422 Year 430, Ording Town

    "The Farm Rats finally are resting for the day," Sebastian said as she changed shifts with Flame Ripper. While Jin was busy creating the WunderPanda instance and now discussing business with Yang Ling, it had been days since the scouting team had been on the lookout against this particular battalion of Farm Rats.

    There were several close calls of being spotted, but the vanishing presence spell that Sebastia used was proven to be effective, those farm rats thought it was some stray animal that was staring at them. Some of the rats attempted to catch it for supper, but it did not know where it disappeared to.

    However, it was only Flame Ripper and Sebastian that were rotating. Ever since the first day, Meomi never returned to their sight as if she was doing her own scouting within the forest that was situated beside the temporary camp the rats made. Flame Ripper did not know what to do with Meomi with her disobeying his orders right at the start, but he noticed that there was no sudden upstart of activity by the Farm Rats.

    That indicated that she was stealthy enough not to be caught or raise any attention against the Rats or maybe she might have run away from the team and the Demon Rat battalion which they were supposed to be watching.

    "Anything out of the unusual?" Flame Ripper asked via a secured System Channel which they had used during the fight against the Orc King Hamu. The best part of a secured transmission channel by the System?

    No sound was involved, making perfect for a long range (more like interworld range!) and encrypted communication while having zero risks of getting caught. This way, they could make contact with Gold and passed the information to him even though he is back in the home instance.

    Gold and the rest of the werejackals would then piece all the information together and decipher the tactics of the Farm Rats from afar. Flame Ripper also hoped that Meomi was listening in so that whenever she needed help, he would at least know.

    "Nothing, as noted for the past days, they have zero mages at all. All they have been pulling out were something akin to steampunk technology. I see machinery, enhanced armour suits and weapons, cannons and even tanks." Sebastia said as she passed a book which Flame Ripper and her had been writing in about the behaviours of the Farm Rat.

    "Maybe their Mages were not in this particular battalion?" Gold who knew the timing of their shift changes, came 'online' and chipped in his opinion. The way he phrased it, the tone made Flame Ripper felt like he was sure that a mage was to be expected... Or at least for a certain somebody to appear.

    "I honestly do not think so. There was another battalion that came in around the forest earlier this morning. They brought in heavy weaponry that could rival the technology that we gave the Goblins. I saw a bunch of rats flying in some machinery with wings and blades similar to the C130 planes but of a much smaller scale." Sebastia said with some concern as she climbed further into the mountain ranges to hide herself to rest.

    "Its called a helicopter based on Jin's current modern technology standard. I cross referenced the image you took with the System's help. Perhaps to the other folks in the Farming World they were considered as magicians when you have this kind of technological edge against them." Gold said , and again it made Flame Ripper suspect there was something more than in Gold's words.

    "Considering that they were not just training here but extracting some sort of fuel or energy source at this mountain range as spoken previously, they might find this as a place of importance. That is why they decided to bring in more security in to ensure the safety of their mining operation."  Flame Ripper spoke in return via the channel.

    "In my opinion, if we wish to strike this place, its best to do it tonight when the first battalion is working on restocking food and equipment. Their guard would be down." Flame Ripper said, but Gold disagreed immediately, Two monsters against two battalions of Steampunk Mechanised Demon Rats?  Even adding Keyrin the Thunder Ram Demon would not be sufficient to balance the equation.

    "Litoride." An unfamiliar voice in the secured channel came about and everyone was surprised that Meomi had decided to speak. "They are using Litoride as the fuel source for their equipment."

    "Shit, are you serious?" Gold suddenly sounded very troubled by the new fact that was presented to him.

    "Is it some rare fuel or something?" Flame Ripper asked as he continued to observed the Farm Rats.

    "More than rare...That is like ore from the Farming World's Life Stream veins.  I do not know how to explain it but Jin once akin it similar to the chi circuits of the world when I casually talked about it with him once. If they extract too much Litoride from the world, the Farming world might die." Gold explained.

    "You know it's not just that. Year 430, Ording Town." Meomi said with controlled anger in her tone.

    "...You are right." Gold suddenly gave a sorrowful reply. He knew what happened in Ording Town and why Meomi mentioned that. It was her hometown and Year 430 was when the Scholars of the Compass officially recognised and recorded the threat of the Farm Rats.

    The Ording Town was famous for the Litoride extraction. While Gold said that extracting it heavily might injure the Farming World, small amounts of mining would be beneficial to the world too. The Compass Scholars found out that if the Farming World possessed too much of Litoride in its lifestream veins, the excess Litoride would swell inside of world's core causing major natural disasters to happen or unusual changes to the crops.

