Chapter 52: It’s Lord Zhen Jin!
“We are done for!”
“These green lizard beasts are everywhere, what should we do?”
“We have nowhere to run.” Cang Xu gasped for breath, the old man no longer looked calm.
Noticing that the green lizards surrounding them kept increasing, the exploration team sunk into despair with many of them screaming.
“This is impossible!”
“Lord Cang Xu, didn’t you say that these green lizards only go out to hunt in the early morning?!”
“It was because of this point that we decided to use the opportunity to break out.”
“The large lizard lounge in front of us is the hunting group. But they came back too early.”
“It's useless to say anything now, we can only retreat back to the underground cave!”
“We can’t retreat, instead of that, it would be better for us to take our chances and charge ahead.”
“Are you insane? The green lizards in front of us are strongest in the entire lounge, otherwise, how could they go out and hunt?”
Cang Xu was silent.
Zi Di gritted her teeth: “Lets climb up this sand dune first.”
After saying this, she took the lead.
Although they were trapped in dire straits, the survival instincts of everyone spurred them to follow Zi Di.
The exploration team climbed the sand dune with the green lizards following close behind.
Every time the green lizards got close, Zi Di would throw out more dust and form a green smokescreen to cut off the lizards.
However, the green smoke would constantly spread outward and would quickly become diluted, and no longer obstruct the lizards, however, this interference allowed the exploration team to climb to the top of the sand dune successfully.
Afterwards, everyone despaired even more.
Their vision was very clear on the high ground.
The surrounding sand dunes were filled with green lizards, at least two to three thousand.
Most of them were ordinary beasts and those that stayed behind in the nests were the old, weak, sick, or disabled. The elites that had returned early from hunting almost all had an iron level aura.
“Why are we still struggling? Let’s just wait here to die.” Someone said as they sat down enervated on the sand.
“Rather than being devoured by these green lizards, I would have been better off if I died in the sandstorm.” Another said as they bitterly smiled.
More and more lizards gathered under the sand dune.
Soon after, some lizards charged up the sand dune.
Zi Di fished out a potion and scattered it from above, immediately making a thick green smokescreen again.
The cloud of green smoke formed a temporary barrier all around that could repel the charging green lizards.
Upon seeing this scene, Bai Ya wholeheartedly exclaimed: “If we didn’t have Lord Zi Di with us, we would have died long ago!”
Someone saw the packed potion bag at Zi Di’s waist, their eyes brightened and proposed: “With so many potions, we can wait for a strong gale, scatter these potions into the wind, and completely kill these green lizards! Even if they don’t all die, it could still kill enough for us to pave our way out.”
But Zi Di shook her head: “The smoke cannot gather together in the wind, it would only drift away into the air faster. In addition, these lizards are not foolish, they will flee when they encounter the green smoke. The most crucial point is that we are weaker than these lizards, the green smoke would cause more harm to us.”
Everyone was flabbergasted: “What else can we do?”
Zi Di deeply sighed and gazed at the endless green lizards surrounding them on the sand dunes: “We can only hope that these lizards are unsuccessful in their attacks and will scatter by themselves after a while.”
The girl had no expectations that this would happen.
The lizards continued to surround them and were always attacking the dune despite each attempt being repelled by the green smoke.
When one part of the green smoke weakened, Zi Di would promptly replenish it.
The special powder was being used up quickly, even if Zi Di had made a lot, according to the rate it was being used up at, it would be completely used up in a day or two.
Seeing the lizards hissing in frustration from not being able to kill those on the sand dune, many of the exploration team members relaxed.
However, Cang Xu and Zi Di were still worried.
They understood clearly that they were in a very dangerous situation.
These lizards were only retreating from the green smoke due to fear, the smoke’s coverage was also very limited. If the lizards didn’t fear death, they could still rush up. In fact, as long as the lizards held their breath, they could push through the green smoke.
But they were still beasts in the end; without the intelligence of humans and unable to adapt.
As time passed, the sun climbed higher and noon arrived.
Cang Xu saw the lizards lying below the sand dunes, every one of them lazing about with the stronger ones occupying the shadier parts of the sand dunes.
The old scholar’s brows wrinkled and he guessed: “I estimate that it is unlikely that these lizards will stop trying to kill us. I have already observed that these lizards do not have a silver level leader. That is essentially impossible. There needs to be at least a silver level lizard leader to maintain such a large lounge.”
“Looking at the lizards again, the strongest lizards in the lounge have an iron level aura. But almost all of these magic beasts are injured, with many seriously injured. I think the hunting lizards must have met with a powerful enemy, not only did they not find food, but they have also been hunted which resulted in them suffering disastrous damage and losing their leader.”
