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884 Retrea

    While the military in China was preparing their next actions, the martial artists in Japan were packing up to return to China. They had gotten their hopes up at the thought of returning to China and gained a little bit of morale.

    "Has everyone made preparations to return as well?" Jiang Fei directed his words at Hong Yu. If everyone wanted to go back, he would do the same. He did not want to involve the other girls in a fight that no longer held any meaning.

    In no time at all, everyone was all packed and ready to go, and they reported to Z8-001.

    "Your ship will arrive in three hours. Please gather at M105 and wait there. The ship will leave punctually, with or without you, so please do not miss the allocated time," said Z8-001.

    "Where is M105?" Jiang Fei asked.

    Z8-001 projected an image to the ground. The holographic image showed their current position in Japan and where they would be going. M105 was a beach that was close to where their current location. If everyone ran with everything they had, it would only take them less than an hour to reach.

    Jiang Fei felt bad. He knew that the road to salvation would not be easy. Even though they had clearly abandoned the alien artifact, the Mutants would still be able to catch up to them. Based on their obvious tracks and movements, the Mutants would know what was up and would not mind chasing after them to deliver a last parting "gift" to the martial artists.

    The martial artists were definitely slower than the Mutants. It was without a doubt that the Mutants would attack them with every chance they get. Without the hope of returning home in mind, the martial artists would immediately give up if they were attacked.

    "Hmph. Peaceful times make weak men. Such weak men can't handle the stress of war. What's the use of practising martial arts if one can't even handle such a menial task?" Jiang Fei mumbled to himself. His voice was soft but loud enough for Bai Wanli and the other elders to hear.

    His statement was power. Jiang Fei was a young boy who grew up in peaceful times. Yet, he was able to handle the stress of war whilst these prideful martial artists who had been training all their lives could not even stand their ground and fight to the end.

    While the hard truth of Soaring Cloud Sect betraying China came as a shock to everyone, it was not the main reason why they had lost their will to fight. They had merely used it as an excuse to leave Japan to get away from the war. To tell the truth, they were terrified of getting injured!

    Even though the martial artists had gone through tough times, they were only small missions that involved only a few men. As tough as the missions were, they had only suffered through the loss of one or two men who died in a fight. Even in the previous fight in Japan, the alliance had only lost very few men and most of them were Level 3 disciples.

    This time, the scale of the fight they had to participate in was a whole other level. The enemies were strong. More than ten sects had faced extinction-level events and even Soaring Cloud Sect, the strongest sect in China, had betrayed their nation. To be fair, with all the goings-on laid out like that, they were confident Jiang Fei would see reason.

    When everyone started to move out, Jiang Fei turned to Z8-001 and asked, "Are you coming with us?"

    "Affirmative, we will escort you safely to the ship!"

    "Aren't you retreating?"

    "We are soldiers! We will never retreat before accomplishing our mission!" said Z8-001. Appearing to be capable of projecting emotion, Jiang Fei could feel a sense of honor from his words.

    "I understand. Thank you for your hard work," said Jiang Fei. Even though he had always treated these robots as cannon fodder, he had suddenly developed a feeling of sympathy toward these Androids.

    "Thank you," said Z8-001 as its eye glowed red.

    "Let's go!" said Bai Wanli. None of the martial artists wanted to stay in Japan for a second longer. The sooner they leave, the happier they would be.

    "Alright." Jiang Fei caved in. Leaving sooner or later did not matter for him. It was better to leave earlier to make up for the time lost in case they were all attacked.

    As everyone started to move, the scouts, the Scarlet Hunters, contacted Lincoln.

    "Sir, the martial artists are leaving!" said Baron Blood.

    "What's going on? Why are they leaving? Did they find you?" Lincoln asked worriedly and sounded frustrated. He could not understand why they would leave such a position that was only advantageous to them! None of the Mutants had yet to understand that the martial artists were leaving Japan!

    "I don't think so... Their movement is odd..." Baron Blood answered. Even though he was sure that he was still well-hidden, the martial artists were coming toward his direction.

    "Don't make any sudden movements. Continue observing them and report back to me," said Lincoln. All the Mutants in the Scarlet Hunter group were at the Pinnacle stage of Level 4. However, if all of the martial artists there attacked in unison, there was a chance they might be decimated.

    "I understand!" said Baron Blood. He took his men and fell back slowly to create a buffer distance between them and the martial artists.

    "What a drag..." Jiang Fei muttered to himself. 0541 had detected the Scarlet Hunters a long time ago, however, Jiang Fei had decided not to do anything about it.

    Without Ariel's help, Jiang Fei could never fight all thirty Level 4 Scarlet Hunters by himself. Even worse, it would be impossible for Jiang Fei to get every martial artist there to cooperate with him.

    "What should we do, darling?" Ariel asked worriedly. Her powerful psychic ability allowed her to detect the Scarlet Hunters, much like 0541's proximity sensors.

    "Nothing yet. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," said Jiang Fei, disheartened and disappointed. He was so frustrated at the martial artists that he could not care less about the incoming threat.

    Because of Jiang Fei's silence, everyone was oblivious to the fact that they were being observed by the Mutants. Everyone moved on forward to the rendezvous point without a care for an enemy attack.

    "What the hell? It seems like they are coming directly at us!" cried Baron Blood. He had misunderstood the movement of the martial artists. They were running at full speed because of the excitement they had as they were heading home. He quickly ran toward another direction, away from the martial artists.

    "Sir, we might have been compromised! They are coming right at us!" cried Baron Blood, reporting to Lincoln.

    "Don't allow them to fight you just yet. Retreat toward my direction! We are coming for you!" said Lincoln, his eyebrows furrowed. He had no idea why the martial artists were moving at such intense speed. He had thought, perhaps, they were running toward another group of reinforcement!

    With that thought in mind, Lincoln immediately contacted the American Navy. Due to the previous performance of the 7th Fleet, they were now assigned to be the strike team, tasked to provide fire support to the 3rd Fleet that was placed in a defensive position in the Pacific Ocean.

    "Mr. Lincoln, what can we do you for?" asked the 3rd Fleet Commander Halsey, respectfully.

    "Do me a favor and use whatever method you can to scan for enemy vessel both on and under the sea," said Lincoln.
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