'Angry saber, it hacks at the white-winged eagle! Heroic mountains, they soar high into the sky! Rolling flames, they burn…'
Bah! Stop right there!
Gu Yu wasn't playing some third-rate DJ/rapper, he was just trying to express his feelings at the moment. Unfortunately for him, influenced by the northeastern culture of the country, which was largely represented by its heavy-duty barbecues and not-so-heavy-duty mic-controlling 1 hobbies, he couldn't come up with anything more elegantly impressive.
In front of him was Flaming Mountain eight months after the breakout.
In one word, beautiful! In two, seductively fascinating! In three, he was happy!
The beauty of the mountain was unquestionable.
In contrast to the devastating power when it had just erupted, the mountain was now exerting a tender spiritual essence as clouds and fog circled around it. It reminded one of a horse-mounting wild girl finally returned to her boudoir, where she was dressed in all red before the red veil over her face was removed. After that, she would flush at the touch of her lover.
"It's so pretty! It looks like, like a big chunk of red jade!"
Standing at the edge of the cliff, Long Qiu stretched out her arms, overlooking the red mountain that seemed to roll out endlessly, and felt it impossible to withhold her excitement. When she turned around and smiled at our fellow, she said, "Brother, I really want to live here. Let's ask sister and Jin Jin to come here and we can build a house here, shall we?"
"Gosh, you've been around those two for too long. You're as artsy as you're a little-devil-in-disguise now. You're so weird." Gu Yu activated his mental force and a big gourd materialized in his palm. "Come here and collect some spiritual essence first."
Xiao Qiu ran happily to his side and produced a big gourd herself.
They both placed their gourds on the ground, put their palms flat down, and activated their energy. Momentarily, the mild spiritual essence around them erupted, twirling and wandering in midair. Gradually, it turned into a red thread and was sucked into the gourds.
The gourds were over a meter tall and a gourdful could last them quite a while. Gu Yu had refined 32 of his Flaming Cloud Needles so far. If everything went as planned, he would have all 72 ready by the end of next year.
He had made a trial run when he helped those soldiers with driving back the enemies back there. The power of the needles was promising.
Before long, the gourds were filled up and stashed away into their mind space. Gu Yu was rather content with what they achieved during this trip and chuckled. "Let's bag some of that black grit and we're done here. We'll be heading home after that."
"Huh? So soon?"
Long Qiu was sorry to hear that. The two were all by themselves in the wide world here and she was having the best of her time.
She knew little of the skill of concealing her thoughts and Gu Yu could read her like the palm of his hand. He winced at it.
The girl had been lively and cheerful the past few days like the gentle breeze of early summer. She couldn't have been more comfortable here.
Gu Yu was not one of those greasy otakus that would come up with the name of their second baby at a girl's touch. He had been through enough relationships to know her feelings. After a second thought, he was getting, well, a bit worried.
He did not respond to her words after she finished talking and silence fell between the two. Eyeing one another, the atmosphere was becoming strangely awkward.
It was a while later when Gu Yu cleared his throat and said, "So, let's check out somewhere else, then it's time to get down the mountain. We still have a long way back."
"Ok," Xiao Qiu replied obediently. She then turned around and took the lead alone, as if deliberately trying to avoid looking at Gu Yu. Gu Yu did not try to catch up with her either, but fell behind by a few steps, following her casually.
They walked like so for some time. The innocent Long Qiu soon forgot about the little incident and turned her attention to savor the meandering, unbroken mountains only.
Seeing that she was walking at a brisk pace and almost following a certain rhythm, Gu Yu could not help but ask, "By the way, Xiao Qiu, do you know how to dance?"
"Of course! We Miao people are all dancers. I learned from my grandma when I was little, but never got the chance to dance before." Long Qiu spun around suddenly and chuckled. "Brother, do you want to see it? Let me dance for you."
With that, she straightened her body and stepped onto a giant mountain rock.
Stretching out her thin arms to either side, she tilted up the tip of her left foot and shifted her weight to the right, twisting her body into a strange yet coordinated position.
Immediately after that, her waist started wriggling.
The tiny waist felt so flexible that it almost seemed boneless. It swayed this way and that ever so slightly, tickling the heart of whoever that was watching.
