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Different from ordinary troops, this elite group formed of Exemplaries needed to start on missions right away.
The Atlan Union had spent much manpower and physical resources on supporting the Special Task Force, and they were naturally not to be underestimated. However, this method of mentoring through fighting had resulted in the dissatisfaction of some members.
Of course, with Sky rank Schiker around suppressing them, it was as if nothing had happened.
“Hi, Ley! I’m Mies. This is our first time on the battlefield, how are you feeling? Nervous?”
The pale young man who had been the first for the testing leaned towards him, looking to fawn on him.
“Alright,” Leylin answered indifferently, and then pointed towards the burly man who had mastered the sixth level of Fireplume. “What’s his name?”
“Him? He’s Loke, and rumours have it that he was an expert at being a mercenary. Look at that pretentious display, as if all eyes are on him…”
Mies played the role of a lackey very well as he immediately stood in line, his instinct now to help his boss beat down the number two.
“Oh!” Leylin said lightly, and did not continue inquiring.
As fresh recruits, they had gotten a set of new clothes that were very pliable, and could even protect against high temperatures and ordinary knife slashes. As far as this world’s treasures went, they were alright.
“Look at these clothes, how chic!” Mies looked at the completely black uniform, and could not help but be infatuated with it as he arranged his collar.
Watching him act so foolishly, Leylin had little to say, “We’re on a mission. Focus!”
Upon hearing this, Mies froze for a moment as he continued to move quickly. Immediately afterwards, he looked in the direction of Schiker guiltily. Seeing that the officer hadn’t been focusing in their direction, he relaxed and heaved a sigh of relief.
After the excitement, Mies calmed down. He looked uneasy, his slight nervousness apparent as he looked towards Leylin, “Ley, what kind of mission do you think we will be assigned to?”
In his eyes, this comrade was exceptionally mysterious, and had a calm that most lacked. Even just staying by his side gave him a feeling of security.
“Whatever it is, it won’t be easy,” Leylin spoke dully.
In actuality, he was guessing that the mission was a test for the recruits. There was no better proof than real battles. Through intense fights, the weak would fail and be eliminated, while the strong would survive and gain even more resources. This was the ruthless order of nature.
Leylin guessed that this operation might be tailored just for them. Were it not so, the difficulty would be too high. Most of the members, maybe even the entire squad, would be wiped out.
The Atlan had enough strength and backing. That was enough to attract numerous willing participants, and there was no fear of the lack of manpower.
‘But… Am I going to bump into the Triserpent Sect on the first mission?’ A trace of doubt streaked through Leylin’s mind.
He had yet to gain enough information and knew little of how things stood with the Triserpent Sect. It was not a good idea to make contact with them recklessly.
Thankfully, Schiker, who was standing in front, began to speak coldly, and dispelled Leylin’s doubts, “Our mission this time is to eliminate an extremely evil, bloody sect, a branch of the Mobius Organisation. Kill all members!”
They were now far away from the barracks and city, and had come to an open, desolate area. Large amounts of red lava reflected an orange splendour that even dyed the horizon crimson.
With the bonus from Fireplume, these Special Task Force members all maintained a vigorous physical strength, and were still in good condition even after running across a long distance.
“Mobius Organisation?” Mies immediately cried out in surprise, “That disgusting sect that likes blood sacrifices and dismemberment?”
“A disgusting sect that likes blood sacrifices and dismemberment?” Leylin’s brows furrowed, seeming having heard the large Emberwing man he had befriended previously speak.
The sect seemed to be very secretive, and the higher-ups held enormous strength. There were rumours that it was being spread even in the Divineflame Empire, and could not be destroyed.
Of course, with their extreme methods, they weren’t that welcome.
“That Mobius Organisation?” “Heavens! I hear that they’re insane. To avenge one of their bishops, they massacred a city…”
The members began to discuss this softly, the sounds of endless whispers mixing together.
Seeing this, red light emitted from Schiker’s face. “Silence!” he shouted as tremendous sound waves covered the region. If not for having sensed a sound-proofing barrier being set up just prior, Leylin would have assumed that Schiker was a spy, intentionally notifying the Mobius Organisation.
