"Run faster, don’t fall behind!"
"The clansmen in front are fighting a bloody battle, they are waiting for our backup."
"Follow closely, or you will easily lose your direction in the midst of battle at night. Newcomers better pay special attention!"
On the way back to the village, there would be a five-man group from time to time running hurriedly past Fang Yuan’s side.
"Did something happen?" He had not walked for more than five hundred meters when Fang Yuan saw the thirteenth group.
He could not help but contemplate, but to be quite honest, with five hundred years’ worth of memories it was just too superfluous and messy. Mentioning this, although Fang Yuan was reborn, he had never given up any of his old memories.
Yet, much of his memories were enshrouded in a layer of thick fog, and if he tried to retrieve them by force, he would only get lost in the fog, getting more losses than benefits.
Only a few deep and powerful memories that were like sparkling and translucent pearls ran through his previous life’s five hundred years like a connected thread.
It was evident that what was happening right now, was in fact not in any of these pearls.
The life of his in the Gu Yue Village was just the beginning of the preceding period, it was just way too long ago. Besides…
"There’s a possibility that this never happened in my previous life, but because of my change, a butterfly effect happened and caused changes to the surroundings."
Just like that, he walked while pondering. Subconsciously, Fang Yuan reached the Northern gate of the village.
By chance, there was another group about to set off.
"Eh?" On seeing Fang Yuan, only one person from this group stopped in his tracks. "Fang Yuan, why are you still here?"
"What’s wrong?" Fang Yuan raised his eyes and looked at this person. It was no other than his fellow schoolmate, Gu Yue Chi Cheng.
Chi Cheng immediately frowned and said, "Oh geez, you still don’t know yet? There’s been a small scale beast tide that formed near the village. If we let it be, it will slowly become a big scale beast tide. When that happens the villages at the foot of the mountain will be crushed. Without those lowly mortals and slaves, we’d also be at a difficult position sometimes."
"Oh, so it’s like this?" Fang Yuan’s gaze flashed.
Being reminded like this, he was able to remember that such a thing did happen in his memories.
In this world, it was hard for humanity to survive. Every few years a beast tide would happen. Humans need resources and living space. This is no different from wild beasts and insects, they also needed such things!
To explain the beast tide as a war between wild beasts and humanity, perhaps this will be easier to understand.
Taking Qing Mao Mountain for example, every three years there would be a large scale wolf tide that attacks each of the big mountain villages.
"According to my calculations, the real outburst of the wolf tide will happen next year. However this small scale beast tide, is a subsidiary of that. The wolf group will continue growing stronger and bigger, and this will cause the other beast groups around the area to lose their living space. As this effect accumulates, when it reaches the maximum limit, it will cause the migration of beast groups. Migrating beast groups will naturally influence other beast groups."
"Under such an intertwined influence, there is a chance that the influence would be expanded and cause all sorts of beast groups to relocate, causing the beast tide to be formed from this matter. If this problem is not controlled in time, the tide would only get bigger. Although it is still unable to endanger the existence of the Gu Yue village, if we leave it alone, the village’s power would be greatly reduced."
"Wait! If this is the case… Heh heh heh heh." There was a sudden flash in his eyes, but Fang Yuan promptly cast his gaze down, hiding away the change in his eyes.
Seeing that Fang Yuan had not said anything, Chi Cheng continued to speak. "At the present time, the internal affairs hall and external affairs hall have both already given out the order to mobilize, they proclaimed this as an urgent mission. Fang Yuan, don’t you think of goofing off. Your group has already left in the morning, you must also go. But…"
As he spoke up to this point, Chi Cheng purposely dragged out his intonation, "Danger lurks everywhere during a beast wave. All kinds of wild beasts roam about, and most of all a battle in the night is way more dangerous than the day. You’re just a small little Rank one Gu Master, unlike a Rank two like me, you should be careful. Heh heh heh!"
