Chapter 44 - Howling Lion Beast

“I’ve chosen my task, let’s go,” Qin Xinran interrupted their conversation.

Gu Lingzhi smiled, “I live in residence 3629, do feel free to visit.”

“My residence is 2587.” Beicheng Haoyue also reported her residence number. They smiled at each other once more before parting ways.

Gu Lingzhi had only remembered to ask Qin Xinran only after they were a distance away from the Student Union.

“What is our quest about?”

“We have to go to Red Leaf Hill and pick a hundred of this herb called Phantom Grass.”

Immediately, the effects of Phantom Grass appeared in Gu Lingzhi’s mind. As the name suggests, the Phantom Grass was a type of Spirit Herb that could cause psychedelic effects.

However, its effects are different from those of a high-grade Spirit Herb. When consumed, Phantom Grass could only cause the user to become absent-minded and have dulled senses. Usually, these kinds of herbs were only gathered to refine healing potions.

Healing potions with the essence of the Phantom Grass could greatly dull the pain felt by the injured person. However, the disadvantage was that one would lose control of their body for a short period of time after consuming the healing potion.

Therefore, this type of healing potion could only be consumed when one is sure of their own safety.

“Do you know where the Phantom Grass grows on Red Leaf Hill?” Gu Lingzhi asked.

“I do,” Qin Xinran showed a rare, playful smile, “It can be found near a lake in the peripheral region of Red Leaf Hill. I have completed this task many times before, I can’t be wrong.”

The Red Leaf Hill was closely tied to the Royal School. It got its name because of the countless trees with red leaves that grow on the hill. Every year, those who wished to enter the Royal School must pass through the peripheral regions of Red Leaf Hill. There were also countless first-order demon beasts that roamed in the area, and only those who were outstanding enough could fend them off.

With Qin Xinran leading the way, the process of gathering Phantom Grass went very smoothly. In less than an hour, the two of them had already finished gathering the required number of Phantom Grass.

When Gu Lingzhi suggested returning to school, Qin Xinran suddenly looked embarrassed and looked at Gu Lingzhi, “Lingzhi, I heard that there is a Howling Lion Beast nearby. I happen to need the bones of this beast to refine Spiritual Medicine, will you go with me to kill it?”

“A Howling Lion Beast?” Gu Lingzhi frowned, “Isn’t that a second-order demon beast? I’m afraid that the two of us won’t be able to kill it.”

A second-order demon beast possessed power that was equivalent to a Martial Practitioner. With her current standard of a Level Four Martial Student, she would only become food for the Howling Lion Beast. As for Qin Xinran…

“Don’t worry, it is only a cub. It is only a first-order demon beast, equivalent to a Martial Student so it will not be dangerous.”

“It is only a cub?”

“Of course. Lingzhi, please come with me. The beast’s cave is about a mile into the forest, I am scared to go alone.”

Gu Lingzhi raised her head and looked at the increasingly dense red trees in the distance. After thinking for a moment, she chose to believe Qin Xinran’s words.

Many people saw them leave together. If Qin Xinran wanted to harm her, she would not have let so many people see them. Furthermore, it is only one mile away, if she discovers something wrong along the way, she can find a way to leave.

“Alright, let’s go then.”

“Great!” Qin Xinran cheered just like a child, the freckles on her face made her look even cuter.

“If we hurry, we can collect the remains of the Howling Lion Beast and still rush back to school before it gets dark.”

Qin Xinran pulled Gu Lingzhi and ran in one direction. Looking at her actions, it was obvious that she has planned this for a very long time and was just waiting for someone to accompany her.

Gu Lingzhi saw the joyous look in Qin Xinran’s eyes. Although she felt that something was amiss, she could not figure it out even after thinking about it for a long time.

It was not long before they arrived in front of a cave.

The cave was about three to four meters wide, hidden behind a screen of vegetation. Qin Xinran moved the vegetation aside with practiced motions, exposing the cave inside. Instantly, the unique smell of animals assaulted her nose, followed by a faint sound of something calling from the distance.

“It’s over here. Let’s go in,” Qin Xinran said, as she stepped into the cave. Gu Lingzhi hesitated for a moment, gathering all the spiritual energy inside of her before following behind, in order to protect against any nasty surprises.

However, her actions were all for naught, because the Howling Lion Beast cubs were simply no match for Qin Xinran, even if there were three of them.

“Lingzhi, quickly help me out! Their mother will be coming back soon!”

Upon hearing the reminder, Gu Lingzhi immediately realized what she had forgotten.

The presence of cubs meant that there was always a chance that the mother would be just nearby. How could she have forgotten that?

At that very moment where she had come to the realization, there came the sound of a beast growling from outside the cave. That growl carried an undeniable hint of anger.

Trouble! The mature Howling Lion Beast had returned to the cave!

Fortunately, they had just entered and had yet to hurt the beast cubs. Even if their mother had discovered their presence, as long as they fled quickly enough, she would probably not chase them out of consideration for her cubs’ safety.

“Xinran, stop it, we have to leave.”

Yet, the moment Gu Lingzhi said this, she heard a sound.

“Awooo…”

Under Qin Xinran’s fist lay a dead Howling Lion Beast cub.

Why did she have to kill the cub at this moment?

Almost at the same instant, there came a loud, mournful cry. A three-meter tall Howling Lion Beast, with a pair of huge wings and the head of a tiger, charged in. It roared and rushed towards Gu Lingzhi, assaulting her.

Gu Lingzhi’s expression quickly changed to one of concentration as she activated her Sparrow Wings movement technique, narrowly dodging the beast’s first attack.

Without giving her time to catch her breath, the second wave of attack arrived.

Damn it! Why was this beast’s attack so quick?

Gu Lingzhi dodged around haggardly as she looked towards Qin Xinran. She noticed that in this short span of time, another beast cub had died under his attacks.

“Leave one cub alive!” Gu Lingzhi shouted, panicked. If the cubs were all killed, that would certainly be disastrous.

“Why? We’ll only get enough materials if we kill all of these beasts!”

As she said this, Qin Xinran kicked viciously one last time, breaking the neck of the last beast cub.

Thud!

The beast cub fell onto the cold floor and Gu Lingzhi’s heart fell with it.

The three cubs were all dead. That also meant that there was nothing left to hold back the mature Howling Lion Beast anymore. It seems like this trip would be more trouble than it was worth.

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