Trapped in Guan Tianyu’s golden cord was a baby-like figure two thumbs wide, translucent and sparkling with green light. The golden cord had caught it by its delicate neck, and it stuck out its tongue and glared at the youths crowded around it.
“Is this the spiritual treasure that Master Rong spoke of?” Yi Qianying asked.
This so-called spiritual treasure was the descendant of a wild spirit. Before the spirit’s death, it wouldn’t grow at all. On the other hand, after the spirit’s death, it could completely inherit the spirit’s power and abilities. It started out with the intellect of a two- or three-year-old child, and would rapidly mature and grow into its power.
Not all wild spirits were able to produce such a spiritual descendant; wild spirits, at least on the Chenyuan continent, were naturally more gifted than other races. They were monsters born from the souls of human or beast cultivators after their death upon attaching to plants or animals.
And because of their innate talent, few wild spirits were able to reproduce on their own, especially if they hadn’t yet grown a full human body, as was the case with this wild vine spirit. Because the wild spiritual descendant’s intellect was comparable to that of a child, it was very easy to tame and train. To kill a spirit and then steal and tame its descendant was equivalent to getting a deadly weapon.
Two months ago, while Rong Tianhai was leading an expedition into this forest with a group of students from the northern college, he had discovered this spiritual descendant entirely by accident. The little creature was particularly vigilant; at the same time that Rong Tianhai discovered its existence, it also discovered Rong Tianhai. Only after pursuing it for quite a while did Rong Tianhai finally learn out the presence of the wild vine half-spirit.
In order to obtain that spiritual descendant, Rong Tianhai had tried to fight the vine spirit. With his cultivation, however, Rong Tianhai was unable to defeat the spirit, and could only retreat in disgrace. However, he had taken note of the wild spirit’s presence, and when Li Mo suggested entering the same location for training, Rong Tianhai cooked up a plan to take advantage of Li Mo to kill the half-spirit.
“Senior Brother Guan, we can’t stay here for long.” Rong Yueshan glanced all around her. “We have to hurry up and leave with the spiritual descendant!”
Guan Tianyu then took out a red cloth bag, dumped the sparkling, baby-like figure into it, and then attached it to his waist. Then, the six youths hurriedly left the scene.
About two miles from the swampy ground, while Rong Yueshan and the others were trying to capture the spiritual descendant, Yun Ruoyan once again heard the rumblings of a beast horde while in her dreams.
She awoke in shock, sitting up to find Li Mo and Zhuo Yifeng standing not far from her. Guan Ruliu and her two juniors were so weak that they were still deep in sleep, not having sensed the commotion at all.
As the thunderous rumbling drew closer, Yun Ruoyan walked to Li Mo’s side. “There are beasts approaching, aren’t there? Should we hide?”
“No need,” Li Mo replied. “Judging by the noise, they’ll pass by us through another path, and they shouldn’t get close to where we are.”
Li Mo glanced at Yun Ruoyan before turning to Zhuo Yifeng. “I’m going to bring Yan’er over and inspect the situation more carefully. Stay here and protect the three of them.”
He left with Yun Ruoyan on his sword. Not long after, they stopped on a bough of a gigantic tree, listening to the beasts’ rumbling get louder and louder. Yun Ruoyan infused the majority of her spiritual energy into her eyes in order to increase her night vision, then stared in the direction of the noise.
All the trees of the forest were gigantic, and they were spaced quite a large distance from each other. Where the canopy was sparser, some moonlight would filter down to the undergrowth. With her augmented vision, she could clearly see a horde of beasts rushing through the gaps in the trees toward her and Li Mo.
Yun Ruoyan had experienced a similar horde before during the imperial expedition, and her memories of the event were still imprinted in her mind. However, the horde in front of her far outstripped the earlier memory, because each of the beasts were so massive that it felt as if the ground were truly trembling with every step they took.
The wave of beasts approaching them was eight beasts strong. As they rushed below Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo’s tree, one beast’s horns accidentally clipped the trunk of the tree on which they were located, causing a tremor that spread through the entire tree.
Yun Ruoyan was well prepared, having grabbed onto Li Mo with one hand and the tree trunk with the other. Even if the tree were to break entirely, she wouldn’t be scared. However, it only shook once before stilling once more.
Yun Ruoyan glanced at the beast who had knocked into the tree: clearly dazed, it stood still, shook its head a few times, then began running again.
“Where are they running towards?” Yun Ruoyan asked Li Mo.
