Versatile Mage - Chapter 490
Chapter 490 – The Deadly Forest
Chapter 490: The Deadly Forest
Translated by XephiZ
Edited by Aelryinth
In the Fire Cloud Woods, Nanyu and her squad were the first to arrive at the top of the hill. They were roaming in the Fire Cloud Woods, as if they had lost their sense of direction.
The truth was, they were clueless about where to go after arriving at the top, thus they could only roam around aimlessly. The elder who once visited the place only told them that the Fire Calamity Fruit was very likely to be found in the woods near a higher temperature.
“Did anyone hear a noise, like something hissing?” asked a tanned soldier.
“Stop spooking everyone, why would any demon beast be here, the temperature is so high,” said the woman walking at the front of the team.
Her forehead was covered in sweat from the heat of the rising sun. It was still night time. If it were midday or afternoon, the place would turn into a furnace, baking them to death.
“Yezi, do you still have some water, give me a sip…Yezi?”
The tanned soldier in front turned around, and realized that behind him was completely empty!
He lowered his head and immediately saw the marks of someone being dragged away through the leaves. He was shocked and panickingly reported to the group.
“Commander Nanyu, Yezi, who was guarding our rear, is missing!” shouted out the tanned soldier.
Nanyu raised her hand, signaling the group to hold their position. She quickly scanned the silent woods.
“Let’s trace our steps and look for her. She might have lost her way in the woods.”
Nanyu shook her head in disagreement. Those who were chosen to join the expedition were the elites from Dunhuang’s headquarters. Not only were they extremely capable, they were absolutely obedient, too. It was impossible for anyone to leave the group without notifying their leader.
“Crap, Xudong is missing too. He was probing the path ahead,” another soldier came back in a panic and reported.
Nanyu was taken by surprise, and immediately told everyone in the party, “We’re outnumbered by the enemy, we have to leave this place at once!”
“Aren’t we going to save Yuezi? How could we abandon our comrades?” asked the tanned soldier.
“If you want all of us to die here, go ahead and look for Yezi’s corpse!” said Nanyu coldly.
The squad immediately decided to leave the woods after receiving her order.
However, as the soldiers were leaving in a hurry, a few others had vanished into thin air too.
Everyone finally realized how terrifying the woods were. Each of was only a few meters away from those who had disappeared, yet it all happened almost instantly without making any sound, nor there was any trace of blood. The only clue was the marks of someone being dragged away through the leaves!
Nanyu was an outstanding Magician. However, she could not sense any presence of demon beasts when her squad members were in danger. It clearly implied that the creature was significantly stronger than them.
Nanyu told the team her speculation. They were even more terrified, while the tanned soldier said in confusion, “If its strength is much stronger than ours, why is it killing us one by one instead of all of us at once?”
“Maybe it’s enjoying the fun of hunting us, like a cat preying on a mouse. If we continue to stay here, it will keep on killing us,” said Nanyu confidently.
“What the heck is this place? I think we’ll be wiped out by the demon beasts hiding in the Fire Cloud Woods before we manage to find the Fire Calamity Fruit!”
The leaves of the Fire Cloud Trees favored scorching sunlight. They would also absorb the heat in the air as nutrients for the trees. Each leaf could only absorb a limited amount of sunlight and heat, and seven days was their average lifespan. New leaves would replace them, which was the reason why the top of the hill was covered in the red leaves similar to maple leaves, forming a blazing red carpet. Those walking on it could feel a higher temperature and a different kind of softness compared to the ground.
Mo Fan was slightly regretful when he stepped into the Fire Clouds Woods. The place was like a maze, as each of the trees looked exactly the same, even their size. The ground covered in red fallen leaves prevented someone from recognizing which direction to go in. Mo Fan was unable to locate the cave that would lead him back to the bottom of the hill.
Feeling fatigued, Mo Fan sat on the ground for a quick rest. He was considering returning to the fiery sorceress, to ask her to show him the direction, instead of wasting his time walking in circles aimlessly in the woods.
He was about to rise to his feet, when he felt something sticky on his hands. He raised them up and shockingly discovered that his hands were stained with red liquid. He moved them closer to take a sniff, and his expression instantly changed.
It was blood, and it felt like a human’s blood!
Mo Fan immediately lowered his head and checked the rug of leaves he was sitting on, and realized that the color of the leaves close to him was brighter. He could not tell the difference at a rough glance, but it turned out that the leaves were stained with blood!
Mo Fan quickly looked around and saw a bloody, amputated hand among a pile of leaves. The hand seemed to belong to a woman, judging by its structure.
Mo Fan was used to seeing dead bodies. He discovered that the woman had died not too long ago, and he tried to search for her other body parts, while wondering if some other Magicians had arrived at the Burning Valley.
It took him some effort to find something like a badge, allowing Mo Fan to confirm her identity as a Battlemage.
“Not only is the place like a maze, it also has lots of demon beasts that eat humans. Hopefully Xinxia and the others aren’t here, otherwise, it would be very dangerous,” Mo Fan quickly buried the corpse.
Burying corpses was some moral principle that every Hunter obeyed. As Hunters always found their lives at risk in the wild, they never knew if they would be killed by demon beasts during a hunt, and die in the wild. Therefore, when anyone saw someone’s corpse in the wild, they would not mind doing the easy favor of burying the dead into the ground, making sure someone else would also do the same to them if they ended up with the same fate.
It might sound hilarious, but it was also a sign that every Magician who had decided to become a Hunter was prepared to die.
The others might have the urge to find the Fire Calamity Fruit, but Mo Fan had totally lost interest. First, the fiery sorceress guarding the Fire Calamity Fruit was very strong, so trying to take the fruit was the same as committing suicide. Second, she was the one who had saved his life, and he was not an ungrateful person who would fall out with her.
His main focus was to find Xinxia and the others, while looting some native products of the Burning Valley so he could sell them once he returned to Shanghai. He would get himself some equipment, and bully the assholes who were trying to mess with him at school, which was more than enough to make it a profitable adventure!