"What else is there to fight over?" said Elder Storm Du. "Didn't we hand over the place? This was Xu Cheng's idea, this has nothing to do with us."
Xu Cheng was the Caster Grandmaster captured by Qi Nanshan. He rashly acted without understanding situation and had only himself to blame.
The three Storm brothers were not Xu Cheng's followers. If they were, they would be desperately bound to defend Xu Cheng. But they were only acting in a mutually cooperative relationship, so they ignored him.
Luo Jie was never one to go soft on his enemies. He walked over to Xu Cheng's side to grab his Innate Rune Book.
"If you dare to move, I’m going to kill you!" Qi Nan Shan warned Xu Cheng.
Xu Cheng knew this was not an empty threat. If you die in the Secret Realm, no one will ask. Even if Qi Nanshan were to kill anyone from the West Rune Sect, no one would meddle—everyone else would just mind their own business. So immediately stopped struggling and just stared angrily at Luo Jie, who flipped through the pages of his Innate Rune Book while plundering the Glyphs within.
His face grew redder and redder, and then he fainted.
"You overestimate yourself (Or suck my balls)," Qi Nanshan said in disdain.
Luo Jie finished ransacking all the Glyphs. The Innate Rune Book now rotated empty over Xu Cheng's chest.
Qi Nanshan bent down and reached out towards the Innate Rune Book and squeezed it with his hands. It exploded into countless silver particles that fell to the ground.
Guo Shier understood what Qi Nanshan did. The Rune Book had to be destroyed to render Xu Cheng powerless, so he wouldn't be able to cause trouble later. Qi Nanshan solved the root of the problem.
The three Storm brothers turned pale and left.
Only the two Beast Warrior Adepts by Xu Cheng's side did not run. One of the Adepts picked him up and asked Guo Shier, "Will you let us go?"
"You can go," he replied.
Two Beast Warrior Adepts picked up Xu Cheng and left.
"A Caster Grandmaster only has two Beast Warrior Adept followers? Is this possible?" Guo Shier asked.
Luo Jie nodded. "This person probably came from the North Rune Sect. He probably committed something there. Ying Mo, I'm right?"
"Yes," Ying Mo replied. "Although I don’t know this man, I’ve heard of his reputation. He's a very ruthless guy."
Guo Shier shrugged. "Alright, we'll stay and rest here for a while," he said. "Grandpa Nanshan, please arrange the guarding duty. Uncle Ying Mo, you arrange the rooms. Little Hong, you arrange the evening meals."
Guo Shier also gave orders to a Beast Warrior Adept of the supply station, "Arrange baths for our group. Once we enter the mountains, we won't have any chance to take baths."
The Beast Warrior Adept agreed and left with the wolf by its side.
Tan Laoxi's heart went cold. He started to fear Guo Shier. He saw with his own eyes the terror in the faces of the three Storm brothers when they saw Guo Shier. This child was truly terrible. He regretted that he had bullied Guo Shier in beginning. But had he known earlier, would he really pat the boy's butt (kiss his ass)?
The night passed quietly.
The next morning, everyone deposited their war horses and started hiking towards the mountain.
This time, Guo Shier had a lot of helping hands. He sent a few Marked Warrior Grandmasters to explore—including Ying Mo and Luo Zhan.
Qi Nanshan sat this one out.
Guo Shier frowned as he examined the simple map. He pointed at a spot on it.
"Master, we can go in here, but there's a huge possibility of encountering teams and getting into disputes. We might waste time—time that we could be using hunting for Marked Beasts instead."
"You're the captain," Luo Jie said. "You decide what to do." He has completely let go of his leadership and allowed Guo Shier take command.
"Alright, we dive in to this location then," Guo Shier said, pointed at another location on the map.
Luo Jie was surprised. "This location is near the Marked Beast Variant area. Hehe! You still haven't given up on hunting Marked Beast Variants. Do you want try them out?"
Guo Shier laughed. "The Variant Earth Dragon was indeed very powerful because it was a Rank 7 Marked Beast Variant, according to Li Ran Predecessor. But we don't necessarily need to hunt high-level Beast Variants like that. With the strength of nine Grandmasters, we have a strong chance of winning against lower ranks—like a Rank 3 Beast Variant. We just need to be careful."
"We have to look for Marked Beast Variants—not just Marked Beasts—or we might lose to other teams," Qi Nanshan pointed out.
"He's right, Shier," said Luo Jie. "We should look for Marked Beast Variants."
"Alright, then. Let’s go," Guo Shier said. "Where is Mr. Tan?"
Tan Laoxi looked miserable. "Shier can you call me Grandpa Tan. Calling me Mr. Tan is really fucking awkward. Ugh!"
Guo Shier laughed at him. "Why should I call you Grandpa? Do you act like an elder?"
The group started laughing.
