Chapter 119: An Old Opponent
The Cloud-Piercing Shuttle finally landed on the ground after circling around once.
As soon as Su Chen jumped out of the shuttle, he was greeted by Shi Kaihuang’s familiar face.
“Instructor!” Su Chen yelled with excitement.
Even though he had seen Shi Kaihuang while flying through the sky and had confirmed that he was still alive, Su Chen was still so excited that he felt like crying.
Shi Kaihuang grabbed Su Chen’s hand and stared at him intently, looking him up and down. Faint astonishment appeared in his eyes.
“Good, very good! Very good!” he said.
He didn’t ask Su Chen why he was here or how he had found this place. At this moment, he was just happy that he could see Su Chen again.
“Instructor, you don’t look so good,” Su Chen said as he glanced at his single eye and the empty sleeve.
“I was struck by the Gravel Lizard Tribe’s Ancestor, Simotian, with his Nightmare Finger. I’m lucky that I even survived; there’s no need to be that insistent on the details,” Shi Kaihuang replied.
“Simotian, is it? I’ll remember that name. Since he’s taken Instructor’s arm and eye, then next time I’ll take two of his eyes and two of his arms for Instructor,” Su Chen said indifferently.
“Hoho! You’re quite young but your tone is quite lofty,” Jun Moxie laughed coldly. “Simotian is the Gravel Lizard Tribe’s Ancestor, one of the twelve most famous ones amongst the Blood and Iron Country. He has gone through five temple baptisms, and even the commander doesn’t know if he can defeat him. Where did you find the boldness to claim that you’ll take both of his arms and eyes?”
“I might not be able to now, but in the future I will be able to.” Su Chen seemed totally nonchalant.
“Alright. Now is not the time to talk about this. You said your name was Su Chen? How did you find your way over here?” Guo Wenchang said.
This was what everyone was the most concerned about.
To tell the truth, everyone was hoping that Su Chen had just happened to randomly stumble upon them.
Obviously, however, he was going to disappoint them.
Su Chen simply replied, “I traced my way over. You pretended that you were going to cross the sea, but you actually were planning on going through the Death Region. Am I right?”
Everyone’s expression simultaneously changed.
Jun Moxie shrilly asked, “How did you figure it out?”
Su Chen said, “Of course I figured it out. I admit that your actions were quite well-executed, and your idea to use the escape route of crossing the sea to conceal your true movements was quite good. Boats for the sea and boats for land require very similar types of materials and can confuse the opponents. If it weren’t for the fact that I know that General Jun is very proficient in refining tools, especially land boats, I wouldn’t have thought of this either. Unfortunately, your plan has still failed.”
Everyone felt their hearts seize when they heard this.
Li Chongshan asked, “Failed? Do you mean that the Ferocious Race found out about our plan?”
Su Chen shook his head. “That’s hard to say.”
“What do you mean it’s hard to say?” No one understood.
Su Chen then described what he had encountered on his way over.
When they heard that he had gone to investigate the Yellow Dragon Forest, everyone sighed. Even though they had tried to cover it up as best as possible, keeping what had happened in the large Yellow Dragon Forest under wraps was no easy task.
The Ferocious Race had obviously realized this as well, which was why they had sent an elite investigations team over.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful. One of them was able to get away, so it’s more likely than not that the Ferocious Race is now aware of your plan. Going through the Death Region is no longer feasible,” Su Chen sighed.
“This isn’t your fault. Actually, even if you were to kill all of the Ferocious Race soldiers, Simotian would probably have realized that his guess was right if they didn’t return after some time,” Shi Kaihuang said.
“Simotian...... You think that the group of Ferocious Race soldiers who were sent to the Yellow Dragon Forest were also from the Gravel Lizard Tribe?” Su Chen asked.
“It could only be them,” Chu Yingwan replied. “There were a total of sixteen tribes that participated in hunting us down, but from start to finish the Gravel Lizard Tribe posed the greatest threat. They were the ones who successfully ambushed us in the first place, and they were also the ones who forced us all the way here.”
