Chapter 43: A slap
An ordinary beast cave was as if a small human town; the further one ventured, the stronger the demonic beasts would be.
Thus, Inner Breath Realm disciples like them, who were responsible for the outermost surroundings of the beast cave, already were at the lowest danger level possible.
Lu Mingshu believed that, no matter what tricks the Second Zhou Miss might pull, with the general outline of the tactics formulated, she could not just mess around as she pleased. After all, Fu Mingtang was also part of the thirty Inner Breath disciples!
She had previously noted that Fu Mingtang was in team two; the team responsible for setting up the defence on the river. This was a relatively easy yet not too dangerous task.
As expected, Le Xiaoyi was dispatched to team five which stayed behind to stand guard, right beside the teacher. Her backing seemed to be unexpectedly strong; otherwise, she wouldn't have been able to pick such an easy task to obtain a reward.
"Let's go." Now that the members of their team had gathered, the temporary team leader greeted them, and they prepared to set off.
Yeam four had a total of six people, with their temporary team leader being a youth that appeared calm and unflustered by anything.
The other three members sneaked glances at each other but made no movements.
"I have a suggestion," one of the youths spoke.
The team leader furrowed his brows; he had just made the first command, and it was already disregarded by his team members. "What suggestion?"
The young man said, "The scope of our search isn't small, we might not be able to finish our search if we were to go together."
Once he realized what his team member was hinting at, his frown deepened. "And so?"
"So we should separate," the other young lady continued, "Senior Brother, the six of us can divide into two groups of three. This fulfils the requirement of hunting – where one must be in a group of at least three people."
Yang Zhou did not reply but stared at them with an icy-cold gaze.
The three felt the embarrassment from being stared at creeping up their cheeks, yet they did not cower back.
Gao Xiang immediately harrumphed coldly, "Just be honest if you dislike us. Hmph, to indulge in histrionics, only makes me feel disgusted by you!" Did they think we are so blind as to not notice the glances they sneak towards us from time to time?
As a group of hot-blooded youngsters in the prime of their youth, which one of them would not be rash? Since Gao Xiang had already spoken so clearly, the young man had no reason to conceal his real intentions. He pointed at Lu Mingshu. "I wouldn't care if she was just a newbie, but aren't you guys clear of her origins?"
Enraged, Gao Xiang slapped the youth's hand away. "What are you pointing at?! Why don't you tell us what her origin is!"
The young man laughed sarcastically. "Power-hungry and snobbish slut that married…"
"Piak!" A slap fell crisply on the young man's face.
The young man glared at Lu Mingshu with disbelieving eyes. "You … you hit me?"
"So what if I hit you?" Lu Mingshu took out her handkerchief and wiped her hands unhurriedly. Although she spoke in a relaxed tone, it made one feel the chill of deep killing intent. "How weak; to not even be able to avoid a slap."
"You …" The young man blew his top and was about to pull out his sword. "I am going to kill…"
"Senior Brother! Senior Brother!" The other two hurried to stop him. The young lady said anxiously, "The teacher is still around!"
The young man calmed down slightly. Teacher Zuo stood not far from the river bank, in the direction of their previous gathering place. He seemed to have discovered what was happening there, as he swept his gaze over.
Besides Gao Xiang, who had come over by himself, the others in small team four did not have much of a backing. Hence, no one wanted to cause trouble.
The young man ceased his movements and glared at Lu Mingshu; his face was flushed red with anger.
"Senior Brother Yang, you are a witness of this too. She slapped me the moment I made a brief remark! I am not able to execute my task with such a teammate!"
Yang Zhou had not expected for a strife to occur in the team from just a few spoken words. He was dissatisfied with the young man, but also had resentment towards Lu Mingshu. Our team four's task is originally not light, yet each and every one of them is so hard to tame!
Moreover, with things coming to this stage now, he couldn't choose to separate the team anymore. They forged enmity the moment they met, so how are they to still work together?
