Translated by TheFireTrucker
Edited by Qwaztop
Chapter 2: Ruins
Luo Jie asked, “Yesterday, Li Ran said something, do you remember what it was?”
12th laughed and replied, “Master, Brother Li said many things yesterday, couldn’t you be a little more specific? Unless…… You don’t mean that thing about the hunters…… do you?” He suddenly remembered that Qi Nan Shan said that his Master was very worried; he must’ve been worried about the journey they were about to make today. After thinking about it a bit, he understood just what his Master was worried about.
Luo Jie couldn’t help but shake his head, saying, “Oh 12th, you are too smart, of all the possibilities you even guessed this accurately.”
12th waved his hand modestly, “It was just a thought.”
“Little Demon!” Qi Nan Shan quietly mumbled.
Luo Jie said, “What do you think 12th? I don’t think Li Ran would lie to us so I don’t dispute the credibility of this information, however we don’t know how strong those hunters are, and if they are stronger than us then we’ll be walking into a death trap, if we’re about even or if they’re weaker than us then it should be worth us continuing exploring.”
12th replied, “There is a possibility that we’re stronger than them, but most likely they are more powerful than us.”
Qi Nan Shan said, “We’ve already come this far, I don’t think anybody wants to turn around and go back.”
Indeed, like Qi Nan Shan, Luo Jie clearly didn’t want to go back, for the Mysterious Lands were not easy to enter and even though they had Fu Doors now, the only location recorded on it was this Mysterious Land. They also didn’t have the location of their home recorded, so they had to wait until they managed to leave the Mysterious Land and only upon returning to their home could they record the location onto the Fu Door, so even if they wanted to return home, they couldn’t. They were also unwilling to stay in one place and not do anything, so the only choice was to press on.
As such, Luo Jie made his decision quickly, “We’ll continue, but be careful, try to hide from the hunters and if we do encounter them, don’t hesitate, kill them immediately! We must not allow our presence to be known lest they start hunting us.” He said with a ferocious killing intent. He was willing to kill for the group’s safety.
Qi Nan Shan called out, “Alright, gather round!”
12th said, “Master, we need to find some horses first, walking like this is too slow.”
Luo Jie replied, “Yeah, at the speed we’re going, it would be too exhausting.”
The group of 25 people gathered quickly, Qi Nan SHan said, “Luo Zhan, take two people to scout ahead, if you see people don’t do anything, return immediately.”
Luo Zhan nodded and took two people ahead.
What was ahead was a seemingly endless expanse of forest. Fog rose out of the jungle and under the sunlight, it produced rainbows. Countless birds were flying overhead with their bird calls. Occasionally, a strange growl emanated from the forest, it sounded like a beast’s call, which gave this forest quite an eerie and ominous atmosphere.
Luo Zhan and his company stood atop a hill, carefully watching the edge of the forest, he announced, “That forest is not safe!”
Qi Nan Shan’s expression was grave, he said, “We don’t know what’s in there, Elder, I have a bad feeling about this, it’s as if this forest will be my grave.”
Luo Jie said, “Bullshit! We’ll be careful, you give the orders. 12th, you and your companions follow me, don’t worry, Master is here, nothing bad will happen.”
12th has a strong feeling of danger present, he said, “Master, I know.” as he said to his four companions, “Everyone, follow us closely, don’t be stupid, under no circumstances must we distract the Masters.”
Huo Bao said, “We can help too!”
12th said, “Lil Bao, now is the worst time to be thinking like that, we can’t help, and we must not add to the problem, got it? We are far too weak to help them! Not distracting the Masters is the biggest help we can give!”
Luo Jie slightly nodded, 12th was very wise, and he was not wrong, not distracting them was the best help they can offer.
“Listen to 12th’s orders! Your jobs are simple, and that’s to protect 12th, you don’t need to worry about anything else, the rest is for us old people to handle.”
Luo Zhan and the other two Fu Warriors had already entered the forest, they had a good communication system, so they wouldn’t get lost. Qi Nan Shan called, “Form two groups, left and right, I’ll lead, the Elder and 12th’s group go in the middle, everyone else follow behind…… Alright everyone, liven up! Let’s go!”
