Chapter 39 - The Forest
It has been three days since they entered the forest.
In high spirits, Wu Qi was standing on a tree branch that was nearly a thousand feet above the ground, looking out at the dark green deep forest that extended out for miles and miles. Faded water vapor was hovering around his body, isolating himself from all the dust and tiny little bugs in the forest. The long robe he was wearing when he entered the forest was still perfectly clean.
Under a huge tree entwined with wisteria, Liu Suifeng was staring blankly at a dead guard whose body had turned black.
A moment before this, Liu Suifeng had wanted to drink some water, so he ordered this guard to get his water sack filled at a stream a thousand feet away. A colorful, thumb-sized frog with small bumps on its head struck when this guard bent over to get some water. This tiny frog jumped out from the water and spit out a faded black mist toward the guard, making this guard, who had a peak Houtian cultivation level, scream and fall to the ground.
Before Liu Suifeng and few other men could rush to this guard and feed him an antidote, the guard had died from the poison. The tiny colorful frog jumped back into the water, its eyes gazing at Liu Suifeng. In the end, it was smashed into pieces on Liu Suifeng’s order.
In just these past three days, Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan had lost more than thirty elite guards, who all got themselves killed by rather baffling accidents. Liu Suifeng was bleeding in his heart, because these guards were personal guards for his father, Lord Puyang, which he had borrowed in order to deal with Lu Chengfeng. It had taken a lot of work to get his father to lend them to him!
A guard standing beside Lu Quyuan was so exasperated that he kicked a short bush beside him and cursed angrily, “This damn forest!”
Suddenly, a tiny long green snake darted from the bush. It was five feet long, but had an abnormal head, which was the size of a baby’s fist. The snake darted out silently, raised its head and bit on the leg of this guard. A painful howl resounded within the forest as the guard jumped up and down three times. Then his face turned green. A second later, some bright green colored blood started to flow out from his seven apertures, and then he was down on the ground.
The snake made a terrifying hissing sound, and then darted straight toward Li Quyuan. A few of the nearby guards immediately rushed in while yelling out, hitting and chopping at the snake with their weapons. Green colored snake blood spilled out as it was chopped into over thirty pieces. Right when these guards started to relax and breath out sighs of relief, the snake’s head suddenly leaped forward and bit the leg of the closest guard.
Another painful howl, another casualty.
Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan were now constantly trembling in fear. As the rich sons from influential families, when had they ever encountered wild beasts like these?
Yan Bugui was sitting on a trunk and munching on a wild fruit, then he dug a hole on the ground with his finger, buried the core within and covered it with dirt and some mosses carefully. Done with that, he walked in front of Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan, warning the duo with an indifferent expression, “If your guards keep yelling out loud before they die, I’ll report this to the Admiral General, and have him strip you of all your future honors!”
Gazing at the duo with a stern look, Yan Bugui pointed at Lu Chengfeng, Zhang Hu, and Hu Wei, who were sitting under a tree and munching on some wild fruits. With a cold voice, he said, “Learn from them. If you want to stay alive in this forest, get rid of your attitude of being a rich son from an influential family!”
The arrogant Liu Suifeng didn’t even dare to stare back at Yan Bugui. He just lowered his head and made a little bow, agreeing to Yan Bugui’s order with an embarrassed smile.
A moment later, all guards of the duo had their mouths filled with wild cherries found by Yan Bugui. He didn’t remove the skin of these berries on purpose, and the greenish flesh and thick juices had filled these guards’ mouths, soaking their tongues and making them become numb. Right now, even if they were cut by a blade, they wouldn’t be able to make any noise.
Kicked on a guard’s butt forcefully, Yan Bugui was satisfied when he saw the guard could only open his mouth wide without making any noise, he nodded his head and said, “We should do this earlier. We are getting closer to our target, don’t make any noise, or else, use your brain and think what would be the consequences!”
Liu Suifeng and his men found an open space within the forest and sat down gloomily, behaved like a rooster just defeated by its opponent, their arrogant and pride had gone completely. Even Old Devil and Lord Flame had become distraught and haggard, the level of frightful in this forest was was beyond their expectation.
After watching a good show, Wu Qi let out a silent laugh and continued climbing up the tall tree. This was a huge old tree, and it had a thick twining wisteria on its trunk that extended all the way down to the ground. Wu Qi was searching around on the trunk, and, after a while, he finally found what he was looking for, a few bunches of green ‘Wisteria Fruit’, which gave off a delicate fragrance.
Wisteria fruit. It would only grow on those wisterias that were more than a hundred years old. It was good in soothing one’s mind and increasing one’s internal energy slightly. The best benefit of it was as the remedy for all kind of poisonous miasma and bugs. After consuming it, one would be immune to those common poisonous beings within the forest.
Plucked two bunches of wisteria fruit and climbing down from the tree, Wu Qi walked up to Lu Chengfeng, Zhang Wu, and Hu Wei and gave each of them a few of the fruits.
Lu Chengfeng had no idea what a wisteria fruit was and Hu Wei seemed to know little about it, but Zhang Hu had his eyes brighten when he saw them, and gave Wu Qi a big thumbs up, saying, “This is good stuff! With this fruit we will have a better chance of surviving this forest. But, although this stuff is not rare, it was not that easy to find. How did you found them?”
Wu Qi didn’t say anything but just replied with a smile. There was mist everywhere in this forest, especially where those thick mosses grew on the tree trunks. This mist contained a huge amount of water energy within it. After cultivating in the Source of Water Chapter, Wu Qi’s senses had become three times stronger in this forest. Although the fragrance of wisteria fruits could barely be smelt, for him, he could smell them from a hundred feet away.
