Chapter 138: Wilderness Forest
The battle ended smoothly. As soon as Xu Min used his wind blades, the beast fell to the ground; his entire body was neatly cut into two halves.
The mercenaries were shocked at the ease, skill, and preciseness of Xu Min’s attack. Seeing how easily Xu Min had gotten rid of these beasts, which caused their large group to suffer severe injuries and almost fatalities, stunned everybody.
"Brother expert, thank you for your support!" a man stepped forward. His body was sturdy, and he seemed to be around forty years old. His voice was rough and low; his entire body was covered all over with either some shallow or deeper cuts and wounds.
His clothes were in tatters, but he did not seem to mind. "Everyone tend to the injured!" the man called out before he once more turned to look at Xu Min.
"Brother expert, may I ask for your name? To know the name of our benefactor would be a great honor," the man continued courteously. Looking at Xu Min, he was confused at Xu Min’s age. He looked so young but fought so fierce.
His age, according to his appearance could not be that old, but he clearly did not even seem to be twenty years of age. Nonetheless, his strength seemed beyond him. Was he perhaps an ancient Immortal who had somehow managed to retain his youthful appearance?
"My name is Xu Min," Xu Min introduced himself while smiling. "Do not feel too gratified because I intervened with your affairs," he continued, "I had my reasons to save you all. You see, I am lost in this wilderness. I have absolutely no idea where I am, nor do I know how to leave this place. I was hoping I could follow your group until you leave this area and return to a city of some kind."
The leader of the group was stunned to hear Xu Min speaking so honestly. To think that such an esteemed expert had gotten lost. How was this possible? Although he knew there were more reasons than just what Xu Min said, he also knew there was no way he could question their benefactor.
"Thank you for your benevolence!" the leader thanked him and quickly disregarded Xu Min’s reason as to why he was lost. Instead, he focused on the positive of this new situation. Having such a strong expert on their side was enough to ensure that none of their brothers would die.
When they heard that this brother expert who introduced himself as Xu Min would be traveling with them, they excitedly welcomed him. With him, they could kill tons of beasts and get their hands on many resources, consequently, allowing them to earn a fortune.
Though these men did not consciously think it, they all seemed to wish for Xu Min to be their working slave who would chop up beast after beast for them.
"I have two contracted beasts, give me a moment while I release them," Xu Min casually explained. Nonetheless, his words shocked everyone present. He had beasts? But they were not walking around with him. Did this mean that he possessed a jade satchel? This is simply too outstanding. The price of a jade satchel was so high that they would never be able even to see one.
Although the mercenary brothers thought as such, all of them stared at Xu Min while he found a satchel and opened it. Two beasts suddenly appeared by his side, both of them were looking incredibly ferocious.
These mercenary brothers lived a life where they provided for their living from hunting beasts, but when they saw these two magnificent beasts by Xu Min's side, they were stumped for words. Which kind of beasts were they?
They had never seen either of these types of beasts before. It was unfathomable to comprehend even though these beasts stood in front of them. The lion was so massive, so powerful and so frightening that the brothers felt their hearts palpitate looking at him. Whereas the snake, although equally dangerous, possessed an alluring and beautiful danger. It was like a siren just before one was being lured into the water, so beautiful that one could not resist.
Who was this young-looking man who had both beasts on his side? Was he a young master from a massive family? Was he some lord from a far away country? Or did he perhaps come from the elusive Ruins of the Immortals?
Xu Min said nothing to answer the brother's silent questions; instead, he gave both the snake and the lion a hug. It was clear that the relationship between these three was extraordinary.
Clearing his throat, the leader stopped staring at the three friends and sorted his men into lines. "Let us advance! We will leave this wilderness right away. Brother expert will help us with the beasts we meet along the way, but we will not be complacent and let him do all the work!"
Xu Min had finished telling Ye Ling and Cao Cao about what had happened in his escape. The two beasts were livid when they heard about the thorough search the men had conducted, but their anger resided when they heard how the Guardians of the Immortal Valley had shown up to protect him.
They felt gratified to know that these experts still valued Xu Min, and they were willing to stand up for him, even lowering themselves to apologize for their behavior.
Ye Ling and Cao Cao were both filled with pent up anger and energy that as soon as the group set out, both beasts vanished into the thick forest.