Luo Jie told 12th’s group, “Follow me, don’t fall behind.”
The jungle was humid with a strong smell of decay in the air. 12th held a Fu Knife, occasionally brushing past branches and weeds. After about ten minutes into the forest he encountered a pair of poisonous snakes, which were promptly cut in pieces by his Fu Knife.
Next to him were two little dogs, they were Beast Fu gifted by the Great Zhou Master, Wu Qi Rong, they could be used to search and scout ahead, because the Fu that commanded them was incomplete, they weren’t very useful. But having the two dogs following had it’s benefits, they were the ones who noticed the snakes.
Everyone slowly waded through the jungle, 12th could barely see the sky above them, which was basically completely covered by trees, as the temperature increased, more and more bugs came out, there were also endless croaks from frogs. Everyone bore the heat and proceeded without complaint, at a place like this, nobody wanted to speak, they only want to get through this frightful forest quickly.
Qi Nan Shan suddenly raised his arm, and everyone immediately stopped, The heat felt more unbearable than ever at that moment. 12th looked like he’d taken a shower, it was his first time sweating so much that his sweat felt like sludge, it was even worse than a sauna. Luo Jie was as usual, he had his Innate Fu protecting him, so he doesn’t feel the heat at all.
Even though 12th had his Innate Fu, it had not formed into an Innate Fu Orb yet. He didn’t have enough Fu to turn it into an Innate Fu Orb, and so there weren’t many uses yet, so he just had to bear it and power through the immense heat.
A Fu Warrior quickly returned to Qi Nan Shan’s side, whispered something and carried on ahead, Qi Nan Shan signalled to every to follow. After about half an hour of walking, everyone’s eyes glittered. They had suddenly walked out of the eerie jungle, and could feel the cool breeze and fresh air, the feeling was very indulgent.
Before them lay slews of rocks, it was impossible for large trees to grow, only small bushes, so they could see the sky. This place was a ruin, the majority of buildings had already collapsed, only a very small number of stone houses were left standing and not too far away was a small stream which flowed around the ruins.
“These are ruins? What kind of people left this behind?”
Luo Jie shook his head saying, “I don’t know, but we’ll rest here for a few days and while we’re at it, we’ll look around this place to see if we can find anything good. Ruins like this are usually here because of a civilization dying out, sometimes there might be something nice amongst the rubble, like maybe some Fu left behind from the people of this place…… It’s up to luck now really, we might even be able to find a Spirit Fu or Ancient Fu.”
Qi Nan Shan called, “You see that stone column? Everyone scatter, split up and search around, everyone gather at that stone column by dusk, we’ll camp there.” He then also called, “A few of you come with me, we’re going hunting! Luo Zhan you are on protection detail for the Elder!”
12th smiled, “Master, there shouldn’t be any danger here, let us five form a group and look around too.”
Luo Jie said, “Xiao Feng, go with 12th’s group. Luo Zhan, let’s go to that stone column.”
12th cheered, calling, “Uncle Feng, everyone, let’s go, hehe, let’s go that way!” as he walked to the left amongst the rubble.
Everyone formed a line and disappeared into the ruins.
These ruins were big, about the size of 12th’s city from his last life. The group of 25 easily spread amongst the ruins so they lost sight of each other.
12th had already seen a building that hadn’t collapsed yet, it was a two storey stone house under the shade of a giant tree that was in front of it, at a cursory glance, it was easy to miss.
The road disappeared and all that was left was rubble, it gave way to overgrown grass, shrubbery and weeds, 12th and his company had to use Fu Knives to cut a path as they slowly made their way forward.
The road wasn’t long, and because the stone house was right next to the edge of the forest, it was very easy to miss.
Chen Hong was following behind 12th, relentlessly muttering to herself, “I need to bathe, I’m beginning to smell, Oh, I need to bathe…… This bloody place is too hot……” Occasionally she’d catch herself speaking aloud so she lowered her voice, but 12th’s hearing was very good, he could hear it clearly and couldn’t help but say, “Stop nagging…… the more you repeat yourself the hotter it is……”
At that, Chen Hong immediately blushed, afraid to speak, so she closed her mouth and didn’t speak anymore.
