Chapter 32: Newbie
After breakfast, everyone packed their bags and left the heavy baggage behind. Besides their weapons, they all travelled lightly, carrying no more than ten pounds each.
Under the elders' orders and the four Hall Heads command, they lined up in their respective groups.
Lu Mingshu saw Zhou Yinru as well as Fu Mingtang.
One shouldn't judge Zhou Yinru by her spoilt lady image, as she was actually a Harmonization Realm Practitioner. Lu Mingshu had previously heard Gao Xiang gossip about Zhou Yinru having a pretty good aptitude. With her father being a sect leader and now even having a sect leader brother-in-law, she had always been placed on a high pedestal by others and was even called the number one female disciple in the sect. This ‘number one female disciple' title was often ridiculed by Gao Xiang as even though Zhou Yinru could be considered one of the top disciples in the fifteenth generation, she was still a far cry from disciples such as Liu Jizhen and Yu Wen shi. These female disciples – who were considered as top talents – were in no way inferior, just that they did not want to fight her.
Fu Mingtang was brought under Zhou Yinru's care for the spring hunt. He resembles Fu Shangqing a lot. As he took medicine baths from a young age, he was taller than ordinary children and had also displayed a calm and collected demeanour throughout the whole journey.
Lu Mingshu only took a brief glance at them before moving her gaze away.
They wouldn't meet anyway since they had different routes.
Once everyone was lined up, the hunting groups started to form small teams and moved out.
The people in the front each grabbed one of the thick vines hanging down the cliff and directly jumped down.
Le Xiaoyi let out a low shriek and grasped Lu Mingshu's sleeves. This mountain cliff looks to be at least a hundred metres high! She felt light-headed after a single stolen glance.
Wei Peng turned around and looked at her before saying, "The veterans go down first. The newbies can climb down slowly, don't be nervous."
Compared to other team leaders, Wei Peng's temperament was milder so it was considered one of the better ones.
Once it was their turn, the veteran Harmonization Realm teammates went down the cliff first. Then it was Shao Zhengyang's turn. He tied a vine around his body and held onto another, before lowering himself down slowly.
"Do you see that? Follow his example. The three of you do not have enough strength so don't pursue speed and place safety first," Wei Peng explained to the three newbies on the left.
Then, he let each of the three pick a sturdy vine, and checked that they are properly secured before letting them slide down.
Lu Mingshu held onto the vine and slid down easily.
As someone with acrophobia, Le Xiaoyi's face grew pale with fear just by standing on the edge of the cliff, so sliding down the cliff was out of the question. She froze in mid-air, trembling in fear and started weeping. She held onto the vine and refused to move no matter how Wei Peng tried to appease her. Wei Peng was unhappy about it yet he could do nothing about it.
There would always be a few newbies every year. It was all good if they were older, however, if they were young, guiding them would turn into a chore. This time my luck is terrible, to think that I had three young newbies assigned to my team! Lu Mingshu and Gao Xiang were only eleven while Le Xiaoyi was only thirteen. For them to reach Inner Breath Realm at such a young age meant their birth status wasn't normal and they also had a good future. If they were to ever suffer any mishap, he as a team leader would have to assume responsibility. Even if I were to say that I don't care who their masters are, can I really ignore that? With how tangled and complicated the relationships in the sect are, a teacher who doesn't have many connections like me would not benefit from offending anyone.
Left with no choice, Wei Peng grabbed the vine and accompanied Le Xiaoyi, guiding her throughout.
Having someone beside her, Le Xiaoyi finally calmed down and slid down slowly, still sobbing.
On the other side, Lu Mingshu and Gao Xiang have long since successfully reached the bottom of the cliff. They helplessly glanced at each other.
Gao Xiang whispered, "Why does she cry so much?"
Lu Mingshu replied, "Some people are just afraid of heights."
As a kind and honest boy, Gao Xiang refrained from saying anything else.