Zi Di suddenly realized: “So, we are the lizard’s only food source?”
Cang Xu nodded and then shook his head slightly: “Not only that. We also destroyed the lizards’ eggs. All along, the scent of the lizard eggs have been lingering on our bodies so the lizards completely hate us. I fear that these lizards would chase us to the ends of the desert so that they can kill the murderers of their offspring.
Everyone was silent.
Bai Ya couldn’t help but cry out to justify Zi Di: “But if we didn’t destroy those lizard eggs, Lord Zi Di couldn’t have used the egg fluids as materials to make the powder that created the green smoke. Without it, we would have been dead long ago, how would we even have the chance to be alive here now.”
Cang Xu shook his head: “I didn't mean to criticise Lord Zi Di, In fact, I am very grateful to her. I am only telling everyone what I know, nothing more.”
Everyone sunk into silence once again.
There was no wind.
The sunlight seemed to be shooting a myriad of sharp arrows down. The air became hotter and those exposed to it at the top of the sand dune found it more and more unbearable.
They seemed like fish trapped on a red-hot grilling plate.
It was like being cooked alive!
Many people took off the outer layer of their clothes and propped them on top of their heads like small tents.
They did not dare to sit down because the sand below their feet was scalding. If a lizard egg broke on the sand now, it would immediately be cooked into a fried egg.
“It would be great if we had enough bows and arrows. We have the high ground on this sand dune and we could shoot those lizards dead. And these lizards would become our food.” Someone muttered.
But it was a real pity that almost all the bows and arrows that the exploration team made were lost in the sandstorm.
There was only half of the exploration team left.1
Not everyone was armed and even fewer had a bow.
This was the desert, there simply did not exist wood for them to make it with.
“Making short bows was Lord Zhen Jin’s idea. But where did the Lord Knight go? If he was here, maybe he could think of a way.” Another person voiced.
Zhen Jin had guided them to victory and rid them of a crisis that threatened their survival, his prestige had already entered everyone’s hearts. Therefore at this moment, everyone craved even more for this wise and strong leader.
Bai Ya stared into the distance: “ I feel that it is unlikely that Lord Zhen Jin will die so easily, he is only separated from us temporarily, he will certainly appear and come to save us!”
Bai Ya’s voice was full of certainty which made everyone else feel baffled.2
Thus, one person asked: “Why do you say that? Don’t tell me you can contact Lord Zhen Jin?”
But Bai Ya shook his head and opened his eyes wide, feeling confused, he felt it was proper and expected: “It is because Zhen Jin is not just a knight, he is also a templar knight. He will surely come and lead us out. Because that is what a knight does!”
Everyone smiled bitterly and Cang Xu shook his head.
Everyone had interacted with Bai Ya for a long time and understood him. This young man had an indescribable trust and reverence for knights. The degree of this trust and reverence exceeded common convention to the extent that it seemed naive and stupid.
But this time, no one wanted to use common sense to refute this naivety and stupidity.
Because they were trapped in desperate straits, they also wanted a knight that could step forward bravely to use their excellent abilities and wisdom to break them out of this crisis in their most helpless and precarious hour.
After this short dialogue, there was another long silence.
The sunlight was dazzling and overbearing, so much that the people could not raise their eyes and could only look at the sand below their feet.
Everyone was hungry and thirsty with many having chapped lips.
Although there was food and water, there wasn't much and under Cang Xu’s suggestion, both were already rationed.
“Eh?!” One of the exploration team members looked bewildered and quickly rubbed their eyes.
After verifying it again, he exclaimed: “Look quickly everyone, is that a person?”
This immediately attracted the attention of everyone.
“It’s a person.”
“Who is it?”
“I can’t see them clearly.”
“He is running towards us!”
Cang Xu narrowed his eyes: “Green lizards everywhere are attracted to our sand dune, yet this person is still charging in, they are clearly skilled and daring.”
“It’s Lord Zhen Jin, it must be him.” Bai Ya yelled excitedly.
As the person got closer, everyone could finally recognize the man’s face.
At once, cheers erupted.
“It’s the Lord, it really is Lord Zhen Jin!”
“I knew I was not mistaken.” Bai Ya laughed heartily.
“We are over here Lord Zhen Jin!!”
“Have you finally come to save us?”
Many of the people could not help but cry tears of joy at this moment.
Zi Di was also hyperventilating, her crystal-like eyes revealed that she was pleasantly surprised and full of expectations, however, the girl soon frowned as her heart tensed up: “Ah, he is wounded!”
The faces of the crowd who were jumping in joy also changed subsequently.
