Chapter 6: Entering the Mountains
Luo Jie clenched his teeth and said, “He must’ve sent out small Spirit Beasts to do reconnaissance earlier, when he was looking for an escape…and he must’ve unwittingly found us that way…fuck! That bastard! Luo Zhan, carry 12th, and remember, your duty isn’t to fight, but to escape—carry 12th and escape!”
12th bit his lip, but stayed silent. He hated the people from the South Fu Sect with a passion, thus he likewise hated the FuYe clan as well.
Luo Jie said, “Nan Shan, my old friend! This time it seems that our only choice is to fight. If there’s a chance to escape, then take it without reservation. Don’t get too engrossed in the fight!”
Qi Nan Shan said, “Where should we go?”
Luo Jie said, “Into the mountains! Haha, we’ll go ahead and lure the enemy away first…. Luo Zhan, take the children, along with four other Fu Masters. Leave a short while after we do, and follow the edge of the forest in that direction. Once you’re far enough away, sprint towards the mountain region. Don’t stop for anything, and don’t worry about us! Once you get into the mountain region, hide. Don’t reveal yourselves. Wait there until we can leave this Mysterious Land—we’ll come back and find you!”
12th said calmly, “Master, make sure to come back to me, I’ll be waiting for you….Be safe, Master, Grandpa Nan Shan!” Deep down in his heart, he knew that Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan were very powerful, and that without five children dragging them down, they should be able to escape.
Luo Jie briefly laid out the plans, before Lu Ning once again said, “Don’t make me have to point out your position!”
Luo Jie quietly said, “We’ll run backwards!” He wants the chariots to follow them into the forest. If they ran out into the open field, it’ll be suicide. With a couple hundreds of chariots surrounding them there would be no chance of escape. At least in the forest they have trees to cover them.
Ten people stayed still, while five Fu Masters took the children. Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan took the remaining eleven people, and sprinted deep into the forest. Qi Nan Shan laughed and said, “Point us out if you want, we’re leaving anyway, you have fun with those bastards—we won’t be joining you!”
The thirteen people quickly fled without covering their tracks at all, which made a rather loud ruckus. The chariots from the FuYe clan chased after them like a swarm of bees, because they figured that these people were the ones who’d attacked the clan.
Lu Ning raged and spat in anger, “Fine! Fine…” He was infuriated. He hadn’t thought that they’d run away with two Great Masters. His final, desperate plan had failed—what could he do now?
Luo Zhan’s group moved along the edge of the forest slowly. Luckily the sky was already dark, but they still moved with incredible care. Not even ten minutes had passed, when a dozen chariots flew to where they’d been hidden previously. There were sniper rifles sticking out of each of them, and they destroyed countless trees. After seeing no movement, the chariots gave chasing into the forest again.
Luo Zhan broke out into a cold sweat; had it not been for 12th ushering them to move, that last attack would’ve completely revealed their position.
12th whispered into his ear, “Keep moving, don’t stop!”
Lu Ning had lost all hope now. Even though Luo Jie’s people had drawn away the outer chariots away, the ones surrounding them hadn’t moved at all, but had instead focused entirely on them. They couldn’t do anything.
In desperation, he gave the command, “Run! Run back into the forest!” Lu Ning already understood that, even if they could rush into the mountain region, they wouldn’t get very far into it—the opposing chariots could easily block off their path. It was better to retreat back into the forest, which provided a sliver of hope for survival.
The six Beast Warriors activated their Beast armour, and rushed desperately towards their enclosing enemy.
At that moment, a new chariot, much different than the others, flew closer, and two people hopped out of it. Like a whirlwind, they dashed forward—straight towards the Beast Warriors. One of them laughed and said, “I’ll go right and you take the left, let’s see who catches the most between the two us!”
As soon as the two sides met, two of the Beasts Warriors were immediately taken down. Lu Ning instantly realised that these two people were at least as strong as Great Masters. These two had waited until now to take action, with one going left and one going right. They were like bamboo shards piercing through a crowd of people—nobody could stop them. The two of them arrived next to Lu Ning in the blink of an eye.
