Chapter 4: Ying Muo
The man ate wildly. The strange thing was, even Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan were speechless, everyone just watched the man as he ate. 12th even cooked some more kebabs just for him.
The man said, “Leave it rarer, it’s better with a bit of blood……”
12th silently cooked some more. Everyone ate quietly and soon, over half of the wild bull was gone. 12th said, “Alright, that’s enough. Chen Hong, could you pass me a bowl of soup? I’m not full yet.”
That man suddenly laughed out loud and said, “Interesting child, and a FuZhou Master to boot! Haha, for eating your food, I’ll gift you this Spirit Fu, it’s of no real use to me…… If I get the chance to, I’ll come eat your kebabs again. They are very unique, very delicious…… ah, that’s right, my name is Ying Muo……” He threw over a milky white coloured Fu and left as soon as he finished talking.
Qin Lang walked over and couldn’t help but call out when he overheard.
T/N: The phonetic spelling of his name is actually ‘Ying Mo’, the ‘Mo’ is pronounced ‘mwoar’ which is why I added a ‘u’, for anglicization and ease of reading. The characters for his name directly translate to ‘Eagle Demon’.
Ying Muo waved his hand and disappeared into the night.
Luo Jie spoke deeply, “Fu Warrior Grandmaster! That man was a Fu Warrior Grandmaster!”
Qin Lang asked, “That man said his name was Ying Muo?”
12th held the Fu that he was given and said, “Who’s Ying Mo? He said that was his name, I didn’t mishear.”
Qin Lang said, “He’s a well-known lone wolf. Wandering the grasslands, he is extremely powerful, and he’s somewhat emotionally unstable…… Wow, I never thought he would be here.”
Luo Jie said, “12th, you sure are lucky. Just by cooking meat, you cooked out a Fu.” He reached over and took the Fu and inspected it. His expression changed as he then said, “12th, quickly absorb it. This really is a Spirit Fu…… Hidden Spirit Fu, it’s a Hidden Fu that can be absorbed into a person’s Innate Fu. Haha, it’s very rare; Ying Muo wasn’t lying, it really is useless to him.”
12th was completely stunned. He knew of Hidden Spirit Fu, it was an essential Fu for an Innate Fu Book. The Hidden Spirit Fu could store items; even though the capacity wasn’t the largest, it could be absorbed into the Innate Fu Book, making it the safest, most secure place to store important items. He exhaled his Innate Fu Orb without hesitation and, lightly tapping the Hidden Spirit Fu, absorbed it into his Innate Fu Orb.
Luo Jie shook his head and said, “You really are a little demon, absorbing Spirit Fu like nobody’s business.”
This Hidden Spirit Fu has a cube-shaped storage space. It was as clean as a whistle inside. It was completely different to the Hidden Fu Bag. 12th could clearly sense the Hidden Spirit Fu’s space. All he needed to do to withdraw an item was to will it — very convenient.
“Master, how many copies of Hidden Spirit Fu can a FuZhou Grandmaster have?”
Luo Jie smiled and said, “A great deal. However, a Hidden Spirit Fu isn’t the easiest thing to obtain; so far, I’ve only got ten.”
12th asked, “Can we create Hidden Spirit Fu ourselves?”
Luo Jie replied, “It’s very difficult…… The materials required are extremely expensive and also exceedingly rare. Even though I know how to create them, I don’t like to use those materials on Hidden Spirit Fu, Hidden Fu Bags are sufficient.”
12th said, “Haha, all right, Master.” Unexpectedly receiving a Hidden Spirit Fu made 12th very content. He didn’t know who Ying Muo stole this from, and taking advantage of the fact that he couldn’t use it, he treated it like normal goods and used it to exchange for a meal of roast meat.
Qi Nan Shan said, “Rest up, we ought to get up early and continue on our journey.”
Huo Bao and the other children deftly assembled the tent. 12th first practiced some basic movements and then crawled inside the tent. While seated inside, he started to repeatedly recite his chants. This was his daily routine, he must chant for several hours. Every time he chanted, his spirit got a little bit stronger. Doing this for so long was how his spirit became so strong.
