The Tushan foxes retreated. A pixiu might not be big enough a deterrent, but the presence of a mountain ghost was enough to make them think better of killing Lu Yun.
“You have to come get me in Qingqiu Mountain if you find the way home!” the little fox said pitifully. “I miss home, and I miss Yue Longsha and Zhu Yan...”
“I won’t abandon you.” Lu Yun petted her head while she undid the bell on her neck and handed it to Lu Yun.
“This is my greatest treasure,” she whispered into Lu Yun’s ear. “You can borrow it for now… Don’t forget to give it back to me once we go home!”
“This bell...” Lu Yun shook the bell gently. It jingled when tied to the little fox’s neck, but was silent in his hands no matter how hard he shook it.
Miao’s departure left a profound sense of loss in Lu Yun’s heart. She was his only comfort in an era to which they both didn’t belong, the only thing that was familiar to him. He was at a loss of where he should go and what he should do after she left. Should he find his way back home, or should he do his best to survive in this era? Survive until his present finally arrived...
Though they’d completed their mission, Jiang Ba and the other members of the Yan Tribe didn’t leave. Putting away his air of slight arrogance, Jiang Ba spent every moment hanging out with Ah Zhuang and the others, calling them brothers and seeking out every opportunity to approach Ah Bao.
Ah Bao didn’t care for them and preferred sticking with Lu Yun.
“Big brother Lieshan, can this medicine of cooked plants really cure grandpa’s injury?” Ah Bao asked curiously, squatting by Lu Yun’s side with her eyes fixed on the clay jug stacked over the fire.
“Grandpa village chief has damaged his meridians, which hinders the circulation of inner energy,” Lu Yun explained with a smile. “He’ll recover fully after taking my medicine for a few days!”
Upon connecting with the connate great dao and becoming a cultivator, Lu Yun had recovered some of his consciousness and combat arts.
He could tell that Jiang Ti was a great cultivator more powerful than Jiang Ba, but unfortunately, his meridians were deeply injured. He’d lost his cultivation as a result of obstructed circulation of inner energy, which was how he ended up becoming a regular old man.
Not even Ah Bao could cure him.
She was the tribute spirit of Ning Village, but could only treat simple wounds despite her tremendous power. Injuries deep enough to hurt meridians or organs left her stumped.
Lu Yun, on the other hand, could cure such injuries with no difficulty at all. The village chief’s condition wasn’t serious by his standards. A few portions of medicine would be enough to restore the injured and blocked meridians, enabling the chief to recover his cultivation.
In this era, no one knew anything about medicinal ingredients, let alone more advanced disciplines such as pill and medicine dao. Lu Yun had been hesitating over whether he should pass on the more sophisticated practices, such as the cultivation methods, combat arts, and supplemental paths he knew.
He wasn’t a contemporary and feared that passing down his knowledge would lead to serious consequences that not only influenced the future, but changed the very course of history. Things might go completely awry due to his interference.
Besides, he knew almost nothing about this era.
There were primeval myths on Earth that’d survived the passage of time, but those were nothing more than snippets of legends, completed by the imagination of later generations.
Here, Lu Yun mustn’t treat those tales as facts, or he would die a terrible death. His ultimate goal was to go home and recover his cultivation and replica. Then, he would make his way to the West Sea again and see if he could find the ruin with the chaotic flow of time.
He had another strand of hope available to him: once he found Xing Chen, he would ascend to the great emperor realm. Before Emperors Fall, Empress Timelight and Empress Vastspace had once travelled to the future by following the river of time.
“Amazing! Who would’ve thought that these useless flowers and plants would create such wonders?” Ah Bao knelt on the ground with a hopeful expression on her face. Finding out her identity didn’t change the way the villagers treated Ah Bao. They still saw her as the granddaughter of the village chief, rather than a spirit they should fear.
“Brother Shan, Ah Bao!” Ah Zhuang called out to them. “Chief said he’s decided to go back to the Yan Tribe!”
“What?” Lu Yun started. “Return to the Yan Tribe?”
“That’s right!” Ah Zhuang cackled. “He said that after taking Brother Shan’s… medicine? That’s right. After taking your medicine, he found himself cured. He’s going to return to the tribe to settle a score with their chief. He sent me to tell you to pack up. Let’s return to the tribe together!”
Ah Zhuang was overjoyed. Although he was born and raised in the woods of Qingqiu Mountain, he’d always yearned for the big villages and tribes beyond the mountain.
“Yay, wonderful!” Ah Bao leapt up. “I’ve always wanted to see the world outside!”
Although she was a divine spirit of Qingqiu Mountain, she was a mountain ghost instead of a regular mountain god. The latter couldn’t leave the mountain that mothered them, while the former had long broken free of the restraints from the land and become a free spirit.
Lu Yun wasn’t going to say no, of course. He wanted to see his ancestor—the Yan Tribe—for himself.
Although he was cultivating a primitive great dao rather than the immortal dao, his cultivation had recently progressed at incredible speed.
The Method of Life and Death was a connate cultivation method that the Tome of Life and Death had tailor-made for him. It could be cultivated under the immortal dao and also away from it. Even when brought under this primitive dao, this method was still the greatest cultivation method between heaven and earth.
In only a few days, the dense, pure energy in the area not only helped him stabilize his cultivation realm, but also pushed it several levels higher. At least, Jiang Ba wasn’t as great a threat to him now.
It made sense to Lu Yun that Jiang Ti would bring the villagers back to the Yan Tribe upon completely recovering. Apparently, the tribe was locked in a war against a neighboring tribe and had suffered great casualties.
Jiang Ti naturally wasn’t going to stand by and do nothing after regaining his strength. Ah Bao and the pixiu were great assets in war as well. Although Jiang Ti didn’t want the pure-hearted Ah Bao to become involved in wars of the human race, she would serve as a great source of intimidation.
The next day under Jiang Ba’s delighted gaze, the five hundred and some members of the village packed up and left their home of a few decades.
Lu Yun turned back and sighed faintly when he looked upon Qingqiu Mountain, which lay across the terrain to their southeast. He’d entered the mountain to bid the little fox farewell last night.
A piercing yowl suddenly rang from the yellowed woods at this time.
“Don’t worry, I won’t leave you behind,” Lu Yun said gently, gazing at the faint white figure. “The day we become powerful enough to gain a foothold here is the day we meet again.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Is it just me, or do I think we're gonna see some good old betrayal coming up?