone vein deposit of South Aurora Island was placed within all the strategic locations of the South Sea battlefield, it wouldn’t be considered too important. Whether it was Divine Phoenix Island or the South Sea Demon Region, neither of them would place their main forces there.
“What I found strange is that from the information I received, the one who did this has a cultivation method that doesn’t follow the orthodox path. Those demonic path martial artists that died all had their blood essence sucked dry…”
“Oh?” The middle-aged martial artist was a bit surprised, “Could it be infighting?”
“I can’t say. Of the free martial artists of the Wartime Alliance, it isn’t strange for any of them to practice cultivation methods of the demonic path.”
Within the South Horizon Region, respect for cultivation methods had always been based on strength. Although demonic path cultivation methods were known as unorthodox means, there were still many sects that practiced them. For instance, the Seven Profound Valleys’ Acacia Faction practiced demonic path martial arts. They wouldn’t do something as boring as moralizing on others. Of those sects that practiced demonic path cultivation methods, they were easily swayed by their emotions and would even be provoked to killing and exterminating others.
“No matter who it is, they are neither our friend nor our enemy. We will continue with the operation plan and see how the situation develops…
Three days later –
Lin Ming accompanied the Fire Ax Squad for the first time to battle.
Including Captain Fire Ax, there were nine people altogether. They rode a small spirit boat into the spiritual forest, taking advantage of the cover of night.
In the deep and boundless forest late at night, a small spirit boat seemed very common.
“During this mission, we are going to intercept and kill a South Sea Demon Region convoy. It should happen sometime between midnight and dawn.”
As Fire Ax spoke, he also compared time.
Ultimately, the reason for this war was to plunder resources. The two great resource sources of South Aurora Island were the true essence stone vein deposit as well as the spiritual forest.
The South Sea Demon Region attacked and occupied parts of South Aurora Island. Naturally, they would ship back the massive amount of resources that they stole.
The Wartime Alliance obtained news that tonight there would be a squad picking the plants within the spiritual forest that was about to ship off everything they had accumulated. Fire Ax had received the mission to kill off this convoy.
“Is this news reliable?”
“It should be reliable, it was delivered by ‘Camo’.”
The ‘Camo’ that Fire Ax mentioned was an inside spy that the Wartime Alliance had snuck into the South Sea Demon Region. ‘Camo’ was only a code name. Besides the top level characters of the Wartime Alliance, nobody knew just who this ‘Camo’ character was, or even if he was human or someone from the South Sea Demon Region.
Of course, there were inevitably spies of the South Sea Demon Region within the Wartime Alliance. In a war, intelligence work was extremely important. Otherwise, squads would be blind. On such a big mass of land like South Aurora Island, it would simply be impossible to track the movements of the enemy.
“We’ll arrive soon. When we go down, don’t attract any attention.” Fire Ax said.
“Okay.” The one responsible for driving the spirit boat was Cool Foam. He operated the spirit boat to descend, and they quickly made their way into the forest.
Lin Ming was standing near a window. As he saw the spiritual forest at night, he was unable to help gasping; this forest…too big!
Lin Ming meant that the plants within the spiritual forest were too big, not the area itself. The trees grew to a terrifying degree. A single tree would take dozens if not hundreds of people to surround it, and shot up thousands of feet, piercing into the sky.
The branches and leaves that spread out were like a mini city in the air. The thinnest branches were as thick as a water barrel, and the leaves were several feet wide. If a leaf was placed on water, it could even be used as a small raft.
In this abnormally large forest, the 50 foot wide spirit boat was like a fish in water as it cruised through, smartly making its way through. Whenever the ship encountered branches or leaves, Cool Foam would manipulate the spirit boat in a clever manner and move around any obstacles. One couldn’t help but praise his refined driving skills.
“Wild Halberd, this is the first time you’ve been to the spiritual forest so I’ll give you a brief rundown of the situation.” Fire Ax beckoned Lin Ming.
“Only a fifth of the spiritual forest is on land, the rest is on the sea. There are many high-grade vicious beasts here, even ones that are strong enough to compare to an extreme Xiantian realm martial artist.”
“That strong?” Lin Ming was stunned. Naturally he didn’t fear an extreme Xiantian vicious beast, but a common squad simply wouldn’t be able to resist such a monster.
