Chapter 161: Swamp
In the swamps to the south of the Black Forest.
Shi Mingfeng stood close by, intensely staring at the marshy swampland as if there were something on his mind.
Meanwhile, Astin paced back and forth impatiently.
“The agreed upon time has already passed. Why hasn’t this guy shown himself yet?”
“You’re in too much of a hurry, Astin,” Shi Mingfeng said calmly. “Actually, I feel like what Su Chen said was totally logical. Our time is limited, and opportunities to infiltrate deep into the Beast Race’s territory are too few and far between. But instead of maximizing our efficiency and looting this place, we are wasting our time carrying out this transaction. That’s such a backwards way of doing things.”
“Perhaps. I’m just a bit curious about this young man who’s put the entire Ferocious Race on edge. What you say may be right, and I might have been a bit too hasty, but the deal’s already been made and the situation has already reached this point, hasn’t it?” Astin shrugged.
Shi Mingfeng turned around to stare at Astin. “Astin, tell me. Do you have some other scheme in mind?”
“Scheme?” Astin froze momentarily before he burst out in laughter. “What are you saying? I just want to make some money and get to know the person who is going to be bringing me endless waves of money in the future. Is there anything wrong with that?”
When he saw the way Astin spoke, Shi Mingfeng nodded and replied, “That’s true. Under these circumstances and considering who you’re making the deal with, anyone would probably want to get to know that person better.”
Astin chuckled. “As long as you understand.”
Shi Mingfeng turned back around. “There is a kind of flower within the Black Forest known as the Night Demon Cloud. It is a precious ingredient that can purify one’s body. It can be consumed as-is, and there is no need to refine it into a medicine. However, the two boa constrictors guarding it aren’t easy to deal with.”
Astin didn’t understand why Shi Mingfeng would suddenly bring something like this up, and he stared at Shi Mingfeng, puzzled.
Shi Mingfeng continued explaining. “Of the two-headed boa constrictors, one of them is known as the Swamp Constrictor. As the name implies, it lives in the swamp.”
Astin was stunned. He finally realized something and blurted out, “Dammit!”
A massive head slowly emerged from the surface of the swamp, the beady eyes of the constrictor fixed on the two of them.
Shi Mingfeng continued. “I will go into the Black Forest to harvest the Night Demon Cloud; you and your subordinates can stay here to delay this Swamp Constrictor. If everything goes as planned, we can harvest it before Su Chen gets here, and then we will have another bargaining chip to use against Su Chen.
As he spoke, he took Night Demon and He Xu with him and prepared to head into the Black Forest.
“Wait a moment, Mingfeng, there’s no need to do that!” Astin yelled out loudly.
It was obvious from first glance that this Swamp Constrictor was not going to be easy to handle. He didn’t want to go all out against a mere Demonic Beast here.
Shi Mingfeng turned around to look at him. “Do you not want an extra item to exchange for more resources? That’s our whole reason for coming here.”
“I......” Astin was speechless.
Shi Mingfeng continued, “Also, why would Su Chen choose to make the exchange here? Perhaps he wanted to borrow our hand to deal with these two boa constrictors. For him, this pair of snakes might actually be a bit hard to handle.”
“If you don’t finish it off, then Su Chen might not appear at all,” Shi Mingfeng said with a smile.
As he spoke, he took his two subordinates into the forest.
At this moment, the Swamp Constrictor had already fully revealed itself. Its body was hundreds of feet long, and every time it exhaled, small vortices of air formed in front of its nostrils. It was immediately apparent how frighteningly powerful this massive boa constrictor was.
Astin glanced at the massive creature, mulling over his personal mission. Finally, he could only gulp and say, “Fine, then let’s take care of this guy first...... Let’s go!”
Following his command, the group of Resurrection Door subordinates charged towards the Swamp Constrictor.
Streaks of Origin Light fiercely slammed into the Swamp Constrictor, causing blood to fly everywhere. The Swamp Constrictor responded in kind, as its massive body was its best weapon. Its innate affinity for earth-type Origin Energy allowed it to control the massive energy reservoir of the earth in the form of earth-type Origin Skills.
