The First Order Chapter 54
Ren Xiaosu was astounded to learn he had actually completed the quest, because he had no intention of completing it right from the start. It seemed that the palace only wanted him to get stronger. How else could Wang Fugui's "I thank your eight generations of ancestors" count as sincere thanks?!
Ren Xiaosu's current Strength was 6.5 and had officially exceeded twice the level of a normal a.d.u.l.t. Of course, this was only a comparison of the average rating of a human being. Individuals who had undergone intensive training would not be considered average.
The convoy quickly passed through the canyon and drove on. Those who had fled in the direction of the wolves in their panic ended up getting bitten to death by them. The pursuing face bugs were acting strangely as well. They were unwilling to step out of the canyon by even an inch, retreating slowly when they reached the edge of the canyon pass.
The wolves and face bugs were like two species in the wilderness that did not intrude into each others' territories and coexisted in a unique way.
The wolves looked to their Wolf King as it turned around and trod back slowly towards the woods. It seemed that once it was sure that the prey had run off, it would depart without any hesitation.
The driver, Sun Junzheng, said as he drove, "I wonder how many of us survived this time?"
"It's enough that we survived," Ren Xiaosu answered. Others surviving wasn't in his scope of considerations.
In reality, it was better to have a larger group of people in the wilderness. After all, the more people they had, the greater their strength. Besides, they could all take care of each other if something were to happen.
But now that Ren Xiaosu witnessed how these soldiers and band members reacted, it proved to him that these people were definitely not dependable. Not only they were not dependable, but he might even get killed through their actions if he was not careful enough.
"Look, there are so many skeletons around here!" Sun Junzheng suddenly shouted.
As the vehicle passed through the canyon, they saw several dozen human skeletons scattered in grotesque fashion throughout the canyon.
"I'm afraid that these might be left by the face bugs," Ren Xiaosu calmly said.
Now that he thought about it, Ren Xiaosu, who remained the calmest at the time, had been able to observe the face bugs while he was retreating back to the vehicle.
He remembered that not every face bug had a human face on the back of their shells. Was it because they were not fully grown yet? Or was it because the faces would only appear after they ate a human?
In a strange place like this, Ren Xiaosu assumed the most horrifying possibilities.
Thinking of this, Ren Xiaosu felt a shiver running down his spine. Why did it feel like these face bugs had swallowed the souls of their victims? The victims' souls were then hideously displayed on the back of the face bugs' shells.
The convoy originally had six vehicles, but they only possessed three now. It took them more than ten minutes to pass through the entirety of the canyon. The moment the vehicle drove out of the canyon, Ren Xiaosu, Yang Xiaojin, and Sun Junzheng were stunned by what they saw.
As it was still late at night, the canyon was dark and cryptic. The only light came from the vehicles' headlights.
But outside the canyon, stars hung in a picturesque scene in the sky overhead. It felt like it was right in front of them. Furthermore, the vegetation on the ground was oddly dense with many fireflies among the trees. The surrounding mountains seemed to have deliberately marked out this huge garden as an immortal paradise.
They slowly got out of the vehicle and took in everything the night could offer. Sun Junzheng couldn't help himself and walked towards the woods with a look of longing on his face.
However, Ren Xiaosu slapped his face. "You still want to go into that strange a forest?"
Those living in the stronghold were attracted to "beauty." But for Ren Xiaosu, the beauty that existed in nature was inherently full of dangers.
To survive in the wilderness, they had to understand that the more beautiful a snake looked, the more dangerous was. The prettier the mushrooms looked, the more poisonous they were. The more gorgeous spiders looked, the deadlier they were.
So Ren Xiaosu naturally had some resistance towards beautiful things. He categorized the beauty of this wilderness as alluringly dangerous.
Everyone had already gotten out of their vehicles. Ren Xiaosu looked around and found that Xu Xianchu had indeed survived, as he was the first to react. But to his surprise, Liu Bu survived as well.
Ren Xiaosu did not hope Liu Bu would die, but he was a little puzzled. How did a timid person like him manage to survive when he all could do was shout and scream after getting scared?
Luo Xinyu also managed to survive. Ren Xiaosu remembered that Luo Xinyu had immediately gone to Xu Xianchu after the face bugs appeared. It was probably under Xu Xianchu's lead that she was fortunate enough to escape.
Xu Xianchu looked solemn as he counted the number of people. "We only have 11 people left."
When they came here, there was a total of 20 people. But now, only 11 of them remained, and they had not even reached the Jing Mountains yet. From here on out, they might face even more danger. It was difficult to say how many people could make it out of the Jing Mountains.
"I said that we should all head back, but you people still insisted on entering the canyon. That supernatural being cautioned us, so why couldn't you just heed the warning?" Liu Bu grumbled.
"Shut up," Luo Xinyu said coldly.
Liu Bu seemed to have regained his courage at this time and even mocked his boss, Luo Xinyu. "I told you not to risk our lives by venturing outside the stronghold. Why didn't you listen to me? Are you satisfied now?"
Luo Xinyu was livid. "You were the one who readily agreed when I brought it up!"
"Would I dare disagree with you?" Liu Bu rebuked.
Xu Xianchu frowned as he looked at Liu Bu and said, "What's the use of saying all this now? Do you want to go back and find the wolves? We were also forced to enter inside the canyon. Everyone is lucky to have survived, so stop arguing already. The most important thing for us now is to work together to overcome this difficult situation!"
Liu Bu and Luo Xinyu both kept quiet. Ren Xiaosu felt that he had to find another way out as he realized the team was falling apart. Any mention of "working together" now was empty talk.
They could not keep driving. No one had expected the vegetation here to get as dense as a subtropical rain forest, which made driving through impossible.
"Let's get some rest first," Xu Xianchu said wearily. They had yet to sleep soundly this entire evening as danger after danger kept coming at them. Everyone was on the verge of collapse at this point.
Ren Xiaosu pretended to be thoroughly exhausted as he sat on the ground far away from the woods. Not only did everyone have no food at this moment, but they also had no tents and blankets.
Ren Xiaosu suddenly regretted that he had forgotten to bring the rat carcass with him. He wondered if a face bug would turn into a ratface bug if it ate the rat carcass.
It did not seem so bad once he thought of it that way. In fact, he was even looking forward to finding out if that would really happen.
"Sir." Luo Xinyu looked at Xu Xianchu and asked, "What exactly is the mission that requires you to go into the Jing Mountains?"
Ren Xiaosu looked at Xu Xianchu. This was also a question he had.
Xu Xianchu hesitated for a moment but still did not tell them what he knew. However, Ren Xiaosu realized that Xu Xianchu had something on his mind.