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813 Hunting

 "We're friends. No need to be so polite. Laura, it's been long. I've missed you." Kadin gave a bright smile, making everyone feel like they were bathing in the spring breeze. His presence was like a warm air current blowing across glaciers, leaving a deep impression on people.

Right after he finished speaking, Faye, who was part of the 'cast', elbowed Laura. "Senior Brother, it's been long since we last met too, but you don't miss me, huh? Such favoritism! Sister Laura, let's not care about him."

"Senior Brother Kadin, the way you look at Sister Laura makes me envious. Sigh!" Helen added sourly beside her.

This was really evolving into a drama. Laura smiled but felt a little depressed inside. Although she had made up her mind and was prepared to accept reality, she still felt miserable, especially in front of Wang Zhong.

Perhaps it was because she hadn't really gotten over Wang Zhong. Kadin had never crossed the boundary or did anything inappropriate. Molton wasn't exactly forcing her to like Kadin either; it was just that she was trying very hard to forget Wang Zhong.

Kadin Musk smiled but didn't respond to their comments. He nodded gentlemanly at Laura. Some jokes should be kept in moderation. If you took it too far, it would seem unwarranted and repulsive.

He then turned his attention to Wang Zhong. Although Wang Zhong was only interested in watching the drama unfold, he was considered a main character in the show too.

Kadin grinned. "This must be Junior Brother Wang Zhong."

Of course, Kadin knew about Wang Zhong. He had heard about their relationship but liked Laura even more after knowing about it. Wang Zhong and Laura may have been fond of each other, but they were still at the friend stage, and Kadin didn't mind that. After arriving in the Holy Land, she didn't become snobby because of the environment there. That was what Kadin saw in Laura. If she easily succumbed to temptations and easily gave up on Wang Zhong, it was for sure that she would give up on him easily too.

This observation made Kadin extremely satisfied and made him interested in Laura. You had to rely on your charm to woo a girl, and Kadin didn't think he was inferior to Wang Zhong. As for what Molton was thinking, he really didn't care. There was no reason for him to reject a chance to spend time with Laura.

If you liked someone, you had to fight for her affection yourself. He wouldn't actively try to put Wang Zhong down; that would just be very low of him. Kadin didn't feel that Wang Zhong was annoying. He thought that this person seemed rather talented, just that he had very bad luck.

If Wang Zhong hadn't come today, Kadin might have had to spend some effort competing against him. However, since he came today, a freeloader couldn't be considered his rival.

"I've heard about your miraculous achievements in the CHF. Rumor has it that you put Mo Wen in his place, huh. That dude is said to be the Mo Family's genius of the century, and the Mo Family says that he would be an influential figure if he entered the Holy Land. Ah, I'm going off topic. Have you joined an exploration team? I know a few exploration team captains. Want me to introduce you to them?" Kadin smiled.

"It's fine. I'm in the Wanderlust Team." Wang Zhong said.

"Oscar's Wanderlust Team?" Kadin was stunned for a moment. He clearly heard of that exploration team before.

"Not only is he in the Wanderlust Team. He's the vice-captain too." Helen chuckled, adding on. She had done her own share of research too. The Holy Disciple friend circle wasn't big; you had to cater to the needs and preferences of your friends if you wanted to maintain your relationship with them. Kadin was one of the people with a lot of potential in their batch; it was important to maintain a relationship with him.

Kadin beamed. With his status, he didn't bother listening to gossip. Evidently, his initial reaction upon hearing that was the same as the others. "I've met Oscar a few times before. He used to be from Imperial Court. He's rather talented, but he wasted his talent due to his willfulness. You seem to be on good terms with him to be able to become the vice-captain, but don't follow in his tracks. Listen more to your Senior Brother Molton's advice. It would be more helpful."

Molton waved his hand. "Nah, he has his own way of thinking. I have nothing for him."

Beside him, Faye and Helen laughed heartily. The scene of Wang Zhong pointing at Okuyama Domoto and saying "Are you fit to do so?" was still fresh in their minds. Putting aside the fact that Molton didn't really like Wang Zhong, even if he wanted to teach him, Wang Zhong might not want him to.

