Embers Ad Infinitum

Chapter 21: Battle Encounter

Chapter 21: Battle Encounter

The gigantic python’s corpse lay quietly in the sparse forest in the direction of the swamps. Its violent and terrifying performance from before seemed to remain fresh in Long Yuehong’s and Shang Jianyao’s minds.

Seeing that they hadn’t come to their senses, Jiang Baimian smiled and added, “In the previous accident, I lost not only part of my hearing but my entire left arm as well.”

“No.” Long Yuehong subconsciously shook his head. “I mean... it’s settled just like that? The Blackmarsh Iron Snake is dead just like that?”

He had completely forgotten that he had not spoken a few seconds ago or expressed any thoughts. He couldn’t help but show his surprise. He found it a little unacceptable that the mighty Blackmarsh Iron Snake had lost its life in just a few seconds, even though this was a good thing.

Jiang Baimian turned her head to glance at the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s twisted corpse and smiled. “Didn’t I tell you that, in all the mountains and forests in the wilderness, apart from an extremely small number of living beings, humanity’s strongest enemy will always be other humans? Unfortunately, the Blackmarsh Iron Snake is not one of those rare creatures. In a sense, the best predators should be humans.”

Just as she finished her sentence, she suddenly sensed something and turned her head in the direction of the sound.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

A muscular man—wearing a military exoskeleton—carried a Storm submachine gun and a light machine gun, led the way, and rushed to the area where the gunshots and cries came from.

Behind him, two heavy motorcycles protected his left and right flanks. The black SUV trailed slightly further behind. The people inside did not intend to participate in the battle’s first wave and only intended to clean up the battlefield.

Ah Yu, Ji Shun, and the others were very confident in the military exoskeleton. They felt that their boss alone could easily finish off the Ruin Hunters and the Blackmarsh Iron Snake since both parties were injured.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

The scene in front of him was reflected in the crystal goggles of the muscular man’s metal helmet.

The Blackmarsh Iron Snake that was thicker than two ordinary buckets was covered in thick, pitch-black scales. Its 15-meter-long corpse silently laid by the side of the road. Around the area were fallen trees and the python’s blood and brain matter that it had flung out.

Tens of meters away, the grayish-green, four-seater jeep was flipped over. Two men in gray camouflage clothes stood outside the jeep. One was standing on the left of the trunk while the other stood outside the right car door. They both held black assault rifles.

The tall woman with a ponytail rubbed her left shoulder with her right hand. She was situated between the grayish-green jeep and the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s corpse. Of course, she was closer to the former.

At that moment, the woman had already turned around to look at them.

At the front of the jeep was a long rifle. Another woman was crouching behind it and turning her scope over.

Turning over... The blood vessels on the man’s forehead throbbed. He ducked without a thought. With the exoskeleton’s help, the man instantly jumped up and leaped seven to eight meters to the right.


Bai Chen pulled the trigger, and a bullet flew out—passing through the spot the man was in a second ago—and hit a tree trunk in the distance.

As the man jumped, he realized what had happened. He was momentarily shocked and regretful. Why aren’t they injured at all? The Blackmarsh Iron Snake died just like that? They finished off the Blackmarsh Iron Snake so quickly and even had time for a chat? How did they do it? If not for the comprehensive warning system, I would have died. I wouldn’t have been able to react in time!

As his thoughts raced, the man quickly made a decision. Even if the other party could easily kill the Blackmarsh Iron Snake and showcase their terrifying strength, he had to charge forward and complete the firepower suppression.

With the military exoskeleton, it would not be a problem for him to turn tail and run at this moment. However, Ah Yu, Ji Shun, and the rest would not be able to escape! Furthermore, he did not believe that he was necessarily better than the Blackmarsh Iron Snake while wearing a military exoskeleton. His speed and reaction speed might exceed the snake, but his strength and resistance were far inferior.

Even the Blackmarsh Iron Snake had been easily dispatched by the group of people opposite him. Could he definitely escape while wearing his military exoskeleton?

As soon as his feet touched the ground, he immediately raised the light machine gun in his hand and fired it in a sweeping manner.

Ta! Ta! Ta!

The muddy ground splattered as bullet holes appeared in the grayish-green jeep’s door.

The moment Bai Chen fired, before the muscular man wearing the exoskeleton dodged, Jiang Baimian—who was the first to discover them—drew her United 202 pistol with her right hand. The muscles on her legs tensed up as she darted towards the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s massive corpse like a cheetah.

