Chapter 48 - This world
A day later, when the first spirit stone inside the boat was consumed, Feng Yan had the Wind Rider descend. The three of them landed on top of a mountain peak overlooking the stretching forest that gradually grew darker as the last rays of the sunlight disappeared below the horizon.
When they landed, the surroundings turned humid and the chirping of birds as well as monsters’ roars occasionally echoed from within the forest.
“Let’s take a break after crossing this forest, what do you guys think?” Feng Yan lightly spoke as he glanced at Bai Xiaochun and Du Lingfei.
“The sky is going to get dark soon, and who knows whether there are monsters inside the forest. I think we better fly across using the Wind Rider.” Bai Xiaochun suggested.
“If you want to rest then do it yourself, it’s just a forest.” Du Lingfei snorted, evidently exasperated at how scared Bai Xiaochun was of death. She spun around, then headed into the forest.
A look of scorn flashed deep within Feng Yan’s gaze. Nonetheless, he still faked a smile towards Bai Xiaochun and followed Du Lingfei down the mountain.
Looking at the reactions of the two people, Bai Xiaochun knitted his brows and let out a sigh. Finally, with a vigilant expression, he followed both of them down the mountain and into the forest.
The humidity inside the forest was even higher; they even came across with swamps from time to time. Occasionally, different types of birds would appear in their path, however, being Qi Condensation cultivators, the three of them had agile bodies and had considerable speed. Hence, they easily avoided the animals as they continuously travelled deeper into the forest.
Time passed and in the blink of an eye, the sky had already darkened and the moon hung brightly in the sky. The trio had already traversed half the distance to their destination and hadn’t met any monsters along the way, making the journey extremely smooth. However, when Du Lingfei looked at Bai Xiaochun, who wore a fearful expression on his face as if he would jump from fright every time he felt something move, Du Lingfei couldn’t help but feel contempt for him in her heart.
“Watch out!” Bai Xiaochun suddenly exclaimed as he immediately stopped in his tracks and put on a worried expression.
Du Lingfei gave a cold laugh and was just about to make a sarcastic comment.
But right at this moment, gusts of violent wind suddenly filled the surroundings, carrying the putrid smell of blood with them. Du Lingfei’s expression immediately changed as she raised her head to look deeper into the forest, only to discover countless pairs of eyes staring back.
Every single pair of eyes was crimson red, and as soon their gazes met, sounds of fluttering wings immediately burst forth as palm-sized, Twin-Headed Bats flew out in flocks.
“Twin-Headed Bats, their fangs have deadly poison that will clot your throat with blood until you stop breathing!”
“Split up. We will regroup on the mountain peak on the other side of the forest.” Feng Yan cried out in shock as his expression turned serious. He turned to another direction and dashed off with explosive speed.
Du Lingfei’s pupils shrunk in fear. With a wave of her hand, a piece of talisman appeared in front of her body. The talisman slowly burned with a blue glow until it transformed into a light barrier enveloping her entire body. With a similar burst of explosive speed, Du Lingfei darted off in another direction. When she glanced back, she was astonished to find that Bai Xiaochun, who was supposed to be the last in line, had already disappeared without a trace.
Long before the gust of wind had appeared, Bai Xiaochun had already taken the chance to retreat. His personality was one that prefered stability and safety; moreover, his meticulous character made him all the more sensitive to danger when compared to the average person.
When Du Lingfei retreated, the incoming flock of bats released a piercing screech and split into three smaller flocks that each chased after the trio.
Within the forest, Feng Yan sneered and quickly stashed away an incense stick from his hands. The appearance of these bats was due to this incense stick, and his decision to stop on this mountain to cross the forest was also because he had discovered the existence of these Twin-Headed Bats when he had previously come to this forest for a mission.
“Every single one of those bats is no weaker than a cultivator in the third level of Qi Condensation. Bai Xiaochun, don’t blame me, someone just wants you dead.” Feng Yan smirked as he slapped his storage pouch and took out a piece of black wood. Giving it a gentle blow, the black wood immediately started burning and black smoke started to rise from it. Instantly, the flock of bats that was chasing after him let out a piercing screech and flew away, evidently disgusted by the fumes.
