Kieran slightly frowned at Maxim, who was running over.
He stood up from his chair, waved at Maxim and walked out of the room.
Maxim was stunned.
Celty didn’t even know what was happening as he continued sucking on his candy.
Just when both Raven Sect members were exchanging gazes…
Boom Boom Boom!
Continuous explosions came and both of them quickly dashed outside.
Outskirts of Riverdale.
The path connecting Lightning Fortress was cut off from within.
The breach was five meters wide and three meters deep, splitting the flat path in two, but compared to the craters beside it, it was inferior in comparison.
Craters larger than 10 meters in diameter were everywhere.
The largest crater among them even reached 30 meters in diameter and was as deep as 10 meters.
Burnt grounds were exposed outside, bright red tainting the place like a painting.
A pungent bloody stench assaulted one’s nose, torn limbs filling one’s sight.
Bodies after bodies were hurled and thrown around like broken ragdolls; the field was literally littered with corpses.
Kieran appeared beside these corpses.
He carefully inspected each and every corpse and continued on to the craters, which were caused by either tremendous power or explosions.
Then, he headed towards the largest crater.
His [Tracking] picked up a familiar trace there.
After the huge impact, half of a footprint was left behind.
Looking at the half of a footprint, Kieran could picture how hard Aqua Ape had to resist that tremendous force.
Otherwise, Aqua Ape wouldn’t have stepped on the soft mud beneath his feet that was like melted cement.
Unfortunately, despite the deep effort, Aqua Ape didn’t manage to block the strike completely.
Kieran laid his sight further ahead. Red lingered in that area.
“He was sent flying by the force! And was attacked in mid-air as well! Although someone came and helped, he still suffered quite the damage! The injuries on Aqua Ape infuriated his helper, so the helper went on a rampage and created crater after crater within seconds. Was it Flame Ape?”
Kieran walked on to the main path as thoughts lingered in his mind.
He looked at the main path, which was sliced smoothly in half. He extended his hand and touched the cut on the ground.
Without any further guesses, Kieran knew who performed this strike.
Other than the alleged Blade Ape, no other possible candidates came into Kieran’s mind.
The moment Ape Sect came into play, Kieran had done a detailed research on Ape Sect, especially on Aqua Ape, Flame Ape and Blade Ape.
Therefore, when he sized up the battlefield before his eyes, Kieran got his answer almost instantaneously.
However, compared to the answer he got, he was more concerned about the other answer.
He strode further into the forest.
Inside the forest, he saw some very interesting footprints.
Without exception, all the footprints landed on the front, as where the toes landed left a deeper mark.
Such footprints could only be left by tipping one’s foot forward and maintaining a squatting posture, thus the center of gravity would be placed on the frontal foot. Of course, it would only form after a long period of waiting.
Aqua Ape’s footprint was also the same, which means he was waiting in the forest for a long time.
“A planned ambush! But they failed. So the target of the ambush was…”
Kieran squinted his eyes and muttered to himself softly, his voice getting so dim that even if someone were to stand in front of him, they would not be able to hear.
After a series of investigations, Maxim, Celty and the others startled the Riverdale guards and rushed to the scene.
Mary, who led the guards, was stunned when she saw the battlefield, then she quickly looked to Kieran.
After seeing a nod from Kieran, the princess quickly ordered the men to clean the battlefield while she strode over to Kieran.
“Is it that target?” Mary asked softly.
“Other than that target, I can’t think of anyone else. But if that’s the case… I need to reconsider what kind of things that target did, and what he did that caused Ape Sect to attack, disregarding the consequences before their highest attack forces could arrive,” Kieran answered.
“Differences from the plan, I see.” Mary slightly frowned.
Anything that happened outside the plan was always a source of anxiety for the young princess.
Her age determined that she could not neglect all this.
Likewise, she didn’t cover it up before Kieran.
“Um. But at least the thinking is right. I’ve disrupted Viper Sect’s plan and insulted Aqua Ape from Ape Sect! At first, I thought both sides might be slightly hostile toward each other, so luring both of them to Riverdale would surely form a certain degree of restriction against each other, their ultimate goal being me anyway, but now… The grudge between them is bigger than we thought,” Kieran said in a half joking tone.
Mary, too, smiled but both of them knew it was a joke, especially Kieran.
Grudges made you lose your mind.
But if Ape Sect wanted revenge, they would be so stupid to hit the stone with an egg, especially Aqua Ape, who’d even tolerated the insults and left.
Kieran didn’t believe Aqua Ape would be so irrational, unless…
“They stepped into Viper Sect’s trap?”
A sigh later, Kieran looked at Mary.
He didn’t know how Viper Sect set up a trap so capable that it was able to fool Ape Sect, but he knew what he must do next.
“Although I doubt there will be any valuable clues, if possible, tell the soldiers to expand their search area.”
“Okay.” Mary nodded and turned around to send the orders.
However, the unexpected outcome was that the soldiers really did find something, despite Kieran not putting much hope in the search at first.
A pile of liquid was moving swiftly and strangely across the ground.
The people present in the field could never notice this moving liquid.
However, to some trained eyes, the moving liquid was very obvious.
A palm-sized crossbow suddenly appeared above the moving liquid, and the moment the air-breaking whistle sounded, the arrow pierced the liquid.
The metal arrow sounded like it hit flesh. The liquid then rolled aside, revealing Aqua Ape from within.
Aqua Ape was in an ugly state after coming out of his liquid form.
His pale blue robe was dirty, blood continuously dripping from his shoulder, which was perforated by the arrow.
Despite his injuries, Aqua Ape was still looking calm.
“Tsk tsk tsk, staying behind to cover up for others, sacrificing yourself for the greater good? I am so moved. So moved that I want to tear you apart right away!”
After a sharp, irritating voice sounded, a small man walked out from the shadows with an intricate crossbow bound to his left arm.
On his left shoulder, a tattoo of an eight-headed, seven-tailed snake was visible.