Trap? Sword Saint? What about Wang Zhong?
"First-aid kit, first-aid kit!" Oscar was the first to respond, and he began to shout. His arms were fully covered in Grai's blood.
Feng, who was behind him, brought over the first-aid kit, and Oscar laid Grai flat on the ground. When Oscar opened his coat to take a look, the terrifying wound on his chest seemed to have split his whole body in half! His bones were deeply visible, and it was absolutely shocking to the eye.
Oscar's hands flashed with blue light; he used his Soul Power to forcibly occlude all the blood vessels near the wound, while Feng administered some first aid. Obviously, under such terrible conditions, they were not equipped to deal with such a serious injury.
The entire Wanderlust Team's expressions grew heavy as they recalled the information that Grai had passed on to them previously. Everyone lost all the hope they were holding on to before.
Trap. Sword Saint.
In fact, these three words were already enough to explain what had happened, and everyone finally understood how KD Squadron got wiped out. If they had met with the enemies' so-called defense or even if they were ambushed, with KD's strength, they should have been able to escape if they were losing. That group of people was definitely not stupid and definitely not the type who would give their lives for the honor of the Holy City.
But if they met a Sword Saint? That would be like meeting an expert Heavenly Soul with the combat power of a Great Teacher. If the Sword Saint was prepared, it would definitely be a piece of cake to wipe out the entire KD Squadron. A Sword Saint…
"… Let's abort the mission."
To be honest, this was a very difficult decision. When Oscar spoke those words, he was definitely experiencing a dilemma. If he had been alone, he would have risked his life to go to their enemies' camp to find out more about what happened to Wang Zhong. However, he still had to consider the rest of the Wanderlust Team, and it was not realistic to ask them to return to their base without him; even with Small Eyes and Feng, they wouldn't be able to get through the swamp safely, especially when Grai was seriously injured.
To make the same mistake once or twice could be due to rashness or inexperience, but if the mistake was made three or four times, that could only mean that one was stupid and useless.
"What about Lao Wang?" Sharmie was worried and couldn't help but ask. She had completely forgotten that she was actually a burden to the team.
Oscar shook his head. Although he didn't speak, everyone knew what he meant. Not to mention whether Wang Zhong was alive or dead now, even if they really knew Wang Zhong's situation, what could the Wanderlust Team do? Could they save him from the Sword Saint? They would only join Wang Zhong in death.
If one did not have the strength, one should never think about doing something so whimsical. If one wanted to protect one's companions, one had to be strong enough to do so.
"I—" Sharmie bit her lower lip. She was devastated; she never thought that last night would be the last time she would see him.
All her past experiences on Earth flashed in her mind. They were once so happy and carefree. That guy who showed her around the Tianjing Academy and the guy she used as a tool to disturb Laura… Did she really do it just because she wanted to tease Laura? Actually, she now felt that she was actually truly having fun with him at that time.
Mario reached out and placed his arms on her shoulders, but Laura pushed him away subconsciously. She immediately realized that this was wrong, but she was not in the mood to explain to Mario. She was a little confused about her feelings. She had the impulse to sneak away to look for Wang Zhong, but even with such strong impulses, she understood that she could do nothing for him.
Oscar sighed and dismissed his impulse to look for Wang Zhong. He was afraid of getting stuck in that dilemma again as he might change his mind. He signaled at everyone to leave and said, "Let's go while everyone still has energy… Mario, you and Napier can take turns piggybacking Grai in the middle of the team… We better speed up. Grai's situation is only temporarily stabilized. He still needs professional treatment. We cannot save Wang Zhong, but we must at least save Grai."
"Damn it!" Small Eyes raised her handgun high up and wanted to vent her frustration. However, she didn't dare to do so after all. This was the Black Boulder Annular Swamp, and her blasts would definitely attract the monsters nearby once again. She had learned her lesson from the previous experiences. In the end, she merely stomped her feet and said, "Let's go!"
Huff, puff, huff, puff.
The chase in the cave was still on-going.
Wang Zhong had been running in this huge labyrinth-like cave for an entire day, but he still wasn't able to shake off the sense of oppression coming from the Sword Saint. On several occasions, he felt that he was about to shake it off, but before he could slow down and take a breather, the feeling would reappear immediately; it was as though if he slowed down a little, the other party would appear right behind him. This was the intuition he got from the clown mask, and it was definitely accurate.