Recently, 12th had some doubts. He had never encountered the stress of advancing; he felt as though those milestones virtually didn’t exist. For example, when he advanced into a FuZhou Master, the prerequisite was obtaining his own Innate Fu. Advancing from FuZhou Warrior to FuZhou Master was meant to be very difficult because assimilating the Innate Fu into the spirit was a very difficult and painful thing to achieve. However, for him, there was practically no obstacle in successfully completing this procedure.
As for advancing to FuZhou Grandmaster, he didn’t think it was particularly that hard either. He figured that once he obtained enough Spirit Fu, he would be able to advance. This was a very strange confidence, it was a strange feeling. Maybe it was the advantage of having a spirit that came from another world.
Not encountering the hardship of advancing was good, of course, as long as he gets enough Spirit Fu or even more powerful Fu. Then, he could advance at any time. However, the disadvantage was obvious — his knowledge was lacking. A FuZhou Master’s basic knowledge comes from creating Fu and using Fu. By relying on his extraordinarily strong spirit, 12th could quickly learn to use all kinds of powerful Fu, but his ability to create Fu falls behind. Improving his abilities to create Fu requires a lot of practice, training, and time. As such, right now, he was closer to a Zhou Master rather than a FuZhou Master.
12th lied on a sheet of thick beast skin. With his hands under his head, he stared at the tent ceiling. He thought back to that mysterious Li Ran that they met in the Mysterious Land.
From his instincts, he felt that Li Ran was very powerful, a lot stronger than his master, Luo Jie. Even his Master was shocked at what Li Ran had told them, this proved that his master didn’t understand Li Ran’s world either. It was evident that the world Li Ran belonged to was far superior to the world that they knew. Said superiority was relevant to their fighting ability being more powerful, and their standard of power was higher too.
12th sighed. The promise he made with Li Ran… He had already decided that he would go no matter what. Whatever it was that awaited him, it was worth seeking out.
At night, various wild beast calls could be heard. For inexperienced people, it was a very frightening night. That being said, everyone at the South Castle were all experienced people — all very strong, so they didn’t care about the wild beasts at all. With the exception of the people on watch, pretty much everyone was sleeping soundly.
As soon the sun started to rise, sounds of people’s voices started up too.
Qin Lang got up the earliest. He woke his own little group and fed all of the horses. Then, he collected their belongings and waited for everyone else to get up. With all of the horses fed and ready, Qi Nan Shan contentedly patted Qin Lang on the shoulders and praised him. Then everyone hurriedly ate breakfast.
Wu Qin’s group was also ready. They only depended on Luo Jie’s group and, therefore, didn’t receive the services of Qin Lang and the others. Thus, they had to make their own breakfast too.
Luo Jie asked, “Qin Lang, what’s the plan for today?”
Qin Lang said, “From here, we’ll head straight into the grasslands. Haha, if we’re lucky, it’ll be successful. If not…… and we encounter powerful wild beasts, then everyone will need to……”
Luo Jie interrupted him and said, “All right, leave the powerful wild beasts to us, you just focus on how to get everyone to the next rest stop.”
Qin Lang’s face was flushed slightly red. He had gotten used to the regular people who he accompanied to cross the grasslands, but Luo Jie? This group had two Grandmasters in their ranks, there was no need to worry about wild beast attacks at all. This wasn’t a mere hunting group entering the grasslands for hunts, this was a group with extraordinary fighting power.
“Haha, yes! Yes! Our next destination is the Great Mines. There are small camps set up by the vagabonds, we can replenish our supplies there.”
Luo Jie nodded and said, “We should hurry, set off immediately!”
Wu Qing led his own little group and waited silently on the side. Admittedly, that guy was quite obedient; he doesn’t ask questions, only listens to commands. On that point, both Qin Lang and Luo Jie were very content.
Qi Nan Shan called, “Mount the horses! Let’s go!”
Qin Lang’s horse led the front and set off galloping from the South Castle.
Over thirty people and over one hundred war horses galloped from the South Castle. With the rumbling from their hooves, it sounded like an entire cavalry. Some groups couldn’t help but curse them quietly; they were quite jealous. On the grasslands, so many horses would undoubtedly attract wild beasts to attack. Without sufficient fighting power, it would be fatal to group up like this. However, groups like this were the safest, only groups like this could successfully hunt more wild beasts.