As he said this, he purposely held his head high and puffed his chest out, stroking his own belt, his expression joyfully satisfied and proud.
His belt was no longer the green coloured Rank one belt, but a Rank two Gu Master’s red coloured belt. At the same time on top of the metal plate on the belt, there was a ‘2’ word.
It was thanks to his grandfather Gu Yue Chi Lian’s help that he ascended to Rank two not long ago.
"I just heard about this news, but since this is the case." Fang Yuan suddenly smiled and said, "Then I’ll follow you guys and set out together. Once on the front lines I’ll leave the team and return to mine."
"What? Urgh, who wants to bring you!" Chi Cheng folded his arms, his mouth twitching disdainfully.
Fang Yuan’s tone was distant. "The clan rule states: Gu Masters that are left behind must merge into the closest group to their location, they have an obligation to continue fighting. Chi Cheng, you don’t even know this point?"
"You!" Chi Cheng glared, just about to flare up.
"Indeed, this is the case," Chi Shan who had been watching quietly finally spoke.
His body stature was close to two meters tall, and his figure was powerful and strong. His upper body was bare, the muscles hard and tough like metal. His entire body was covered in fiery red skin that seemed to faintly emit hot air.
Undoubtedly, he was the leader of this group.
Seeing him speak, even Chi Cheng who was the Chi faction’s inheritor, kept his mouth shut.
Chi Shan expressionlessly looked at Fang Yuan, continuing, "Let us depart, you keep up."
His voice was low and deep, his words short and simple. There was an aura of him that caused people to hardly question him.
Fang Yuan shrugged nonchalantly, taking it as agreeing.
Chi Cheng laughed coldly, his gaze harboring malicious intentions as he looked at Fang Yuan, speaking in an emphasized, peculiar tone, "Then you had better keep up!"
Fang Yuan did not reply to him.
"Hmph, why do we have to drag him around. Just a Rank one Gu Master." Chi Cheng mumbled to himself angrily, but since he was hindered by Chi Shan’s authority, he did not dare act impudent.
At once, a group of six people set out from the entrance, following the mountain road and running down the slope.
Gu Yue Chi Shan took the lead. He may be big-sized, but his speed was also not slow. Besides him and Chi Cheng, there were also two men and one female, their facial expressions indifferent.
As they ran, Chi Shan’s group started to display the graceful bearing of being one of the three most strongest groups.
Each of them had rhythmic breathing, their footsteps fast and easy. Only Chi Cheng seemed to be in a difficult situation, but he would use his Scarlet Pill Cricket Gu from time to time, catching up reluctantly. Yet it could also be seen that he had received good teaching, for although he often staggered along the way, at least he never fell down.
When they reached the mountain foot, with one hand gesture from Chi Shan, the group swiftly stopped in their tracks.
Chi Cheng had fallen behind by three hundred meters, and he was the last to catch up. His face was pale and he panted heavily, his gaze inconceivable as he looked at Fang Yuan.
During the journey Fang Yuan had always been following tightly behind, and up till now his breathing was only slightly heavy. He did not look the least bit like a newcomer who just graduated.
"Chi Cheng, remember, regulate your physical strength," Chi Shan looked back and advised Chi Cheng. Then he swept his gaze past Fang Yuan, his eyes showing a hint of praise.
The looks that the other few group members gave towards Fang Yuan had also softened a little.
"We will be nearing the beast tide down there. Chi Cheng and Fang Yuan, come towards the middle of the team." Chi Shan looked at the pitch-black mountain forest before him as he spoke.
This sentence let Fang Yuan reevaluate Chi Shan.
This huge boulder of a man sure had tolerance. The middle of a group is often the safest spot. Although Fang Yuan was not a person of the Mo bloodline, Chi Shan still maintained the manner of protecting a newcomer. To compare him to the sickly snake Jiao San, the latter would immediately pale in comparison.
The sky had already become completely dark, and the black clouds were in layers, causing the accumulated snow to also become dark and gloomy.