This was definitely not a comfortable experience. Not to mention the mental pressure he had to face — even for Heroic Soul soldiers, even for someone like Wang Zhong who had an unusually strong physique — no one could withstand this kind of non-stop running for an entire night. This experience was not about how fast he ran, but the multiple consumptions of his mental strength, physical strength, and endurance, as well as wisdom.
Fortunately, the intricate and nearly infinite length of the mine not only brought more possibilities for Wang Zhong's escape, they also caused more trouble for the terrifying Sword Saint who was on Wang Zhong's tail.
Wang Zhong was able to gain experience from his run. Even for a route which he had yet to pass through — just by observing the amount of raw ore on the cave wall and feeling the richness of the energy in the caves, as well as the humidity and temperature of the caves — he could instinctively determine whether it was a dead end ahead. He could even deduce how many forked roads the route had and know how many choices he would probably have…
Over time, he did not need to calculate these anymore as it had slowly become an instinct. The Sword Saint behind was obviously inferior to himself in terms of this. Although Wang Zhong could feel that the Sword Saint was faster than him, the Sword Saint always needed a lot of time and energy to determine the direction he needed to take to make sure that he wouldn't lose Wang Zhong. Due to this, Wang Zhong felt that he had almost managed to get off the Sword Saint's radar several times, but unfortunately, that feeling would only last for a split second. The Sword Saint would immediately catch up again. After all, not every route in the cave was so complicated. The distance between the two kept fluctuating, but eventually, a balance was achieved. One couldn't shake off the other, and the other couldn't catch up.
However, this was clearly not good for Wang Zhong. This 'safety' was only temporary. Was he really going to compete with a Sword Saint in terms of physical strength and endurance? Now, Wang Zhong was already feeling the fatigue from running the entire night.
"Wang Zhong, this isn't working. How long can you last this way? Sooner or later, you will collapse. I don't want to die here!" Simba didn't stop nagging even when he became a mask. As a bond of perception, its assessment of that Sword Saint was even clearer than that of Wang Zhong's. The expert behind was clearly already furious and desperate to kill. Even over a long distance, Simba could fully feel the opposite party's desire to crush this mouse — even if he had to destroy the entire world.
"If you don't want to die, help me find an exit! This is our only chance!"
"Do you think it's that easy? Besides, even if we find the exit, we are still going to die. This guy is like your shadow. We can't even get rid of him in this complicated place. If we really went outside, we would be caught by him in minutes…"
"Did you forget that I still have a bomb?" Wang Zhong was speechless. Ever since Simba became smaller in size after kicking the Fate Roulette, it seemed that he had lost all his courage too. Now, he was already frightened out of his wits.
"What's the use of that? Can this bomb break his defense or bury him alive? At best, this bomb can only produce about fifty to sixty thousand Grassos." Simba continued to rant, with a pessimistic look plastered on his face. "I think we're done for. Boo hoo hoo. I didn't even get a chance to date Teacher Lan Daier yet!"
"It's not like that. There are loads of high-energy crystals all around us!" Wang Zhong pointed out the most important thing. Throughout the entire day of being on the run from the Sword Saint, he never stopped observing the surrounding environment and trying to come up with an escape plan.
If they depended solely on the power of Kenso's Stink Bomb, it was truly not enough to break through the nearly indestructible defense of the Sword Saint as his defense was around a hundred thousand Grassos. They wouldn't be able to destroy the mine either. However, they were in an energy mine!
Although the raw ore energy crystals on the surrounding cave wall had not been collected and processed, the energy contained in them was not any less. Kenso's Stink Bomb was an energy bomb which had to be detonated with Soul Power. Thus, the violent energy impact could definitely cause an energy explosion in the surrounding mining area instantly, and the end result would be unfathomable. With enough energy crystals around, it could even destroy the world. Even if it wasn't able to blow the Sword Saint up completely, he would at least be half-dead.
Finally, Simba came to his senses. "Yes, yes, yes! I forgot that there are energy crystals around us. Wait, no! Won't we get blown up together with him as well?"
"That's why we first must run out of the mining area within five minutes of triggering the bomb! Quickly help me find an exit!"
"F*ck, why didn't you say so earlier!" With a new goal in mind, Simba immediately felt energized. "This is easy. I remember all the paths we passed through, and I can do some calculations. This kind of complex natural caves would definitely have more than one exit!"
