Chapter 313: Fearsome Grasslands (1)
"Your wish is my command, Senior Brother Su," Yun Jiuge replied without hesitation.
"Let's go, then!" Su Junqing was very pleased with Yun Jiuge's attitude and took her all the way to the front of the team.
The Liu Sisters' eyes flickered the moment they saw Yun Jiuge. However, they immediately acted like they did not know her.
"I heard that you two were very close to Junior Brother Yun Jiu when you were staying at the Number One Peak. Aren't you happy that you'll have one more person to rely on now?" Su Junqing said with an all-knowing smile.
"You are so funny, Senior Brother Su! How could we possibly care about someone like him when we have you with us!" Liu Tian'er said gleefully.
"Don't talk nonsense, sis." Liu Mei'er tugged on her younger sister's sleeve before shooting a cursory glance at Yun Jiuge. She then flashed an incomprehensible smile and said, "Senior Brother Yun Jiu took great care of us when we were still in the outer sect. But that's to be expected since we are all disciples of the same sect."
Yun Jiuge remained expressionless. She ignored all their tedious attempts at extracting information from her and walked silently to a corner.
"Senior Brother Yun Jiu is still as dull as ever." Liu Tian'er made a face before asking Su Junqing, "Senior Brother Su, do you think the grasslands ahead are dangerous?"
After passing through the wasteland, the team had reached an endless stretch of grasslands. The weeds were knee-high, making it impossible to discern any poisonous snakes or beasts that might be hiding in them.
"The only dangerous beast that lurks in the grasslands is the Rank Two Grass Lizard. We'll be fine so long as we act with caution. The Eagle Beasts above us are the bigger threat." It was clear that Su Junqing was not particularly worried about the danger posed by the Grass Lizards.
Instead, he was more worried about those Eagle Beasts flying about in the sky above him. Those ferocious, crafty beasts were extremely good at launching sneak attacks.
"We are not afraid since we have you with us, Senior Brother Su," Liu Mei'er said with a sweet smile. "I heard that the Bone Spur you are wielding right now is a top-grade magical weapon that has been used by Elder Mo Hua herself. Were they to run into you, all of the Eagle Beasts and Grass Lizards would simply be killed."
"Is that true?" Liu Tian'er widened her bright eyes and looked at Su Junqing admiringly before saying, "Let us take a look, Senior Brother Su!"
"Indeed, Senior Brother Su! We have never seen what a top-grade magical weapon looks like before," Liu Mei'er pleaded with Su Junqing in a coquettish voice.
"Alright. I guess I will broaden your horizons and show you!" Su Junqing enjoyed being flattered by the two sisters, and he immediately fished out a three-feet long Bone Spur from his sack.
The Bone Spur was the color of blood and had three bewitching black-ink flowers engraved on it. Not only that, but it also emitted a bizarre light. One could feel an immense amount of Yin Qi coming from it as well.
This Demonic Flower Bone Spur was the magical weapon that Elder Mo Hua had used when she was at the Foundation Establishment stage.
The demonic flowers on the Bone Spur were not only able to attack foes on their own, but they were also capable of absorbing blood and replenishing the user's spiritual power. The more blood was consumed, the stronger the demonic flowers became. The Demonic Flower Bone Spur had made a name for itself and struck fear in many hearts back in the day when Elder Mo Hua had wielded it as her weapon.
All the disciples of Mo Hua Peak were green with envy when Elder Mo Hua had gifted the Demonic Flower Bone Spur to Su Junqing.
Su Junqing was also extremely pleased with the Demonic Flower Bone Spur.
"Wow!" The Liu Sisters had looks of admiration upon their faces. But in truth, they were extremely jealous of Su Junqing.
While they also made use of their attractive looks to obtain benefits from others, unlike him, their looks had not allowed them to earn a Yin Corpse and a magical weapon. Why were their fates so different?
Yun Jiuge quietly glanced at the Bone Spur in Su Junqing's hand.
In terms of strength, the Bone Spur that Zi Shang had refined for her was definitely on a par with Su Junqing's Demonic Flower Bone Spur. In fact, her Bone Spur had more runes engraved on it than his.
However, the most significant difference between their Bone Spurs was the fact that the Demonic Flower Bone Spur had been used in the past by Elder Mo Hua to kill thousands of people. The blood of all its victims had become a source of power for the Demonic Flower Bone Spur, and Yun Jiuge's Bone Spur would never be able to achieve a similar state.
