Chapter 71: Regrouping
The black rocks were twisted and had folded layers.
This was what cooled lava looked like.
The steam hanging in the air was accompanied by a pungent sulfurous smell.
On the empty black ground, two people kept together as they walked.
One was a young girl wearing what seemed to be an apprentice magician robe, the hood of which did not cover her head, revealing her elegantly delicate yet haggard visage. The most attractive part of the young girl was her eyes that shone translucently like the finest purple crystal. At this moment, the girl’s eyes were full of worry.
The other was an elderly man. His grizzled beard that trailed down to his chest was so grimy from neglect that it resembled an old rag that had never been cleaned. On his nose bridge lay a pair of spectacles with broken lenses. His gait hobbled, his figure was thin, and his wrinkled face accentuated the depth of the hardships he was facing.
The old and young individuals were Cang Xu and Zi Di respectively.
According to Zhen Jin’s plan, after he broke through the encirclement and lured away the spear scorpions, they both seized the opportunity to escape the cave.
Currently, they were retracing their path as they tried to depart from this volcanic area and return to the desert.
Suddenly, a muffled sound like thunder resounded from the distance.
Zi Di and Cang Xu stopped walking and turned around.
They saw the volcano in the far-distance spewing massive quantities of red lava.
The lava was spewed to an estimated eight hundred meters.
Pitch-black smoke benighted half of the sky. Glowing scarlet lava rose to its peak point and began to descend to the earth omnidirectionally.
Zi Di and Cang Xu were shaken both mentally and physically.
“Fortunately, we are still at the periphery, let's keep going.” Cang Xu urged.
Zi Di, however, paced increasingly slower and turned to look back from time to time.
Cang Xu knew what the girl was waiting for and immediately advised: “Lord Zhen Jin will certainly converge with us. We must have faith in him! We were only able to flee because his Lordship lured away the spear scorpions despite the dangers in doing so. We were able to escape this far largely because of luck and we cannot disappoint Lord Zhen Jin’s efforts and sacrifice.”
Zi Di clenched her teeth as she gazed at the ashes scattering through the sky: “Although I have left the pink compound along our trail, the volcanic ash will soon cover up those traces! Just wait a bit more…”
Just as Zi Di said that, the ground near the two suddenly started to spurt dozens of yellow gas.
As the gas quickly rushed out, the scent of sulfur in the air became much stronger.
As the ground quaked violently, Zi Di and Cang Xu could not help but stagger as if they were on a small boat that was being rammed by a great white shark.
“What’s going on?!” As Zi Di and Cang Xu were bewildered, the streams of gas rapidly thickened.
The crevices in the black volcanic rocks dilated quickly and then red lava poured out from these vents.
In an instant, the temperature rose rapidly!
Zi Di and Cang Xu promptly fled from this hazardous area to a relatively stabler volcanic rock area a few hundred meters away.
The cracks in the ground where they had been had already expanded to over ten meters wide.
Large quantities of lava began to bubble up as it engulfed and destroyed everything.
Soon after, everything in a two hundred meter radius disappeared and was replaced by a pool of smouldering red lava.
A gigantic creature slowly rose from the lava.
It had a massive tortoise shell. The shell was not smooth, but had many holes in it.
The gigantic tortoise’s head was as red as the earth beneath, two thick, prominent tusks grew from either side of its cheeks as well.
The lava, which was at least one thousand degrees Celsius, did not injure the gigantic tortoise in the slightest.
The gigantic tortoise crawled ashore from the lava with an unhurried attitude. It was noticeably massive as its thick four limbs sank deep into the volcanic rock underneath with each step. When its legs were raised, a bit of lava would seep out from the deep cavity of its footprints.
The pores of the gigantic tortoise’s shell also had streams of red lava oozing from them.
It had a vast gold level life aura that intimidated Zi Di’s and Cang Xu’s spirits.
However, what stupefied them further was that there was not just a single giant lava tortoise.
Following the first head, a second, a third, and a fourth emerged from the lava pool.
The four giant lava tortoises crawled ashore and roamed about while issuing elephant-like cries.
“It seems this place is their home. The one I saw previously in the rainforest must have been teleported there.” Zi Di thought.
“Is this perhaps a giant lava tortoise?” Cang Xu’s voice shuddered as he asked.
This was the first time he had seen a giant lava tortoise.
But previously, he and Zhen Jin had exchanged detailed information with each other.
Cang Xu’s eyes shone lustrously, the shudder in his voice was not one of fear but of excitement.
“Gold level magic beasts that can freely swim through lava despite being flesh and blood. They really are not elementals. Wonderful, how wonderful!”
“Let's keep going.” This time, it was Zi Di who voiced a warning.
It was too dangerous here.
The two had no choice but to run away, fortunately, the giant lava tortoises seemed to have a mild temperament and did not pursue them.
“It should be safe at this distance.”
After evacuating a kilometer away, Zi Di stopped and looked into the distance once again.
Cang Xu sighed, he did not abandon Zi Di but stood beside her.
“Zhen Jin still hasn't appeared, I fear it has not gone well for him.”
This was what Cang Xu thought.
