Chapter 7: Secrets
Ying Muo lifted his bowl and gulped a mouthful of soup as he tore another piece of bread and stuffed it into his mouth, exclaiming, “Delicious! It’s been a few days since I’ve eaten this well.”
12th wasn’t worried, as he ate he said, “Although wild boar meat is very aromatic, the meat is too thick and stringy; the texture isn’t very nice.”
Ying Muo smiled and said, “You’re quite picky. For those of us who just get by in the wild, we’re lucky to have anything to eat at all, and when it’s dire we’d even eat things raw, haha.”
12th said, “Delicious food is one of the pleasures of life! Don’t give it up so easily.”
Ying Muo didn’t care if he was scalded, as within a few minutes three large bowls of soup and many pieces of bread disappeared into his stomach. He was so fast that 12th didn’t even have time to be surprised.
“Haha, it’s an old habit. In the wildlands we have to eat quickly, in case anything happens, so I won’t fight on an empty stomach……” Ying Muo swallowed a large mouthful of hot soup and said, “This Mysterious Land…… I’ve been there before!”
At that 12th’s eyes suddenly sparkled with interest. Having someone familiar with the Mysterious Land introduce it to them could save a lot of time. Luo Jie and Qi Nan Shan immediately came over. Ying Muo smiled glibly and said, “Another bowl, a little more meat…… 12th, this is truly delicious, and that’s not an empty compliment!”
Qi Nan Shan said, “Oi, Ying Muo, spit it out, don’t tease people like that!”
Ying Muo said, “Wait a moment; wait ‘til I’ve finished this this bowl of meat……”
Qin Lang watched Ying Muo with disbelief, feeling deeply surprised inside. Ying Muo wasn’t anything like the legends in which he was said to be highly temperamental and had no disposition in killing. If anything he seemed to be very easy going.
Ying Muo slowly ate the meat and drank the soup, completely ignoring Qi Nan Shan and the others’ murderous eyes. After he was content, he set down his bowl and said, “Everyone should know that on the grasslands, the most famous Mysterious Land is the Mysterious Land of the Crazed Beasts. It’s been investigated for hundreds of years, but there are still areas that are completely unknown.”
Luo Jie nodded and said, “Yeah, the Mysterious Land of the Crazed Beasts in the Southern Fu Sect is similar to the Mysterious Land of the Inferno in the Northern Fu Sect—both are large scale Mysterious Lands.”
Ying Muo nodded, “This is a predetermined Mysterious Land with a predetermined entrance, which makes it suitable for the Great Sects to occupy. However, there exists an infinite number of Mysterious Lands, each with their own speciality. This Mysterious Land is what’s called a Restrictive Mysterious Land. It limits the number of people able to enter, haha, sixty years ago, when I was still a Fu Warrior Master, I entered it once.”
12th asked, “Was it dangerous inside?”
Ying Muo nodded, “It was very dangerous. That time over seven hundred people entered…… hmm seven hundred and twenty to be precise. Back then I was a member of the Crimson Demon Cavalry, and I didn’t know that this Mysterious Land had limited number of people who can enter. Over two thousand people from my Cavalry came, however less than half of us were able to enter, and the Mysterious Land just closed as soon as the limited number of people went through. We only discovered this property when we counted heads inside.”
“Haha, only seven hundred and twenty people entered, when we came out guess how many were left?”
“You weren’t the only survivor were you?” asked 12th.
Ying Muo shook his head, “It’s not that extreme, when we came out only just over five hundred people were left, we lost over two hundred people. I advanced to a Fu Warrior Grandmaster in there! There’s a giant sacrificial altar inside, which was a shame because at the time we didn’t realise what it was. By coincidence I camped the night there, but when I came out, I found out that I had advanced.”
Luo Jie exclaimed, “Sacrificial altar? A Fu Immolation!” He was a FuZhou Grandmaster so of course he knew of such a thing.
This was Ying Muo’s deepest secret. He already knew that Luo Jie is a FuZhou Grandmaster and not just a Zhou Grandmaster, this inquiry can only be understood by a Fu Grandmaster or a FuZhou Grandmaster, after he mysteriously advanced, he never forgot about that altar, this is his deepest secret.
“What’s a Fu Immolation?”
Luo Jie blushed, which showed his excitement. He said, “It’s a thing of legend that I always thought was fake, but…… Legend has it, there’s this type of Sacrificial Altar that can extinguish any and all obstacles of advancement. It’s unknown as to who invented such a thing, but it’s very mystical. I had always thought that it was fake, but who’d have guessed that this sort of thing exists.”
12th said, “Isn’t that cheating? Regardless of which path, as long as you go to the altar, you can advance, that’s absurd!”
Luo Jie shook his head, “Not just anybody can advance, it must be someone who has reached a bottleneck. Ying Muo back then must have been very close to advancing, otherwise he wouldn’t have advanced.”
Ying Muo nodded, saying, “No wonder…… So that was why. At the time there were three Fu Warrior Masters camping at the altar for the night, and afterwards I was the only one to advance.”
12th thought deeply, thinking that this sacrificial altar was connected to the spirit somehow, otherwise it wouldn’t stimulate Ying Muo’s advancement. He said, “Mister Ying Muo, how about you come with us? Take us to check the sacrificial altar out.”
Ying Muo nodded, as he said, “I’ve brought a few friends, thinking about trying our luck. Too bad I only know now that we must be at a bottleneck for it to work…… Alright, I’ll take you there. I remember the location of the altar very clearly.”
12th asked, “Other than the altar, what else is in there?”
Ying Muo shook his head, “No idea. We only stayed for fifteen days until we got thrown out.”
