Chapter 5: Three-Eyed Well
Following Qi Nan Shan’s attack, the combat group also charged the pride of lions.
12th stood on the back of his horse; he didn’t need to attack, just calmly spectate. Huo Bao and the others held their Fu Weapons, but their jobs were to protect 12th—they didn’t need to participate in the fight.
Xiao Feng and his group changed directions and headed towards the lions to join the fight.
“Master! Disrupt the group of lions over there! Don’t let them group up to attack.”
Luo Jie exhaled his Innate Fu Book and began his attacks. 12th loudly called, “Grandpa Nan Shan, help Qin Lang’s group!”
Wu Qin, despite being busy with the fight, turned his head to watch 12th. He was shocked seeing 12th standing atop his horse, calmly commanding everyone. His orders were all clear and precise, telling Luo Jie to disrupt the Crazed Lions, which stopped them from grouping up to attack. Making Qi Nan Shan help out the Qin Lang’s combat group. This way, if the combat group was surrounded by the lions, Qi Nan Shan would get there in time, and given his strength, he can quickly kill a few of the Crazed Lions, thus eliminating the danger of being surrounded.
Only two thirds of the group participated in the fight while the rest of them stayed to watch the horses, for they could attack at any time, so they were effectively the backup. Once Wu Qin understood 12th’s plan and orders, he felt a sense of calm and safety, and so he too attacked with all his strength.
Given the power of Luo Jie and his group, killing a few hundred Crazed Lions wasn’t hard, however 12th still had an uneasy feeling. Since Qin Lang’s scouting group encountered the lions on the outskirts, it was impossible to get nearer to the besieged campsite, meaning there are even more wild beasts there. There was one question that couldn’t get over—what caused all of these wild beasts to attack like this? Are they capable of this themselves or is someone controlling them?
The Crazed Lions were gradually dwindling in numbers, so 12th called, “Wu Qin! Wu Qin! Come over here!”
Wu Qin didn’t delay, he immediately mounted his horse and returned. Arriving before 12th, he politely asked, “12th…… Is there a problem?”
12th asked, “Wu Qin, do you think…… that these wild beasts are being controlled by someone?”
Wu Qin’s expression turned sour as he asked, “You suspect that someone is controlling them?”
12th didn’t believe that the wild beasts would attack humans of their own volition, especially for a species like the Crazed Lions. He saw it himself earlier as the lions went berserk and attacked, this contradicted normality as well as their normal behaviour.
Wu Qin’s face darkened, saying, “You suspect that the Southern Fu Sect is responsible for this?”
12th shook his head and said, “I’m not accusing the Southern Fu Sect, it’s just that the situation is very abnormal. What do you think?”
Wu Qin was stunned, but he didn’t show it on his face. he thought that 12th was being deliberately obtuse, it seemed like he’s wrong, so he said, “We don’t have anything that could control such a large number of wild beasts in the Southern Fu Sect…… hmm, I think the Beast Raising Fu Sect has something similar, however, in the Southern Fu Sect nobody is able to use this technique, although……” He wondered for a moment.
Luo Jie asked, “Although what?”
Wu Qin answered, “Elder, I don’t know if the Beast Raising Fu Sect is responsible for this, but…… I can guarantee that unless they are under someone’s control, nobody can coerce the Crazed Lions to start an attack when they were initially roaming freely by themselves.”
Luo Jie knew that Wu Qin wasn’t lying, so he nodded and said, “So if it isn’t the people from the Southern Fu Sect, then we don’t have any more qualms, haha. 12th carry on with your questions if you have any more.”
12th furrowed his brow and said, “No, I don’t have any more questions, thank you.”
Wu Qin said, “No problem.”
12th mumbled to himself, “Then who could it be? Unless it’s somebody from the Mysterious Lands?”
Luo Jie, despite his age, had very sensitive ears, meaning he heard 12th’s mumbles clearly, he laughed and said, “Stop guessing randomly, you should keep giving orders, the pack of lions…… oh, nevermind, they’ve all been killed.”
Only the hide of the Crazed Lions was of any use, so after all of the two hundred plus Crazed Lions had been killed, so only Qin Lang and a small group of his Fu Warriors went to collect the complete pieces of lion hide, nobody else bothered.
12th said, “Uncle Xiao Feng, take two people to scout ahead and try not to attract any attention from the wild beasts, I want to know what people are trapped inside.”