Although Laura had predicted that her brother might say some awful stuff today, she didn't expect all these consecutive comments targeted at Wang Zhong. Laura looked at him with a worried expression, but he just smiled warmly. He didn't rebut them and wasn't awkward at all, seemingly not taking it to heart.

Luckily, Kadin changed the topic thereafter, shifting the focus away from Wang Zhong. Laura heaved a sigh of relief silently.

Wang Zhong finally understood the situation.

Frankly speaking, he was a little slow on this. From Molton's first sentence, normal people could have sensed what was going on. However, Wang Zhong was not 'normal'; he didn't have the awareness that weak people normally had. He had really thought that Laura needed his help; that's why he realized what was happening only now.

When Kadin appeared, even the blind could sense his admiration for Laura. The others also kept putting in a good word for Kadin from the side. It was only then that Wang Zhong realized what this mission was about.

They wanted to intimidate him?

Wang Zhong didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Heart of the Heart-Eating Ape or divine weapon that would be a great help in the Holy Disciple rank-advancement competition, whatever it was, it wasn't that Laura needed it; it was probably her wanting to help him, huh?

Wang Zhong didn't really care about the others' mocking, but it didn't mean that he liked to listen to their ridiculing. In other circumstances, he would have just walked off to keep the situation from being awkward, but now... it was hard to turn down a beauty. If he walked off now, the others wouldn't shut up anyway, and it would just embarrass Laura.

After the others finished chatting, Kadin, who was thought to be a nice guy by everyone, passed Wang Zhong a Pioneering Order. It was slightly different from the normal Holy City Pioneering Order. Although the appearance was similar, the Musk Family crest was printed on it. This sort of Pioneering Order could only teleport you to a designated place controlled by the family. There was no need to pay the Holy City any additional Pioneering Order fee.

"This can be used the same way as the normal Pioneering Order." Kadin smiled. This guy always exuded an elegant aura no matter what.

"Has Wang Zhong used a Pioneering Order before?" Helen looked at Wang Zhong with a grin.

"That's enough. He's the vice-captain of an exploration team, after all. Don't act like he knows nothing." Molton laughed. "Let's set off!"

In the Holy Land, some old Holy Disciples could establish an exploration team and be the team captain themselves; that didn't mean much.

During the entire conversation, Tianqiong Musk didn't say anything. He didn't have anything in common with Wang Zhong, but honestly, he felt a little sad seeing Wang Zhong being reduced to this as opposed to his glorious CHF days. Power was everything in the Holy Land, and he could only keep a low profile here. Whatever talent and potential you had was just empty talk; you had to take your chances and be the one to advance first.

As for Wang Zhong being thick-skinned enough to come here, Tianqiong thought it was a very smart choice since this chance wouldn't come by often.

The Musk Family's Paradise Island was considered private territory. The 10 Great Families all had their own private territory. Since the dawn of time, humans had always liked to conquer land. In the Dimensional World, there were some secret realm areas that were relatively more stable and could produce resources and Dimensional lifeforms at a steady rate. These would be divided up: most would be considered the Holy Land's assets, but of course, some places would belong to the 10 Great Families. An example would be this Paradise Island, which was considered as one of their territories.

A territory was a secret realm that had been conquered by experts; the secret realm's core was not taken away but controlled. They colonized it so that it would continuously generate various resources for them. This was the foundation of all the powerful forces in the Holy City, and only families or business groups could afford to do this. Even if a 'lone ranger' managed to conquer a secret realm, he wouldn't have the capability or manpower to manage a secret realm. Usually, they could only kill the goose that laid the golden egg and steal the secret realm's core to sell for money.

Of course, the territories that were discovered more recently belonged to the Holy Land, but some family territories that dated a long time back weren't taken away from them. Honestly speaking, the Holy Land was too powerful and didn't care about these small things. However, this was definitely a big deal to ordinary Holy Disciples and enough to let them boast about.

