In a dark and dense forest area closest to the battlefield, a team of four scout students were carefully moving through the trees, trying to go around the whole battlefield by skirting the edges of the forest ...
They could clearly hear the violent sounds of artillery and explosions not far away, and every once in a while, they could feel the sudden tremors of the ground when a mecha crashed from the skies into the ground. Each time, they would be frozen in terror, afraid that some stray artillery or even mecha would just fall directly on them.
"You guys, still okay?" Qi Long swiped off the sweat on his forehead, and turned back to ask his teammates behind him.
"Don't worry about us. Right now, the most important thing is to not go the wrong way." Han Jijyun's brows were furrowed as he continued to keep track of their coordinates. Due to the spreading of the battle, they were getting closer and closer to the active territory of the F-class savage beasts. Even if they had not received Ling Lan's warning, they could feel the chill from within their bones — the situation was already getting worse and worse.
The few of them once again made their way carefully through the forest. After a distance, Qi Long, who was in the lead, abruptly waved his hand. The boys behind him immediately dashed away to hide in the bushes or behind trees, beam handguns in their hands. If an F-class savage beast appeared, they would pull the triggers without hesitation — taking the initiative would give them the upper hand.
Qi Long alone was left in a half crouch, his beam gun pointed right at the spot which he had found suspicious. Sweat dripped down his forehead to glide down his cheek. He did not dare to lose his concentration — an F-class savage beast was equivalent to a human at the Refinement stage; this wasn't something he, as someone who had barely stepped into the Refinement stage, could match up to. He had already thought things through. If an F-class savage beast actually appeared, even at the cost of his life he would create an opportunity for his teammates to escape.
"Qi Long?" A deep and hoarse voice came from behind the shifting shrub.
"Wu Jiong, it's you." Qi Long relaxed instantly, almost dropping bonelessly to the ground. He had really been too nervous before this.
Hearing the two of them speak, Lin Zhong-qing and Luo Lang were about to come out of hiding when Han Jijyun, who was covering Qi Long's back, signalled them to watch and wait. The two of them instantly put up their guard again, gripping their guns tightly as they continued to remain hidden.
Wu Jiong finally climbed out from the bush. His protective vest was a little damaged, and there was an open wound on his cheek. After Wu Jiong came out, his teammates Ye Xu, Qin Yi, and the others also revealed themselves, walking out from various corners. One of them was being supported by Qin Yi. The lot of them were all in roughly the same condition as Wu Jiong, extremely dishevelled.
Wu Jiong saw that Qi Long was alone, and his expression shifted slightly. "Where are your teammates? And where's Ling Lan?"
Qi Long answered, "They're here." He turned to wave behind him, and Han Jijyun and the others walked over.
Then, Qi Long said, "Boss Lan is at the temporary outpost. There's only the four of us here." He pointed at Wu Jiong and asked, "How did you all become like this?"
Wu Jiong grimly spat out a gob of spittle. "Pah! Our luck was just too bloody terrible. A bomb blew up not too far from where we were hiding. Luckily, we had hidden behind a large thousand year old tree, so the tree blocked most of the explosion. But still, being the closest to the explosion, Chen Yu was heavily injured. It's lucky we had enough emergency healing agents on hand, otherwise Chen Yu would have really been in danger. Now, at least he's alive."
Chen Yu was the Class-A student who had temporarily joined Wu Jiong's team for this hunting period. His results in class had always been average, and he was normally extremely untalkative, and so was very easily overlooked by others. But for some reason, Wu Jiong had chosen him at first glance ...
"Do you have enough medical agents? We still have some here." Qi Long asked in concern. Hearing Qi Long mention this, Han Jijyun hurriedly took off his backpack, prepared to take out some first aid agents.
"Thank you, but that's not necessary for now. Chen Yu's injuries are stable, but to heal it as soon as possible, we need to get back to the outpost immediately to get him into a recovery pod." Wu Jiong declined Qi Long's offer, but his complexion did not look any better. This was because they needed to get through the battlefield as quickly as they could to get Chen Yu back to the outpost for treatment, or else his injuries might get worse if left untreated for too long and end up giving him trouble in the future.
But how they could pass through the battlefield was a huge problem. At this moment, he truly hated how helpless he was.
He lifted his head to look at Qi Long and said, "We're preparing to go back to the outpost as soon as possible to get treatment for Chen Yu. What are you guys planning?"
"We also plan to do the same," replied Qi Long, "Boss just contacted us, saying that the savage beasts here are about to go berserk. The longer we stay here, the more dangerous it'll be."
"Cutting through the battlefield is impossible. The two sides are fighting too fiercely. The artillery is flying everywhere — no one knows whether they'll hit us," said Wu Jiong.
"Not just that. If any enemy sees us, they would also shoot a beam projectile at us without mercy. They've always been passionate about getting rid of us so-called 'promising seeds'," added Han Jijyun, mockingly.
"Hn, so we can only stick to the forest and go around the battlefield this way," Qi Long told Wu Jiong their original plan.
"Just as I thought." Wu Jiong had the same plan as well.
"Still, it's just as dangerous. We're basically rubbing the edges of the F-class savage beast territory as we travel. If we happen to meet an F-class savage beast, we'll be wiped out," cautioned Han Jijyun.
"Dammit. Staying here is not an option, we might as well try our luck," muttered Ye Xu in frustration.
