There were no sects present here. In other words, every single powerful soldier had to find a clique of their own. If not, they would be considered lower quality soldiers.
Truthfully speaking, the conditions in the Desert of Death were extremely frightening, being a place that gave off a feeling where anything could be freely expressed. If the Federation was unable to completely control this empire and allowed such free thoughts to develop here, the Tutankhamun Empire might just become yet another Kaiser Empire, possessing military might that was beyond conventional understanding.
He would not be Molton Potter if he turned back just like that. No member of the Potter Family would ever return empty-handed.
The training of death had become Molton's final tempering grounds.
This was a traditional tempering ground for soldiers of the Tutankhamun Empire. As long as one stayed within the Desert of Death for one month, they could obtain the universal respect and recognition of the empire, regardless of nationality or status. If one survived three whole months, they would gain the respected title of "Praise of the Sands". With this, they would only need to head to the royal court to be able to receive an insignia that presented the strength and status of the Praise of the Sands.
Even if he was unable to endure the anticipated training he had set for himself within the Tutankhamun Empire, he wanted to obtain the Praise of the Sands title before returning to the Federation at the very least. From the beginning, Molton had prepared himself for the Desert of Death, however, he had exchanged the majority of his preparations for local toys with the Tutankhamun Empire citizens in a short amount of time, like his trade for the runic beast bones with his anti radiation tent.
In his eyes, every bit of training that he undertook should be in accordance to the way of the locally born Tutankhamun Empire soldiers.
This was the seventh day of Molton's training within the Desert of Death. At this moment, he had begun to adapt to the environment around him, having now learnt how to obtain the necessary survival resources in this deathly place.
It was already nearing daybreak, with the temperatures beginning to rise, the scorching heat bringing about intense higher dimensional influences. As radiation started to illuminate this deathly place, rays of brilliance shone out from the runic beast bones, while the dim barrier surrounding Molton appeared just like a bubble being put under pressure, turning unstable and wobbly. Despite removing a large amount of harmful energy radiating down from above, Molton was still able to feel piercing pain on his skin, as though his body was subjected to the slow broiling under a hot plate. Yet, this blistering heat only continued to rise, reaching unendurable degrees.
Molton pulled out his canteen, only to quickly resist his urge to drink and replaced it back into his backpack. Closing his eyes, he forced himself to ignore all external influences. He needed to sleep, as only by having adequate rest would he have sufficient mental and physical energy to travel through the night. Although the rich and intense rays of radiation during the day were deadly, it also offered the greatest amount of safety in such dangerous times.
Learning to control his sleeping while experiencing this pain was a skill that Molton had picked up in the past few days. The key to this skill was not in enduring, rather it was by controlling breathing and accompanying it with the aura of the surrounding sand dunes, similar to hypnosis. Although it was unnatural, Molton was quickly able to find his groove, sinking deep into the world of dreams.
Yet, strange rhythms resounding from the sands quickly knocked Molton out of his dream world.
From a distance, a dozen figures emerged under the sunlight as they proceeded towards him.
Apart from the soldiers of the Tutankhamun Empire, there were others present in the Desert of Death. Mutant tribes of Irradiated people, in other words enemies and refugees from the northern region of the Tutankhamun Empire, also occupied the place. They were once human, their biological compositions changed by the highly irradiated Desert of Death. Requiring only extremely low quantities of water to survive, anything in their path became food for their stomachs. The radiation and sand were harmless to them, becoming a source of nurturing instead, akin to oxygen for mankind.
Under numerous offensives launched by the Tutankhamun Empire, the tribes of Irradiated people had started to gradually retreat to the northern region of the empire. The Desert of Death was the border they shared, where the empire soldiers would come here to train and temper themselves. Whether it was their hatred of being abandoned by their original race, or the continual pain they felt from the radiation mutating their bodies, the flesh of humans had become their favourite taste.
It was not the first day that they had been tracking Molton. With their crafty and cunning intelligence of man coupled with their habit of moving in tribes, their scouting, judgement and instantaneous killing of prey made daytime in the Desert of Death their playground.
A faint smile appeared on Molton's face as he counted the number of Irradiated people heading towards him. 12, huh. Licking his lips, he took his canteen out. Taking a huge sip, he popped an anti radiation chip into his mouth. This would allow him to engage in all out combat for ten minutes under the radiation. With this, he proceeded to bandage his arms up earnestly.
Before the Irradiated could surround him completely, Molton had already charged forward, shooting straight towards one of them at lightning speed. The ugly face of the mutant was covered in greenish fur which gave it a horrifying glow under the sunlight. As a shriek rang out, a pungent and bloody smell gushed forth from the mouth of the Irradiated man. Molton had sent a simple straight punch, dodging the embracing hands of the Irradiated man heading towards him. Those were arms where decomposition could be seen, having rotted all the way to the bone. They were neither coarse nor burly, yet under the support of the sun beating down from above, they possessed sufficient strength to easily rip apart the defenses of the greyish blooded soldier before it.
Aiming directly at the neck of the Irradiated man, Molton's fist drew a line of death. Like a cannonball exploding, it instantly blasted a huge hole.
There were 11 left.
Molton continued to lunge out at lightning speed!
With his strength completely unleashed, Molton was still unaware of the military squad dressed in complete anti radiation gear watching coldly at the battlefield from a distance. Brimming with the aura of military might, they appeared to be full of icy killing intent.
The tall and burly leader was dark skinned and the only one without any anti radiation gear. Looking at Molton, who appeared like a bolt of lightning as he continued to speed around the Irradiated and strike them down one after another, his eyes grew colder by the second.
"That Federation man still has some standard. However, this is the end. Release more Irradiated."
Irradiated people of different shapes and sizes continued to surface behind the sand dunes, appearing to have drilled out from a prison, lunging at Molton in a berserk fashion.
This was completely irrational.
Although Molton had wanted to hone himself by tempering in this deathly place, he was not stupid enough to rush about brazenly in such a dangerous and desolate place like the Desert of Death. Here, no one gave a damn whether he was from the Federation or not! Being one of the threats in this place, Molton had paid special attention to the presence of the Irradiated within his surroundings, however, how could there suddenly be such large numbers of them appearing in his vicinity?!
He could smell the irksome flavor of a conspiracy.
At this moment, the feudal lord of Huaca was meticulously accompanying a middle aged male whose entire body had a luster akin to black gemstones. From the beginning to the end, a faint smile was present on his face, his jet black lips and pearly white teeth giving a startling contrast. A handsome, warm and gentle aura exuded from him and coupled with his peculiar charm, allowed him to completely suppress the atmosphere of the room, rendering everyone to be unconsciously servile to him.
"Everyone, I offer this cup to our almighty god. We thank him for gifting us life and power."
The middle aged male raised the glass cup in his hand. This was a luxury good originating from the Federation. At this moment, a sliver of amusement flashed in his eyes as he thought, life in the empire is becoming more and more intertwined with the Freedom Federation. This was far from being a problem, however, it was accompanied by a feeling of subjugation. Was this truly the right path? When their citizens show even more respect to them than to their feudal lords, how could aristocratic families like himself continue to enjoy luxury goods like this?
Enjoyment and ambition were two ends of a spectrum, and were truly hard to balance.