The First Order - Chapter 72 - Ghost
Chapter 72: Ghost
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
After they went into the forest, Ren Xiaosu paid close attention to any signs of a struggle, as the mystery of the two missing soldiers from last night remained unsolved. Ren Xiaosu wanted to know what exactly happened to them.
The heavy rain had washed away both of their footprints, which made it very difficult for Ren Xiaosu to locate their tracks.
Without any footprints, he could only examine the leaves and branches in the surroundings.
As the forest was extremely dense, thick bushes could be found everywhere under the huge canopies. If the two of them had passed through the forest, they would definitely break some branches along the way. This was something that would not get washed away by the rain.
Ren Xiaosu followed the path of some slightly broken branches, but the trail only lasted a few dozen meters before vanishing.
When Xu Xianchu realized that Ren Xiaosu was looking for something, he asked, “Found anything yet?”
“No.” Ren Xiaosu shook his head. “They didn’t go any further than this. Their tracks abruptly stopped over here.”
The two of them must have been terrified, so they shouldn’t have ventured too far away from the hollow. However, something here did not make any sense. The two of them were just barely more than ten meters out from the hollow at the time. If an accident had happened here, those of us in the hollow should have heard it.
Even if there the sound of the rain was muffling it at the time!
So the most probable reason was that, when they came here to relieve themselves, they encountered something that caught them so off guard that they didn’t even have the chance to make a sound!
When Ren Xiaosu looked at the trees in the surrounding area, he found that not a single tree had bark torn off the tree trunks. There were no traces of fighting or struggle, nothing at all.
What was truly scary here was the fear of the unknown.
“Let’s go.” Xu Xianchu said, “In such circumstances, we need to find an even safer place to set up camp. We have to do that even if we have to end the day’s journey earlier than scheduled.”
Ren Xiaosu agreed with Xu Xianchu’s point of view. “It’s best if we can find a cave similar to the hollow from last night. Although we don’t know what happened, we were safe in the hollow. So I think it’s better to find a similar cave to set up camp tonight.”
The sky had not cleared up yet after the rain, so it could still rain again afterwards. As the saying went, “A cold spell comes after the autumn rain.” The rain had also staved off the sweltering heat caused by the volcanic activity.
The group of people walked through the forest with extreme difficulty. Ren Xiaosu suggested to Xu Xianchu to try his best to take a path where there were no puddles. In the current era where ants could grow to as large as a human finger pad, and face bugs were even a freaking thing, encountering something like leeches now might just get someone killed.
The clothes they were wearing could not protect them from a leech’s bite.
“I wonder how the bugs grew to such a large size?” Ren Xiaosu wondered, “Just what are those face bugs, really?”
Xu Xianchu thought for a moment and said, “Whatever they are, those face bugs shouldn’t be able to surpass the limitations of being an insect, right? Their body structure ensures that they can’t grow to a large size like mammals since the supply of oxygen just wouldn’t allow for something like that to happen. That’s why I suspect the proportion of oxygen in the air here is very high, which has allowed them to grow to the size they are. Have you guys noticed it yet? Even though we’re fatigued physically, our minds are in fine shape, and we can still think clearly. This definitely has something to do with the increased amount of oxygen we’re breathing.”
As Ren Xiaosu listened to Xu Xianchu’s analysis, he found that it sounded quite reasonable. It was not only due to the lifeforms here evolving, there was also some scientific reasoning involved.
“Wait a minute.” Ren Xiaosu was surprised. “Is it because the plant life here is also mutating and evolving that it increased the oxygen levels? The vegetation near the stronghold has also started thriving a little. In that case, will there also be incidents of insect infestations in the future?”
“That’s very possible,” Xu Xianchu said.
Everyone’s difference in stamina became obvious as they continued to advance. It was a cakewalk for Ren Xiaosu. With his current stamina, he could easily trek through the forest without losing strength and not feel tired at all.
Although Xu Xianchu was a supernatural being, his physical fitness did not seem to have improved much. Xu Xianchu himself also admitted that his physical fitness had only started to enhance after becoming a supernatural being.
But it seemed like this was a slow process. As such, Xu Xianchu’s physical fitness was not so good that it could be on par with Ren Xiaosu’s.
Xu Xianchu said, “Ever since my power awakened and I became a supernatural being, I realized that every time I push my body to its limits in training, my physical fitness gets raised further.”
Ren Xiaosu wondered if that was really true. Could he also try that out in the future? But he would have to wait until he got back to the town for that. Pushing himself to his limits out here would probably spell an earlier end for him.
Meanwhile, Liu Bu, Luo Xinyu, and Wang Lei were all in miserable states as their clothes were getting a little ragged. When they came out of the stronghold, they were all prim and proper. But now, their faces had become almost as dirty as Ren Xiaosu’s.
But they did not dare to fall behind since they were afraid that Ren Xiaosu, Xu Xianchu, and Yang Xiaojin would not wait for them. If that happened, there would only be death waiting for them.
The person that surprised Ren Xiaosu the most was Yang Xiaojin. He realized that she also looked a little tired now, but her endurance was still much better than Xu Xianchu’s.
All of a sudden, Ren Xiaosu saw a shadow clone emerge from Xu Xianchu’s body. Ren Xiaosu thought that Xu Xianchu was reacting to some kind of danger, so he immediately went alert.
However, he saw Xu Xianchu climb onto the back of his shadow clone like no one was watching. He intended to take a piggyback ride on it!
Ren Xiaosu was dumbfounded. ‘Hey, that’s fucking cheating!’
Ever since Xu Xianchu exposed himself as a supernatural being, he was getting more and more fond of using his power openly. As he was used to keeping it hidden, there were even times when he could not remember that he could use its power.
The physical fitness of this shadow clone was twice of Xu Xianchu’s own physical fitness. It could walk in the forest like it was walking on flat ground. If not for Ren Xiaosu’s reluctance to expose the fact he had copied Xu Xianchu’s Shadow Clone, he would have used it to carry him as well!
Liu Bu, Luo Xinyu, and Wang Lei were almost driven to despair. It was really frustrating to be drawn into comparisons with other people. Why couldn’t they also have their own powers awakened so that they could become supernatural beings as well?!
Suddenly, Xu Xianchu’s shadow clone stopped in front of them. This time, Ren Xiaosu got really nervous because he noticed Xu Xianchu’s muscles tensing up just like a puffed up cat would!
They saw Xu Xianchu slowly get off from the back of the shadow clone to prevent himself from slowing it down. Then he whispered, “Everyone, look ahead.”
Ren Xiaosu looked into the obscure and gloomy forest in front of him. Through the dense foliage of the forest, it seemed like there was something white lingering in front of them.
“W-What is that?” Liu Bu asked, trembling. While he asked that question, he subconsciously moved behind Luo Xinyu and Wang Lei, hiding all the way at the back of the team.
Xu Xianchu scrutinized it. He hesitated for a while before saying, “Look, doesn’t that white figure look like a woman in white scratching a tree?”
As the sight was so eerie, Ren Xiaosu’s hair stood on end!