Chapter 141: Can't go Back
The bat monkey’s beast howl alarmed the nearby birds, causing them to flee into the air.
Hei Juan and the others also took note of this activity.
They subconsciously stopped and turned to look behind them.
“What is that sound?”
“Did you guys just hear something?”
“It sounded like a bat monkey howling.”
“How is that possible? Hei Juan smiled, “Bat monkeys live in large groups, even if an expelled bat monkey group drifted here, they would not venture near the ravine.”
“Should we go investigate?” Someone suggested.
Hei Juan shook his head: “Unnecessary. A single wandering bat monkey is not a threat, wait did something just happen? Why didn’t I hear it? The wind, the wind is getting louder. The camp is in front of us, aren’t some of you too nervous?”
Everyone knew Hei Juan’s strength, since a bronze level elite said this, everyone felt relieved.
“It was just the wind, that’s all.”
“Good, let’s return to camp.”
Hei Juan’s group entered the ravine.
A distant cluster of trees.
The bat monkey Zhen Jin no longer howled, rather he was now biting his jaw.
That recent howl seemed to vent his heart’s killing intent and impulses.
“I am Zhen Jin.”
“I am Zhen Jin!”
The bat monkey Zhen Jin half-knelt on the tree branch, and bent his back, as if he was bearing a heavy burden.
“I am......a templar knight.”
His forehead was already wet, how strange, it was unlikely his prior running would have caused him to sweat so much.
The fog of perplexion in his eyes gradually vanished, there seemed to be a candle flame within the fog. The candle flame flickered, then burned, gradually becoming steady.
“I am not a murderer, I cannot, I should not kill Hei Juan.”
“I protect the kindhearted, the small, and the weak, I defend justice and fairness. I will never slaughter the innocent, absolutely not!”
Zhen Jin unceasingly swore in his heart.
He took deep breaths, this moment seemed to exhaust his strength.
He felt himself collapsing.
Finally, he glanced deeply at the ravine, turned around, and with a stumbling posture and weak steps, he went back the way he came.
“Leave, don’t delay”
“Your secret is exposed.”
“Leave, don’t return again. Treat it as if ‘Zhen Jin’ is already dead, at least you can leave a reputation. If your secret is verified, the Bai Zhen Clan will be shamed as a result!”
“Shut up!” Zhen Jin roared in his heart.
“I will never shirk my duties, I am a leader, I will lead these people off this island. Regardless of how they regard me, I will practice my knightly principles, I will fulfill my responsibilities as their leader. If my secret is completely exposed, then I will confront it. Even if they misunderstand me, hate me, and reject me. Because those things should be done to me!”
On the way back, Zhen Jin steadied his heart.
Finding his equipment again, Zhen Jin put them on neatly.
Although he had worn them many times, this time, he felt how heavy they were.
Zong Ge’s steel armor was heavier.
The youngster’s footsteps seemed to grow heavier.
He returned to the ravine again, his face expressionless.
The dim and murky rainforest with its layers of vegetation filled one’s field of view, it seemed like a wall. The dense night seemed like his lightless prospects.
This was a challenging path!
Obviously Zhen Jin habitually trekked through the rainforest, this path definitely did not have any vicious magic beasts waylaying it.
However to Zhen Jin, this was an incomparable challenge, as if every step greatly sapped his body and mind.
Deep in his heart, there was still a weak voice, this voice was constantly praying——make this path eternal, allow him to walk forever and never reach the end.
But the return journey was finite, and in the end, Zhen Jin still arrived at the ravine.
He looked at the ravine camp gate and at the flames inside, he finally sensed a human presence.
In the past, every time he returned and saw these indications of humanity, his heart would warm. But now, regardless of whether it was the gate, the guards, the fire, or the cooking aroma, all of them seemed to separate him. That layer of separation seemed to be the distance between heaven and earth!
Zhen Jin deeply breathed, strived to straighten his chest, and like hurrying to an execution group, he walked to the gate.
“Lord Zhen Jin?”
“Lord Zhen Jin has returned!”
After the guards said hello, they promptly opened the gate for Zhen Jin, looking at him with adoration, respect, and love.
However those words and expressions were not as warm as before, but they motivated Zhen Jin to move forward. They were like sharp arrows shooting at Zhen Jin’s heart, their piercing blows made him twitch in secret suffering.
Walking past the camp gate, Zhen Jin quickly arrived at the ravine clearing.
