Embers Ad Infinitum

Chapter 19: Gunshot

Chapter 19: Gunshot

Translator: virtual group Editor: virtual group

In the jeep, Jiang Baimian looked at the rearview mirror and chuckled. “Did you guys notice anything?”

“Those wilderness bandits were quite calm and cultured.” Long Yuehong recalled the various adjectives he had learned from books, hoping to find the most appropriate description of the men.

Shang Jianyao retracted his Berserker assault rifle from the window. “Apart from the leader and the other one, the rest had a strong urge to attack. They are the kind that might fire at any moment.”

“Not bad!” Jiang Baimian felt rather surprised. “A person who hasn’t experienced many battles and various dangers can actually acutely sense hostility, aggression, and other relatively abstract things.”

“Talent.” Shang Jianyao had a serious expression.

Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and said, “It’s normal for there to be some mutations during genetic enhancement.” She then smiled and said, “Then, what do you think your observations imply?”

Shang Jianyao turned to look at Long Yuehong and urged him with a smile. “She’s testing you!”

“It means, it means that they, they...” Long Yuehong felt vaguely inspired. However, he felt a little pressured and relatively nervous because this question was raised by someone else and he needed to answer it. Therefore, he couldn’t grasp his fleeting thoughts.

“It means that they have a strong inclination for suicide!” Shang Jianyao helped him answer.

Long Yuehong couldn’t help but ask, “Are you joking?” He then made the connection and grasped the crux of the matter. “I understand! After we revealed our considerable firepower and showed them a friendly attitude, their strong desire to attack means they have high confidence in finishing us off. This cannot be seen from their numbers, weapons, or other equipment.

“Could they have a secret weapon in their car? Maybe one of them has terrifying strength that can’t be seen on the surface. For example, one may have survived genetic modification experiments? Or they might have many accomplices hiding nearby?”

Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged his answer. “Don’t give them time to prepare the next time we meet them.”

“Yes, Team Leader!” Shang Jianyao and Long Yuehong replied in unison.

The jeep continued forward, circling around swaths of dark, muddy ground. It drove into the distance amidst the sparse trees and large patches of weeds that grew abnormally.

Shang Jianyao—who was sitting on the right side of the backseat—suddenly straightened his body and took off the Ice Moss hanging from his belt. This pistol was silver-white in color, and the handle had an anti-slip pattern. It shimmered with a metallic luster under the sun, looking exquisite like a work of art.

Shang Jianyao held the gun with both hands and began to dismantle it skillfully, examining every detail. Amidst the orderly and sweet sound of colliding metal, Shang Jianyao pressed the last yellow round into the magazine and completed the restructuring of the Ice Moss.

After loading the magazine, he latched the Ice Moss back onto his belt and drew his United 202. The body of this firearm was also silver-white, but the grip was embedded with black anti-slip material. Compared to an Ice Moss, its barrel was thicker, and the details of its various parts were more rugged.

After Shang Jianyao repeated his set of actions, he began working on the black Berserker assault rifle. As a weapon produced by Pangu Biology, this gun had a designed air to it. It was filled with futuristic and industrial styles.

After the inspection, Shang Jianyao placed the pure black weapon that shimmered with a metallic luster onto the car window. He lowered his body and aimed at different targets outside.

Long Yuehong felt a chill run down his spine as he watched from the side. When Shang Jianyao finally ‘quietened down,’ he quickly asked, “What are you doing?”

Shang Jianyao replied without turning his head. “Getting ready, as well as doing drills.”

Long Yuehong heaved a sigh of relief. “I thought you discovered something... Don’t make everyone so nervous.”

“If I really discovered anything, I’ll warn all of you.” Shang Jianyao retracted his assault rifle and sat up straight.

“Team Leader, look...” Long Yuehong hoped to get some reason.

Jiang Baimian touched the metal device in her left ear and replied with a smile, “What did you say? I didn’t hear you clearly!”

Without waiting for Long Yuehong to repeat himself, she tersely said. “I forgot to remind you that we always have to maintain adequate vigilance in the wilderness. However, there’s no need to be overly vigilant. Being too nervous will quickly bring fatigue. Alright, let’s have lunch. Compressed biscuits, energy bars, and water. There’s no need to stop the car.”

Long Yuehong and Shang Jianyao didn’t say anything else. They each took out their food and ate a meal with their waterskins.

Long Yuehong then replaced Bai Chen and let her eat.

After driving for an hour, Bai Chen—who was sitting on the back row’s left side—looked out of the window for a long time before suddenly saying, “There’s something wrong with this area.”

Startled, Long Yuehong almost stepped on the brakes. He looked around and realized that this place was no different from the places he had passed previously. The only difference was that the swamp on the left was much more swampy. The deformed trees seemed to be growing from a black quagmire.

“There’s nothing...” he replied in confusion.

Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged it. “It’s too quiet.”

Shang Jianyao thoughtfully looked out of the window upon hearing that. “I haven’t seen any animals in a while.”

