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Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Liu Sheng still got away in the end.
They originally wanted to keep her here since the herdsman wouldn’t be able to cause that much trouble on his own.
However, she was very strong, so it was difficult to contain her.
Besides, they were currently situated in an entirely unfamiliar forest late at night.
Qi Ziting gave chase for about an hour and couldn’t spot anyone. He could only resentfully return.
At the moment, all of the jade-waisted slaves had already been killed.
“Check the number of casualties and report back to me,” the empress ordered. Without Gong Zheng, commanding the winged cavalry wasn’t as easy as it was before. Somehow, she found this rather inconvenient.
After taking count, the casualty numbers totaled up to over ten deaths.
There were over 100 soldiers who were lightly wounded, which meant that they still had their limbs intact.
It was only with the usage of the pesticide that they were able to achieve a result like this.
It was evident that the jade-waisted slaves were pretty threatening when led by a herdsman.
Even though they weren’t very strong, they could be pretty menacing when thousands of them were grouped together.
After being beaten to a pulp by the empress, Lin Qiaole soon woke up. She was tied up tightly by Ren Baqian and was unable to exert any strength at all.
Her fingernails extended to almost eight centimeters in length, but this still wasn’t long enough to reach the ropes.
Ren Baqian had indeed put in quite a bit of effort to tie her up.
No matter how Lin Qiaole struggled, she still couldn’t manage to break loose. Instead, this made some areas even tighter.
“Lin Qiaole?” Ren Baqian looked down and watched as Lin Qiaole struggled. She still had cat-like pupils that concealed a dark green radiance. She had a fearsome look on her face as well.
“White Rabbit Creamy Candy!” He quickly took out a piece of White Rabbit candy and tossed it into her mouth.
Lin Qiaole swallowed it and calmed down for a few minutes before starting to struggle violently again.
Ren Baqian tossed another piece of candy into her mouth and handed a bunch to the bodyguard beside him, telling the bodyguard to feed her a piece once every few minutes. He then left to find the empress.
“Lin Qiaole hasn’t recovered yet. She still seems to be under the control of the herdsman. We must catch him to find a remedy for this,” Ren Baqian said as he held the empress’s hand. He found her sitting by a tree and went to sit down beside her.
However, it wasn’t easy to catch that herdsman, especially now that all of his jade-waisted slaves were dead. Only the herdsman and Liu Sheng, the half-snake demihuman, had survived, so it would be much harder to locate them.
“How did you manage to keep those two Heaven-grade weapons?” the empress softly muttered.
“Do you mean that you want to take her to Earth?” Ren Baqian immediately asked in response.
“The herdsman’s control over Lin Qiaole is definitely not stronger than Teng Yue’s control over his own Heaven-grade weapon,” the empress explained.
Ren Baqian had truly not thought about this, whereas this idea came up in the empress’s mind almost immediately. He must have been lost in his thoughts.
“I’ll try it tomorrow,” he replied. This method would indeed have a high chance of success.
As long as the herdsman lost control over Lin Qiaole, she would most likely revert to her original condition.
Soon after, everyone gathered at the tree that had Gong Zheng’s face on it.
Looking at it, nobody had any idea what to do.
“Is he in the tree?” Ren Baqian was a bit puzzled.
Otherwise, why would his face be on the tree? However, the trunk of this tree was only slightly wider than a person’s head. It definitely wasn’t capable of containing a man inside.
“Tear away the tree bark one layer at a time! I want to see what’s inside!” the empress said calmly.
Immediately, the winged cavalry started to strip the tree bark off layer by layer, but there weren’t any traces of Gong Zheng at all.
“The ground!” Ren Baqian suggested.
Since Gong Zheng wasn’t inside the tree, he must be underground.
“Dig it up!” the empress ordered.
Soon after they began digging in the ground, they started feeling chills.
Indeed, they found Gong Zheng underground.
He was tightly bound by roots, looked extremely thin, and looked no different from a dead person.
The originally lofty and strong man currently looked very frail. If not for the tattoos and the missing finger on his body, they almost wouldn’t have recognized him.
Everyone could see that the roots not only bound Gong Zheng, but also pierced into his body as well. They plundered all of him, including his energy, his essence qi, and even his soul.
It was now evident why his face was on the tree trunk.
This tree had actually plundered all of Gong Zheng.
The empress clenched her fists tightly as her face turned a little pale. Ever since she was young, she had never before held so much hatred toward anybody or any tribe.
Other than Gong Zheng’s body, there were still a few other skeletons that were tightly bound by the roots, roughly about eight of them. Of these, the majority belonged to aboriginals with around three of them belonging to animals.
This was merely one tree.
There was no telling how many aboriginal bodies were buried under this forest.
Besides, there was more than one of these places.
This was already the third one that they had seen so far.
“Damn it!” the empress spouted these bone-chilling words.
“I must catch them and rip off every single inch of their flesh,” Qi Ziting swore.
Ba Man, Xiong Yue, and the other aboriginals looked extremely angry as well.
So many aboriginal bodies were buried here!
Furthermore, they were used as nutrients for these trees.
Even though they had previously heard that the jade-waisted slaves used the bodies of aboriginals as their breeding ground, they didn’t expect the trees to do the same.
How many aboriginal lives would it take to support these forests and demonic butterflies?
The empress walked toward Gong Zheng and pressed on his forehead. Then, he immediately stopped breathing.
“Destroy this entire forest!” the empress said coldly before turning around and walking the other way.
Ren Baqian quickly followed her. The duo walked for several kilometers before she finally stopped and stood there in silence.
He could tell that she was in a very bad mood.
He kept quiet as well and sat down beside her to think about their current situation.
A long while later, the empress heaved a sigh so deep that it was almost as if a gust had swept by.
After letting out this sigh, she felt slightly less depressed.
“They ought to die without mercy!” the empress said with hatred
“They indeed ought to die. However, I have just thought of something,” Ren Baqian replied.
“Out of the three herdsmen that we have seen so far, all of them had a similar place around them. Besides, the jade-waisted slaves would head to these woods every night. These forests must be somewhat relevant to the herdsmen for herding their demonic butterflies,” Ren Baqian explained.
The empress nodded.
“According to what Bor said, there are over 30 such herdsmen. This means that there should be over 30 of these forests as well. Every herdsman controls at least a few thousand butterflies. Solely based on their numbers, they would have needed 30,000 lives to breed. In addition to these forests, I’m afraid that at least 60,000 lives have already been sacrificed.
With the disappearance of so many people, why hasn’t anybody realized or suspected this?”
The empress immediately frowned when Ren Baqian raised this question.
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