Translator: Skyfarrow Editor: Skyfarrow
The mountain forest was boundless, and Fang Yuan walked through patiently.
The sunlight permeated through the huge and tall woods, shining and creating a ground of mottled and fragmentary tree shadows.
The green grass beside his feet was like a mattress, and the wild flowers bloomed with bright colours.
His ears picked up the sound of birds chirping, or the trickling of flowing water.
The further he got from the village, walking towards the outer surroundings, the more risky it was. Thus Fang Yuan was even more careful.
The wilderness was very dangerous, Gu Masters had to have at least Rank three cultivation to be able to venture the wilds alone and explore. But this did not mean they were safe, as many Rank three Gu Masters died in the wild, sometimes even Rank fours. Wild beasts, poisonous worms, human threats, and at times the weather, these were all causes of death.
However, Fang Yuan wanted to kill the wild boars which were often found around the village’s peripheral. Otherwise, the village hunters would not be able to catch wild boars.
"The environment around the village, every now and then, Gu Masters from the clan would come out and clear the area. This environment to a Rank one middle stage like me, is still safe. But I still have to be careful, wild beasts and Gu worms like to move around."
With his experience from his previous life, Fang Yuan scouted carefully.
Time gradually passed, but Fang Yuan gained nothing.
"Damn, Qing Mao Mountain is still too big for the current me. I have no scouting-type Gu and I am not familiar with this environment, plus Qing Mao Mountain is periodically cleared up, so to find a wild boar, it is too difficult. Let’s go to the foot of the mountain!"
Fang Yuan’s scouting was unfruitful, thus he changed his mind and went to the mountain foot.
Qing Mao Mountain has three mountain villages. Gu Yue village, Xiong family village, and Bai family village. The Xiong family village was on the fore mountain, the Gu Yue mountain village was at the mountain waist, and Bai family village was at the back mountain waterfall.
Other than the three villages, there was also tens of tiny villages at the mountain foot, all being inhabited by mortals.
The three mountain villages split these small villages among themselves, being the ones controlling them behind the scenes. Once they lacked family servants, they would pick from these small villages.
But they would not choose Gu Masters.
Nurturing a Gu Master, they would only choose a clansman. Even if they knew that among these mortals were people with talent, although rare, they would still not use them.
This world was heavily sided towards bloodline, and holding power among relatives was the political stability that the clan needed.
In order to expand in size, many mountain villages had adopted outsiders into their system. Eventually their power flowed out and caused internal conflicts, thus causing the entire clan to breakdown or weaken.
No matter the world, political power was still based off military force, this is the truth.
And troops are the brute force department, representing strength. By controlling strength, one gains status and authority.
Of course, the clan’s rules are not ever constant, they also adopt new blood. Every year, there would be outsiders marrying into the clan, leaving their servant status, and the children they give birth to would be a Gu Yue, a new generation clansman.
This is like connecting a tiny stream into a spring. Do not underestimate this stream, as without it, a spring would be still, and eventually rot. With it, there would be life, and the spring would grow even stronger.
Fang Yuan’s previous servant Shen Cui was betting on this idea of marrying into a Gu Yue and leaving her servant status.
Fang Yuan left the mountain, and after thirty minutes, could see thick smoke rising from under the mountain.
After a while, he could see a wide hill in his vision, and a village around that area beside a small river.
The small villages around the vicinity were under the rule of the Gu Yue village. Although they were closeby, the small villages were not as safe, thus requiring regular clean up. For mortals to live in such conditions and manage to survive, to Fang Yuan, he naturally could accept such a fact.
"Oh?" On the mountain path nearing the village, Fang Yuan sensitively found traces on the ground. His past experience told him that this was a wild boar’s traces.
"Chase!" Fang Yuan raised his spirits as he followed the clues, getting deeper into the mountains.
Green moss spread over the stones, ancient juniper trees and tall pagoda trees completing the great forest.
Under the strong light of the sun, the mountain woods of summer was even more profound and serene. The lush underbrush suddenly moved a little.
A few deer eating the sumptuous grass looked up, vigilantly staring at the bushes, their ears twitching.
The bushes that were half a man’s height split apart, and a young man crawled out from within. His skin was pale and his black hair was short. He was wearing a modest linen shirt, it was Fang Yuan.
A few wild deer were frightened, and their four thin limbs quickly moved, sprinting away. In a moment, they vanished from Fang Yuan’s vision.
"These are female deer, their fur can be shaved to make warm clothing, and deer meat is also some Gu worm’s food. If it’s a male deer, the antlers are most precious, and some are even necessary ingredients for a Gu worm’s advancement.
The wild was dangerous all over, and at the same time it had great treasures.
Fang Yuan looked at the direction that they were escaping in, and retracted his gaze. His target was wild boars, not these deer.
He continued moving.