"Brother expert, what happened?" The leader asked surprisedly while watching the beasts leave on their own accord, but Xu Min just laughed. "They have been in the jade satchel for so long," he explained, avoiding to explain about their pent up anger. "It is time for them to go out and stretch their legs. Who knows what they will be doing?" Xu Min stated casually as he shrugged his shoulders. Clearly, he was not worried for these beasts.
The leader of the party understood that these beasts were rather vigorous if they followed this master, but how strong these beasts exactly were, he could not tell. It was far above his strength. This inability to know their skill level was enough to make him respect the youngster and his beasts.
The trip through the wilderness was the swiftest that these mercenary brothers had ever experienced before. Any time a beast came close to them, it would be killed by a wind blade, and its body would be cut in two. Xu Min never went back on his word when he said that these beast cores or bodies held no interest to him. All of it was collected by the mercenaries.
It was not that Xu Min had no use for beast cores. It was just that he had no use for beast cores of this level. The beast cores could help his friends reach a higher rank. For Xu Min and his beasts, anything beneath six-star beasts was simply useless for him and his beasts. The energy they gave was but a drop in a sea. The time needed to digest such a core was longer than it would take to directly absorb this energy from the surrounding air.
This forest they were in was not as massive as the Immortal Valley or the forests surrounding Ri Chu City. There were not many beasts of high rank, and it did not take long before the two beasts returned to Xu Min's side. Their entire bodies heavily smelled of blood.
"You reek," Xu Min laughed, "How many did you kill this time to smell so badly?"
Neither Ye Ling nor Cao Cao answered. They knew Xu Min did not mind if they smelled of blood and death since Xu Min had killed far more people than they would ever do. Furthermore, Xu Min was used to the scent, but for the rest of the group the scent of blood made the feel uneasy and a tad uncomfortable.
It did not take long before they managed to reach the outskirts of the forest. Fertile land could be seen as far as the eye could reach. Fields with grain and other crops swayed in the wind. Farmers could be seen tending these crops, and some fields were filled with cattle.
"We all live in a small village," the leader said apologetically, "but we have a bigger city not too far away. We will take you there as we have a lot of goods that we need to sell today."
They had filled up all their storage treasures with corpses of beasts, and these corpses needed to be sold. Selling them in the village was not possible since no one would be able to afford to buy the corpse of a beast. Thus they had to go to bigger cities to exchange these corpses for money.
"In that case, thank you for letting me tag along," Xu Min smiled. The group then stepped out of the wilderness and onto a road which went straight to the city.
The brothers were filled with freedom and ease. They had been hesitant in the wilderness because they never knew when a beast would jump out in front of them. However, now they were safe. They had their storage treasures filled to the brim with treasures, and their group was protected not only by an esteemed expert but also by his two ferocious beasts.
Everyone in the group was chatting with one another; laughter rang through the fields, and everyone truly felt luck was on their side. They understood that with their line of work, death could come at any time. This time, though, no one had died; they had earned enough money to live for at least a year without having to worry about hunting and they had met a valuable ally. It was a prosperous mission.
That being said, they would most likely spend their earned money on resources or weapons to improve their performance to ensure that more would survive the next time they were to enter the forest. They realized that meeting an expert like Xu Min was a once a lifetime chance, so they could not rely on his tremendous strength.
Xu Min did not participate in the talks. He was constantly on high alert. Although he was no longer in the Ruins of the Immortals, he had a hard time completely letting go of the feeling of being hunted. When he thought about how an Immortal was chasing after him, desiring his death, a chill ran down his spine.
Ye Ling and Cao Cao were on high alert as well. Both of them kept observing their surroundings, but no matter nothing happened. No one appeared from the blue sky and the further away they left behind the Ruins of the Immortals the more calm Xu Min became.
They walked the entire day. A small smile appeared on Xu Min's face. He was reminded of how he had walked from city to city when he was setting out and everything that had happened to him during this long travels.
He had started out as a refugee. He had found his master and stepped into the world of a warrior. He had met Cao Cao and his family, and then he went to Ri Chu City where he met Yong Meilin.
His trip to the Ruins of the Immortal was exciting. He had met so many experts there who welcomed him. This made him feel he had even found a place he could call home. However, he needed to accomplish his last task, to gain his revenge.
Everything had come to a nice circle. Everything he had experienced and everywhere he had gone had ended up letting him come back to where it all began.
Xu Min felt the need for vengeance burning like never before deep within him. It had been years since he was the naive young eight-year-old boy who had fled from the Zhong family. Now he was a young man, but this time he would flee no longer. This time he would return and show them all what a terror he really was!