"Fine, let's separate if you want to separate." Yang Zhou said, "However, I'll speak the ugly words upfront. Our task has a high level of difficulty. In theory, there shouldn't be any ferocious beasts that are too strong. But, if there was just one or more Harmonization Realm ferocious beast …"
"We understand the meaning of senior brother is trying to convey." The young man quickly took over. "Since we were the ones that suggested going our separate ways, we will bear the consequences of our decision."
Yang Zhou nodded. "All of you are to remember these words. If Teacher Zuo were to ever ask me about this arrangement, that is how I'll answer."
Both parties took out the map; a party went south, while the other party went north. They each had a designated area to clear.
After they separated, the three left without even a word.
This left Yang Zhou, Gao Xiang and Lu Mingshu in a party.
"Let us set off too."Yang Zhou glanced at them once, before furrowing his brows once more. Compared to him who was almost seventeen, the other two were still children. As he thought so, he reminded them once more, "Forgetting about what has happened just now, you are not to act arbitrarily anymore from now on. If you aren't careful, we might even lose our lives! Understand?"
Lu Mingshu knew he was talking about her, hence she nodded and said, "Rest assured, Senior Brother."
Yang Zhou could really not rest assured. He was well aware of Lu Mingshu's origin. That young man might have been too excessive in his reaction, but her bad temperament of slapping people over a brief remark was not exactly proper too.
1The three entered the mountain forest. Searching while keeping a lookout all the way, they quickly found a Tiger King Spider.
"I'll take charge of the frontal attack; the two of you seal off its escape route. Be careful of its spider web!" saying this in a hurry, Yang Zhou unsheathed his sword and rushed forward to fight the beast.
The huge Tiger King Spider's body was comparable to Reeve's Pheasant— A whole body of poisoned green hair and quick and violent movements, it could even spit out a spider web to entrap its enemy.
The moment Yang Zhou rushed up, a green light flashed in the Tiger King Spider's eyes, and it started moving forward at lightning speed.
In a blink of an eye, the man and the spider brushed past each other.
Yang Zhou struck out with his sword, and as expected, he all he got was air. The Tiger King Spider scuttled and dodged by passing between his legs.
The Tiger King Spider blocked the incoming attack. It turned its body and suddenly spit a white gossamer out of its mouth.
Bending his body sideways, Yang Zhou struck out with his sword once more, in an attempt to behead it.
His attack sent out a beam of mystic force. Changing into a wind sword, the beam cut off the core of the spider web.
Gao Xiang, who had by now moved to the rear of the Tiger King Spider, rushed up closely behind Yang Zhou.
The two— one in front and one at the back— managed to keep up with the fast speed of the Tiger King Spider while in combat.
A moment later, Yang Zhou felt something was amiss. When he turned back, he spotted Lu Mingshu standing by the side without fighting. Instead, she used the sharp end of her sword to pick up a little spider thread, doing who knows what.
"What are you stoning there for?" Yang Zhou's repressed anger simmered up in seconds, Wasn't you full of might when you slapped that person earlier? Yet, you are so terrified now that you're face-to-face with a ferocious beast?
Lu Mingshu turned a deaf ear to his words and held a hand out to rub the spider thread between her fingers.
Yang Zhou was so mad he did not want to bother with her. Forget it, forget it. I have Gao Xiang's help anyway; as a direct disciple, Gao Xiang might be young but his strength isn't any bit inferior to mine.
Hence, the two encircled the Tiger King Spider and attacked this side; while Lu Mingshu gathered spider thread incessantly on the other side.
Once she had picked a handful of it, she shouted towards Gao Xiang, "Come here!"
Without even a shred of hesitation, Gao Xiang lured the Tiger King Spider to follow him and ran towards Lu Mingshu.
Yang Zhou grew even more furious. "What are the two of you doing?!"
Before he got a reply, he saw Lu Mingshu throwing that handful of spider thread towards the Tiger King Spider's nest, then igniting it up in the fire.
The Tiger King Spider immediately let out a shrill sound and hurried back to its nest.
However, it was still too late. By the time it reached, the nest had already burnt up in flames.
Meanwhile, Lu Mingshu was already long since waiting by the nest's side. She overturned the nest and thrust her sword in.