Book 2 Chapter 16.2

Book 2 Chapter 16.2 - Growth

The nastiness of this tundra far surpassed her imagination. With her highly modified body, Maria could move about this tundra unhindered, but the subordinates under her couldn’t. This pursuit and attack happened too suddenly, so they didn’t bring that much provisions, and they also lacked field equipment. Things like tents, high energy fuel, compressed nutrients, and purified water were all normally ordinary items, but in this dark and cold tundra that was full of life-threatening radiation, they were absolutely essential. However, it was already far too late to transfer goods from their temporary base to this place. In addition, even though this terrain looked smooth and without many obstacles, the ground was actually covered with sharp rocks, rocky cliffs, and large gaps. It wasn’t suitable for loading trucks to move through at all, so travelling on foot actually became the fastest method. 

However, if one decided to enter the tundra without the necessary supplies, then it would become an extremely dangerous, or even an extremely stupid decision. These subordinates of Maria all conformed to her sense of beauty, or in other words, since their outwards appearances were the main priority, the other qualities on average became a bit lower. After all, not everyone’s appearances could match their strength. At least half of her group wouldn’t make it past the night in this tundra. If Maria chose to enter the tundra alone, the problem with a lack of materials would easily be solved, but new problems would arise. 

Maria had no idea where Kafen and Lynch were, and similarly, they didn’t know her position either. What worried her was that if she entered the tundra alone to chase after Su, what about Ricardo and his small group? Maria was quite clear on the result of doing something like that, and there was no way it was good. If it was just a captain and a lieutenant commander, Maria still had confidence in dealing with them alone, but the captain and lieutenant commander ahead of her were different from what their ranks normally signified. 

Su, captain rank, equipped with a fifth level Perception Domain ability. This was what the information provided, but what couldn’t be ignored was that Su emerged from Curtis’ training camp, and he also shot up to the captain rank like a rocket. In addition, in terms of contributions, he was only a step away from becoming a lieutenant commander. Those that emerged from Curtis’ training came could never be evaluated by the normal standards of evaluation; this was something that had already become common sense among the Black Dragonriders. 

As for Ricardo, the information the files had of his abilities made him look ordinary and nothing special. There wasn’t anything particularly amazing or worth paying attention too. However, in the northern battlefield, during the major campaigns, apart from the illustrious Persephone, there was no lack of this Ricardo who was nicknamed ‘bear-hunting hound’ among the other individuals without outstanding contributions. One might be able to toss this aside as luck one or two times, but if it happened many times, it couldn’t be explained with just good luck. 

This was one of the reasons that made Maria worried. The other reason was that at least half of the strength of a dragonrider came from their subordinates. Of course, as dragonriders’ abilities increase themselves, subordinates would eventually become dispensable. They would usually be around just for the guarantee of survival. However, in order to reach this type of level, one had to at least be close in strength to that of a general. Not only was she far from this level, with her natural aptitude, she might never reach that level in this lifetime. This was also the reason why she hated Bloody Mary so greatly. From her perspective, Bloody Mary who was blessed with rare combat talents could have easily entered the general ranks, but due to a stupid reason, love, she ultimately became the plaything of men. She truly lost face for all women. As for the other female general that was overflowing with talent, Persephone, she looked too much like an honest woman of the olden era and not the type that Bloodthirsty Maria liked. That was why the more splendid Persephone became, the more hatred and disgust she felt. 

Bloodthirsty Maria’s hatred towards Persephone had already reached the point where there was a time she even publicly provoked Persephone. The result of that action was that as soon as it began, Persephone delivered a refined and elegant slap to knock Maria unconscious and make her lay on a hospital bed for three entire weeks. 

This was why Maria wished to capture Su more than the other two. She wanted to thoroughly humiliate Persephone’s man, because in her heart, this was equivalent to returning several dozen slaps. That type of wonderful feelings would make her feel as if she had sunken into a sea of orgasms! As for personally slapping Persephone’s face, she had never even thought about it before. 

What slightly lifted Maria’s mood was that Kafen didn’t bring too many materials as well, so he was presumably facing the same predicament she was. However, that crafty viper Lynch always liked to hide in the dark corners and send a bullet into his prey’s body at an unexpected moment. Once the operation began, no one would know Lynch’s position or even how many subordinates he brought with him. 

Maria cursed inwardly. The three of them never expected Su to be so crafty and cold-blooded, choosing to directly leave for the north. They completely abandoned the surviving soldiers of the vehicle fleet, sea of goods, and spoils of war and only brought their subordinates with them. They captured over seventy survivors from the battlefield and originally thought that Su and Ricardo would come to rescue these precious veterans or at least carry out guerilla warfare against them in this rather complex terrain. However, Su actually decided to directly leave and head for the north. From the trail they left behind, it seemed like they were decisive in their actions without much hesitation. They didn’t purposely set up a diversion or waste any time. 

If one walked past this tundra and continued north, they would reach their other preset position. From how things were looking, Su was unexpectedly heading straight for that direction. If that really was the case, based on their current speed, their small troop should appear in the rear of their preset position in a day. Even though Maria didn’t think Su knew exactly where their preset location was, this type of strange situation was too worrying. Once they received news that they passed through the tundra and arrived safely in that position, even if Su was directly ripped into pieces, Maria, Kafen, and Lynch’s missions would have failed. If they were defeated because of such a stupid reason, even she didn’t want to think about the consequences. 

After considering the potential gains and losses, Maria immediately gathered the half of her subordinates that had more fighting strength and had them follow herself through the tundra. The others were to return to their temporary base and be on standby. Then, she walked in the front and entered the tundra. As the icy cold wind swept through her fiery red hair, it looked like a torch that would fade at any moment. 

After travelling a single kilometer through the tundra, Kafen’s voice sounded through Maria’s tactical tablet. “Hey, my dear Maria, did you enter the tundra? I am already at the fifteen kilometer area!”

Maria replied with a cold voice, “Of course I entered! However, don’t think that you can make me tell you my position. Did you bring your subordinates or not?”

“Brought them! Twenty-two of them!” Kafen’s voice was accompanied with rumbling laughter. 

“You brought enough provisions for twenty-two people?” Maria felt that it was a bit odd. 

“Not a single portion! If we can steal our enemy’s provisions, then they can just die.” Kafen seemed to downplay the severity of the situation quite a bit. 

Maria was momentarily silent, and then she said, “I guess me and Lynch are part of your enemies as well!”

A rustling sound suddenly transmitted from the tactical tablet. Then, Lynch’s somewhat unclear voice sounded, “There is no point in having internal strife right now. If we attack separately, then I have to say the unpleasant words that we might be eaten by them. That is why for the sake of everyone’s benefit, it is essential if we temporarily work together.”

“We have to find them first though,” Maria said. 

“Let’s kill off half the people we captured first! Force them to come out and fight decisively.” Kafen proposed. 

Lynch was immediately opposed to this plan. “It’s useless! Instead, it will only help them lessen their burden. You should stop playing with those cheap tricks and show some real skills, fight them in a true battle here!”

Maria and Kafen thought for a bit, and then they both expressed their agreement. After some simple discussion and forward plan, the three vultures began to gather together to hunt after their prey in the depths of the tundra. 

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