The autumn breeze rustled across the plain that was originally full of life, and a strong bloody smell permeated the area .
The green plain had been stained red with blood, and there was a messy pile of bodies on the ground . Many of them were even frozen into ice sculptures . Frozen together with their spilled blood, those ice sculptures appeared extremely red .
Scarlet was shaking . She could feel the rush of adrenaline in her body at the moment when she did it . However, this feeling gradually subsided when she saw an alien child, frozen in a pool of his own blood . He was clearly just an innocent child, and he was the size of a normal human boy . He was dead . His eyes were frozen in a state that revealed the terror and helplessness he felt before his death .
Scarlet suddenly lost control over her body and limbs and fell to her knees .
For some, dealing with the consequences of killing was always more difficult than the killing itself .
A bout of nausea suddenly rose from her stomach, and she retched, yet unable to vomit out anything . Great Teacher Sophia just watched quietly at the side . As Scarlet’s mood grew more stable, she spoke lightly, “Good job . Your control of your Dharma Idol is gradually maturing . ”
“Are they really evil?” Scarlet suddenly asked . She looked at Sophia eagerly, perhaps hoping for a reaffirmation to slightly reduce her guilt at this moment .
“Evil?” Sophia laughed . “What do you mean by evil? There will never be a true distinction between good and evil in this world . There only exist differences in one’s strength and demarcation between the enemy and ourselves . ”
“They are Miluo People who also call themselves Yashenians . They are the indigenous people of this secret realm . Perhaps the strongest of them once killed many humans . But as the party getting invaded, there is nothing wrong with putting up a fight,” explained Sophia as she ignored Scarlet’s stiff eyes and trembling body . “So according to your understanding, they are not evil . The Miluo people are on the verge of extinction . Being ruled by the Holy Land for many years, this once glorious tribe has long lost its pride and glory . They have all become lowly and weak; thus, they will not initiate any attacks on humans . On the contrary, they often try to please humans and the people of the Holy Land, They even honor us by giving us the title of ‘Holy People . ’ It’s really funny . As the defeated and the ones being ruled, they are asking for peace with the Holy Land . Haha… But to the people of the Holy Land, they are just a bunch of captive lambs waiting to be slaughtered . ”
Scarlet could not believe her ears . She had heard about many other similar conquered secret realms . Putting aside the discussion of whether the Holy Land was right or wrong as an aggressor, at the very least, these remaining natives were not at fault . Most of them were already rather docile and even yearned for peace with the Holy Land even though they were enemies . They also provided various types of labor and resources in the form of offerings to the Holy Land . However, it was clear that many people in the Holy Land did not think so, because, in their minds, the two parties were far from being of equal status .
Anger rose from the bottom of Scarlet’s heart . She killed those people without considering their identities just now due to her trust in her teacher . This was the first time that she felt great discontent and indignation at her teacher, who had been extremely caring and like a mother to her . Scarlet had originally thought that although her teacher was strict, she at least had a sense of righteousness . She truly did not expect her teacher to act like this . ” You— How did you—? Why? Why did you make me kill them? Why?!”
“Shut up!” Sophia interrupted Scarlet’s angry inquiries coldly . “Have I been too kind lately? You seem to have forgotten your place these days!”
The Mystic Sect’s 7-star Great Teacher had terrifying Soul Power . Just a little anger was enough to make others tremble; just a little release of her emotions was enough to make others fall to their knees . Scarlet felt a very deep sense of fear . There was an extremely powerful Soul Power suppressing her, as though a mountain had been dropped on her, but she stubbornly refused to submit .
“You really want to know why? It’s because of you,” said Sophia without a trace of emotion . “It’s because of your incompetence, your emotions, and your lack of resolution . That’s why I had to use their lowly lives to remind you . ”
“What is spiritual cultivation? Do you think it’s just talent and hard work? You’re wrong,” Sophia added . “Heaven and Earth are heartless, treating all lives like straw dogs . Only when you abandon everything and plunder everything, then can you achieve something! Since you have chosen the path of cultivation, there is only a cruel path of loneliness ahead, and there is no possibility of turning back . If you don’t move forward, you will become a stepping stone for others . Do not become these wastrels that have just provided you with experience and eventually die in a pool of your own blood!”