    Thus, the Compass Scholars had also discovered a way to extract the liquid Litoride from the Life Steam of the world and made them into solid ore for transportation and storage purposes.

    But in Year 430, the miners found something more than just Litoride liquid. Within the buckets of Litoride, they found a black crystallised ore in it. It was the first time they saw such an abnormality in their years of mining, so they had contacted the Compass Scholars as a precaution.

    They were none other than the Scholars of the North and South, which later Gold uncovered that they could be the ones who instigated this entire Demon Rat infestation to this world after he and Scholar of the West fought with them. That was because the crystallised ore the miners had found contained the origin of the viral plague.

    The Original Virus of the Demon Plague.

    Gold did not have the exact details since he was not at the scene, but it was reported to him that the virus killed half of the population in that area immediately, changing them into demon rats. The rest were infected or partially infected, making them carriers of the plague.  The Scholar of the West was the first to come up with a high level Mitigation Spell and she had assisted with the recovery of plague victims. However, she initally did not share the information with the other Scholars.

    Because she knew that this plague outbreak seemed too artificial.

    It was until when Gold, the Scholar of the East back then, came to her rescue against the Scholar of the North and South, confirmed her suspicions. The aftermath of the battle was obvious with the traitorous Scholars enhanced by the original virus. Hence that was also how West gave Gold the details of her mitigation spell through a book.

    Ever since then, Gold was running around aiding other fellow Farmers before he created the Jacks as a disguise for his rescue operations. Why? Because the people had become their slaves with the Farm Rats in order to stay in their good books and not be killed by the Demon Plague.

    Originally, the Demon Plague could only affect corps, but the traitor Scholars had managed to weaponise it to infect humans. That was in theory, though in reality, such lethal weapon was in limited quantities. However, widespread misinformation of the Ording Town incident ingrained the surviving Farmers to fear the Demon Rats.

    Thus, a bandit/rebel cover for the Jacks made it easy for them to steal and grab resources while preparing a sort of resistance group up and running in the Farming World... until Jin intervened and inadvertently grabbed them for himself.

    When Jin learnt of this, he felt incredibly guilty, but Gold told Jin not to worry because he had passed that mitigation spell information to other living remaining mages he could trust. The group that Jin caught was just a small portion of the Jacks, and it had so happened he managed to get the Leader and a few vice leaders along.

    "So yea...Meomi was one of the original survivors of Ording Town which the Scholar of the West had managed to rescue." Gold said in the chat after a long explanation. Flame Ripper and Sebastia could probably guess Meomi's true intention of coming into this Scouting Team upon learning her past through Gold's recount of events.

    "You talked too much, Gold," Meomi replied in the channel with a strong hissing tone.

    "...I believe It is necessary for them to know your identity so you can work better with them." Gold commented, but he did not know that he explaining the details to Flame Ripper and Sebastia would eventually backfire against him.

    "You should call Keyrin in soon," Meomi said as she finally revealed herself from the shadows and aimed her Sniper Whip on a target she had been eyeing for a very long time.

    The overall commander of Demon Rat Battalions.

    He had been cladded in a full suit of steampunk armour the entire time they were observing, and this was the first time he finally took his suit out for some maintenance. From all the observations the scouting team had made in the past days, it was undeniable that he was the overall commanding and his suit armour made him stand out even more.

    Meomi initially wanted to stay obedient and tolerant as sincerely requested by Flame Ripper but the last conversation they were having in the secured channel minutes ago made her blood boil continuously and reignited her purpose once again.

    Right now, her feral instincts had taken over her, and she had only one objective in mind.  "KILL KILL KILL THE FARM RATS."  Meomi readjusted her aim at the tired looking rat commander as his steampunk suit automatically open the chest armour compartment and subsequently the helmet attachment. She took a deep breath with her finger half pressing the trigger, ready to fire anytime.

    Although the Farm Rats did not notice a thing yet, Flame Ripper finally got a glimpse of her location the moment she made her movement of taking out of her Sniper Whip rifle. "Shit ** ** **, She is for real! Sebastia prepare for battle!"  Flame Ripper said as he held on to the notebook he was writing tightly.


    The deafening noise of a shot echoed throughout the dark forest causing all the Farm Rats to turn at that direction, missing the scene of their commander still stuck in the process of stripping his armour, being shot in the head.


    Another shot was heard and now direct to his heart. The surrounding rats around their commander finally saw the horrifying scene of their commander's corpse explode right in front of them. Meomi had used an explosive shot to make sure that their commander remained dead.

    "CHARGEEEEEEE!" The Demon Rat's Second in Command shouted, causing everyone to drop what they were doing and ran for the forest.

    "Come now. The cat is hungry for some play." Meomi licked her lips as she saw the horde of Demon Rats coming to her.
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