Chapter 59: I Will Do My Utmost to Save Everyone
Not long after the exploration group left the patch of golden granite boulders, someone made a horrifying discovery: the scorpion group was still following them.
Their hopes were dashed.
This proved that Zhen Jin’s prior conduct was the correct thing to do.
The young knight inwardly sighed, Cang Xu’s conjecture also made him worried, but his expression was still calm and collected.
“Be at ease, the scorpion group has already eaten their fill and we are not on their menu.”
“The scorpion leader will continue to fight me alone.”
“As long as I don't fall, the rest of you will be at peace.”
Zhen Jin successfully calmed everyone down.
They continued to advance through the desert.
They had to cherish the early morning as a good chance to hasten their journey.
After all, this was, in the end, just an island.
This island also had many types of biomes so the desert should not be that big.
As long as they advanced firmly in a single direction, they would leave this nightmare.
But for the people currently in the midst of the desert, it did not feel that way.
Yellow sand, yellow sand was everywhere.
Sand dunes, ceaselessly undulating sand dunes.
Each sight was indistinguishable from the last which made the people think that they had not traveled far at all.
The desert seemed endless, no matter how far they walked, they could not reach the end.
Stamina was being rapidly consumed and just after early morning, the exploration team was already feeling starved.
There was not enough food.
Feelings of bewilderment and despair were inexorable, and continued to multiply within everyone’s hearts.
Every time this happened, the exploration team members would place their gaze on Zhen Jin.
Zhen Jin was at the forefront, leading the path forward.
He was only a teenager and his stature was no greater than others.
But the exploration team often drew courage from Zhen Jin’s lonesome and thin backside
This courage could counter the bewilderment and despair in their hearts.
The sun gradually ascended higher and the temperature of the desert quickly rose.
Sweat began to appear on the foreheads of the exploration team.
After two to three hours, the silver level spear scorpion issued an ear piercing hiss and rapidly drew near with it’s scorpion legs stirring the sand underfoot as it broke off from the scorpion group and charged straight at the exploration team.
“It's coming!” The exploration team became tumultuous but quickly calmed down.
Because Zhen Jin had been long prepared for this, he immediately stopped, turned around, and faced the scorpion.
Both sides fought as fiercely as the previous day.
The battle lasted for a good while before the silver level spear scorpion leader voluntarily withdrew.
Zhen Jin was panting heavily and didn’t pursue.
The young knight’s mood was getting more and more grave.
“Was it an illusion?”
“The carapace feels harder than before.”
“Is it because my spider blade has dulled too much or has the spear scorpion’s carapace grown thicker after eating?”
Zhen Jin was growing increasingly helpless before this spear scorpion leader.
Every time he slashed the scorpion’s carapace, he would only leave white marks.
Moreover, these marks were becoming shallower.
“If only I could transform my hands into the sharp bear claws. Without that, the weapon in my hand alone cannot threaten the scorpion.”
“In addition, my stamina is also falling."
Zhen Jin could clearly feel it.
In previous fights with the silver level spear scorpion, his reflexes and endurance had lasted longer.
Now the fights were short, his breathing was more hurried, while his limbs were tired and feeble.
These days, Zhen Jin did not have enough food or sleep, he simply never had a chance to rest. He was like the blade in his hand, already at its limit.
Compared to fierce beasts like these spear scorpions, the bodies of humans had distinct biological differences and were more frail and weak. Thus, Zhen Jin had to use his weaknesses to fight against the scorpion’s strengths.
Fortunately, the scorpion leader seemed very cautious. Every time it and Zhen Jin fought briefly, it seemed to sense that it was hard to win against Zhen Jin, thus it would retreat for the time being.
According to what Cang Xu said, perhaps this was the spear scorpion’s hunting technique. Every time they fought, Zhen Jin got a bit weaker, as little things added up, Zhen Jin would eventually be exhausted to the limit and die without being able to fight back in the end.
Maybe this was a survival skill of the scorpion group.
But to Zhen Jin, this was something worth rejoicing.
The scorpion’s habits allowed him the chance to take a breather.
After fighting four such battles, the sun reached its highest point in the sky.
The sunlight was incomparably fierce and intolerable at noon.
The sea of sand beneath their feet was steaming hot and the exploration team members felt like fish and shrimps on a red hot iron grill.
Taking long term consideration into account, everyone could only hide temporarily in the limited shadows of the sand dunes and take a breather.
The scorpion group was also afraid of the sun’s sinister and scorching radiance and no longer attacked.
The exploration team saw with their own eyes the scorpions waving their pincers and twisting their bodies to dig into the depths of the sand.
This action was a good method to escape the heat and to cool off, causing the exploration team to feel very envious.
“Do you guys think these scorpions will sneak up and attack us from underground?” Someone said with worry.
“Then let them come. I have had enough of those bastards!” Someone dispiritedly said as they sat on the ground.
Cang Xu had still maintained his rationality and analyzed: “A scorpion drilling would certainly create a tremendous amount of activity. We will definitely discover it first.”
“That is not their hunting style.”
“Think about how they handled the green lizards.”
Everyone then felt relieved.
Zi Di began to distribute the food that was considered today’s lunch.
Each person only had a small ration of dry food that didn’t even fill half a palm.
Fortunately, water reserves were still comparatively sufficient.
But under Cang Xu’s order, everyone had to purse their lips after they drank two to three small gulps of water.
Afterwards, they carefully tightened the caps and fastened their water pouches to their waists, as if the water was the greatest treasure in the world.
