“What do you think the Holy Battle is? This is a war, and deaths are normal . You’ve had too many successes in the past that have gotten to your head,” said someone in disdain .
Someone else sighed . “This involves the higher-ups . We don’t call the shots . ”
Wang Zhong heard all of these very clearly and asked Oscar, who was beside him . Oscar knew the details and explained them to Wang Zhong . Oscar shook his head . “The people in the Exploration Team Department are dissatisfied, but these are simply complaints . We should do what we have to do . But I heard that recently, the difficulty of all missions has been rapidly increasing . It’s been smooth-sailing for the Holy Land in the past few years . Therefore, when people encounter some difficulty, they will start to fight back . On the surface, it feels like they want to change this situation . But in the end, we still have to provide rescues . They will not constantly be giving out missions either . ”
Wang Zhong nodded his head . Different levels of people had different situations and considerations . Today, they had come because of much prompting from Small Eyes and the rest . Other exploration teams were making big profits, while they were stuck at home, training . This made all of them feel rather impatient . Completely cutting themselves off from the world was not the solution; if they wanted to advance quickly, the best way was still to real-life practice . But before they could take a look at the list of missions, someone had come up to them: Major Campor .
He seemed like a rather capable fellow . He was also one of the important people in charge of issuing missions from the Missions Department .
“This will be an exploration of the Shadow Moon Fortress . All you have to do is find out the whereabouts of those missing exploration teams, determine their positions, and confirm whether they are still alive or not . ” Major Campor’s tone was rather polite . He smiled but did not allow any rejections . “The higher-ups have appointed the Wanderlust Team to take on this mission . I just received the orders and was about to find you guys . ”
The Missions Department had the authority to appoint and order exploration teams to accept missions . After all, not every mission was in high demand . Some missions had low rewards or were too dangerous . No one was willing to accept these missions, yet they had to be completed . Thus, some teams were forced to accept and complete these missions .
Major Campor’s voice was not loud, but many exploration teams waiting for missions in the hall heard this . Their expressions said everything . When Wang Zhong and Oscar had walked in, many people were green with envy . After all, they were the only exploration team that had killed a Sword Saint . The rewards for doing so made everyone very jealous . Furthermore, the Successor Disciple of a Sacred Teacher was involved . No one cared even though they had publicly killed someone in the base… Actually, they had stolen credit for the Sword Saint, right? Look! It was time for them to repay their debt! This was a death mission . Did you really think that obtaining rewards would be so easy?
Oscar’s first reaction was to reject the mission . What kind of joke was this? This was a death mission that would definitely kill everyone who went on it . Why ask the Wanderlust Team to do it? Why not the Phantom Squadron or the Seekers? How about the top-10 exploration teams, like the Red Spiders or the Blue Devil Squadron? Even though they were all in the north, in terms of strength, these exploration teams were much stronger than the Wanderlust Team . The mission should have been given to them .
“Several top exploration teams have other important missions and cannot spare any manpower,” Campor calmly said . “Furthermore, this mission does not require you to carry out any offensive operations . All you have to do is gather information . Precision is more important to us, and the higher-ups think that Wang Zhong is the most suitable choice for this mission . ”
“It looks like the mission belongs to the Wanderlust Team!”
“That’s right . After all, Wang Zhong is an expert who could get rid of a Sword Saint . Even if the Shadow Moon Fortress has people as powerful as a Sword Saint, the Wanderlust Team would not be afraid . ”
“All the best, Wanderlust Team! You might even be able to kill another Sword Saint there . Then, the Wanderlust Team will truly be impressive!” Many exploration teams around them started to laugh and jeer . In dealing with this situation, the higher-ups in the Exploration Team Department had definitely taken the approach that would best satisfy everyone’s wants .
But Oscar did not care much about this . The Missions Department had the authority to appoint missions to various exploration teams, but if there was a concrete reason why the exploration team could not accept a mission, they could explain themselves . He wanted to argue with Campor . However, Wang Zhong, who was looking at the list of missing people, nodded his head . “Give us a day to prepare . ”
“If you need anything, you can report to me . ” Campor was very satisfied with Wang Zhong’s cooperative attitude . “But do so early . Human lives are very important . You will set off tomorrow morning . ”
This was a mission that spelled death . Many people in the Exploration Team Department were whistling and laughing . Although no one knew what was happening in the Shadow Moon Fortress, the death rate was a frightening 100% . The happy days of the Wanderlust Team were over .
