Chapter 215: A Frightened Tian Kuan
Translator: YH Editor: X
"Did they really find out how to use the blood crystals?"
The dean found it hard to believe what he had just heard. The researchers in the mayor's residence were all teachers, yet they had been unable to discover anything. It was not particularly shocking to hear that students were able to discover things faster than the teachers, but the speed at which the A-1 unit had accomplished this was no mean feat.
"It's been tested," Wang Zhen stated. "It's effective."
Wang Zhen was taken aback when he first heard about it as well. He had not expected much when Ai Hui informed him that they wished to study the blood crystals.
"Since they don't have an officially designated researcher, the accomplishment will be considered as a group effort. Ai Hui and his core members will receive 400 Heaven Merit Points each, while the ordinary members will receive 100 Heaven Merit Points each. In addition, all members of their unit can each choose one inheritance."
When announcing the A-1 unit's rewards, Wang Zhen felt a little envious. Troubled times were indeed the best times to accumulate merit and accomplishments. It was hard to imagine the meritorious service required to earn 400 Heaven Merit Points during peacetime.
But this contribution was indeed worthy of such a reward.
Compared to the last time they were given a reward, the service rendered by the A-1 unit this time was much more impressive. Discovering the blood crystal's uses had far-reaching implications for not just battle, but also for the blood disaster as a whole. 400 Heaven Merit Points alone were honestly not a sufficient reward for such an enormous contribution. Under the present circumstances however, the higher ups probably could not award anything better. Although, Wang Zhen believed that the higher ranked authorities were beginning to keep an eye on Ai Hui and the others.
They would have bright futures if they managed to survive this disaster.
"The higher authorities have also requested for me to present them with suitable rewards." Wang Zhen laughed bitterly. "How can there be anything good left? The supplies and items that we still have are not exactly useful. I guess we'll just have to reward them with more blood crystals."
"Such an amazing group of youths," the dean commented solemnly. Thinking about their discovery, he soon perked up and said, "It's great that the blood crystals can provide such large benefits though."
"Indeed!" Wang Zhen nodded. "All those mercenary people out there will put their best efforts into hunting the blood-traced fiends once they find out about the blood crystal's uses. The higher ups have already released an announcement informing everyone that blood crystals can be exchanged for Heaven Merit Points."
The blood crystals' immense value would change many things.
"How're the golden needles coming along?" the dean asked, deeply concerned. "This is the real key to victory."
"It's not progressing very well," Wang Zhen replied truthfully, his face racked with worry. "We lack a lot of the materials required, especially since a lot of the stores have been reduced to rubble. Thus, we have to dig through the ruins to find the relevant materials. The number of blood-traced fiends within the city has increased, impeding our progress."
"Ah, we need to hurry though." The dean sighed. "I wonder why the reinforcements aren't here yet. We're really running out of time."
All Wang Zhen could offer in reply was an awkward laugh.
Deep within the blood forest, a resting Tian Kuan was rudely awoken by the activity in the sky.
He shook his head, attributing the commotion to two blood birds fighting. Blood birds were sadly out of his reach.
Tian Kuan had yet to fully recover from his injuries. That fellow from the Infantry Division had sacrificed his two arms to cause massive damage to Tian Kuan. Luckily for Tian Kuan, the fight had taken place in this blood forest that was full of blood-traced fiends. Otherwise, his injuries would have been much worse.
After devouring more than 20 nine-trace blood fiends, Tian Kuan had only managed to replenish half of his blood spiritual force. Nine-trace blood fiends were more capable of conscious thoughts, resulting in the emergence of territorial awareness and corresponding behaviours. As such, they were more spread out, and Tian Kuan had to travel longer distances between fiends.
He was unable to tap into blood refinement before completely recovering.
He regretted not learning the beast coercion spells. He would have been able to amass a huge number of nine-trace blood fiends by now if he had learned it, which would make for a really easy recovery meal.
The others must have progressed far ahead of him by now.
A huge explosion rang out in the sky, followed by brilliant flares which lit up the sky and immense fluctuations of elemental energy. Tian Kuan was startled by the display that signalled the presence of elementalists.
Elementalists who still dared to venture this deep into the blood forest were definitely not to be belittled. If it was a group, they would most likely be a particular division's elites. If it was an individual, then it would be someone that Tian Kuan could not afford to provoke.
He noiselessly leaped up a tree, hiding behind its lush cover to survey the skies.
Tian Kuan was gobsmacked when he saw the figure fighting in the air.
He immediately recognized that the lanky elementalist was Yu Mingqiu, the vice division leader of the Deathgrass Division. Seeing this big-name target stirred him up. The contribution he'd make if he took down a vice division leader...
Tian Kuan eyes flashed with greed and aggression, but he quickly calmed down.
Even at full strength, he might not be able to handle Yu Mingqiu. With his present injuries, this was definitely not the right moment to strike.
Tian Kuan's ominous gaze was locked onto Yu Mingqiu's opponent, who he recognized as Situ Zhong, the apostle that Tian Kuan disliked the most. Situ Zhong was treacherous, cunning, and merciless. He was someone that could not be trusted at all.
Situ Zhong's black robes fluttered in the wind, making him look like a large bat flitting through the sky. Tian Kuan knew that the blood-red patterns embroidered on Situ Zhong's huge sleeves were his trump card.
