Gong Yi's eyes lit up. "I'll try to think of a way. It would definitely be best if communication can be restored. We haven't been able to contact the Federation for a long time. We need someone to establish the link between the Empire and the Federation!"
Cao Hong assured him not to worry. "Wang Zhong, just leave these things to us and don't worry about it. Forging your Heroic Soul is a very important step as it determines your future. You should focus on it now. We will not give advice in this regard. You have to remember that you can count on us. Don't hesitate to ask if you need anything. Let's not talking about braving fires and floods, but small matters such as climbing a knife mountain are still acceptable."
"I have one more important matter to discuss. It's the last one. We are planning to set up an organization. What name do you think is better, Wang Zhong?" asked Gong Yi.
"The Red-Sleeved Allies?"
"The Vengeance Clan?"
Gong Yi rolled his eyes. "The Monetary Association?"
All of them were scorned by Sister Hong and Reynolds.
"How about New World?"
Having resolved that issue, the four of them began to focus on recovering from their injuries. All of their injuries were very severe, except for Wang Zhong; his case was more of having overexerted himself. As for the others, they had severe injuries on top of that. Even if they were back in the Federation, their condition would have been considered difficult to handle. However, they were able to recover miraculously in the Empire, where medical facilities were lacking. That was especially the case for Cao Hong, who had suffered mortal injuries. It was unfathomable that she had escaped death.
It could only mean that Mu Zi's abilities had far exceeded Wang Zhong's imagination. The Federation had become and stayed arrogant over the years, neglecting the fact that there were countless people with extraordinary abilities in the Empire. It was an elder from the village — said to be the witch doctor here — who attended to Wang Zhong and the others. He held a worn-out crutch, had gray eyes, and spoke the native tongue, which they could not understand. He also had an appearance of an old quack.
However, the medicine he prepared had magical properties. It had a stinky smell and looked like mud; but after being applied to their bodies, followed by pouring an unknown potion over it, they could feel a heat force directly penetrating into their bones and even nourishing their meridians.
In just one day, Wang Zhong was able to walk, and it was estimated that he could completely recover in about two or three days. It was far better than the most advanced treatment methods in the Federation. He couldn't help but develop a newfound level of respect for the Tutankhamun witch doctor — who he had previously thought of as a quack.
Compared to ordinary oasis villages, the geographical area of Katchirda Village was already considered to be huge. The oasis covered about a dozen square kilometers. The Tutankhamun government and surrounding forces had also stationed their armies here before. However, oases held a large appeal to mutant beasts, especially with an extremely cunning 7th rank Sand Lizard King controlling their movements. The different forces eventually gave up on the place as they were unable to handle the continuous beastial tides, and also due to their failure to capture that 7th rank monster, despite having organized several large-scale cleanups.
The place would suffer heavy losses every time a beastial tide erupted; still, a steady stream of people continued to flood in after every disaster due to the appeal of the oasis. Then the tragedy would repeat itself. The person who put a stop to that was Mu Zi, who went into the desert alone to find and kill the 7th rank Sand Lizard King. He even stayed behind, alone in the village, to resist two beastial tides which were supposedly counterattacks. It had been a little over six months up till now, but not even a single beastial tide had erupted.
Mu Zi's cultivation process had just reached a bottleneck then, rendering solitary experiences in the desert useless to him. Due to that and with the intention of helping the villagers handle possible beastial tides, he decided to settle down in the village. As such, Mu Zi was thought to be a god for the people there.
The villagers began to set up some simple fences around the village, as well as sentry posts at the head and the end of the village. Such protection could only serve as a warning for incoming beastial tides. The villagers were limited due to poverty. Although there were enough workers, they were lacking in terms of money and resources to build better protection. The local forces of Tutankhamun were also still observing to confirm the village's situation. They did not intend to intervene immediately as they were truly intimidated by the beastial tides they had previously encountered.
Therefore, Gong Yi's idea was completely on the right track. This was indeed a place abound in gifts of nature, but they did not have much time left to benefit from it. It was obvious that if the Katchirda Village's situation grew stable, it would be coveted by many different forces of Tutankhamun, with it being such a big oasis. Of course, Gong Yi had a lot of tricks up his sleeve to handle the noblemen of Tutankhamen — who were basically country bumpkins — as he had always advocated using brains instead of brute force.
The annual adult ceremony of Katchirda Village happened to be held tonight: six boys would formally go through the rites of passage to become respected men in the village. Therefore, many bonfires were already set up by the lake in the center of the village. Many women, who had bunned up their hair, could be spotted handling the preparations for the ceremony. Some were preparing ingredients for the barbeque at night, while some were piling up wood for the bonfire. Additionally, many tanned kids with bare buttocks could be spotted running and fooling around, having the time of their lives.
The huge piles of food at the side were all the carcasses of mutated beasts. The Tutankhamun villagers were not particular about meat; thus, consuming mutated beasts was a common practice. They had paid a great price in the early days. There were many villagers who began to mutate or even die after consuming the beasts; but as they accumulated more experience over time, the Tutankhamun villagers eventually developed the ability to distinguish the edible from the inedible with ease.
Now, carcasses of mutated beasts were abundant in the Katchirda Village. When Mu Zi handled the beastial tides in the past, the carcasses were piled up in huge heaps in the village. The edible ones were singled out and made into preservable bacon, and some were stored with the witch doctor, which he soaked in strange potions to prevent them from going bad. The preservation could last up to a few years even under such extreme desert conditions.
As dusk fell, more than 30 bonfires were lit up, and happy villagers could be seen almost everywhere. Everyone made an appearance, including many travelers who were passing through and staying for the night. Anyone could participate in this bonfire party and enjoy a sumptuous meal if they paid a certain fee.
Wang Zhong and the others were invited to attend the ceremony, and they sat with Mu Zi in the center and largest bonfire, accompanied by the witch doctor and the elders of the Katchirda Village.
When the drums sounded, several Katchirda kids emerged from the crowd of countless children, carrying the prey they had hunted on their backs. Most of the prey they killed were 1st rank mutated beasts, but there were two outstanding kids who had managed to kill 2nd rank and large-sized beasts. It had to be noted that the kids were the children of the most ordinary villagers. They had never received any form of systematic training and had even spent at least a quarter of their lives in crypts due to past beastial tides. It was surprising that they had such high combat power, making them almost comparable to first-class students in Heroic Soul Academies back in the Federation.
"Human potential is limitless. In fact, talents are more likely to emerge from the worst situations," said Gong Yi with deep feeling. He had started to develop an inexplicable affection and some high expectations for the place. "If these kids could have a chance to undergo systemic training like those offered in Heroic Soul Academies, their achievements would be limitless."
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