“I’ve been to this forest twice. The first time, I encountered a beast horde; the second, I didn’t,” Li Mo began. “Such large-scale movement can occur for two reasons. The birth of a particularly strong magical beast who tries to expand its territory might cause these lower-ranked or regular beasts to flee. More rarely, the birth of a spiritual treasure will attract all sorts of beasts over.”
“Li Mo, which do you think is more likely?”
“Very probably the second. Based on my calculations, it’s almost time for the heavenly spirit fruit to ripen,” Li Mo murmured. “To be sure, however, we’ll need to wait for that dumb bird to come back and report.”
In the evening, Li Mo had sent Mo’er off to investigate if anything was happening on the path ahead. Mo’er returned just as the sun was rising, perching on Li Mo’s shoulders and chittering and chattering to him.
Although Yun Ruoyan couldn’t understand Mo’er’s speech, Qiuqiu could, and it translated Mo’er’s words for her to hear. Mo’er had apparently told Li Mo that it had flown directly along the path, finding four waves of beasts along the way.
As it got farther and farther along the path, the beasts grew stronger and more numerous, some of which possessed incredible strength—the equivalent of peak ninth-rank blademasters! There were at least a few such beasts, and it was their combined presence and aura that had led to so many beast hordes rampaging away.
Yun Ruoyan thought back to the two reasons that Li Mo had brought up earlier for such a beast stampede. Given that there were multiple strong beasts around, it had to be the latter reason: the appearance of a legendary spiritual treasure.
After hearing Mo’er’s report, Li Mo decided to have Guan Ruliu and the other two students from the southern college sent back to the treehouse. Because the three of them had lost their teleportation scrolls in the miasma, Li Mo had to fly them back on his sword.
Luckily, the two weaker students had finally woken up. Li Mo sent them back in two batches: first the two weaker students, then Guan Ruliu.
“It’s a pity that I was injured within just a few days of entering this expedition…” Guan Ruliu sighed, leaning against a gigantic tree trunk. After a night’s worth of meditation, she had regained a fifth-rank blademaster’s cultivation, but it was still far from her original eighth-rank cultivation.
Actually, as a fifth-rank blademaster, she would be able to accompany Yun Ruoyan, Zhuo Yifeng, and Li Mo on their expedition. However, the two junior students from the southern college were now nothing more than mere mortals. Without anyone around to take care of them, they would likely die within this forest of giant trees.
“Senior Sister, don’t be discouraged,” Yun Ruoyan consoled. “This isn’t the only dimension we’ll be in, and once you recover your cultivation, I’m sure we’ll have a chance to work together in the future.”
“Shh!” While the two girls were talking, Zhuo Yifeng suddenly made a shushing gesture. From the forest came the sound of people walking, and six more students quickly emerged by their campsite.
“How fortuitous that we would meet you here!” Guan Tianyu, leading the party of six, smiled.
“Truly a coincidence, given how large this forest is,” Rong Yueshan added.
“It’s no coincidence!” Guan Ruliu immediately stood up and glared at the intruders. “Why are you following us? Are you trying to harm us again?!”
“Senior Sister Guan, what are you saying?” Yi Qianying pretended to be innocent. “Has our group done anything against you?”
“You dare deny it?!” Guan Ruliu and her two juniors had barely escaped from the miasma with their lives. Her two juniors had had their cultivation crippled, and hers had greatly fallen. Even the usually cool and calm Guan Ruliu was now greatly enraged upon seeing her attackers in person. If Yun Ruoyan hadn’t held her back, she would have leaped forward to tussle with them on the spot.
Anyone else in her shoes would likely have done the same thing.
“Senior Sister Guan,” Guan Tianyu began. “As a senior of Kongming Academy, how could you slander your juniors so?”
“Whether or not it’s slander, you all know full well,” Guan Ruliu gritted out, trying to suppress her anger.
“Nonsense! As long as there’s no evidence, it’s all slander,” Guan Tianyu replied smugly.
“You…!” Yun Ruoyan lightly pinched her hand and whispered into her ear, “They’re a group of six, and we won’t be able to handle them at the moment. When Master Mo’s back, he’ll naturally right this wrong for you.”
Guan Ruliu forcibly suppressed her anger and shifted her gaze away from the hostile group of students, no longer interacting with them. However, Rong Yueshan and her group clearly seemed intent on stirring up trouble. When Guan Ruliu turned silent, Rong Yueshan asked, “Senior Sister Guan, why is it only the three of you here? Where are your two juniors, and where’s Master Mo?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter