Chapter 1180 - Forest Rush

The night was near when a car had stopped at the fringes of the jungle. There were already a few vehicles waiting in the clearing beside the road, all of which had transported core members of the Relief Society. They had exited Kano City in batches to the gathering point. 

Xia Lei got out of the car and brought out a gearbox from the boot. He placed it over his shoulder and began to walk towards those cars. Shentu Tianyin tailed the man closely. The woman’s upper torso was protected by a bulletproof vest while her head was covered by a tactical helmet. Xia Lei had insisted she put these on for protection. 

After dismissing a few cars, Xia Lei led everyone into the jungle. 

Among the trees, Xia Lei spotted around a hundred veteran soldiers that the Relief Society had recruited. They were of diverse age groups, some were in their twenties and some were in their fifties. They were all Black men that were perfect for stealth missions in the dark. All soldiers were armed with Thunder Horse Organization’s weapons along with bulletproof vests and appropriate gear that were sent over by Prince Harifah. 

While their training and battle experiences were nothing like the American Delta Force, the Boko Haram armed members wouldn’t be an issue for them to handle. With the Thunder Horse weapons, they could even stand a battle against the Delta Force. After all, the XL2500 sniper rifle, Gust assault rifle and the Hell-bound One Soldier Cannon were kings of infantry weapons. 

“Let’s move!” Giovanna ordered. 

The whole team began to move deeper into the jungle. 

The surface leader of the operation force was Giovanna. Xia Lei’s identity was still kept under the wraps. No one knew who he was or where he was from. Heck, they didn’t even know who the real leader of this operation was nor the whole of the Relief Society. And of course, they had no idea that Xia Lei’s face was fake. 

The lack of walkable paths in the jungle had made the journey extra excruciating. Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin stayed at the very end of the line. Everyone else was silent during their treks but the ex-wife and ex-husband combo had yet to stop talking ever since stepping foot into this place. 

“Hubby, I find it weird that you know where the railway is,” commented Shentu Tianyin.

Xia Lei answered, “I deduced tt through the terrain shifts marked on the map. I think your geologists and railway engineers would’ve picked that route to lay the tracks.” 

“Does that mean that you’re not entirely sure either?” 

“Yeah, I’m not sure where it is honestly.” 

The woman was speechless.  

This was merely the beginning but she was already suffering a lot from the trek. If Xia Lei’s deduction was proven to be wrong, then all her torment would be for nothing. This had bothered her greatly. 

Xia Lei was, of course, lying. How was he supposed to tell her that- Hey, I infiltrated your brain and extracted the map from your memories- or anything else along that line? 

“Ouch…” Shentu Tianyin groaned painfully in all of a sudden and fell on her bottom. Her palms were squeezing her ankle tightly and she looked like she was in pain. 

Xia Lei quickly tended to her. “What’s the matter? Did you roll your ankle?” 

Shentu Tianyin bit her lip and nodded. “Yeah. It hurts like hell… Jeez, I’m so useless.” 

“Please don’t say things like that. You’ve never once gone through hardships like this. You’re already doing very well.” Xia Lei attempted to comfort her while he helped her up. “Come, I’ll carry you on my back.” 

“How can I do that?! You’re shouldering a gear case that looks like it weighs at least a few kilogrammes. Plus, I… No can do! I refuse!” Shentu Tianyin rejected his offer. She felt guilty for being a burden to Xia Lei. She sincerely did not wish for Xia Lei to suffer because of her. 

Despite that, Xia Lei was already moving his bag in front and crouching down. He turned around and told Shentu Tianyin, “Enough chit chat. Come on up.” 

“I…” Shentu Tianyin was hesitant. 

Xia Lei’s tone was stern. “We’re falling behind the team. If you refuse to climb up soon, we won’t be able to catch up. There are too many wild animals in the depths of this ancient forest too. Do you want to become their meal? You promised that you’ll listen to me when we’re here. Heed my words or else I’ll have no choice but to send you home.” 

Xia Lei’s warning was effective. Shentu Tianyin quickly hooked her arms around his neck and wrapped her legs around his waist. 

“There we go.” Xia Lei’s arms reached behind to prop her up. He began to stride forward to catch up with the formation. 

Shentu Tianyin had weighed about fifty to fifty-five kilograms. In addition to the forty-kilogram gear bag on his front, Xia Lei was carrying a load of around one hundred kilograms. This was a great load that even the best Special Force soldier could not even survive with through a few kilometres trek across an untouched jungle. Honestly, they wouldn’t be able to get past even two kilometres. 

Despite that, Xia Lei had brought along Shentu Tianyin and the bag along five kilometres. They had travelled for forty-five minutes straight without a single break. 

He was able to do that courtesy of the mysterious energy within him. It had worked like the fuel of an automotive, supplying energy to his body continuously. There was no need for a car to stop and rest in the case of regular movement. 

