Chapter 141: An Important Breakthrough
Withered Leaf Gorge.
While Iron Cliff was still racking his brains over how he could convince the Cliff Race at Hurricane Canyon, the Heavenly Might Battalion had already advanced to the Withered Leaf Gorge.
This place was next to the western stretch of the Blood and Iron Country. Because they needed to hunt a ton of Demonic beasts, the Heavenly Might Battalion had taken a detour here as it also bordered the Beast Race’s territory, meaning that Demonic Beasts ran rampant here.
Unlike humans who knew how to tame Demonic Beasts, the Ferocious Race had no knowledge and no need to do so. And since there was no demand for them, large numbers of beasts would enter this territory every year.
Another difference compared to the human territory was that instead of being a natural stronghold, the western stretches of the region were completely open, where even the weakest beast could cross the border. This was another reason why so many Demonic Beasts would appear here.
By the same reasoning, the Ferocious Race didn’t really have a western border. This was a place where beasts and Ferocious Race individuals lived together.
In this kind of a place, there was no organization or structure. It was governed by the simplest law: primal, bloody killing. The strong survived and the weak died.
This was the third theoretical path that they could take. From here, they could go through the Beast Race’s territory and re-enter human territory from the other side. However, this path was actually not a path; the Heavenly Might Battalion would rather go through the Stormy Strait than through the Beast Race’s territory. Passing through it a little was fine, but going straight through was equivalent to committing suicide.
As such, the most direct path was also the one that was impossible to take. Because they knew this, the Ferocious Race didn’t station many groups here. And even if they did, it wouldn’t have been very effective — the territory was just too large.
The Withered Leaf Gorge was a small gorge located in this chaotic place. It was the only dent in the entire desolate wasteland, and it wasn’t even really a gorge; it was just a pit sandwiched between two hills. Even so, it was this small pit that was currently concealing the humans that the Ferocious Race had been chased for the past half year or so.
At this moment, a group of humans was getting closer and closer to this area.
Behind this group of humans were the carcasses of two beasts each as large as a hill. One was a two-headed gorilla roughly a hundred feet tall with its heads cracked wide open, while the other was a Three-Horned Sword Rhinoceros. This latter beast was incredibly strong, and the spikes on its back rose high into the sky. The scales on its body had been peeled off and its three horns broken.
There were two people standing at the top of Withered Leaf Gorge. They were Li Chongshan and Shi Kaihuang.
When the group reached the gorge, one of the captains flew up to the top of Withered Leaf Gorge and greeted Li Chongshan and Shi Kaihuang by kowtowing to them. “General, we have returned. We did not betray your trust and managed to hunt one Black Mountain Gorilla and one Three-Horned Sword Rhinoceros.”
“I saw. Well done,” Li Chongshan said faintly.
Shi Kaihuang asked, “How many casualties?”
The captain replied, “One person died, and four were seriously wounded.”
Shi Kaihuang frowned. “You are a captain, and this was just a normal hunting exercise, but you still suffered from casualties. At this point in time, every loss is a serious one since we have no way of recouping them. This is your fault and came about because of your inability to properly lead your troops. Go back and receive ten lashes.”
“Yes, sir.” The captain bowed his head and agreed.
Li Chongshan didn’t like to administer punishment, but Shi Kaihuang had a reputation for being a strict general, so the lower-level soldiers were really afraid of Shi Kaihuang over Li Chongshan.
At this moment, Li Chongshan couldn’t help but ask Shi Kaihuang, “A Black Mountain Gorilla and Three-Horned Sword Rhinoceros are both considered quite strong amongst high-tiered Demonic Beasts as they can go berserk at any moment. Hunting them is quite difficult, and they only suffered one death. We should have evaluated it as a meritorious service for Captain Du Qian. Why was it necessary to punish them?”
Shi Kaihuang replied, “These two Demonic Beasts are indeed powerful, but these soldiers are elites amongst the human race. Especially now that they’ve cultivated both the Immaculate Cultivation Technique and the Hemolytic Totem, their strength has rapidly increased. If they were to fight calmly, they shouldn’t have suffered any casualties, so the death was most likely a result of their overconfidence. That was why I punished him — to remind him to not place himself at the same context as that of a normal soldier. If you are more powerful, you will also bear more responsibility as well.”
Li Chongshan shook his head and laughed bitterly. “You were still a bit harsh. The soldiers worked hard and should be consoled nonetheless.”
Shi Kaihuang said, “You can console and encourage them. I’m more than willing to be the bad guy. You are the general, and everyone should naturally look up to you. As your deputy, I am okay with being the person that they fear.”
Li Chongshan shook his head repeatedly. “You and that stubborn personality of yours.”
Even though he said that, Li Chongshan knew that Shi Kaihuang was acting in both the Heavenly Might Battalion’s and his best interests.
Li Chongshan and Shi Kaihuang were the official commander and vice commander of the troops. One was merciful while the other was firm, which was the right path to take in training soldiers. As Li Chongshan was the main general, it wasn’t good for him to offend anyone. And thus, the role of the “bad guy” was given to Shi Kaihuang to play.
Although Li Chongshan had accepted Shi Kaihuang’s role in the past, he had different thoughts now, so he wasn’t willing to let Shi Kaihuang do this anymore.
Shi Kaihuang knew why he was being like this. He said, “Su Chen is Su Chen, and I am me. He has done many things for the Heavenly Might Battalion, but you don’t need to be this worried about me. If you feel grateful to him, you should go to him and personally express your gratitude. Don’t try and pull something weird with me. I very much enjoy my position as vice commander, and I am satisfied with what I am currently doing. If there is anyone who isn’t willing to listen, I’ll beat him. Pretending to be mean while teaching people lessons is actually quite enjoyable.”
“You……” Li Chonghsn laughed bitterly.
He knew Shi Kaihuang’s temperament very well. Upon hearing him talk like this, Li Chongshan knew that he should let the matter go.
Suddenly, he thought of something and asked, “Right, how has Su Chen been doing these past couple of days?”
“He’s still conducting his experiments. It seems like he’s somehow been inspired about a way to reach the Light Shaking Realm without a bloodline.”
“If he can achieve that, then he really would have made a huge contribution to the human race,” Li Chongshan sighed.
The Light Shaking Realm was one of the most important gates for an Origin Qi Scholar to pass through. If someone without a bloodline was really able to reach that level, it would truly leave an indelible mark on human history.
The Hemolytic Totem and Soul Armaments as achievements paled in comparison.
“That’s the dream,” Shi Kaihuang said. “I look favorably on Su Chen. This kid has been performing miracles seemingly ever since he was born. Even though I was the one who laid the groundwork for the techniques for reaching the Blood Boiling and Yang Opening Realms without a bloodline, I wouldn’t have been able to finish them without him. His moment of glory will come from creating a technique for reaching the Light Shaking Realm without a bloodline. I believe that this day will come eventually!”
“I believe so as well,” Li Chongshan agreed. “I just don’t know how long it will take him to get there.”
“It won’t be too long,” Shi Kaihuang replied.
Su Chen was currently sitting in a cave, meditating with his legs crossed.
Unlike most people who kept their eyes closed while meditating, Su Chen’s eyes were wide open. He was currently examining his own body closely.
Even though penetrative sight techniques could observe the motion of Origin Energy, they fell a bit short of truly observing reality. Su Chen, on the other hand, could use his microscopic eye to visually pry into such secrets and ignore all the physical barriers to look directly inside his body.
His eyes glowed brightly as he began memorizing every node within his body.