Chu Yingwan’s tone was incredibly angry. It was obvious that she harbored a lot of hate for the Gravel Lizard Tribe.
“Is this tribe really that powerful?” Su Chen asked suspiciously.
He had studied the Ferocious Race’s societal system while at the Hidden Dragon Institute, but of the thirteen main tribes that served as the Ferocious Race backbone, he had never heard of the Gravel Lizard Tribe. He didn’t expect that this Gravel Lizard Tribe, which wasn’t one of these major thirteen tribes, could pose such a threat to the Heavenly Might Army.
Li Chongshan said, “The Gravel Lizard Tribe suddenly rose to power recently. Not long ago, they defeated the Sand Cliff Tribe to become one of the major thirteen tribes. Their Ancestor Simotian was also subsequently named as one of the twelve main Ancestors because of this. The Gravel Lizard Tribe was able to accomplish all of this because of Simotian’s contributions.”
“Another genius leader also appeared recently amongst the Gravel Lizard Tribe. We have suffered tremendous setbacks precisely because of him,” Shi Kaihuang added. “You should know who this Ferocious Race youth is.”
Su Chen felt his heart jolt. He murmured, “Could it be......”
“Danba,” Shi Kaihuang said.
So it really was him?
His opponent from the Goldwater Ruins had become the Gravel Lizard Tribe’s genius vice chieftain in just eleven years?
According to the Ferocious Race’s rules, large tribes did not pass on leadership via inheritance. Instead, the current tribe chieftain and the Divine Shrine’s Ancestor would each choose three warriors, training them and having them compete against each other until a victor was determined.
During this period of time, all of the selected potential chieftains were known as vice chieftains because of their relative youth.
To avoid excessive injuries and deaths, the battles were restricted to a small area. All of the vice chieftains would have their resources and manpower restricted, and then freed to fight and strategize based on their own abilities. This made it so that the vice chieftains were often engaged in drawn-out battles against each other, which could last as long as ten years.
During this period of time, the vice chieftains would gain extensive experience, including military strategy and political tactics, making them qualified leaders of the tribe.
Even though this conflict was supposed to be fair, the truth was that this ideal was often far from reality.
Most of the time, the chieftain’s side would be victorious.
This was because the chieftain usually nominated their own sons or daughters, and though they seemed to have the same resources as the Divine Shrine on paper, the chieftain’s champions would often receive secret support, giving them an inherent advantage over those from the Divine Shrine.
For instance, the rules were that every vice chieftain couldn’t start with more than ten subordinates, and the remaining ones must be roped in on their own.
It seemed like a fair condition, but the chieftain could allow his own champions to rope people in at insanely low prices.
The Divine Shrine controlled the religious side of society, but they lacked troops. Most importantly, the value the Divine Shrine placed on material wealth was much lower than that of the chieftains.
All these reasons made it obvious why the chieftain’s side was usually the one who emerged victorious. These seemingly fair proceedings were just a front to cover up the passing on of the position by birth.
Even so, the Ferocious Race and the Divine Shrine had a tacit understanding that this competition was to temper the people that the chieftain had selected to succeed in taking control of the tribe, and not to actually force them to give up the position to another Ferocious Race individual.
However, if the champions on the chieftain’s side weren’t able to emerge victorious even with special treatment, then the tribe would silently acknowledge that that individual was not fit to lead the tribe and accept the successor put forth by the Divine Shrine. For this reason, the special treatment provided by the chieftain was limited in some aspects, making it so that a few miracles would occur here or there.
The appearance of each such miracle often signalled the rise of a tribe.
Danba was the latest such miracle.
Three years ago, he had defeated all of his competitors and became the only remaining vice chieftain — the only suitable successor to inherit the Gravel Lizard Tribe.
Everything the Heavenly Might Army had suffered until now was because of what he had done.