"Who is it? Ah! I'm coming." Yelled Yu Jie.
He hurriedly opened the door.
A big fatty came in and said, "Hey Old Yu, has your master come back yet? Oh! And who is this little kid?"
The big fatty was wearing a fuchsia robe.
Guo Shier was a slightly surprised. He knew that in the Chen Xiao Sect, people wearing fuchsia colored robes were in the same status as his master.
"Hello, Martial Uncle. I'm Guo Shier," he said.
"Oh?!? You?!? Are you Ku Mu's Personal Inheritance Disciple?" the fatty exclaimed.
"Yes," Guo Shier said.
The big fatty looked surprised. "Whoa. Has this Mu-tou actually changed? Wow! This is interesting. Hey, Ku Mu! Ku Mu! Come out, my friend!"
(Note: Mu-tou is the same as calling someone "Woody" in English. Mu=Tree.)
Ku Mu came out and said, "Fatty, what are you yelling for?"
"Ku Mu, where have you been for the last six months?" the big fatty asked. "Hehe! Did you find another good place? Share it, man!"
"Share what? I just found a Disciple within the past six months. There is nothing to share," Ku Mu replied.
The big fatty snorted. "Stingy as always, huh? Never mind. I'll tell you something. Moni-er looked for you several times since you went away. She asked me to tell you to look for her when you come back."
"I don't have any free time. What does she want from me?" Ku Mu wondered. "Anyway, Guo Shier, come. Let me introduce you to this fatty called Zhu Tien. Greet your Martial Uncle."
"Greetings, Martial Uncle!" said Guo Shier respectfully.
Beaming, Zhu Tien said, "Hey! Aren't you a good kid. How old are you this year?"
"I am ten years old," Guo Shier replied.
"So you really did take this Mu-Tou as your teacher, huh?" Zhu Tien said, while taking something out of his pocket. "Come here," he continued. This is a gift from your Martial Uncle."
He handed Guo Shier a Glyph.
"Guo Shier pays his respect to Martial Uncle," Guo Shier said as he carefully took the Glyph and tried to identify it. He lifted it unto his forehead and it instantly melted away. He then closed his eyes and took a closer look at the new Rune within his Innate Rune Orb.
Zhu Tien was taken aback. He asked, "You already have an Innate Rune?"
"That's right, he already has an Innate Rune Orb," said Ku Mu proudly.
Guo Shier was surprised. He never revealed anything about this to Ku Mu. How did he know? Zhu Tien was visibly surprised that this child actually had an Innate Rune Orb.
In the Chen Xiao Sect, there should be no more than six people with an Innate Rune Orb—usually the famous fighters of the Sect. After all, these orbs came from an Advanced Rune World and are rare and precious.
Guo Shier remained calm and tried to identify the newly obtained Rune. It is a Storage Spirit Rune with about two cubic meters of space.
That's twice the Storage Spirit Rune given by Ying Mo.
"Where did you get the Innate Rune Orb?" Zhu Tien asked.
"It was given to me by a predecessor."
Zhu Tien took a closer look at Guo Shier. The more he looked the more astonished—almost envious—he was.
"Ku Mu, where did you find a child with such potential?" he asked.
"Hey! Why would I look for a stupid apprentice?" Ku Mu chuckled.
"Hahaha!" Zhu Tien replied. "Shier, why don't you become my formal apprentice instead? I'm richer than this guy here. This guy is so poor, he can't even support a couple of people."
Guo Shier was speechless. It was his first time meeting someone who steals someone else's apprentice so blatantly.
A tremendous amount of energy suddenly emerged from Ku Mu as he stepped forward between Guo Shier and Zhu Tien.
His angry face showed that he was ready to use violence even on his friend.
Zhu Tien immediately held his hands up. "Whoa! Whoa! I was just joking. Hehehe!"
"Shier, your master is a homicidal maniac," he continued. "He's crazy. You should be careful. Hehe!"
He then looked at Ku Mu. "My friend, you picked a wonderful treasure this time."
When Guo Shier heard this, he didn't know if he wanted to laugh or cry.
"No matter who it is, I'll kill anyone who steals Shier from me," Ku Mu declared. "That includes you."
Zhu Tien was stunned. "Dammit, Ku Mu! You're fucking crazy. You're a fucking madman! Fine, okay, okay. Moni-er asked me to bring something for you here. I've done my job, I don't care anymore."
"If that's what you came for, you can leave now," Ku Mu snapped.
Guo Shier didn't know what to say. His master is completely ignorant of the ways of the world. Ku Mu is so rigid; if it wasn't for his strength, he would have been beaten to death a long time ago.
Zhu Tien shook his head. "Shier if you have time, come over and play with Martial Uncle."
He pointed to a mountain not far away.
"Martial Uncle's house is below that mountain. Come over whenever you are free. Martial Uncle's home is much livelier than your Master's. It's not as cold and desolate as this place."
Ku Mu didn't budge.
"Okay, okay, old man. I'm going," Zhu Tien said.
"Scram!" Ku Mu shouted. "Hmmm… now that I think about it… Shier, if you think you're having a difficult time with me then just go with this fat Martial Uncle."
Zhu Tien vehemently shook his head. "Forget it! I'm too lazy. I'm leaving. Don't bother to send me out."
Guo Shier said, "Goodbye, Martial Uncle."
On his way out, Zhu Tien muttered to himself, "Ah, this really is a decent child. It's unfortunate that his master is Ku Mu. What a pity."
He then quickly flew up into the sky. A fuchsicolored light flashed and he disappeared without a trace.
