Chapter 29: Plot
Even though the battle at Forever Clear Island seemed like just a single battle amongst a history of countless similar histories, the implications were in fact extremely far-reaching.
This was the first time that the humans and Oceanids hadn't been forced to hold defensive positions in order to drive off the Sea Beast Wave. Not only had their strength increased, but it was now possible for them to switch from defensive to offensive strategies.
This battle had also solidified everyone's trust in Su Chen.
They began to believe that it was truly possible for accomplish what he had promised to do.
With the wind in their sails, the fleet's movements became much more self-confident.
They took the initiative to launch offensives, constantly capturing powerful Sea Beasts out from the ocean for Su Chen to experiment on.
It had to be said that the Abyss was a region that bred powerful creatures. Even though a majority of the Sea Beasts that lived in the Abyss had just been wiped out, the other Sea Beasts that were being drawn over from everywhere else quickly filled this gap and also began to grow stronger. As such, the "hunting expeditions" had no shortage of targets to pick from.
Based on what Su Chen had said, the Abyss had basically become a holy land for the Sea Beasts. After all, they could get stronger just by entering the area; how could it not be considered holy? However, the Abyss had its limits, and there was a soft cap on how many Sea Beasts it could contain. Once that number was reached, it would be quite difficult for more Sea Beasts to enter the Abyss.
If more Sea Beasts arrived, some of the Sea Beasts already present would gather together and attack.
Having existed for so long, the Abyss had developed its own rules for existence.
The Abyss’s equilibrium made it the perfect hunting grounds for the fleet. They didn’t need to worry about there being too many or too few Sea Beasts.
And as time went on, the members of the fleet were able to familiarize themselves with the area and derive some simple rules about when the Sea Beasts would appear.
Once these principles were discovered, those responsible for capturing the Sea Beasts would use them to their greatest advantage.
As such, the fleet was able to use the least amount of manpower and take the smallest risks to achieve their goals.
As per usual, a group of soldiers was assigned to patrol the waters today.
There were a total of six combat boats - one of them from the Boundless Sect, two from the Blackwater Corps, and three from the Subdued Sea Branch. The Oceanids didn’t need boats, but there was a group of Iron-Boned Sea Cow-riding cavalry present with them.
This was a pretty typical team for capturing Beasts, and they were strong enough to handle most Demonic Emperors.
When the Sovereigns didn’t emerge, these teams were more than sufficient to deal with the majority of the Sea Beasts present
Lin Xiao stood at the fore of the boat, in quite high spirits.
“Captain, Far Peak says there is a Six-Winged Sea Wolf ahead,” one of the Boundless Sect’s disciples said to Lin Xiao.
“Demonic Lord?” Lin Xiao frowned. “It’s too weak. Tell them not to disturb it and try to find another target. This rule that we can only capture three a day is really annoying. Who knows why this is even a rule.”
Not allowing the patrols to capture more than three high-tier or above Demonic Beasts was for their safety.
However, the orders from the higher-ups often conflicted with the desires of those lower on the chain of command. To the soldiers, who craved the thrill of the hunt, this restriction of only being allowed to capture three Demonic Beasts was hard to bear. As soldiers, they could not go against the orders of their superiors, but how they carried out their orders was up to them.
Since they could only hunt three Demonic Beasts, then why not find some more powerful targets to tackle?
Ignoring the Sea Beasts that weren’t powerful enough had become a habit for these hunting parties already.
As one of the twelve Sword Servants that had followed Su Chen back in the day, Lin Xiao was in command of quite a powerful group. After all, he himself was a Spirit Burning Realm cultivator.
Yes, he had reached the Spirit Burning Realm already.
The Boundless Sect’s disciples had all improved in leaps and bounds, making breakthroughs in spades.
As part of the group that had followed Su Chen the longest, his innate talent was quite good, and the special resources given to him by the Boundless Sect allowed him to quickly step out of the Light Shaking Realm. Not only did he form his Lotus Platforms rapidly, but he was even lucky enough to break into the Spirit Burning Realm, making him one of the earliest Spirit Burning Realm cultivators amongst the Boundless Sect.
Even though this group was still incredibly small, they were slowly but surely becoming a core part of the fleet’s strength, and many of them had been assigned to captain these hunting expeditions.
Upon hearing Lin Xiao’s command, the ships took great pains to avoid the Demonic Lord and headed in a different direction.
“They don’t even want a Demonic Lord? It seems their appetite is growing,” one of the human officials standing on the Far Peak muttered.
“What can you do? They’re from the Boundless Sect, after all. The more strong people they have, the greater their appetite will be,” one of the Blackwater Corps’ officials replied.
“If they have the ability, they should go and subjugate a Demonic Emperor next,” someone else added on.
“It’s not like they haven’t.”
“How about two?”
“I could handle it.”
“Get the hell out of here. Don’t provoke them too much.”
As they jabbed back and forth at each other, all sense of propriety quickly went out the window.
Most of the individuals from the Black Flame were pirates, bandits, and rogues. As such, they were always incredibly unrefined in their speech. Even if their leader had been cowed, they were still quite prickly, so it was only natural that they would complain about it.
If they didn’t complain, they wouldn’t have been from the Black Flame.
