Chapter 55: The Scorpion Group Pursues
The sun fiercely baked the tawny desert.
Under the torture of the sunlight, the sand dunes were soft to the point of melting.
As the air warped from the scorching heat, a man slowly walked across the burning sand, slowly moving forward step by step.
This man was thin, had swollen eyelids and listless eyes, he panted roughly like a mechanical puppet as he walked.
He was not alone as he carried an unconscious man on his back.
The eyes of the man being carried were tightly closed. Although he was soporous, his brows were still tightly frowning and pinched into a knot.
It was because his back was injured and the pain had been tormenting him.
Comparatively speaking, the unconscious man’s physique was more well built than the thin man walking. Although their physiques were somewhat different, their facial features were very similar to each other and showed their blood relationship.
It was the brothers Huang Zao and Lan Zao.
When they spotted Zi Di, Cang Xu, and the others being besieged by the lizards on the sand dunes, at Huang Zao’s insistence, the two brothers covertly fled from the green lizard’s nest.
But en route, they still encountered some roaming lizards on the outskirts. In order to save Huang Zao’s life, Lan Zao dauntlessly dashed1 to block an acid spray from hitting his younger brother. As a result, Lan Zao was gravely injured and fell into a coma.
The desert stretched as far as the eye could see and seemed to be endless.
Huang Zao had been trekking while carrying Lan Zao on his back for a long time already.
He was thirsty and hungry and his belly had been grumbling for a long time, with his thirst being the thing that tormented him the most.
His throat seemed to be smoldering, his closed lips were dry and chapped, and every time he breathed through his nose, the scorching air seemed to pour magma down his throat.
Lan Zao’s whisper-like feeble calls rung in his ears.
Lan Zao was still unconscious, his calls came entirely from his survival instincts.
The calls broke Huang Zao’s daze, he blinked and stopped walking.
Afterwards, he supported his older brother with one hand and caressed Lan Zao’s forehead with the other.
Lan Zao’s forehead was hotter than the sand under their feet.
Huang Zao’s heart sank with it.
Lan Zao was in a coma and had a fever, this was not a good omen.
Under normal circumstances, if a patient was severely sick, they would need to seek divine spells for treatment. The Sacred Temple of Life’s priests from the Sheng Ming Empire were experts at treating illnesses.
But now, the two brothers were in this dangerous island’s desert, with no signs of people, how could they find a Sacred Temple of Life’s priest?
“Maybe I and my brother should have tried our best to save Miss Zi Di. She has potions, even if she doesn’t, she could have made them.” When Huang Zao thought of this, he started to feel regret.
But shortly afterwards, he shook his head: “No, Miss Zi Di, Cang Xu, and the others are certainly dead. They definitely died. They were divided up, entered the bellies of the lizards, and were excreted out. No matter how good looking, noble, wise, or young those people were, they would only all end up as a pile of excrement in the end.”
“I don’t want to end up as a pile of shit.”
“Older brother, you have to endure.” Huang Zao silently said in his heart.
He started walking once more.
“Water…water…” Lan Zao still cried out from time to time, each increasingly more feeble than the last.
Huang Zao wanted to smile bitterly, but he didn’t even have the strength to move his facial muscles to force a bitter smile.
“I also want water, I would even trade everything I have for it! Huang Zao shouted in his heart.
“But wasn't our water used to clean out your wounds? My older brother.”
“I swear that if I find water now, even if it is a lake, I would dare to drink it dry!”
The next moment, the inwardly determined Huang Zao was stunned on the spot.
The sand dunes before him vanished, his field of vision suddenly opened up and he saw an oasis.
Huang Zao was stupefied, he immediately reacted, turning completely wide-eyed, his jaw dropped, and his face revealing an ecstatic expression.
“Oasis, it’s an oasis!”
“Older brother we have water, we have water!!”
“Just like how we found an oasis the last time we were teleported. Now, we stumbled upon an oasis again.”
“Hahaha. We are saved! Older brother, we are saved.”
Huang Zao carried Lan Zao and ran towards the oasis with unprecedented speed.
The ecstasy seemed to bestow him inexhaustible stamina and made the originally burdensome Lan Zao seem as light as straw.
However, no matter how madly he ran, the distance between him and oasis never changed.
Suddenly Huang Zao’s legs went soft and he fell on the sand. Lan Zao, who he was carrying, was also thrown to the sand where he rolled around still unconscious.
Huang Zao lifted his sand-covered head, but the oasis in his vision suddenly vanished.
Huang Zao was stunned.
Because of his wild rush just now, his chest was unceasingly undulating and he was heavily gasping incessantly.
“No, no!” Huang Zao knelt in the ground and grasped his head with both hands, his hope that had turned into despair pained him even further.
“This can’t be real, this can’t be real.” He extended his hand and spread his fingers towards the direction of where the phantom oasis had been, but grabbed nothing.
“It was fake, all fake…” Huang Zao had no more strength.
His prior mad dash had used up his final bit of stamina, but because of his emotional state, he ignored his true condition.
