159 Deep into the Forest - Part 1
Meg contracted the black colored egg with red marks whereas Julie contracted with the silvery-white one. Since they had still not hatched, Meg and Julie would have to supply their respective Demon Beast eggs with Qi periodically for some days.
Other than that, in these four days, Blackbeard and his group that was patrolling around the island have caught several boats and ships with pirates onboard trying to sneak into the island for either gathering information or trying to plunder villages near to the coastal areas. But each time they were defeated quickly by the permanent defenders stationed inside each village and thrown behind bars or executed directly.
Even pirates that had disguised themselves as merchants did not come back from the island. Puppets captured all of them as they already saw their faces thanks to their own spy puppets that were onboard the pirate ships.
Seeing that the security was so tight around the island, Crook, decided to intercept any Merchant ships going towards the island and intimidating them to find out what was happening there and why didn't his men came back even after such a long time.
This time he got the news that all his men have been captured the moment their feet touched the ground.
Crook was furious but he didn't lose his cool into attacking the Sea-shell island on his own. Instead, he again intercepted merchant ships that were coming from the island. From them, he gathered whatever intel he could get about Alex Mordrake, his family, his military strength and size, etc.
Alex was aware of this but he did not stop him using the merchants coming to his island for trade like this. He left him alone for now.
On the morning of the fourth day, Alex headed towards the Swamp Marsh forest alone. This time he had decided to go even deeper in search of rare herbs, and cores of Rank 1 Demon Beasts. Finding exotic cubs and eggs of Demon Beast was also on his list.
A lion roared from somewhere in the forest. Normally, the roaring of a lion would be quite low and deep, but this one was very high-pitched and resounding for kilometers around.
This place was a small lake within the Swamp Marsh forest. Only hundred and a fifty meters in length, countless trees covered the lake from above. What naturally should've been very clear waters had been instead churning wildly with muddy-yellowish light shining from underneath the water surface erratically.
With the noises going around, there was definitely a violent battle taking place inside the lake.
The churning and rippling of the lake water went on for a while before the lake came back to its clam state as it had been before.
Soon, a humanoid figure emerged from the surface of the water at the edge of the lake, dragging a huge twenty-meter long crocodile-like Demon beast behind him by its tail. This figure was tall and proud with a back that was straight like a spear. This person was naturally Alex Mordrake.
"Sigh...fighting a reptile inside the water is really hard. Should have baited it out first rather than jumping inside its home territory to kill it." Alex took in a deep breath before saying talking to himself. He had been slightly injured on his shoulders and back when he was facing the reptile underwater.
It's been two days since Alex entered the Swamp Marsh Forest. He had only reached the middle of the forest as he had been taking a zigzag route so that he can pick grown herbs and eradicate powerful demon beast along the way.
Till now he had pocketed many Rank 0 and Rank 1 rare herb while killing seven Rank 1 Demon beasts that he encountered in his journey.
The crocodile behind him was his eleventh prey. It was a Late-stage Rank 1 Demon Beast, while the rest of his hunted prey had cultivation below its strength. There was no luck in finding strong Demon Beast cubs or any egg till now.
While recovering the Qi and strength in his body, Alex's eyebrows slightly furrowed as he felt the irritation on his back. When he had been exchanging blows with the reptile under the water, he had been hit by its tail there. it seems the skin on his back had been lacerated badly at the time and now he could feel the stinging pain shooting from there.
He quickly took out ten Qi replenishing pills and consumed them. When he felt his body gradually recover some Qi, he quietly sighed in relief. His body was strong enough to heal on its own rapidly than others so the injury to his back was nothing serious.
"Demon Beast should never be taken lightly... It seems I cannot go any further inside before healing completely."
Alex mumbled to himself.
Alex looked up and saw that the clear blue sky was filled with white clouds, sometimes even covering the sun to cast its shadow on the island.
Alex seemed to be lost in thought. He waived hands in the hair and the suspected treasure map of this island appeared on the palm of his hands.
The place of the ruins depicted on the map was situated at far east side of the island. Even if Alex traveled straight to it without stopping in between, it would still take him almost a whole day.
But Alex didn't have any intention of impatiently rushing over. The ruins were not going to run anywhere so he could take his time to hunt some demon beasts so as to temper his strength, and gathering their cores for cultivation.
As looked around the lake, Alex felt that this place was suitable for humans to build a town or even a city here.
"If I could open up this area and kill every Strong Demon Beast around it then the puppets can easily build outer city walls first in a month or so... But I fear it would not be that easy, stronger Demon beast might not like humans settling so near to them and they might attack the puppets in the middle of construction. I have to clear more ground to make this place suitable and safer for humans to live."
"Swish!" Alex had already started to skillfully dissect the corpse of the Crocodile like demon beast on the ground, he took out the beast core inside of it with the size of the head of a human baby. The color of the core was murky but Alex could feel the Qi pulsating inside of it.
Alex first threw the dissected reptile into his inventory so that another demon beast isn't attracted to his place because of the smell and then immediately started absorbing the core until it lost all its color and started to crumble into dust as Alex absorbed all the Qi inside of it.
The impure beast Qi was then sucked into the book and after a few seconds, strands of pure Qi started flowing out of the book and into his body, filling it to the brim.
Alex, of course, did what he has been doing in the past two days, he used that Qi to quench his body, meridians, blood vessels and bones to strengthen it as much as he can slowly. After an hour or so, Alex opened his eyes and started practicing martial arts to fully absorb the extra Qi that his body was unable to absorb on its own.
Alex finished his training and then jumped back into the lake to rinse the sweat off his body. Because the crocodile was the sole inhabitant of the lake, Alex didn't have to worry about getting attacked as he was having his bath.
"If only I had brought Selena with me, then I could have enjoyed bathing with her in this lake even more...Sigh," Alex mumbled to himself as he floated onto the surface of the water on his back with his face towards the sky but then suddenly he heard sounds of human footsteps coming closer to his place from a northwest direction.
After waiting for quite a while Alex saw the group of humans coming out from behind the thick foliage of the forest and out in the open space around the lake.
The eleven slowly walked to the lake, their faces all weary, but still alert to their surroundings.
This group was one of the mercenaries groups that was there in the forest to hunt for demon beast just like him.