Chapter 64: Water Battle (1)
If you traveled south along Long Clear River, the flow of water would become much faster once you passed the North Gaze Gorge.
By following this path in the southwest direction, you would arrive at the Lingyuan Marsh.
The path through Lingyuan Marsh was winding. Three rivers fed into two lakes here, resulting in a very large, fertile plains. This became known as the Three Rivers Plains.
Because of its complex layout, the Lingyuan Marshes became a place where pirates tended to gather.
There were dozens of different groups of pirates gathered in this location.
The smallest pirate group only had a few dozen people and one or two boats, yet they were willing to fly the flag and rob other people. The largest group had nearly eight hundred members, and they could virtually do as they pleased, even daring to attack government ships.
Callsign “Beaver” cut quickly through the river, followed by Riverwolf, Riverlion, Rivertiger, and Riverfish, four large carracks.
These kinds of carracks were narrow at the front and wide at the back, with both the front and the back elevated. The boats were quite deep in the water and could maneuver agilely, perfect for traversing difficult terrain. The interior of the boats were hollow and could store a lot of cargo, but there was no guard deck or platform. There were also no Origin Formations installed. Evidently, these were boats primarily intended to ship cargo.
Su Chen was standing at the front of the boat. Beside him were Tang Ming, Wu Xiao, and the others.
After the boats entered the marshes, their vision was much less obstructed. Right in front of them was a vast expanse of water, with one or two boats passing by from time to time.
“This is the Lingyuan Marsh. The eight hundred square kilometers of marshland are traversed by tens of thousands of boats every day, and the marshlands support the millions of people living on both sides of the water as well as tens of thousands of pirates. Some of these pirates are actually just dogs raised by those Bloodline Nobility Clans,” Su Chen said.
“Did the Lingyuan Navy never try to clean up the area?” Jiang Hanfeng asked.
“Of course! How could they not? The issue was that it wasn’t very effective. Out of ten cleanup attempts, eight were successful, while for the other two it was considered a success if they were even able to wipe out a few small fry,” Su Chen laughed coldly. “The reason the Lingyuan Navy exists isn’t to wipe out the pirates but to use the pirates to give their existence meaning. Dealing with the pirates is obviously good, but if they are all taken care of...... what’s the point in keeping the Lingyuan Navy around? So to them, control and intimidation are the most important.”
“No wonder it’s so hard for the government to do anything,” Zhou Juanjia sighed.
“So if we help them wipe out all of the pirates, we’ll actually be offending them?” Tang Ming said.
“That’s right! So even though we can definitely kill some pirates, we cannot kill all of the ones we come across. We need to carefully select our targets. Of course, that’s stretching it a bit; it would be difficult to wipe out all of the pirates even if we wanted to, so we don’t actually need to think that far ahead.”
“That’s right. How could the pirates be so easily defeated? Each one of them is incredibly slippery. We’ve been floating around for a day already, yet no pirates have appeared yet,” Jiang Hanfeng muttered.
As soon as Jiang Hanfeng had finished speaking, a few large boats emerged from a foggy patch off in the distance.
Because the patch of fog wasn’t very far from them, the boat was quite close to them as soon as it appeared, close enough that they could see the vicious, bloodthirsty expressions of the people on the other boats.
They were yelling and howling as the boats sailed at full speed, harnessing the power of the wind to charge in Su Chen and the others’ direction. They were at least twice as fast as Su Chen’s boats, if not more.
“Pirates!” someone began to yell.
There was no fear nor unrest in their voice. Rather, it was filled with traces of excitement.
The wind bore with it the sounds of the pirates’ bloodthirsty yelling. These valiant pirates were all naked from the waist up. They stood on top of their boats, waving steel blades as they howled madly.
To them, this was another grand hunting opportunity.
They were not alone in this sentiment; Su Chen’s side clearly thought the same way.
As they stared at the oncoming fleet, no one was afraid. All they felt was an uncontainable excitement.
“Full speed ahead!” Su Chen commanded.
The boats didn’t try to escape. Instead, they charged forward as well, greeting the enemy with open arms.
As if realizing that something was off, a tall pirate wearing an eyepatch of all things on one of the opposing boats yelled as he surveyed the situation, “Zuo Siliang, take a closer look at our opponents. Something seems off. Could it be an ambush?”
An old man walked over. He had an exceptionally long neck that he stretched out at this moment, a strange red light shining from his eyes.
“There are a few cultivators, but they aren’t many in number. There’s only ten of them, most of them in the Blood Boiling Realm. The remainder are all Body Tempering martial artists.”
“None of them are in the Yang Opening Realm?”
“No Yang Opening Realm cultivators!” the old man replied confidently.
“Then there’s nothing to be afraid of,” the pirate leader laughed loudly. “A bunch of people who don’t know their own strength, wanting to fight with us with just that kind of strength? Boys, let’s get ‘em!”
“Let’s get ‘em!” the pirates howled with excitement, causing the heavens to shake.
The pirates were filled with confidence. This group of pirates had nearly three hundred people, more than fifty of whom were Qi Drawing Realm cultivators, twenty were Blood Boiling Realm cultivators, and two Yang Opening Realm cultivators. Their boats had protective plating and been fitted with battering rams and Origin Formations for battle. In Lingyuan Marsh, they were probably a mid-tier group of pirates. Regardless of whether you considered cultivation base, boat quality, or numbers, they all had enough to suppress their opponents. Naturally, they felt little fear.
The two fleets continued to charge at each other, growing closer and closer.
The pirates’ desire to kill had reached its peak.
Just at that moment, however, they watched as the people on the other boats jumped into the water one by one like dumplings being dropped into a pot of boiling water as water splashed from the impact.
“What are they doing?” The bandit leader was also confused.
Could they have suddenly felt fear and were jumping off the boat to try and run?
But if they wanted to run, surely the boat would be the fastest?
Just as he was feeling shocked, some pirates began to yell, “Fire! Fire!”
The opposing boat had suddenly been engulfed in flames. The raging torrent of flames began to take on the form of a massive fire dragon, which then charged at the pirates.
“Is that all they have?” the pirate head laughed darkly before turning around and yelling, “Scalp!!”
“Right here!” a stout Origin Qi Scholar laughed viciously and stepped out.
He raised his hands, causing a large wave to suddenly soar into the air, transforming into thousands of water columns that shot forward.
In this world, where people possessed extraordinary strength, fire-type attacks usually weren’t life-threatening. As long as an Origin Qi Scholar was present, there were simply too many ways to deal with those kinds of attacks.
The overwhelming force of the water was the simplest and most effective way to deal with the flaming boat. If the pirates were a bit crueler, they could have also chosen to adjust the direction of the wind so that the flames would burn their opponents instead. The reason they had not chosen to do so, however, was because the pirates still wanted to preserve the boat.
The flames were engulfed by the torrent of water. Steam billowed into the air, making it seem as if a bout of fog had suddenly descended onto the surface of the lake. Even their ability to see was adversely affected.
The flames that had just arisen were wiped out just like that. All that remained were a few empty boats, now lifelessly floating on the surface of the water.
However, the head of the pirates felt that something wasn’t right.
The people who had jumped into the water had disappeared.
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