But he did not say it aloud.
“Lord Zhen Jin was in a terrible physical condition, he did not eat anything, and was short on stamina.”
“Facing the scorpion group’s pursuit and besiegement, his physical exertion will be very fierce. The longer the time passes, the lesser his chances of survival.”
Cang Xu sighed inwardly.
He desperately hoped that Zhen Jin could survive, as a shelter under him would greatly increase his own chances of survival.
Cang Xu clearly understood: It was an extravagant wish to escape this island relying only on him and Zi Di.
The two waited for a spell, however, they did not see Zhen Jin.
Cang Xu’s heart sank abjectly and the despondence accumulated at the depths of his heart finally transformed into despair.
He looked at the girl’s frail back and just as he was thinking about how to persuade Zi Di to leave, she suddenly shouted in surprise.
Then Cang Xu also saw Zhen Jin’s silhouette.
As volcanic ashes fluttered between the heavens and the earth, a young man carried a youth on his back, his gait was steady and nimble, his bearing revealed a greater sense of unyieldingness and staunchness.
“It's his Lordship, it’s Lord Zhen Jin!” Cang Xu also cried with infinite joy.
“He returned with Bai Ya too.” Zi Di sighed emotionally with a complex tone.
“A true templar knight!” Cang Xu wholeheartedly exclaimed.
Moments later, the four people regrouped together.
Zhen Jin gave Zi Di and Cang Xu some weapons. These were things he procured after cleaning the cave battlefield. These weapons originally belonged to the exploration team members who had sacrificed their lives.
“You are wounded, my Lord! Let me take a look!” When Zi Di saw Zhen Jin’s injured shoulder, her eyes reddened.
Zhen Jin’s shoulder blade injury was afflicted by the silver level spear scorpion.
The wound had already been treated at the scene.
Although Zhen Jin had killed the spear scorpion and also gained control of the magic core, he was still powerless to heal himself.
During his travel here, after Zhen Jin determined that Bai Ya was in a deep coma, he activated the magic core to transform his wound.
When he induced a scorpion carapace transformation, the carapace would cover the wound.
The wound would still remain even after transforming into goat flesh or lizard flesh.
Transforming his skin into fire-poison bee hair would only transform the skin, but since there was no skin on the wound, it was incapable of transforming there.
Zi Di carefully unwrapped the cloth and exposed the injury.
After inspecting the injury, the girl let out a breath of turbid air: “My Lord, your wound should have been from a scorpion’s tail piercing through. Although it is a grave injury, it has already stopped bleeding. My Lord, your body’s recovery abilities are beyond the ordinary!”
Zi Di put together a new potion on the spot.
She took out several vials from the small leather handbag at her waist, extracted medicinal powder or liquids from each, mixed them into an empty vial, and then shook the concoction strongly.
Finally, she meticulously poured the medicine she had just concocted over Zhen Jin’s wound.
Zhen Jin immediately felt a flow of coolness and the spasmodic pangs from the wound also rapidly alleviated.
Things were different with a pharmacist at one’s side.
“We cannot stay here long, let us make haste.” After treating his wound quickly, Zhen Jin urged, “I have already shaken off the scorpion group and I don’t want to entangle myself with them again.”
Zhen Jin hid the silver level spear scorpion's demise.
Although he could now control the heart core, he had no intention of revealing it.
He was a templar knight, however, the heart core enabled him to transform into a magic beast. The former was honorable and righteous, while the latter was strange and violent, these two sides were completely divergent and could not be directly associated. If someone were to see Zhen Jin transform, they would likely suspect he had been corrupted by devils and had fallen into depravity.
In addition, the volcano eruption also did Zhen Jin a small favor.
Volcanic ash covered the earth and would conceal all traces of the battlefield. If lava from the eruption flowed over that place, it would be even better—it would completely destroy all evidence.
“Right, we had best leave this place with all swiftness.” Cang Xu approved.
Before leaving, Zhen Jin gazed profoundly at the four giant lava tortoises.
“Can my heart core absorb gold level lifeforms?”
This question crossed the youngster’s mind.
Lava could melt the scorpion carapace and the heart core’s red light also needed physical contact.
Zhen Jin would need to tackle an extreme risk if he wanted to confront the giant lava tortoises.
In addition, it was necessary to conceal it from Zi Di and Cang Xu.
Finally, he still had to look after Zi Di, Cang Xu, and the unconscious Bai Ya.
Therefore, Zhen Jin sensibly gave up on moving against the giant lava tortoises.
Zi Di did not know that Zhen Jin wanted to go after the giant lava tortoises and while on the road, the girl was worried and sick at heart: “We have consumed all of our food and there is little water left.”
Not only that.
The only people remaining in the exploration team were Zhen Jin, Zi Di, Cang Xu, and Bai Ya.
Cang Xu then said: “My Lord, I propose we retrace our path back near the acidic green lizard nest. The lizard meat can be eaten, and in addition, for such a large lizard lounge to survive, there has to be a large water source near their nest. The chances of finding an oasis there are high.”
“Then let’s go back.” Zhen Jin nodded, “We should strive to reach the golden granite boulders by tonight.”