“Yes, there are people who would rather be stepping stones for others than to stain their hands . You think you have a choice? Don’t be stupid . That’s just what you think . ” Sophia’s voice gradually softened, toning down from her previously harsh tone . She was not trying to destroy Scarlet . On the contrary, she wanted her to advance to further stages of cultivation . “When fate befalls you, a weakling, you will have no choice but to submit . Your only choice is to keep moving forward . When you are powerful enough, then you will be entitled to your own decisions . ”
“Am I still not direct enough? Haha…” Sophia stared at her without speaking . With a smile on her face, she added another sentence, “I’ll give dumb you a hint . When you become more powerful than me, you can probably go against my orders then . ”
The wind began to howl, and the bloody smell permeated the surroundings . After a long while, Scarlet gradually stopped shaking and stood up slowly .
Sophia didn’t bother to ask Scarlet how she was feeling . Some things needed time to be accepted, but Sophia believed that Scarlet could do it . Sooner or later, she expected Scarlet to accept reality and become numb in the process . Eventually, Scarlet would turn into someone like herself .
Sophia resumed her usual indifferent expression and spoke her next orders in a calm tone . “Let’s go to the next place . ”
There was never a shortage of innocent and fragile humans in the Holy Land . For this case of a Great Teacher holding an apprentice in high regard, it meant that the apprentice had gained a strong backer . However, had she thought about it? Why was that? What’s so special about her?
Admittedly, some teachers do it to pass down their legacy or simply because they liked their students . However, this was absolutely the minority in the Holy Land . This was a world that followed the law of the jungle . Everyone who could manage to climb to the position of a Great Teacher was definitely not just gifted; they had to be ruthless in removing their obstacles . Also, they had to be careful of others who might try to kill them . Then, they would finally reach this stage .
Innocents? There truly weren’t many left .
In this world, no one would hate or love another without rhyme or reason . Scarlet was simply useful to her…
Cellular Cosmology . Although he had already known that practicing it would be filled with complications, Wang Zhong still did not expect that the creation of the Micro Mirror device — merely an early-stage preparation for observation and understanding the purpose of Cellular Cosmology — would cause so much trouble for him . He had also long noticed which parts of this divine book had gone wrong in various aspects, and for this, he had even become a laughingstock in the Tyrants .
In the Queen’s Bar, Oscar looked like he was doing rather well . After almost a month of recovery, he was full of vim and vigor again . However, there was no way to remove the blue marks left on his body, and his hair seemed to have lost its regenerative function . An originally handsome guy, he looked a little weird now, but Oscar himself seemed rather relieved . It had to be admitted that with Wang Zhong’s help, he felt as though he was absolved of his responsibilities . It was the salvation of his soul .
“Captain, is there an urgent matter? Why did you call me over in such a hurry?” Wang Zhong accepted the wine Oscar had handed over .
“Look at you . You look like you are in a rush . Are you still looking for the Glazed Crystal Glass?” Oscar definitely belonged to the category of people with very high emotional intelligence . Most things couldn’t escape his eyes . It was just that he disdained some people .
He actually had a great deal of admiration for Wang Zhong’s choice . The people of the Holy Land basically all knew about that divine book . There were many people who had been fooled by the book before, but they often gave up in the beginning . Wang Zhong was obviously someone who knew his stuff . If he still insisted on doing so, one could only say that his heart was indeed loftier than the sky . Also, in the view of the Wanderlust Team, if there was anyone in the Tyrants who could practice that divine book of Cellular Cosmology, then it was most probably Wang Zhong .
“Don’t talk about it . Now, I have truly widened my knowledge on scarce resources in the Holy Land . This stuff is really difficult to find . There is stock, obviously . But you just can’t buy it . ”
“Ha, you’ll slowly get used to it . ” Oscar laughed out loud . “I know a few seniors in the Alchemy Union . I will help you to ask them later . Maybe it’ll be available, but it might not be fresh goods . I estimate that only old stocks are available . They will certainly not be cheap either . It all depends on whether you’re willing to spend the money . ”
“I’m fine with it as long as it can be used!” Wang Zhong’s eyes lit up . He was definitely not picky about this . Who cared whether it was new or old goods?
“Okay, then leave it to me . ” Oscar nodded . “Let’s talk business now . I’ve asked you to come because I have accepted a mission for you . ”
At the same time, he dug out a scroll from his pocket . It was a Dimensional Team exploration mission scroll . The yellow color on the surface of the scroll represented its rank, B-rank . For most exploration teams, B-rank missions were standard missions . Its difficulty would not be too low or too high . In addition to the mission rewards, there was often some extra cash up for grabs, which made missions like this popular among the teams .