However, though they were complaining, they weren’t actually planning on doing anything. After all, their fates were linked at the moment, and harming the others was the same as harming themselves. After all, they were all being pressured by the Sea Beasts, so there was no point in betraying anyone else.
Even so, exceptions were exceptions precisely because they toppled conventional logic.
Just as everyone was laughing and chatting with each other, no one noticed a young Blackwater Corps general silently approach the boat. He looked like he was gazing off into the distance, but he was actually pouring a little bit of black medicine into the water.
The medicine fell into the water and disappeared without a trace.
He had just finished pouring out all the medicine and was about to put away the vial when a hand suddenly clapped him on the back. “Shang Li, what are you doing? Just standing here dozing off?”
The young man’s remained emotionless as he calmly lowered the hand holding the vial before turning around and saying casually, “Nothing much. I’m just staring out at the sea.”
The soldier was taken aback. “Are you crazy? You don’t think being out on the sea every day is enough for you? Weren’t you the one who said that you wanted to vomit when you looked at the sea?”
Shang Li said with a slight smile, “I’m in a good mood today. It’s only natural that my outlook is different.”
The soldier had already put his arm around Shang Li. “Don’t act like you’re refined. You and I aren’t that kind of people. Come on, some of us are going to get a drink together.”
Shang Li was dragged away by the soldier, so he could only relinquish his grip. All of the medicine in the vial fell into the see.
Shang Li glanced behind him somewhat regretfully as he said helplessly, “Aren’t we not supposed to drink on the job?”
“Who cares about the rules? Shang Li, what’s gotten into you today? When have you ever cared about rules on the job? When the Sea Beasts come, these rules aren’t going to save me or you. Come on, let’s go and have a drink!”
Shang Li was forcefully dragged away.
No one saw the medicine rapidly diffuse into the sea.
Very quickly, the calm waters began to churn.
Countless Sea Beasts began to charge in their direction, as if there was something attracting their attention. Once they arrived, they began to chase after the boats.
At first, only a few small fry showed up, but soon the larger Sea Beasts arrived on the scene, gathering in large numbers very quickly.
The massive numbers of Sea Beasts gathering in one location caused the surface of the sea to ripple abnormally.
One of the Boundless Sect disciples responsible for overwatch suddenly yelled out,
“Distance,” Lin Xiao asked.
“Right beneath us!”
“Hm?” Lin Xiao was taken aback.
He shot into the sky and immediately began to revolve his Divine Palace. As his consciousness spread, he immediately realized that something was wrong and cried out, “Not good! There is a large group of Sea Beasts gathering beneath us right now. Notify all teams to retreat! Retreat and get out of here!!!”
The emergency alarm to retreat began to resound.
“Hm? What’s going on? We haven’t even managed to obtain anything yet, so why are we leaving now?” Everyone was surprised.
Only Shang Li, who was standing on Far Peak, had a shady expression.
If it wasn’t for that damned bastard earlier, he wouldn’t have needed to use all of the medicine. That way, the Sea Beasts wouldn’t have gathered so quickly, and the hunting expedition would have gotten deeper in. At that time, it would have been impossible for them to retreat.
As for now…… Everything would depend on the will of the Heavens.
He stared coldly at the surface of the water as he counted down in his heart. Ten, nine, eight, seven…...
Once the alarm to retreat had been sounded, everyone sprang into ocean. The boats began to turn around to leave.
At the same time, the large number of Sea Beasts that had gathered below the surface of the waters also began to rise.
As they began to appear on the surface of the sea, the Origin Energy fluctuations grew even stronger, and the captains of the boats could begin to sense the abnormalities brewing under the water.
“Activate the defensive barriers!”
“Turn these ships around!”
“Raise the rear sails!”
“Light Shaking Realm cultivators and above, prepare to go airborne!”
“Retreat! Retreat at full speed!”
The sound of commands being given could be heard everywhere.
Six, five, four, three…...
Shang Li was still counting silently, and he seemed to be very active. However, in reality he wasn’t doing anything.
“Put in the Origin Stones!”
“Everyone, prepare for battle!”
“Hurry! Hurry! There are still Sea Beasts coming from below.”
“Brace for impact!”
Shang Li muttered silently.
On the last number, a massive jellyfish rose to the surface, slamming into the boats that had only just turned around.
The massive collision almost lifted the entire boat into the air.
Thankfully, Far Peak wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing. At the same time, two massive wings made of steel and wood sprouted from the boat’s body, allowing it to glide through the air. At the same time, the boat’s body glowed with a golden protective barrier. As such, this powerful attack wasn’t able to damage the boat too much.
The giant jellyfish hissed with rage, and its countless tentacles reached out to grab the floating boat.
The boat was able to dodge most of the attacks, while the attacks that did land caused the barrier on the boat to flicker madly.
“Counterattack!” the commander of the boat yelled loudly.
The Blackwater Corps struck at the same time, and streaks of Origin Energy light slammed into the giant jellyfish’s body.
But at the same time that they attacked, even more Sea Beasts began to emerge from beneath the surface of the waters.
They roared and howled as they ascended, and the surface of the ocean roiled. An oppressive aura rose from the depths of the ocean, throwing the hunting party into despair.