The news raised the dark lord's hackles. The event at Ontario forced him to make some compromises. He sent a final warning to the northern warden; the latter wouldn't get another chance if he failed again. If he failed to capture Wang Tong before he entered the central core area of the Zerg territory, Xie Su should consider himself dead.
The Zergs around Ontario immediately started their search, combing the area in thousands. Wang Tong was already very near the heartland of the Zerg territory; two cities away at most.
Xie Su had just arrived at the frontlines, but after receiving the dark lord's stern letter, he turned around and stormed back. The war was not nearly as crucial to the northern warden as his own life. Although his absence at the frontline meant the sub-par performance of the northern front would continue, Xie Su was convinced that he had made the right decision for himself.
Since the warden himself had returned to see to Wang Tong's capture, every city lord worked round the clock to find Wang Tong.
"Mr. Harmon, I am sure you have heard about dark lord's dissatisfaction related to this...mess. I hope you can offer me a helping hand! I won't let you do it for free, of course!"
His life was at stake, so Xie Su had no time to don the warden's mask. His face now was one that desperately needed help.
Harmon had a calmness cast in his eyes. From a safe distance, he had been watching the development unfold and observing the dark ones' reaction as the matter unfolded. He reckoned that Wang Tong had helped him to expose all the weakness in the dark ones. They might have looked haughty and invincible when they had the upper hand, but they fell apart quickly before challenges. Patroclus was right; no race was able to suddenly evolve into perfection without passing the test of time. What the Zergs lacked the most right then was not only intelligence, but also wisdom.
Evolution didn't bestow wisdom to the humans; mistakes did, many mistakes. The wisdom had helped human ferry across troubled waters. Zergs had thought that as long as they could eliminate the harmful desires in humans, sex, drink, etc., they would be fine. Little did they know that desires came with fifty shades and more. Each facet of the desire was capable of bringing destruction to the entire race. Greed, for example, if left unchecked, would tear the Zerg community apart from the inside very quickly.
Thus it was that Patroclus had never taken the dark ones too seriously, and every immortal divine general knew it. Some divine generals suspected that the mother supreme was the only reason Moye was still alive. In the eyes of mother supreme, all Zergs, Immortals, and dark ones were her children, and deserved chances to prove themselves.
It wasn't until Harmon saw the desperation in Xie Su's eyes that he fully understood why Patroclus never considered Moye a worthy opponent.
The immortals, on the other hand, were born as humans first, and therefore possessed the human wisdom that the dark ones lacked. Although the sudden surge of power would disturb some of their members' inner peace, those members were quickly dealt with and expelled from the group. Patroclus never said being an immortal meant one had reached perfection; it was just a prerequisite. An immortal would only become a perfect being after years of competition with each other.
One method for the immortals to purify themselves was through war. The same went for Patroclus. He was already a perfect being in the universe, but he needed more; he wanted to be a god, and therefore, he needed a god-like opponent.
If Moye were not Patroclus's opponent, then it had to be Wang Tong. Harmon was the first person to have realized this.
"General Xie Su, I know we have lost some new Zergs during Wang Tong's raid at the lab, but what kind of weapon are we talking about? I wager it had a great deal to do with their sudden surge in power. I need to know what we are up against first." Harmon thought about it and then said.
"Dynamo Hive was one of the highest rank hives on Mars. It was over three centuries old, and had always been in charge of the gene program. When Wang Tong attacked, they were very close to completing a research program that sought to breed a new Zerg that could be used as the mount for the dark lord. I don't have lots of data on these Zergs, but I have heard that they were capable of disrupting the humans' soul energy. Meanwhile, they could replenish their vigor by devouring their opponents." Xie Su announced sullenly. He had no jurisdiction over this lab, but unfortunately, this hot mess happened to be inside his territory.
Harmon furrowed his bows and appeared troubled. Wang Tong's reckless move of crossing the mountain came as a surprise to him. He had learned about Mount Dynamo and its valley of death. No one with a shred of sanity would dare cross the mountain. The fragile human body could not withstand the elements, and as a former human himself, Harmon knew that very well.
However, Wang Tong and his men had somehow miraculously made it through the mountain. Not only that, but they had also managed to steal the Zerg's research and destroy the hive.
The thought of what Wang Tong was capable of made Harmon skin's prickle for the first time since he became an immortal. He conceded that he had been underestimating Wang Tong all this while. He should no longer treat him as one of his students, but an enemy who was far serious a threat than even death himself.
"Is there any weakness in these new breeds? If we can do away with these beasts first, Wang Tong will quickly lose his edge."
"Well said, Mr. Harmon! Once Wang Tong enters the heartland, I will be in grave danger. Therefore, I have to find him before that happens. I will crush him with my own fist then!" Xie Su said with a contemptuous tone. He doubted that Wang Tong could stand a chance before him.
However, Xie Su's confidence would not answer his question at hand: where was Wang Tong? Xie Su would have to find out his whereabouts before he could make it to the heartland. Moye was not well known for giving second chances.
Sensing the urgency of the matter, Harmon finally agreed to help the distressed warden. "Don't worry! I won't let Wang Tong slip under our radar!"
"Thank you, Mr. Harmon. I am grateful for our mutual understanding. Despite your minor slip up a few weeks ago, I still have faith in you. You can help me find out where Wang Tong is and leave the rest to me." Xie Su's slit eyes gave a hard glint as he spoke.
"You have my words, warden. If I fail to find Wang Tong, I will plead guilty in front of Moye myself." Harmon said thinly, unfazed by the threat.
Xie Su was so committed to catching Wang Tong that he had stopped the attack at the frontline altogether. He was smart enough to realize that Wang Tong was Moye's real target, and not the red planet.
He had spared every soldier he had to spread them across the landscape like a carpet to search for the human devil. Meanwhile, Harmon and his immortals were stationed at each city and choke points, determined to capture Wang Tong. 'Fool him once, shame on Wang Tong; fool him twice, shame on him.' As a matter of fact, Harmon wagered that if he miscalculated one more time, he would be looked down upon by other immortal divine generals as well.
The change in the Zergs' attack at the frontline was palpable. Zambrotta seized the opportunity and pushed the Zergs back a few hundred miles.
However, the Zergs didn't seem to mind the setback as they remained focused on Wang Tong.
Despite the advancement humans had made at the northern front, the overall progress of the war was very slow. Nonetheless, the breakthrough at the northern front had allowed the human forces a brief respite.
Wang Tong didn't plan to leave the Zerg territory. The situation was slowly truing into his favor. Not only was Deep Blue was able to devour his enemy's flesh, but also their mind. Through Deep Blue's mind-reading ability, Wang Tong had learned the plan of Xie Su. Knowing that Xie Su had halted the frontline attack altogether, everyone was pleased that their plan had worked.
Having fought at the frontline, Xie Libie was particularly grateful for this news. He knew that his decision of following Wang Tong had been right.
"Harmon has been the vice principal of Capth. I cannot believe that people as prestigious as him would betray humans."
After chatting with her teammates, Xiao Yuyu agreed that Mars had it much easier than the other planets. Despite Moye's brutality, they didn't have to deal with betrayals. No wonder the morale of the Earth united front was so low, as they had to fight their loved ones who had turned into monsters.