Their teammates were probably already used to seeing such a scene as they did not complain. Once they successfully reached the bottom, someone even patted Gao Xiang's shoulder and gave him a thumbs-up. "Not bad, you descended, unlike a newbie."
Gao Xiang's lips parted into a smile.
The man continued, "However, the challenge is still ahead! Don't pee your pants when you see a ferocious beast later."
Gao Xiang replied indignantly, "Of course I won't! Who hasn't seen a ferocious beast before?!"
The man continued teasing him, "Do you think the ferocious beasts in Jade West are like those in the sect? The ferocious beasts in the sect have long since been tamed and even had their teeth plucked, but the wild ones are much fiercer!"
They leisurely waited for half an hour before Wei Peng and Le Xiaoyi finally came down.
The group of people gathered as Wei Peng commanded, "Let's set off. Maintain a medium speed."
The team immediately set their casual attitude aside; two people went ahead to scout while another two took the rear end. The team started running arranged in a formation that looked messy but still faintly resembled a whole.
The surrounding scenery was quickly flying past. The speed at which they were moving left Lu Mingshu speechless. This is considered medium speed?! She had to put in her all just to keep up.
"Take note of your rhythm, newbie!" Wei Peng's voice suddenly travelled over in her ear. "Don't you know how to circulate your mystic force?
Lu Mingshu shivered, quickly focusing on her mystic force. Accurately circulating one's mystic force would provide unlimited strength. However, if the mystic force was not used, running would consume massive amounts of physical strength. In that case, let alone hunting, not ending up as beast food would already be considered a miracle in itself.
She chanted the Light Body Technique. Circulating the technique allowed her to easily keep up with the team.
Wei Peng mainly focused on the three newbies. After running for a while, he turned only to discover the two eleven-year-olds persistently keeping up. One seemed completely unaffected by the run while the other ran stably regardless of the large dark rings around his eyes. It was, in fact, the thirteen-year-old who was sweating all over and had trouble with maintaining the pace.
The extraordinary Light Body Technique manual Lu Mingshu acquired from the Xianxia world left any movement technique from the world of Martial Arts in the dust when it came to mystic force usage. Since Gao Xiang had interacted with her for some time, he had more or less learned to use his mystic force from her. The one who was truly miserable was Le Xiaoyi; it was not because her strength was inferior, but because the team's so-called ‘medium speed' was practically at the newbies' limit. She had lost too much energy on her acrophobia and was even told to keep up immediately after reaching the bottom without being allowed any rest, so she couldn't cope with the speed.
We have no other choice! There is no way the whole team would slow down for one person, right? Wei Peng thought It isn't too bad this time. We only have one newbie that needs to be taken care of. We can take turns carrying her if she really cannot continue. But the other two newbies are really incredible to be able to adapt so well despite their young age. One can clearly see the Willow Woods lineage in that boy. As for that girl … As a teacher, Wei Peng naturally knew of her situation. Such a performance was the best of all the newbies he had ever seen. Unfortunately, she had an awkward birth status that made her future uncertain.
After persevering for an hour, Le Xiaoyi could no longer keep up. Wei Peng gathered the stronger team members and ordered them to take turns in carrying her.
They madly travelled all the way until the afternoon, when they finally stopped for a rest.
Having already left the forest, Wei Peng took the team to a large cave to the station there.
They rested and reorganised while listening to the teacher's instructions. "We will stop here for three days to hunt separately. However, you must be in a group of more than three people to hunt. We will continue our journey in three days."
Le Xiaoyi let out a breath of relief at his words. She was afraid she would accumulate animosity if she were to continue being carried.
Her gaze involuntarily stopped on Lu Mingshu.
It wasn't just her; others glanced at Lu Mingshu as well. She was not exhausted from all the running and was even tending to the fire now … All of them had been newbies at some point so they have all personally experienced that even though a Harmonization Realm cultivator could easily run for half a day, it sure wasn't an easy feat for an Inner Breath Realm cultivator to do so!