Paradise Island was one of the two private territories that belonged to the Musk Family. One of the unique activities in the territory was to hunt for the Heart of the 'Heart-Eating Ape'. It was extremely helpful in assisting the newcomers' training and could even be considered a very suitable training opportunity for Heroic Soul Stage experts as well. Permission to go into Paradise Island was strictly controlled, and the hundreds of opportunities granted every year were mostly given to members of the Musk Family. The rest of the opportunities were used to exchange for commodities of similar value or given to some forces they needed favors from. The opportunities couldn't be bought with money.

During the whole journey, everyone including Molton and Helen, seemingly without intention, mentioned that fact, again and again, to compliment Kadin and also to persuade Laura. Frankly speaking, with Kadin's status, there was an awfully long line of female Holy Disciples that wanted him as their soulmate. If not for Laura's recent breakthrough in her cultivation journey and the fact that she was accepted as an official member by the Phantom Squadron, others would have thought that she wasn't worthy of Kadin. Now, their social status was equal, and they made a good match. So, when Wang Zhong stood beside them, he really just seemed like an attendant.

Molton thought so too. He believed that all the things he did were for the sake of his sister. Indeed, there wouldn't be any discontentment if there wasn't any comparison.

Paradise Island was right in front of everyone the moment they came out of the stable transmission channel.

True to its name, this island in the Dimensional World was very beautiful. Everyone was standing by the seaside, and the sea breeze that blew past them carried a hint of salt and dampness. Seagulls were hovering above the surface of the sea, making cooing sounds that echoed across the space. Just listening to that made everyone feel refreshed and relaxed.

Although it was called an 'island', it actually occupied a very large area. The whole island was around a thousand square kilometers in area. The mountains in the center of the island were covered by dense forests and huge banana trees that would typically appear in a tropical rainforest. There were guards from the Musk Family stationed at the place where everyone arrived from the transmission channel, and two of them were even at the Peak Heroic Soul Stage.

Wang Zhong could sense that there were at least seven or eight powerful wards protecting this island. The Musk Family was definitely careful with their private property. When everyone came into sight, the guard soldiers appeared immediately to check on them. Once they saw it was Kadin, they visibly relaxed and greeted him as "Young Master" with smiles on their faces. It was evident that Kadin had a high status even in the Musk Family.

After going through a long procedure, they finally entered the inner area of the island, which was a huge banana forest. Kadin straightened himself.

"Molton, you explain!" Kadin chuckled, gesturing for Molton to come forth.

"Don't stand on ceremony with me. This is your territory. I shall be the silent worker today." Molton didn't want to steal Kadin's limelight today.

"Okay then." Kadin paused. "Originally, there were many different types of Dimensional lifeforms on Paradise Island, but most of them that posed a threat have been hunted down. Our main aim is to protect the Heart-Eating Apes and keep the Dimensional lifeforms that would aid in their growth."

"The Heart-Eating Apes have three main levels of combat power. The weakest would be the female apes. You can distinguish between them based on their appearances. A female ape is relatively smaller in size and has silver fur. Their combat power is around three thousand Grassos, similar to the Middle Phase Heroic Soul Stage. They only possess physical attack capabilities and are considered easier to handle. The bad thing is that they appear in relatively large numbers. Any tribe would have dozens of female apes, and there can be up to a hundred female apes." Kadin could see envy in everyone's eyes. A force needed to be very powerful in order to control this territory, and as a member of the Musk Family, Kadin had the right to bathe in his family's glory.

"Next would be the male apes. They are twice the size of the female apes and have golden fur, so it's rather distinguishable. They use physical attacks as their main attack mode, but they can also manipulate energy as secondary help. The male apes are especially skilled in the Wood Binding Spell, which allows them to manipulate trees or even rooted plants within a certain range. Although this is not a powerful attack, it can limit your movements or trip you, which could be fatal in battle. You need to be extra careful of that. The Heart of the Heart-Eating Ape is only found in male apes. The stronger the apes are, the better the quality of the heart. If not, the best effects won't be achieved. Also, although there are no limits on how many apes you can kill, try not to kill more than necessary and just get what you need."

After all, this property belonged to his family. Kadin wasn't an idiot. He had already explained in advance that the hearts of ordinary male apes would be effective too once the male apes hit a certain age.

