As Qin Yu was resting, he felt someone approach. He opened his eyes to see a calm and respectful face. This was one of the people that hung around Wang Yuanan, a late Nascent Soul cultivator. Killing intent lingered around his body; he was clearly trained for battle.
“My name is Zhang Chen. May I ask who fellow daoist is?”
Zhang Chen smiled. “Fellow daoist Qin, how do you do? As we venture through the wilderness, it is possible that we will experience danger at any time. So, Brother Wang proposed the creation of a Sharp Blade Squad. Once danger appears, we can immediately deal with it. The reason I’m here is because Brother Wang would like to invite fellow daoist Qin to become a part of our Sharp Blade Squad.”
Several people nearby revealed looks of envy.
In simpler terms, the Sharp Blade Squad was a joint effort between masters. They could rapidly react to any possible dangers, and most importantly, they could fight and flee. If an extremely grave danger appeared, the members of the Sharp Blade Squad would be the most likely to survive.
But what shocked everyone was that Qin Yu actually hesitated in the face of this invitation before finally refusing it. “My apologies, but my cultivation is weak. I fear I will only drag you down, so it's best if I just follow on your heels.”
Zhang Chen furrowed his eyebrows. “Fellow daoist Qin, you don’t want to reconsider?”
Qin Yu cupped his hands together. “My regrets.”
Zhang Chen’s complexion darkened. He coldly turned and stomped away.
A moment later the Sharp Knife Squad was completed. Out of all those invited, besides Qin Yu, no one else refused.
Thus, his refusal was particularly noticeable.
Wang Yuanan frowned. He glanced over and a faint smile lit up his disgruntled eyes. “It’s fine. Everyone has their own ambitions, it’s not something we can force.”
“Humph! What a cowardly small fry. He doesn’t even dare to face the monster beasts directly!”
“With that type of personality, even if he had some cultivation it would still be useless!”
“It’s best if he didn’t come after all. If he really joined us he may have proven to be a disaster instead!”
Wang Yuanan cupped his hands together. “With everyone supporting me, I am deeply grateful. If we work together with sincerity and effort, I’m sure we will overcome today’s difficulties!”
“We will follow Brother Wang in!”
“Kill those monster beasts!”
Everyone’s spirits were lifted.
It was clear they all knew that if they joined forces, the chances of them surviving would be much greater.
The troop rested for a moment before hurrying along. The Sharp Knife Squad was indeed useful, and the troop progressed at a far faster pace than before. If ordinary monster beasts came out they would quickly die, simply unable to contend with the overwhelming attacks.
The Sharp Knife Squad showed great skills and valor. Several female cultivators in the troop revealed bright eyes full of wonder and awe. During a short break, there was even a charming woman who pulled a member of the squad away temporarily, not coming back for a period of time. When they returned, their faces were flushed red like a warm summer spring. It was clear what they had done just now.
The only unsightly thing was that the handsome and tall Sharp Knife Squad member had come back a bit too fast.
Of course, these were trivial matters. Although many people noticed this, they didn’t bother saying anything.
According to the map, they weren’t much further from the Beast Hunting Battalion. As long as they passed through a deep and narrow canyon in front of them, they would reach their destination.
Wang Yuanan was extremely cautious. He first dispatched two of his cultivators to scout ahead while the troop rested. Moments later they returned and shook their heads, expressing that it was safe.
“The terrain here is treacherous. Once danger appears, there will inevitably be serious casualties. The Sharp Knife Squad will open the way forwards. Everyone be careful!” People nodded at Wang Yuanan’s words. As the de-facto leader of the troop he was even willing to lead the way. There wasn’t anything others could say.
So, when Wang Yuanan led the Sharp Knife Squad into the canyon, everyone looked at him with admiration, thinking he was a person who could be trusted.
The canyon was extremely long, filled with dense forests and vines on both sides. The sky was obscured by the overgrowth and it was hard to see far ahead. Because no one had passed through here for many years, a thick layer of detritus had grown on the ground, formed from dead leaves and decaying logs. It was soft and squishy, and would often emit poisonous gas. Luckily, everyone had considerable cultivations and with enough wariness, no accidents occurred.
Things were smooth at first. Several monster beasts that awakened were easily cut down by the Sharp Knife Squad. The troop gradually waded into the middle of the canyon. Qin Yu sniffed the air and frowned. There was an unusual smell in the air, one that was different from the rotting leaves around him. As for what it was exactly, he couldn’t tell, but it caused his heart to grow heavier.
After hesitating, Qin Yu didn’t say anything. He just raised his wariness.
As they continued forwards, that strange smell became much fainter. Just as he thought that maybe he was overthinking things, a sudden surprise occurred.
Pitiful screams rose up at the front of the troop. The Sharp Knife Squad seemed as if they had been tossed into a wok full of oil, all of them burning wildly.
But what was eerie was that these flames didn’t affect the trees, vines, or even the dirt below them. It only burnt away flesh and blood. As long as one touched these flames, it followed them like a cockroach. No matter what magic arts of supernatural skills were used, no one was able to extinguish them. They could only burn away to ashes.
In several breaths of time, over half the cultivators in the Sharp Knife Squad had perished within the sea of fire. That slightly faster and handsome cultivator was one of them.
Screams filled the air. The troop’s formation instantly collapsed and everyone fled backwards.
