After being captured by demons, these humans suffered a miserable treatment. They had to work hard over 10 hours a day. Those emaciated or wounded people who couldn't work anymore were immediately eaten by demonized puppets.
"What is your main job here?" Zhang Tie posed his greatest concern.
"Our captives are mainly used to break through the underground tunnels over here. There are two tunnels here, one towards the north, the other towards the south. The tunnel towards the north had been broken through; it links the demons' occupied zone. The tunnel towards south had also been broken through dozens of kilometers!" Rawls answered.
Zhang Tie's heart pounded as he immediately understood the mission of this demonized puppets corps here.
Because of the advantage of human airship troop in the sky and the threat of alchemist's bombs, demons planned to break through an underground tunnel towards Selnes Plain. As long as the demon corps appeared in the back of the Selnes defense line of humans, the entire human defense line would collapse at once.
This was not the only method that demons used in Selnes Theater of Operations; however, it was the most worthwhile method. For demons, they only needed to put in a demonized puppets corps and some human captives here so as to implement this plan. This was not a big cost for demons; however, as long as it succeeded, it would help them a lot.
"How many demonized puppets are here?"
"How about the number of human captives?"
"About 100,000. Every once in a while, they would transport here some more human captives from the north tunnel as the supply of food and labor work for demons."
The moment he heard Rawls' words had Zhang Tie known that the alliance command's judgement about Misty Moon Woods was not precise. Those hiding in the Misty Moon Woods were not only over 300,000 demonized puppets, but also the constant supply of human captives being transported here from the demons' occupied zone. The underground space where Zhang Tie was in had become an underground interchange station for demons to implement this plan.
"This information is very important. I have to notice the alliance command about this. We have to stop demons from implementing this plan."
"Who are those people who cooperate with demonized puppets?'
Speaking of those people, Rawls revealed a hateful look, "They are lackeys of Three-eye Association. After demons occupied Titanic Duchy, the lackeys of Three-eye Association started to cooperate with demons to manage the demons' occupied zone. Under the ruling of these lackeys of Three-eye Association, some people had sworn to be loyal to Three-eye Association in order to survive themselves!"
"What's the current situation of the demons' occupied zone?"
"It's very complex. Demons are exerting out very brutal rule in the demons' occupied zone. Meanwhile, they have started to divide humans into different classes in the demons' occupied zone. Those who don't follow their orders will be converted into demonized puppets; some of them are deteriorated into demons' slaves and live a very miserable life. All the human clans that are affiliated with Three-eye Association in the demons' occupied zone became the agents of demons in that region and treat themselves as nobles. All the people who would like to be loyal to Three-eye Association would gain a certain social status; additionally, their lives and right of property would be guaranteed. They could also have many human slaves and demonized puppets as their subordinates!"
Zhang Tie was really shocked by this information. He thought that the demons in their occupied zone would burn everything into ashes like what they did to humans in the 2nd holy war; he had not imagined that the demons became smarter this time as they started to collapse humans from the inside and implement a new ruling strategy. With such a ruling strategy, demons' occupied zone would constantly provide supports for demons' corps. In the future, humans might even fight each other on the battlefield.
This holy war might sustain over 100 years. This preparation of demons indicated that they were going to fight demons for a long time.
"Do you have food?" Seeing Zhang Tie thinking about something, Rawls forcefully swallowed his saliva as he watched Zhang Tie with a craving look.
Zhang Tie then pass his two pieces of dried rations and kettle to him, "What do those human captives eat here?"
The moment he saw the dried rations and the kettle had Rawls grabbed it and started to engulf it. At the same time, he replied Zhang Tie with a blurry voice, "There are fiery mushroom and ferns underground...we...eat them...and some...insects and mice...but we can rarely find them now... those demons force...us...to eat humans...some people couldn't stand it...and directly committed suicide in the lava...this happens everyday...I've not eaten human flesh...I want to escape...my wife and kids are here...I have to find a way for them to escape..."
Zhang Tie became silent as he sighed mournfully for those human captives inside. Since they came here, these human captives had been doomed to die here. Few of them could bear such a sheer terror.
"Are... human troops going...going to save us?" Rawls asked Zhang Tie as he kept eating the dried rations.
Watching Rawls' miserable and hopeful look, Zhang Tie felt bashful to tell him that he was alone here.
After realizing Zhang Tie's meaning of being silent, Rawls stopped his movements at once as he stared at Zhang Tie with a dumbfounded look, "Are...are you alone?"
"Yes, I'm alone here!" Zhang Tie replied calmly.
Rawls faintly opened his mouth as the hope in his look faded away at once. 2/3 of his dried rations were still left. After forcefully swallowing his saliva twice, he carefully wrapped them with paper.
"I want...want to find a way to leave out of here...and take my wife and kids away!" he told Zhang Tie.
"You cannot. There are demonized puppets squads patrolling in many key locations from here to the entrance. It's possible if you have the strength and responsive speed of LV 9 fighters. If you just fumble towards the entrance in this way, you could only be the food of those demonized puppets. Even It took me some time to enter here."
Zhang Tie felt he would be unable to take Rawls away from this mountain cave without arousing the attention of those demonized puppets. As long as those demonized puppets patrolling in the cave found them, a great number of demonized puppets would enter the cave and besiege them. In that case, Zhang Tie could not ensure Rawls' safety.
After hearing Zhang Tie's words, Rawls threw himself onto the ground like he lost all his strength at once.
"Do you have family members here?"
"Yes. My wife and a daughter..." Rawls started to sob in a low voice as he seized his hair with hands, "I cannot watch them eating human flesh...I cannot stand watching them being eaten by others...fewer fiery mushroom and ferns could be found underground now...in this case...they...they..."
Rawls couldn't utter any word as Zhang Tie's heart raced. At this moment, he only wanted to find the location of this demonized puppets corps, he had already accomplished his mission. If so, he could leave at any time.
However, watching the hopeless look of this man in front of him as a husband and a father and thinking of those human bones and the hell-like situation of those human captives, Zhang Tie started to feel mournful about them.
Perhaps he would also soon be a father; therefore, Zhang Tie had a deep comprehension on the role and responsibilities of men. If a father could not change the hell-like situation facing his wife and kid, he would be driven mad by the hopelessness.
Zhang Tie gritted his teeth, "Damn, whatever..."
Zhang Tie put his hand on Rawls' shoulder as he whispered, "Where are you wife and daughter? Can you bring them here?"
Rawls raised his head and watched Zhang Tie with a confused look, "What do you want?"
"I might take you out of here!"
"Really?" Rawls almost sprung up from the ground. Zhang Tie hurriedly pressed him down as he put his finger on his mouth to stop him. After that, Zhang Tie looked at those demonized puppets and the lackeys of Three-eye Association in the distance, "Thankfully, they didn't find us."
"I can take you to another place. It's a bit special. After entering it, you might not come out of it!"
"Ah? Did you find another hidden underground space here?" Rawls asked with an amazing look as his eyes glittered again.
"Almost like that!" Zhang Tie replied briefly, "That place is like this underground space, but its larger than this one. It's relatively close. However, you can have sufficient food and a good living environment there. What's more, demons cannot reach there. Would you like to go there?"
"I would...I would..." Rawls hurriedly nodded, "As long as we don't become wild beasts or become the food of those wild beasts and demons, we can do everything for you."
"Can you bring your family members here?"
"I can..." Rawls gritted his teeth...
After a few minutes, Rawls lowered his body and fumbled towards the dark in the distance. Zhang Tie then waited in a hidden place for them...
After 2 hours, Rawls came back with over 30 people, instead of 2...