Xiao Feng called over two Fu Masters, and without riding the horses, they skittered into the grass, rapidly darting ahead.
12th asked, “Mister Qin Lang, is there anywhere nearby we can hide the horses?”
Qin Lang thought for a moment and replied, “Ten minutes on horseback in that direction. There’s a small forest; the horses can be hidden there.”
12th said, “Mister Qin Lang, tell your subordinates to go to that forest. Huo Bao and the others will join you. Wu Qin, tell your people to hide with the horses too, all of them except for your strongest fighter.”
Wu Qin knew 12th’s intentions, next battle only Fu Masters or Beast Masters have the power to participate. He nodded and said, “No problem, I’ll do that right away.”
12th said sternly, “You guys aren’t strong enough yet, if you go you’ll drag everyone else down…… Watch the horses in the grasslands, the horses are as important as our legs, nothing must happen to them…… Now go.”
Huo Bao left reluctantly. They didn’t want to, but 12th was the commander now so they couldn’t ignore his orders.
Qi Nan Shan asked, “12th, are we not riding the horses?”
12th said, “No, we don’t need to ride the horses, it’s more flexible this way, besides, this group is very powerful so if we don’t need to worry about the horses’ safety then everyone can unleash their full power. Uncle Luo, wait a moment and we’ll set off, carry me.”
Luo Zhan agreed and walked over to 12th’s side. Luo Jie was worried about 12th, so he ordered three Fu Masters to specifically protect the little guy.
Soon the group left with the horses, now less than twenty people remained. As per 12th’s assignment, Luo Jie’s group, Wu Qin’s group and his own group, the rest were under Qi Nan Shan’s command.
As the horse group slowly disappeared from everyone’s sight, Qi Nan Shan asked, “12th, are we heading out now?”
12th shook his head and said, “No, we’re waiting until Uncle Xiao Feng returns and then we’ll see. I need more information to decide, because if we go now…… we won’t be prepared enough.”
After waiting over ten minutes, Xiao Feng and the other two silently returned.
12th asked, “Who’s trapped there?”
Xiao Feng hesitantly said, “I don’t know whose people they are, but there are a lot of them, at least over a thousand people are trapped. I think it’s a group of merchants as well as a few groups of vagabonds. I’m not sure how there came to be so many people, but they’re completely surrounded by wild beasts, at least ten thousand of them, it’s terrifying.”
Qin Lang, shocked, exclaimed, “How is that possible? This is a very remote area, no merchants would come all the way out here……”
Xiao Feng said, “I don’t know if they even are merchants, but if they aren’t, why would so many people be gathered there?”
Luo Jie said, “They don’t necessarily have to be merchants to be gathered there……”
12th asked, “Is there anybody controlling these wild beasts?”
Xiao Feng replied, “We didn’t see anyone, all we could see was wild beasts. There’s no way to see if somebody is controlling them.”
12th thought deeply for a moment and then said, “Master, Grandpa Nan Shan, I think there must be some object here that’s attracting all the people as well as the wild beasts…… An altercation can’t arise from nothing…… We have two options, one is leave immediately, the other is to charge ahead and find out just what is going on. I can’t decide right now……”
Luo Jie nodded, indicating that he understood. 12th’s conflict was obvious to him, if they decided to leave and miss something important, he’d regret it, on the other hand if they choose to go in and in the end some people died to obtain nothing, then he would feel guilty, that’s why he chose to decide this for 12th so the responsibility was not 12th’s to bear.
Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan whispered a brief conversation, signalled over Wu Qin and said, “Wu Qin, we’re preparing to go in, if you feel like it’s too dangerous you can take your people and head to the forest and watch the horses.”
Wu Qin was deathly afraid of charging in, so he immediately said, “I’ll go to the forest.”
The few Fu Masters from the Northern Fu Sect eyed him with contempt. Wu Qin was shameless, he didn’t need to risk his life so he didn’t change his decision. Living the safe, easy life in Qin Guang for so long has long since sanded out his daring boldness. He took his subordinates, bid 12th farewell, turned and left.
12th watched him walk away, smiled and said, “That guy is a slippery bastard.”
Luo Jie said, “Despite being a complete coward, at least he’ll live quite long.”
Qi Nan Shan laughed, “Haha, if he is a Beast Fu Master then maybe he could improve, but since he’s a Beast Zhou Master he probably won’t be able to advance to Beast Zhou Grandmaster unfortunately.”