However, he was still pessimistic. "But what if there is no other exit?" added Simba.
"Touch wood! Our luck is not so bad! Hurry up and do your job!"
If Wang Zhong was considered a person with a photographic memory, then Simba was definitely considered a computer. His ability was instinctual. He could directly draw up a three-dimensional map in his mind based on the places he visited before.
In fact, Simba was merely using all the previous statistics to come to a conclusion; he merely used the elimination method to exclude the previous routes they had passed through and the obvious characteristics of dead ends to increase the probability of finding an exit. However, they still had to depend on luck to find a way out.
Wang Zhong made an estimation about the amount of energy he had left. At most, he could only last for another day. Fortunately, Simba's statistical elimination method was useful. Compared to only running into the most complicated routes previously, this method was more efficient when it came to pulling away from the Sword Saint. However, this method also had its shortcomings. After planning the route to go in advance, Simba mostly directed Wang Zhong to the straighter paths. This was obviously beneficial to the Sword Saint behind them, and the distance between the two was constantly getting smaller. Not only did Wang Zhong feel a heavier sense of crisis, on several occasions, he felt that his position was about to be exposed by the Sword Saint's divine sense.
It was time to lay all his cards on the table. He could only trust Simba's computing ability to work. If he went back to the previous way, although he might be able to open up the distance between the Sword Saint and himself again, he would probably get farther and farther away from the exit and eventually get killed after running out of energy.
Fortunately, their luck didn't seem to be bad. It was only four or five hours later that Wang Zhong sensed the location of an exit and the Sword Saint's divine sense had yet to completely catch up with him. There was a cool breeze blowing from the cave entrance. Wang Zhong, who had been running for a day and a half in this humid energy cave, was definitely extremely sensitive to this. On the other hand, Simba also couldn't help but cheer. That position was the closest exit in his calculations, and according to the map he had drawn in his mind, it should be at the foot of the other side of the Black Boulder Crater.
However, now was not the time to run out directly. Just like what Simba had mentioned before, there was still someone on their tail, and he could catch up with them in a few minutes if they were running on a straight and smooth path. It was obviously unrealistic to place the bomb near the entrance of the cave as there were not many energy ores in the outer area. At best, the power of the bomb alone could hinder the Sword Saint for a few minutes, and that was not enough to let them make their escape.
"Let's give him a huge present!" Finding the exit, Wang Zhong was absolutely relieved, and the fatigue from the past two days of running seemed to have dissipated all of a sudden.
"Go this way!" Simba recalled a few places which they had passed through and began to direct Wang Zhong there. One of the routes was very rich in raw ore and full of energy. It was also not far from this exit, which would give Wang Zhong ample time to escape. They just needed to make a small detour and lead the Sword Saint there.
However, this kind of thing was easier said than done. They would only have five minutes to get out, but if they wanted to lead the guy to the area they desired and not be caught up by him at the same time, they had to take a far longer route. The optimal route which Simba had planned actually entailed running round in a large circle.
As Wang Zhong followed Simba's directions, he felt that they were getting farther and farther from the exit and the place where he was supposed to place the bomb. Thus, Wang Zhong couldn't help but ask Simba how much longer he needed to run.
"Not that long. It will only take about five hours!" Simba was full of confidence. "There's no other way. We have to trick the dog behind us and lead him to the right position first. Don't worry. I chose a weird route to ensure that the guy following us will get dizzy!"
Five hours… Get the guy dizzy? He was the one who was going to get dizzy first!
Wang Zhong really wanted to die. It was easy for Simba to talk as he wasn't the one doing the hard work. Having been on the run for nearly two days, Wang Zhong was already almost at his limit. In the end… he still had to run for another five hours? Simba spoke as though five hours was nothing…
However, he also knew that he had to remain calm in this kind of situation. This was actually a contest of patience. The other party was definitely angrier and more impatient than him. He could see sword dents everywhere in the routes he had traveled before. They were definitely caused by the Sword Saint during his fits of anger, and this actually symbolized an opportunity to escape for Wang Zhong.
Wang Zhong mustered up all his energy and gritted his teeth as he ran. With that, he ran for another five hours in the cave. Expectedly, his physical fitness had indeed dropped significantly, resulting in him taking around ten more minutes than what Simba had calculated. Wang Zhong could feel that the Sword Saint behind him had begun to close in on him, but he was finally in the right place.
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