Oscar frowned the entire way back . In the past, he had experienced countless similar experiences . Others had insulted him, and in his fit of anger, he had led his exploration team to carry out missions that could not be completed . He dreamed of making the Wanderlust Team famous overnight and making a comeback, humiliating everyone else . But in reality, they faced failure time and again . In this world, even if you set your mind to doing something, you might not be able to succeed . Today, when they had gone to accept the mission, Oscar and Wang Zhong had the same perspective . They both felt that they should accumulate missions, starting with small ones . They should also allow everyone to practice their Circuit techniques through missions that were not so dangerous . How could they accept a death mission just like that?
Everyone who was training quickly gathered together . Scarlet was also here, as she had no business to attend to today . Wang Zhong explained their encounter with the Missions Department . Everyone immediately grew very excited . Oscar was worried, but the rest were not . The recent Circuit System training caused all of them to be filled with confidence . The difficulty of the mission did not matter to them!
“Hoho, it’s finally time for us to shine!”
“Lao Wang is amazing!” Small Eyes laughed out loud . “Let’s show those Octopus people my twenty thousand Grassos omnidirectional attack!”
“You haven’t reached twenty thousand yet, right?” Asher reminded her .
“You big mouth! Don’t you understand how to round up? Stupid Asher! You have to speak like this to assert your aura . ”
The young people started shouting loudly and were very excited . On the other hand, the veterans, Oscar, Feng, and the rest were worried . Compared to the enthusiastic and passionate youngsters, they had more things to consider .
Oscar helplessly looked at Scarlet . After all, she worked at the headquarters of the Missions Department . She should know the difficulty of this mission better than anyone else or, at least, have a clearer judgment .
But he did not expect Scarlet to simply smile . She understood Wang Zhong very well . Had he accepted the mission because of the pressure from the major? Was he too hot-headed? Both of these were impossible .
“Is it because of the list of missing people?”
Wang Zhong nodded his head . “Noraba and Vladimir are on the list . ”
Wang Zhong had decided to accept this mission because he had seen these two names on the list of missing people . They were members of the Blue Ray Squadron that had recently failed to return . Back then, during the CHF, he and Vladimir acted as if they did not recognize each other . Although they no longer contacted each other in the Holy Land, Wang Zhong still admired how the Ice Prince conducted himself . More importantly, when he encountered the Tyrants later on, Noraba had secretly warned Wang Zhong several times… To be honest, even if he did not need to repay the favor, he remembered what they had done for him . He definitely had to save them .
“Let’s go then . After all, our main mission is to investigate . ”
Scarlet knew that she could not change Wang Zhong’s decision . Furthermore, after working with her teacher, she understood the working style and the rules of the Holy City Army . These were orders from the higher-ups, and explaining themselves would just be for show . If the higher-ups wanted them to go, explaining themselves would be of no use .
If they wanted to gain rewards, they had to work for them . Wang Zhong had experienced many disasters, but he turned out fine . In return, the higher-ups gave them money, privileges, and even allowed them to go on a holiday . The higher-ups valued them and gave them preferential treatment . If the higher-ups gave you status and benefits, you would definitely have to make contributions and take up responsibilities that were proportionate to these rewards . There were no free lunches in this world . The mission at the Shadow Moon Fortress was very difficult, but as long as Wang Zhong was around, Scarlet believed that they would find a way .
“I can look into all the related clues . Since so many exploration teams have gone missing, the Information Department would definitely have various clues, but no one has been in charge to sort out the information . Let’s meet again at night…” Scarlet immediately joined in, but Wang Zhong smiled and interrupted her .
“Of course, having clues is the best . But what I mean is, just Mu Zi and I will go for this mission . ”
Oscar was dumbfounded . Was this what Wang Zhong meant by not putting everyone in danger?
“Damn, Lao Wang, are you not bringing us along? What do you mean?” Small Eyes was rather unhappy . They had waited so long for a big mission . Just as they were happy over this, they found out that they could not go!
“Even if you want to display your abilities, there’s no need to be so anxious . ” Wang Zhong smiled and said, “For this mission, all we have to do is to investigate the situation at the Shadow Moon Fortress and the missing people . We are not directly attacking anyone . Even if you go, there would be no opportunity for you to fight . Furthermore, Mu Zi and I are more agile . If we encounter any danger, even if we cannot defeat them, we can still run away . ”
“But—” Small Eyes wanted to say something else .
“Oscar and I had gone to find a few easier missions for everyone to try, but since the Missions Department has issued orders, if we do not complete this, we will not be able to accept any other missions,” Wang Zhong interrupted her . “Now, it is most important for you to master your Circuits and turn them into fighting power . For dangerous missions like this, you should wait until you are able to deliver twenty thousand Grassos of power consistently . ”
“Senior, I will go too . You will need some backup . This mission is not easy, so you need all the help you can get,” said Grai . He was always very thorough in such situations .
