As a person involved, Fang Yuan had to go through the clan’s investigation.
It was not an in-depth investigation; the ever growing severity of the wolf tide had attracted almost all the attention of the clan’s higher-ups. Fang Yuan’s Earth Communication Ear Grass and Stealth Scales Gu were still concealed but even if they were exposed, Fang Yuan could just attribute it to the caravan.
In any case, communications had already been severed due to the wolf tide; the caravan won’t be coming. Under such circumstances, the clan couldn’t obtain the confirmation from the caravan and could only delay the investigation.
When the results of any investigation truly came out, Fang Yuan would have already become a Rank three and left Qing Mao mountain.
Of course, if the Four Flavors Liquor worm and Spring Autumn Cicada were exposed, it would be a completely different matter.
Either of them could cause a huge commotion in the village if exposed.
Four Flavors Liquor worm represented a whole new fusion recipe and had extremely significant meaning. Fang Yuan wouldn’t be able to explain it even if he pushed it onto the caravan, and would be thoroughly investigated by the clan.
And Spring Autumn Cicada? If it was discovered, the wolf tide would be greatly sidelined. This is a Rank six Gu after all! Even the clan head Gu Yue Bo would immediately dispense with the civilities; the nonsense of kinship and the clan head position could all be given up. There was no doubt that it would be forcibly seized.
July was month of a scorching hot summer, and the hot air was filled with the iron smell of blood.
The wolf tide was growing more serious and fights were becoming more intense.
Many had begun to realize that the wolf tide this time was of a rarely seen enormous scale among all of past history.
Bold lightning wolf packs had fallen to a supporting role now; thousand beast king frenzy lightning wolf packs had started to roam nearby the village.
Mankind’s living space had shrunk down to an extreme level.
Even Gu Yue clan headquarters were as such; there was no need to mention the village at the foot of the mountain.
Nine out of ten houses were empty and a portion of fortunate villagers were living in the clan by utilizing all kinds of connections. But the majority of the villagers could only leave their homes and make an arduous journey to evade the wolf tide.
Their destination was another mountain village. But the fierce beasts, wild Gu and the lightning wolves that filled the whole mountain reduced their hopes to an almost negligible amount.
This was a hopeless journey.
Gu Yue clan could only give up on these mortals, they would all die before they even reached halfway to their destination. Either because of the fierce beasts or due to attacks from insects.
No matter if it was mortals or Gu Masters, they were all struggling between life and death. Even the elders who usually had a high position, had no choice but to don their armors and go to the battlefield.
The Gu Masters that had retired were enlisted again. When the wolf tide ends, those that manage to live on would definitely not surpass even one tenth.
The cruelty of nature was displayed in all its glory at this moment. It was the survival of the fittest and in no way could it be avoided by speaking words of warmth.
Fang Yuan sat cross-legged on the bed; his eyes were closed as he looked at his aperture.
In his aperture, 44% of red steel sea waves were surging up and down. These primeval essence were all dark red. It was the Rank two peak stage dark red primeval essence.
Rank two primeval essence were collectively called red steel primeval essence. But it had four different small realms: initial stage, middle stage, upper stage and peak stage. There were also slight differences in the red steel primeval essence.
Rank two initial stage primeval essence was light red; middle stage primeval essence was scarlet; upper stage was crimson and peak stage was dark red.
Many days ago, Fang Yuan had advanced to upper stage. His crimson primeval essence went through Four Flavors Liquor worm’s refinement and along with the replenishment from primeval stones, it had completely changed to the current dark red primeval essence.
Right now, the aperture wall was no longer a watery membrane with the flowing light, but it was instead a thick stone membrane formed by layers upon layers of piled up white light.
White Jade Gu and Stealth Scales gu were in the depths of the red steel sea.
Four Flavors Liquor worm was playing around in the sea but when the Spring Autumn Cicada slowly showed up, it immediately sunk towards the depths of the sea.
Under the aura of the Spring Autumn Cicada, the surface of the whole primeval sea became as calm and smooth as a mirror without the slightest wave.
Spring Autumn Cicada’s condition was getting better.
Its two wings were completely recovered, appearing like a pair of tender leaves. Only its main body was still withered.
Fang Yuan would check on Spring Autumn Cicada every so often; he could clearly sense the recovery speed of Spring Autumn Cicada increasing rapidly.
The Spring Autumn Cicada was like a dying patient before, one who couldn’t even open their mouths to eat and could only take in liquid food to preserve their life force.
Now, this patient could get off the bed and eat much more food to nourish itself; the recovery speed would naturally become faster.
Besides the Spring Autumn Cicada, there were two new members in Fang Yuan’s aperture.
They were both taken from Bai Ning Bing; one was Water Shield Gu which looked like a jellyfish as it floated in the sea. Another was red steel Relic Gu.
Fang Yuan’s advancement to upper stage was because of the purified primeval essence by the Four Flavors Liquor worm and continuous nourishment of the aperture wall, causing a qualitative change. Fang Yuan hadn’t used the red steel Relic Gu.
Just based on cultivation level, Fang Yuan would already be the third highest person among Rank two Gu Masters of Gu Yue clan. Xiong Li and Qing Shu were dead; Fang Yuan was in the top five even among the whole Qing Mao Mountain.
As for Chi Shan and Mo Yan, they originally were at Rank two upper stage but had advanced to peak stage not long ago. This could be said to have aroused the morale of the clansmen who were down after Qing Shu’s sacrifice.
Fang Yuan was progressing and others naturally were also progressing.