This place had already been transformed into a dock, the keel, masts, and a great amount of hemp rope were lying in a corner, all of them had been smeared by Zi Di’s potions. After drying in the shade and in the sun, the hemp rope would become more durable and could serve as sailing rope.
Walking past the clearing, and halfway to his cliff cave, Zhen Jin saw many people.
These people recently finished working, currently they were sitting around a wooden table and eating tonight’s dinner.
Zhen Jin’s arrival caused these dining people to stand up and salute.
This was an entirely spontaneous action.
Now when Zhen Jin faced these people, all he could feel was an incorporeal oppression!
“They still don’t know, when my secret is exposed, how will they look at me?” Zhen Jin’s heart was filled with agony, at the same time, he smiled at them, indicating they didn’t need to be too polite, and that they should continue eating.
Passing by the eating crowd, Zhen Jin saw Bai Ya.
“Lord Zhen Jin, you’ve returned. Everyone was just about to look for you, they are all currently gathered in the big cliff cave.” Bai Ya respectfully said.
Zhen Jin nodded and went to the large cliff cave.
This was the largest cliff cave in the ravine, it was used to hold meetings and discuss important matters. Previously, the boat craftsman displayed his ship diagram here.
Now, Zong Ge, Zi Di, Cang Xu, and some others were here.
It was clear they already heard about the situation from Hei Juan.
In front of the large cliff cave, Zhen Jin unavoidably stopped walking.
At that moment, his feet seemed to be standing on a mountain peak, his flight instinct in his heart grew louder.
He did not step away!
The cliff cave in front of him seemed to constantly change, the entrance became pitch-black, as if it was the entrance to an all-swallowing abyss.
Zhen Jin took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and opened his eyes.
He controlled his heavy breathing, summoned up his courage, and entered the cave.
Just like his expectations, his arrival immediately attracted the gaze of everyone.
Cang Xu, Zi Di, Zong Ge, Tripleblade, Hei Juan, and the others there were seated around a rectangle rock table, the main seat was still empty, it was Zhen Jin’s seat naturally.
“My Lord.” Zi Di sat to the left of the main seat, she smiled at Zhen Jin, who could only force one back.
The others had serious expressions.
Hei Juan still looked terrified.
“He’s ruined everything already......” Zhen Jin’s heart sighed.
“Maybe we have a large inconvenience.” Zong Ge started speaking.
Zhen Jin felt his mouth and tongue dry, he stood in place like a criminal hearing his judgement.
Zi Di said: “Hei Juan, repeat your information again.”
Hei Juan swallowed his saliva and spoke with lingering fear: “Far from here, I saw a monster, it was terrifying! A large group of scaled leopards was not its opponent. It attacked in a strange way, when it lightly touched those scaled leopards, no matter how strong they were, all of them would fall to the ground. It was an absolute massacre, a complete massacre. There were at least scaled fifty leopards, yet the monster annihilated them as easily as drinking water.”
“I sense we were not its opponent. After discovering it, I immediately returned to camp to report this important information. In order to prevent panic, I have not told the others.
Zhen Jin: ......
“Based on our analysis, this terrifying magic beast is at least silver level.” Zi Di used a grave tone.
“No, even a silver level magic beast, for instance the blue dog fox wolf, cannot massacre a scaled leopard group so easily. It is a gold level magic beast most likely!” Zong Ge expressed his opinion.
“Gold level?” Zhen Jin thought this status over, he slowly pursed his brows, then he slowly walked over to his seat and sat down.
“What kind of magic beast was it in the end?” Zhen Jin questioned Hei Juan.
Hei Juan shook his head: “At the time I was too far from it, I could not see it clearly. In fact, my discovery of it was an accident. I was attracted by a strange sound. The others were not as fast as me, thus I left them to investigate the sound. When the strange sound faded away, I looked into the distance and discovered that terrifying magic beast. I believe this is important information, the magic beast also seemed to take note of me, so I immediately retreated and did my best to return to camp.”
Zong Ge coldly snorted, he was dissatisfied with Hei Juan’s performance, he then looked at Zhen Jin: “He had a vague glance, even the magic beast’s physique and characteristics are unknown. He only saw a gigantic ape with golden hair. To deal with this magic beast, we need more information!”
Hearing this, Zhen Jin leaned back, closed his eyes, and coughed.
