Chapter 86: A Mysterious Accomplice


The chirping bird songs reverberated through the forest.

In the wake of Zhen Jin and the others approaching, the birds frantically flew away.

Perhaps because this place was near the desert, there was no morning fog and the sprinkling sunlight shone between the green trees and filled it with a fresh scent.

Zhen Jin was still the one in front.

Although nothing could be seen externally, Zhen Jin’s coccyx and buttocks were somewhat sore.

His body was healthy and had recovered from his injuries in the desert since entering the forest.

As an ordinary person, Bai Ya’s fracture had improved for the better, but until now, he still could not draw a bow.

“It seems yesterday’s training was a bit too much.” Zhen Jin’s heart mulled.

He knew this soreness was because he had been training his lizard tail.

After Zhen Jin returned to his human form, although he no longer had a lizard tail, his body still received an injury close to where it was on the lizard form.

Like the injuries his human form received, transforming into another creature’s form would not instantly heal him.

“Using my tail to whip trees and rocks is unlikely to injure me. After all, I transformed into an iron level lizard.

“It seems there is a problem on how I am using my lizard tail.”

“I bruised my tail while training it.”

“If I did not have a strong recovery ability, I fear I would be walking funny today.”

Zhen Jin secretly sighed.

After entering the forest, it was no longer convenient for him to train late at night.

In the desert, the exploration team had only one person keeping watch.

Now that there were two people keeping watch, Zhen Jin could not leave camp for too long. Leaving for too long would make the other one anxious, cause them to go searching for him, and attract more inconveniences.

Zhen Jin could also transform into a spear scorpion and into a complete fat ball flying fish. But last night, he only trained how to use the green lizard form and not the other forms.

“As far as the spear scorpion form is concerned, I am already very familiar with it.”

“As for the fat ball flying fish……” Zhen Jin had secretly transformed into it while in the desert and found that the shape was not practical.

The fat ball flying fish’s stronger attack was ejecting its black and poisonous fishbones.

But to use that attack, the fat ball flying fish needed to self-detonate.

It was mutual destruction.

Sometimes, a fat ball flying fish would die too suddenly and without time to self-detonate.

Zhen Jin was undoubtedly committing a fancy suicide if he used this.

In addition to this, the fat ball flying fish could turn invisible.

But after Zhen Jin transformed into one, he found: although a human’s eye could not see him, the fat ball flying fish form would produce croaking sounds as it floated about. In the case that Zhen Jin shut up the croaking voice, he would be unable to exchange air and could not quickly float through the sky.

The croaking sound was very loud and reduced the usable value of the invisibility.

As a result, Zhen Jin was not willing to train his fat ball flying fish form.

After reflecting, he felt that the green lizard form had the most practical value.

The green lizard eyes aided him immensely.

And spraying green lizard acid could be said to be the strongest long range attack Zhen Jin currently knew. The green lizard acid’s might was stronger than wooden darts with little differences in effective range. Zhen Jin had unusually good precision and had formidable strength when he combined the two,

The green lizard form was only at an iron level, but it was also an advantage.

The silver level spear scorpion form would rapidly consume the magic in his heart core. Comparing the forms, the iron level green lizard one would use comparatively less magic.

The iron level lizard was the normal method of fighting while the silver level spear scorpion was used as a trump card when faced with a powerful enemy.

This was Zhen Jin’s plan.

He originally did not think this way.

After genuinely controlling the heart core, besides feeling curious and amazed about it, he also became more afraid of the consequences and was on his guard.

Originally, he did not plan to use the magic core often, however after being pursued by the fat ball flying fish, Zhen Jin’s opinion changed.

“If I did not have the green lizard eyes, I would have been unable to see the fat ball flying fish.

“Everything would have boded ill for me and Zi Di, Cang Xu, and the others would not have survived!”

“On this island anything can happen, and danger could descend upon me at any moment.”

“Obviously, I have the magic core that can absorb bloodlines and seize abilities that can deal with these dangers. But because of my caution and the wiping of earlier preparations, I can only wait to die when danger descends upon me. If that is the result, wouldn’t that be too pedantic?”

Holding these opinions, for the sake of him, Zi Di, and the others, Zhen Jin decided the clench his teeth, use the heart core, and prepare as much as possible.

Prepare for a rainy day just in case.

The complete fat ball flying fish form was a result of this way of thinking——at the oasis, Zhen Jin hid from the others, secretly killed many fat ball flying fish, gathered an intact bloodline, and could transform into an iron level fat ball flying fish.

“Eh? Wait a moment.” As he advanced, Zhen Jin suddenly saw something unusual and immediately stopped walking.

Everyone immediately tensed up.

Since entering the forest, Zhen Jin never stopped walking at his own accord. Could it be that there was a huge threat concealed nearby?

