“I did not.” Wang Jianyu lowered his head in shame, feeling like he couldn’t help Lin Xi and Bian Linghan in any way. “I spent a lot of time in the army, understanding clearly that the best way of avoiding cultivators is to hide… If it wasn’t because I really couldn’t hold on anymore, I would have definitely hid inside a cave and not leave. I only felt like I really couldn’t hold on anymore this morning, and that was why I came out to see if there was anything to eat. In the past few days, I always hid in a small nearby cave, not coming out.”
Lin Xi’s voice fell. “Do you know roughly where the other prisoners like you are?”
Wang Jianyu shook his head, saying with a bitter smile, “I was sent here by myself, only heard the imperial city expert tell me that Green Luan Academy and Thunder Academy’s students are carrying out a capture the flag here. He said that the emperor felt that my actions were forgivable, but emotions are not above the law, so only by surviving through this competition, cooperating with the academy students’ competition, would he be able to grant me amnesty.”
Lin Xi wanted to say something, but when he thought about what Mu Qing told him before, that matters on the emperor’s level involved just far too much, not necessarily able to completely understand everything with what he currently knew, he decided not to say any more useless things. He gave Wanyan Muye a look, and then said, “Let’s go, we are setting out… we need to eat a proper meal, and we also need some things to bait Helan Yuexi.”
Lin Xi carried the unconscious Wanyan Muye on his back, leaving the igloo.
After silently examining the surrounding terrain, as well as sensing today’s wind direction, he indicated for Bian Linghan and Wang Jianyu to follow him, their group quickly heading in the downwind direction.
Snow pheasants weren’t all that hard to find in the spruce forest. With Bian Linghan and his archery skills, it wasn’t all that hard to hunt them.
Less than an hour later, with archery skills that didn’t really impress Lin Xi after the arrows he shot at Wanyan Muye, the two of them caught three snow pheasants.
All three snow pheasants quickly had their bloody areas covered by cloth, and then patted with snow until they became three snowballs. When he was sure that there was no bloodiness leaking out, Lin Xi began to head towards a moderate slope.
When he reached a streamlet next to this slope, Lin Xi not only cleaned this snow pheasant’s feathers and inner organs the fastest he ever had, he also had Bian Linghan and Wang Jianyu clean the snow pheasants in their hands as quickly as possible.
“Lin Xi, you want to use this bloody smell to draw them over?”
When they heard Lin Xi tell them to completely wash clean any of the blood on their hands and bodies, and then smear all of the blood on Wanyan Muye’s body, Bian Linghan really couldn’t hold herself back anymore, asking, “How do you know that this will certainly attract Helan Yuexi?”
When he heard Bian Linghan’s question, Lin Xi suddenly thought of Gao Yanan, his mind becoming more and more heavy.
After saying that he’ll explain later to Bian Linghan, he quickly placed the blood-soaked Wanyan Muye in an extremely spacious area in the spruce forest, and then brought the cleaned, snow wrapped snow pheasants away from this mountain ridge, only then did he have Wang Jianyu start building an igloo, while he and Bian Linghan headed to a cliff to survey the surroundings.
“Do you trust me?” When he looked at Bian Linghan who was waiting for his reply, Lin Xi, whose mood became a bit heavy because he thought of Gao Yanan again, asked this seriously.
Bian Linghan frowned, this girl who usually had a rather good temperament became a bit annoyed. “Lin Xi, at this kind of time… can you not speak this type of useless nonsense?”
“This isn’t nonsense.” Lin Xi knew that Bian Linghan would respond like this, but he was momentarily stumped as to how to respond. He shook his head in a somewhat distressed manner.
However, before he spoke again, what left him stunned was that Bian Linghan actually directly spoke these two words.
Lin Xi was originally scared that Bian Linghan would think differently about him. After a forced laugh, he said, “What I am trying to say is that even if the things I am doing are a bit absurd, seem completely irrational, when I tell you that it will work, will you still choose to trust me?”
“Lin Xi, do you know that sometimes, you really do speak a lot of pointless words?” Bian Linghan had a bit of a ‘what do I do with you’ expression. She looked at him, but then turned around and said, “Also, are you aware that you have a huge weakness, but this is simultaneously your greatest strength?”
Lin Xi stared blankly for a moment, but then asked curiously, “What is it?”
“Your greatest weakness is that you will never hide your own love and hate, you don’t even know how to act in the slightest. This way, you will offend many people, you don’t know just how many golden spoons you’ve offended already… However, this is also your greatest strength, because we can easily understand how you are feeling.”
Bian Linghan pointed at the distant streamlet in the forest. “It is just like that clear stream’s water… I trust you as a person, so even if you can’t tell me the reason, I will still choose to trust you.”
Lin Xi remained silent for a moment, and then looked at Bian Linghan, asking, “You will always trust me?”
Bian Linghan gave Lin Xi a look, and then her head sunk slightly, “Unless you change.”
Lin Xi gave Bian Linghan a deep look, and then he nodded, saying seriously, “Then I’ll have to ask you to please believe me. There are some reasons where if I say them, it will sound extremely ridiculous, and there is no way of explaining them to you clearly. However, despite this, I can tell you for certain, that unless Helan Yuexi is walking in the opposite direction, he might very well be drawn in because of this bloody odor.”
Helan Yuexi used a tree vine to drag Yuhua Tianji and Liu Rou behind him as he walked.
He was an extremely strange person.
If Lin Xi knew about his past, regardless of whether he liked him or not, he would give him this nickname -- The Eleventh Son. 
Helan Yuexi had no idea if he was born under the private relationship of some soldier in the border army with a labor woman, and then abandoned in the wilderness out of fear of violating Yunqin’s laws, or if he was left behind by killed frontier inhabitants… Either way, when a group of Yunqin merchants found him at the Helan Mountain wasteland, he was living together with a pack of wolves, raised by them.