12th nodded. The path of a Beast Zhou Master was an offensive one, if one was too afraid to join in a fight then it would indeed be very difficult to advance. For 12th personally, if he enjoyed battle then he would go down the path of a Zhou Master, if he enjoyed creating Fu then he’ll go down the path of a Fu Master, though if he had an affinity for both then that would be best.
Luo Jie calmly said, “Forget about him. Let’s go have a look, find a weak point and charge right through!”
Qi Nan Shan laughed heartily and said, “Alright, I’ll lead the charge!”
With 12th on Luo Zhan’s back and Luo Jie on somebody else’s, they followed Qin Lang and sprinted ahead.
The roars of the wild beasts were getting louder and louder as everyone arrived at a small patch of trees. The land there was higher, which allowed them to see the situation ahead. Everyone stared into the distance, and their expressions turned, including both Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan. The situation up ahead was truly frightening.
12th said, “Uncle Luo, raise me up.”
Luo Zhan thrusted 12th high above him.
Watching for a moment, 12th said, “Alright, put me down.”
Luo Jie asked, “What do you think?”
12th said, “The only thing certain is…… these wild beasts are following some kind of command, however it’s impossible to see who’s commanding them. I also saw some Fu Beasts, at least three. Another thing, the people in the camp site…… they don’t seem to be trapped, it seems like they went in willingly…… Oh yeah, Mister Qin Lang, what is this place? Is there anything special about this place?”
Qin Lang said, “There’s nothing particularly interesting about this campsite, it’s just a normal resting place. This place is called the ‘Three-Eyed Well’, there’s just one relatively low wall surrounding it, it’s about two meters high, not the easiest place to defend.”
12th thought for a moment and asked, “Strange, why would it be besieged by wild beasts?”
Qin Lang said, “This isn’t a place where Fu Beasts dwell. In the grasslands it’s extraordinarily rare to find Fu Beasts, especially in this area, at least I haven’t heard of any Fu Beasts appearing. 12th, are you sure there are Fu Beasts?”
Qi Nan Shan said, “I also saw them, there are indeed Fu Beasts.”
Luo Jie couldn’t see that far on account of his age. He asked, “What kind of Fu Beasts were they? Could you see clearly?”
Qi Nan Shan shook his head and said, “Their fur glowed with Fu Light, which could be seen, however it was too far away to notice any specific species. I don’t think they are native though.”
As soon as he finished that sentence, he stared in realisation. 12th and Luo Jie spoke simultaneously, “The Mysterious Lands?”
Although the Mysterious Lands were very dangerous, the potential rewards of exploring them were astronomical, that was a widely accepted fact. 12th sighed and said, “If a Mysterious Land has opened, then that would explain a lot, only…… If the Mysterious Lands have already opened, then why are they still staying around here?”
12th said, “Unless there are battles being fought deeper in as well!”
Luo Jie reacted very quickly, he said, “If people inside are also fighting the wild beasts, then it can be assumed that this really is an opening to the Mysterious Lands!”
To guard the entrance to the Mysterious Lands the Great Sects will send men to forcefully repel outsiders, the Northern Fu Sect also did this. The Mysterious Lands were basically a treasure vault, the more people who go in, the more the treasure will be lost. That’s why as soon as the Mysterious Land opens, the Great Sects would guard the entrance the instant they find out.
12th’s eyes sparkled, he smiled and said, “Last time we nearly died in the Mysterious Lands, but I still want to go back in again. This time who knows which of the Mysterious Lands we’ll end up in, hehe, how interesting.”
Qi Nan Shan and Luo Jie exchanged a glance, and the two of them smiled. Luo Jie sighed and said, “Who knows what happened for us to run into two Mysterious Lands so soon. Haha, our luck in this excursion is beyond belief!”
12th said, “Since it’s the Mysterious Lands, then…… we should bring the war horses here.”
Qi Nan Shan and Luo Jie discussed it a little. Qi Nan Shan said, “Qin Lang, take two people and go over there…… tell everyone to bring the warhorses over, tread carefully, don’t draw attention.”
12th said, “Mister Qin Lang, you don’t need to tell Wu Qin what’s going on here, just say that we need the warhorses to attack, so…… if he doesn’t want to come, then tell him to return to the Southern Fu Sect himself, no need to wait on us.”
