Chapter 165: The Mantis Vest
Translator: TYZ Editor: Pranav
The training hall had been very peaceful today.
Everyone was immersed in their training, and other than Fatty, whom Ai Hui needed to supervise, everyone else was fine. Shi Xueman and Duanmu Huanghun were able to quickly come up with specialized training routines that focused on their respective needs, which were much better than usual and conventional practice.
Upon seeing this, Ai Hui could only sigh. Geniuses were truly a bunch of freaks.
He didn't know that, in the eyes of others, he himself was a freak as well.
He was steadfast, focused and did everything with overwhelming confidence. Furthermore, whenever he encountered perilous situations, he would remain completely calm, and he was always meticulous with his actions, causing everyone to be at ease.
Within a short period of time, he had gained the trust and confidence of all.
Not everyone who had survived the Wilderness could do this. Take Fatty, for example. He, too, had survived the Wilderness, yet he looked and behaved like a bum.
Ai Hui was a freak, and even his sand puppet was a freak.
They were all very knowledgeable and had seen many sand puppets before, but they had never encountered one that was so smart and intelligent. There was nothing that Lou Lan could not do, and he would give everyone the feeling that "Lou Lan is very happy" in whatever he did.
Shi Xueman and Sang Zhijun were both charmed by Lou Lan; they really liked him.
Lou Lan turned himself into a sand-made saw and started happily sawing the blood mantis's empty shell into palm-sized pieces. Lou Lan then transformed into a mini sandstorm that sucked them all in, and after a while, the sandstorm "spat" out a heap of polished and glossy red pieces of mantis shell.
When Lou Lan used these polished red shell pieces to craft a vest and passed it to Ai Hui, Shi Xueman and Sang Zhijun turned green with envy. They looked as if they wanted to snatch the vest from Ai Hui.
However, honestly, Lou Lan's craftsmanship could be said to be exceptional. Every shell piece was like a ruby that had been meticulously polished. Even Shi Xueman-who was used to seeing all kinds of jewels since a young age-exclaimed in admiration.
"Thank you, Lou Lan!"
Ai Hui was pleasantly surprised. The reason why he had brought back the blood mantis' shell was that he felt it would be a rather good material. Not only was it very light, but it was also very tough-these features were what made them suffer during their fight with the blood mantis. Ai Hui, who was immersed in his training all day long, did not have any time to waste. He did not expect Lou Lan to give him such a surprise.
"You're welcome, Ai Hui," Lou Lan replied happily.
"What a fantastic sand puppet." Sang Zhijun could not help but feel sour. Lou Lan completely overthrew her understanding of sand puppets; this was the first time she had seen such a smart sand puppet like Lou Lan in this world.
"Train faster." Even though Shi Xueman was envious, she could still restrain her emotions. She had already made up her mind to buy a sand puppet like Lou Lan in the future.
Suddenly, everyone heard the rapid approach of a strange sound of crashing waves. Moments later, though, the sound could be heard going away from them rapidly again. It was as if a tsunami had just hurtled past them.
Everyone stopped what they were doing.
"What is that sound?" Wang Xiaoshan asked weakly.
No one answered him. Everyone looked bewildered as they had never heard such a sound before.
"It's coming from the outside of the city." Ai Hui listened attentively to the sound as a solemn look appeared on his face.
"Shall we go and take a look?" Shi Xueman looked at Ai Hui and asked.
Ai Hui thought for a while before shaking his head. "I don't think so. We better hurry up and focus on our training. Even if something happens outside, I don't believe that it's something that we can resolve."
Everyone had the same thought. The battle with the blood mantis had made them realize how weak and delicate they actually were.
Wang Zhen was waiting anxiously. In front of him, six bowls of water were lined up on a table.
Inside every bowl of water was a floating black-colored lotus seed-the telepathy lotus seed. Its scientific name was "Yin and Yang Telepathy Lotus Seed," and they were created and bred by a lotus-loving wood elementalist. At that time, a lotus that was half-white and half-black had appeared in his lotus pond, and there were two lotus seeds-one black, one white-in it. He had been fascinated by it, and hence, he had started to cultivate it with great care.
Ten years ago, when the Yin and Yang Telepathy Lotus first appeared, it merely existed to be looked at and appreciated by people.
It was only until one day that the wood elementalist accidentally crushed one of its seeds and discovered the magical property of the telepathy lotus seeds.
If Old Yu crushed his telepathy lotus seeds, the telepathy lotus seeds in the bowls of water would be crushed at the same time and broadcast moving visual images of the surroundings of the lotus seed that had been crushed.
The image would only last for around two minutes.
The telepathy lotus seeds were quickly utilized in the battles in the Wilderness, and they demonstrated great versatility. The ability to receive moving visual images from the front line was greatly valuable to the commanding officers.
The telepathy lotus seed naturally had its weaknesses as well. For example, it could not be used for more than a distance of one hundred miles, and the time of the visual images it could broadcast was very short. However, they were very cheap and were easily bred, making them very versatile.
Everyone was silent. The world-changing power that the blood tsunami had displayed had struck fear and despair into everyone's heart. They did not know how to fight against such a formidable and nerve-racking opponent-they simply couldn't think of any solutions. The back view of the six old men walking towards their deaths added a touch of sorrow and despair to the entire situation.
The passing of time was slowed down by the dead silence.
Time passed slowly, and the lotus seeds in the bowls of water still hadn't shown any signs of movement. Wang Zhen was becoming increasingly impatient.
An hour soon passed.
