Chapter 194 – First Display Of Power

Chapter 194 – First Display of Power
“I guess you’re not bad if you managed to take that many hits from Sela, but your martial art technique is horrible. There is power behind your punches, but no accuracy or timing.”
Bren commented while stepping in front of Calron.
“Yeah, I’ve mostly fought by overwhelming my opponents with raw strength but it seems like it won’t work on adept martial artists on par with Sela.”
Calron scratched the bruise on his arm and laughed.
What he didn’t mention was that he would overwhelm the enemies with the Azure Lightning, a power so frightening that no martial arts or techniques were even needed. Its only drawback was the stress put on Calron’s body and the colossal amount of essence it consumed.
“Regardless, I will still be the leader. This is not to aggravate you, it’s because I’m the most capable one of strategizing and planning our moves. It’s my area of expertise, which is also why neither Sela nor Helly objected to it. If there is any point from now on that you feel you could have made a better judgment, then I’ll gladly let you be the leader.”
Bren spoke with confidence, a mysterious inner strength hidden behind his words.
Calron already knew that Bren’s cultivation was only at the eighth rank of Vajra stage, but he had a feeling that there was something else to this young man which was not noticeable at first to others. 
After the spar, Bren’s attitude towards him had changed slightly as it was not as hostile as before. 
“I don’t mind, I only objected to it at first because of your arrogance.”
Calron shrugged, showing his disinterest in leading the team. He was only annoyed at Bren insulting him previously and did not care about leadership.
“Now that’s sorted, let’s make our plan for which locations we’ll be targeting first.”
Bren smirked at Calron’s response and placed the map on the ground to inspect it.
He’s arrogant, but he’s got the balls to back it up. In the entire Academy, Bren’s one of the top three geniuses when it comes to strategic warfare. Trust him.
Sela’s voice sounded in Calron’s mind.
Glancing up, Calron saw Sela ruffling Helly’s hair while looking at him.
I need to learn that telepathic communication as well…
Calron thought as he returned back to listening to Bren.
“We have total seven storages and three granaries to destroy. The granaries are deeper inside the enemy territory and would be more heavily guarded than the other storages for their armies.”
Bren started talking, indicating the targets on the map and the distance between them.
“Then we should hit the smaller storages first and go for the granaries at the end.”
Calron voiced his opinion.
“Heh, a stupid idea just as I expected from you.”
Bren snorted, causing Calron to glare hatefully at him.
“Bren, don’t be mean.”
Helly muttered from the side, her eyes nervously looking back and forth between Bren and Calron.
“Why don’t you suggest something better then?”
Calron goaded the irritating boy.
“Sure! We first hit the most heavily guarded granary deep in the enemy zone.”
Bren stated calmly.
“It’s the best and quickest strategy for this mission. If we start with the smaller storages outside their territory, it will give the darklings time to prepare and fortify their granaries even more. Calron, we are only four people so the mission needs to be completed in stealth and before we get surrounded by enemies. Targeting the deepest and largest granary will allow us to launch an attack they won’t be expecting, and while retreating we hit all the other granaries and storages in our way back.”
Bren explained, his eyes still on the map.
Calron remained silent, even though he wanted to find a fault with Bren’s idea, he couldn’t. The kid rubbed him the wrong way, but his brain was in the right place.
“The only problem is the level of the enemies stationed to guard. Usually, they would be around the lower Vajra stages, a few at the middle stages, but the plan will fail if there is another peak stage Vajra stage expert or even worse, a Saint stage expert.”
Bren stared at the map, his eyes completely focused what was in front of him. 
“We’ll think about how to face that once the situation arises. For now, which path do we take?”
Sela asked, knowing that if given the time, Bren would spend hours simulating all the strategy and backup plans for various unexpected situations.
“Hmm, the quickest way would be through the Ivy Forest as the massive trees will give us cover to remain unnoticed, but the problem is that there are quite a few dangerous beasts living there. Some have even broken into the Saint stage. Our other option is to go through the Grasor Valley, but we won’t have a cover over us and it’s easier for the enemy to locate us from far away. The valley is desolate and almost no beasts or man go there, but the journey would be longer if we take that path.”
Bren answered, showing the two points on the map.
“Well, it’s simple, we’ll take the Ivy Forest. Besides, we don’t have time to waste and as long as we hide and sneak past the Saint stage or other powerful beasts, we should be fine.”
Sela nodded her head and prepared to depart.
Bren hesitated, but not for long once Calron gave his input.
“You scared, smarty pants?”
Calron chuckled, following behind Sela.
Bren retorted as he returned the map to his spatial ring and walked ahead.
It was the direction to the Ivy Forest.
“Oi… what is this….”
Bren whispered, his body frozen in shock at the sight of the giant Saint stage beast in front of them.
It was a massive anaconda spanning over ten meters!
The party of four had entered the Ivy forest a while ago and managed to stay clear of all beasts, and avoiding any presence that was higher than the peak of Vajra stage. However, the anaconda before them was camouflaged while coiled around a tree and when Helly climbed up to see how far away they were from the forest’s exit, the large snake woke up angry as Helly’s foot was pressed down on its tail.
The anaconda had hidden its presence, so none of the others had realized that there was even a beast sleeping there.
“Bren, any ideas of getting out of here?”
Sela gritted through her teeth, desperately trying to break free of the soul power constricting their movements.
The large snake froze everyone within their spots and slowly slithered over to Helly who was the closest to it.
Sela screamed, seeing the anaconda opening its vile mouth to devour the petite teen.
“Big sis…”
Helly closed her eyes as tears streamed down her cheeks.
The sound of thunder rumbled in the area, causing the three team members to glance around to find its source.
All of a sudden, the anaconda’s head exploded as bolts of thick blue lightning flashed around a young man’s golden-clawed arm.
“Leave the beasts to me.”
Calron turned around, his grey eyes looking at the three stunned faces with amusement.
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