Situ Zhong was a sly one. He hid among the blood birds, moving about erratically.
Countless blood birds completely surrounded Yu Mingqiu like a cloud made up of blood rather than water vapor.
Tian Kuan was shocked by Yu Mingqiu's sudden display of power.
More than 100 green arrows of light burst forth without warning, piercing through the blood-red cloud in all directions. Situ Zhong's face turned pale and he began to flee. Tian Kuan shivered in fear as he watched the wretched-looking Situ Zhong escape, his black robes riddled with small holes.
Tian Kuan hid behind the tree trunk, afraid to even breathe too loudly. It was only after the two figures disappeared from his view that he cautiously re-emerged.
That was too scary!
Was that the strength of a vice division leader? No wonder their superiors did not want them to engage in direct combat with elementalists that were equal or above this level. They had instead proposed to lure the stronger elementalists deep into the blood forest and ambush them with an army of blood fiends.
He calmed his nerves, shifting his focus once again to his recovery. The scene that he had just witnessed made him realize that his original plan would not work. Even if he managed to complete the next phase of his blood refinement, he still would not be able to handle someone as strong as Yu Mingqiu.
He needed someone to aid him.
The beast coercion spells provided the easiest means of creating unquestioningly obedient allies, but he had not learned them. Tian Kuan was an obstinate man, but he was no fool.
A flash of inspiration hit him.
He started to move after thinking through his new idea.
Jade Embroidery Workshop.
Mingxiu stood guard outside her master's door. She reported softly, "Junior has rendered great service again and was awarded 400 Heaven Merit Points."
Her eyes revealed a hint of sadness. She had initially been unable to understand or accept her master's decision. Having been with her master for so long, however, Mingxiu knew her well enough to know when she had firmly made up her mind.
Han Yuqin's cold, emotionless voice came from behind the door, "Your junior is better than you in that aspect."
Mingxiu cheerily replied, "Junior has naturally become stronger than me."
After a moment of silence, Han Yuqin slowly asked, "How's Shouchuan? Be honest."
Mingxiu was caught off guard and bit her lower lip before she could bring herself to answer, "He's aged quite a bit."
Han Yuqin heaved a heavy sigh. She kept silent for a long while before speaking again, "Don't let your junior know."
Mingxiu's tender disposition took another blow as the sadness in her eyes deepened. Looking down, she said, "That's what he instructed as well."
Han Yuqin laughed softly before falling silent again.
The elementalist in charge of delivering the mayor's reward had a weird expression when he delivered it to the A-1 unit's current location.
At one spot, Ai Hui was standing motionless like a wooden puppet. Anyone who went near Ai Hui would be swiftly attacked by him.
Duanmu Huanghun decided to give it a try and moved toward Ai Hui. He was almost stabbed in the throat.
Bangwan was frightened stiff. His recent gains in strength had helped him to narrowly escape dangerous situation after dangerous situation. Nearly being stabbed in the throat, however, drenched his back with sweat. The lofty thoughts that he had after beating the nine-trace blood fox were all but gone.
After Classmate Bangwan's demonstration, the rest of the students consciously made sure that they kept their distance from Ai Hui.
"Is he experiencing spontaneous enlightenment?"
"That's right," Shi Xueman replied, throwing up her hands in frustration. "There's nothing we can do."
"I understand!" The elementalist nodded. He looked at the three blood-traced beast corpses on the floor that were still warm and realized just how strong the A-1 unit was.
Everyone in the unit had become numb to receiving Heaven Merit Points. To these students, rewards that could not be cashed in immediately were not of much use. Nobody knew if they would still be around by the time they could actually use these points.
However, the inheritances and blood crystals that were offered brought on cheers from the students.
These two things were what they really needed.
Shi Xueman promptly shut down all intentions to immediately pick out an inheritance. She pointed toward Ai Hui and explained, "We'll wait for him to wake up first."
The students who were prepared to rush forward and claim their rewards stopped dead in their tracks. Nobody moved up to choose an inheritance.
Classmate Bangwan could not stand it any longer. He snorted, "I'm not waiting for him since I have no need for an inheritance."
Right after he spoke, Duanmu Huanghun walked over to a corner and began to train by himself.
The elementalist from the mayor's residence who came to deliver the rewards was taken aback by the amount of respect that Ai Hui commanded from the rest.
It was an impressive achievement considering that this was a loosely-formed group.
"No problem. You have until midnight to pick out an inheritance from the mayor's residence," informed the elementalist before he left.
Seeing the elementalist leave, Shi Xueman asked Lou Lan, "Lou Lan, how many blood crystals do we have now?"
"26 of them," Lou Lan answered. "We have 10 lower quality blood crystals that were given as a reward and 16 of higher quality that were obtained from the nine-trace blood fiends."
Shi Xueman thought of the sword thrust that almost pierced Duanmu Huanghun's throat.
Was Ai Hui not a little too stalwart?
Wait a minute, it would be a waste not to make use of his current state...
She thought about how she and Bangwan had spent so much effort killing blood fiends. Oh, I'm also starting to call him Bangwan..
Shi Xueman's eyes twinkled as she thought of a brilliant plan.