Tan Laoxi tried to put on a smile. "I promise to act like a real elder from now on, Shier. I promise not to speak foul language. If I curse again, then I’m not a fucking man!"
The crowd was suddenly speechless. He just cursed again!
Guo Shier gave in. "Forget it, I'm too lazy to care about you…Uncle Tan."
Tan Laoxi almost burst into tears. Uncle is not bad. At least he addresses me as an elder, he thought. He made up his mind—he can offend Luo Jie but he would never offend Guo Shier ever again.
"I'm at you service," he said. "Whatever you need, alright?"
Guo Shier wry smiled wryly and shook his head. He though this guy simply had a thick face.
"We're going down this road. Do you have any suggestions? You should be most familiar with the situation here."
Tan Laoxi took the simple map from Guo Shier and looked at it carefully.
"Let's not use this road here. It’s better to go around here," he said.
"This road is the shortest route, why take the detour?" Guo Shier asked.
"This road goes through a cliff with a bunch of Marked Thunder Eagles," Tan Laoxi answered. "They are very tough—they have massacred several teams. According to those who escaped, there were hundreds of fucking cliffs with Marked Thunder Eagles. Every team that used this road ended up being wiped out.
"Then why is this road marked so clearly?"
"Hehe! Shier, you are very smart! Why do you think?"
Guo Shier couldn't help but curse. "Fine, fine. We'll follow your path."
This guy is relentless, Luo Jie thought (referring to Tan Laoxi).
The group arrived at the fork on the road.
"The left is the way to the Marked Thunder Eagle site. The road to the right can be used to go around," Tan Laoxi explained.
"Let’s go around," Guo Shier ordered.
The other way was not an easy path with all the low lying thorny bushes. They used two long Rune Blades to make it passable.
"Uncle Tan, how long has it been since this road has been last used?" Guo Shier asked.
"I haven’t been here in 20 years," the old man replied.
"Twenty years. That's a long time," mused Guo Shier.
It was a very slow journey, and Qi Nanshan quickly got impatient.
"Let's carry the little guys behind our backs. This speed is too slow for me."
Guo Shier cheered and immediately jumped on Ying Mo's back.
"I already had this plan in mind. I was just embarrassed to say it. Haha! Uncle Ying Mo, sorry for the trouble! Haha!"
Qi Nanshan carried Luo Jie on his back.
"Wait—who’s going to carry me?" Tan Laoxi asked.
When Lantian Bao stood awkwardly, Guo Shier began to assign personnel. Luo Zhan was assigned to carry Lantian Bao while Luo Jing would carry Tan Laoxi.
Xiao Feng would carrying Chen Hong, while the other three Marked Warrior Masters would carry Huo Bao, Chen Bing and Hong Shi. Since the children were relatively light, the Marked Warrior Masters could easily carry them.
The plan proved to be a good one. They were able to travel so much faster. They no longer needed to use their Rune Blades to clear the paths.
"There is a little pond not far from here. We can rest there," Tan Laoxi suggested.
As the person who was most familiar with the terrain, Tan Laoxi lead from the front. This saved Luo Jie's team a lot of trouble. Guo Shier now understood why his master insisted on bringing this foul-mouthed old man.
A few moments later, everyone started hearing the sound of running water. They turned towards the hill and noticed a small pond not far away.
It was their first day of camping in the mountains. The location was still within the safe zone, so Guo Shier confidently encamped the team here. But he knew that they would have to start being more careful after another day of travel.
Everyone put up simple tents. Since the horses couldn't travel through the mountains, almost all their heavy baggage had to be left at the supply station. Each person only had a few Storage Rune bags.
Guo Shier, Luo Jie, Qi Nanshan, and Tan Laoxi discussed the trip for the next day. Tan Laoxi was included this time because he was familiar with the path.
"Uncle Tan, can you tell us more about the dangerous areas that we can expert to pass through tomorrow?" Guo Shier asked.
"I haven’t been there for years. I don’t know what’s changed. But I know that Marked Beasts here usually act alone and rarely in droves. Hopefully, we won't encounter any large groups," he replied.
Guo Shier acknowledged his input. "Alright, tomorrow’s recon is a big responsibility. We should avoid the Marked Beasts who move in packs and focus on those who hunt alone. Grandpa Nanshan, you are the strongest. I'm afraid we have to rely on you for this tiring job."
Qi Nanshan nodded slightly. "No problem."
"Let's maximize our time here in the Wild Beast Secret Dimension and hunt every Marked Beast we encounter," Guo Shier suggested.
"But let's stay away from areas where the Marked Beast Variants are active. That would be troublesome. There's plenty of Marked Beasts for hunting, anyway."
"But I want to try them out and test my strength! Hehe!" Qi Nanshan said.
"Fuck! What do you mean test your strength?" Tan Laoxi blurted out.
Qi Nanshan smiled. "It’s nothing. My hands are just itching."