Under Raven's orders and Blaze's excessive surveillance, their Platoon quickly set up the camps and everyone was up on their feet to face any ambush.
Unknown to Ozul, his platoon was assigned West precisely because it was the most likely to get attacked. And so it wouldn't be long or rare when his peace would be disturbed.
The so-called Dragon Hatchlings were being used as the perfect meat shields.
And so it began before the dawn of the next day when the shaking of earth could even be felt from all the way over here.
They could only imagine if it was a natural earthquake or if the Imperial Prince had already engaged someone.
Amidst the tense atmosphere, the camp was still and quiet which created an eerie foreboding that something soon was about to happen.
And so it did when Ozul sensed multiple people around the camps and before he moved, two people in his platoon had already died.
The man who had come to complain to Ozul, one of the 15 peak Nascent Soul experts, was surrounded by the assassins in the peak of the night when Ozul finally appeared.
He stopped the blade that was just about to slice that man's neck before beheading the assassins instead.
Meanwhile, the camp was alerted as the soldiers in the platoon hurried to form formations.
Raven, Blaze, and Zier also started counter-attacking together with Ozul.
The man Ozul had to face was another quasi-Origin cultivator, but he wasn't alone. There were three of them and unfortunately, he could only kill one and injure another before they retreated.
Ozul didn't chase after them as he considered it too much of a bother.
An hour later, they confirmed that all the assassins were either killed or repelled and the soldiers calmed down. Though they didn't drop their guard while returning to their duties.
"Four people died and as many were injured. Of those who died, two were at the Nascent Soul Realm..."
Raven frowned as Zier read out the report of casualties.
"Send someone to report the incident to the Division commander," she ordered as Zier went to look for someone quick on their feet.
Meanwhile, Blaze was grilling some people who he noticed panicked and didn't listen to the orders.
Raven frowned in contemplation as she pieced everything together.
"They are the worst out of them..." she muttered to herself, not expecting there to be a reply,
"Doesn't matter. It's not our war."
Ozul had also noticed the uneven distribution of people, and now their lack of discipline only confirmed their suspicion.
Raven nodded her head before rushing to her camp to cultivate.
The trio squeezed any time they could to further their cultivation base during this period.
Ozul, as lazy as he was, had also mulled over his choices to get stronger but nothing came to his mind. And so his only choice was to embrace sleep.
The next two days passed by quietly but on the third, there was an all-out confrontation with people from the Steel Mountain Kingdom, if their flags were anything to go by.
There were unfortunately two people in the Origin Realm who had led only a small group of people to attack their platoon.
Ozul had a hard time dealing with them both as he suffered quite a bit under their combined force.
'If only they were a little careless...' he lamented internally.
Whenever he tried to take them by surprise, one of them would help the other and attack him simultaneously.
His biggest advantage was the fact that his attacks couldn't be detected but these guys seemed to have come more than prepared.
Courtesy to Raven who had sent one of their strongest peak Nascent Soul experts to bring reinforcements despite his protest, help quickly came in the form of Kumaou.
"Miss me yet??" shouted Kumaou as his bear-like claw came crashing down between the onslaught of the two Origin cultivators.
The two looked at each other with a certain understanding before they gathered their wits to take on both Ozul and Kumaou.
Just then, they missed the thin blades that each aimed for their chests.
"Dodge!" the more sensitive of them shouted, but the other one was a little too late and the blade was lodged into his shoulder.
There wasn't enough force behind it to cut it off, but that wasn't a problem for Ozul.
He just needed a thought before The Purity liquified and changed its shape into that of a wheel with spikes that spun around forcibly and with a strong thrust, robbed the man of his arm and left a gushing wound on his side.
Despite such an injury, the man's face contorted with pain but there wasn't even a hint of whimper that escaped his dark lips.
Unfortunately, before Ozul could follow up with another attack, the two Origin cultivators abandoned their people and retreated at full speed.
Kumaou followed after them, but it was apparent that they couldn't stop them from leaving at the very least.
After everything settled, Kumaou couldn't help but mock him, "I heard this is the second attack on your platoon, heh... Meanwhile, only the platoon stationed in the North had a small skirmish yesterday."
Although Ozul wasn't one to fall for such taunts, this hit right in his sore spot. Irritated, he almost huffed and returned to his tent.
"Hahaha! Even your stony face can make expressions! Hah! Bastard, you better thank me later!"
Leaving these words in the air, Kumaou left with the confused soldiers of his platoon who had just arrived on the scene.
The losses this time weren't significant as none died in Ozul's platoon but it still tired the hell out of people as more than half of the tents were destroyed or uprooted during Ozul's fight.
The only good that came out of it was that people began to genuinely respect their platoon commander who had poured all his work on his subordinates and was showing blatant 'nepotism'.
Only Ozul didn't care either way; all that changed was that the soldiers were keener to take orders from Blaze.
. . .
In the following days, all platoons stationed around the main camp faced the brunt of the ongoing war.
Amongst them, Ozul's platoon suffered the most due to their location.
Despite understanding the situation, the Division commander didn't move their Platoon. All he did was send more people when there was a lack of manpower.
The effects of war begin to corrode the fragile lush forests that were just behind them.
Only two weeks had passed when of the Original 15 peak Nascent soul experts, only 5 remained. The rest died one day or another.
And on a fateful night, when Ozul wasn't expecting another attack as they had recently repelled one, a presence nearing his tent alerted him.
'Just a peak Nascent Soul?' Ozul thought in confusion before he sensed that the intruder didn't even have any killing intent. 'That's odd...'
He allowed the man to enter his tent. Just when he was about to move The Purity to hold him, the man bent down on a knee and whispered in a raspy voice,
"Embers of war followed you here." The man then lowered his sleeves to reveal a scroll.
Realizing what all of this meant, Ozul couldn't help but mutter, "Sounds stupid..."
That man could have just given him the scroll and been done with it if he didn't want to directly say that Ember had sent him.
The man in question left the scroll on the ground before turning around with twitching eyebrows and leaving the tent.
Ozul picked up the scroll; it was a handwritten message from Ember. He had been waiting for it.
He couldn't help but frown when he finished reading the message.
She had asked him to return as soon as possible, warning him of the dangers of war. Though she also seemed to have known that he wouldn't just listen to her like that.
"You must return when the gate appears. You will know when it happens..." That was the last line in the scroll.
'I have until some gate appears somewhere then...'
He didn't want to return so soon even when he was constantly annoyed by the attacks.
Not only was he honing his skills and also familiarizing himself with the cultivators of this world, but the trio's speed in cultivation had also a significant boost.
Zier was even nearing the upper limit of his smaller realm according to him which meant that it wouldn't be long before he broke through and reached the peak of the Nascent Soul Realm.
While fighting so many battles, he also began to gain the experience that he desperately needed. Though he still wasn't a match for Raven or Blaze when it came to pure skills.
The pressure of war and the constant threat stimulated everyone's growth and that is exactly what Ozul was after.
Hence, he wasn't keen on returning until this gate opened which Ember mentioned in her letter.
Apologies for the late chapter. Accident resulted in a fractured left clavicle bone, so i had to type with one hand onli