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Absolute Resonance Chapter 265 - Where Are The Others

Absolute Resonance Chapter 265 - Where Are The Others

Chapter 265: Where Are The Others

For the next ten days, Black Swan and Fairness & Justice squads charged ahead at full speed. They cleared three level two purification towers and also made two return trips to the purified spot to replenish supplies.

Clearing level two purification towers was difficult as h.e.l.l.

The tough opponents meant that the first years could not afford to drop their guard in the slightest, or they would risk being swarmed by white eroders.

Cannibalization was also more rife, which meant that even the surviving white eroders were usually Third Pattern or above in strength.

If not for their huge cultivation increase at the onyx lake, they would have been left cowering helplessly outside.

At the level two purification towers, even the Black Swan Squad switched to serious mode, no longer as relaxed as they had been at the level one towers.

Most of the time, Li Luo’s squad was left to fend for themselves against a motley a.s.sortment of Others. They didn’t want to have to be watched over all the time.

The most dangerous moment had been when they faced a Fifth Pattern white eroder.

It was already showing signs of turning red, and was a few notches stronger than the human skin eroder they had met previously.

They had won through inspired and seamless teamwork, but all three emerged with heavy wounds.

Still, defeating a Fifth Pattern was testament to their growth since entering the Umbra Cave.

Xin Fu managed a breakthrough through one of the battles, reaching the Second Pattern and adding more firepower into their a.r.s.enal.

As the three stared at the body of the Fifth Pattern white eroder fading away, their hearts swelled with a sense of accomplishment. Next on the list: red eroders.

Only if they had to. d.a.m.n, the Umbra Cave was dangerous…

Before a cliff.

Jiang Qing’e stood looking out into the misty skies, her navy-blue shawl fluttering in the wind. Her posture was stiff, weary, and numb from the repeated battles of the last few days.

More Others had fallen by her hand than Li Luo’s entire squad combined.

The more Others one killed, the more susceptible to corruption one became. Ordinarily, students would kill until they reached a reasonable limit, then they would return to the purified spot to cleanse themselves for a time before resuming their missions.

With her ninth-grade light resonance, Jiang Qing’e was fearless against the corruptive influence of the dark. Along the way, her brilliance only grew, a warm lamp that guided them through the saturnine and dreary landscape.

The others stood in a loose huddle behind her.

Li Luo’s squad had changed as well. There was a grim set to their features now that had been missing before. They had spent about two weeks in the Umbra Cave now, and they had experienced more danger here than in the sum of their entire lives so far.

Mortal peril was a sobering experience. It brought one face-to-face with the harsh realities of life and how fragile it was. It was a potent c.o.c.ktail of trauma and fear that inevitably changed a person, whether for better or worse.

After all, Others were no kind souls. Once they spotted a weakness, they would make sure you were punished for it as hard as they could.

All of them were looking out past the cliff. Plains stretched out below, and on the grey-green gra.s.s lay a woeful ruin. The eerie shrieks that occasionally sounded from within were somehow even more chilling than what they had experienced so far.

This was a level two purification tower, but the corruption was especially dense, more so than the several level two towers they had dealt with so far.

“This tower’s outside of the purified spot’s range. Completely. It means that if we can clear this tower, our final goal is close.” Jiang Qing’e’s clear voice cut through like a fresh breeze through the mind-numbing haze and rot, calming their hearts.

“Being outside the purified spot’s range completely means that the Others here are stronger as well,” Tian Tian warned them.

Jiang Qing’e frowned. “Perhaps it is time for a change of strategy. This time we won’t be doing the cleanup before reactivating the tower. We’ll focus on pus.h.i.+ng straight to the tower and reactivating it.”

“Won’t that invite an attack from every single Other in the area?” Li Luo asked.

Jiang Qing’e inclined her head. “We’re too close to dangerous outer areas. Speed is crucial in this one. Lingering will increase the risk. Of course, our two squads alone won’t be enough. We’ll need help.”

She pulled out a scroll from her pack, made out of the same rough bark as their map.

“This is a boundary scroll. I traded for it back at the purification spot. When we reach the tower and activate the scroll, it will form a barrier that keeps out anything below red eroder cla.s.s. We only need to clear out the Others within the barrier to buy enough time to get the tower reactivated.

“Once reactivated, the purification light will wipe out the rest of them.”

Li Luo nodded. This plan would work. Although it also meant that anything coming through the barrier was going to be a red eroder or stronger.

They were going to deal with the reds for sure now.

A real nightmare.

“When the barrier is activated, we will clear the Others within as quickly as possible,” Jiang Qing’e said to them. “The three of you will stand as the final defense around the tower.”

Li Luo’s squad nodded. Now was not the time for heroics.

Plan explained, Jiang Qing’e’s fingers tightened on her sword, and she swept down the cliff.

Behind her, the other five followed.

Soon enough, they were approaching the black mist, now so dark it almost looked like a wall.

They took a breath and headed in, weapons at the ready to cut through anything while they punched their way deep into the heart of the zone.

Yet there was nothing. Not a single attack came.

There wasn’t even a single Other around.

The silence was somehow ominous, and the claustrophobia caused by the black mist ate away at their composure.

Even Jiang Qing’e was a little unsure of what to do.

“What’s going on? The corruption is so thick here, but there’s not a single Other?” Tian Tian said worriedly. 

“There must be an unnatural Other somewhere. Stay wary,” Jiang Qing’e said. “The plan remains. Reach the purification tower. See if we can reactivate it.”

The others nodded as well.

They proceeded with redoubled caution, working their way inch by inch through the condensed mist of corruption.

The two squads moved from drier ground to wetter, swampy mud, but still things were quiet. They were completely unimpeded in their advance.

Which made things all the scarier. Any anomaly in the Umbra Cave was never a good thing.

Finally, they made it to the level two purification tower.

The faintly glimmering tower before them was almost a relief. Almost.

Where were the Others here?

The place was completely deserted.

If not for the unactivated tower before their eyes, they could almost have believed that another squad had beaten them to it.

But if the tower was still dark, where were the Others?