With Grai’s strength, he would be able to support them, but the previous incident with Mario raised alarm bells in Wang Zhong’s head . Grai would have been very firm when dealing with that incident . So, Wang Zhong said, “Stay behind . Once we go, I don’t know how long we will take . ”
Grai understood what Wang Zhong meant and did not ask again . Napier suddenly smiled . “Then I will go . Although I am not as strong as Grai, I have mastered the Three Circuits pretty well . I promise I won’t flaunt my abilities . ”
Scarlet and the rest showed their approval . Napier would be able to display his sharp insight and agility through this kind of mission . Furthermore, Wang Zhong and Mu Zi definitely needed someone to help them .
Although Scarlet was slightly worried, she understood Wang Zhong’s decision . It was obvious that this mission would definitely be very dangerous, and she was clear of her own situation . Thus, she did not insist on stopping him . The Information Department at the headquarters replied very quickly . The Shadow Moon Fortress was over seven hundred kilometers away . It was a frontline fortress of the Octopus people on the northern battlefield . At first, the mission issued was to destroy the fortress of the Octopus people . The first exploration team to accept the mission was the Seekers . As one of the top-10 exploration teams, the Seekers took this mission seriously and sent out four teams of elites . But their attack failed and no one returned . Then, the Missions Department issued missions to save them . Several exploration teams had received the missions and gone over, but there were no returnees . It was obvious that the Octopus people were well prepared . But the attack missions from the base were not in that direction . Thus, they could not send large groups of people to deal with one fortress .
This kind of mission was the most difficult . There might even be Sword Saints on guard . This was probably the objective of this investigation . Although they wanted to rescue these exploration teams, after such a long time, no one knew how many of them were still alive . No one knew whether the Octopus people liked the taste of humans either .
Wang Zhong and Mu Zi could not draft up any concrete tactics either . They had to observe the Shadow Moon Fortress closely before making a final decision .
As of now, the entire area from the northern base to the Black Boulder Energy Cave was under the control of the Holy City Army . At the same time, dangerous wild creatures had also been eliminated . Thus, traveling in this area was very easy . The three of them obtained three battle steeds from the commissariat . They did not need to take detours or be overly cautious . They would only need to spend a day to travel 200 to 300 kilometers .
The newly built Black Boulder sentry was beginning to take shape . The mine, which had collapsed, was mostly cleaned up, and a sentry post was built over it . Three thousand soldiers from the Holy City were stationed here . The easy advance to the northern battlefront stopped here . Based on the maps and the resources on their Skylink, most of the area outside the Black Boulder sentry was blurry . They could only see a rough image of the topography . Nineteen stations that belonged to the Octopus people were scattered over an area that covered over a thousand square kilometers, but they only knew that there were troops stationed there . They did not know how much manpower they had or whether there were Sword Saints on guard . After the leapfrog technique had failed, it seemed like the Holy Land had either slowed down or had other plans, but Wang Zhong would not have known about this .
They reasoned that it was not suitable for them to ride horses in the jungles and marshes beyond the Black Boulder sentry . Thus, they handed over their battle steeds to the commissariat near the sentry post . Then, they walked in with very few things in hand .
When they walked out of the Black Boulder sentry, they were faced with a lush jungle . The peculiar shrubs were larger than most of the trees . Rivers and tropical banana trees were found everywhere . It looked like a tropical rainforest that could be found on Earth . The rich vitality of the surroundings and the refreshing feeling that penetrated into the soul made Mu Zi, who was here for the first time, very emotional .
“This seems a bit like Aiolos’s hometown . ” Mu Zi had traveled to many places on Earth . Other than the Federation, he had been almost everywhere . “But the plants there are massive, and the creatures lying in ambush have a much stronger aura . The vitality here is much stronger than on Earth . In fact, they are on completely different levels . What kind of experts will this kind of world give birth to? I feel that the creatures here will be of a much higher level than humans . Wang Zhong, I feel that it is too risky for humans to covet this kind of place . ”
Mu Zi did not slack off over the past two days . He loved to study and could absorb new knowledge extremely well . Wang Zhong had never seen anyone with better learning abilities than Mu Zi . Everyone else paled in comparison to Mu Zi, including Wang Zhong himself . If Mu Zi had grown up in the Federation, he would have become a super bookworm who was unmatched .
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