After walking for about half an hour, the six of them finally reached the stone house. There was a giant tree practically half embedded in the stone building, who knew how long it’d been alive for. It was cool and refreshing in the shade of the tree. This building was very ancient, the walls were overgrown with vines, not only the walls but the vines have grown into the building and covered a lot of the interior too.
Huo Bao cheered as he ran inside, only for 12th to catch him by the collar and pull back hard, saying, “Stop being so excited! Don’t just abruptly sprint ahead!”
Huo Bao unbelieving, asked, “12th, when did you get so strong?”
12th curiously asked, “I’m not that strong am ? Stop kidding around.”
Huo Bao shook his head, he was trying to figure out how he got pulled back by 12th, saying, “12th, you really have gotten a lot stronger…… nevermind, I’m going ahead to take a look, I’ll be careful!” 12th brought out his Fu Knife and said, “Wait for me! Stop running off!”
Xiao Feng only watched with a smirk on his face, he didn’t have to intervene, he knew to let the kids grow by themselves, if they needed help out of every situation then it would be impossible for them to mature.
Not long after, Huo Bao walked out, with an expression full of disappointment, sighing, “There’s nothing inside, it’s empty.”
12th smiled saying, “Well let’s go in and have another look.”
This gloomy, ominous, little stone house was completely made of green stone, as such it was very sturdy, especially since it stayed standing after countless centuries of erosion, and still kept its original architecture. 12th walked into a room on the second floor, saying, “This is the master bedroom.”
There was a platform on the side of the second floor virtually completely covered by branches. There was a total of three bedrooms, one of them had half collapsed and the sky could be seen while the floorboards that were there originally had long since decomposed. The rooms on the ground floor were even more dilapidated. 12th followed the platform down to the back of the house.
The garden was overgrown with wild grass and bushes, not far out was a collapsed little stone building, all that was left were ruins. 12th flourished his Fu Knife and cut a path through the grass. Huo Bao mused, “12th, that stone house has already collapsed, there probably isn’t anything there.”
Without answering 12th continued on ahead, and soon they arrived at the collapsed structure, and he began to diligently look around in the rubble.
Xiao Feng asked, “Have you found anything?” He has a strange faith in 12th, always feeling like the kid was special.
12th smiled, “I’m not sure, heh, there’s a little guesswork going on, would you mind giving me a hand?”
Xiao Feng replied readily, “Sure, what do you need me to do?”
12th said, “Move all of these stones away!”
Xiao Feng laughed, “This might take a while, alright, just wait a bit…… You guys, come help us out, Chen Hong you don’t have to.”
The few of them quickly moved all of the rubble away, Xiao Feng dealt with the big green stones and everyone else moved the smaller ones so it only took about twenty minutes before the floor of the stone building was revealed.
12th looked around and asked, “Can you clear out this corner here too?”
Without complaint, Xiao Feng took the three kids and quickly cleared the rubble in the corner., “Chen Hong, could you pass me the waterskin?” requested 12th.
Chen Hong passed over a waterskin, 12th opened it and poured the contents onto the ground. Chen Bing began to understand what he was doing, saying, “Is this to check for a hidden basement?” With that, everyone else understood it too, 12th was looking for a basement, and this was a pretty good method for it.
Soon the water stopped spreading out, but instead started to flow downwards. 12th smiled, saying, “Here it is. Uncle Feng, I’ll leave this to you! Dig this up, there must be a basement here.”
Xiao Feng brought out a Fu Cudgel and continuously smacked the ground with it, after a few times, the ground started to crack and a hole was made. Xiao Feng carried on hitting the ground making the hole bigger, and in the sun, they could clearly see the staircase leading down.
Xiao Feng said in admiration, “Impressive, you can even find something like this. I’ll go down and have a look first, you guys wait here.” as he brought out his Fu Dagger, saying, “Give me an Illumination Fu!”