Trudging through on horseback for such a long journey, if they didn’t have sturdy enough bodies and patience, then it’d be very difficult to maintain. 12th and the other children had it the roughest; they had to make sure not to lag behind. Good thing that they were very fit and healthy so, even if they got tired, they still wouldn’t lag behind.
Luo Jie watched the five children. It was heartwarming and inspirational to see the five of them helping each other and taking care of each other. It was obvious that they were tired but not a single one of them complained. Constantly and quietly persevering, they refused to let the whole group down.
Continuously riding for seven days, even Luo Jie was started feel quite tired. He asked, “Qin Lang, how long until the next checkpoint?”
Qin Lang looked around in all directions and answered, “We’re already halfway through. If we hurry today, we can get to the next stop a little earlier.”
Qi Nan Shan rode next to Qin Lang and called, “Since we have a bit of time, then why don’t we rest a bit, eat something, and take a drink? Also, let the horses take a break; riding for these past few days, the warhorses are tired too!”
Qin Lang nodded and said, “There’s a small hill ahead, we can rest there!”
Normally, they could find a resting point by using half a day’s time. Whether if it was a camp set up by vagabonds or ruins from history, or even advantageous geography, these were all excellent places to replenish supplies. These types of places were dotted across the grasslands like stars through the night sky. However, they were only easily found by people who have traversed the grasslands for years.
Qi Nan Shan praised, “Not bad Qin Lang, you’re just like a living map. Haha, you even know of hills that we might pass, very impressive!”
Qin Lang’s face wrinkled as he smiled widely. To be praised by a Grandmaster made him very happy. He modestly said, “It’s only because I’ve made this journey a lot, so I’m familiar with it.”
At that moment, a small hill appeared in front of everyone. The hill wasn’t particularly tall. It was full of weeds and shrubs, much like a giant whale revealing the back of its body.
There wasn’t a large tree on the top of the hill, only weeds. Everyone made their way up, looking down and as far as they could to clearly spot the wild beasts roaming the grasslands.
After everyone dismounted from the horses, they quickly fed them and then hurriedly ate and drank. Their food was braised pork and their drink was water. 12th found a large flat stone. He signalled to his four companions, and they all sat together on the rock. He grabbed a piece of braised pork and said while eating, “I heard Mister Qin say that we can reach the resting point relatively soon today.”
Huo Bao said, “The earlier we get there, the sooner we can rest……”
12th said, “I’ve got to train you guys today…… We don’t have much time; when everyone gets to the resting point, don’t run off, I will complete my task of training you to the best of my ability.”
Chen Hong quickly forced her mouth shut as her face flushed slightly red. Even though she already had a couple sessions of training, she still hadn’t gotten used to it, but she cannot not train. Every time 12th trained her, it was like torture. From head to toe, she froze up. She was even too scared to open her eyes. She didn’t think it was time for training so soon, so she was feeling uncontrollably flustered.
12th eyed her for a moment. He was a little shocked, but he didn’t show it on his face as he continued, “After we finish training tonight, you’ll have ten days to absorb the Blood Fu…… Oh that’s right, since we switched to using Blood Fu, how do you guys think about it?” He intentionally asked a broad question to save Chen Hong from further awkwardness.
Chen Bing said, “The effects are amazing. I’ve carefully calculated it before, it’s at least twice as effective as the Light Fu. Not to mention that, since we consumed the purified blood from that Great Earth Dragon, with the stimulus of using Blood Fu, our bodies feel a lot stronger.”
12th nodded, and he said, “Master told me that those drops of purified blood can only be absorbed over many years. Since you guys are using Blood Fu to train, the absorption process is just a bit faster. I, on the other hand, am not so fortunate; I’m not sure how long it will take to finish absorbing it. Haha, a Great Earth Dragon, and a Variant one at that! I think the effects ought to be quite extensive. Maybe you all will only notice the benefits once you guys advance to Fu Master.”
Hong Shi chimed in, “I also think that my body has gotten a lot stronger. We can even use some Fu Warrior techniques.”
12th sighed and said, “As expected of Blood Fu created by Master. Haha, I heard him say that he wanted to use materials from the Great Earth Dragon to create Blood Fu. It’s Blood Fu that is of Spirit Fu standard…… You guys need to keep working hard. You have to be at least Fu Warriors to be able to handle the Spirit Fu level Blood Fu.”