“Haha, Brother Wild Halberd should feel relieved. There are only a few kinds of the strongest vicious beasts and we understand their behavior and habitat. Naturally we have the means to avoid them.” The bearded big fellow laughed as he spoke; he had assumed that Lin Ming had become nervous upon hearing that there were extreme Xiantian vicious beasts here.
Lin Ming nodded. A vicious beast had limited intelligence. As long as they could figure out its habits, it was truly easy to avoid them.
“That’s right, if we really meet a top-grade vicious beast, our squad can only escape into the wilderness. Let alone us, even if the Demon Region’s Big Three encountered then, it would be a very tricky situation.” Fire Ax smiled as he spoke.
“There should be around seven or eight South Sea Demon Region squads stationed in the spiritual forest. However, they are very far from each other. As long as we can settle the battle quickly, we won’t be surrounded.
Within the South Sea battlefield, the reason that small squads were the combat units instead of large-scale armies was for the sole purpose of plundering resources.
Squads could be like locusts – they were able to spread out and quickly gather resources. As for large armies, they would only be used to attack and capture a sects supreme stronghold. However, this didn’t make sense for the Wartime Alliance. What martial artists wanted were resources, not territory.
A sect consumed resources at an astonishing rate. Even a small sect like the Seven Profound Valleys had over a hundred Xiantian realm martial artists, much less a fifth-grade sect like the South Sea Demon Region.
Not just that, but the South Sea Demon Region had many smaller sects under them. If these were all added together, they were a massive force.
With so many martial artists depending on resources from deep within the South Sea, naturally these resources would become stretched.
That was why there were so many combat squads distributed throughout South Aurora Island.
Any elite squad would have a Xiantian master as its core. A Xiantian master was absolutely the main force of this great war. Although a Revolving Core master was formidable, they were extremely limited in number. They could only fight in a decisive battle. Normally, they would just play a deterring role by frightening others.
As they approached the location of their mission, the spirit boat began to slow down. Cool Foam released his sense and began to investigate the surroundings. A martial artist with a formidable perception was utterly important to a squad. They were that squad’s eyes and ears. If their perception was inferior to the enemy’s, they would be discovered first and thus attacked first. If they were ambushed, they would fall into the weaker, passive role, and this was likely to directly lead to defeat.
“Captain, there shouldn’t be any ambushes nearby.”
With South Aurora Island, every mission carried a chance that there would be an ambush. However, the Fire Ax Squad was an elite squad with outstanding members. They would rarely be ambushed, and even if they were, they had the capability to deal with it.
As the spirit boat touched the ground, Cool Foam was the first to jump off the spirit boat, carefully investigating his surroundings to see if anything was strange.
Lin Ming was displaying his usual demeanor. However, the truth was that he had already felt a formidable energy fluctuation several miles away. Judging from this energy, they were without a doubt South Sea Demon Region martial artists.
It was possible that they were the Demon Region squad described in the intelligence report, and the ones shipping the raw medicinal materials.
In the dark forest, over a dozen manic wolves the size of calves were patrolling back and forth, their green eyes shining in the dark. Every now and then they would issue out a low roar, causing those that heard it to feel as if their heart stopped.
Within this group of hungry wolves, there were eight black-armored martial artists holding spears. In front of them, there were a couple dozen youths with medicine baskets fixed on their backs. After digging up the medicinal plants, it was best to place them in the medicine basket in order to preserve the maximum degree of medicinal potency. If these plants were placed in a spatial ring, they would soon die. The mini dimension within a spatial ring could not hold life.
These medicinal plants had just been discovered a few days ago. Although they hadn’t yet fully matured and reached their maximum effect, no one would care about these things in a war. If they didn’t pick it themselves, that meant that it would be left in enemy hands.
“Faster, go faster!” The leader among these eight black-armored soldiers loudly shouted.
These young boys and girls that picked medicine were slaves from the South Sea Demon Region. Most of them were at the first or second stage of Body Transformation. They were strong enough to withstand the heavy and grueling physical labor required, but were weak enough that they had no power to resist; they were the ideal slaves.
After being yelled at by a black-armored soldier, these boy and girls lowered their heads and increased their efforts to collect herbs. They feared that they would be punished if they didn’t gather enough.