A Great Zhou Beast Master mustn’t let anyone get within melee range. As soon as someone came into that range, they’d have a lot less options, and become as weak as a mere Beast Warrior. Lu Ning couldn’t even retaliate, and fell with a single palm strike.
“Bind them all up and take them with us, and stick a Sleep Fu on them. Haha, this time we’ve struck gold! A Great Zhou Beast Master from the lower levels of the FuZhou Lands will be worth a lot of money back home!”
12th’s company was already so far away that they weren’t able to see the battleground clearly anymore. Nor did they know that Lu Ning has already been captured alive. Luo Zhan took the other Fu Masters, and moved carefully—far, far away from the battle.
Only when they weren’t able to see any enemies did Luo Zhan stand up and say, “Should we carry on along the edge of the forest, or should we try to cross the open field from here?” He very naturally passed the authority over, as if 12th wasn’t a nine year old child, but was instead a legitimate Fu Zhou Warrior.
12th replied, “We ought to cross here, the sun will rise soon, and at that moment…. If we have to delay for an entire day, who knows what’ll happen.”
Luo Zhan quietly said, “Alright, everyone follow me. Don’t wander off, and don’t make any noise.” He squinted his eyes, and looked ahead to see if there were any good places to head towards. Their walking speed wasn’t fast as they slowly made their way across the open field.
Xiao Feng was second in line, carrying Chen Hong. Everyone was in a single file line, slowly making their way forward. They couldn’t rush at this point, they could only walk slowly. As soon as they went any faster, the sound that their footsteps made would echo for a very long distance, especially on such an extremely quiet night like this.
Everyone had very nearly reached the foot of the mountain. Luo Zhan started to feel tired; if they could’ve crossed this distance unrestricted, it wouldn’t have taken more than twenty minutes for them to reach the foot of the mountains, but now it’d taken them five whole hours. Forget running, even normal walking speed would’ve been faster.
“Uncle Luo, we ought to hurry to the mountain entrance, the sun’s about to rise!”
The east was already starting to light up; the good thing was that there was a layer of thick mist forming, which was fortunately timed, thus they could temporarily neglect their tracks. Luo Zhan said, “Let’s speed up a bit!”
Huo Bao said quietly, “Look, isn’t that a cave?”
They all lifted their heads and looked. They could see a low hill behind a few large trees, with a small cliff face next to it. Along the cliff was indeed a small cave, which should be the pathway into the mountain.
12th rejoiced, “Excellent! Hurry!”
“Follow me!” Luo Zhan said as he carried 12th and sprinted forward. Now they didn’t care any more—even if they made some noise, they had to get to that cave. Had it not been for the layer of mist, they probably would’ve been discovered already.
Once a Fu Master exerts himself, their running speed is indeed very fast. They reached the cave within a minute. 12th said, “Don’t stop! Quick! Keep running! Hopefully we didn’t make enough noise for them to notice!”
The ground gradually rose, and after they’d climbed a few continuous hills, another larger hill appeared. 12th said, “Up the hill! Cross it!” without hesitation.
Luo Zhan said, “We’ll climb the hill!” At this point they lost all care, their voices even began to get louder. He rushed in front, and at the same time took out a Fu Knife to swipe away the obstructing branches. The five of them leapt forward and started up the hill.
Very quickly, they arrived at a mountain ridge. This was a steep peak. Once they reached the ridge they could see that, all the way to the horizon, mountains peaked one after another, with gullies dipping deep in between them. With a glance, the sky turned scarlet as the sun began to rise in the east and shone through the waves of clouds. It was a rare scene of beauty.
They could also see last night’s battle ground clearly; there were even some chariots still hovering around the place. 12th wondered, “Do you think Master evaded capture?”
But Luo Zhan said, “12th, don’t worry, your Master isn’t a normal person. That guy can definitely avoid capture. With two Great Masters together, not mentioning that they’re age old partners, with their combined effort, their strength far exceeds the norm. I believe that they can definitely lose those chariots.”
12th nodded, saying, “Let’s go that way…” As he pointed in the direction of a mountain peak he said, “Once we cross that peak, we’ll be safe.”
