AR Chapter 59: Forest Combat.
Dinner was as usual delicious beyond belief. The students lie on the forest floor staring up at the stars after dinner. The blazing camp fire kept them warm and the sound of running water from the nearby stream created a sort of white noise with the crackling of the fire.
Crule was sitting on top of the wagon, thinning out his aura, inspecting the forest.
The place where they were going to set up a more permanent camp, and camp for a week, will be a series of caves in the forest. Crule’s aura spread out, looking for any beast that was strong enough to send an echo. It acted like a sonar. There were not reactions though.
He once again checked on the progress of the erosion formation and afterwards set up the night defenses.
The following morning, the same thing happened. Crule made breakfast, everyone ate with great appreciation, and they set off after packing up.[Crule]: Today will be the last leg of our hike. We will be reaching the final camp site soon.
The students cheered inwards that the torture was soon to be over.[Ming]: But as training, I am going to lure in some beasts during our trip today. The job of the two groups who are running today, is to fight them.
The group that was riding the wagon sighed with relief.[Crule]: Hey, you guys taking it easy today. I still expect you to be meditating. I want you guys to make breakthroughs this field trip.
The students nodded.
Once again, they headed on their journey. Since the forest was densely populated by trees, they had to maneuver past a few of them thus making the hike far longer and harder than the previous days. The good thing was they would not get lost as the cave system was actually on the side of an easily visible mountain that shot out from the middle of the forest. The river was running down side it and all they had to do was follow it.
With Ming luring in beasts, the students had their hands full all the time. Most of them were E and D ranked beasts that would take around five to six students to take down. The group could separate into four smaller groups to cover all sides of the wagon as they traveled. By midday, piles upon piles of meat from beasts layered on top of the wagon.[Crule]: I can’t tell whether they are doing so well because they want to train…or have delicious food to eat tonight…
The glare in the students’ eyes as they stare down the beasts was that of a hungry bear after hibernation.
Steadily, they actually reached the cave system by the start of the afternoon.[Crule]: Ok, we got plenty time to set up camp. Remember, this time make a more permanent camp. We will be staying here for a week.
The caves were not only a great place to be one with nature, but it also acts like a sort of dungeon. It was left by a tribe of Hippo Ants that was wiped out by adventurers a while back. The tunnels now inhabits various beasts ranging from G to C rank. None of which can takedown the entire group of students. A C rank beast however, will take all of the students together to take out, so each group leader was given a whistle for when they do find a C ranked beast.
Crule went around the camp site and made a makeshift fence using wooden stakes and his aura woven into a string. Most beasts would be repelled by the terror in the aura but those that were brave, would be sliced by the string as if they wear eating into it.
The students pitched their tents again and made a larger fire pit. They also made a clear path leading to the nearby river. About a hundred meter behind them, was the entrance to the cave system.
The sound of running water and dripping could be heard from the cave. One could sense that it was teeming with wild life.
Ming returned to the wagon after a while.[Ming]: I did an initial search, nothing too dangerous that we can’t handle, but a tribe of wolf spiders seemed to have moved into a deeper area of the cave. [Crule]: Hmm…most wolf spiders are around C rank so the students will not be able to handle it if they were ambushed. Looks like we have to do a little cleaning.
They discussed their battle plans and then made dinner. The students were oblivious to the dangers in the cave and most of them look forward to being finally able to fight at their own pace.
That night they had a party with a huge pile of roasted meat and kebabs. Nearly everything defeated today was eaten. The students couldn’t feel it but the constant meal of strong beasts strengthened their bodies even more. They were too busy enjoying the great taste.[Ming]: Looks like Shin’s chef training really paid off huh? [Crule]: You can’t expect me to follow around a chef of a teacher for years and not pick up on some cooking techniques. [Ming]: That’s true…but I don’t remember you did much cooking before. [Crule]: That’s because there was never the occasion where we could calmly make food. [Ming]: Oh right…months of peace actually made me grow forgetful of those high tension years after the Antagonist games. [Crule]: Let’s try not having that happen this time. The world could use some more peace.
In the previous world, the seals all broke, releasing the horrors it has been keeping locked away for thousands of years. A terror so horrible, it could cause planetary detonation at a wave of its abomination of a hand.
Thinking back about it, Crule renewed his conviction to not have it happen again. The tragedy was too great. Too many people have died. Humanity nearly got wiped out.[Ming]: Try not to think about it too much. It gets depressing if we do. [Crule]: Yea, I guess you’re right.
That night after all the students were asleep, Crule and Ming went down into the caves to “deal” with the wolf spider infestation.