There were many tunnels deep underground dug by all sorts of insects.
Other than digging their own, these nine ants sometimes used tunnels dug by others.
The young master of White Stone City took a sip of tea from his cup and looked at the man sitting on the animal skin with his eyes closed. “What do you see?”
The man was secretly very annoyed at the young master’s impatience. It’s been how fucking long and he’s asked me four times! Answering him distracts me and just drains my energy!
No matter what he thought, the man with the skull necklace showed no change in expression. Respectfully, he answered, “We’re almost there.”
He could sense many things through the ants, then give them instructions to complete tasks. He’d spent a long time rearing these ants and finally brought them out just to fulfil the young master’s requests. He was not a slave but he had always maintained a position similar to a slave because he had influence over the slaves of White Stone City.
If Shao Xuan were here, he would’ve been shocked to see the totem tattoos on this young man’s body. They were familiar patterns, for totem warriors with these patterns were neighbours of the Flaming Horn tribe--- he was from the Wanshi tribe!
This young man wasn’t a common warrior either, he was the next shaman of the Wanshi tribe. Right now, he was just living at the White Stone City. He would return when it was time to take over as the shaman of his tribe.
“Why haven’t they arrived yet?” complained the young master.
Both men did not answer. All explanations would be futile. The more they spoke, the angrier the young master would be.
After a long time, when the young master asked for the eighth time, the man sitting on the animal skin finally declared, “We have arrived!”
He had sensed it through the ants. They had entered the Fallen Leaves City’s base.
There were many animals around all the bases near Battle Beast City. Many insects too, especially the cold-resistant dung beetles that Shao Xuan had seen. Most of them dug deep tunnels so they could avoid the cold temperatures at the surface while they rested. Hence, there were many tunnels deep beneath cities.
The team of desert ants from White Stone City crawled into the Fallen Leaves City’s camp through a few tunnels. Then, they peeked out of a hole to pick up the right scent and followed its direction.
These ants were reared on a diet of herbal grasses so they were especially sensitive to its smell. At this moment, they were looking for the medicine Su Gu had won a few days ago. This prize he had won was planned too.
This herbal medicine was planted by the White Stone City’s people as a beacon.
Unfortunately, they hadn’t expected Su Gu to give his prize to Shao Xuan, hence this team of ants arrived at Shao Xuan’s room instead. They entered the house through Sapphire the beetle’s hole.
They followed the scent but could not sense the presence of the Flame Mound Stone.
The man sitting on the animal skin had a puzzled expression.
“What’s the matter?” asked the young master.
“How is that possible?! You mean Su Gu carries the stone around with him? No, it shouldn’t be. Your ants might have made a mistake, look harder!” roared the young master of the White Stone City.
The man was extremely annoyed but his face remained a respectful reverence. “Yes, sir.”
The base of Fallen Leaves City, within Shao Xuan’s room. After taking a trip around the room, the nine ants decided to return through the same hole only to realise it was blocked. It was a beetle larger than them.
These ants were on a mission, immediately getting into an offensive stance to fight this enemy… only to realise their opponent was too strong.
Within a moment, the frontmost ant was slashed into pieces.
The man sitting on the animal skin frowned.
“What’s the matter now?” asked the young master frantically. He stood up from his chair and took a few steps forward, “Tell me, what’s going on?”
“There’s a… Pfft!” Before he could finish, the man coughed up blood.
Even the man who hadn’t spoken turned to look at him with furrowed brows.
“Dao Yu, what do you think happened? What’s the matter?” The young master of White Stone City turned towards the person who was still silent.
Mockery flashed across Dao Yu’s eyes. He retrieved herbs from a wooden box, mashed it into pulp and fed it to the man on the animal skin.
The man slowly stabilised his breath after swallowing the medicine. He had no time to speak either. Without even looking at the young master, he closed his eyes to complete his unfinished task. He did not care if he could obtain the stone, he’d spent a long time caring for these ants, he must get them out of there!
After the first death, he’d lost all connection with the second and third ants too. That meant they were already dead!
There was no time!
He must get them out, if they couldn’t leave as a team, they would leave separately! He must save them, even if there was only one left!
He could not see clearly what the ants had encountered, merely received a fuzzy image. He did not see a beetle but something wrapped in flames. It looked like a horn.
When he saw the furious young master about to ask another question, Dao Yu quickly stopped him. “Young master, something has happened. Please wait patiently. Do not worry.”
“Something happened? What happened? Didn’t you all say this would be a success?!” the young master kicked a chair into pieces but he had no choice. All he could do was wait.
Within the Fallen Leaves City’s base, the slaves responsible for the animals realised there were unusually few insects around today. They barely saw any beetles. Had they met a natural predator?
But the slaves were only responsible for the animals used for travelling and battles. None of them paid any attention to the insects as the proceeded with their cleaning tasks.
However, in a place where humans could not see, there was a large-scale war happening.
Nine desert ants were involved. Four remained in Shao Xuan’s room while the other five ran separate ways. Some ran back into the initial hole, others escaped through the window, under the door, across the room or another hole.
However, they could not escape the wrath of hundreds of thousands of beetles no matter where they went. Especially the ones who took the underground route- they were surrounded.
Within the base of the White Stone City, the man sitting on the animal skin coughed up blood once again. He looked weaker than before, his face pale. It wasn’t just because of the sudden loss of connection with his ants but also from fury and frustration.
How much time had he spent on his ants? He didn’t even have twenty and now, in two seconds, he’d lost nine!
This hurt more than if someone had stabbed him!