Shocked, Luo Jie said, “Fifteen days? That short a time?”
Ying Muo nodded and sighed, he said, “Yeah, the time frame was far too small, we only made it in a bit. This Mysterious Land is very big, thinking about it now…… I think it opens every sixty years.”
Luo Jie and 12th smiled at each other, the two of them both have the Fu Door’s Spirit Fu, as long as they enter it once, then they can enter it at will.
Ying Muo hadn’t noticed Luo Jie’s apprentice’s minor movements, he continued to say, “There are a lot of Fu Insects inside, as well as a lot of Variant Fu Insects too. I guess that it has something to do with the sacrificial altar, as last time that we entered this Mysterious Land it was because of our encounter with three Fu Insects that we lost over two hundred people. Even though we killed them in the end, we ended up losing too many people.”
12th said, “The ones who died were the unfortunate lower levelled ones, right?”
Ying Muo said, “Yeah, we counted ourselves lucky that we hadn’t encountered any Variant Fu Insects, otherwise we’d have lost many more people.”
Luo Jie said, “Ying Muo, bring your people here and move with us, we should be able to enter tomorrow.”
Ying Muo set down his bowl, saying, “I’ll be back shortly.” as he turned and left.
Luo Jie waited until Ying Muo was out of earshot and asked, “12th, where did you set your coordinates?”
“I set them just outside of Qin Guang, so once we return to the Northern Fu Sect I’ll reset it to home.”
Luo Jie said, “Good, this time when we enter the Mysterious Land, record the location of the sacrificial altar…… haha, it’s a precious thing. To think that it exists, this Mysterious Land is more important than anything. You have a lot of brothers who are stuck at a bottleneck and are unable to advance.” His face was flushed red, for with the Fu Immolation, it meant that many of his disciples can advance to Grandmaster level, which also meant that his position in the Northern Fu Sect would rise too.
12th laughed, “Congratulations Master!”
Qi Nan Shan smiled too, “Elder, this disciple of yours……he’s quite the lucky charm, haha!”
Luo Jie affectionately patted 12th shoulder, and said, “Mhmm, I never imagined that at my age I would still be able to find such a young disciple like you, haha. 12th, you really are my lucky star.”
Qi Nan Shan nodded, “Yeah, you bizarre, little, lucky star.”
12th called, “Hey, Grandpa Nan Shan, is that supposed to be a compliment?
Elder Du, with two Fu Warrior Grandmasters of the Maelstrom Cavalry, negotiated with Feng Yuan and Ma Shang Dian of the Black Eagle Cavalry extensively, and after some heated debate and some fierce competition, finally reached a mutual agreement. Because neither side wanted a fight to the death, and since both sides had misgivings, the only solution was a negotiation.
The Maelstrom Cavalry had three Grandmasters so they occupied fifty percent, the Black Eagle Cavalry had the remaining forty percent, as ten percent goes to Luo Jie’s small group. As for the vagabonds that wanted to enter, they were completely ignored. Only the spaces that were given to Ying Muo by 12th remained.
As soon as the sun rose, Luo Jie’s group was ready. 12th said, “We’ll enter first, for if we lag behind, who knows what problems will arise.”
Qi Nan Shan was in front and Ying Muo led a group of friends at the back. His friends were all Fu Warrior Masters, there were at least thirty of them and Luo Jie and 12th were in the middle. They all ignored the Maelstrom Cavalry and the Black Eagle Cavalry, and went straight for the Mysterious Land’s entrance. This group of people had three Grandmasters and one pseudo Grandmaster; the rest were mostly Fu Warrior Masters, so nobody dared to oppose such a strong force.
Elder Xie’s eyes spewed fire, staring at Luo Jie’s group entering the Mysterious Land with hatred. Elder Du said, “Elder Xie, calm yourself, wait until after we return from the Mysterious Land!”
After Luo Jie’s group all made it through the Mysterious Land entrance, Elder Du called, “We’re going too! Try to charge your way through. Those of you that were unable to make your way in,flee immediately, do not linger here!”
Feng Yuan also gave such an order, and at that moment the campsite was a giant mess, with many vagabond groups taking this opportunity to charge through the Mysterious Land entrance too.
As such, a bloody battle ensued……
By that time, Luo Jie’s group already disappeared through the forest.
This Mysterious Land was comprised of countless mountains peaks, the interesting thing about these mountain peaks being that they were all isolated from each other. If there was a way to fly above the Mysterious Land, then it would be clear to see. The ground was dotted with mountains that were distributed randomly, but the surrounding area of each mountain was flat land, so it looked like a chess board, every square has one mountain, and surrounding each mountain was flat land.
On the ground, there are various species of trees. It wasn’t a particularly dense forest, it is quite thin, and the tree trunks weren’t very thick either as the thickest trunk there wasn’t thicker than a bucket, while the majority of branches are no thicker than a fist. The season inside the Mysterious Land was similar to autumn, different to the early winter season of the grasslands. The air was very comfortable, and the leaves had just started to turn yellow.
12th said, “This place is very strange!”
Luo Jie laughed, “There’s nothing strange about it; the Mysterious Lands are all bizarre beyond compare. Once I saw a Mysterious Land that was comprised entirely of underground cave networks, making it impossible to go up, so I got stuck in there for the better half of a year until we finally got thrown out…… other than finding some mineral ores, there was practically no reward. Haha, the Mysterious Lands do have a degree of peculiarity.”
12th smiled, “Haha, that must have been frustrating. Hopefully this expedition will yield better results.”
“If the sacrificial altar really exists, then this will be worth it.”