Because of the short distance, Qinghan didn’t feel as uncomfortable as the first time he had been teleported. Within the blink of an eye, the view in front of him drastically changed.
They arrived at the foot of a mountain, in front of which lay a vast prairie, and a small river. Beside the river, there was a bunch of buffaloes, gulfing with their head plunged into the water. The prairie, full of verdant green, was strewed with unknown wild flowers. This breath-taking scenery on Ghost Island slowed everyone’s pace.
“Hey, everyone!” Long Sainan interrupted by pointing her hand toward the mountain, “The first and foremost thing right now, is to move to our temporary camp. Later, I’ll have a meeting with you guys, in which I’ll introduce you to the general situation of Ghost Island. Does everyone agree?”
“I… agree!” Qingcheng nodded her head, while stealing a glance at Qinghan.
“I also agree!” Qinghan echoed.
As the first placed on the Mortal Ranking List, and also as a cultivator at the peak level of the Realm of the Prince, Sainan enjoyed the undeniable highest status among the young lords and their elite teams. Back in the Mars Prefecture, rumors had it that Sainan lived up to her reputation as a girl competent to surpass men. Her absolute ability, as well as her intelligence, would have men perspire from embarrassment. Furthermore, she had the access to a lot of top confidential information, due to her identity as the daughter of Long Pifu. A pre-war meeting was necessary, and it would benefit them all if Sainan was willing to share information with them. Therefore, Qinghan agreed without the slightest hesitation.
“Yeah, go ahead!”
Sainan’s proposal received absolute approval. It seemed, as if this more-excellent-than-a-men girl, had already gained high prestige among the young cultivators. Actually, two thirds of the population of this giant group was from the five prominent families and Dragon City. While the rest also had already established countless bonds with the five prominent families. Thus, Sainan’s popularity wasn’t all that surprising…
Eventually, they walked towards their temporary camp, which was located halfway up the mountain. It was said that this camp was specially established for the accommodation of people from the Mars Prefecture. Inside the camp, numerous bamboo-made houses were plainly structured. After several times of renovation, countless lookout posts had been added, which surrounded the bamboo houses. Also, in order to ensure the safety of the people living here, numerous alarm equipment had been set up in case of an emergency.
“Team One guards us from any possible emergencies; Team Two and Team Three, clean the rooms; Team Four and Team Five, set up a pot and prepare food.” Like a commander-in-chief, Sainan separated her team into five sub-groups, and gave each of them a task. Quickly, her team members started to diligently perform their given task.
In total, Sainan had brought over 1,000 people from Dragon City. Apparently, Sainan didn’t let the others, those from the five prominent families, to do the chores. Instead, they decided to rest, for they didn’t want to put a cat among the pigeons.
With the coordinated efforts of the over 1,000 people, the temporary camp was cleared up within half an hour. Each captain of their respective elite team had properly allocated rooms for their members. After that, some family representatives, together with the heads of the teams, followed Sainan to the assembly chamber.
The so-called assembly chamber was actually another bamboo house, the only difference was that it was slightly larger than the others. Sitting on the wooden chairs, they began convening their first pre-war meeting.
“Ok, let’s begin. After this meeting, it depends on you to leave or stay.” Without any formalities, Sainan directly cut to the point, “First of all, I’ve decided, as per common practice, to use this temporary camp as our living space, and I will deploy one group of my elite team to patrol in the vicinity as guardians. Thus, our war participants can have a safe place to rest, heal their wounds, and cultivate! Of course, starting tomorrow, you have to prepare your own food! Please, don’t disappoint your ancestors and give up, be brave in this war! I hope that all of the elite teams will fight against the invaders, should our camp be raided.
The first piece of the proposal received unanimous consent. Throughout the history, a temporary camp was a necessity in a war. Here, fatigued or wounded soldier could have a place to rest or heal themselves. Generally speaking, it would be extremely difficult for enemies to invade it, given the safeguarding arranged surrounding this area. It was a comparatively safe place, on the danger-stricken Ghost Island. Since Sainan, who was representing Dragon City, had shouldered this responsibility, everyone was satisfied.