After hearing the benefits of wisteria fruits, Lu Chengfeng was delighted. He quickly grabbed a fruit and put in his mouth.
Yan Bugui was surprised when he saw the wisteria fruits in Wu Qi’s hand. He walked over to Wu Qi, squatted down, and stared at the fruits for some time. Then, with an amazed expression, he said, “These really are wisteria fruits. How did you found them? These will become rotten seven days after being plucked, each of you keep seven of them and give me the rest.”
Wu Qi stared at Yan Bugui with a smile, he asked, “Sir Yan, if I give you these wisteria fruits can I get some extra credit for this mission?”
Yan Bugui remained silent for a short moment, then he turned his head and looked at those peoples who were sitting on the ground, with an indifferent tone he said, “If you could give each of them seven fruits each, I’ll give mister Lu a great merit for this mission.”
Wu Qi twisted his lips and then placed the two bunches of wisteria fruits in Yan Bugui’s hand and said, “There are no more. You think this stuff is as common as clumps of dirt? This isn’t available everywhere! Hmm, I don’t want any credit or merit, just let all of them die in this forest!”
Yan Bugui grabbed the fruits and gave Wu Qi a fierce stare, then he turned around and walked over to Liu Suifeng and his men, giving all the fruits to them.
There were only around forty fruits on these two bunches,and Wu Qi’s group of four had taken seven each, so there was not many left. After Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan heard about the benefits of this fruit, they immediately shared it with Old Devil and Lord Flame. As for their guards? They didn’t get any.
Those guards could only stare at the wisteria fruits with mixed emotions.
Wu Qi looked at those guards expressions and smiled. He knew Liu Suifeng and his gang pretty well. They would never share this precious life-saving fruits with their subordinates. “There are enough things in this world for everyone, it just a matter of fairness!” Wu Qi muttered to himself.
Lu Chengfeng had a smile on his face too, and he looked at Lu Quyuan happily, holding his fists outtoward Lu Quyuan from afar.
Lu Quyuan gazed at Lu Chengfeng with a cruel look, as if he was looking at a dead man. Lu Chengfeng believed that if Yan Bugui wasn’t here, Lu Quyuan would have already ordered his guards to chopped him into meat paste. In the depths of this forest, where nobody really came, it was a perfect place to kill someone.
But, with the presence of Yan Bugui, they simply didn’t have the guts to do so.
After some rest, Yan Bugui took the lead and began to venture deeper into the forest. Step by step, they continues on into the forest, deeper than even Zhang Hu dared to go when he was still a barbarian hunter. No one who had come out this far ever returned.
Maybe, these Scouting Officers were an exception?
Wu Qi was looking at Yan Bugui’s back. His movements were those of an expert and he was familiar with the path. Obviously he had come here more than once. This made him wonder what they were actually here for?
Wu Qi could barely feel any movements in the surrounding area. The other four groups were traveling parallel with Wu Qi’s group. The distance between them varied from a few miles to tens of miles. There were a few times that Wu Qi could saw the other group when he stood high up on some cliff.
After another two weeks of expeditioning into the deep forest, Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan had lost another thirty guards. Now, they had around a hundred and thirty guards left, both of them had their face turning darker and darker. On the other side, not a single person in Wu Qi’s group was hurt, with Wu Qi and Zhang Hu both experts in wildlife survival, their ability to adapt in this forest was so much stronger than Liu Suifeng’s group.
When Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan began to diarrhea continuously, due to some unknown reasons, they had finally come to a river that flowed across the forest.
After going through the dark woods, they came to an open space where a few mile wide river was presented in front of them. The river was pretty deep and the water’s flow was fast. The water rolled endlessly and waved toward East, but it was as quiet as a mouse.
On the shoal of the river, chunks of gold nuggets and gold sand were piling up in a messy manner. Making a rough calculation by looking at them, this gold worth at least a few million gold coins.
Except for Yan Bugui, everyone was attracted by this huge amount of gold, and sounds of gasps could be heard everywhere.
Standing on the shoal, Yan Bugui was carefully examining the surrounding area, then he whistled a few times. The whistle sound was not loud, but it was able to get past the strong breeze created by the rolling water and reached to the opposite of river. On the other side of the river, a few barely visible black figures appeared. They seemed to be moving something and a few moments later, a meter wide tree vine emerged from underneath the water. It was a temporary bridge that allowed these people to cross the river.
“Follow me closely! Be careful and don’t fall into the river, or else you’ll face certain death.”
Yan Bugui let out a cold humph, again taking the lead, and stepped onto the tree vine, quickly crossing the river.
Wu Qi pulled Lu Chengfeng back and waited for Liu Suifeng and his men crossed the river first. Only then did they begin to cross the river.
The black figures across the river were seven young men, who were in the same uniform as Yan Bugui. However, they looked ragged and distraught, almost like they were savages. When they saw Yan Bugui, the seven young men immediately saluted and made some hand gestures that Wu Qi couldn’t understand.
Yan Bugui nodded his head. With a low voice, he said, “Ten miles in front of us there is a small barbarian village. Don’t let anyone escape from it.”
Liu Suifeng, who felt weak all over because of his diarrhea, had his eyes brighten immediately, “Are there any barbarian girls?”
Yan Bugui glared at Liu Suifeng. With an indifferent tone, he said, “There are, I can give you all fifteen minutes for that.”
Liu Suifeng and Lu Quyuan looked at each other and immediately turned around and readied all their men, sprinting off in that direction.
Wu Qi sneered. He and Lu Chengfeng just stood beside Yan Bugui.