Chapter 31: Travelling
Lu Mingshu's gaze sunk upon looking in the direction Gao Xiang pointed.
A group of people led by that man in sect leader clothing was currently walking over from the inner palace. That man was precisely Fu Shangqing.
He was currently walking over side-by-side with a pretty young lady; the young lady was holding onto a girl while a boy followed beside him. The four resembled each other greatly. The happy family was talking to each other, smiling from time to time, while heading towards Lu Mingshu.
1Lu Mingshu chuckled coldly,
"How shameless," Gao Xiang whispered, "they really take Nine Jade Palace as their personal estate huh?" He was still brooding over the matter of announcing Fu Mingtang's breakthrough and was unhappy with Fu Shangqing.
"Don't be anxious." Lu Mingshu said, "It's still way too early if he thinks he can stand in the limelight whenever he wants to!"
"Right, just wait and see!"
On the other side, the Fu family sent Fu Mingtang over to greet the Elders.
The Elder ordered the disciples to show Fu Mingtang into the group.
Zhou Miaoru looked at Fu Mingtang – who looked like a small adult wearing a body of hunting wear – with gratification. "Mingtang had grown so much in a blink of an eye. I don't ask for him to bring any ranking home in this time's spring hunt. All I ask for is him returning safely."
Fu Shangqing nodded in agreement.
Zhou Yinru walked over. Holding a hall head position within the sect, she specially requested to be allocated a group for the spring hunt.
Hearing Zhou Miaoru's words, she huffed. "Sister, aren't your words are too lacking in ambition. As a dignified son of the sect leader, how could Mingtang not rank first?"
"That's right, aunt is right," Fu Mingxi added.
Zhou Miaoru glared at her daughter and spoke with displeasure, "Don't learn from your aunt. Just do your own business well and the things that should be yours will be yours."
1Zhou Yinru disliked these words the most. It made her seem impatient and behaving unbecomingly of her age. "Where was I wrong? Don't forget that nasty girl will also be at the spring hunt this time, sis. Isn't it letting her mock us if Mingtang doesn't rank first?"
Hearing this, Zhou Miaoru's face sank. "Yinru!"
Zhou Yinru wanted to add more but kept silent under Zhou Miaoru's glare.
Her elder sister had always refrained from speaking about that nasty girl in front of the two kids. Although Zhou Yinru snorted disdainfully about this matter, she did not dare to go against her elder sister. For no one was clearer than her, on just how ruthless this gentle and polite sister of hers could be.
However, it was impossible for her to do nothing even if she was told to. She would do whatever it takes to give Mingtang the first rank –
The teacher of Lu Mingshu and Gao Xiang's group was called Wei Peng. He looked to be twenty-five to twenty-six years old, his temper did not seem to be bad and his nature seemed to be the earnest type.
Besides that, she saw another familiar face – Shao Zhengyang.
3Sixteen years old this year, this was Shao Zhengyang's fourth year in the Inner Breath Realm, so it was time to focus on experience training. He had a naturally tall frame before, but after not meeting for four years, he got even taller. He looked as tall as an adult, and it was only his slightly thin build that gave away the fact that he was still a youth.
1The moment he saw Lu Mingshu and Gao Xiang, he greeted them with a nod. Lu Mingshu pondered for a moment before she remembered him.
"... have you remembered everything?" Wei Peng asked the newbies after he finished speaking of the things to note.
Lu Mingshu followed the group of newbies in replying, "Remembered."
Wei Peng nodded. "Those with mounts use your own mounts. Two people on one mount for those without."
Lu Mingshu remained there while Gao Xiang went to fetch his mount. Instead of sharing with a stranger, why not go with Gao Xiang? They were very familiar with each other, plus Gao Xiang's wolf was also used to her riding it.
The mount Nine Jade Palace assigned, was a type of bird called Large Beak Crane. This type of bird had meaty wings and strong legs. It couldn't fly but it ran fast when on land, especially in the Mountain Forest where it wouldn't be wedged by branches; unlike cows and sheep.
It's about time. The respective hall heads led their own groups out under the orders of the sect elders.
The little disciples that had not reached the Inner Breath Realm, looked at them with fiery eyes, making the Inner Breath Realm disciples stick their chest out proudly.
The groups entered the depths of the Nine Jade Mountain, following the Mountain trail.
The territory of the Nine Jade Mountain was so large that the day was basically spent hastening on their journey. Just passing over the mountain ridges would take up a lot of
In the afternoon, they rested in a shaded place for a while. They drank water and ate some dried goods before rushing onwards.
The walk lasted till the setting sun painted the sky and the clouds red.
The group of two hundred stopped and set up the tents in a valley.
Lu Mingshu slept like a baby the entire night while Gao Xiang awoke on the second day with two large dark rings around his eyes.
He asked while yawning, "How were you able to fall asleep?"
Lu Mingshu asked curiously, "Why wouldn't I be able to fall asleep?"
"Don't you feel excited and anxious?" The teacher had reminded them time and time again to stay vigilant at night; The ferocious beasts could ambush them at any time, so they had to be ready for combat. Thus, Gao Xiang did not dare to sleep too deeply throughout the entire night.
Lu Mingshu could not tell him that she had been in such a situation many times before.
Ever since her first traverse three years ago, she had traversed a few more times. She had to either look for rare treasures or kill ferocious beasts if she wanted to come back to her own world; hence, her experience allowed her to remain composed.
They had spent the first day continuously threading their way into the depth of the mountains, but today, they started to descend.
In the evening, they passed through a valley and stopped on a cliff to set up camp.
Teacher Wei Peng gathered the team members. "This is Jade West. We will leave our mounts here tomorrow and divide into groups for hunting. Rest well tonight, for you won't be sleeping in a tent from tomorrow onwards."
The group nodded. Then a girl in the group asked, "Team leader, would the elders go with us?"
"They won't." Wei Peng shattered the girl's hopes with his answer, "The elders will stay guard here and move out only when they are needed."
The girl was greatly disappointed. "What do we do if we encounter danger?"
Wei Peng's gaze sharpened. "Do you think this spring hunt is an excursion? Of course, there would be danger! You have to think of ways to triumph over the enemy when you meet one, not place your hopes on someone else!"
The girl being reprimanded lowered her head in shame.
Wei Peng continued to assign tasks. There were a total of four Inner Breath Realm disciples in their group; Lu Mingshu, Gao Xiang, Shao Zhengyang and that girl, Le Xiaoyi. He didn't have to worry about Shao Zhangyang, but as for the other three – who were participating for the first time – he needed to take care of them.
Although casualties were unavoidable, the team leader would have to bear responsibility if there were too many of them.
"I don't care whose disciples you are. You are to listen to orders if you participate in the spring hunt! The first in command is the group leader. If the group leader isn't around, listen to the team leader. But if neither are around, listen to the oldest person. No one is to act on their own initiative, understand?"
Wei Peng nodded. "Go and take a rest. You will have to depend on your own two legs from tomorrow onwards, so get your things ready."
The group left in all directions.
That night, Lu Mingshu naturally had a good sleep while Gao Xiang awoke with two dark circles around his eyes yet again.
Lu Mingshu helplessly asked, "Do you have to be this excited? If you don't rest well, what are you to do if you don't have sufficient strength to hunt?"
Gao Xiang bitterly replied, "I didn't choose to not sleep well …"