“We’re soldiers. It is our duty to obey orders. Isn’t it just a Mobius Organisation? What are you afraid of? Don’t forget, you’re now Special Task Force members. The moment you disobey an order, I’ll immediately execute you. Even if you can escape, you’ll have to deal with being the target of a kill order from the union!”
Schiker’s words were eerily cold, and with the powerful forcefield undulations of a Sky rank, the original tendency towards disorder was wiped out.
“Do you want to betray the union?” Schiker’s dark words immediately had the Special Task Force members grow resolute as they answered in unison, “No, definitely not!”
“Good! These are the warriors our union needs!” Schiker seemed satisfied. “The organisation has only a few Earth ranks in charge. What does that count for? After succeeding, just the rewards alone are enough for you to spend for quite a few months! You might even accumulate points towards becoming nobility… Now, we’ll allocate tasks…”
“Hm?!” While Schiker was immersed in his unceasing narrations, he had failed to realise the interesting change in Leylin’s expression.
With a sweep of his soul force, the concealed undulations and even a full view of the structure below was presented in front of Leylin, and he laughed.
‘Looks like the union received relevant intelligence and know the military strength inside the stronghold like the back of their hands. Based on Schiker’s plans, our side should have had a large chance of success, but it’s a pity…’
With a scan of his soul force, Leylin found that there were quite a few Earth rank priests in the Mobius Organisations. On top of that, there even a few bishops wearing red religious attire, emitting the terrifying undulations of Sky ranks.
‘This is obviously a trap, though I don’t know if this is aimed specifically at Schiker. Whatever it is, he’s in trouble…’
Leylin’s expression held traces of pity.
“Good. This is the overall plan. Move!” Schiker obviously knew nothing of Leylin’s thoughts right now. On the contrary, he wanted to watch how Leylin, Loke and the rest performed and grade them.
*Rumble!* Along with a giant explosion, the barren land that was initially empty blew up, revealing a large building with a number of floors.
What first appeared was a glorious distorted black sculpture. The lines were simple and crude, and yet they gave Leylin a demonic impression.
Under the sculpture were many decorative designs that gave it a style similar of that of an altar. There were limbs and livers from living beings on it, and the blood had not dried yet. The fresh blood kept dripping and filling the spell formation.
The process of a sacrifice had obviously been interrupted, and a few low-ranked worshippers let loose roars of ire.
“Leave none alive. Crush them!” Schiker howled.
He didn’t actually need to yell. The Special Task Force members had long since seen red and pounced forward, boiling hot rays flickering on their bodies. Fireplume activated, giving them immense support.
*Pu!* A palm filled with flames extracted itself from the body of a worshipper, and the accompanying flames burnt this vicious-looking worshipper to ashes. “You must all die!”
Loke’s chilly voice swept through, voice spreading, and Schiker nodded unceasingly while watching in secret.
Meanwhile, Mies might seem cowardly, yet seemed to have had his thirst for blood kindled, especially after seeing his side winning all engagements. Many members were in high spirits as they went deeper in.
“What is this Ley doing?”
Schiker nodded in satisfaction, but when his eyes were on Leylin, his face scrunched up in dissatisfaction.
Leylin, who he’d thought should rush to the frontlines, was wandering around within the group. Even when he did make a move, it looked like he was cowering and seemed listless, falling behind Loke by a large margin in terms of his kill count.
“Hm? That’s not right. His way of moving forward implies he’s having reservations about something. Has he discovered something?”
Schiker instantly became cool-headed, going through Leylin’s actions and the information he had gotten previously. As he saw his troops continuously heading in after their victories, his pupils shrank as he realised that his members had lost their formation.
“Crap. Come back!”
Schiker shouted loudly, but it was much too late.
*Boom! Boom! Boom!* Large amounts of sparks exploded, forming a heat wave that wiped out most of the Special Task Force members. Even with the protection of Fireplume, the high temperature surpassed their limits caused them to turn into charred corpses.
“Keke, Schiker, we meet again!”
A few figures wrapped in light stood before Schiker, accompanied by warriors and worshippers, donning garments of their sect.
“Sky rank! Two Sky ranks!” Mies, who was lucky to have survived, watched the two tall figures in the air and cried out in pain and despair.
“It’s you… So it was a trap.” Schiker remained collected.
“Yes. This is a trap specifically to deal with you! What happened fifteen years ago can be settled properly now!” The two bishops in red clothing held hatred in their eyes.
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