Even if Su Junqing's cultivation advances were to be suppressed, leaving him stuck at the fifth level of the Qi Refining Stage, the fact that he possessed Ye Yunzhi – a Yin Corpse with the Yin Spiritual Body – and such a powerful magical weapon made him incredibly formidable.
Suddenly, Zi Shang's faint voice made its way to Yun Jiuge's ears, "There's something odd about this place."
"What's odd?" Yun Jiuge replied inwardly to Zi Shang.
"I can't say for sure right now, but you need to be careful. Don't ever lower your guard." The tone of Zi Shang's voice was extremely grave.
"Okay." Yun Jiuge had relaxed a little after hearing that there was nothing more than a bunch of Rank Two Grass Lizards in the grasslands before her.
However, after hearing Zi Shang's words, she secretly took out a pill that could ward off insects and poison. She crushed it in her hands before applying the powder to the helm of her clothes.
"No. I think there's something really odd about this place. I have to go and investigate," Zi Shang insisted.
"What? You are leaving?" Then, Yun Jiuge added to herself: You are going to leave me all alone in the Secret Realm when you know how dangerous this place is?
"I will cast a spell on you. It will help you withstand two attacks from a cultivator who has reached the Foundation Establishment stage. You won't die if you do not act recklessly." Zi Shang appeared before Yun Jiuge and pressed a finger on her arm.
For a fleeting instant, Yun Jiuge felt pain on her arm. She then rolled up her sleeves to take a look and noticed that there were two small purple flowers next to the mark on her hand.
"All done. I'm leaving now." Zi Shang vanished in the blink of an eye. It was as though he were in a hurry to escape from someone in hot pursuit.
"Hey!" Yun Jiuge wanted to ask him a few more questions, but Su Junqing interrupted her by standing up to announce that the break was over.
"Alright. Let us prepare to set off once again." Su Junqing led the team forward when he finished speaking.
Yun Jiuge had no choice but to give up chasing Zi Shang and follow them.
The entire team made their way toward the grasslands. However, before they could even take a step into the knee-high weeds, the Eagle Beasts that had been circling the sky earlier suddenly flew away.
"Senior Brother Su, why did the Eagle Beasts fly away?" Liu Mei'er lifted her head and watched as the beastly birds became smaller and smaller. It looked like they were trying to flee from the scene.
"I guess it's because we are currently in the Grass Lizards' territory! They are probably afraid of them." Su Junqing took a wild guess.
Every single team leader had received a map of the Secret Realm before they made their way in. The map marked out the various regions and also explained how dangerous each area was.
However, the map did not provide a detailed explanation regarding the kinds of danger that they would face in each region. Accordingly, Su Junqing had no idea what to expect either.
"Grass Lizards should be prey for the Eagle Beasts, right?"
Why would a lion be afraid of entering the sheep's territory? Liu Tian'er found Su Junqing's pronouncement absolutely hilarious.
"Junior Sister Liu. It's not like Senior Brother Su is an Eagle Beast. Why are you asking him so many questions? It doesn't matter what happens. Nothing can change the fact that we have to cross these grasslands," Broom Eyebrows Chen shot back in discontentment.
"What kind of nonsense is this, Senior Brother Chen? The Eagle Beasts will never be as dashing and charismatic as Senior Brother Su. I only asked him out of curiosity. Why are you in such a bad mood?" Liu Tian'er did not hesitate to complain about Broom Eyebrows Chen. She did not like him in the slightest.
"Sis, that's enough. The most important thing that we have to do now is to make our way through these grasslands. We don't want to waste too much time here. Am I right, Senior Brother Su?" Liu Mei'er gazed gently at Su Junqing.
"Yes, you are right. The Human-faced Peaches will ripen in eight days. If we fail to reach them in time, then I'm sure we'll be punished by the sect. Everyone here should know that the Yin Qi Graveyard is still rather empty at the moment." Su Junqing made the most of this opportunity to motivate the disciples.
"Please don't worry, Senior Brother Su. We'll definitely be the first few disciples to reach our destination!" Broom Eyebrows Chen yelled back confidently.
His words seemed to ignite a fighting spirit in the hearts of many of the disciples. They all began shouting about how they wanted to cross the grasslands and rush toward the Human Face Mountain at once.
Yun Jiuge stood rooted to the spot with a sullen face, staring bleakly at the grasslands before her.
She had yet to take a single step into the knee-high weeds, but her heart was already racing wildly. She could not shake the feeling that danger lay ahead.