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855 Barely Acceptable

 Needless to say, after going through the brutal experience with Great Teacher Sophia, Scarlet was much more mature than before. She was not dejected. Instead, she waited. She even used her identity as the assistant of Great Teacher Sophia to obtain firsthand information from the frontline. She did not believe that Wang Zhong died just like that. Of course, the exploration team would include Wang Zhong in the list of missing people. If he did not come back after a long time, he would be moved to the deceased list. In the face of this massive Holy Battle, no one would care about the death of one person. Furthermore, he was a minor person, and there would be little commotion over his death.

After a successful landing, the higher-ups realized that the situation was not as good as they had expected. Leyson's attacks were very powerful and caused the Holy Land to lose control of the skies. They could not carry out the leapfrog tactic either. Furthermore, in the world of the Octopus people, extreme levels of energy created many dangerous places. This was an obstacle to the Holy City Army's advance.

In the Holy Battle, geniuses would rise to prominence with great radiance, but people would also fall in silence. The Wanderlust Team was the latter. Once he was on the deceased list, other than the people in the Wanderlust Team and Scarlet who would remember him, no one would remember that someone from the Wanderlust Team had come to the Holy Battle...

Several days passed. The Wanderlust Team paid no attention to the contempt aimed towards them. The condemnation slowly ceased. There was sarcasm, but the teams had started to focus on various new missions and new topics.

The Wanderlust Team seemed to live slightly better lives. At least, they did not need to hear conversations about them wherever they went. But it was peaceful only on the surface. In reality, the Wanderlust Team had not changed.

No team was willing to work with the Wanderlust Team. No matter the truth of whether they had sold out KD, it was the reality that they and KD were the last to fail their mission so comprehensively. They were the star of calamity. People did not want to run into them, let alone work with them. They were afraid that their bad luck would rub off on them.

Thus, they could not find anyone to work with. They did not have help from a Great Teacher like last time either. The Wanderlust Team had lost their rice bowl. They had very few people in the first place. Their main lineup was made up of remnant soldiers. It was not possible to receive missions individually. Even if it was the simplest mission that even Oscar could complete alone, other large teams were fighting for this kind of mission as well. What gave the Wanderlust Team the right to receive such missions?

They spent the entire day spacing out at the campsite with nothing to do. The Wanderlust Team was called a rice bucket[1]. It was a classic joke. They could not be idle and use up their savings, but they had no escape route either. There was nothing new happening with the Wanderlust Team. Grai was nursing his wounds. Oscar and Feng still had some strength. They offered this strength to others, even as cannon fodder. Some people were willing to use them, but the rewards were meager. Oscar could only grit his teeth and endure. They really could not slack off and diminish their savings. The Holy Land was not a welfare institution. Surprisingly, Sharmie and Mario had found a similar mission and slowed down many teams. Their injuries were all external injuries. Once their injuries had healed, they couldn't just sit around. They only contacted Oscar on his Skylink after they had left for the mission.

The Ogemar Team was a level four exploration team. Besides the Holy City exploration teams, there were many Dimensional Exploration teams from other places that were participating in the Holy Battle. They were all controlled by the Holy Land. However, ordinary Holy Disciples did not have the right to obtain inside information. Oscar felt that something was wrong. With their current reputation and Mario and Sharmie's strength, what could they do?

He left a message asking Scarlet to do a check. He hoped that it was nothing unpleasant.

Meanwhile, Sharmie and Mario arrived at the prescribed meeting spot. Recently, the two mountains near the base had been thoroughly cleaned up. It was as if the mountains had been shaved bald. Not even a blade of grass could be seen on the mountain. This was actually an effective method, strengthening their defenses by clearing the fields.

The Ogemar Team, which they had met up with, only consisted of nine people. Their leader gave instructions to clean up the massive mountain opposite them.

"Just the eleven of us?" Sharmie was dumbfounded. As a Heroic Soul soldier, she was much stronger at labor than ordinary people, but she looked in askance at the trees that covered the entire mountain. How long would they have to work for?

