At the height of autumn, the air was refreshing, and the breeze moderately flowed under the beautiful sun.
The blue dome of heaven was clean and clear like a crystal.
The wind blew gently, brushing Fang Yuan’s appearance into motion.
Looking from afar, the nearby villages had little people. Nearby, the hill-like River Swallowing Toad was slumbering, blocking the river bed. Fang Yuan who was standing at the river edge looked like a tiny monkey beside a large elephant in comparison to this Rank five Gu.
Fang Yuan’s heart was calm as water, without a trace of nervousness, thinking internally, "I used the White Boar Gu and the Black Boar Gu to enhance my body and raise my strength, having the strength of two boars. Together with my own strength, I have around the strength of five or six adults. But to push this River Swallowing Toad, I need to have around two bull’s strength. With just my current strength, it will not do. But, if I borrow the power of the tides… it’s here."
Swish swish swish…...
Fang Yuan turned his body around and saw that waves were crashing and approaching, causing a huge movement in the peaceful river water.
The tides got bigger and continually crashed against the River Swallowing Toad, causing the waves to fly high into the sky.
Fang Yuan only stood for a while before he got drenched.
He did not mind it, and began to push the River Swallowing Toad with vigor.
The River Swallowing Toad was still dead asleep. It was originally a Gu worm that lived in the rivers and sea, and to it, the force of the waves was normal and could not awaken it.
With the force of endless waves, Fang Yuan tried for some time and finally managed to push the River Swallowing Toad away from its original location.
The riverbed was wider as the river got downstream. Along with the flow of water, it made Fang Yuan’s pushing easier.
After about three hundred meters, the River Swallowing Toad opened its sleepy eyes.
A pair of deep green eyes, in its sleepy state, gradually contracted and stared at Fang Yuan who was beside it.
Fang Yuan was fearless as he matched its gaze.
From its dark eerie eyes, Fang Yuan could see his own reflection.
"Jiangaaaang!" River Swallowing Toad raised its head, suddenly opening its mouth and emitting a strange croak.
The cry spread out and reverbed throughout Qing Mao mountain.
At once, Fang Yuan could feel his ears going deaf from the ringing noise.
River Swallowing Toad lowered its head, its mouth sucking at the river water that was approaching.
Swish swish swish!
The river water flowed at ten times the original speed as it was all sucked into its stomach, and the water level could be seen decreasing at an observable pace.
Fang Yuan stood beside the River Swallowing Toad, clearly seeing a large amount of seafood also being sent into the River Swallowing Toad’s stomach along with the river water.
Sensing the river water’s change, the Chi Shan group also hurried over, and as the three observed the River Swallowing Toad who was ingesting water, they were stunned.
"What a spectacular sight!" Chi Cheng observed, unable to hide his shock.
"You succeeded?" Chi Shan looked at Fang Yuan.
"Seems so," Fang Yuan nodded lightly.
The water level decreased until the water stopped flowing, and the River Swallowing Toad raised its head once again, its stomach expanding and contracting, vomiting out numerous fish, prawns, turtles etc.
At once, a large amount of seafood fell onto the ground, emitting a crisp sound.
A fish splashed on the ground, a turtle fell on its back confused, the crabs walked away horizontally, and then they were smashed by the falling seafood.
Fang Yuan did not mind it and only looked casually, but suddenly he smelt some wine fragrance.
"Strange, why is there a wine smell?" Chi Cheng sniffed, a face of surprise.
"It should be the Hundred year bitter shell," the female Gu Master in the group said and pointed at a disc-sized broken black shell.
This shell was black as ink with white round markings on it, like the rings in a tree trunk.
"That’s right, bitter shell can turn the sand and rocks into bitter water juice. Hundred year bitter shell’s bitter water, after the accumulation through time, can turn into wine. Bai clan’s current clan leader loves to drink this bitter shell wine," Chi Shan added on.
He needn’t go into detail; Fang Yuan had already long taken up this seashell, starting to collect his bitter shell wine.
Not too long ago, he was still worried about how to get this bitter shell wine, but to think it appeared in front of him like this.
Truly the phrase ‘spending lots of effort looking for something fruitlessly, but it appears in front of you when least expected’!
The River Swallowing Toad had pretty much swallowed all the water in this river. Deep in the river bed, there had been some Hundred year bitter shells buried in the soil, and because of the River Swallowing Toad, the shells were exposed.
Fang Yuan quickly collected six little Hundred year bitter shells. Two of the shells were broken, but the other four were intact.
"I’ve finally collected the bitter wine, this way, I can start refining the Four Flavor Liquor worm!" This moment, Fang Yuan was overjoyed, but had no one to share the joy with.
After the River Swallowing Toad vomited the seafood, it croaked again, and then looked at Fang Yuan once before moving its large body to swim downstream along the river.
"He really succeeded!" Chi Shan muttered, his heart feeling relief. He observed the River Swallowing Toad leaving until its shadow was completely gone, away from his vision.
"What, he scared it away so easily. If I knew this earlier on, we could’ve done it ourselves, but now we let Fang Yuan become a hero so easily!" Chi Cheng pouted, his tone full of jealousy and indignance.