Among them, Zhen Jin had the most food.
Afterall, he used up the most energy and was the greatest guarantor for the safety of the rest.
Even so, this amount of food to Zhen Jin was far from enough.
The young knight could only eat small mouthfuls, only by eating this way could he fool his stomach—as if he was actually eating more than he really was.
While eating, Zhen Jin also secretly observed the team.
Currently, although everyone was haggard, enervated, had chapped lips, and dull eyes, their mood was relatively stable.
Bai Ya looked the most pale. It was because the lizards had broken his arm, currently it was wrapped up but the pain still tormented the youngster.
The old scholar Cang Xu used his hand to lightly tap his leg and relax his muscles. Truth be told, his body persevering until now was already beyond expectations.
Finally, Zhen Jin came to Zi Di’s side.
“How are you?” He softly asked.
“I’m alright.” Zi Di shook her head, her amethyst eyes looked vigorous.
She was donning a magic robe and according to convention, it should have the ability to regulate temperature. But on this island, it seemed to have lost its power and could not isolate itself from the heat.
This led to many drops of sweat forming on Zi Di’s forehead, her beautiful hair was wet from sweat and condensed into strands.
This was not a good sign.
Sweating too much would rapidly use up one’s body moisture. If it continued for a long time, a person would become dehydrated and die.
A wave of affection and pity arose in Zhen Jin’s heart, he knew the reason why she was in this condition.
Everyone had water and rations on them, but most of the food was carried by Zi Di.
This burdened Zi Di and amplified the physical exertion needed to walk.
There were many reasons why this had to be done.
While Zhen Jin was holding back the scorpion group, he also had to be vigilant of his traveling companions.
Hunger and thirst were hard for humans to endure, the incomparably strong survival instincts would drive people crazy and make them take desperate risks.1
The food and water reserves among the group were already small and were only maintained by Zhen Jin’s authority.
Zhen Jin trusted Zi Di the most and thus, gave the reserves to her.
At the same time, Zi Di’s potions were also a huge deterrent.
“Lord Zhen Jin, I will not disappoint your expectations of me. But…what about you, my Lord?” Zi Di looked at Zhen Jin with worry.
The girl was very intelligent.
She knew that when they were traveling together, Zhen Jin had always carried most of the luggage.
But now, Zhen Jin had given these things to her because fighting the silver level spear scorpion clearly exhausted him.
“I’m fine, I can still persevere.” Zhen Jin smiled and slightly raised his voice, “Don’t overlook my strength, I will only fall when the rest of you fall. I am certain that I will be the last one to fall.”
When the crowd heard this, they were naturally certain of this in their heart.
But at this moment, an exploration team member suddenly fell to the ground and did not get up.
Everyone became alarmed and went over at once to take a look.
The one who had fallen unconscious was Bai Ya.
“Bai Ya!” The nearest exploration team member quickly ran over and tried to wake him up.
He touched his forehead and immediately shouted: “Hot! He has a fever.”
Fevers were not good.
Especially here where they lacked divine spells and medicine for treatment.
The group surrounded Bai Ya.
Bai Ya had a good relationship with them, in fact, he was the most popular member of the team.
This hunter’s son had assisted everyone when they were poisoned. Not only that, but when they were hunting the flying squirrels, he had also greatly assisted everyone with his archery skill.
But now he had lost consciousness and would not wake up no matter what.
“Excuse me, make way.” As Cang Xu walked over, everyone immediately stepped aside.
“Let me test something.” Very quickly, Zi Di also joined.
It wasn’t until Zhen Jin poured a lot of water from his water pouch down Bai Ya’s mouth that Bai Ya’s eyes finally cracked open slightly.
He did not have the strength to speak, but he did reach out and point to his chest.
He seemed to be in poor health.
Cang Xu was the first to realize Bai Ya’s meaning, he immediately reached out his hand and took out a few letters from a pocket in Bai Ya’s clothes.
After seeing Cang Xu take out the letters, Bai Ya’s eyes seemed to have a sparkle of luster.
He then used his finger to point again at the letters and then sank into unconsciousness again.
“Bai Ya, Bai Ya!” No matter what they did this time, Bai Ya remained completely unresponsive.
“Is he dead?”
“Damn it, to have this happen at this moment.”
“I reckon that this boy also knew he was dying, those letters are surely his last words.”
“This boy unexpectedly knows how to write? Is he not a hunter’s son?”
Generally speaking, only nobles, magicians, clerics, and scholars learnt how to read and write. These people were only a small part of the empire’s population, most people were illiterate.
Everyone discussed with worried, doubtful, and hesitant faces.
“Bai Ya’s body is very strong, he only fainted because of his injuries. It was because of Cang Xu that he got wounded!” Someone said.
Thus, many of them focused their line of sight onto Cang Xu.
Cang Xu remained silent, he seemed to not sense the surrounding anger.
“It's fine.” Zhen Jin wanted to end the conflict before it started.
He raised his head and looked at the sky: “Although the sunlight is still strong, we better start shifting our position now. We must not stay too long in the same place since the scorpion group is still concealed underground."
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Understood, Lord Zhen Jin.”
“What do we do about Bai Ya?” Someone asked.
Without the slightest hesitation, Zhen Jin blurted out: “Of course, we are taking him with us. I am a templar knight, I have said that I will not abandon anyone and will use all my strength to save everyone!”
Everyone’s hearts shook simultaneously, then they were suddenly overcome with serenity.