12th had a lot of these single use Auxiliary-type Fu, so he lifted his hand and shot out an Illumination Fu, and at that moment a beam of light shot down, illuminating the stairway below.
Xiao Feng slowly walked down, and not long after he called up, “Come on down, there isn’t anything dangerous down here.”
12th and his company walked down. Xiao Feng has already started using a Fu Lamp. As soon as 12th went in, he understood, this was a grand hall for creating Fu. It was pretty much the same as the rooms for creating Fu in the North Fu Sect, with few minor differences. He could see the tools left behind, and amongst them there were a few tools that he had not seen before.
This underground structure had one grand laboratory and four other rooms. All the materials, except for the minerals and bone materials, in the material storage room had long since rotted away, and all the liquid materials had already dried up. The washing room still had water flowing through and there wasn’t anything in the furnace room. However,it was the last room that gave 12th a great surprise. Inside not only was there a skeleton, but also seven Fu Books, the only problem was that he couldn’t find the Fu Keys to open them.
12th walked over to the skeleton, squatting down, he studied it a bit. The clothes had long since decomposed, even the Fu Belt which was around the waist had turned into dust, so there wasn’t anything of value left.
He found that on the bones were small thin Fu Patterns that he knew were left behind by Shadow Fu, which indicated that this person wasn’t a Fu Warrior but was in fact a FuZhou Warrior. 12th swallowed a breath and stood, and accidentally knocked the skeleton with his foot, which caused the skeleton to collapse with the head rolling to one side while the jaw dropped off of the skull, and stuck in the roof of its mouth was a Fu.
It was a red coloured Fu and the appearance of the Fu was unique, it was irregular. It was quite pretty to look at, and on it were layers of Fu Patterns but there was also a red bird engraved on it. That bird looked just like a 3D pictured inscribed onto the Fu. 12th habitually placed the Fu onto his forehead, trying to discover what kind of Fu it was
(T/N: Ok now I am pretty sure that Fu, i.e. Runes are actually Rune Stones. Literally rocks with runes inscribed on them.)
As soon as it made contact with his spirit, the Fu immediately dissipated and was quickly absorbed into his Innate Fu, and so into his spirit. 12th was greatly surprised and happy, for he knew that this Fu was at least a Spirit Fu. He continued to inspect it and couldn’t help but smile. The Fu hadn’t completely deteriorated yet, there was one more use left in it, but because of that, he could use is spirit energy to slowly regenerate it.
12th closed his eyes, carefully experiencing this Fu. He had a feeling that it was very powerful, but he couldn’t figure out how this Fu was created. He felt like it was an imprint of a bird’s spirit, with a powerful, fiery aura circling it. For now, his Innate Fu had already absorbed two Fu, one was the Spirit Fu for the Fu Door, and the other was this new one.
12th was almost certain that this Fu was a higher tier than Spirit Fu, but whether it was an Ancient Fu or not he couldn’t be sure of. His spirit continuously channeled energy into the new Fu, and in a moment’s effort, the Bird Fu started to emanate a brilliant red light that circled his Innate Fu rapidly, and after each circuit the Bird Fu recovered a little. 12th knew that given enough time, the Bird Fu could completely recover.
Huo Bao couldn’t stop complaining as he sighed, “This bastard was skint, there’s nothing here, it would’ve been nice if he had kept some high tier Fu around……”
Hong Shi giggled, saying, “Keep dreaming, had it not been for 12th, we wouldn’t have even found this underground chamber, haha. There seems to be quite a bit of material and some tools for creating Fu, this counts as a success!” They didn’t know that 12th had already found a Fu.
After carefully searching for a bit, they didn’t find anything else. 12th smiled and said, “Let’s go, we were quite lucky today.”
After they returned to the surface, Xiao Feng said, “Let’s go straight to the stone column.”
Everyone made their way to the stone column with some difficulty. Although this place used to be a city, now it was more like an overgrown jungle, with rubble, weeds, thickets, bushes and small trees growing everywhere.
12th suddenly felt a wave of fear, it was a fluctuation in his spirit, it was just like anticipating a steep drop whilst riding a roller-coaster. He said weakly, “Wait a moment, something’s wrong……” He waved everyone in amongst the rubble. Xiao Feng asked, “What’s the matter? What’s wrong?”