Feng Yan chucked as he nonchalantly strolled away and disappeared into the foliage.
In another part of the forest, Bai Xiaochun sprinted quickly as the bats chasing after him whistled through the air. However, no matter how much these bats accelerated, they were still unable to catch up with Bai Xiaochun. In no time, Bai Xiaochun had already widened the distance between him and the bats considerably. Occasionally, the beam of a sword would flash across, causing an unlucky bat to let out a piercing screech before dropping onto the ground.
After the time it took for a stick of incense to burn, Bai Xiaochun gradually slowed his pace and stopped. After turning around to look behind him, a frown appeared on his face.
“The appearance of these bats is a little strange…” Bai Xiaochun fell deep in thought as he traced his steps back. Picking up one of the bats he had killed with his flying sword, he studied it closely, and his eyes suddenly brightened.
“This is not a Twin-Headed Bat, this is a Purple-Veined Bat. Although it also has poison, its fangs are the main ingredient for refining the Grade Two medicine, Boiling Blood Incense Stick!”
“This ingredient can be exchanged for 50 contribution points back at the sect.” Bai Xiaochun immediately exclaimed in surprise. This knowledge was part of the 5th chapter of the Spirit Beasts jade tablet, hence, not many people distinguished it.
Fired up by this discovery, Bai Xiaochun immediately started gathering the corpses of the bats and found more than ten of them in no time. After plucking out their fangs, his heart trembled with joy.
“These bats don’t seem to be very strong……” Bai Xiaochun let out a soft chuckle as a protective light barrier flashed over his body. Afterwards, he began his search in the forest. In no time, a flock of Purple-Veined Bats spotted him and came screeching toward him.
Bai Xiaochun gestured with his fingers as the speed of the flying sword surged and streaked toward the bats. Its speed was so fast that before the bats could even come close, mournful cries had already filled the air. The sword quickly pierced the flock of bats, causing them to drop one after another. A few bats managed to come close to Bai Xiaochun, however, the moment they collided with the protective light barrier covering Bai Xiaochun, they were immediately bounced back.
Bai Xiaochun stepped forward and collected the loot. After making sure there was no more danger, he heaved a sigh of relief. With a puff of his chest, he confidently started his search again.
Just like that, he roamed the forest alone, constantly searching for the bats as he gradually collected more and more fangs……
Four hours later, Feng Yan left the forest and reached the rendezvous point at the mountain peak. Sitting cross-legged with a hint of a smile on his face, Feng Yan patiently waited.
After another two hours had passed, Du Lingfei dashed out of the forest with a disheveled look. She looked back at the pitch black forest with lingering fear and immediately hastened her pace. Upon reaching the peak, she saw Feng Yan, but when she swept her glance around, she did not find Bai Xiaochun.
“Bai Xiaochun is still not here?” She asked.
“I can only wish him luck. A pity the Twin-Headed Bats are most active during the night, if we were to go back into the forest, I fear we will be unable to save even ourselves.” Feng Yan let out a gentle sigh as he shook his head with a bitter smile. To make it more realistic, he did not rest but put on a worried expression as he fixed his anxious gaze on the forest.
Du Lingfei fell into silence. Even though she disliked Bai Xiaochun, she did not hate him enough to wish he was dead. After all, they were still from the same sect. Sitting cross-legged on the mountain peak, she gazed down on the forest. After a long while, she let out a soft sigh.
Time passed and the sky gradually brightened.
Having waited throughout the night, Bai Xiaochun still had not appeared and Du Lingfei more or less had a certain premonition deep in her heart.
“To have not arrived by this time, I’m afraid the odds that Bai Xiaochun is alive…..are slim.”
“It’s all my fault, if I had not suggested walking through this forest, Junior Brother Bai would not have…...ai.” Feng Yan sighed as he stood up. Having spent the night without rest, his eyes were already bloodshot. With an expression of grief and indignation, he gazed at the forest.
