“What should we do?” Niluka asked, looking at Darmiala. In Longtu’s team, Dizi, Yexi and Longtu are of the strongest forces; Niluka, Angel and Gui Dongri specialize in long-distance attacks; Leah is their team’s mobility and Lunaria serves as the medic. In this case, Darmiala’s position would be the axis of the team, serving as the brain - this was agreed after discussing with everyone else. Except for Lunaria who had some objections, the other members had no issues towards this. 

“According to Teacher Three, we should follow Team A and Team B first. Even if they disband halfway, we should make sure that doesn’t happen to our team; also, forming an alliance with Claude’s team would be a good choice as he has experienced players like Tyre and Bayun Xiaoqi on his team. A lot of problems can be solved if we work together.”

“...... But it seems that Tyre has become the ‘Guardian of Crystals’. It’ll be difficult for us to work with them now that there’s so much protection.” Niluka actively proposed, her words cutting straight to the point. 

Longtu nodded in agreement.

“At this point, we’ll be put into a passive position if we form an alliance with them. We won’t be able to do as we please and show our full strength.”

“......”

They remained silent until Lunaria said weakly,

“What if we…… fall back?”

Um~ Everyone’s expressions stiffened for a second. This was what they wanted to do as well, since both teams A and B moving together was too much of a hassle. They would not even know what caused their death with this number of people holding back the speed; they might as well move comfortably in smaller teams. 

Darmiala sighed at the low atmosphere. 

“No wonder Teacher Three emphasized on our teamwork. What’s with us wanting to form alliances when we can’t even work well as a team?”

A pang of slight guilt washed over the team after hearing Darmiala’s words. Teacher Three did give them warnings, yet they just had to ignore the orders given and be the first to break the rules. It does not make any sense. 

“Still, I do not want to move with a large group of people as well, so if there are no objections, I say we all desert from the group!” Darmiala continued. 

Oh!! Everyone perked up at this suggestion of hers, finding her beautiful face a lot cuter. 

“Next we’ll have to figure out a path or at least a direction. There isn’t a map nor are we given any hints - if we advance forward towards the middle path, there’s a high possibility of clashing with the others, so I think that we can try using the right side.” Darmiala decided, analyzing various pathways and possibilities on her own. 

Everyone paid full attention to her, letting her make all the decisions. Even Longtu, who usually bickers with Darmiala was a lot quieter than before; at least they did not get into a fight this whole time. 

“We’ll advance from the right path. Now guys, be alert and run while you have the chance, don’t let those from the larger troop catch you.”

“Alright!”

As soon as her last syllable dropped, the team disbanded on the spot and escaped into the jungle with the speed of light on their own.

The members of Team A and B roared as they spotted them running. Grasping this opportunity, the other teams who had different plans separated themselves from the large body and scattered into every direction. Thus, Teams A and B that were supposed to be tightly knitted together broke apart after Darmiala and her team’s escape. 

Tyre remained in the middle of the crowd, completely uninterested. 

2

Lunaria and the others sprinted forward for ten minutes after escaping into the jungle, only stopping slowly to collect and gather themselves. 

While standing still and restoring their stamina, they looked around and observed their surroundings. 

“The humidity here is no joke, my hair is all wet from the dew in this short time.” Gui Dongri said, flipping her shoulder-length hair. The water from her hair splashed onto Lunaria’s face. 

Ew! Lunaria wiped her face. Gui Dongri’s hair does smell nice, but that doesn’t mean that she wants to taste the dew on her hair.

“Oh no, I’m sorry!” Gui Dongri exclaimed after seeing the messy state Lunaria was in, hurriedly taking out a handkerchief from her storage ring and trying to dry her face. Yet the wetness in the air made the ground muddy and slippery, causing Gui Dongri - who was too nervous - to slip and fall forwards, dragging Lunaria’s skirt down as she fell. 

Dizi’s face flushed red after witnessing the scene, turning around and coughing dryly to prevent the awkwardness, pretending to not see as he enjoyed the scenery. The others expressed their disbelief as they looked at Lunaria and Gui Dongri pitifully. 

“Thank god we fell behind. The guys are surely going to take advantage of you if we’re still with the large group. Look at this benefit you’re offering them, tsk tsk tsk, and you’re wearing black? Lunaria, do you not find yourself seductive enough?”

Lunaria blushed furiously at Longtu’s straightforward words, pulling up her skirt and took two steps backwards. 

“I….. who knew that there’s only black underwear in the Storage Ring?”

“Do you remember who helped you prepare the Storage Ring?”

Now that Longtu mentioned it, Lunaria is reminded and shot a look of resentment towards Leah. The pale red-haired female knight chose to adopt the same pose as Dizi and avoided Lunaria’s glare. 

Thing is, Lunaria noticed that there was not much fabric used in the underwear, and it would be chilly if it were not for her stockings.

Nikula went forward to help Gui Dongri up. The latter looked dejected, her expression as dark as the mud on her clothes. 

“I’m, I’m so sorry, Lunaria, I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“It’s alright, we’re all girls anyways!” Lunaria laughed without much care. Dizi, who stood behind her, coughed awkwardly in an attempt to let them be aware of his existence. 

Afterwards, Gui Dongri’s clothes were cleaned using magic. The team continued their journey. 

As a scout, Yexi is the most experienced with reacting to complicated terrains. Not speaking a word since the start, she took the lead; cutting down a section of a branch and checking it, or bending down to test the soil -  either way, the others were amazed by her experienced skills and technique, yet no one knew what she was doing, except for Longtu. 

Walking through the jungle under the blazing sun was too much for the magicians with lower stamina to handle and as a result tiring them, the heavy and humid air not helping at all. Because of her Qi Harmony being increased to the upper level, Lunaria does not feel much exhaustion, making Niluka and the others envy Dual-Cultivators. 

Still, achieving a Dual-Cultivation is not as easy as it seems. Those who can yield Dou Qi might not know how to use magic, whilst those who specialize in magic do not necessarily have the power to gather Dou Qi. Plus the cultivation system for both types are polar opposites, so wanting to cultivate both sides simultaneously is almost impossible due to the high level of difficulty and complications. 

Suddenly, Yexi, who had been taking the lead raised one hand up, signalling for everyone to stop. Spotting the source of light from outside the jungle, she narrowed her eyes and said,

“We have company.”