Chi Shan’s group had already changed their group formation. Their speed dropped greatly as they ran slowly through the complicated terrain of the mountain forest.
Fang Yuan and Chi Cheng were in the middle part of the group, where on the left side was the huge Chi Shan, while the right side was an old man. Behind them was a young woman with a head of watery blue-coloured long hair.
And in front of them was a male Gu Master called Chi She.
He was the reconnaissance Gu Master of this group, and he gave out hissing noises. From time to time he would stick his tongue out into the air.
Right now his tongue had a small divide in between, becoming the bright red forked tongue of a snake. As they entered deeper into the mountain forest, their surroundings started to show wild beasts violently running about wildly.
Suddenly Chi She opened his mouth and spoke, "Before us, three medium-sized animals have appeared. Suspected to be wild deer."
"Drive it away." Chi Shan’s expression was unchanging as he immediately gave the order.
The six-manned group did not change their direction; they continued pursuing forward. Three wild deer appeared before them, quickly changing their direction and dispersing.
Not long after, Chi She’s expression changed. "A group of medium-sized creatures. Suspected to be turtleback apes."
"Shift," Chi Shan said.
The small group immediately broke to the left side, bypassing this group of troublesome apes.
This was the benefit of having a reconnaissance Gu Master, he was able to anticipate and inform earlier, letting them make accurate decisions from it.
"Chi She is probably using the Snake Tongue Gu. This Rank two Gu worm can sense heat temperatures. But it has three very obvious flaws — firstly, the perception radius is small, secondly it is easily interfered with. Thirdly it cannot detect cold-blooded creatures. Yet no matter what, it is better than not having any detection. I have reached Rank two now, and in future to survive in the wild, I will also need a detection-type of Gu," Fang Yuan thought.
Suddenly Chi She urgently spoke, "A middle-sized creature, suspected to be a white tiger. It’s found us and is quickly approaching!"
"Engage." Chi Shang’s tone was calm and collected.
A fierce tiger jumped out from the thicket in front of them, and the group met it head-on. Without Chi She’s warning in advance, perhaps they would be caught unprepared.
But right now, the group had long anticipated.
Firstly, the old Gu Master on the right suddenly drummed up his cheeks and then spit out a white coloured, viscous substance.
The substance abruptly expanded in mid-air, becoming a huge spider net. It used its strong viscosity and trapped the white tiger full in the face.
The white tiger struggled fiercely in the net, and Chi Shan immediately stepped forward and brandished his fist, pounding onto the tiger’s head.
His fist had a golden luster flashing through, and with a bang, the tiger’s head was smashed into pieces. The white tiger died in one breath.
The group did not stop to stay behind, but instead walked over the tiger’s body and continued forward. Chi She took Chi Shan’s place again and ran in front, taking the lead.
Through the entire process it was like moving clouds and flowing water. All the group members displayed mutual understanding.
"That entire process did not take more than three seconds. If it was me right now who was taking on that tiger alone, I would need at least five minutes to contend with." Fang Yuan’s gaze was flashing.
These Gu Masters were also Rank two like him, but the main disparity was still Gu worms.
They all used Rank two Gu worms, and this enabled them to bring out the best in each other. However all the Gu in Fang Yuan’s hands were still Rank one.
Gu Master, Gu Master, the word Gu is before the word Master, signifying that Gu worms have a huge impact on a Gu Master’s fighting power. (1)
"Although I have advanced to Rank two, I still need to have Rank two Gu to be able to display the fighting power of a Rank two Gu Master. However right now I do not have much primeval stones on me, I have used up a very huge portion from breaking into Rank two. Refining two Gu worms together will also use up a considerable amount of primeval stones."
As Fang Yuan thought of this, Chi She who was in front of him suddenly said, "I found the sickly snake’s group."
(1) The chinese like to repeat things sometimes when emphasizing something. Gu Master, Gu Master… Gu and Master! Gu is before Master, Gu is so important.