Chapter 15: Demonic Golden Collared Wolves
Having understood that it was impossible for him to continue fighting the way he had so far, Xu Min entered the thicker parts of the forest again.
Once again, his eyes were alert. However, they no longer just contained an alertness, but also a coldness that had not been there before. Looking around, the young boy was no longer hoping to quietly find a beast that he could attack and then eat later. No, he wished to find anything that was alive so that he could hone his skills and temper his personality.
Xu Min had lived in a forest before. As he moved through the forest, not a single sound was heard. No leaves were rustling and no branches were snapping. The surroundings were as quiet as if no one was there.
Looking around him, he quickly located a living being somewhere by his right side. The aura had not reached him yet; however, the sound of rustling leaves could be heard in the distance.
Xu Min was incredibly vigilant as he strained his senses to their limits. This was the reason why he managed to located any beast or animal that was moving towards him.
Smiling slightly, the young man felt that the gods were with him as he quickly blended into the dark shadows of the forest. He stood right by the side of a massive oak and allowed his aura to become one with the tree.
Truthfully, Xu Min was not erasing his aura. Everything within the world absorbed essence from the heavens and the earth and created an aura of its own. Because he was a One-Star Warrior, his aura was still incredibly weak. He was capable of masking it with the aura of the tree behind him as he used the forest’s aura to hide himself.
This was something Xu Min previously needed to do a lot when he was escaping from the guards back at the Zhong Family. Even after all these years, he still remembered how he had managed to survive. He could sense the iron will in his eyes as they were focused in the direction from where the sounds could be heard.
Although he wished to have an even fight against his opponent, Xu Min had long ago admitted that he was nothing more than a One-Star Warrior. Although he had broken into the ranks of a warrior, he was one of the weakest bottom feeders around.
Xu Min was a One-Star Warrior, but his body was as strong and tough as a Two-Star Warrior. However, his Qi was still weak and it was not even enough to place him around the mid stage One-Star Warriors. Without a doubt, he was in the early stages of being a One-Star Warrior.
Coupled with his experiences from the last couple of days, this was enough to make him understand that he had been lucky to still be alive. What he needed now was to stay alive and defeat the challenges he came across.
After having waited for some time, the rustling sound came closer and closer. After only a few minutes, a small beast appeared in front of Xu Min. It was a winged hare. Although they usually lived within the sky, they sometime came to the ground to find delicacies.
Seeing this, Xu Min ever so slowly unsheathed the sword from his back and gripped it between his hands as he waited for the beast to inch closer. His eyes never once left the beast in front of him. He lifted the sword as to be careful not to hit any branches or any leaves. His movements were slow and precise while being as quiet as the still wind.
Standing so close to the tree had helped Xu Min tremendously. He managed to perfectly conceal his aura as the beast walked right past him.
A loud bang sounded out from the force of the sword hitting the ground. The sword managed to completely cut the beast into two halves. Guts and intestines fell out from inside the animal.
Seeing the sight, Xu Min was slightly nauseous from the blood and the foul smell. After instantly turning around, he proceeded to quickly remove the beast core. Swift as a bird, he darted away from the location where there was nothing more than the corpse of a demon beast and a long crack in the ground left behind.
Xu Min was incredibly excited as he had managed to succeed in his ambush. However, he was slightly bothered that he had aimed at the body rather than the head. Having cut the intestines and the stomach, the beast was not worth eating. On the bright side, he gained a demon core in the end and had managed to escape without any dangers following from behind.
After escaping the old location, Xu Min once again started to walk through the forest while looking around for targets to improve, He noticed the dwindling daylight and knew that though the forests seemed deserted during the day, the night wouldn’t be the same. During the day, the demon beasts were hunted by man. At night, it was the exact opposite.
It was important to be in a group of men or hide somewhere where the beasts could not find him. This was if one wished to persevere through the night.
Thinking about this, Xu Min deserted his old hiding place and ended up climbing up other tall trees around him. This was a new place where he could build a different platform and rest for the night.
He finished building the new platform and not a moment too soon. The howls of Demonic Golden Collared Wolves started to echo through the forest. Having moved from his location, Xu Min clearly felt that he was now in a much more populated location. A wry smile appeared on his face. This was indeed much more dangerous than staying where he was before; however, danger came great benefits. It did not take him long to decide to stay within the area where he was currently located.
