Chapter 192: Shouchuan, Can You Help Me?
Translator: TYZ Editor: Lis
The spoils of war were plentiful, and Fatty's large fire vat was now completely filled with various kinds of chilies. Eventually, Ai Hui had to stop everyone from taking any more.
"Once these chilies are verified to work against blood ants, they'll become an important war commodity. Since we came up with the idea, the higher-ups will turn a blind eye to us taking some, but if we take too many, it'll affect the overall situation, and they'll take issue with us."
Hearing those words, the rest nodded in agreement, thinking that Ai Hui was indeed thoughtful.
Shi Xueman was astonished at Ai Hui's experience. It appeared that this was not his first time carrying out such a shady action.
Duanmu Huanghun snorted in disdain at Ai Hui's timidity. Why would the magistrate office make trouble for them over such a small amount of chilies?
When the unit finally returned to the training hall, it became obvious that their method of sprinkling chilies around the training hall did work as there were no signs of blood ants anywhere. This made them feel rather relieved.
The moment they reached the training hall, everyone collapsed all over the place. Their exhaustion went bone-deep, their minds and bodies overwhelmed by the ravages of this battle. Even though the A-1 unit had the best battle results out of all the units, they still suffered high casualties, losing sixteen men total. There were another three who were injured and quarantined because so far, there were no remedies for injuries related to the blood poison.
It was torturous for them to watch their fellow peers have their necks savagely bitten by the blood ants as they fell to the ground with their eyes wide open.
The students sitting slumped on the ground were extremely downcast. They struggled to hold back the tears in their soulless eyes. It was as if they were living in a nightmare.
A single thought was at the forefront of their minds, and that was to sleep. They hoped that upon waking up, they'd find that it had all been a dream.
When they closed their eyes, however, all they saw were their dead comrades.
"Make good use of this time to carry out the Circulatory Cycle Revolution. Whoever has not recovered their elemental energy completely by the time we're due for the next battle will be put on the front lines." Ai Hui's cold voice rang in everyone's ears. Hearing this, shivers crawled down their spines, and they quickly sat up to do as he said. With the respect garnered from his performance, no one dared to question Ai Hui's authority.
Besides respect, there was fear as well.
Ai Hui's rapid adaptation to combat and his calmness towards life-and-death situations had struck fear into these soft and immature students. They knew without a doubt that if they did not do as they were told, he would definitely be callous and send them to their deaths.
Shi Xueman, who'd been ruminating over how to encourage everyone, suddenly realized that the problem was easily solved with Ai Hui's words.
She thought pensively, "So it can be resolved like this! Give the unit members a clear directive and make them busy. This way, they won't have time to let their imaginations run wild."
Shi Xueman glanced at Ai Hui, admiring him yet feeling depressed at the same time.
Compared to this fellow, she was still far behind....
She was deeply dissatisfied with her performance today. Whenever she encountered a problem, she'd been at a loss, not knowing what to do. If not for Ai Hui, the number of casualties would have been much higher. In fact, she wouldn't be surprised to see the entire unit wiped out. It seemed that every time she saw this fellow, she inevitably became gloomy.
It all started from that blind battle.... Shi Xueman suddenly looked unwell.
"What's there to daydream about? Hurry up and start your Circulatory Circle Revolution!" A reprimanding voice suddenly came from above her head.
"Yes!" Startled, Shi Xueman subconsciously stood and gave a bow.
When Shi Xueman turned around and realized that the voice belonged to Ai Hui, she was enraged and tempted to give him a good beating.
But she breathed in and calmed herself. There was nothing to be depressed about. She thought, "I have to pick myself up and not lose out to this a*shole."
For some unknown reason, she could not stand being looked down on by Ai Hui.
Ai Hui did not rest or carry out the Circulatory Cycle Revolution; he had many other things to do.
He threw the blood ant at Lou Lan and said, "Lou Lan, try and see what kind of chilies are more effective against our cute baby ant."
"Okay, Ai Hui." Lou Lan caught the blood ant, and his eyes flickered with a yellow light. He was intrigued by Ai Hui's suggestion. Until now, the mummified blood ant was the first blood fiend to have been captured.
It was only because of Lou Lan that Ai Hui had thought of capturing a blood ant to study it. Given Ai Hui's capability, killing one was no problem, but asking him to study them was impossible.
Ai Hui walked to the message tree and took off the leaf from his neck and hung it on the tree branch. When the leaf and the tree branch were connected, he wrote, "It has been confirmed. Blood ants do not like chilies."
After a pause, he added one more line, "Even though they are both red."
As soon as he finished writing this sentence, he felt content and more relaxed. Happiness was not determined by what was happening around you but rather by what was happening within you.
"We've captured a blood ant alive and will carry out some tests to see which formulation will work best against it. Do you have any suggestions? Everyone in the city must participate in the battle against the blood ants. We've just come back from one. A batch of blood ants that have finished one round of transformations was found in the city but luckily, we did not encounter them. Some feel that the main reason behind the blood ants' transformation is their desire to devour elementalists."
Once he finished writing his message, he sat below the message tree and stared blankly into space.
After a while, the leaf lit up.
"My dear friend, I'm so glad that you're still alive. Do the blood ants repel the chilies or do the chilies repel the blood ants? I need you to test it out. I'm more concerned about the reason behind the blood ants' transformation. Perhaps you can try feeding it a piece of dire beast meat. If it does not like it, then I think your reasoning may be valid: blood ants, or blood fiends, desire the elemental energy developed by elementalists."