"Don't worry. There is another team with us. They have quite a lot of people. They should already be there. Let's hurry."

"Another team? Which team?" Mario asked.

"Not every team has so many people with nothing to do. We had to ask around for help." The leader calmly looked at him. There was contempt and even mockery in his eyes. "Where does all your nonsense come from? If you want to do it, then do it. If not, go away."

People had to give in if they did not have power. Mario immediately stopped talking. Sharmie helplessly shook her head. She did not dare to ask anything else. Missions that involved cleaning up were very lowly, but it was better than nothing. If they had no power, they would receive little respect...

"Ogemar Team..." Scarlet looked through a set of official documents with some doubt. The document was a report of a recent mission. She usually helped her Great Teacher with some work at the missions department. It was therefore very easy for her to access and read these mission records.

She did not have any work to do today. Great Teacher Sophia understood her feelings and did not give her too much work. When she woke up in the morning, Scarlet wanted to chat with Sharmie to drive away her troubles. But Sharmie was rather excited when she said that she had received a new mission. Needless to say, half a year of experience outside caused Scarlet to have a different view on many things. She felt that this was not normal, but she could not tell exactly what was wrong. It was just a feeling.

Thus, she came to check out information related to the Ogemar team. She thought that she had been too anxious, but she quickly found the reason why she felt that something was not right. The leader of the Ogemar team was the cousin of the leader of the Oceanic Beasts...

Scarlet had heard Sharmie talk about the Oceanic Beasts. Their leader, Hale, had coveted Sharmie's beauty more than once. He had caused trouble for them several times in the Holy Land. He had almost left Sharmie and Mario with nowhere to go. Thankfully, they met Laura's brother and also managed to join the Wanderlust Team. Only then did Hale temporarily stop his actions. In the past, Scarlet might have ignored this, but now, she knew about what had happened in the Holy Land. Was this a fluke?

The Oceanic Beasts would never dare to cause trouble in the base, but it was different when they were outside. They had directly sent her an invitation. Sharmie was not foolish either, but with their current situation, they definitely would not be in the mood to investigate. When it occurred, they would know that there was a problem and deal with it.

Scarlet jumped out of her seat. She opened up the Skylink and immediately contacted Sharmie. But there was only a beeping sound. Her signal had been cut off. She had turned off her phone.

Scarlet then tried to contact Oscar; she also quickly scanned for their location on the mission report. They were east of the base in area H69. Her heart thumped violently...

Beep.

The two Skylinks had their signals cut off and were thrown aside. They bounced on the ground and tumbled far away. Its parts fell to the ground and broke.

Sharmie and Mario's hearts were like the Skylinks that had tumbled away. Their hearts sank. They were surrounded by seven or eight people. The leader of the Ogemar team had asked them to meet with another team. They had started to clean up this area at the time. Mario and Sharmie did not think much of it. They even wondered whether they would meet any familiar faces. After all, the people who would be in charge of cleaning up would be from the large exploration teams. But they had never expected that this group of people would be waiting for them!

Oceanic Beasts, Hale!

The moment they met, Sharmie and Mario were surrounded. They launched a counterattack, but Mario was badly beaten up. Sharmie had been captured as well. If they tried to challenge anyone one-on-one, they would be utterly defeated.

"It's a small world. We meet again." When Hale laughed, the fat on his face trembled. He grabbed Sharmie's chest unscrupulously. "I heard that your life has been hard recently. Heh heh, do you want to consider my offer? I won't force you to accept."

Sharmie spat on his hideous and disgusting face. "Aren't you afraid that your actions will be exposed, and you will be punished by the Holy Land?"

Everyone laughed. Hale wiped the saliva off his face and laughed until he had to catch his breath. "Aiyoyo, my naive child. Do you think that the Holy Land is run by your father? Who has the time and resources to care about trash like you? You think that you're a big deal. You're lucky that I'm interested in you!"

"Let her go!" Mario struggled wildly. He was about to explode, and he fought wildly.

