Chapter 23: Holding Hands
Ling Yushi finished preparing the bath with hot water and left cheerfully. Before she left, she even reminded Qin Lie that she would come and pick him up early tomorrow.
Immersing himself in the wooden barrel filled with hot water, Qin Lie raised his head and looked at the house beam. As he was lost in thought, his brows creased.
The strength of the rank two spirit beast, Silver Winged Demon Wolf, could be compared to a martial practitioner in the Natal Opening Realm. When pit against a single Ice Soul Python, the Silver Winged Demon Wolf would have a greater chance of winning.
But most importantly, Silver Winged Demon Wolves were spirit beasts that lived in packs! Not only that, Celestial Wolf Mountain was precisely their den!
“Each year during May and June, Silver Winged Demon Wolves would make a pilgrimage to the peak to meet the ‘Icestone Snow Wolf King’, and they would return in July. Once they came back and saw that human martial practitioners had seized and occupied their territory…”
The bloody scene of Ling Yushi, Ling Feng, Ling Ying, and the others being torn into pieces by a Silver Winged Demon Wolf pack appeared in Qin Lie’s mind...
He didn’t know why, but he felt irritated and couldn’t calm himself down when he thought of Ling Yushi’s delicate body being torn into pieces.
“Looks like I need to go to the Herb Mountain first thing in the morning to retrieve the sculpture Grandpa carved. Celestial Wolf Mountain… just happened to be marked by grandfather.”
Once Qin Lie had made up his mind, his irritation soothed. As he sat in the wooden barrel, he focused mind energy and studied the “Spirit Storage” spirit diagram within the Soul Suppressing Orb.
Out of the four spirit diagrams: Spirit Gathering, Spirit Storage, Amplification, and Strengthening, he had already memorized the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram, and now he slowly started on another of the other three spirit diagrams.
The next morning, Ling Yushi, together with Ling Feng, Ling Ying, and the other Ling Family members, arrived at Qin Lie’s stone house very early in the morning.
Ling Yushi wore a blue, tight fitting outfit which highlighted her exquisite, curvy body. This caused the eyes of the many boys following her to flicker. They yearned to keep admiring her beauty, but were too embarrassed to do so.
"First Miss, do you really want to bring him?”
Ling Xin was of similar age to Ling Feng; he was tall, with thick eyebrows, big eyes, and a needle-thin mustache at the corner of his mouth. His cultivation was at the sixth level of the Refinement Realm, his earlier question was because he had some objections against Ling Yushi bringing Qin Lie along.
“Ling Xin, don’t be so long-winded!” Ling Feng frowned and scolded.
Ling Xin seemed to fear Ling Feng a little. After hearing Ling Feng’s scolding, his mouth twitched, but he didn’t say anything more.
Arriving in front of Qin Lie’s stone house, Ling Yushi yelled tenderly, “Qin Lie, we are setting off!”
After waiting a little while, seeing that there was no response in the house, Ling Yushi was slightly stunned. She pushed the door and walked in, then found that the house was empty, without any trace of Qin Lie.
In the house, Ling Yushi’s elegant face revealed obvious disappointment. She bit her lips lightly and sighed softly.
“...Maybe I was overthinking it , and he didn’t listen to what I said seriously at all, or maybe I just imagined his affection. Could he have heard it, but pretended not to instead?” Ling Yushi’s face was bitter, and she shook her head and laughed in a self-deprecating manner. After she walked out of the stone house, she took a light breath and indifferently said, “Let’s go.”
Ling Xin was secretly happy seeing that Qin Lie wasn’t here as he thought to himself: One less burden would save a lot of trouble.
“First Miss, you don’t have to worry about it. The Patriarch will make other arrangements for people to look after him.” Ling Feng pondered and then comforted her.
“Yeah, the Du Family members have been less aggressive recently. They probably won’t act recklessly,” chimed Ling Ying.
Ling Yushi smiled, nodded her head, and said casually, “Let’s go, we will pass by Herb Mountain anyway. I will yell once at the caves later, and if he really doesn’t hear it, then we’ll forget about it.”
Hearing this, Ling Feng, Ling Ying, Ling Xin, and the others were all surprised, revealing puzzled expressions.
“Still not giving up? Could it be that she really sees that guy as her fiancée and actually has feelings for him? Incomprehensible…”
They inwardly shook their heads and threw doubtful looks at Ling Yushi.
Under everyone’s strange gazes, Ling Yushi was completely at ease, as she led the way towards Herb Mountain.
When the sun slowly rose, the party of ten arrived at the foot of Herb Mountain.
Looking at the mining caves in Herb Mountain, Ling Yushi took a deep breath and yelled with all her strength, “Qin Lie, we are about to leave, are you coming or not? We will wait for you for an hour, and if you don’t come out, we will leave first.”
“It’s still early, everyone should just take this as a break.” Turning over, Ling Yushi smiled lightly. She didn’t care if the others grew dissatisfied, and found herself a clean rock before sitting down.
Seeing such an attitude from her, they could only helplessly wait with her.
Time ticked by second by second, but there still was not a trace to be seen in the mines of Herb Mountain. Ling Yushi’s beautiful eyes showed disappointment, increasing as time passed by; she obviously wasn’t feeling well at heart.
