“This brat’s definitely not a good person! Senior apprentice-sister, don’t be fooled!” Seeing that this woman seemed extremely interested in Long Chen, Zhang Wu cried out.
“Oh? You know how to read faces?” Long Chen looked at Zhang Wu oddly.
The woman couldn’t help laughing. Even the other two maidens in their group covered their mouths and stealthily laughed.
“You… you… you clearly aren’t a good person! With your gigolo looks, who do you think you can trick?!” raged Zhang Wu.
In truth, after continuous battles, Long Chen was covered in blood and dust. His face was completely covered, with only his two starry eyes revealed.
And yet, even though only his eyes were revealed, he still gave off a handsome feeling that raised Zhang Wu’s guard.
The majority of this group was men, and they all dreamed of becoming lovers with the woman leading them. She possessed the highest cultivation base of them all, and she was also beautiful like a flower. How could they let a stranger swoop in?
Long Chen easily saw through that, especially when seeing that the other men were also looking at him fierily. He couldn’t help laughing inside.
“What are you smiling about? You’re definitely smiling because you’re guilty, and are trying to think of some way to trick us!” raged Zhang Wu.
Now Long Chen really couldn’t help but laugh. He gave Zhang Wu a thumbs-up. “Amazing, truly amazing. You really do possess an all-seeing mind. You’ve even managed to see through my every single thought. Sir must truly be an amazing person.”
“Hehe, of course! Brat, running into me is your bad luck. There’s no one that can lie in front of me, Zhang Wu!” Just hearing Long Chen’s praise, Zhang Wu became insufferable. It seemed he didn’t hear Long Chen’s sarcasm.
The others looked oddly at Zhang Wu, seeming to want to say something, but in the end, they decided to remain silent, looking up at the sky as if they were unrelated to him.
“Zhang Wu, stop embarrassing yourself. Can I ask if you need any help?” the woman asked Long Chen.
In the beginning, she had also been on guard against Long Chen, but after just a few words from him, she felt he was different from others.
His aura was clearly exceedingly weak, and he should be heavily injured right now. However, his words were spoken so naturally and without any fear. Furthermore, his eyes were frighteningly calm.
They were more than capable of killing Long Chen, but he didn’t seem to feel the slightest bit of fear or unease. He actually still joked and laughed. Just that kind of bearing showed he wasn’t an ordinary person.
Having determined he wasn’t ordinary, she became very curious about him. She wanted to help him out, which would count as sowing good karma.
“I truly do need help. I’m lost and want to know how far the closest city is, and which direction it should be. If you can tell me, I’ll definitely thank you generously.” Long Chen cupped his fists.
“Tch, it seems you’ve misunderstood. You don’t even know the reputation of our Muxue Mercenary Unit! Do we look like those kind of people who only help others to benefit ourselves? You think we care about your damn money?” roared Zhang Wu.
At the same time, Long Chen noticed the others’ expressions had also sunk. It seemed his last sentence had hurt their self-respect.
“I think you’ve misunderstood. Although we are a mercenary unit, we have our own pride. Your words are a bit hard to take,” said the woman icily.
“Sorry, it was my mistake. I suppose I just don’t have this amazing person’s vision, and I can’t read faces. Please don’t blame me,” laughed Long Chen.
Long Chen truly hadn’t imagined that in the scheming cultivation world, there was actually such a group of upright people.
Only now did their expressions improve. The woman smiled slightly. “Let me introduce myself. I am Mu Xue.”
After saying that, she held out her hand, startling Long Chen slightly. The etiquette of shaking hands was usually reserved for men with men.
But since she had initiated it, he wouldn’t feel right declining. He magnanimously shook her hand.
Long Chen’s etiquette was extremely well done. He only lightly held her hand, and he only used his fingers for the handshake, as that was the proper etiquette for noblewomen.
Of course, that wasn’t for him to display how noble he was, but because holding her entire hand would make him feel a bit like he was taking advantage of her.
“I’m Long Chen.” Hesitating first, Long Chen decided to give her his real name.
“Long Chen? That sounds a bit familiar. I think I’ve heard it somewhere?” Mu Xue frowned.
“Perhaps it’s just that my name is too ordinary, and many people have the same name,” laughed Long Chen.
“That’s true. Most cultivators like to be lofty and come up with a name that can intimidate their opponents.” Mu Xue also laughed.
With just a few words, Long Chen found that this Mu Xue truly had the style of a leader. Her words were not at all artificial, allowing a person to feel comfortable around her. It was no wonder she had become this group’s leader.
Just now, he had heard them call themselves the Muxue Mercenary Unit. It seemed it was named after her.
“Perhaps it was because my mom wanted me to grow up into an ordinary person,” said Long Chen. But a trace of sadness flashed within his eyes.
He thought of those lines on the jade pendant: The Dragon roars at the Heavens, Looking down arrogantly on the mortal world of dust. Live peacefully and happily, Never to be parted.
The first line was domineering and haughty, while the last line was warm and pampering. They were the hopes his father and mother had for him.
