“But” Lei Lan said.
Lei Chuang interrupted her coldly. “No ‘but’. Do not mention him again from now on. Our big brother is right next to us. He was seriously burnt in the forest fire half month ago. His head was hurt, resulting in the loss of his memories!”
Pausing for a moment, Lei Chuang lowered his voice and almost whispered to his sister, “The mayor went to the town yesterday. A lot of things are going on outside.
“In the north, the army of the Gold Crow Kingdom has settled the Riot of Bloody Blade. The rebels have been battered, but some of them fled all the way to the south.
“The Hundred Desolation Mountain extends to almost ten thousand kilometers away, with forests, swamps, and underground caves everywhere. The terrain is extremely complicated. It is very likely that the survivors of the Blade of Chaos have run to the depths of the Hundred Desolation Mountain.
“Therefore, the villages and towns near the Hundred Desolation Mountain, especially those habituated by the chaotic-blood demons, are all undergoing thorough investigation. Should the villagers be found related to the Blade of Chaos, not only will the qualification to join the army be canceled, the suspects might even be executed instantly!”
“What?” Lei Lan exclaimed in shock.
“Keep your voice down,” Lei Chuang urged. “Naturally, to deal with a cult such as the Blade of Chaos, decisive approaches are necessary to remove them once and for all. It is inevitable that some innocent individuals will be hurt.
“It’s fine that Lei Qi went to join the Blade of Chaos himself, but he is causing great trouble for us, too. Damn!
“Thankfully, we were lucky enough to pick up a chaotic-blood demon who lost his memory in the forest fire. He appeared to be a wildling deep inside the Hundred Desolation Mountain, didn’t he? But it does not matter now.
“All in all, the entire village agrees unanimously that he is Lei Qi.
“Before Lei Qi left the village to join the Blade of Chaos, he was hunting in the forests all the time and barely went to outside world. His acquaintances must be few.
“Investigations for such a small, remote village like ours cannot be very through, either. I assume that a few high-level demons will take a trip here when they issue the call for soldiers from the city.
“Those high-level demons will already feel that the village is stinky enough the moment they set foot in it, and they will only look down their noses at us. How will they know who we are? We are definitely going to fool them!
“As long as we prove that nobody in our village is involved in the Blade of Chaos, there will be no reason to stop us from joining the army!”
After hearing this, Li Yao finally understood his role in the entire incident.
“Sister, sleep early,” Lei Chuang said. “The call should be arriving in a day or two. You must keep your spirits by then and make sure that nothing goes wrong.
“I’ll train for another hour while the moon is red!”
“Ah Chuang, don’t be too hard on yourself,” Lei Lan said.
Lei Chuang smiled. “The chaotic-blood demons are low-born in the first place. How can we break the ceiling without hard work?
“The land of the village is too barren, and the taxes are too heavy. Everybody’s life is difficult. We cannot change our fate by hunting and harvesting. Only by making more contributions on the battlefield can we all live a better life!
“I’m told that, in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, prosperous, fertile farmlands are right behind the Grand Desolate Plateau. Human beings there do not need to work at all. They can sunbathe comfortably while they wait for their magical equipment and machines to plough and reap the crops for them.
“If we have a slice of the fertile land or a small mine in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, we will be able to move the Dry Leaf Village there. We will plant the Ghost Teeth Flowers with the magical equipment of human beings. While we enjoy ourselves in the sunlight, the magical equipment will collect the Gold Stamen Liquid automatically for us. What a fantastic life it will be!”
“Is there such magical equipment in the world?” Lei Lan was amused.
Lei Chuang laughed, too. The sister and brother whispered to each other for a while, only to be interrupted by feeble howls in the east of the village.
Li Yao could tell that the howls were made by one of the two Moon Shadow Wolves that were the guardians of the garden of Ghost Teeth Flowers. But they fell silent again after only a short howl.
Naturally, the Ghost Teeth Flowers were too brutal to need protecting, but the Gold Stamen Liquid that was collected had to be dried in a special bed of the Reed Grass in order to maximize its effect.
There were too many wild, disobedient beasts in the Hundred Desolation Mountain that would often harass the village. Therefore, two Moon Shadow Wolves were tamed as guardians to resist not the potential thieves but the beasts that could easily sabotage the Gold Stamen Liquid that the villagers collected.
Lei Chuang left the woodhouse. His eyes glittered again like two shining lanterns, with dangerous brightness beaming out.
His nose flapping, Lei Chuang took a deep breath. Suddenly, he rushed to the east of the village on all fours.
Li Yao thought of something. He felt that the howl was unusual, too. Therefore, he simply followed Lei Chuang closely like a weightless shadow.
When Lei Chuang rushed to the garden of the Ghost Teeth Flowers, he found a black shadow digging something out of the Reed Grass in the cone-shaped warehouse.
Two Moon Shadow Wolves the size of calves crouched nicely next to the stranger, like two pets that had been fed up, quiet and satisfied.