A massive battle unfolded.
The Swamp Constrictor wasn’t a character that was easy to deal with, but the Resurrection Door was obviously stronger. In this face-off, the Resurrection Door held a clear advantage.
As brilliant lights flashed everywhere and howls rang through the sky, Astin’s side slowly and steadily began to build up an advantage.
Once this advantage was firmly established, Astin was able to relax slightly, and his brain had some free time to process other questions on his mind.
As such, Astin suddenly thought of something in that moment.
How had Shi Mingfeng known about the Night Demon Cloud in the Black Forest? And how had he known about the two constrictors?
Even he, who was privy to the Ferocious Race’s intel, didn’t know such specific information regarding the situation here. So how had Shi Mingfeng known about it?
As soon as this thought surfaced in his mind, Astin began to feel uneasy.
Most of the effective scams in this day and age targeted people who weren’t mentally prepared for them. If a person was mentally guarded against a particular scam, it would be much harder to pull off, and details which didn’t seem that important would immediately stand out.
Why did Shi Mingfeng know about the matter of the Black Forest? Why had he left in such a hurry? Why couldn’t he stay to help Astin finish off this massive constrictor, and then go with him to deal with the other one?
As soon as he saw through one of the lies, he very quickly discovered many other various places where things didn’t quite add up.
At this moment, Astin felt a chill creep up his spine.
Shi Mingfeng had lied to him!
Even so, this chill hadn’t completely taken over him yet, and his hope had not yet completely turned into despair.
He hoped that his guess was wrong, or that at least Shi Mingfeng would have some other reason for doing this.
Until he saw a nearby tree.
That tree had withered and dried up a long time ago. Its branches were wilted, and dried out roots were sprawled across the ground. However, there was a piece of cloth hanging onto that old, withered tree.
The piece of cloth didn’t seem particularly eye-catching, as its color was grey; however, it couldn’t have stood out more given the circumstances and environment.
A piece of cloth!
How could a piece of cloth from a human’s clothes be hanging here?
Astin suddenly understood.
He called out in a trembling voice, “Su Chen! You’re already here, aren’t you? Come out now!”
There was no response other than the Swamp Constrictor’s furious howls that reverberated into the sky. Waves of blustering earth-type Origin Energy surged at the Resurrection Door’s Origin Qi Scholars, the neverending blankets of energy almost suffocating them.
Astin’s hand trembled, and his eyes grew round.
“I know you’re here. Come out!”
A gentle sigh could be heard.
Astin spun around to face the source of the sigh and saw Su Chen.
Su Chen was standing right behind him silently and casually, a slight smile hanging on his lips.
He was holding a wine cup in his hands. Inside the wine cup was a blood-colored liquid.
He stood beside the Black Forest on a patch of withered grass near the swamp.
Against the stark gray and black backdrop, this cup of red wine was extremely eye-catching.
Astin gulped. “Su Chen, I’m here to make a transaction with you. I brought enough resources with me
Su Chen carelessly shrugged. “Your sincerity is about as trustworthy as the mud that makes up this marsh. All it’s good for is covering up the dirty schemes and ploys you’re hiding under the surface.”
Astin’s expression shifted drastically. “I think there may be a misunderstanding between us.”
“Are you trying to tell me that you have nothing to do with the five hundred Ferocious Race soldiers waiting for me outside that forest?”
Su Chen had even managed to pinpoint the number of people here, causing Astin’s heart to shudder violently.
“You......” He stared at Su Chen in shock.
Su Chen replied, “Danba actually only sent five hundred people to kill me. He must despise me to the extreme if he thinks that five hundred people is enough. Or is it that he thinks so highly of me that he isn’t willing to take a bigger risk?”
After thinking for a moment, Su Chen shook his head. “I don’t know what he’s trying to do, but at the very least I know that you and your men won’t be return alive. Since you were able to discover me in time, you’ve at least earned the right to have a one-on-one battle with me.”
As he spoke, he pulled out the Mountain-Beheading Blade and gestured at his opponent. “If we do this quickly enough, we should be able to declare a winner before your subordinates are all killed by that massive snake.”