But not long after he was born, his Spirit Root, Spirit Blood, and Spirit Bone had been taken away. He didn’t know just how heartbroken his parents were to have lost him.
Thinking of that, he felt like blades were piercing his heart. So many years had passed. He had no idea whether his biological parents were still alive.
“Hehe, Long Chen, this name really is ordinary! Look at my name, Zhang Wu! The very manifestation of the Martial Dao! That’s really domineering!”
Zhang Wu’s voice broke Long Chen’s concentration. He saw him puffing out his chest proudly as if he had beaten him.
“I feel like your name is still a bit lacking. If you changed the Wu to Lang, it would definitely be more domineering,” said another member of their unit.
“Zhang Lang? How is that domineering?” Zhang Wu muttered it a few times. He then suddenly realized what it meant and charged at that person.
“Zhang Lang really is a domineering name, haha!” That person hastily dodged, not facing Zhang Wu head-on.
“Stop it already! Where is your decorum? Aren’t you afraid of being laughed at by others?” Mu Xue shouted, her expression sinking.
Zhang Wu and that person immediately stopped messing around and didn’t say another word. They all felt great respect for Mu Xue.
“Sorry, I’ve made brother Long laugh at us,” apologized Mu Xue.
Long Chen shook his head. “What are you talking about? You’re all magnanimous and free people. The fact that they can act so unconstrained just means they’re real men.”
Zhang Wu was surprised to hear Long Chen say that about himself. He felt like Long Chen’s gigolo face was no longer so displeasing to look at.
“Everyone, don’t just keep standing there. Hurry up and set up the tents. It’s rare for us to get such a relaxing day. We should all take a good rest,” said Mu Xue.
Only then did everyone start getting to work, taking out tents and beds from their spatial rings.
“Brother Long, this area is a wild land, without any civilization for thousands of miles. Furthermore, even if I tell you the direction to the closest city, there are high mountains and long rivers that will block your path, and it’ll be too easy for you to get lost.
“It’d be better for you to stick with us for now. Once we finish our mission, we can bring you back to Qingzhou City. At that time, it will be much more convenient for you,” advised Mu Xue.
“Qingzhou? This place is within Qing Prefecture?” asked Long Chen.
“Yes. This place is considered part of Qing Prefecture. If you travel south for a few weeks, you’ll arrive at Su Prefecture,” said Mu Xue.
Damn, that bastard Yin Wushang really knows how to chase someone. He actually chased me across prefectures.
“Then can I ask what your mission is? Or is that taboo? If it is, I can wait for you here so I don’t inconvenience you,” said Long Chen.
“There’s nothing taboo about it. We came out this time because of a mission from the Mercenary Guild. There’s someone who wants to buy a certain Magical Beast’s core for a high price, but the core must be fresh. We came out to hunt down a Xiantian Magical Beast.”
“Xiantian?!” Long Chen was startled.
“Yes, Xiantian. However, it’s only in the early Xiantian realm. It’s actually quite lucky. A year ago, we were coming by here when we noticed it. Back then, we weren’t strong enough and so we didn’t attack it.
“But now someone wants that kind of Magical Beast’s core, and our own strength has advanced a great deal. So this time, we’re planning on killing it,” said Mu Xue.
Long Chen suddenly understood why there had been marks in the distance. Those marks had probably been left behind by these people. Most likely, they often came by here to rest.
“This lake region is safe. It’s right on the edge between the territories of two Xiantian Magical Beasts.
“Other Magical Beasts sense the pressure from them and don’t dare come here. This is the best place to set up camp. We need to rest here for a bit to keep ourselves in our peak condition in preparation to kill that Magical Beast,” explained Mu Xue.
“Is the Magical Beast you’re targeting one of those two?” asked Long Chen.
“Yes. Our target is called the Hidden Ground Spider. It’ll probably be a bitter battle,” sighed Mu Xue worriedly.
“The Hidden Ground Spider’s crystal core is a rarely seen dark attribute. It’s the main ingredient used in refining the Nine Revolution Dao-Heart Pill, and it truly does need to be fresh. The crystal core will lose its energy three months after the Magical Beast’s death. It seems your buyer wants to refine pills,” muttered Long Chen.
“You understand alchemy?” asked Mu Xue with shock.
“A bit,” laughed Long Chen. “However, it’ll probably be very dangerous for the few of you to handle the Hidden Ground Spider.”
“I know. But we owe the buyer a great debt. Since they urgently need the Hidden Ground Spider’s crystal core, we need to pay back the favor,” said Mu Xue.
“Can I ask who you owe this favor to? Are they worth you risking your lives?” asked Long Chen.
“This crystal core is something the junior gate master of Mo Gate, Mo Nian, requires. So we have to get it for him,” sighed Mo Xue.
彰武 Zhang Wu, Zhang meaning manifest, Wu meaning martial.
First he says he should change it to 彰狼 the Lang meaning wolf. But he really means 蟑螂, pronounced Zhang Lang with the same tones, which means cockroach.