"Senior Brother Kadin, I thought there were three levels of power? Other than the female and male apes, what else is there? Don't tell me that it's little baby monkeys?" Helen asked.

"It's the King of the Heart-Eating Apes. They have fur that shines like diamonds and a savage combat power said to be able to beat anyone in the Heroic Soul Stage. We won't be able to take one on." Kadin grinned. "However, there's no need to worry. It takes an extremely long time for an Ape King to be born. Every time one is discovered, an elder in the family will swiftly take care of it, and it won't be allowed to roam free, so we most probably won't see one."

Their team consisted of 10 people, so they had a fairly clear division of labor, varying from long range and close range positions to freelancers. Molton would ensure that they stayed in formation, while Tianqiong Musk, Laura, Robben, Faye, Helen, and the two newcomers that Kadin brought along were in charge of combat. Other than helping Laura, this trip was also a training opportunity that Kadin was providing for the newcomers. These two newcomers from the Musk Family were rather strong. Both were at the Middle Phase Heroic Soul Stage and possessed approximately three thousand Grassos of Soul Power.

Tianqiong Musk appeared to be much stronger compared to them. Although he had a low profile among the newcomers, his Soul Power had already reached 5,000 Grassos according to Wang Zhong's observations. It seemed that Tianqiong had spent much effort to reach this level of power too. The allocation of resources in the Holy Land wasn't very ideal, and not everyone had the luck to meet people like Lan Daier. Even the Musk Family couldn't afford that sort of extravagant power-up method; furthermore, Tianqiong wasn't talented enough to receive special gourmet treatment. Tianqiong needed the Heart of the Heart-Eating Ape this time around too. It was his top priority to be promoted to Holy Disciple.

As the main training targets of this trip, the three Musk Family newcomers were consistently positioned at the frontline under Kadin's command. Robben, Faye, and Helen served as secondary support from afar, while Laura followed the three of them closely. It was the first time she was using her Dharma Idol in real-life combat since she had casted it, and the effects were rather good. Other than helping to increase the endurance of the three people in the front row, her Dharma Idol also blocked attacks from the enemies a few times and saved the three people from being injured.

As the name suggested, the Heart-Eating Apes loved the internal organs of Dimensional lifeforms. It was an extremely crazy creature. Normally, the mother ape hunted while the other apes opened up trails. Kadin had mentioned for them to try not to hurt the mother apes as this concerned the Heart-Eating Ape population on Paradise Island. Once you got past the mother apes, you would encounter the male apes.

As for Wang Zhong, he was totally forgotten in a corner. Kadin clearly didn't have any intention of letting him battle, so Laura brought it up.

"Wang Zhong will be in charge of cleaning the battlefield then. Just stack up the dead bodies of the apes. Someone from my family will clean those up regularly." Kadin grinned at Wang Zhong. "You'll be okay with this small task right?"

"What problem can there be? If it was me, I would be too happy to tag along on a mission like this." Helen laughed.

Wang Zhong nodded. He roughly knew the caliber of this group of people. Kadin and Molton could be considered high caliber since they were elites among the Holy Disciples, but they weren't at the top of the food chain either. As for Helen and the others... How strong could she be if she had to be a Holy Ambassador in order to earn some quick cash?

Since Wang Zhong didn't object, Laura didn't say anything much. She was arranged to be at the front of the formation, a far distance away from Wang Zhong who was at the back.

Kadin's arrangement for Wang Zhong was just a small interlude. As the team advanced further into the forest, Kadin hoped that Wang Zhong would be more tactful.

Since the Musk Family had taken control over Paradise Island, its indigenous ecology had long been destroyed. Paradise Island was more of a 'farm' that reared Heart-Eating Apes rather than a secret realm. Natural predators of the Heart-Eating Apes didn't exist there anymore, and even other Dimensional lifeforms that could compete with the Heart-Eating Apes for resources were utterly wiped out, resulting in an abundance of apes on the island.

Kadin was obviously familiar with this place. Everyone in the team wasn't weak, and they advanced into the forest at a quick pace. They were able to carry on advancing without any obstacles.