Then, he heard Zi Di’s voice: “We really need more information; however I believe Hei Juan didn’t make a mistake. According to the magic beast’s fighting strength, Hei Juan was not it’s opponent, if he hesitated even a little, it was likely the magic beast would have killed him.”
Zhen Jin opened his eyes after hearing this.
Beforehand, there might have been a minor dispute here.
Zong Ge was dissatisfied with Hei Juan, he believed that if he did not flee like a coward, he definitely could have brought back more information.
As Hei Juan’s employer, Zi Di would undoubtedly defend him.
As expected, Zong Ge immediately snorted: “If Hei Juan was slaughtered, would it have escaped our detection? Corpses can also speak; we would have gotten more information that way. His actions have already gone against our rules. After converging with his small group, he should have at least sent two people back to inform us, then continued investigating. Currently we only know some of the magic beast’s exterior appearance, the rest is unknown! In this boundless forest ocean, trying to find a magic beast is too challenging. If we can’t find it, we have to guard against its surprise attacks, this kind of passive defense will take a great amount of attention and energy.”
“Zong Ge.” Zhen Jin waved his hand, “I understand you, however you should also try to understand some of them. Hei Juan is a mercenary, not a soldier.”
Zong Ge no longer spoke.
Zhen Jin looked at Zi Di and Hei Juan again, turning the thread of discussion: “Of course Hei Juan, your actions indeed violated our rules. Your proceeding actions and orders really made us miss a golden opportunity to acquire information.
“But I don’t believe that was because of cowardice.”
“You are not timid; I distinctly remember the first time I saw you; you were fighting a bat monkey to the death.”
“The information you came back with is a great contribution, but the others have large objections about what you saw. Your next mission is to investigate this magic beast, tomorrow you will lead a small group through the rainforest and investigate any relevant information. I hope you can accomplish this mission and eliminate the objections towards you.”
Just as Zhen Jin’s voice finished, Hei Juan immediately stood up straight and loudly said: “Lord Zhen Jin, I accept this mission! I will make the others shut up.”
After he spoke, he angrily looked at Zong Ge.
Zong Ge coldly snorted and didn’t bother bickering.
The meeting was finished, Zhen Jin and the others left the large cliff cave.
His heart rejoiced.
He did not expect he could still use the templar knight identity after leaving that cliff cave.
“The truth was unexpectedly like that, Hei Juan didn’t see me clearly.”
“Thinking about it now, of course it was like that. Human eyesight is limited, they are not eagles. Looking at a fuzzy figure from so far, the golden scorpion carapace could look like fur, considering Hei Juan’s vision surpasses that of an ordinary person.”
“A close call, a close call......if I didn’t control myself and killed Hei Juan or even that small group of people, what would have happened?”
“From that moment forward, I would have been tormented by remorse and guilt.”
“Fortunately in the end, I stuck to my knightly standards!!”
Zhen Jin’s stomach bellowed.
After completely relaxing, he immediately felt hungry.
After gorging himself, Zhen Jin returned to his residence.
He was exceedingly tired.
Not as tired as after defending the camp though.
He reclined in his bed and took long breaths, his dark blue eyes glittered with hope.
“I am still a templar knight and a divine scion knight, the people are not suspicious of me!”
“From now on I will be especially attentive, I will only transform and practice secretly at night. I will do my best to not transform during the day, if I need to transform, I will definitely use ultrasound to clearly scout out my surroundings.”
“To those people frightened and worried as a result of this, I can only say sorry. However like the blue dog fox wolf, after believing this for a time, you all will gradually get used to it.”
“No practicing tonight, I need to rest well for once.”
“Today really was extremely tiring......oh, I didn’t absorb those scaled leopards......”
“Forget it, let Hei Juan find them.”
And so, Zhen Jin dizzily fell asleep.
Soon after, he suddenly opened his eyes and sat up.
He gasped for breath; he just had a nightmare. Everyone discovered his secret, he found himself utterly isolated, even Zi Di questioned and examined him.
“It was just a nightmare.”
Zhen Jin clenched his teeth and slept again.
After a short time, a nightmare woke him up again. The contents of the nightmare were virtually the same, but this time, Zi Di defended him while everyone else treated him as a monster.
After calming down, Zhen Jin sank back into his dreams.
After being woken up by a third nightmare, he sat silently on the bed for a long time.
Physically and emotionally exhausted, and with a haggard face, the young knight finally realized a fact——
His secret hadn’t been exposed, and nothing seemed to change.
But in fact......
He can't go back.