Everyone squatted next to a green rock, 12th said, “I don’t feel too well, wait a bit, there’s something wrong.”
Everyone was very confused, 12th himself doesn’t know what this spirit is suddenly afraid of. Everyone looked around, and Huo Bao said, “I don’t see anything wrong…… 12th, are you okay?”
12th couldn’t help but remember his last life, for when he also had such a feeling of fright, especially on a battle ground, it was very efficacious, and thanks to this gut instinct he avoided many dangers. He said, “Stop talking, keep still!” His tone suddenly became very serious. Huo Bao has never seen 12th so serious, so he stopped talking.
“Uncle Feng, could you please hurry over to the stone column, hurry and warn my Master…… There is definitely something wrong, don’t ask how I know, but please hurry, we’ll hide right here and ask the Masters to hide as well.”
Xiao Feng was hesitant because he was tasked to protect 12th.
It was very frightening to see 12th angry, even though he was just a child, the air of power around him was anything but weak. Xiao Feng nodded, and said, “Don’t run off! I’ll be back soon!”
12th grabbed his arm and said, “Remember that underground room we were in? If a problem arises, we’ll go hide there. Uncle Feng, you stay safe too.”
Xiao Feng nodded, and zipped through the rubble. Without 12th and his company to slow him down, he made his way around with amazing speed, he disappeared amongst the trees in the blink of an eye.
12th sat down and said, “Everyone rest up, but stay vigilant, and talk quietly!”
Chen Hong was pale with fright, she asked, “12th, what happened? Don’t just scare us like that!”
12th couldn’t explain it, he swallowed a breath and said, “Everyone trust me, just wait here. I don’t know what’s going to happen but it won’t be good……” He let out a long breath. The frightful fluctuations in his spirit suddenly appeared again, prompting him to look around.
“Look! What’s that?”
Beams of light streaked across the sky, as soon as they saw it, they heard a roar.
12th said in a panic, “Everyone hide! Stay hidden!” He vigorously rubbed his eyes, as he couldn’t believe what he was seeing in the sky, thinking to himself, “Fucking hell…… What is that thing? Is it a chariot? Since when could chariots fly? Shit!”
In reality what was flying in the sky was not a chariot, it only had few similarities to a chariot, it was a Fu Carriage being driven by Fu Beast Spirits, which allowed it some degree of flight. It could only fly a few hundred meters above ground, but it was very fast. If Li Ran was here, he would’ve been able to tell 12th that this wasn’t a chariot, it was a hunting vehicle, it was a flying chariot specifically used for hunting.
12th’s eyesight was pretty good, as one chariot flew overhead, he could clearly see the people on board. There was a total of six people, the coachman was an old man, the other five were young men standing on the carriage.
Each person had Fu Light flashing from them, forming armour. They watched the ground carefully, with three of them holding a thin, long Fu Machine. 12th‘s pupils contracted, he immediately understood, those things looked a lot like sniper rifles, only with the enchantment of Fu Patterns, their power was even greater.
12th made a silent prayer, hoping that Uncle Feng had already arrived at the stone column to warn everybody.
Huo Bao’s face was filled with fear, as he stared into the sky, quietly asking, “Who…… Who are those people?”
12th stared at him viciously, and placing his index finger on his lips, signalled for him to shut up, and at the same time he motioned for everyone to stay well hidden.
There was a total of three hunting chariots continuously circling the air above them. Suddenly, one of the three hunting chariots flew down towards a part of the ruins, and then he saw two sniper rifles aim down, and with a flash with Fu Patterns, the ground below exploded violently. There was a long scream, and they could see silhouettes of people dashing around the rubble, trying to escape, at the same time, the people in the chariots began to cheer.
12th uttered bitterly, “Somebody was discovered!”
Chen Hong’s face turned pale again as she asked, “Who was discovered?”
“I can’t see, but I hope it wasn’t the Masters. Only Master has ranged attacks, everyone else……” He replied with a sigh.