Chapter 314: Fearsome Grasslands (2)
"Let's go! Let's try and make our way through this grassland without stopping!" Su Junqing roared passionately before leading the team into the plains.
The Liu Sisters, Yun Jiuge, Broom Eyebrows Chen, and the other higher-ranked disciples followed closely behind him. The lower-ranked disciples lined up orderly at the back then made their way in, one by one.
From a distance, the weeds appeared to be knee-high, but they actually only reached the waist. The soil beneath their feet was also extremely thick and sticky, which contributed to the extreme difficulty of traversing the grasslands.
Although disciples with higher cultivation levels could walk through the grasslands without many issues, things were quite different for the disciples at the lower levels. The entire team had barely moved a hundred yards when their once orderly formation began to crumble.
The Rank Two disciples, who were positioned at the rear, struggled the most. When they next raised their heads, they realized that they could no longer see the rest of their cohort in front of them.
"Senior Brother! Wait for us!" yelled the Rank Two disciples in a panic.
"Why should we wait for you guys? You all better hurry up! If you don't, then you'll just become food for the Grass Lizards!" Broom Eyebrows Chen hollered angrily from the front.
He thought to himself: We have not been attacked even once since making our way into the grasslands. Still, those disciples are walking so slowly. They must be slacking off! We definitely need to make sure they are punished thoroughly for this!
Yun Jiuge did not share Broom Eyebrows' view.
She made her Sharp Metal Bone Spur float in the air as she walked extremely cautiously through the waist-high weeds.
"Junior Brother Yun Jiu! Why are you acting so cautiously? Look how scared you are already, and the Grass Lizards haven't even shown themselves yet! How are you going to react when they do appear, huh?" Broom Eyebrows Chen exclaimed. He laughed merrily as he swung his Bone Spur around and cleared the weeds before him. He was trying to create a pathway for the disciples behind him.
Yun Jiuge did not even spare Broom Eyebrows Chen a glance. She kept her guard up, and her steps became slower and slower.
"Tsk!" Broom Eyebrows Chen clicked his tongue in annoyance. He was sure that Yun Jiu was nothing more than a coward and decided not to be concerned with him any longer. Then, he hastened his pace and caught up with Su Junqing.
"Where's Yun Jiu?" Su Junqing asked, looking around.
"He's so scared that he peed in his pants. The stench was so bad that I ran away from him," Broom Eyebrows Chen responded with a crude laugh.
"There's even more reason for you to keep an eye on him," Su Junqing shot back, shooting a warning glance at Broom Eyebrows Chen.
He did not plan on getting rid of Yun Jiu as they passed through the grassland, but he still wanted to watch his every move carefully.
"You are right, Senior Brother Su. Should I turn back and find him?" Broom Eyebrows Chen asked hastily.
"It's fine," Su Ju Junqing replied.
The other disciples were all moving forward, and there was a chance that they could erupt into a frenzy if they suddenly saw Broom Eyebrows Chen retreating.
The Liu Sisters listened to the men talking from the sides, and they began to feel increasingly uneasy about their current situation.
The Yun Jiu that they knew was never a coward. There must be something odd about this grassland if he was so wary.
The two sisters contemplated this for a moment, then they decided to help the other disciples with their task of clearing a path. They controlled their Bone Spurs and began cutting away at the weeds around them.
Su Junqing's plan was to let the disciples at the front clear a path for the lower-ranked disciples at the back. This would help to ensure that the disciples behind them could pass through the grasslands much more quickly. It would also prevent the Grass Lizards from attacking them out of the blue.
However, no one realized that the weeds they were cutting down quickly sprouted back up after a short while.
This oversight occurred simply because their team formation was too long. The disciples at the front were not able to relay information to the back, and vice versa. Hence, everyone just continued taking big strides forward without noticing that anything was amiss.
When they saw how slowly she was walking, some of the disciples began making fun of Yun Jiuge. They quickened their pace and overtook her.
Even Little Fatty, who had been walking somewhat slowly all this while, managed to catch up to Yun Jiuge.
He asked her, "Senior Brother Yun Jiu, weren't you taken up to the front? Why have you come back here?"
"There's something weird about this grassland," Yun Jiuge answered in a deep voice.
"Didn't they say that there is nothing more threatening in this area than a bunch of Rank Two Grass Lizards? Senior Brother Su is helping us clear the way at the front. All we need to do is follow the path that they leave behind and keep moving forward," Little Fatty replied. He did not think that there was anything odd about this place. They had not even encountered a single Grass Lizard since they'd arrived. Accordingly, all of the other disciples had also already lowered their guards.