“Secondly, some of you may already have a general picture of the geography of this island, while some of you probably don’t. Let me give you a brief introduction.” Sainan instructed her servant to spread a large sheet, which turned out to be a map, on the table. By picking up a stick of bamboo, she began her presentation, “Ghost Island is formed in a triangle shape. Our camp is located in the southern corner, while the other two corners are occupied by the Demonic Prefecture and the Barbarian Prefecture respectively. Look, at the center of the island, there is a round-shaped plain; that is the place where the final chaotic battle will take place. The so-called Visionary Forest, located on the periphery of the round plain, is supposed to be the battlefield for all the elites.”
“Apart from the three corners, the rest of the island is shaped in a round cake. At the center of the “cake” there is a hole, surrounded by the Visionary Forest, where there are numerous treasures, demonic beasts and enemies lurking around. Most importantly, remember, the forest is strewed with mini-teleportation-spots, which are invisible until someone touches them. Once they are activated, you can be teleported to anywhere within the forest. Please pay special attention while wandering around the forest, because the chance of touching an invisible mini-teleportation-spot and being teleported into a bunch of Demonic Elites is quite high. You’ll be doomed if you walk carelessly in this forest.”
“Remember, you have to stay alert against the demonic beasts, as the lowest are of the fourth-grade and the highest are of the eighth-grade in this forest. These beasts, sometimes, can kill some of you within seconds! Usually, the odds of the discovery of a treasure will be as high as fifty percent in places where there are demonic beasts. However, you’d better refrain yourselves from the temptation of getting these possible treasures. My advice for you is: if your life is at risk, just give up on the treasure. I know, most of you plan to slaughter as much as you can, in order to obtain more credits, which you may exchange for treasures, or a decent post as a city leader. But, all of your efforts will be in vain if you die! Anyway, good luck to all of you!”
To some extent, Sainan’s remarks had enlightened the elite teams, who had long wished to earn reputation and social status through this dangerous war. The credits could be exchanged for an abundant life in the future, for countless beauties, or for a leading post in a small city. But now, they were fully aware of the dangers involved in this war, and they would give it a second thought before taking any reckless action. Without life, everything they pursued after would become meaningless.
The Visionary Forest!
Leaning towards the map, Qinghan had a closer look at the geography of the island. Indeed, he had seen this map somewhere before, and he knew that there were both treasures as well as dangers inside this forest. If walked in a straight line, it would take them at least a whole month to get from the south end to the north end of this place. Nevertheless, the shortcuts were apparently not the best choice, as Long Sainan, the most advanced cultivator of them all, wasn’t willing to take a straight route, due to the hyper-dangerous environment along the way. It was said, that the position of the invisible mini-teleportation-posts would be realigned every time a new war was launched. Thus, the exact position of these posts would be unknown, even for those who had been here before. Most importantly, the high-ranked demonic beasts would be replaced if they were killed in the previous war.
Before the Prefecture War, however, no one would be able to identify the whereabouts of these battle beasts, or mini-teleportation-posts. It took a great amount of effort to grope through the island, while not being suddenly attacked or teleported. Based on previous experiences, the only thing they were sure of, was that the most-frequently visited places by the high-ranked demonic beasts always remained the same. Such places would be highlighted on the map, as a sign of warning.
After the meeting, each elite team returned to their respective encampment, preparing to obtain the required amount of food and drinkable water to sustain for the following days. In the afternoon, some elite teams started to move out of their camp, as they crossed the river, and finally walked into the Visionary Forest.
Of all the members in the elite teams, there was a minority of people who didn’t directly link to the five prominent families, or Dragon City. As non-descendants, they might decouple with the rest in the process of fighting.
The main, practical purpose for some elites was to earn fame and wealth by killing! They knew, that the five families would require them to fight to their full potential in times of danger, but in times of collecting credits, they would most likely be banned from sharing the big pie. Since they weren’t idiots, they chose to fight on their own.
That was why, some elite teams set off first, and some individuals went out to try their lucks by fighting independently. This kind of phenomenon repeated itself war after war. Therefore, those from the prominent families or Dragon City wouldn’t blame them at all. After all, not everyone would be able to come back safe and sound. Plus, geographically speaking, it wasn’t a wise choice to walk in large groups through the Visionary Forest. For one thing, the target would be too big to be easily found; for the other, once any of them accidentally touched the mini-teleportation-post, all of them would be teleported into another place…
Without saying goodbye to Qinghan and Qingwu, Ye Yi, Ye San, and the rest of the secret teams had led four hundred people into the forest. Externally, they were regarded as the elite teams of the Ye family; secretly, they were all death warriors, who had been given special tasks…