Finally, he fell to the ground due to his body being unable to endure.
There was never an oasis, only a mirage.
It was all in vain.
The sun was still blazing and threatening, and in this boundless and endless desert, Huang Zao was just a small insect within it.
Insignificant, pitiable, laughable.
He once thought that he could rely on his brother, the brother who was currently lying unconscious and motionless in the sand not too far away.
At this moment, Huang Zao’s body and mind were wrapped up in an unprecedented feeling of helplessness.
He finally understood the pressure of surviving alone with an incomparable clarity and could no longer resist falling into the dazed state from before.
“Don’t be afraid.” Huang Zao told himself.
“I can’t seem to breathe…” At that moment, Huang Zao grabbed his clothes in front of his chest.
His fear, helplessness, misery, sorrow and other emotions were so strong that they seemed to block his chest, throat, mouth, and nose, almost suffocating him!
“I, I don’t want to die…” Finally, Huang Zao burst into tears.
Huff huff huff…
Zhen Jin’s chest fiercely undulated as he gasped heavily for breath.
Currently, he was not in a good situation, his arm’s injury hadn’t gotten better under Zi Di’s treatment, pus had formed in the wound, and he had a low fever.
Although he had priority for food and water, eating and drinking to his fill was out of the question.
Therefore, he was still hungry and thirsty.
Regardless of whether it was his cravings or his injury, both made his limbs feel soft.
But these things were thrown to the back of Zhen Jin’s mind because he had to concentrate on the huge enemy before him.
The one that confronted him was the silver level magic beast, leader of the golden spear scorpion swarm.
After breaking out of the encirclement and shaking off the green lizards, Zhen Jin’s concerns quickly became reality.
After killing the lizards, the scorpion leader led the rest in pursuit of Zhen Jin and the others.
The speed of the exploration team could not compare to these horse-sized scorpions and they quickly caught up.
Zhen Jin could only bravely step forwards and confront the scorpion leader.
This was the fifth time they had a confrontation.2
Both sides were still equally matched.
The silver level scorpion chittered and slowly retreated. After a certain distance, it turned around to leave.
Its body had several new scars created by Zhen Jin.
But the scorpion’s carapace was really too hard, even if Zhen Jin slashed with his utmost power, he still could not completely cut through the carapace.
“If I could activate battle qi, whether to increase my strength or increase my weapon’s sharpness, either would be enough to kill this scorpion.” Zhen Jin’s heart sighed.
Upon seeing the scorpion leader retreating, the others did not cheer, rather each of them looked grave.
The first time they saw Zhen Jin force the scorpion’s retreat, they were jubilant. But soon after, they discovered that this silver level magic beast didn’t really leave, rather it followed Zhen Jin with its scorpion group.
Every so often, the scorpion leader seemed to be refreshed and would charge up and fight Zhen Jin again.
Battling over and over3 extremely enervated Zhen Jin.
He had used up too much of his stamina and energy, and ever since he had joined up with Zi Di, Cang Xu, and the others, he never had a real rest.
But he did not dare show even the slightest degree of weakness for fear the scorpion swarm would attack them upon seeing weakness.
Zhen Jin could barely take on the scorpion leader, however, if an all out battle started, he would not be able to protect himself, let alone protecting the others.
“My lord, please let me inspect your injuries.” Seeing that the battle had finished, Zi Di immediately arrived at Zhen Jin’s side and carefully examined Zhen Jin’s wounds.
Most of the wounds on Zhen Jin’s body were new, some were from acid, but most of them were from the scorpion swarm leader.
She took out a potion and poured it onto Zhen Jin’s wounds.
However, she could not do anything about Zhen Jin’s arm injury.
The girl frowned and kept shaking her head: “My Lord, your arm’s injury has gotten worse. My potions have no effect on it. Alas, if we had enough materials, perhaps I could make a potion that could alleviate your injury.”
Zhen Jin patted the back of the girl's hand and gently smiled: “Miss Zi Di, you have already done your best. My strength gives me a far greater body than ordinary people, if I get injured I would need more effective medicines to treat my wounds. But here, low-level magic medicines are useless.”
“The effects of your herbal medicine are already amazing. You have already done your best.”
The girl was silent for a moment but soon seriously analyzed: “In fact, the scorpion’s golden tail isn’t poisonous, and although your Lordship’s injury on your arm is large, your natural recovery ability is enough to heal it. Only now, we can’t break away from this scorpion group. My lord, you have already fought the scorpion leader several times and you have constantly squeezed out the energy and stamina from your body. Every time you fight, you get injured and you don’t have time to rest or recover at all."
“Yes my lord, if this continues, I fear we will die at the hands of these scorpions.” Someone interjected.
The rest were also deeply worried and heavyhearted.
Everyone could see: Zhen Jin’s situation was getting increasingly worse.
In the present situation, everyone was relying on Zhen Jin to survive. If Zhen Jin collapsed, even if they resisted with all of their strength, they would only be reduced to the scorpions’ meals.