Chen Hong forgot about her embarrassment and asked, “Spirit Fu leveled Blood Fu? I heard the adults talking about it before, using this type of Blood Fu can lessen the burdens of advancing. Especially when advancing from Fu Master to Fu Grandmaster, this type of Blood Fu is the best high-leveled Fu. 12th, will the Elder really give this to you?”
Huo Bao said, “Of course he will! Don’t you know how much the Elder spoils 12th?”
Chen Bing said, “Yeah, 12th is seriously lucky. With the Elder’s support, he can do whatever he wants. Haha, we’ve gotten a lot of benefits from following him too.”
Huo Bao suddenly sighed and said, “It’s just a damn shame that we don’t work hard enough. 12th is already at the level of FuZhou Masters while we can’t even advance to Fu Warriors. Not being able to help 12th makes me very worried.”
Chen Hong also nodded and said, “Yeah, yeah, I’m worried too……”
Hong Shi smiled bitterly, “At least you can cook, I can’t do anything……”
12th hurriedly said, “Worried about what? How old are you guys? When the time comes, you’ll advance in due time. Just make sure to keep training and don’t get lazy. Forget about Fu Master, you’ll easily be able to advance to Fu Grandmaster! I have faith in you guys.”
The four of them all strangely looked at 12th. First, Chen Bing sighed, then Huo Bao, and lastly Chen Hong and Hong Shi both sighed at the same time. 12th asked curiously, “Hey, what’s with the sighs? You all look miserable!”
Huo Bao said, “12th, you’re younger than all of us……”
12th, in that moment, was speechless. His tone just then was similar to that of the officers in his past life, it was similar to how an adult talks to children. Unfortunately, right now, the ages and appearances were all wrong which was why it gave everyone an eerie feeling.
Once everyone quieted down, albeit softened by distance, the sound of fighting could be heard. The children’s ears were the most sensitive and therefore, they heard it clearly. Surprised, 12th said, “Did you hear that?”
Chen Hong stood up and said, “I heard it, I think it came from that direction.”
12th also stood up. While standing on the large flat rock, he gazed into the distance, but all he could see was the disturbance of smoke and dust on the horizon. It was too far to see anything in detail.
“Everyone get on your horses!” shouted Qi Nan Shan.
12th immediately signalled to his companions to mount up. They must not lag behind, especially not now.
Qi Nan Shan called, “Go!” Everyone rode their horses down the hill towards the direction of the smoke.
12th had some suspicions. He went up next to Luo Jie and asked, “Master, why are we heading this way, are we going to join in the fight?”
Luo Jie said, “That’s the rest stop we’re heading for, we have to go there.”
12th just now understood. In the grasslands, you have to be at a campsite in order to rest; taking rests in the wild was far too dangerous. They were professionals so they weren’t afraid of wild beasts, but the horses couldn’t handle it. They needed the protection of those campsites. Once they lost their horses, in order to walk out of the grasslands, it would waste a lot of time, and that was something they must not do no matter what.
Since they must go investigate anyway, if the rest stop was under attack, they had to go and help save it. This was also for their own benefits too. Qin Lang called, “Faster, faster!”
The warhorses sprinted forward at earth-shattering speeds. Even on grassland, their hooves still created clouds of dust.
Even though it was quite tiring to ride a horse, 12th enjoyed the feeling from riding at high speeds, especially in a large group — it felt like flying. It reminded him of the soldiers in his past life and made him remember the long-since-dead friends and comrades.
The group hurried as fast as they could and soon, they could see the smoke off in the distance as they could hear the sounds of fighting.
Qi Nan Shan called, “12th! 12th! Come over here!”
12th rode up ahead. Huo Bao and the others stayed behind him. They were 12th’s bodyguards. Even though they were young, they still needed to follow close behind 12th.
“Grandpa Nan Shan, what’s the matter?”
Qi Nan Shan said, “Take command! Everyone will listen to your orders, including your Master and myself!” Ever since he discovered that he was a natural at giving orders back in the Mysterious Lands, he received Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan’s approval. They believed that he could command better than themselves, and that was why Qi Nan Shan suggested him to command the group.