Luo Jie agreed, “Qin Lang, since that man is unwilling to participate in battle then let him leave.” The Master and disciple both systematically excluded Wu Qin.
Qin Lang agreed and taking two others, they quickly left.
Qi Nan Shan asked, “12th, in your opinion…… where is the weakest point in the surrounding mass of wild beasts?”
12th laughed and said, “Haven’t you already found it Grandpa Nan Shan? The barricade of wild beasts is not so tight as to not let outsiders in, although I haven’t figured out why that is yet.”
Qi Nan Shan said, “Doesn’t matter, we’ll see after we kill our way inside.”
12th nodded, “Once the warhorses arrive, we’ll charge in. Not sure what Mysterious Land this is, haha, I’m so excited. I wonder how long we’ll stay inside this time. Master, I don’t think we’ll have time to go to the Southern Fu Sect.”
Luo Jie waved it off nonchalantly and said, “Nevermind that, I’m not all that interested in the Southern Fu Sect anyway. If it weren’t for letting you kids experience the world some more, I wouldn’t even have come out here…… haha, though I never expected to find two Mysterious Lands, this was unbelievably unexpected, good, excellent, haha.”
Soon after, Qin Lang and his people brought back the horses.
Huo Bao ran to 12th’s side and asked, “12th, why did you ask us to come?”
12th smiled, “We might have just encountered our second Mysterious Land, haha, that’s why you guys had to come back, if we accidentally went inside and you guys didn’t know then that would be troublesome.”
Huo Bao was shocked, he asked, “Another Mysterious Land?” He had an uneasy feeling towards Mysterious Lands, or more importantly, he didn’t think that himself strong enough to be of help to 12th.
12th asked, “What’s wrong? Scared?”
Huo Bao pouted and said, “As if I would be scared!”
12th couldn’t help but laugh, Huo Bao was so annoyed he almost stormed away. Chen Bing said, “Huo Bao, forget it we’re leaving soon, you take 12th’s left, Hong Shi will be in front, I’ll take the right and Chen Hong has his back.”
Chen Hong complained, “Hng, why am I at the back again?”
Qi Nan Shan said, “I’ll lead the way, the Elder and 12th will be in the middle, so everyone get ready and follow my charge. Remember, don’t become enthralled by the thrill of battle, just win as quickly as possible!”
The sound of horses galloping disturbed the wild beasts, and following a shrill howl a pack of giant wolves darted towards them. Qi Nan Shan shouted, “Don’t panic! Don’t break formation!” He turned his horse to charge straight towards the wolves. Good thing the warhorses that they rode were the best in the grasslands, after a long time training these warhorses were no longer afraid of wild beasts.
With Qi Nan Shan’s power as a Fu Warrior Grandmaster, the wolves didn’t stand a chance. Just a green streak of light as the Fu Knife cut horizontally across, and within that moment the three giant wolves died. The horses stormed past the pack of wolves like a thunderstorm, galloping through without fear and with ease. After the wolf pack littered the ground with corpses, the remaining few watched as the horses ran past them, all they could do was give mournful howls to the sky.
The group continued on as they broke through the ranks of Crazed Lions, which were followed by a group of saber tooth tigers. The group moved swiftly, only a few warhorses were caught by the wild beasts and were subsequently eaten.
Qi Nan Shan called loudly, “Is anybody hurt?”
Qi Nan Shan smiled and said, “Alright! Let’s go in!”
Qi Nan Shan’s calculations were spot on, there were only three groups of wild beasts guarding this area, and as such they didn’t show any hostility towards them. Because of this they successfully reached the outskirts of the encampment where the surrounding wall was probably a hundred meters long. Not far down was a gap in the wall, perfect for the horses to go through.
Luo Jie called, “Watch out!”
A couple dozen of Fu Arrows’ light streaked towards them. Qi Nan Shan shouted, “Bastards!” as he waved his Fu Knife and a chain of explosions were heard; the Fu Arrows didn’t even get close before they were blown apart.
Luo Jie tapped the Innate Fu Book in front of him without hesitation. Rings of Heavenly Thorns flew out and directly hit at the break in the wall. An explosion reverberated through the crowd as the Fu Warriors guarding the gap in the wall all fell with no sign of getting back up. Five or six of them were either dead or unconscious; the rest were hit directly and suffered grave injuries.
With one shot the people inside panicked. Someone screamed, “Zhou Grandmaster! It’s a Zhou Grandmaster!”