The five Fu Masters once again lifted the five children onto their backs, and quickly made their way down the steep mountain side. Arriving at a cliff face, they moved around the cliff, and climbed another mountain, gradually getting further and further away. After a journey of relentless sprinting, by noon, they’d arrived at a small stream. There was a waterfall nearby, which made a loud, continuous sound of water crashing.
12th said, “We can rest by the pool that’s at the bottom of the waterfall.”
Luo Zhan said, “I’ll go scout the area. 12th, take the other kids and boil some water. Haha, finally we can drink some hot soup!”
Chen Hong said, “Huo Bao, you guys gather some firewood…I need dry firewood as well, otherwise there’ll be too much smoke, and we’ll be discovered!” She’d become more lively now. This entire journey, with all its dangers, was very difficult for a small girl. To come without complaining must’ve been very hard.
12th smiled and said, “Don’t go too far, look nearby! If there’s danger, immediately give a signal.”
Huo Bao signalled to Hong Shi and Chen Bing, saying, “Let’s go find some firewood, god, I need a pee.”
12th propped up the large metal soup pan, saying, “This time, we’ll stew the Great Earth Dragon’s meat, that thing is both delicious and rejuvenating.”
Three giant soup pans were set up above the fire together. Placing the pre-cut, fist-sized pieces of meat into them, they stewed for over an hour. A delicious smell wafted through the air. For almost half a year they’d eaten dried meats and wheats; they’d almost forgotten what hot soup tasted like.
Huo Bao stared at the pans constantly saying, “I’ll eat that whole pan…I’m gonna eat that entire pan of soup…I’m so hungry!” 12th couldn’t help but laugh at that. Chen Hong said, “12th, don’t laugh, I want to have an entire pan of soup too…I feel so hungry…” At that point, everyone also swallowed some spit.
Luo Zhan came back, and smelling the aroma, also said, “Oh, I’m so hungry!”
At that, everyone laughed, causing him to be dumbfounded and to ask, “What’s wrong? What did I say? Why are you all laughing?”
12th smiled, “Before you came back, a lot of us were all repeatedly saying: ‘Oh, I’m so hungry!’ Haha!” Luo Zhan didn’t find it funny at all. He wiped the sweat from his brow and said, “But really, I’m starving. Is it ready?”
Chen Hong sprinkled some salt in the soup and said, “It’ll be ready in a few minutes.” And with that, the whole group just sat there, staring at the pans. Huo Bao was so hungry that even his hands were shaking. 12th said, “Why don’t we drink some of the soup first!”
Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan were being relentlessly chased by the chariots, there was nowhere for them to run, neither heaven nor hell was safe. And when the sun came up, it would become that much more difficult to escape. Right now, Qi Nan Shan was carrying Luo Jie on his back. Gradually everyone split away, until there was only one Fu Master left with them two, the rest having run in separate directions, but the pursuing chariots numbered over a hundred.
For the moment, Luo Jie hadn’t attacked. The people on the chariots were truly evil, and had persistently harassed them with sniper rifles and Fu Arrows. By making their escape as difficult as possible, they’d prepared to attack when the escapees had tired and slowed.
The remaining Fu Master said, “Elder, you should find a place to hide. I’ll draw their attention away!”
Luo Jie said, “It’s useless, just follow us. If need be, we have a bit more power, but if we’re separated…you’ll be dead for sure.”
That Fu Master grinned and said, “Haha, if it means that you’ll be able to escape safely, then it’s worth it…” He was very strong, almost at the level of a Great Fu Master—almost as strong as Qi Nan Shan. He was also very skilled at scouting and tracking, so he was also nearly as fast as Qi Nan Shan, which was the reason why he’d been able to keep up with the two Masters.
“Min Zai, be careful. If it becomes impossible to escape, then surrender! We’ll come back for you!”
Min Zai smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I’ve still got some tricks up my sleeve. For chasing us all this time, haha, I’ll teach those bastards a lesson!” As soon as he’d finished speaking, he suddenly turned and sprinted to left, letting out a piercing battle cry at the same time.
Luo Jie said, “Let’s go!”
