Book 1 Chapter 8.1 - Incomplete Mission
A strong wind blew through the skies, creating an opening in the dense clouds and allowing scorching sunlight to shine downwards. The various creatures that were moving about scattered in all directions in search of shade to hide themselves in. The temperature of the ground where the sunlight shone upon quickly climbed, and the hot air that surged as a result began to distort the scenery.
Apart from the whistling of the wind, the wilderness did not seem to have any other sounds. No traces of life could be seen either.
Within an abandoned villa, Su was sitting next to a window on the second floor, carefully wiping down his rifle’s components. When the final part was cleaned, he used slow yet precise movements to reassemble the rifle. He then pushed in the firing device, and only now did he carefully place the rifle by his side. He plugged up the muzzle with a piece of a cloth to prevent dust from getting inside the weapon. The weapon was Su’s lifeline, and after losing the pistol, the modified rifle became Su’s sole weapon. Moreover, when fighting against a pack of wolves, this rifle became even more important.
Su leaned against the wall and sank into a state of sleep. He had already roamed about this region for five days. Within the map in his mind, he could clearly see the trajectory he traveled during these past five days, and the shape it formed was a large arc that almost drew out a semicircle. The region he was in right now was an area on the map that had been mostly explored. Su wasn’t willing to fight against another in a completely unfamiliar region.
Exactly half an hour and not a second later, Su opened his eyes. By now, the opening in the clouds had already closed, and the sky above the wilderness was covered in an overcast and dark expanse. The ground that had been roasted by sunlight did not disappear. If one stepped on that area, they would still feel blistering heat from the soles of their feet.
During the past five days, Su would always walk for two hours and then rest for half an hour, alternating like this day and night. He advanced quickly when moving, maintaining roughly ten kilometers of distance every hour. Of course, Su’s speed could surpass ten kilometers an hour, but this process was done for the sake of confusing the pack of wolves on his trail. At the crucial moment, even the slightest mistake could lead to a change in the battle’s outcome.
The pack of wolves was getting closer and closer to Su. However, without coming into contact with them, he wouldn’t have any idea why these wolves were after him. After making a complete circle, he might be able to find a few clues about this pack of wolves.
There was still plenty of time right now. Su slowly stretched his body. His skin slightly trembled, and a faint prickling sensation could be felt on his body’s surface. This signified danger, proving that those behind him didn’t give up their pursuit. Many wild beasts had natural intuition towards danger, and on this aspect, Su did not belong merely to the majority of wild beasts and had his perks in this area. After selecting the Mysterious Fields ability domain, one’s perception towards danger would become much sharper. This might be one of the benefits of the Mysterious Fields that few people knew about.
Su began to sort out his equipment, and at the same time, he searched the map in his mind to plan his next course of action. When he saw Base K7 on the map, Su’s heart suddenly jumped. No matter where these wolves came from, when they came, or what direction they came from, Base K7 was the most likely starting point.
Su left the small building. After walking out several kilometers, he suddenly changed directions and moved towards Base K7.
Less than 90 kilometers away from Su, Laiknar’s group found some new traces underneath a large tree. The electronics specialist opened the map that was not any less precise than Su’s. It shockingly revealed Su’s movements during these past few days without any bit of mistake. The electronics specialist made a marking on this new position, and as a result, a seemingly complete circle appeared on the map.
Several areas on the map had been marked with red Xs. They were bright red and extremely striking.
“He definitely noticed us already. Crafty fellow. He probably wants to make us go around in circles,” Laiknar said with a cold laugh. He gave the electronics specialist a look and asked, “Is your thing reliable?”
The electronics specialist raised his head and said seriously, “Other than sir O’Brien, there shouldn’t be anyone in this group that can detect better than my device.”
Laiknar’s face showed some clear discontent, but he didn’t act out. Instead, he looked at the map and coldly said, “If this fellow truly wants to go around in circles with us, then I hope you can give him a big enough surprise.”
Laiknar then looked at the hunter and asked with some dissatisfaction, “Is there no way to increase our speed?”
The hunter was currently analyzing the traces on the ground. When he heard Laiknar’s question, he raised his head and said, “We can’t go any faster. The traces he leaves behind are extremely faint. We are already at our limit. We’ve only been able to come this far due to our luck and due to the lack of extreme weather. Otherwise, a single tornado would wipe out everything. Judging from the time these traces were left behind, the distance between him and us should be less than a hundred kilometers. In three days time, we should be close enough to outflank him.”
“Three more days?!” Laiknar was clearly unsatisfied with this answer, but there was no point in criticizing a third level hunter. Laiknar didn’t have anyone from his own team that could replace him, and no fourth level hunter would willingly become his subordinate.
“Continue the pursuit! Just like before, use every method to infuriate him and make him want to come find us. We will rest for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, we will depart!” Laiknar gave the order.
The subordinates set up a collapsible military pot and tossed in the standard rations they were allocated into the pot together with some water. There was a switch at the bottom of the pot, and as long as it was pressed, the originally solid fuel would produce a high temperature flame that could cook the rations within three minutes. Each pot had one kilogram of fuel that could be used for an entire month.
Li Gaolei slowly consumed his own ration. Either way, he had ten minutes to eat, so he wasn’t in a rush. As for Laiknar and O’Brien’s actions during these past few days, Li Gaolei watched with the cool eye of a bystander, remembering everything silently within his heart. Laiknar and O’Brien were both extremely talented young men, and within their ten subordinates, six of them had three levels of ability, with the remainder having two levels. Roughly speaking, Roxland Company could create a team like this as well, but individuals with two levels of ability that were simultaneously either biochemistry, electronics, or other occupation specialists were extremely rare within Roxland Company. Multi-talented individuals like these all occupied high positions within the company. Would they willingly become like these subordinates who were practically no different from servants?
Apart from this, in regards to the equipment the Black Dragonriders possessed, whether it was its complexity, practicality, or simplicity of use, it all seemed to surpass Roxland Company’s technology. For example, this military pot was not something Roxland Company could produce on its own. Metallurgy, electronics, and mechanical processes weren’t an issue, but the efficient solid fuel far surpassed what the company’s research could produce.
Three minutes to cook, two minutes to separate meals, ten minutes to eat, fifteen minutes to rest. The troop’s actions were as precise as a clock. After going around a full circle while chasing after Su, all of the off-road vehicles ran out of fuel, and as such were abandoned. Moreover, because the vehicles were fast, they often missed Su’s traces, so it was more efficient to move on foot.
Li Gaolei took a fifteen minute power nap. As soon as the alarm rang, he woke up while seemingly full of energy. When Laiknar looked at Li Gaolei, a bit of respect could be seen. During this relentless five day pursuit, even those third level subordinates began to tire. Only Laiknar, O’Brien, and Li Gaolei didn’t seem to show any sign of fatigue.
Night quickly descended. Cold winds quickly dispersed the daytime heat.
Su stood quietly while observing Habitat K7 from a kilometer away. From this distance, even with his Glimmer Sight, he could still only see a rough outline.
Winds slammed against his face, and waves of putrid odor continuously passed by. This kind of smell could be smelled from time to time in the wilderness, but today, this odor was unusually dense, and it was a lot more fresh that what usually drifted through the wilderness.
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