Then, they encountered their first target of the trip. A male Heart-Eating Ape with golden fur stood around four meters tall. It looked just like the huge and powerful King Kong.

This ape suddenly rushed out from the bushes while the team was progressing forward. Dozens of female apes surrounded it. They appeared to be beaten up and were probably the ones that slipped past the team in the previous battles. This time, they brought the male ape along for revenge.

The three-man team at the front of the formation encountered their first difficulty. One of the huge guys was sent flying by a slap from the strong male ape. Tianqiong Musk tried to trap the ape with a crystal ward, but it didn't succeed as the ape was able to struggle free from the ward with its violent power. The strength of one male ape was equivalent to the strength of ten humans. To most newcomers, this disparity in strength would make them be at a loss for what to do. If not for Laura's storm goddess Dharma Idol releasing a repulsion power to block the apes in time, there would have been a few casualties by now.

Molton, Robben, and the others got the hint and focused on defense, letting Kadin have a chance to show off in front of Laura. Kadin waved his hand casually, and a golden shadow came out of him, charging toward the howling ape at lightning speed.

The golden figure resembled that of a phantom. In the blink of an eye, the golden shadow zoomed past the male ape and appeared seven or eight meters behind it. There was a sword in the hand of the golden figure, which turned around slowly as if it had a real body. Behind him, a bunch of Heart-Eating Apes was dumbfounded. It was only now that the huge male ape let out a blood-curdling scream. Its left arm had been cut off in that attack, landing on the ground with a thump. The blood spewing out of it was like an overflowing dam.

AAARRRRR!

The male ape screamed in pain; its primitive bloodthirst triggered. It didn't care about its arm that was cut off and dashed madly toward the golden figure. However, there was another flash of gold and a strong bloody smell before the golden figure pierced through the male ape and returned back to Kadin's body.

This happened at an extremely fast speed. The battle had already ended before the male ape stopped howling.

A bloody red heart appeared in Kadin's hands. It was around the size of his palm and emitted a strong bloody smell, and it was still beating fiercely. He stretched out his hand and a container prepared beforehand appeared in it. The male ape's heart was placed in it. Of course, this heart would be processed further when they went back although it was possible to eat it directly now too.

It was only now that they heard the sound of the male ape crashing to the ground. The blood leaking from the male ape had already formed a small stream on the ground. The other female apes were stunned for a moment before they ran away in fear, escaping into the forest and disappearing immediately. It could be seen that these Heart-Eating Apes were more timid now after being held in captivity, as opposed to their early days in the secret realm.

"Kadin, what a powerful attack!" Molton smiled. You could tell if a person was an expert by their attacks. The Casted Soul Stage relied on your physical combat techniques, while the Heroic Soul Stage relied on your control of Soul Power. To put it simply, one was more physical, while the other was more mental.

Kadin's main weapon was a sword. His Sword Qi seemed to be able to cut through anything.

"I gained a little insight on sword attacks recently, but it's nothing much, just a little detail regarding the Soul Sea." Kadin smiled. He won their respect with one attack. Although their Soul Power capacity was around the same, there was a vast difference in their combat power.

It was two different things to infuse Soul Power into your sword and to be able to release Sword Qi. Only a person that had reached Kadin's level could truly consider himself to be a sword user.

"Brother, being overly humble is also being proud. The hard part is precisely the detail about the Soul Sea. Laura, although the Soul Power of everyone at the Peak Heroic Soul Stage is around the same, your power can differ depending on your control of your Soul Sea. This will be helpful knowledge for your future. Kadin merely used around five thousand Grassos in his attack just now, but all of you saw the effect that it had. Your control of your Soul Sea is also the key to entering the Heavenly Soul Stage." Molton smiled while explaining.

Laura and the others looked deep in thought. Molton was guiding them in the correct direction in cultivation and giving them tips on how to become stronger. Wang Zhong saw it in a clearer manner. A simple condensed sword attack that was compressed by the Soul Sea, this was probably considered to be rather basic. However, that golden figure was particularly interesting. Was it his Dharma Idol or a special ability? He must be quite strong to be able to become a squad leader in the Phantom Squadron.