Gu Yu felt he was looking at a sparrow from fairy tales, demonstrating to the world of its beauty and pride.
Three young women, three different styles.
Xiaozhai was the sun, impassioned and strong at times, while genial and gentle the rest. Xiao Qiu was the moon. She was shy, understated, and only revealed her pure beauty when the clouds and fog were brushed away.
As for Xiaojin, she was no star. That one was a mud avalanche, shaking the earth with her fists and stomps!
Right now, though, Long Qiu did not think much of what she was doing and jumped off the rock after a few movements. She asked eagerly, "How was it? How was it?"
"Awesome!" Gu Yu complimented wholeheartedly and asked, "What was that dance called?"
"Well, I don't know. Grandma never told me."
Pursing her lips, Long Qiu was flushed and strangely shy.
She wasn't thinking about that when she was dancing, but now that she was looking back at it, oh my!
One of the customs of the Miao villages was for unmarried young people to gather in the open country and dance and sing to their hearts' content in bright moonlit nights of early or late spring, and especially the night of the mid-autumn day.
The Miao people called it "dancing to the moon", or "looking for my lover".
The environment of Huo Zhou was excellent at the moment. Given time, it might really become a heaven for cultivators.
After gathering enough fire spiritual essence, the two walked to and fro following the shape of the mountain. They marched out 5 km to the east, found nothing out of the place, and doubled back to the west.
The west was where that cave lay.
"Why, Brother, look!" After a short distance, Long Qiu halted all of a sudden and pointed at somewhere down the cliff. "Doesn't that stone look nice?"
Gu Yu followed her fingers and saw a red oval stone with smooth surface. It was hollow inside and not gritty at all. He chuckled. "Why, you want it as a souvenir?"
"Yes, can I have it, please?"
"Sure, sure. Go get it and come back here."
Xiao Qiu leapt down with a giggle. She stepped onto a protruding stone and with that as a footing, she jumped again, then landed steadily on the bottom. Picking up the stone, she saw that it was indeed shiny red and translucent like a piece of art.
"I can put it up as a home deco. Nice." Holding the stone, she was about to jump back up when her ear pricked and she called out, "Who's there?"
With a low, powerful snarl, a monster walked out from behind a mountain rock.
"What is that?"
Xiao Qiu looked at it in astonishment. The thing was about the size of a cheetah and was blood red all over, as if it had no skin left and the flesh and blood had been turned inside out. It walked on four long legs and had a barbed tail and a giant head. Its face, however, was a ghostly one.
It looked so out of place that it was almost as if the original head had been chopped off, replaced crudely by this ghostly face.
Seeing the stranger, the monster sniffed hard and its ferocity was greatly roused by this fresh food. Thrusting its hind legs hard against the ground, it pounced at Xiao Qiu open-mouthed, revealing a mouthful of sharp teeth.
Frowning, Xiao Qiu thought about letting out the Golden Silkworm to devour it, but was repulsed by the thought of it.
She tossed the stone aside, put her palms together, and stretched them to either side. A long swording glistening a green light appeared in her hand. The blade then made a quick shiver and stabbed seven times in the split of a second, making seven green flowers.
The flowers then blossomed, revealing layers upon layers of petals which pushed out with a glimmer, soon wrapping the monster inside with circles of light.
The long sword swayed again. As the energy spread out, there was a bang!
Densely packed small cracks suddenly appeared all over the monster's meter long body, resembling that of a broken porcelain. The flesh, blood, tendons, and bones started falling off.
The entrails flowed out of the rotten belly and the flesh peeled off the bones. The thing was now a puddle of mush on the ground, giving off an unbearable stench.
Long Qiu stepped away for several meters and fanned her hand with despise.
It might seem long, but everything actually happened with in seconds. She had only just finished that monster when there came another roaring sound. Two fellows leapt out from behind the mountain rock.
"How dare you mess with my ghoul!"TL/N:"喊麦" literally means "yelling into the mic", which is a type of live-stream performance often seen on video websites and is derived from the rap culture. The rhythm and lyrics are usually on the vulgar side (somewhat analogous to the "agricultural heavy-metal").