There was the sound of buzzing.
Nearing these noises, Fang Yuan stopped in his tracks.
"Beehive." He looked forward and saw a beehive hanging on a tree.
The bee’s nest was massive, the size was that of a wicker-basket. It appeared as a sort of greyish dark yellow colour. Outside the bee nest was a few dozen bee soldiers flying around; occasionally a few worker bees would enter and exit.
"Beehive has honey, and honey is the Bear Strength Gu’s food. Thus, the Xiong family has great demand for honey. This beehive is only a small-sized one, and the chances of producing a Gu isn’t high. If I had the Bronze Skin Gu, I could risk getting stabbed and collect the honey. What a pity." Fang Yuan thought.
In this world, not all insects are Gu.
Gu are the spirit of the world, the body of the laws, how can it be so cheap? Among a swarm of insects, normally only the insect king is a Gu.
But that depends on their size and development, so if the swarm is too small, there is no Gu either.
Taking the beehive ahead as an example, because it is too small, there is a low chance of having a Gu.
Fang Yuan routed around this beehive and continued forward.
The traces of the wild boar was getting more evident, and Fang Yuan knew he was getting close to it, thus he became more careful, as wild boars were very dangerous.
Wild boars are not reared pig. When a mature wild boar fights with a tiger, the tiger may not win.
In this mystical world, wild beasts are not simple too.
"Oh? This situation!" When Fang Yuan finally found the wild boar, he saw that it had fallen into a huge pit. A sharpened green bamboo was situated at the bottom of the pit, where it had pierced the wild boar and was causing it to bleed.
Seeing the accumulated blood in the pit, he could tell that the boar had already been in the trap for at least fifteen minutes.
But this wild boar continued to struggle, whimpering and howling, still full of life.
"This trap is obviously set by hunters. To think I’m reaping the rewards." Fang Yuan smiled but his expression was grim.
These traps threatened him too.
If he had fallen into it, after half a quarter of an hour, he would die.
Although the village surroundings were cleared regularly, the hunters often came to hunt and set many traps. Some could be discerned, while others were designed to be hidden, and if Fang Yuan could not discover them, he might fall into the trap.
"Any area in this mountain could have a trap buried by the hunters. But among hunters, with every trap set they would inform each other on the location. It seems I have to find an old hunter’s residence and find out about the trap locations from him. Along with the surrounding wild beasts’ activity area and with these intel, I would not have to search like trying to find a needle in a haystack." Fang Yuan thought internally.
This was the problem of not having a scouting-type of Gu worm.
But to find a good scouting-type Gu, it was not easy.
In a short time, he could barely make do with a hunter’s intel.
With such a thought, Fang Yuan’s wrist flicked and a moonblade flew out, easily hitting the wild boar.
With a light ring, the entire moonblade cut through the boar’s neck and caused a long and slender wound. Then with a plop sound, a blood fountain spewed out from it.
The spewing blood caused the wound to become bigger, and thus the blood fountain also enlarged.
The boar screeched, thrashing about with the last of its energy, until its movements became smaller and smaller…...
Fang Yuan silently looked at the scene, his face calm.
The wild boar’s life faded as its eyes were staring wide and perfectly round, the muscles on its body twitching and the warm blood filling the trap hole, a thick smell of blood permeating the surrounding.
"Survival or death, this is the theme of nature." He sighed in his heart.
At this point, human voices were heard.
"Second brother Wang, within our village, no one is better than you at hunting. Especially killing wild boars, your family’s Old Wang is the hunting king in the entire region, who would not know of his great name?"
"That’s right, second brother Wang inherited the old hunter’s abilities. To hunt a wild boar, it is naturally as good as caught!"
"Second brother Wang, why didn’t little sister Wang come with you today?"
After all the bootlicking, a grave and stern voice said, "Hmph! Hunting a wild boar, how can it show my true abilities? Today I want to kill three boars, you’ll see! Er Gou Dan, stop lusting after my sister, or I’ll thrash you!!!"
Er Gou Dan retorted, "Men and women marry when they’re of age, what’s wrong with liking little sister Wang? Moreover, I’m not the only one, which guy in your village doesn’t also fancy her too? Second brother Wang, in my opinion you are also nineteen already, you should marry a wife and have kids already."
The voice spoke again, "Hmph, I’m a true blue man, how can I lust after such a small temptation? One day, I will leave this Qing Mao Mountain and explore the world and learn about everything under the sky, that will truly be fitting of my manly status!"
Saying so, the four young hunters walked out of the forest.
The leader hunter had a tall build, carrying a bow and arrow, his muscles bulging and his eyes full of spirit, showing a powerful aura.
When he saw Fang Yuan, he frowned and screamed, "Hmm? Which village are you from kid, how dare you try to take advantage of me Wang Er, quickly get lost!"