"Yeah. Go ahead and take those big strides towards death," Yun Jiuge shot back. She watched at the weeds, which kept growing back before her eyes, and the unease inside her deepened.
Eventually, Yun Jiuge decided to come to a complete stop. Then, she took out a Bone Spur with a Bloodthirsty Rune engraved on it.
Little Fatty's heart skipped a beat when he saw Yun Jiuge brandish her weapon out of nowhere, and he hastily asked her to fill him in on the situation, "Senior Brother Yun Jiu, have you noticed something?"
Yun Jiuge did not reply to him right away. Instead, she focused all of her attention on the weeds in the distance. She did not know if her mind was playing tricks on her, but the grass seemed to be growing taller and taller. It seemed to be moving closer to them as well.
"This doesn't look so good. Everyone, be careful!" Yun Jiuge shouted as she stabbed both of her Bone Spurs into the ground. When she lifted them again, a pool of blood squirted out.
The next instant, shrill screams rang out from the front, and Yun Jiuge watched as ten or so disciples suddenly decreased in height then vanished underground. The brown soil was instantly washed red.
"What's going on? Isn't this supposed to be the Rank Two Grass Lizards' territory?" Little Fatty breathed, astonished. In a hurry, he brandished his Bone Spur and stabbed it into the ground, just as Yun Jiuge had done before. The light-yellowish soil immediately turned red.
If a single thrust could draw so much blood, then whatever monsters were lurking beneath them had to be densely packed together.
"That isn't a Grass Lizard. It's a Blood Earthworm." Yun Jiuge lifted her hands then slammed them against the ground. The soil surrounding her was blown away, revealing many blood-colored earthworms.
These earthworms were called ‘Blood Earthworms,' and the shortest among them was still as long as a human's arm. They burrowed in the earth and pulled their unsuspecting victims downward in one fell swoop. Then, almost instantaneously, they sucked out all their victims' blood.
"My god!" Goosebumps broke out all over Little Fatty's skin the moment he saw the hordes of Blood Earthworms under the ground. He started attacking them like crazy.
"Your efforts are useless. However, Blood Earthworms are afraid of the cold. You should try freezing them up using the Icy Yin Qi Strike," Yun Jiuge suggested. She had to stop Little Fatty from continuing his frenzied attacks because it would be impossible for them to kill all these Blood Earthworms. There were simply too many. Their top priority should be making their way safely out of the grasslands.
After hearing Yun Jiuge's suggestion, Little Fatty immediately tried the Icy Yin Qi Strike on the Blood Earthworms. Sure enough, the earthworms that had been hit by his strikes immediately slowed down. Unfortunately, it did not take long for them to recover.
"We'll only be able to get out of here alive if all of us work together," Yun Jiuge said.
The Icy Yin Qi Strike was a low-ranking technique that all the secondary disciples learned because it only cost ten Contribution Points.
It was generally used by disciples to slow down Yin Ghosts while hunting.
"Okay. I'll call the rest over now," Little Fatty said. Then, he took out his Bone Spur, which was nicknamed ‘Big Mountain,' and shoved it into the ground. The next instant, his Bone Spur transformed into a large pillar.
Little Fatty skillfully jumped on top of the pillar. Then, he shrieked at the disciples who were recklessly attacking the Blood Earthworms, "Senior Brother Yun Jiu has found a way to deal with the Blood Earthworms! You can slow them down by using the Icy Yin Qi Strike! If we all deploy it at the same time, then we can make our way out of these grasslands!"
No one seemed to be paying any attention to Little Fatty. However, there were quite a few quick-witted disciples that immediately copied his moves. They stabbed their Bone Spurs into the ground, made them grow taller, then stood on them.
In the blink of an eye, countless pillars emerged throughout the grasslands. Everyone seemed to be imitating Little Fatty's strategy.
With their prey so high up in the air, the Blood Earthworms could do nothing but wriggle about in the ground.
However, this was certainly not a long-term solution. The Bone Spurs would eventually revert to their original size once they'd use up all their spiritual power. When that happened, the Blood Earthworms would be ready and waiting to finish the disciples off.
"Hey! Did you guys hear what I just said?" Little Fatty yelled at the top of his lungs.
"We do not even have enough time to run for our lives, so how could we possibly have enough time to listen to you?"
"Yeah! If you have something to say, then spit it out right now!"
The secondary disciples, who had escaped death by the skin of their teeth earlier, were only in the mood to entertain Little Fatty's hair-brained schemes once they had ascertained that they were no longer in mortal danger.