Knowing that the Demonic Golden Collared Wolves were unable to climb trees, Xu Min calmly closed his eyes. Once more, he started breathing heavily and entered into a deep trance-like meditation. He spent every night working on advancing his rank.
The following day was much like the previous one. Xu Min spent his time hunting down beasts and he managed to kill quite a few of them. Only a small amount sensed him in time. They managed to depend on their abilities and escaped from the young man who was hiding in the shadows of large and ancient trees.
For the first time since Xu Min entered the forest, Xu Min ate fresh meat. This was meat he had managed to slay himself. As he was thinking about it, the young man’s face was filled with pride and satisfaction. He began eating the meat that was burning in front of him on the make-do stove built from heavy stones he had carried up to his nest.
Eating the meat, Xu Min started wondering how it was possible that during the last two days, no humans had made their appearance. So far, he had encountered quite a few beasts. On the first day, lots of humans had been around but now the situation was somewhat different.
Xu Min knew that he was still quite far away from the inner ring of the forest. After realizing this, he believed that the surrounding areas should be infested with both humans and demon beasts alike. Xu Min saw that no other human was cautious of him. Usually, they would only stay away if there was something dangerous. There could be an incredibly strong demon beast or perhaps a group of mercenaries that had taken the area as their territory.
Seeing that this was most likely the situation, Xu Min sat still for quite some time to decide what he was supposed to do. He knew that he had too little strength to deal with a group of mercenaries. If the area belonged to a strong demon beast, Xu Min knew that he would have no chance of defeating it.
Filled with hesitation, a small part of Xu Min was burning with curiosity to see exactly who and where the owners of this small piece of land were.
Having decided to figure out who the owner was, Xu Min started to traverse across the treetops and through the forest. The further in he went, the more deserted the surroundings became.
The location where he had first rested during the night had quite a few demonic beasts with the strength of a One-Star Warrior. To his surprise, he further in he went, the more sparse these demonic beasts had become. He had travelled the last hour without seeing neither a beast nor a human on the way.
As the lack of beasts became more and more obvious, Xu Min slowed his speed down. This was so that he was not rushing into something he could not escape from. Looking around him, there weren’t any sounds or movements to reveal that there were living creatures around this area. As he moved closer and closer, he suddenly found a small valley.
This valley was unlike any other he had seen before. The old forest was nothing like it and everything within this forest wasn’t remotely similar to this.
The entire valley was covered in fog and the ground was littered with medicinal herbs. With all these herbs, even the fields on the Zhong family residence would be embarrassed if they were compared to this massive find.
Stopping his movements, Xu Min stood on top of an ancient tree and his eyes were fixated on all the flowers. However, all his other senses were stretched to their limits. He was constantly listening and feeling for the sound of the leaves moving, branches cracking, or another person’s aura entering his field of vision.
Xu Min stood still on top of the branches for a long time, but no signs of life showed regardless of the time he waited. Eventually, he climbed downwards. His heart was beating erratically and his senses sharpened to heights never seen before.
Entering the valley, he felt how the dense energy of the essence of the heavens and the earth surrounded him. This was a quality that he had never before experienced. His heart squeezed in surprise and astonishment; even though he was not meditating, golden specks of light appeared in front of him and entered his body.
Bending down, Xu Min quickly picked up one herb after another and placed them within his bag. Not sure what to do, he kept picking herbs. Quickly deciding not to be greedy, he disappeared in a flash only after half his bag was filled. He was once more found on top of one of the massive tree tops.
The herbs he had taken were less than a hundredth of the herbs contained within the valley. Although he had vanished, no one had appeared to stop him. No one had appeared to get revenge for the stolen goods.
Seeing this, wild joy filled the young boy as he thought about all the medicinal plants he had within his bag. Xu Min also thought about how those plants would be capable of assisting him in increasing his strength. By relying on these herbs, he hoped that he would be able to advance swiftly. Advancing swiftly was exactly what he wanted to do and without looking back, Xu Min rushed back to the lair he had created the day before.
Sitting in the lair, he picked out of the flowers from the bag and placed them in front of him. One shone more splendidly than the others. No matter how much he looked at these flowers, Xu Min felt completely ecstatic. He only had one problem. He had no idea what types of flowers he had picked or their uses.