They also discovered that as Zhen Jin was rushing over, his left arm was dangling like it was broken. At the same time there were “bandages” wrapped on his body. These “bandages” were clearly Zhen Jin’s clothes torn into long strips.
“The Lord is actually wounded.”
“That fierce sandstorm really was terrifying.”
“Do we know if the Lord’s injuries are serious or not?”
The entire exploration team was worried and on edge, after all, Zhen Jin’s current state directly concerned their life and death.
Of course, the lizards also found out that Zhen Jin was rushing in, with several lizards in the outermost periphery going over to kill Zhen Jin.
Zhen Jin held the spider blade in his right hand and without dodging or fleeing, rushed into these lizards and chopped bilaterally.
Whenever the blade light slashed, it would be accompanied with the splash of green blood.
These ordinary lizards were completely beheaded and died on the sand.
Zhen jin’s slaughter immediately caused a ruckus amongst the lizards. More lizards went to kill him, this time not just ordinary lizards but also bronze level magic beasts.
Zhen Jin’s momentum immediately decreased considerably.
Not only did the bronze level lizards have a larger physique and greater strength, but more crucially, they could spit out acid faster.
If ordinary lizards wanted to spit acid, they would have to sit still and stiffen their necks for about two breaths before they could open their mouths and spit out the green liquid.
This duration was completely enough for Zhen Jin to counter-attack and kill them.
Ordinary lizards trying to spit acid at Zhen Jin made for a good opportunity to kill them.
Bronze lizards only took one breath to spit acid. If Zhen Jin was fighting a single opponent, that time would be enough for him to dodge and proceed to counterattack and kill.
But in the current situation, Zhen Jin was only one person in a dozen lizards attacking him from all sides. It was impossible for him to dodge perfectly in such a way that he could dodge, close the distance, and follow through with a counterattack.
“I must not get hit by the acid.” Zhen Jin’s heart was as serene as ice.
A bronze lizard’s acid could also corrode the golden granite boulders very quickly. Currently, Zhen Jin could not use battle qi to protect himself and he didn’t have any armor, thus the acid would severely injure him if he were to get hit.
“Lord Zhen Jin…”
“It seems that the Lord is injured and it is affecting him greatly!”
“His lordship is constantly evading, don’t tell me he can’t use battle qi to protect himself?”
On top of the sand dune, everyone gazed into the distance and had their hearts seized by the battle situation before their eyes.
Suddenly, one of them subconsciously cried out in alarm: “Be careful!”
As it turns out, a sinister lizard amongst the besieging ones was spitting out acid.
The acid was spat at Zhen Jin’s back.
But at that moment, Zhen Jin seemed to be able to hear the exploration team member’s yell, and without looking, he rolled on the spot and perfectly avoided the acid spit.
The other lizards also dodged in a flurry.
The acid hit empty air and fell onto the sand, it then immediately made a sizzling sound as it corroded a shallow pit in the sand along with releasing a pungent white smoke that rose into the air.
“It seems that I have gone through similar training in the past, therefore, I have abundant battle experience and can respond to being besieged alone with calmness and ease.”
At that moment, Zhen Jin’s understanding of himself once again deepened.
Despite the fact that he could only see in front of him, he could still find ways to dodge when under siege.
His sight was not limited to what was ahead of him, rather as he moved and dodged, his eyes were quickly scanning everything and his ears were distinguishing the sounds from the wind. Therefore, even if the acid was fired from behind him, he could still evade it in time.
Of course, there was also the fact that the speed of the acid was not even as fast as a normal arrow.
The exploration team did not know about Zhen Jin’s grasp on the situation as they saw the young knight being heavily surrounded. Their hearts were trembling in fear as they felt that Zhen Jin was walking a tightrope on the edge of a precipice.
“As long as the acid hits, Lord Zhen Jin will be in danger!”
“His body is injured yet he still risks death to save us, he really is a templar knight.”
“Lord Zhen Jin…just like he said, he never gave up on us.
Apart from being worried, the exploration team was moved even more.
“We must support our Lord!”3
“But we only have short bows and the distance is too great. We can’t shoot the lizards around the lord and we are unable to help him.”
The exploration team members clenched their teeth.
The range of long-ranged weapons were separated into maximum range and effective range.
Long-range weapons were the most lethal in their effective range while maximum range was just the farthest a weapon could fire to.
The short bows were rough and slipshod works, be it the effective or maximum range, neither were sufficient to reach where Zhen Jin was.
The exploration team was trapped on the sand dunes summit, at this moment, they wanted to help but could only watch helplessly.
“Oh no.” Everyone’s complexion dipped again as they saw the third batch of lizards charging towards Zhen Jin. This batch included three iron level lizards!