Chi Shan and Mo Yan had been in upper stage for quite a bit of time and had continuously been pressured by the peak stage Qing Shu.
The intense stimulation of death brought by the wolf tide caused Gu Masters to have a deep thirst for power, squeezing out their potential and leading to cultivation advancement.
"But if we count fighting strength, I am the number one among the Rank two Gu Masters of the whole Qing Mao mountain. Now, after I use this red steel Relic Gu, my cultivation will rise to peak stage and when combined with my deep experience, I can even battle Rank three Gu Masters to a certain degree," Fang Yuan calculated.
His low profile and patience had brought him plentiful gains now.
He could advance to this stage with just C grade aptitude, the whole clan would be shocked if they knew this. Even the A grade aptitude Fang Zheng was only at Rank two middle stage.
Naturally, even if he advanced to peak stage, Fang Yuan couldn’t win against Rank three Gu Masters.
Bai Ning Bing was able to surpass levels and kill a Rank three Gu Master because of his Northern Dark Ice Soul physique. Gu Yue Qing Shu also could do that because he had the Wood Charm Gu, a powerful and special Rank three Gu worm.
In actuality, Fang Yuan had a much stronger trump card than them — Spring Autumn Cicada.
However, this Rank six Gu was very special, and Fang Yuan forced himself to not use it. Spring Autumn Cicada hadn’t fully recovered and if it was forcefully used, whether it could rebirth would be a huge question mark.
The red steel Relic Gu was only effective to Rank two Gu Masters; there was no value in keeping it.
Fang Yuan was just about to use this Gu when there came a knock on the door.
Dong, dong, dong.
"Lord Fang Yuan, it is me, Gu Yue Jiang Ya," a voice shouted after the knocking.
Fang Yuan frowned, this Jiang Ya was getting more overbearing recently; he would repeatedly look for him to ask for vitality leaves.
The number of deaths and crippled people were increasing, causing the price of the vitality leaves to become increasingly higher and even becoming a situation of high demand but no supply.
"How many times have I told you that I don’t have more vitality leaves. Get lost." Fang Yuan coldly snorted. How could he give up his cultivation time for trifle primeval stones earnings.
Outside the door, Jiang Ya had a flattering smile on, "Lord Fang Yuan, please appease your anger. You are aware of the current situation, what choices do I have? Many Gu Masters know I sell vitality leaves and they all look for me. It is not easy for the little me to pass my days. How about this, I will pay ten percent more. Lord Fang Yuan, please be kind and give me a dozen vitality leaves."
After speaking, he started begging and his sound carried some sobbing.
Fang Yuan was indifferent, "That is your affair, what does it have to do with me? Hmph, your guts are getting bigger these days, you forgot the agreement between us and actually brought someone else."
"Ah….." Jiang Ya gave a bitter smile outside the door. He looked at the old Gu Master beside him. He had no other way, this Gu Master was very powerful and had stubbornly followed him here.
"Little friend Fang Yuan." This old Gu Master spoke, "I am Gu Yue Ye, I believe you have heard of me. I came to purchase some vitality leaves and hope you, little friend, can show me some respect and give a little time to produce some."
"Give you respect. Heh, what reputation do you have?" Fang Yuan sneered. This Gu Yue Ye was somewhat famous, he was a retired Gu Master but had been brought back by the clan due to the wolf tide.
At his peak period, he had reached Rank three. However, because of injuries, his cultivation dropped down to Rank two peak stage and now due to his old age, his cultivation had further dropped down to Rank two upper stage.
Although his cultivation was the same as Fang Yuan, his fighting strength could not be compared to the latter.
Gu Yue Ye’s expression was ashen, he had long heard of this eccentric loner Fang Yuan; a lad with a vicious and stubborn temper, arrogant and rude, considering everyone beneath him. He had prepared his heart before he came here, but to think that he had still underestimated Fang Yuan.
He wanted to use his reputation, but this usually successful method had no effect on Fang Yuan.
He felt his face burning and his heart filled with anger. He had lost all his honor right now!
"This disrespectful son of a bitch!" He cursed inwardly, but didn’t leave.
He needed the vitality leaves!
He was an experienced man and deeply knew the importance of the vitality leaves. In times, a vitality leaf could mean the difference between life and death.
As one gets old, their courage starts to shrink.
Back when he was young, he was hot-blooded and easily excited. He wanted to protect the clanspeople, he wanted to change the world, he wanted to become a great hero! In those times, he had the resolution to view death as a return home!
However, right now he was old and was much more cool-headed. He had seen through many aspects of life in these years and could be said to have reflected on himself.
Especially after several of his children died, his heart had grown more cold.
Any organization needs sacrifices.
Resources are limited. Although they are produced all the time, they are also consumed. As such, this add and decrease limits the total amount.
Humans need food, clothes and lodging to survive; these are resources. Gu Masters need Gu worms, primeval stones and food to cultivate; these are also resources.
Becoming strong requires even more resources. But if you don’t sacrifice, then where can I get more resources?
I rather compromise others than sacrifice my benefits!
Protecting, honor, family love, dreams, hot blood; they are all honorable reasons for sacrificing.
There are no organizations that do not encourage self-sacrifice. However, the higher-ups would never say that, they would instead talk of ‘protecting, honor, family love, dreams, hot blood, happiness’ and so on, and give all kinds of material benefits.
However, the material benefits are just nonsense once one dies. What could a dead ‘great hero’ enjoy?
Look at Gu Yue Qing Shu.
He ‘blissfully’ died and was buried in the soil; his name carved in the gravestone as his spirit continues to influence future ‘heroes’.