Book 6 Chapter 12.6

Book 6 Chapter 12.6 - Sacrifice

Early in the morning, under the desolate and drawn-out bugle sound, Xilur City’s soldiers walked out from the barracks one after another, following the preset path towards Maca City. They didn’t proceed in an orderly formation, but were instead divided into more than ten small troops, spread out everywhere as they advanced. A simple, crude, and dilapidated winding road stretched from Xilur to Maca, the distance twice as long as the path Kanos selected. Meanwhile, for ability users, roads were no longer essential. Rugged terrain didn’t hinder them much at all.

After leaving the city, the free soldiers gradually scattered out. Their first task was to trek across a mountain range eight hundred meters above sea level. The mountain range didn’t have any proper roads, so the soldiers had to choose the best way to scale this mountain road based on their own respective abilities. The seven generals each led a troop, these troops slowly climbing up the mountain ridge. There was definitely no orderly formations to speak of with this type of advance, but this to some extent was a reflection of the empire’s fundamental lack of military training. Their individual abilities might be great, but their fundamental military knowledge and commanding experience was much inferior.

The mountains were full of all different types of plants, trees, shrubs, and all types of tenacious horned vines. Venomous bugs moved about, and of course, there were blood-sucking mosquitoes everywhere as well.

In the forest, a general began to mumble and curse to himself. He raised a large foot, powerfully kicking down a large tree blocking the way. Then, he brandished a thick and heavy machete to hack apart all the vines in the way, opening up a path for the soldiers behind him, and only then did he continue forward. As soon as he took a few steps, he suddenly stood still, scanning his eyes suspiciously over the dark and gloomy forest. Clack clack clack! Sounds of weapons being loaded sounded behind the general. The soldiers knew that the general might have discovered enemy traces, so they immediately became vigilant on their own, moving out to occupy the surrounding favorable terrain.

The general’s eyes swept through the forest, not letting a single detail go. He saw a few dangerous venomous spiders, as well as some wild wolves who were pacing back and forth, not daring to approach. There were also a few insects he had never seen before, for example, an entirely black wasp. For some reason, this wasp made him feel extremely uncomfortable, as if it was a completely new species. However, the general knew that this wasn’t the time to be carrying out research. This march to war was not a good time to capture specimen. Moreover, in this type of complex rainforest environment, many new species appeared every year, so a single wasp was completely insignificant. Even if it was a group of wasps, they still didn’t matter much at all.

The general shook his head, and then no longer paid those wasps laying on the branches any attention, instead leading his soldiers forward again.

The wasps rested on the tree branches, eyes flickering about. Their bellies expanded, revealing a row of dark red inner tissues. When these tissues were revealed, they could release a special longwave signal, this wave band not something humans could detect. The wasp was calling its companions over. Several minutes later, along with slight buzzing sounds, another wasp flew over, stopping in front of the previous wasp. The previous wasp’s compound eyes’ several hundred light specks quickly flickered about, passing on the information it gathered to the rear wasp. A few minutes later, the new wasp flapped its wings and rushed into the sky, increasing its speed and disappearing into the distance.

A holographic map appeared in the first wasp’s miniature brain. It produced possible routes the troop in front of it might take, and then flew into the air. After flying in a large circle, it landed on a large tree’s treetop, quietly waiting for the troop to arrive.

More than ten minutes later, the dense shrubbery was hacked apart by the machete, and then the general’s massive body squeezed out from the undergrowth. A blade of grass was sticking out of his mouth, continuously being chewed. The juices of this type of grass were slightly poisonous, but it was top-notch for mental stimulation. His fierce gaze swept through the mountain peaks, but he didn’t see anything strange, not even a single tribal native. This place wasn’t that far from Xilur City, and no residential areas were allowed within the city’s range of city defense. All indigenous tribes who could be used as slaves had long been swept clean. 

With a pah sound, the commander spat out the half-chewed grass leaf, and then with a move of his large hand, he continued forward. Not long afterwards, soldiers appeared from the forest one after another, advancing through the path he had opened up and continuing forward.

However, the corners of the general’s eyes continuously twitched, feeling like something just wasn’t quite right about this forest, yet couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was. Were there vicious beasts, mutated creatures, or enemies hiding? He immediately rejected all three possibilities, yet the feeling of danger still refused to leave. In this empire that attached great importance to abilities, every high level ability user paid close attention to their intuition. As a result, the general decided to stop moving, hand propping up his chin, starting to review every single scene he had just seen, sifting through them without letting a single detail go.

There weren’t any suspicious areas apart from the wasp on the branch that looked a bit unsightly. He recalled a similar wasp he previously saw, that one similarly making him feel a bit uncomfortable, but because it was a bit far, he didn’t bother killing it. Two identical wasps? This didn’t really prove anything either. After all, wasps had a broad range of activity, and in the eyes of humans, wasps looked nearly identical to begin with. Even though ability users like him possessed powerful observation skills, this didn’t mean that they could differentiate the differences between the six legs of one wasp from another’s.

The general still harbored doubts, but he continued forward. The road ahead was still long, so he didn’t have time to waste.

An hour later, the general narrowed his eyes while standing halfway up a mountain, staring at a wasp a thousand meters out. In the past few hours, he already saw this type of creature six times. Moreover, he was finally sure that at the very least, the last two wasps he saw were the exact same creature.

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