Lei Chuang burst into fury. He bellowed. The golden hair all over his body suddenly rose up, his body size expanded significantly, and his tail became as straight as a spear.
He snatched forward. Electric arcs were spluttering from his claw. The attack was almost the level of a ‘demon soldier’ now. If he were on the frontline, he could have served as one of the squad captains in the beast tide.
However, the demon who was stealing the Gold Stamen Liquid was extremely agile. Just like a giant cat, he dashed back to the forest after only a few leaps.
Lei Chuang sniffed and chased after the thief.
The forest extended into the depths of the Hundred Desolation Mountain. Even during the day when the sun was most enthusiastic, they were still wreathed in faint mist. When the sunlight pierced through the gaps of the branches, it was practically dyed black.
Now that at a hazy night with a bloody moon in the sky, there was nothing but horror inside the forests.
On a giant tree, Lei Chuang glared. Dangerous brightness, as well as a drop of blood, was shining on his paws.
Lei Chuang licked the blood on his paw with his tongue that was full of thorns. His voice was even gloomier than the moonlight that illuminated the forests as he said, “It’s you!”
In front of him, on the branch of another giant tree one meter away, a tall and slender young demon was lurking.
The animalistic features on the young demon were even fewer. Except for the dense, bright golden hair and the mark on his forehead, there were barely any chrematistics of a demon on him.
But the demonic energy emanating from his body was much thicker than Lei Chuang’s. An invisible yet fierce tiger seemed to be crouching right next to him.
Lei Chuang laughed, in the most scornful, hateful, and furious way. “I found it hard to believe when I smelt the familiar scent just now. Lei Qi, you are bold to come back to the village as a traitor!
“What are you doing here? To get every one of us killed?”
Li Yao was not hiding far away from them. His body seemed to have disappeared into thousands of dry leaves all of a sudden, as he listened to their conversation quietly.
Although the two brothers were both the strongest hunters in the forest, the gap between their levels and his was too huge. Even if Li Yao was only half a meter away from them, they would not have been able to find Li Yao with their eyes wide open.
Li Yao curiously observed the real Lei Qi, who was allegedly a member of the Blade of Chaos that was made of the rebel demons.
Lei Qi was wearing a ragged soft armor with dried bloodstains all over the surface. There was also a giant hole deep to the bones on his belly. The skin had been corroded by acid, and his internal organs could clearly be seen.
The brief combat had opened his wounds. He was apparently in pain as he spoke in a deep, coarse voice. “Ah Chuang, don’t stand in my way.
“I have to escort an important item to the center of the Hundred Desolation Mountain. But we were ambushed by the enemy, and many of our warriors were heavily wounded.
“We were in desperate need of a batch of Gold Stamen Liquid to heal their wounds. I would not have returned to the village if I had a second option.
“Just pretend that you did not see me and go back to sleep now. I’ll go away immediately with the Gold Stamen Liquid. Nobody in the village will be burdened by me.”
Lei Chuang’s eyes widened further than those of a bull, and he roared furiously, “Lei Qi, you have indeed been spellbound by Chaos. You’ve lost your mind!
“Do you know that the life of the entire village counts on the batch of Gold Stamen Liquid?
“The call is about to be issued. Other than soldiers, a lot of war assets will be gathered, too. The assets that were demanded this year are seventy percent of the Gold Stamen Liquid we harvested!
“And now, you are stealing half of the remaining thirty percent. How is everybody in the village going to live in the next year?
“No. I won’t allow it!
“The Gold Stamen Liquid was earned by all the villagers with their sweat and blood!
“To nourish those goddamn Ghost Teeth Flowers, we had to go hunting every day before dawn, and the prey we got after all trouble had to be fed to the Ghost Teeth Flowers first instead of ourselves!
“Not just that, we had to fertilize the soil, clear the wild grass, and drive away the bugs for the Ghost Teeth Flowers every day. One moment of carelessness, and our hands or legs might have been bitten off!
“In the harvest season, when we had to reap their lumps right below their bloody mouths, we were passing the test of life and death every day!
“This year alone, four villagers have been crippled by the Ghost Teeth Flowers!
“We’ve gathered a tiny bit of Gold Stamen Liquid after all the trouble, and you are taking it away with a few words? In your dreams!
“Tell you what, Lei Qi. From the moment you joined the Blade of Chaos, you were no longer a demon of the Dry Leaf Village! If you are sensible enough, just get the hell out of here. I will not report the issue to the town.
“However, if you want a drop of Gold Stamen Liquid, you must step over my dead body!”
Tears in his ears, Lei Qi covered the wound on his belly and bellowed, “Of course, I know how dangerous it is to tend to the Ghost Teeth Flowers. It is the only reason I joined the Blade of Chaos. I want to change everything!
“Why are the silver-blood demons qualified to live in splendid cities comfortably and carefreely every day while they ask us to shed our blood and work for them?
“Why do the bronze-blood demons not need to work, and why can they get sufficient resources just by exploiting us brutally, only to exploit even more from our bones after they train themselves to be stronger?”