“Do not blame yourself Senior Brother Feng, none of us knew that there would be Twin-Headed Bats here. Perhaps Bai Xiaochun did not die, and even if he is dead, as his fellow sect members, we should at least bring his body back!” A complicated feeling arose deep within Du Lingfei’s heart. She had no idea why she was feeling such an emotion; every time she thought of Bai Xiaochun’s cowardly figure, though she truly despised it, she still felt a sense of pity for him. After all, there was no enmity or deep hatred between the both of them.
“You’re right Junior Sister Du, no matter what, we must not give up.” Feng Yan sucked in a deep breath and nodded his head gravely as the two of them prepared to once again go down the mountain to search for Bai Xiaochun.
Just at this moment, however, they saw Bai Xiaochun lazily stroll out from the forest. Bai Xiaochun yawned as he walked out and even started to stretch his body as if he had just woken up.
Du Lingfei’s eyes widened with surprise and Feng Yan’s gaze was filled with disbelief. He was bewildered while watching Bai Xiaochun casually tread the mountain trail, slowly heading in their direction.
Especially when looking at Bai Xiaochun’s current expression, it was as if he had such a good night’s sleep - lively and vigorous. This was in sharp contrast with the both of them who hadn’t rested since the previous night and were fighting their fatigue just to stay awake.
In no time at all, Bai Xiaochun had ascended the mountain. The moment he saw the duo, he immediately ran over and greeted them.
“Morning! Senior Brother Feng, Senior Sister Du, this forest is too scary, I almost lost my life.” Bai Xiaochun indeed had a good rest after eliminating almost all of the bats in the forest. Not only had he gained a bountiful harvest, he even had a peaceful sleep in the bats’ cave.
Du Lingfei stared at Bai Xiaochun with an ugly expression and gave a cold snort. Looking at his face and recalling the conflicted emotions she felt a while ago, she felt even more irritated with Bai Xiaochun.
A hint of coldness flashed deep inside Feng Yan’s eyes, though on the surface, he showed a joyful expression.
“It doesn’t matter so long as Junior Brother Bai is fine. We were worried throughout the whole night.”
Bai Xiaochun chuckled embarrassedly, however, deep within his gaze, a streak of coldness similarly flashed for a moment.
Not long after, the trio continued their journey without using the boat. Having experienced this incident, Bai Xiaochun suggested flying with the boat during the night and walking on foot during the day. Du Lingfei showed a rare agreement with Bai Xiaochun’s suggestion and Feng Yan also nodded his head after thinking for a moment.
The trio slowly faded into the distance as they continued their journey downstream along the Tongtian River.
Time slowly passed and before they knew it, a month had already passed.
And in this month, Bai Xiaochun had walked more than ever before in his whole life. He saw mountains after mountains, forests after forests; the surroundings were bereft of any humans. The entire area was just like a wasteland.
Once when the three of them were on their way, the ground suddenly started trembling. To his horror, Bai Xiaochun discovered that far away in the distance, amidst the mountain range, a giant whose body was covered with hair from head to toe was slowly approaching them. With every step the giant took, the ground shook.
This giant made Bai Xiaochun take a deep breath of shock.
At another time, the trio were in the flying boat during the night, when they suddenly heard a thunderous roar in the distance. And what greeted Bai Xiaochun’s sight was ……an enormous bird, as big as the size of the Scented Cloud Mountain, soaring through the sky, with countless streaks of lightning wiggling all over its body, looking especially imposing in the darkness of the night.
But what Bai Xiaochun remembered the most was that during one bright and sunny day, he saw this short-limbed monster with a head as big as a small mountain get devoured in a single bite by a 10,000 zhang long golden crocodile. The four-limbed beast was at the bank of the Tongtian River when the crocodile jumped out from the river with a cold gaze. It even took a glance at the trio who were hiding far away in the distance, and this unforgettable scene deeply shocked the three of them.
With just a single glance, a boom had resounded within the trio’s minds as blood seeped out from the corners of their mouths. The three of them had a splitting headache which lasted for days before they finally recovered.
“It’s too scary, the outside world is too scary!” Bai Xiaochun repeatedly murmured to himself as his body shivered with fear.
1/10 guaranteed chapter of the week. Thank you for reading!
Translated by: Xin
Edited by: Arch, Crimsonguard