Luo Jie also said, “12th, take command!”
Qin Lang and Wu Qin were nearby. As they clearly heard everything, the two of them watched Qi Nan Shan in disbelief. To let a child command the group, were these two Grandmasters crazy? Both of their expressions changed, and their underlings also made low murmurings.
Luo Zhan called, “12th, go on, we’ll listen to your commands!” All of the Fu Masters who were with Luo Jie had no objections. 12th’s actions in the Mysterious Lands was enough evidence; this child was far from average, and he should not be treated as a child.
12th wasn’t modest either. In his past life, he could command a giant squad of soldiers — a few thousand soldiers all under his command. Commanding a group of forty-odd people was child’s play. He said, “Alright, I’ll command!”
Qin Lang asked, “Why are we stopping?!”
12th glanced over and coldly said, “I don’t need to explain myself!” At that moment, he had an attitude of such stern finality that it denied all challenge. He said, “Mister Qin Lang, take four people to investigate, I want to know what’s happening up ahead; Uncle Xiao Feng, take some people and follow them, we’ll follow slowly.”
“Everyone ready your weapons. A few of you stay behind to take care of the extra horses.”
Qin Lang, seeing Qi Nan Shan and Luo Jie following the commands without question, immediately took four people and sped ahead. Xiao Feng led some people and followed them. 12th called, “Uncle Xiao Feng, if you encounter a fight, don’t dawdle — retreat immediately!”
Xiao Feng called, “Roger!” It seemed like he was already used to taking orders from 12th.
Wu Qin watched, stunned. He was internally shocked; he only just realised that 12th held such power within this group. He couldn’t understand it at all! A child who was not even ten…… How could he have gained the approval and respect of all these professionals?
Not long after, the sound of rapid horse hooves came from ahead. 12th called, “Grandpa Nan Shan, help them!” and then he said, “Master, get ready, everyone follow battle formations and charge!”
Qi Nan Shan smiled widely, “Roger!” He rode ahead.
12th rode next to Luo Jie and said, “Master, get ready to attack, there are a lot of wild beasts!”
Luo Jie wondered, “That’s odd…… Where did they all come from?”
Wu Qin initially thought that 12th was just a self-important, arrogant little child pretending to be of worth, but in that moment, he knew he was wrong. He called, “Battle stations! Battle stations!” He quickly released his Beast Fu; a dozen wild beasts made of Beast Spirits appeared around him. Zhou Beast Masters may be powerful, but they themselves had weak bodies.
“It’s a pack of Crazed Lions! They’re Crazed Lions!”
12th felt a small feeling of panic. He knew what Crazed Lions were. In the grasslands, Crazed Lions were one of the more powerful wild beasts. Normally, they wandered the grasslands in packs, but the packs rarely exceed a hundred members. Usually, it was either under twenty or around sixty in a pack.
12th jumped with all of his strength, crouching on the back of his horse he had a look ahead. He was shocked by what he saw. There were at least two hundred adult Crazed Lions, currently chasing Qin Lang’s men. Qin Lang and the others were retreating for their lives. It was a good thing that Xiao Feng and some other Fu Masters were there to help; otherwise, Qin Lang and his group might not have been able to escape.
Luo Jie asked, “12th, how is it?”
12th said, “I don’t think it’s very good, Master. I’m afraid we’ll have to flee again.”
Luo Jie said with doubt, “It’s only a couple hundred Crazed Lions…… We can fight this.”
12th shook his head and said, “Just by getting close to the edge attracted over two hundred Crazed Lions, there are undoubtedly more further in…… We don’t know what kind of people are being surrounded by the wild beasts. To be able to hold off until now, they should be people of Grandmaster level…… Master, we’ll just stay around the outside. If the situation gets worse, we’ll retreat. There is no need to risk our lives further.”
Qi Nan Shan suddenly jumped off of his warhorse and sprinted ahead, not before saying, “Take my horse!”
Xiao Feng jumped from his warhorse and landed on Qi Nan Shan’s warhorse. He forcibly turned the horse around, riding the horse back to the group. Qi Nan Shan gave a battle cry, followed by flashes of his sword slashes that were followed by blood spraying into the air.