Wang Zhen's facial expression had returned to normal. It had already been an hour, and it was very likely that Old Yu and the rest had died. After regaining his composure, his thought process became much clearer.
"There are two possibilities. The first is that Old Yu and the rest were killed before they could crush the telepathy lotus seeds. The second possibility is that the blood sea can disconnect the telepathic connection between the telepathy lotus seeds," Wang Zhen muttered to himself.
The dean's face was pale. He was rather powerful, but he had never been to a battlefield before.
Wang Zhen cast a glance at the dean and laughed bitterly. To maintain meritocracy, the Induction Ground would never choose anyone from the Thirteenth Division or the influential families to become the dean. All the deans came from an average background and had never been to the front line; they were only specialized in the field of education. And because of these academic-oriented deans, the Induction Ground became a hub of education that contained a broad range of schools of thought.
However, everything had its pros and cons.
Ever since the catastrophe broke out in the Induction Ground, these well-educated teachers and deans had been clumsy, slow-reacting, and panicky.
Wang Zhen regretted that he never paid enough attention to training soldiers in the last ten years. When the blood catastrophe struck, he suddenly discovered that he did not have any capable men to rely on. He now had to pay the price for wasting so much time during the last ten years.
Not only the Induction Ground, but the entire Avalon of Five Elements had its sense of danger derived solely from the front line in the Wilderness. Everyone had to now pay the price for being careless and shortsighted.
If the current catastrophe was man-made, the mastermind had definitely picked the weakest area of the Avalon of Five Elements to plot against...This blood disaster was truly disastrous. It was the heaviest loss the Avalon of Five Elements suffered ever since it was established.
After digesting the bitterness and regret, a determined look appeared on Wang Zhen's face. "I need to send someone in to clearly discern what's going on inside."
"Who are you going to send?" The dean was at a loss.
Wang Zhen racked his brain and tried to think of a candidate who could handle this mission. The more dangerous the mission, the higher the expectations he had for the candidate. Those who were mentally weak and inexperienced would collapse even before the mission started.
He wanted to do it himself, but he knew that if anything were to happen to him, then Central Pine City would not have anyone who could take charge of the entire situation, and it would immediately collapse.
"We will start a recruitment drive." He thought aloud, "There are definitely some people who specialize in reconnaissance in the multitude of training halls and workshops in this city. The problem is how should we persuade these people to go? They have no obligation to die for us."
"What do you need?" The dean understood at once.
Right now, the more capable individuals in Central Pine City were members of the various training halls. Anyone who could become referees or guards in the training halls were more or less capable, and most of them had joined hunting units before. After they became older and wanted a stable life, they chose to work in training halls.
However, even though these people were veterans, they would not accept Wang Zhen's mission easily.
Wang Zhen sighed. "We will take care of our respective sides. I will provide the money, the valuable equipment, and supplies. You will provide absolute arts and the like."
"Yes!" The dean agreed swiftly. He had already given out the original copy of [Big Dipper], and as such, he did not care about giving out other absolute arts and valuable manuals anymore.
The elementalists in the sky kept yelling and publicizing the recruitment drive.
It was at this moment that Ai Hui and the rest understood what was going on.
"I wonder what the situation is outside? How come there's a blood tsunami all of a sudden?" Sang Zhijun's face was filled with worry.
It wasn't only her-everyone was deeply troubled as well. Ever since the onset of the blood catastrophe, the situation had continued to worsen, causing the uneasiness in everyone's heart to continuously grow.
Fatty noticed Ai Hui's gaze and asked doubtfully, "Ai Hui, don't tell me you want to go?"
"Yes. The dean and the mayor have put in all they have this time around." A glint was flickering in Ai Hui's eyes.
Ai Hui's reply shocked everyone.
"No! It's too dangerous!" Shi Xueman vetoed without even a second's thought.
"Yes, I agree. Ai Hui, didn't you just say that we will not be capable of resolving anything that happens outside?" Sang Zhijun started to persuade Ai Hui as well.
Duanmu Huanghun had a confused look on his face as he stared at Ai Hui. He did not know why Ai Hui suddenly had this notion-such a rash decision wasn't his style at all.
"What do you have your eye on this time?" Fatty asked directly. He still knew Ai Hui the best.
"Dire beasts' meat, elemental food," Ai Hui replied bluntly.
Everyone was infuriated by Ai Hui's response. They could understand if the reward was some absolute art, but elemental food? Since when had they lacked elemental food? Elemental food was the most commonly-seen thing to them.
"There's too little time, and we need to increase our fighting capabilities. The best solution to this problem is elemental food. Lou Lan is very good at making it. During this period of time, things like dire beast meat are hard to come by. They are priceless, and they are excellent for making elemental food," Ai Hui continued.
Shi Xueman still disagreed with him. "I agree with you that we need to improve our fighting capabilities as soon as possible. However, it's still too dangerous. We don't need to be so anxious about it."
"Actually, there's nothing dangerous about it," Ai Hui explained.
No one believed his words.
Ai Hui pointed to the mantis-shell vest on his body and continued to explain, "I have this-its aura will conceal my aura. If I'm careful, there shouldn't be much of a problem. Haven't you all realized that from yesterday till today, there hasn't been any blood fiend near us? I feel that it's not too big of a risk and that it'll be worth it."
Everyone was astounded. It turned out that Ai Hui had already considered every factor.
"I will accompany you." Shi Xueman stepped forward bravely.
"Do you know how to carry out an infiltration?" Ai Hui asked doubtfully.
Shi Xueman rolled her eyes.
"Everyone, wait for my return."