At this time, the burning flames parted and a graceful kirin beast stepped out. Its eyes were dark as if it were tired, but as it looked around at everyone, there was still deep contempt in its eyes.
Even if it was wounded at the moment, the Samadhi truefire it controlled wasn’t something that lowly humans could resist. Anyone that tried was soon burnt to ashes.
“It’s a fire kirin!”
Sharp cries of despair and horror filled the air.
The fire kirin looked around and opened its mouth, directly swallowing a nearby soldier. It chewed and chewed and a bright red tongue came out, sweeping away the blood on its mouth. A trace of joy flashed in the fire kirin’s eyes.
To it, these humans that were filled with heaven and earth spiritual strength were like walking tonics. As long as it could swallow all of them, its injuries would be mostly healed.
Flames flashed and the kirin beast violently pounced forwards. Its mouth opened wide and wherever it went, soldiers would cry and be swallowed. It was unknown who shouted, but someone suddenly screamed, “The kirin beast is injured! If we work together we might be able to kill it!”
Another voice sounded out, “That’s right, if we continue running like this we will just be eaten up one after another. All of us will die!”
“If we’re going to die, then we might as well fight it. Perhaps we will live!”
“Kill it! Let’s fight it!”
Within the crowd, the light from multiple supernatural skills suddenly flashed. They struck the kirin beast, forcing its massive body to stagger backwards several steps.
This sight caused the eyes of those in despair to lighten up.
The fire kirin was really injured!
“If we can kill the fire kirin, not only can we live but we will also obtain a great harvest!”
People that were in a hopeless situation and then suddenly found a ray of hope could erupt with an inconceivable strength.
The fire kirin couldn’t defend in time and was forced to suffer several more strikes. Its originally crimson eyes turned an even deeper red.
A being as powerful as itself was actually wounded by such weak and insignificant ants. To the kirin beast, this was the greatest shame possible.
As it roared, the fire kirin opened its mouth wide open. Flames condensed again.
A sea of flames instantly bloomed in the void!
Cultivator after cultivator was buried in the sea of fire and burnt to ashes.
A look of elation flashed in the fire kirin’s eyes, but there was even more exhaustion there. For it to summon Samadhi truefire in a situation where it was injured indeed caused serious losses to it. However, it had no other choice but to do this. Only by suppressing these humans and making them so frightened that they didn’t resist would it be able to easily swallow them all.
Although the Samadhi truefire burnt away a great number of potential meals, it couldn’t care about these things at this time. The fire kirin swept its eyes overs over the panicked cultivators and savagely roared as it rushed out at them.
With a pained howl, the fire kirin was sent tumbling back. Several cultivators appeared in front of them, led by Wang Yuanan! Some people it thought had perished in the Samadhi truefire were alive and well. It was obvious that this was because of Wang Yuanan and the small shield that was still emitting steam in his hands.
“Attack! End this battle as soon as possible!” With a shout, Wang Yuanan was the first to run out. Several people followed close behind.
The fire kirin roared again and again. It rushed left and right, sending numerous cultivators flying away. However, it couldn’t escape. In addition to its deep wounds and having been forced to use its Samadhi truefire repeatedly, it no longer had the strength to summon its flames again. Although it was still fierce and threatening, if things continued like this it would eventually be cut down.
The fleeing cultivators were pleasantly surprised. But as they thought about their situation, their complexions stiffened. They weren’t idiots. Wang Yuanan had led the troop all the way here and after encountering the fire kirin, the Sharp Knife Squad was almost totally annihilated, but he and his close subordinates were all fine. If someone were to say that there wasn’t some scheming behind this, not even a ghost would believe it.
But these were only suspicions and no one had proof. And to mention this now was no different from seeking death. Everyone lowered their heads and swallowed their words into their stomach.
“Everyone, the fire kirin is amazingly strong. We won’t be able to capture it for some time. If other powerful monster beasts come here, it will be impossible to escape that catastrophe!” Wang Yuanan leapt out of the battle and shouted out, “So I ask that everyone attack together! After killing the fire kirin, everyone will benefit!”
The crowd hesitated.
Wang Yuanan narrowed his eyes. “What? You aren’t willing to help? Could it be that you all want to wait until me and my brothers tire ourselves out and then fish for benefits at the end? In the worst case situation I will just turn around and leave.”
This was an open threat.
Fear flashed in everyone’s eyes. If Wang Yuanan and his people really did leave, everyone else could only wait to be swallowed.
“Hold on! I didn’t have that intention!”
“Everyone, let us help Brother Wang!”
“That’s how it should be.”
Cultivators started to turn around and head towards the battlefield.
Wang Yuanan’s eyes flashed with joy. Even if everyone knew that this was his plan all along, so what? Didn’t they end up being obediently controlled by him anyway?
A figure appeared in the corner of his eyes. He turned and frowned, shouting, “Fellow daoist Qin Yu, where are you going?”
Qin Yu turned and said, “My cultivation is low so I won’t hold you all back from killing the fire kirin. Goodbye.”
As he spoke he walked away. His figure flashed and he vanished from sight.
“Young master, that person doesn’t know good or bad. Should I…?” A cultivator asked with a grim expression.
Wang Yuanan coldly snorted. “Leave it. Killing the fire kirin is more important right now. I will settle this account with him in the future.”