The pursuing chariots were unable to speed up, demonstrating their weakness. The chariots were capable of super high-speed travel, but when travelling slowly, they become very unstable, and as such, they needed to constantly fly in circles to alleviate the momentum they acquired from high-speed travel. This meant that while they were chasing their targets, they’d either fly too fast and overtake the chased targets, or they’d slow down by circling in the air, and would lose their targets that way. Especially since there was a dense forest below them, it would be very difficult to see, thus the only option was to constantly fire ammunition into the forest to clear the trees. This gave Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan some respite.
Upon hearing Min Zai’s cry, countless chariots followed him away. They know that he was a decoy, but given their circumstances of not being able to find any of them, a decoy was still an enemy. Those randomly searching chariots, like houseflies smelling raw meat, all flew in Min Zai’s direction. Only a tiny portion of the chariots continued chasing the two Great Masters.
In the forest, if there was just one person, the number of pursuers became redundant, especially if they were chasing a Fu Master, unless he was injured. As long as he focused entirely on evasion, the pursuers would be incredibly hard-pressed to find him.
Qi Nan Shan was exceptionally fast. Despite having to carry a person and traveling through a dense forest, he was still as fast as lightning, and as such, he moved deeper into the forest at a great speed. Those in the chariots couldn’t see anything. Qi Nan Shan rested briefly, preparing to continue carrying Luo Jie in their escape.
Luo Jie said, “Nan Shan, let’s head back and find the FuYe clansmen. It’s best to find the isolated ones, hehe. They think that having large numbers is fun? Well let’s have some fun picking them off slowly!” Without any need to worry about 12th and the other kids, the Elder could unleash his full power.
Qi Nan Shan nodded, “Alright, I’ve also got some pent-up rage that I need to express. Fucking hell, ever since I became a Great Fu Master, I’ve never felt so humiliated, running for my life like a rabbit being hunted…”
The two of them turned around and headed back east.
12th comfortably let out a burp, ran to the stream to wash his face, and as he plopped down onto a stone and sat comfortably, he said, “Man, that was great…” He sighed, and continued, “we rarely get to come to a Mysterious Land, and when we do, we get chased like there’s no tomorrow. Just wait until I become a Great FuZhou Master, I’ll come and pay them back, and then some!”
Luo Zhan smiled, “Become a Great FuZhou Master? Haha, good luck with that! 12th, The Northern Fu Sect has over a million people, and of those million, there are over a hundred thousand FuZhou practitioners, yet there are very few people who’re truly capable of getting to the Great Master level. If I remember correctly, there are less than a hundred….You’re only nine years old, but boy are your ambitions huge!”
12th replied, “What’s wrong with having big ambitions? Haha, without ambition…if we see the charitos, all we are able to do is flee, without even the slightest chance of retaliation. How can we live without ambitions?”
Huo Bao remarked, “The Elder is a Great FuZhou Master, but he likewise fled!”
12th kicked him hard and cursed, “Idiot, that was because we held Master back, otherwise he would’ve escaped this danger months ago!”
Luo Zhan smiled, “It’s true. With you five children around, everyone has to tread rather carefully, as they don’t want to start fights and put you in danger. So our best option was to flee…12th, the Elder cares about you a lot, haha, however, without you guys to worry about, I think that the Elder will start his vengeance. I don’t think that he’s ever suffered like this”
Chen Hong asked, “Where are we going?”
12th smiled, “We’ll find a safe area and wait there the entire time, until we get thrown out of the Mysterious Land.” To be honest though, he himself didn’t understand how they were going to be thrown out.
Luo Zhan nodded, “If we make it out of this Mysterious Land, it’ll be the greatest victory. This place is terribly dangerous.”
Everyone tidied up the pans, collected their belongings, and changed into new clothes. It was a shame that they didn’t have time to wash the dirty ones. Luo Zhan and the others carried the five children, and continued to head deeper into the mountain.
This particular range was vastly different than the previous ones—mountains everywhere, peaks after peaks after peaks… It was a serene and beautiful view, one unlike anything 12th had ever seen before. This entire journey he’d been speechless, but since he’d been carried up the mountain by Luo Zhan, he could relax and bathe in the scenery; it made him feel very relaxed.