"Fang Yuan, no matter what, this time you have done a good deed, you are the Gu Yue Clan’s hero!" Chi Shan stared at Fang Yuan with a complicated expression.
"Oh," Fang Yuan replied absent-mindedly, giving a half-hearted feeling. At the same time, his gaze shone as he continued to rummage and search for Hundred year bitter shells among the seafood.
What hero, it was merely a title.
Between praise and slander, they were all views and expressions of others onto oneself.
What opinions others had of him, Fang Yuan did not give a damn.
You can think all you want, I live my own life.
Hero? Zero? Hehe, I rather have a bitter shell.
News of chasing away the River Swallowing Toad reached the village at once.
Gu Yue Bo said "Good" three times continuously, and the solemnness in the hall was swept away at once.
Only the internal affairs elder’s face was complicated, he did not think well of Fang Yuan. Not too long ago, he even criticized Fang Yuan, but now that the village was in danger, Fang Yuan was the one who resolved the issue. With these two issues coming together, wasn’t it a slap in his face?
"Gu Yue Fang Yuan has the credit of chasing away the River Swallowing Toad, we’ll make an exception to promote him to team leader and reward him five hundred primeval stones."Gu Yue Bo thought, before giving the order filled with a special meaning.
In the wine tavern.
"What, Fang Yuan actually succeeded?!"
"Strange, he’s just a newbie, how can he chase away a Rank five Gu worm?"
"Even Chi Shan failed miserably, but he did it..."
The news spread, and everyone was filled with shock.
"Fang Yuan became the savior of our clan? This…" The male Gu Master who had animosity with Fang Yuan was lost for action after hearing this news.
His group leader suddenly shouted, pointing at the clerks in the tavern, "You mere mortals, you dare to slander our clan’s hero, you deserve execution!"
Even before finishing his words, he shot a moonblade.
The elderly shopkeeper did not expect that such a life-threatening situation would occur, and after being hit by this moonblade on his neck, he was beheaded.
"Lord, spare us!" The clerks upon seeing this were first stunned but quickly kneeled on the ground, begging for mercy loudly.
"Group leader, what are you doing?" The Male Gu Master stood up.
"What am I doing huh?" His group leader moved his brows, sighing solemnly, "Times have changed, Ah Hai. Fang Yuan has turned into a hero suddenly, the higher-ups will pay attention to him. If words of our slander towards him spread, what do you think will happen? There are lots of detection-type Gu Masters around, and if someone wants to harm us and said several bad things to the clan elders, our future would be ruined!"
The male Gu Master broke out in cold sweat from fear.
It was indeed like this, clan relationships ruled above all. Fang Yuan had gone and dealt with a Rank five Gu worm, risking his life to defend his clan. At the same time he was slandered and insulted by them. What mindset was this? This was ungratefulness, coldness, emotionless and utter disregard for relationships!
Like history on Earth, Yue Fei fought in the battlefields, defending his country, but Qin Hui framed him as a spy in court.
Although these Gu Masters did not go as severe as framing, but if this matter was spread out, would the higher-ups feel safe with these people around?
If it was Mo Yan or Chi Cheng, people with tough backgrounds, that would still be alright. But these few were people without backing.
Trying to climb up the system’s ladder, it was push and shove, stepping on each other. If others used this incident and attacked them, to their future, it had a destructive influence!
"It is still not too late to salvage the situation, we just have to express our attitudes, and outsiders won’t say much. These mortals have cheap lives, so be it if they die. But they can be sacrifices for us, and this is their honor. You guys should immediately strike, each one of you must kill one each. After killing you should praise Fang Yuan and express our stand!" the group leader shouted.
"Dammit!" The male Gu Master cursed; between hatred and his future, he unhesitantly chose the latter.
With a moonblade, a clerk died on the spot.
"Lord, please spare us." At once, all the other clerks were paralyzed on the ground, scared until they peed their pants.
The male Gu Master did not care about them, and under everyone’s watchful gaze, he pointed at these pitiful clerks righteously, shouting, "You lot deserve death. Gu Yue Fang Yuan is a hero, and with his own strength, he defended the clan, what gave you the courage to slander him!"
The male Gu Master said this while frowning.
This was his true emotion. Fang Yuan was someone he deeply hated, but he had to praise him in public; he felt a strong sense of disgust and irk for himself.
"Lord, didn’t you ask us…. Urgh!" A clerk felt feelings of injustice deeply, shouting out loudly.
But he could not finish his sentence before he stopped.
A moonblade went flying, splitting him in half.
"A bunch of lowly slaves, not only slandering Fang Yuan, but also wanting to implicate us!" A female Gu Master struck, her expression cold as she shouted fiercely.
Other Gu Masters seeing this, felt like they were watching a soap opera.
Some smirked, some were indifferent and some continued chatting, but nobody stopped them.
So what if a few mortals died?
Just compensating a few family servants would do.
Everyone was part of the clan, they were family. No one would interfere or pursue the matter for these outsiders, causing conflict for themselves.