Two years later, before he completely learned how to speak, this troop suffered the attack of horse-mounted bandits in the wilderness.
The entire caravan, apart from him, were killed by bandits… he was the only one who was missing.
Perhaps back then, those thieves didn’t even know someone like him escaped.
However, in the following two years, these bandits seemed to have been cursed by some type of malicious spirit. There were always people killed from time to time, but they had absolutely no idea who killed them, as if there was an invisible reaper following them.
A certain day two years later, when a certain Yunqin Empire small troop unintentionally found this small bandit fort in the barren mountain, they found that the original two hundred something membered bandit group only had less than twenty members left, and the remaining twenty or so individuals had all already lost their minds.
A powerful cultivator from Yunqin’s military that was sent here to investigate finally found this invisible reaper, Helan Yuexi who was hiding less than ten li from this fort.
Back then, Helan Yuexi was only fourteen years old.
This was to say, when he was twelve, he already began to fight with vicious thieves, killing these bandits one after another.
Most of Thunder Academy’s students were hand picked by some people in Imperial City, there was no lack of geniuses. However, no matter how arrogant they were, all of the new students admitted that Helan Yuexi was number one among Thunder Academy’s new students.
It was because regardless of whether it was cultivation or other aspects… regardless of what kind of environment any of them were placed in with Helan Yuexi, if they fought, the one who would come out alive would definitely be Helan Yuexi.
Helan Yuexi’s desire for strength far exceeded the imaginations of normal people.
Even when he was walking right now, he was still cultivating.
With each step he took, in his mind, he was imagining what would happen if enemies appeared from various directions, how he was going to face them.
There was no blood around him, but in his mind, as he walked, there was endless blood splashing all around his surroundings. It was because when these imaginary opponents attacked him with various weapons, they would be cut down by himself through various methods.
Yuhua Tianji who was bound under vines was entirely rigid, his eyes closed, not moving, as if he already died.
Liu Rou was just like Wanyan Muye, unconscious. Her body continuously shivered, but her face was exceptionally red, clearly experiencing a fever which was far worse than Wanyan Muye’s.
“Water… water…” Suddenly, Liu Rou’s chapped lips released a cry of plea.
She was still unconscious, but she released this heart raising plea.
Helan Yuexi didn’t seem to have heard this at all.
Yuhua Tianji who originally wasn’t moving at all opened his eyes. He opened his mouth, bit off a chunk of snow from the ground, melted it in his mouth, and then in a type of divine and shocking manner, transferred it into Liu Rou’s mouth.
“I thought that you had already died.”
Helan Yuexi was still dragging Yuhua Tianji and Liu Rou. He turned around slightly, saying this in an indifferent and ridiculing tone.
“As long as I am not dead… I will definitely personally kill you.” Yuhua Tianji gave Helan Yuexi a look, vowing with a low voice.
“Unfortunately, you will forever never have that chance.” Helan Yuexi calmly shook his head and said, “Do you know why I helped you two stop your bleeding? It isn’t because I don’t want to kill you two, but rather because there are two reasons for me doing so.”
After a slight pause, Helan Yuexi raised his head, looking towards a mountain peak not far away, narrowing his eyes. “One reason is because when prey watches their companions die, they will feel even greater despair. Meanwhile, when I see my enemies feel despair, I feel absolutely wonderful. The other reason, is that I don’t want the bloodiness on your bodies to affect my sense of smell. Meanwhile, right now, I can tell you that I already smell a strong bloodiness from that mountain peak in front of us.”
“What a pity, you will never see me despair.” Yuhua Tianji gave Helan Yuexi a cold look, then brought Liu Rou another mouthful of water with great difficulty, and then he closed his eyes, not saying anything.
Lin Xi made another igloo, the inside dug down continuously until it reached the earth. After he was done, he dug out a pit from inside the earth, throwing in some dry wood and rocks, and then added many red hot rocks inside, arranging a layer of dried wood. Then, he placed the three tree leaves which were previously wrapped around the snow pheasants inside, burying them.
After completing all of this, Lin Xi and Bian Linghan climbed to a cliff not far from there.
Behind this cliff were a few tall spruce trees, this way, even if one looked down from above, it was hard to see their figures. Meanwhile, from their current position, they could clearly see Wanyan Muye below.
Time ticked by one second after the next.
An hour passed, but there was still no sign of Helan Yuexi.
This meant that Helan Yuexi wasn’t close, that when they were preparing food before, they weren’t discovered, that they were safe.
An hour later, after completely cooking the three snow pheasants in the way the academy taught them, there was enough food for the two of them and Wang Jianyu to continue on.
Another hour passed.
Lin Xi’s group of three took turns entering the igloo to eat the cooked snow pheasant meat, their bodies starting to flow with warmth.
However, even though time slowly flowed on, Lin Xi was instead stuck in a great dilemma.
What if Helan Yuexi’s sense of smell wasn’t sharp to this degree?
What if Gao Yanan or Yuhua Tianji were injured, waiting for him to rescue them somewhere?
There were several times when he almost couldn’t endure the urge to leave, head to where Gao Yanan might be. However, there were some things Tong Wei previously instructed him on during the Windstalker special training, making him forcefully endure it.
His body had enough warmth now to support him, had enough stamina, but his limbs still couldn’t help but feel even more ice-cold.
Dusk descended once more.
Suddenly, both his and Bian Linghan’s body trembled.
Someone appeared behind the snow hill, silently dragging two unmoving figures, heading towards the spruce forest Wanyan Muye was in.
1. One of Gu Long’s wuxia novels. The main character is a bandit who grew up among wolves.