Time flies, and with the blink of an eye, it was already the middle of June.
The summer night, with the golden arc of the moon hanging high in the sky, shining its radiance on the green mountain lands.
The winds blew and the leaves danced with the moonlight. The song of the cicadas and bullfrogs were simultaneous with each other. At times the sound of a wolf howling could be heard from afar, echoing throughout the green mountain.
On a river bank, a creek was scrubbing over a piece of smooth cliff rock. Beside this bank, a battle was ongoing.
A mountain boar covered in fine and deep wounds all over kicked its legs and rushed forward once more towards Fang Yuan. The blood was pouring from its wounds, marking a road of fresh red liquid.
Fang Yuan wrestled with it, showing no signs of panic.
The wild boar was on the verge of death, but it was precisely these moments that wild beasts are the most dangerous. Using the last remaining potential of their lives, their insanity and tenacity, could cause one to get gravely injured at any careless moment.
Fang Yuan was peaceful, his black iris glowing eerily under the moonlight, showing the light of absolute calmness.
He had the experience of 500 years, a part of him was engrossed in combat, while another disengaged from the battle, and remained alert towards the surroundings.
Many times when he was hunting wild boars, other animals came to wreck havoc. At times, a wild boar, another time wild wolves, and even once a wandering tiger.
As time passed, the wild boar’s attacks gradually slowed down.
Fang Yuan’s eyes shone brightly as he took a few strides forward, getting close to the wild boar. Raising strength in his shoulder and arms, he carried and raised the wild boar in one breath.
Fang Yuan growled as his face was puffed red, his arms stretching out and raising the wild boar high above his head.
The wild boar feebly struggled.
Fang Yuan’s body was unstable, he used all his strength to throw the wild boar.
With a boom, the wild boar was thrown onto a large rock by the river bank. It cried pitifully as sounds of its bones breaking could be heard.
It fell down from the large rock, blood oozing out from its ears, nose and mouth.
It struggled a few times before drawing its final breath.
The surroundings regained its peace.
The river water flowed endlessly, carrying the boar’s blood along the river to some far away place.
"My strength right now can compete with a boar! Tonight I’ll go try that giant rock at the passageway." Fang Yuan stood on the spot, breathing in heavily with a hint of excitement flashing across his eyes.
These days he had used the White Boar Gu non-stop to increase the strength of his body. He could feel strongly now that his strength was getting bigger.
Back then when he fought wild boars, he could only use a kiting technique with the moonblade, but now he could even carry the wild boar, so the increment of his strength had shown great progress.
Of course, the White Boar Gu would not endless give him strength. The limit was a boar’s strength, and once he reached the limit, it would no longer grant him any additional strength.
"I can carry a wild boar now, but that does not mean I can go head to head with a boar, like how a strong man can carry another strong man, but it does not mean they have equal strength. My strength can continue to grow."
Feeding all the pork to the White Boar Gu, Fang Yuan used his hunting knife to retrieve the boar’s teeth, and finally diced up the already heavily torn boar skin, before going into the secret cave in the rock crack.
As for the boar’s corpse, it did not need him to do anything. During the summer night, wild beasts roamed freely, and not long after, there should be wild beasts picking up the scent of the blood and rush here to clean the scene for Fang Yuan.
Or rather, even if someone found out, it was inconsequential. The wild boar’s injuries were all ‘edited’ by Fang Yuan, looking nothing like moonblade cuts.
Back to the secret cave enveloped in red light, Fang Yuan threw the two wild boar teeth at a corner.
The wild boar’s teeth collided, causing a crisp sound.
At this corner, there was already a pile of wild boar teeth. They were the results of Fang Yuan’s hunting.
Fang Yuan squirmed into the passageway, once again getting to the end of the tunnel.
Walking on the tunnel, his footsteps could be heard echoing in the cave, his vision dyed red due to the light.
Everything was unchanged; the giant rock was still there, quietly blocking his path. As for the hole created after digging out the earth treasury flower, it had already been filled up by Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan walked in front of the giant rock, raised both hands and pushed.
Although his face grew red with exertion, and he used all his strength, the giant rock did not move an inch.
"With my current strength, I can only carry a wild boar. But this giant rock, it is at least the weight of five to six boars. No wonder I cannot move it. The Flower Wine Monk’s strength inheritance is not that easily obtained!" Fang Yuan’s gaze shone as he estimated in his heart.
He did not give up, but instead came out of the tunnel and returned to the secret room upstairs.
Taking a bamboo tube from the corner of the wall, Fang Yuan sat on the ground and opened the lid, taking out the beast skin map and sheets of bamboo paper.
He opened the beast skin map and started to memorise it, using his fingers to draw on the traces on the map to aid in his memorization.
Ever since he had obtained the map, he had been doing this everyday.
Fang Yuan did not have a storage type Gu, he could not bring the beast skin map with him everywhere. Carrying a bamboo tube on him while battling is inconvenient too. Thus, Fang Yuan put in some effort and was prepared to stuff the entire beast skin map’s content into his head.