Almost immediately, Ai Hui yelled, "Lou Lan, feed a piece of dire beast meat to the blood ant!"
"Yes, Ai Hui," Lou Lan replied. After a while, Lou Lan said, "Ai Hui, it does not seem too interested in the dire beast meat.'
Ai Hui's throat was dry and his limbs were trembling slightly.
This was the worst answer possible.
If the elemental energy of an elementalist was the main criteria for the blood fiends' transformation, then that implied that a blood fiend's prey was an elementalist. Devouring them made a blood fiend more powerful.... Alternatively, one could also say that if a blood fiend wanted to become more powerful, it needed to devour elementalists. It could only be imagined how frantic the blood fiends were in hunting them down.
With such a large number of blood fiends, how many of them would complete one round of transformation? The blood fiends would become increasingly stronger while the Avalon of Five Elements would become increasingly weaker. It could be theorized, then, that there would be many elementalists joining the ranks of blood elementalists for this reason.
Furthermore, there was also the Blood of God.
Or should he himself join the ranks of blood elementalists and bootlick the Blood of God? That future seemed brighter than the Avalon of Five Elements'! Furthermore, with his relationship with One Thousand Yuan, he might even obtain a pretty good position.
Ai Hui sat in a daze, not saying a single word.
After an unknown period of time, he returned to his senses and calmed down. He then wrote on the leaf, "It's been confirmed. The blood ant is not interested in the dire beast meat. It seems the future of the Avalon of Five Elements is bleak. What good suggestions do you have? For example, maybe I should become closer with the Blood of God? Or anything you can suggestion for my next round of battle?"
After a while, the leaf lit up.
"My dear friend, don't be too pessimistic. The Avalon of Five Elements was built upon a series of wars, not a soft and loose desert. Its history is short, not yet entering its twilight. The smell of blood and smoke has not yet been forgotten. All right, this is all nonsense. Honestly speaking, we have no other choice. If you encounter the transformed blood ants, you must run away. If you fail to escape from them, take note of the blood traces on their bodies. Their weaknesses definitely lie there, though I don't exactly know why that is so. Good luck."
Ai Hui laughed bitterly to himself and took down the leaf and hung it around his neck.
Ai Hui furrowed his eyebrows. What the hell was that?
He shook his head and tossed aside the negative thoughts. Let nature take its course. The other party was right; they had no other way.
When Ai Hui remembered One Thousand Yuan, he trembled in fear. She was indeed beautiful, but her heart was as poisonous as a python. Even if One Thousand Yuan requested that he switch sides, he would not do it. That woman was too evil. And remembering the mysterious blood refinement and how those elementalists had exploded, he felt deeply disturbed.
The Blood of God was a bunch of lunatics, horrifying lunatics.
Ai Hui did not dare to switch sides to a bunch of lunatics.
Ai Hui began his unique Circulatory Cycle Revolution during which the sword embryo became more active. It throbbed in a slow and orderly rhythm, both strong and sturdy, each throb producing a deep and powerful echo within his brain.
The Jade Embroidery Workshop.
Wang Shouchuan looked haggard. With an unconcealable look of weariness on his face, he said, "You really know how to bullshit. Treat the city like a piece of cloth, who has even done it before? You're already so old. How come your temperament has not dampened yet?"
Surprisingly, Han Yuqin had no retort. She even took the initiative to pour him a cup of tea. With a demure tone, she said, "Thank you for your hard work."
Treat the city like a piece of cloth. Indeed, no one had done it before. It was, after all, an idea inspired by the formation her husband had spoken of.
"There's nothing difficult about it. I'm just afraid that you'll embarrass yourself. If you can't fulfill your promise and humiliate yourself, won't you be angry? Furthermore, what's so special about formations? They belong to the trash bin of history." Wang Shouchuan laughed.
He did not understand why his wife would bring him unnecessary troubles, especially such a dangerous task.
"I know you're worried about me, that something might happen to me. Both of us already have one foot in the grave after all. I've been married to you since I was twenty years old, and we've never parted since. The furthest we've ever distanced ourselves was a few streets away. I don't have many regrets in this life of mine. Even if I die now, I will rest in peace." Han Yuqin looked at Wang Shouquan with tears welling up in her eyes. "But what about Mingxiu and Ai Hui? It's not possible for them to die with us. Mingxiu is my favorite disciple, and Ai Hui is your first disciple. I don't care about other people in the city, but I don't want Mingxiu and Ai Hui dying in Central Pine City."
Wang Shouchuan was stunned.
"The entire city has been mobilized, and Ai Hui has already been to one battle. The results were rather good. Mingxiu is scheduled to be in one of the last few units to set off. Ai Hui can hold his own in battles; this kind of violent scenario is perfect for him. But he's still young. If the catastrophe drags on for any longer, he won't be able to take it either, and it's even worse for Mingxiu. Shouchuan, can you help me?"
Wang Shouchuan looked at the wrinkles that over the years filled the corners of his wife's eyes. When he saw her gentle and soft gaze, he was taken back to several decades ago.
That young lady was looking at him in a similar way and asking him a question in a similar tone.
"Shouchuan, can you help me?"
She had always been like this, stubborn and determined, never even discussing things with him beforehand.