The moment such missions were released, they would often be highly sought after by the Dimensional Exploration teams, and they would compete for them . First, one had to submit an application; second, the Dimensional Hostel would collate the name list of the teams; third, a few teams would be selected that they felt would be up for it . Finally, the person who released the mission would personally select his preferred team . In such situations, the rank and the placement of the exploration teams would come into consideration, and some teams would have an advantage over others . Most mission releasers often chose higher-ranking exploration teams as their partners . After all, the higher the ranking, the more powerful they were, which meant that the possibility of completing the task was higher . In fact, they did not care about the well-being of weak teams . Even if a weak team perished during the mission, it was not their concern . Their main concern was whether there would be a delay in the mission completion .
“Magma secret realm, B-rank mission: to collect some Fire Quartz . Small Eye’s injuries have yet to recover, and the rest of the team is busy trying to internalize what they have learned from the previous mission . As such, we won’t accept missions that require large numbers for the time being . This mission is specially prepared for Sharmie and the others . These guys have asked me several times already . Anyway, the newcomers must also have a chance to practise their skills . If you’re free, I think it would be better if you could lead the group . ”
“Are you coming? I’m a standard newcomer, and I don’t even know what the normal process is like . You know that, right?” Wang Zhong was half-joking, half-serious . For dimensional exploration teams to leave the city for missions, they had to handle many administrative matters . If a newcomer is asked to handle such stuff, he would definitely be at a loss .
Oscar laughed . “I will follow the group . They are the future of our team after all, but I think it is better for you to lead the mission . ”
“Alright, when do we leave?” Wang Zhong nodded his head . He naturally knew that this was a mission Oscar specially picked for them . It would definitely be very helpful for their growth, and even the best commanders had to get to know their team members . Of course, Oscar also wanted to see how strong these newcomers were . This was vital as it would help him decide the team’s future work distribution .
“Tomorrow morning . I was actually waiting for the confirmation on your end before notifying them . ” Oscar tossed Wang Zhong a set of information regarding the Magma secret realm and smiled . “Anyway, this mission will not be counted in the team’s proceeds . You guys can make some extra cash . ”
“I bet those guys will be thrilled . ”
Sharmie was indeed thrilled at the news, and she couldn’t stop shaking Mario in excitement . She was so excited that she could not believe her ears . “Wang Zhong! Are you serious? We’re going on a mission? A B-rank mission?! Just the few of us?”
Going on a mission in a secret realm? This was something they had never thought of before joining the Wanderlust Team . Most of the newcomers’ jobs after joining exploration teams were to help the Holy Disciples with odds and ends . These included doing laundry, running errands for others, etc . There were a lot of unpleasant tasks to handle . Maybe there was a guaranteed minimum salary every month, but if they wanted to go on a team mission or occupy a spot on the team, it was basically a pipe dream .
Grai’s reply was a refined one as usual . “Of course, no problem, Senior . I have always looked forward to fighting alongside you again . ”
“Ha, Wang Zhong . I knew that you were reliable!” The last one to speak was Napier . A few days after joining the Wanderlust Team, he became rather energetic, as though he had found his past sense of willfulness . It was said that he even performed once at the Queen’s Bar and made quite a sum of money . Of course, his earnings were counted in Federation Credits . “I’ll just follow your lead!”
Naturally, only Wang Zhong was suitable to lead . Except for Napier, who had just borrowed a large amount of money from Wang Zhong, the other newcomers obviously could not afford to share the cost of a Pioneering Order . Including Oscar, there were only seven people in total; thus, each person had to fork out about 150 Holy Coins . Oscar had just repaid the Wanderlust Team’s debt as well . Now, there was basically zero Holy Coins in the Wanderlust Team’s fund, and Oscar was also penniless . As such, Wang Zhong could only pay for everyone in advance . In addition, Wang Zhong had already carefully read the mission’s details . To visit the Magma secret realm, the team had to prepare some other extra things — such as some cooling measures or first-aid fire-detoxification agents — as that realm could get rather dangerous . Although it was said that the cost of these things would eventually be charged to the team’s fund, it was obvious that the only option currently was for vice-captain Wang Zhong to pay for these items first .
Staring at his empty wallet, Wang Zhong instantly grew speechless . Sure enough, there was a type of person who only appeared to be rich . Five thousand Holy Coins… He had not even gotten used to them yet . He was determined to ask Mu Zi about the Samsara Wine no matter what after he returned from the mission . It would be wise to start up the business early .
Being their first time on a mission, everything was of incomparable novelty to everyone, and they were really looking forward to it . Wang Zhong had also temporarily hit a pause on all other matters and devoted himself to the various preparations for the mission . He did it for everyone .
When they gathered at the city’s gate the next morning, the shadows beneath Sharmie’s eyes were rather dark . It seemed that she did not manage to get a good night’s sleep . As such, the one who was the most excited about this mission seemed to be in the worst condition .
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