"Shier, come with me," Ku Mu said. "And you, what's your name again?" he asked while pointing at Ying Mo. "Stay here and tidy up Shier's house."
Ying Mo bitterly smiled. "My name is Ying Mo."
Guo Shier followed Ku Mu, who went into a house through a small courtyard. He walked nonstop, reaching the end of the house. He then opened the furthest door and continued out into the courtyard towards a little hut.
Before going in, he barked an order at Guo Shier. "Stay outside the door. Don't move."
Guo Shier stopped and curiously looked around. Although the place was surrounded with very high walls, the hut was extremely small and consisted of only one room.
The ground was paved with white jade and was polished very smoothly. There were a lot of Sigil lines inlaid on it.
(Note: Sigils - Rune on static objects such as altars or gates.)
"Master, is this a Rune Array?" he couldn't help asking.
Ku Mu nodded and started doing hand gestures to produce Runes out of thin air, "I have to do a total of 108 hand-casted Runes to open this Rune Array. You can also open this Rune Array."
Things happened so fast. By the time he finished talking, Ku Mu had already finished producing 108 Runes. After a short-wave fluctuation on the ground, a hole emerged with a stone staircase leading downwards.
"Follow me," he ordered his apprentice.
Guo Shier did not hesitate to pass through the Rune Array and follow Ku Mu.
The master led the way down the staircase. They descended for about 20 minutes. Suddenly, the surroundings brightened and revealed a huge underground hall.
Guo Shier was surprised. The hall was as big as a football stadium. He had no idea how to dig up and build a place like this.
Once inside Guo Shier, felt very small compared to the hall.
"This is my underground Runic Hall. This is one of the best in the Chen Xiao Sect," declared Ku Mu.
"It is divided into several areas. This is the specimen area. There are eight skeletal bones of Marked Beast Variants and one Exotic Beast Variant."
(Note: Just in case you forgot, Variants are basically mutated versions of the original marked beasts.)
"Among these Marked Beast Variants, there are three in Rank 5, two in Rank 6, one in Rank 7, one in Rank 8 and one in Rank 10."
"There used to be a Rank 9 Marked Beast Variant here but unfortunately, I had to exchange it with people from the Advanced Rune World."
Guo Shier stared at the cheekbones and unusually large and thick bones of the Rank 10 Marked Beast Variant. The remains of this 60-meter long beast scared him.
"Master, were you the one that caught this?" he finally asked.
Ku Mu nodded. "I teamed up with other people to catch this Rank 10 Marked Beast Variant. I also teamed up to catch the Rank 8 Marked Beast Variant. As for the rest, I hunted them on my own."
Guo Shier has already encountered a Rank 7 Marked Beast Variant—he knew how vicious it was. That thing was so unnatural that it was hard to believe it even existed.
His thoughts raced. His new master hunted a Rank 7 Marked Beast Variant on his own?!? No wonder Zhu Tien called him a madman and a homicidal maniac.
"I had no idea that my Master is more powerful than an Earth Dragon Variant," he finally managed to say.
Ku Mu nodded. "With my ability consisting of my Martial Skills and expenses required to hunt, I can only hunt a Rank 7 Marked Beast Variant. Dealing with a Rank 8 Marked Beast Variant would be a little challenging. I could probably beat it but it would be very difficult to kill it."
Guo Shier was completely speechless. Defeating a Rank 8 Marked Beast Variant seemed impossible. How strong was Ku Mu?
"Master, what is an Exotic Marked Beast?" he asked.
"An Exotic Marked Beast is more powerful than a Marked Beast Variant," Ku Mu answered. A low-level Exotic Marked Beast is equivalent to a level higher than a Rank 7 Marked Beast Variant. I've never hunted one before. There are very few such Marked Beasts within the local area. Only an Advanced Rune World would produce an Exotic Marked Beast."
"I exchanged the skeleton of this low-level Exotic Marked Beast with someone from the Advance Rune World," he continued. "It cost me a lot of precious materials."
"Wow. Unbelievable," Guo Shier sighed.
"This area is dedicated to the processing of Runic materials," Ku Mu explained, pointing at a row of more than 10 dozen white jade cases full of various materials. It contained animals, plants and minerals.
In addition, there were a dozen Sigil ponds soaking various materials within.
Ku Mu pointed to another area. "This is a Rune Testing Area," he explained. "This place is protected by a Rune Array. You are free to try any Rune without worrying about damaging other areas."
Guo Shier was very envious. This underground Runic Hall was mind blowing—just like the dilapidated houses outside.
Comparing his Master Luo Jie's Runic Hall to this was like comparing cottages to villas. The gap was really too big.
"Come here, Shier. Let's try out the Rune Testing Area and see how strong you are."
Guo Shier knew his Master wanted to know the extent of his knowledge and capabilities.
"Master, I've only studied for less than two years. My strength is very low," he humbly said to temper Ku Mu's expectations.
"I know," answered Ku Mu. "Come here."
The two went into the Rune Test area. Ku Mu quickly activated the Rune Array to turn on the protection of the area.
"Shier, I will be your target. You can go ahead and attack me with whatever you have. I want to see what skills you have learned."
Guo Shier smiled bitterly. "I only have two Runes with me and they are very weak."
He actually had two more Runes—the Dark Winged Scorpion Insect Glyph and the Armored Bull Beast Glyph—but he didn't dare take them out.
They would be useless. With the strength of his Master, killing a Marked Beast Variant would be like killing a chicken.
Guo Shier knew that it would be best to deliberately declare his weakness. He was now in a far more advanced Rune World. His current strength may mean nothing here.
He prepared himself to be beaten by his Master. Winning didn't even cross his mind.
Translator: Glasses TangGu