Some things, even if troublesome, had to be done. In a person’s life, those who did not actively resolve problems due to fearing trouble, would always face a dangerous predicament at the end. Fang Yuan understood this logic from his previous life.
"When one is young, their memory sure is good. I have already memorised more than half of this map. If I was old, I would probably forget the content while memorising this. Hehehe… of course if I had a Bookworm, I would feed this map to it, and from then on, as long as I do not lose the Bookworm, I will be able to recall this map clearly forever."
Fang Yuan had the Liquor worm, White Boar Gu, and was now beginning to have insatiable greed, starting to crave the Bookworm.
The value of the Bookworm was quite close to the Liquor worm and White Boar Gu, all being rare species among the Rank one Gu worms. The market price was expensive and they were often sold out in moments.
In his previous life, Fang Yuan did not obtain the Liquor worm or White Boar Gu, but he accidentally obtained a Bookworm. This Bookworm eventually advanced ranks with him, and accompanied him for a whole sixty years.
"Forget it, Bookworms are rare and low in numbers, I won’t be able to get one anytime soon. To speak the truth, my current stage is way better than my previous life at this point. Last time at this period, I was still a Rank one initial stage, while the others like Fang Zheng, Chi Cheng, Mo Bei were already upper stage, far beyond me." Fang Yuan was not someone who worried over nothing, quickly getting over it.
He was rather satisfied with his current progress.
He was a middle stage, and the others were also middle stage. With his C grade talent, he could maintain the same speed as these A and B grades, it was not easy. Much effort was given to the Liquor worm, as well as Fang Yuan’s rich cultivating experience.
The other aspect, was also due to Fang Yuan.
His act of extortion had caused the classmates to bulk up on training their physical fighting skills under the help of their elders. Unknowingly, it caused them to be distracted, reducing the time they spent on nurturing their apertures. This resulted in everyone’s cultivation level being even lower than Fang Yuan’s past life.
But even so, they were not so far from upper stage now.
Gu Masters’ early stage of cultivation was rather easy, seeing effect in a short period of time. Especially Gu Yue Fang Zheng, Mo Chen and Chi Cheng, their cultivation level had already creeped and even seemed to surpass Fang Yuan.
With constant cultivation, these three with their talent, or the support behind them, had already begun to show their advantage. The lead that Fang Yuan had due to the Liquor worm was starting to disappear.
Of course, there was also the reason of him hunting recently and using the White Boar Gu to raise his strength, or spending much of his time and effort in doing so.
"At this rate, before long, someone will advance to upper stage. The first person that achieves upper stage will get a reward of thirty primeval stones. But this reward, I do not intend to contest for it." Fang Yuan had decided long ago.
If he abandoned the White Boar Gu now and rushed for upper stage, he might have some hopes of winning. But that was not Fang Yuan’s goal. Thirty primeval stones might be good but he did not lack primeval stones at the moment.
The bigger reason was that he needed to remain concealed and keep a low profile to reduce other people’s attention towards him, so that he can inherit the Flower Wine Monk’s strength inheritance successfully.
This is his real motive.
"The academy has all sorts of rewards, but it is just carrots to pique the student’s interest, and most importantly, it is a part of the family’s system. Fighting for these little rewards, is not what a wise person would do."
Fang Yuan collect his spirits and gazed at the beast skin map again.
The beast skin map had two pages; one recorded the day while the other recorded the night. Many lines of different colours intertwined on it.
These lines, some were straight, some were curved, but they all had their own specific meaning. Only old man Wang would be clear of their meaning, but it is a pity he died. But even if he was alive, by forcing him to speak, he might not say the truth.
These days, Fang Yuan relied on his knowledge and experience, and according to the bamboo paper’s comparison, he had already deciphered it all.
"The red cross represents danger, a forbidden zone. The area with the red cross seems to be surrounded by wild boars, it is probably a wild boar king there. With my current strength, I’m as good as dead if I encounter one. Hmph!"
Thinking of old man Wang, Fang Yuan could not help but snort again.
This area marked with a cross was not marked on the bamboo paper. If Fang Yuan really believed the bamboo paper, he would probably die by the fangs of the wild boar king one day. This old man Wang was indeed experienced. To avenge his son, he did not have to act himself, but borrowed the wild boar king’s strength. This way, even if Fang Yuan dies, he would be able to avoid responsibility.
"But these three spots marked with a red circle, what do they mean?" Fang Yuan was perturbed.
This was the beast skin map’s final suspicious point.
Three red circles, showing three very isolated areas. They were also very far apart, and had little surrounding beasts, considered safer areas in the wild.
"The red cross represents forbidden area, but what does the red circle represent?" Fang Yuan fell into deep thoughts, "Normally, red is the most alert colour. Old man Wang marked these three areas, meaning they are important. It is a pity these areas are far, if not I would inspect them myself and find the reason."