“There’s no way that fool could hear…” After waiting for a while, Ling Xin couldn’t help but mumble as he became impatient.
Ling Feng glared at him viciously.
“First Miss, it is time. He probably won’t come.” Ling Ying got up energetically. Facing Ling Feng, she stretched her slim waist lazily. As she did so, her arrogant, soft bosom made an astonishing curve as she tenderly said, “Big Brother Ling, we should start leaving, right?”
Ling Feng, seeing her display her body seductively, nodded with a small headache, and said, “First Miss, what do you think?”
“Let’s go.” Ling Yushi said in a quiet, sullen tone.
Celestial Wolf Mountain was also in the Arctic Mountain Range, and it was closest to the Gao Family. The Gao Family, Feng Family, and Ling Family were all vassal forces of Nebula Pavilion. Celestial Wolf Mountain’s Fire Crystal Quarry was on its cliff. It would be really difficult for an ordinary person to climb it; one careless mistake could cause the person to fall to his or her death.
Fire crystals were a fire source for artifact forging, and it was the most common kind. Once it was lit with fire, the fire crystal would burn fiercely, providing the heat required for forging spirit materials.
According to the difference in quality, the grade of the fire crystals would also be different. However, the ones with inferior quality were Common Grade Three spirit materials, and the ones with better quality would only be Common Grade Five spirit materials. It wasn’t too precious, so making high ranked martial practitioners from Nebula Pavilion mine them would seem overkill.
Because of this, Nebula Pavilion arranged their vassal forces, the Gao Family, Feng Family, and Ling Family, to mine them jointly. In the end, they would tally the number and grade of the fire crystals that the three families mined and reward them accordingly with spirit stones.
Celestial Wolf Mountain and Solitary Ridge were in completely different directions, so as soon as they left Herb Mountain, they would be on a different path.
The ten people of the Ling Family slowly walked out of Herb Mountain. Ling Yushi looked back at Herb Mountain behind her, sighed faintly to herself, and disappointedly stepped on the path towards Celestial Wolf Mountain.
Knowing that she wasn’t in a good mood, no one disturb her. Even chatter-box Ling Xin was satisfied enough to not say anything more after Qin Lie didn’t turn up.
Walking under the many ancient trees, the rest of the group slowly started chatting and were excitedly discussing about mining at Celestial Wolf Mountain.
Later on, even Ling Feng and Ling Ying joined the conversations. They were all in high spirits and were imagining all the spirit stones that they could receive through the job.
Ling Yushi quietly pulled some distance away from the others and walked alone at the front. She walked silently with her head down, deep in thought, and occasionally would lift her head to watch the road.
Because she slowly felt that Qin Lie was not a fool, she figured he should have been able to hear what she had said, which was why she told him that she wanted to bring him along to Celestial Wolf Mountain.
But, after this happened, she wasn’t so sure anymore.
As for other possibilities, she didn’t want to think too much about them. She would rather believe that Qin Lie didn’t hear what she had said than believe that he deliberately stood her up…
“You probably didn’t hear it. Nevermind, I made assumptions.” Ling Yushi comforted herself. However, she was still slightly bitter as she lifted her head again to look at the path before her.
Her pretty face suddenly froze. She subconsciously rubbed her eyes, and her dull eyes slowly brightened. Her bitter mouth bloomed into an extremely bright, beautiful smile.
Under a big tree ahead, a slender shadow stood stiff here, with clothes covered in dew drops; she didn’t know how long he had been waiting.
Who else could it be other than Qin Lie?
Ling Yushi’s heart was suddenly filled thick with sweetness as she laughed softly, unable to control herself. In her joyous laughter, her delicate body moved to Qin Lie’s side like a gust of wind.
In front of others, it was the first time she had openly held Qin Lie’s hand. She then turned her head and said to the stunned Ling Family members, “Turns out he had been waiting for us here all this time.”
Ling Feng, Ling Ying, Ling Xin, and the other Ling family members were all stunned for a while. They looked at each other and suddenly felt like their minds couldn’t follow this turn of events. “When did that guy… know to wait for people?”
“You guys go first!” Ling Yushi didn’t care about their confusion and surprise, ordering them to walk in front.
As Ling Feng and the others passed by her and Qin Lie, they all wore odd expressions as they rubbed their heads, and Ling Ying’s bright eyes seemed as though they had seen a ghost.
Everyone slowly passed the two of them.
“Oh you, seriously, you made me sad for a while!” Only when the others were far away, did Ling Yushi blush slightly and look at Qin Lie in a meaningful way. She then pounded his chest softly and smiled lightly in a gentle manner, saying, “It’s good that you’ve come. Since you came… then that means you can hear what I say. Hah, how long can you keep pretending?”
Only now could she finally be sure that Qin Lie was definitely not the fool he acted like on the surface. He was at least sometimes clear-headed.
Qin Lie didn’t immediately express anything and continued to stare blankly. After she finished talking, he wiggled his hand out from hers and advanced toward Ling Feng and the others.
“Heh, if you think this is interesting, then I will continue to play with you.” Staring at his back, Ling Yushi laughed softly, shook her head, and immediately followed.
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