Sharmie's face instantly turned pale. This would not turn out well. The people around them had evil smirks on their faces. "Let him go. I-"

"Oh! Now you're obedient. It's too late. I've changed my mind. Either way, the two of you will not live beyond today. Once I'm done, the other can have their turn. As for him, he can just watch. It will be the last thing he sees." Hale laughed wildly.

BANG...

There was an explosion. Mario, who had been on the ground, suddenly rushed forth and drove off the two people beside him. He was covered in a blazing black flame. He was like a devil. His entire body was on fire. It was a real fire, but he did not seem to be in pain. No one could hurt his Sharmie!

ROAR~~~

Roaring like a beast, Mario charged towards Hale.

"Get away! He's going to self-destruct!" Hale shouted and used Sharmie to protect himself. He laughed silently. This was a last-ditch struggle. Mario was about to explode.

Blood was flowing from Mario's eyes, but he did not explode with energy. Instead, he coughed up black blood and then collapsed.

Sharmie's world turned upside down. She let out an ear-piercing scream while Hale laughed wildly. He tore apart Sharmie's clothes and started to strip her.

"Stop!"

There was a blue ray of light, accompanied by a crashing sound. Arcane missiles targeted the surrounding observers!

There was also a white ray of light. It was bone-chilling, like cold crystals. It was fired from a distance, targeting the ugly fat pig that was going to crawl on Sharmie. It was about to pierce through him!

Hale was overwhelmed by lust. He was furious that someone was disturbing him at this time. He subconsciously grabbed the spear beside him to protect himself, but the moment he dodged the ray of light, he still felt a chill surging through his body, freezing him.

But the cold attack cooled down his burning head. He was much more clear-headed now. He erupted with Soul Power and used his spear to fight the ice arrow. At the same time, his body was fiercely pushed back. He tried to dodge, but at that moment, he realized how frightening the ice arrow was. Luckily, the attacker had attacked from too far away, so it was not as threatening. If not, he might have died in a second due to his carelessness.

His desire had died down significantly as he gazed around. Right in front of him, several figures flew past him; Scarlet, Oscar, and Feng landed on the ground. Oscar immediately stood right in front, while Scarlet and Feng quickly covered Sharmie with a coat. The three of them had rushed here as quickly as they could, but they were still one step behind. The burned and broken corpse on the ground was very obvious. Everyone who saw Mario's cruel circumstance was furious.

"How do you want to die?" Scarlet was livid. She looked at Hale without blinking.

"Oh, it's Miss Scarlet. You really like making jokes. I thought you were asking me how I would die in the war at the Holy Land." Hale laughed. He was not guilty of being caught red-handed. "Oh, now I know. You're definitely mistaken. I wanted to help the Wanderlust Team and find jobs for these two people. I never thought that this lady would lead me on. I rather like her too, but Mario suddenly ambushed me. I was simply protecting myself."

Scarlet laughed coldly. Before she could say anything, seven or eight people gathered behind Hale.

"You're looking for death!" Scarlet's Soul Power surged forth. The temperature of her surroundings dropped. Feng, who was at the side, quickly pulled Scarlet back.

"Hale, will that be your story? We'll report the real situation to command!"

"Haha, do you think I'm afraid of that? That's up to you. You've taken my goodwill for ill intent. I want to see whether there is any justice in the Holy Land. We here are good people, while all you know is how to lead an idle life. You are trash that betrays your friends. Aiyoyo, disciple of the Great Teacher. How impressive is that! What?! Do you want to kill me? Let her kill me. Everyone, remember to stand up for me. I, Hale, leader of the Oceanic Beasts, worked my heart out for the Holy Land and fought bravely, but in the end, I was killed by a Holy Disciple, all because she was a disciple of a Great Teacher. Who gave you the right, and more importantly, do you have the guts?"

At first, he ridiculed them, but toward the end, he showed pure contempt. If she did not use her Great Teacher's name, what gave Scarlet the right to speak? They looked at Scarlet, amused. In the Holy Land, strength was everything. What was an apprentice who had failed to advance in rank worth?

[1] in Chinese, rice bucket can mean "good for nothing"