Throughout the journey, he’d occasionally asked Luo Zhan to stop as he collected materials and ingredients for creating Fu. On the way, he’d encountered many rare and highly sought-after materials—they’d been too good to pass up.
About a week went by peacefully as the five Fu Masters, carrying five children, climbed mountains and trekked along the mountain range. They arrived at a forest on the side of a mountain with a large pond. 12th said, “We don’t need to keep rushing anymore, look, that cliff face has a cave at the bottom, we can rest there for a few days.”
Luo Zhan said, “Xiao Feng, keep watch, I’ll go hunt food!”
Huo Bao said, “Uncle Luo, can I go with you?”
Luo Zhan nodded, “Alright, bring a Fu Bow, there’re quite a few wild birds, therefore we can shoot some down to roast!”
12th didn’t help with the cooking this time, instead, he took a slow amble around the pond, feeling very worried for his Master. A stream flowed over a pile of rocks and into the pond below it—it was like a mini waterfall. He found a large rock nearby, and sat down, hugging and burying his head in his knees, as he contemplated life.
When he’d come to this world, his initial goal had been to live his entire life stably; as long as no unforeseen circumstances had occurred, there might’ve been a chance for him to return back to his initial world. The more he understood this world however, the more he realised that safely living his entire life in stability was not a practical goal—without power, it’s impossible to achieve anything, because this world is simply far too dangerous.
The good thing was that he had exceptional potential, which was very important. If he wanted to rely on his own abilities to learn, forget about potential, he wouldn’t even have the most basic resources to learn about FuZhou, and not all of these could be bought with money.
Relying on the Northern Fu Sect, as well as a good Master, he was able to get by in this world. However, simply getting by is by far insufficient. Unless he could advance soon, the benefits he’d gained for being part of the Northern Fu Sect would become redundant. However to advance, he needed to train, and right now fighting was unavoidable, so to protect himself, he needed to improve his own abilities and power.
Their first time in the Mysterious Lands, they’d also been chased all over the place—like a rabid dog. It was exceedingly embarrassing and frustrating. Even though in the end they got a lot out of it, this type of encounter indicated that he still wasn’t powerful enough.
12th was somewhat sorrowful, “I’m only nine, fucking hell…I’m too young. Being young does have its advantages, but also has its disadvantages. I guess I’ll just get by until I surpass everybody, then I’ll be safe…argh, but that’s too difficult too!”
“12th! 12th! Food’s ready!”
12th slowly lifted his head, thinking, “Well shit. Never thought I’d hear such an iconic sentence from my past life again…” He stood up and said, “Coming!”
It was evident that Huo Bao was a born hunter, as that guy had shot over a dozen meaty pheasants. It was enough for three more giant pans of soup. 12th smiled, “Chicken soup! Good stuff!” Chen Hong poured him a bowl, and fished out a pheasant wing for him, saying, “Here 12th, eat up.”
12th silently ate the pheasant, still in deep thought. He thought about that mysterious man, Li Ran, and the mark that’d been left on his Fu Door’s Spirit Fu. He hadn’t dared to mess with it, because what if he went there, but couldn’t return? That’d be a big problem,
There was also the Fu that was engraved with birds. 12th still didn’t know what type of Fu it was, as ever since he’d absorbed it into his Innate Fu Orb, even after all this time, he’d almost completely recovered.12th estimated that it could be used up to four times at least. Of course, it was untested, and its power was still unknown.
He finished his pheasant and said, “I’m going to rest,” as he continued to think about anything and everything.
Luo Zhan took another Fu Master to scout the area. The entire time, there hadn’t been a single powerful Fu Beast, but it was still a good idea to be alert. 12th was Luo Jie’s most prized disciple, he didn’t want anything to happen to 12th under his watch.
Chen Hong came to 12th’s side and quietly asked, “12th, is something the matter?”
12th shook his head and replied, “Nothing, I’m just thinking over some questions.”
Chen Hong had a sort of blind trust towards 12th. If he said that there was nothing wrong, then there wasn’t anything wrong. As she turned to put away all of the cooking equipment, a Fu Master hurried back with Luo Zhan behind him, quietly saying, “Xiao Feng, take them and hide! We discovered a hunting chariot, and it’s already at the cave entrance!”