Long Yuehong realized something. “Yes! There’s really a problem.”

It was very normal not to see humans in the Blackmarsh Wilderness for hours, or even a day or two. However, this was a paradise for wild creatures. From time to time, they would see some normal or abnormal animals. For example, squirrels busy stocking up winter food, birds that passed through the sparse forest, or lone wolves that hid in relatively obscure spots and observed the jeep.

Bai Chen retracted her gaze and said to Jiang Baimian, “Team Leader, let me drive. I’m afraid something might happen in this area.”

“Alright, you know this place better than any of us. Make the right choice the moment we encounter an accident.” Jiang Baimian immediately signaled for Long Yuehong to stop the car.

After swapping seats, Bai Chen accelerated as if she wanted to pass through this place that seemed a little off.

In this area, the trees on both sides remained sparse. The black quagmire reflected a weak aqueous glow under the sun, and clumps of weeds grew wantonly in an opening.

All of this seemed normal, but it had lost all signs of activity, making it akin to a large oil painting.

Long Yuehong—who felt that even the wind had stopped blowing—felt his heart pound. He nervously asked, “Why is it getting worse? Why don’t we drive back and change paths?”

Bai Chen did not mock Long Yuehong and nodded seriously. “Drive for two more minutes. If there’s still no change, head back.” As she spoke, she glanced at Jiang Baimian to seek her team leader’s opinion.

“Okay.” Jiang Baimian agreed. As she spoke, the jeep passed a shadowy area.

This was because the trees on both sides had suddenly grown tall. Their branches and leaves stretched out and intertwined, hiding most of the sky above the main path.

At that moment, Shang Jianyao, Jiang Baimian, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen saw a thick black shadow looming from the sky. It swung over and smashed into the jeep’s windshield.

The black figure had a hideous head covered in pitch-black scales. Its two eyes were dark yellow and cold. Its mouth was wide open, revealing a few sharp teeth that were stained with rotten flesh. It flicked out an extremely red tongue.

It was a gigantic python that exceeded everyone’s imaginations!

Bai Chen’s expression changed slightly. Unfazed, she calmly pressed down on the accelerator to its limits.

The grayish-green jeep immediately shot out like an arrow, brushing past the python’s head.

The distance between the two parties increased instantly. Shang Jianyao came to his senses, picked up the Berserker assault rifle, twisted his body, and placed it by the window. Then, he saw the python clearly.

The sudden attacker was at least two normal buckets thick. Its body was clearly more than ten meters long, and its tail wrapped around a tree several times. Its body was covered in thick, pitch-black scales that shimmered with a metallic luster under the sunlight that filtered through the gaps in the leaves.

At this moment, Bai Chen turned the steering wheel to the right and made the jeep tilt a little.

This way, Shang Jianyao—who was sitting on the right side in the back—could aim at the gigantic python.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Shang Jianyao pulled the trigger and fired a long burst.

The bullets struck the python’s skin, producing exaggerated sparks. However, they failed to penetrate the thick black scales. All it did was cause cracks to appear on the surface.

The Berserker assault rifle was unable to harm this terrifying python!

The python seemed to sense pain and hissed. It opened its mouth and exhaled a yellow-green gas. This gas rapidly spread, clouding the surroundings with a thin yellowish-green fog.

A cluster of weeds rapidly withered and turned yellow in the fog before collapsing to the ground.

“Wind down the windows!” Jiang Baimian calmly ordered. She then added, “It’s a Blackmarsh Iron Snake!”

Long Yuehong—who had just recovered from his shock—broke out into a cold sweat when he heard this. During his training, he and Shang Jianyao had heard Bai Chen mention the monsters with higher danger levels in the Blackmarsh Wilderness. This included the Blackmarsh Iron Snake.

The Blackmarsh Iron Snake was a type of python that had been infected during the Old World’s destruction, producing abnormal but stable heredity traits. Their most prominent characteristic was that their bodies were covered in layers of slippery scales that looked like black iron, leaving most firearms useless. In addition, they had poison sacs that could allow them to release highly corrosive venom. These pythons could also create a terrifying poisonous fog that was harmful to plants and animals.

When these two factors were combined, the Blackmarsh Iron Snake became a nightmarish creature. Even with a certain number of troops, it was difficult to defend against it without using heavy weapons or special weapons.

Furthermore, Blackmarsh Iron Snakes seemed to have the ability to sense danger timely. In other words, when someone hid in the distance and aimed at its weak eyes with a sniper rifle in an attempt to blow up its head, it could react in advance and take evasive maneuvers.

It was precisely because of this that Blackmarsh Iron Snakes were called monsters, not beasts.

The Blackmarsh Iron Snake that had appeared in front of Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and the others was much larger than the ones Bai Chen had described.


In the distance, the group of people quietly following behind the jeep heard gunshots coming from ahead. They looked at each other and revealed joyous expressions.

“It’s begun,” their leader said with a smile.

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