Zhen Jin slowly walked ahead to the left, and after ten steps, he stopped under a tree.

He touched the tree bark, there was a chunk missing from it that seemed to have been caused by a sharp weapon.

Zhen Jin looked around and quickly found more minute marks.

Then his gaze stopped, as if he found something.

He entered the lush underbrush and stooped to pick up a piece of silver armor.

The others came over, Cang Xu looked at the armor in Zhen Jin’s hand and said with amazement: “This is a piece of armor. It is made of the highest quality steel.

Zhen Jin nodded and continued to search his surroundings.

There were all kinds of footprints, leftover bloodstains, toppled trees, and exposed soil……Zhen Jin found more traces, but he could not simulate what kind of fight took place.

“A fierce battle definitely happened here.”

“The surviving party intentionally cleaned the battlefield; I have nothing to determine what happened here.”

Zi Di’s eyes blinked: “So, are there other people nearby?”

Bai Ya asked: “And they are fighting something?”

Zhen Jin wrinkled his brows and said without certainty: “It seems to be a giant beast with a body bigger to an explosive blazing horse and is very heavy. Its main attack seems to use its head.”

“The group of people should have won. Magic beasts do not intentionally clean the battlefield.

Zhen Jin issued a judgement with difficulty.

“Are you sure it was a human?” Zi Di questioned closely.

Zhen Jin shook her head: “I can only judge that they were of human shape, however since they could clean the battlefield, such remarkableness illustrates that they definitely have advanced intelligence.

Cang Xu crouched the ground and touched a footprint: “This fight happened several days ago. What I care about is why did they clean up the battlefield and dispose of traces?”

Cang Xu’s question was also something Zhen Jin was worried about.

When Zhen Jin and the others encountered attacking magic beasts, they did not clean up the battlefield usually. At most they would clean up the bloodstains to prevent the scent from attracting other predators.

But this group of people not only cleaned up the battlefield but did it very meticulously.

This was in accordance with common sense.

Using this kind of effort to clean up the battlefield was something where the gains do not make up for the losses. Because doing this would use up a lot of a person’s time and stamina, and on this island, every bit of resource and stamina needed to be used sparingly.

Even if traces were left behind, the predators of the forest did not have high intelligence and were unlikely to gain any benefits from them.

But this group of people did that.

What did they need to guard against?

Who were they? Were these sailors of the Hog’s Kiss or……islanders?

Zhen Jin looked into the distance with absent-minded eyes as he reflected.

An unexpected situation had appeared.

Now, he had two options in front of him.

The first option was that they move according to their original plan and go to the place where Cang Xu and the others entered the forest. Thus, they could verify and pad out their map.

The second option was that they give up on that plan, act according to these traces, and recklessly go towards these mysterious accomplices.

This was very risky.

The military power of these mysterious accomplices was unknown, but it should not be low. The number of them, their race, and their intentions were also unknown.

Everyone was silent, some of them continued to observe the traces and some vigilantly watched their surroundings.

They waited for Zhen Jin to decide.

Without wasting too much time pondering, Zhen Jin quickly decided: “We will be abandoning our previous plan and will be following these traces. We must be careful.”

“Understood.” Bai Ya replied.

“Yes master.” Lan Zao was concise.

Cang Xu and Zi Di nodded, no one objected.

The small group of five herby changed directions, no longer would they walk on the border between the desert and the forest, rather they would officially go through the forest.

After two hours, a river appeared in front of everyone.

Zhen Jin gazed into the water and could not help but sigh.

The traces stopped here.

He originally had been following the traces; however, the group of people had been cleaning up their traces.

They were experienced, efficient, and unscrupulous. After several days, Zhen Jin’s best could barely identify their route.

But at the riverbank, the mysterious group’s traces had vanished because of the river.

“The river is flowing slowly, and the riverbed is also shallow, the water will only reach up to an adult human’s knee. They crossed the river here; however, they did not immediately climb onto the opposite bank. There is no way to know whether they followed the river or went against the current, nor where they made landfall.

“However, this also implies that this river is not dangerous.”

Zhen Jin narrowed his eyes, transformed them into lizard eyes, and found almost no life in the water, at most there were a few small fish and shrimps.

“Continue forward.” After thinking for a moment, Zhen Jin led the group across the river and to the opposite bank.

Without traces to follow, Zhen Jin walked towards where Cang Xu had assessed the location of the beach where the Hog’s Kiss had run aground.

After roughly an hour, Zhen Jin was the first to hear an ear-piercing noise.

As they closed the distance, the party of five unexpectedly found a camp in the forest.

The camp had a ring of stakes surrounding it, the camp’s area was not large, however to one’s surprise, there was a wooden house in it.

A beast group was currently wreaking havoc on the camp and the camp’s personnel all withdrew into the hall, their situation anything but reassuring.