"Agreed!" The others all chimed in as well. They were the genius students of the Central Scout Academy, the cream of the crop — from youth, their education had always taught them to face trouble head-on and create chances for themselves. They were certainly not people who would just do nothing and wait for death.
The two teams were in agreement. In fact, Luo Lang and Lin Zhong-qing even helped Ye Xu, Qin Yi, and the others by taking their backpacks so that they could care for Chen Yu better. This cooperation helped the two teams move a little faster.
Right then, Qi Long suddenly signalled for everyone to stop. Under Wu Jiong's suspicious gaze, Qi Long excitedly took a call on his communicator. "Boss, how did you manage to contact us?"
Not long after the battle started, the communicators had lost the communication function. Qi Long and the others knew that this was due to the fighting. The camp control tower was afraid that the enemy would hack their signals and so had chosen to cut satellite transmissions. But surprisingly, even under these circumstances, Ling Lan still managed to contact them. This was absolutely freaktastic!
And so, in Qi Long's mind, Boss Ling Lan's image just became even more impressive.
Hearing Qi Long's question, Ling Lan knew that this was all thanks to Little Four. Still, Ling Lan did not explain herself. After simply asking Qi Long for their current coordinates, she told Qi Long that she was on her way over. If they were not in any danger, they should stay as close as possible to the coordinates they gave until she got there.
Hanging up his communicator, Qi Long's face once again revealed his trademark wide-toothed grin, adding some goofiness to his demeanour. However, everyone present knew that this was just Qi Long's facade — he had never been silly when he needed to be astute.
"Good news?" Wu Jiong asked, seeing Qi Long in such a great mood after answering the call.
"Yup. My boss will be here soon," said Qi Long gleefully. Hehe, it was truly great to have a boss. Even if the sky fell, there was someone to hold it up.
"It's too dangerous! What can he do even if he comes?" Han Jijyun's first reaction was to object, feeling that Ling Lan must have gone mad. He felt that this was not an action Ling Lan should take — this was definitely not the choice of a rational type leader. Still, it could not be denied that a tendril of warmth was spreading through his heart, and his initially flagging spirits suddenly lifted significantly.
"Brothers united, we can even cut through gold! With Boss leading us, I have nothing to fear ... Also, Boss said that he's already at G-class territory, heading here." Qi Long did not have as many considerations as Han Jijyun — he just felt that with everyone together, he would even be willing to venture into a dragon's lair or a tiger's den.
"That's great! Since Boss is coming, then let's just wait here," said Luo Lang, equally excited. At the same time, he had noticed that a large part of Han Jijyun and Lin Zhong-qing's stamina had been used up during this forced march. It was just that they were in a hurry to get back, and was surrounded by danger, so they hadn't dared to stop and rest.
Qi Long looked at Wu Jiong, and Wu Jiong looked at the tired faces of all his team members. He felt that it was indeed about time to get some rest, so he nodded and said, "Let's rest for a moment."
The two teams found a relatively secluded spot, and with Qi Long and Wu Jiong as sentry on each side, the others huddled together in the middle and began consuming the compressed biscuits and nutrient solutions they had on them.
Very quickly, they had eaten their fill and rested. If it were not for the sounds of explosions and mecha fighting not too far from them, they could almost believe that the battle had just been a bad dream.
"Not good! Hide!" Wu Jiong and Qi Long shouted almost simultaneously.
The two teams reacted quickly. They immediately threw down the food in their hands, all of them moving to the respective nearest cover to hide.
At that moment, a blue and white mecha fell from the sky, crashing forcefully into the forest about 100 metres from them. In an instant, the area had become a large pit, trees fallen with broken branches scattered everywhere.
Three powerful energy beams immediately followed, striking the cockpit of the mecha with precision. The cockpit was devoured by the beams instantly, melting away to become a gaping hole.
Three black Twilight Empire mecha lowered their beam cannons in unison. "Seeking death idiot!" sneered one of the mecha operators gleefully.
Honestly, this Federation mecha which had been destroyed was really very unlucky. He had been on his way back to restock on ammunition, but had unexpectedly stumbled upon this three-man team of Twilight Empire mecha. Although he had tried his best to escape, he still did not manage to evade their combined attack in the end and was killed.
"Stop dithering. Our brave warriors are fighting courageously. We need to find the enemy command centre as soon as possible and carry out Operation Decapitation. The earlier we finish, the more brave warriors we can save." One of the other mecha seemed to be the squad leader of the three-man team. The moment he said this, the other two mecha immediately responded respectfully, "Hai!"
Just as the three men were about to pilot their mecha away, one of the mecha seemed to spot something as he zoomed out his screen. "Eh? What that could be?"
"Kotou-kun? Did you find something?" The small team leader was startled by his subordinate's cry of surprise, and quickly asked him to report.
"Hehe, no worries. I just found some fun little mice." The mecha operator called Kotou-kun suddenly let out a burst of maniacal laughter, somewhat excited and perverse.It's a common thing in Chinese sayings to assume gold is a strong and sturdy precious metal, even though in reality gold is actually a soft metal. So, here, Qi Long is saying their combined strength is going to be off the charts, super strong, since it will be capable of cutting through super-strong gold.Grammar intentionally mangled. The original text was mangled Chinese to show that the operators were either speaking Japanese or broken Chinese — probably the former.Mangled again on purpose.