There was also another factor behind this. After his body had entered the overall evolution phase, the man no longer experienced exhaustion. Regardless of his explosive force or stamina, he was now far stronger than before. Most importantly, the mysterious energy had successfully activated the energy within his cells and allowed him to be in a constant state of full force exertion. With his current performance, Xia Lei could even bring Shentu Tianyin on his back across the whole of Nigeria and even bring her to Turkey for a movie date. 

“Hubby, are you tired yet? I think you should rest.” Shentu Tianyin had repeated herself multiple times throughout the whole of their forty-five minute long trek. 

“I’m alright. Just stay still, that’ll help me a lot.” Xia Lei too had said the same thing repeatedly throughout the journey. 

“But you’ve already carried me through such a long distance. I’m sure you must be exhausted by now. Please put me down for a moment and get some rest. I’m feeling much better now, I think I can walk the rest of the journey myself.” Shentu Tianyin was still worried over Xia Lei’s condition. 

Unwilling to give up, Shentu Tianyin spoke into his ear with puffs of warm breath. “Put me down before I bite you.” 

It was then that Xia Lei finally placed her down. Shentu Tianyin gingerly took a few steps- Her ankle was better already. Xia Lei continued to lead Shentu Tianyin forward, still at the very behind of the formation. Though the woman was already able to walk normally, this was evidently her virgin trail through an untouched jungle. Her steps were strained and difficult. Due to that, they were slowing down reaching a speed that was even slower than Xia Lei’s earlier pace. However, when Xia Lei offered to carry her again, Shentu Tianyin had stubbornly refused it. 

Three hours later, the team arrived at a clearing in the jungle. 

Xia Lei spread out the map, studied it and compared it with the map in his mind. “We should be able to see the train tracks around twenty-five kilometres ahead. After we get to the railway, we need to speed up and reach our destination before dawn breaks. 

“It’ll be great if there’s a train,” mumbled Stella. 

“Keep dreaming. How is it possible for a train to be here?” Rosa laughed. 

Their conversation had restored some ease to the atmosphere. 

Shentu Tianyin, on the other hand, found it difficult to relax. She took off her New Balance sneakers and rubbed her ankle. Her wonderful jade-like feet were aching everywhere, blisters were even forming at pressure points. 

Xia Lei’s heart clenched at the sight. He wished to give her a massage and dress her wounds but in front of so many soldiers, he did not dare to do so. Everyone was here for war and this was a rather grim operation. If he chose to be lovey-dovey with Shentu Tianyin and frolic around, it would be detrimental to the soldier’s spirits. 

“Where are they?” Giovanna asked Xia Lei. 

She was obviously referring to the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team. 

Xia Lei answered, “I think they’re about to assume their spots soon.” 

Doot doot doot… Doot doot doot… 

Speaking of the devil, Xia Lei’s phone rang at the mention of them. 

It was Qian Jun. Xia Lei spared the screen a glance and answered the call. “Hello, it’s me. Speak.” 

“Boss, we’ve reached the outer ring of the Alliance Mine. We’re about fifty kilometres away from the site. There’s no signal ahead. We’ve also managed to spot patrolling Delta Force soldiers along with some form the Navy SEAL. The Americans sure are going big this time.” Qian Jun’s voice rang over the device.

“Any intel about what’s going in the Alliance Mine?” 

“None. We’ve been unable to get close.” Qian Jun continued, “I’m calling to tell you that the Boko Haram armed members are gathering at the Alliance Mine for some unknown reason. Their members are all around the sides of the road that passes through the jungle. Also, the Boko Haram has sent out a few groups of armed members to patrol the jungle. If you’re trying to get past the jungle, they might bring you some problems.” 

Xia Lei replied, “Alright got it. Wait for us at the gathering spot. We’ll be there in the morning.” 

“Noted. We’ll be waiting.” Qian Jun hung up. 

Xia Lei checked his wristwatch and said to Giovanna, “We’ll rest for another ten minutes and then continued our journey.” 

Following that, Giovanna relayed his instructions to everyone involved. In the eyes of the Relief Society fighters, this order was made by Giovanna and not Xia Lei. 

“Hubby, you should eat something.” Shentu Tianyin extended a bag of beef jerky over and motioned for him to take some. 

Xia Lei went over but refused the beef jerky. He took out an energy bar from his pocket. “You can have it all. I’ll eat this instead.” 

“You’ve only been eating this for the past two days. That won’t do.” Shentu Tianyin’s brows were knitted with earnest concern.

Xia Lei chewed on his energy bar. “There’s no need to worry about me. Quick, eat up. We only have ten minutes left to rest. Also, just let me carry you on my back for the rest of the trip. Your feet are already in such a state, there’s no way you can finish the remaining twenty kilometres.” 

Shentu Tianyin worried her lower lip but nodded in the end.  

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