“Retreat! Retreat! Don’t try to fight them!”
Qi Nan Shan roared loudly, then suddenly leapt from the back of his horse towards the gap in the wall. He landed on top of the wall and crouching, he shouted, “Who attacked us!” Following his shouting, the rest of the group rode in.
The appearance of two Grandmasters deterred everybody in the camp site.
The moment when 12th entered through the gap in the wall, he clearly saw the entrance to the Mysterious Land.
The entrance was between two of the three wells, it was roughly a hundred meters long and four meters high and it looked just like a movie screen from his previous life, just a lot wider. The scenery inside was blatantly different than that of outside—it was obvious that it was the Mysterious Lands.
The Three-Eyed Well was a very large camp site, it spanned around a square kilometre and inside it was crowded with people. The area a few decimetres from the entrance of the Mysterious Lands was riddled with corpses. It was a harsh and conspicuous image, and nobody dared enter that area, in other words nobody was able to enter the Mysterious Lands.
12th said quietly, “Master, there are at least a few thousand people here…… Damn, I can’t tell what clan they’re from nor which Sect. The symbols they carry, I can’t tell what it is……”
Qin Lang said, “They’re the grasslands’ cavalry…… They aren’t from the same clans either, there are two groups. The ones with a pheasant feather on their heads are the Maelstrom Cavalry. The ones with the black capes are the Black Eagle Cavalry!”
12th asked, “Cavalry? What’s that?”
Qin Lang said, “They attack and rob from merchants and consist largely of vagabonds. Usually when a couple of the members perish while hunting, the surviving vagabonds will join a cavalry, either that or they create a new vagabond group. However, if they do join a cavalry, they won’t be able to leave.”
12th laughed and said, “What sort of cavalry is that? They’re obviously just petty thieves, haha, so it’s just a bunch of bandits.”
Qin Lang nodded, “Yeah, exactly! They’ll steal from anybody, they’ll meet a group of vagabonds and force any FuZhou users to join or they’ll kill them, so on the grasslands they’re just a group of bastards.”
Luo Jie asked, “Are there any Grandmasters amongst them?”
Qin Lang nodded, “Yeah, there are quite a few! Even though they’re all bandits they are very good at killing, they are still very powerful.”
Luo Jie’s face darkened and said, “Everyone be careful!”
12th was rapidly thinking through ideas and plans, he was carefully inspecting the surroundings.
As Qin Lang said, there were two cavalry groups here, but 12th also saw a group of vagabonds with at least a few hundred people, meaning that in this crowd there were three groups of people. The vagabonds were strong, a dozen or so vagabond groups can become an army, but despite that, in these three groups, the vagabond group is the weakest. He said, “Master, we need to go over there!”
Luo Jie said, “Alright, Nan Shan, let’s go!”
Everyone moved towards where the vagabond groups have gathered. They didn’t get very far before a voice said, “Halt!”. Following the sound of horse hooves, a dozen cavalrymen rode over.
From the feather on their heads, it was easy to tell that they were from the Maelstrom Cavalry. The people that Luo Jie killed earlier had a feather attached to their heads. Qi Nan Shan whispered, “Prepare for battle!”
12th eyed them for a moment, and kept his surprise to himself. He could sense that two of them were Fu Warrior Grandmasters, and another was a Zhou Grandmaster.
Qi Nan Shan wasn’t afraid at all, he stood at the front and called, “Stop! Who are you?”
Luo Jie and the Zhou Grandmaster made the same move, both exhaling their Innate Fu Books, preparing to attack at a moment’s notice. The glow emanating from the Innate Fu Books was a deterrent to the surrounding people. An attack from a Zhou Grandmaster was devastating, so much so that even a powerful grassland cavalry would still feel frightened.
12th knew that in this situation they had to deter the enemy. He stood on the back of his horse without hesitation and exhaled his own Innate Fu Orb. His Innate Fu Orb was even brighter, and was stranger. He had two Offensive Fu, not necessarily worse than a Zhou Grandmaster, his power was already close to a Zhou Grandmaster anyway.
The Maelstrom Cavalry obviously didn’t imagine that their enemy had two Grandmasters, nor did they expect a small child to be someone with power on par with a Zhou Master. They slowed down and rode up in front without exaggerating their demeanor. In the grasslands, power was everything.
“Who are you?”