She had reacted in such a manner partly because she felt that it might be too late to turn around and hide behind the jeep. It was also because she felt that a crossfire was needed to allow them to support each other. In addition, the Blackmarsh Iron Snake was much more bulletproof than the jeep.

Unfortunately, the electricity in her artificial limb needed to be conserved. It would also take some time before she could use the limb again after utilizing a maximum charge once. Thus, Jiang Baimian could only think of other ways to deal with the enemy now.

As Jiang Baimian ran, Shang Jianyao couldn’t be bothered to get back into the jeep before getting off from the other side. He pressed the door with one hand and exerted strength with his waist and knees. He rose into the air and flipped over the top of the jeep to land beside Bai Chen.

He had been genetically enhanced before birth and had undergone arduous training post-birth. His physical fitness was vividly displayed at this moment.

Bai Chen had just finished firing when Shang Jianyao bent his knees and rounded his back. He ran to her side in small steps and hid behind the car’s head.

This was what they had been taught in their training: In a gunfight, if one wanted to use a vehicle as a ‘wall’ to protect oneself, one had to choose the vehicle’s front part since it was installed with all kinds of equipment. It was very easy for bullets to pierce through other parts of the vehicle, and they would not pose much of an obstacle.

Therefore, despite being nervous, Long Yuehong—who was standing beside Bai Chen—reacted in time despite being a little slow. He also shrunk to Shang Jianyao’s right.

After seeing the target wearing an exoskeleton, Bai Chen made a prompt decision. She dragged her rifle back and squatted down.

Da! Da! Da! Da! Da!

The sound of gunfire rang out, striking at their nerves. It made their bodies uncontrollably tense up.

On the other side, Jiang Baimian pushed off the ground with her feet before the light machine gun could sweep over. She jumped behind a section of the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s corpse and lay prone herself.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

The pitch-black scales on the corpse’s outermost part finally cracked after repeated strikes, but there were still two layers inside.

Even if the bullets could shatter these two layers, the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s flesh also had a powerful deceleration and reduction effect. Furthermore, the other side of the flesh had another three layers of pitch-black scales before leading to Jiang Baimian.

In other words, it was almost impossible to penetrate the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s corpse with a light machine gun unless one always aimed at one spot and had enough rounds. At the same time, this was only if Jiang Baimian did not crawl or change her position.

With the exoskeleton’s help, the burly man carried the light machine gun and quickly approached the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s corpse and the grayish-green jeep.

He fired suppressive shots at Bai Chen, Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and Jiang Baimian to the point that they did not dare appear or counterattack.

After the barrel became seriously hot, the few rounds that were prepared and wrapped around his body had been expended. Only then did the burly man throw down the light machine gun and raise the Storm submachine gun in his right hand.

He raised his left arm and pointed the grenade launcher ahead.

At the same time, the Precision Aiming System’s corresponding crosshairs appeared on the crystal goggles of the exoskeleton’s metal helmet.

A series of numbers rapidly flashed around the crosshairs, helping the man choose a suitable trajectory. As long as he launched the grenade, the grayish-green jeep would be blown to pieces.

Bai Chen, Shang Jianyao, and Long Yuehong—who were hiding at the vehicle’s head—would undoubtedly lose their lives.

However, the jeep itself and the things it carried would definitely suffer heavy damage if he did this.

For wilderness bandits, supplies were their ultimate goal when engaging in combat.

After hesitating for a moment, the man changed targets and aimed the grenade launcher at Jiang Baimian.

As he continued firing the Storm machine gun to suppress Jiang Baimian, he used the comprehensive warning system’s thermal imaging module to determine her exact location.

During this process, he signaled to the people who had caught up. His two companions on the heavy motorcycles circled around the jeep and suppressed Long Yuehong, Bai Chen, and Shen Jianyao with firepower. They couldn’t allow the enemies there to disturb them.

The two bandits were no stranger to such situations. They almost didn’t need their boss to speak to understand what he meant. They immediately circled around the area that was far away from the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s corpse and approached the front of the jeep.

Ta! Ta! Ta!

They were skilled. They held the motorcycles’ handlebars with one hand and fired their mini submachine guns with the other, preventing Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen from poking their heads out.

When Jiang Baimian’s orange, red, and green thermal image finally transmitted to the bandit leader’s eyes across the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s cold corpse, the latter revealed a sinister smile and began to choose the grenade launcher’s trajectory.

After the Blackmarsh Iron Snake fell, even though it was very large, its corpse was not considered tall. It was far shorter than the front of the jeep. As long as the shooting distance and the grenade launcher were suitable, it was difficult for it to provide any cover.

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