Chapter 44: Specter
"Splash!" Green coloured blood splatted everywhere.
Yang Zhou saw the spider's wriggling legs under the nest.
Gao Xiang hurried over and thrust his sword down.
The spider's leg gradually ceased its wriggling.
Once the two pulled up their swords and lifted the nest open, all they saw was a dead spider.
Yang Zhou felt unreal. "You guys …"
Lu Mingshu said, "This is a mother spider."
Yang Zhou blinked. "So?"
"It's the season for laying eggs now."
"The Tiger King Spider is protective of its eggs. Hence, if the spider eggs were to come to any harm, it would definitely be provoked to rush back."
"But what did you gather the spider thread for?"
"According to the habits and properties of a Tiger King Spider, it would definitely defend its nest well. In fact, it's best defensive measure would be its spider thread."
Yang Zhou slowly found her train of reasoning. "You gathered the spider thread in order to find its weak point?"
Lu Mingshu nodded. "After I observed it, I discovered that this spider thread was tough to break. Hence, I tried to burn it."
As a result, her reasoning had born fruit and the nest was marked by flames. The Tiger King Spider immediately rushed back to protect its eggs; she had taken its nest as a tool to trap it — for a nest built by the Tiger King Spider itself, it would naturally think its nest would be sturdy.
"What if it could not be burned?"
Lu Mingshu answered indifferently. "We could chop it if it didn't burn. We would just lack a shortcut in that case."
Cleverness in trivial matters was cleverness in trivial matters after all. Under most circumstances, strength was still needed. Cleverness in trivial matters could be utilized, but the sharpest one would still be the sword in your hands.
Yang Zhou was stunned by her words. He suddenly felt a sense of marvel, as if he were conversing with a teacher. But the one before his eyes was clearly a junior sister that had just reached the Inner Breath Realm, and was attending the spring hunt for the first time as a newbie.
While cleaning up the bloody scene, they took the useful parts of the Tiger King Spider away and buried the metallic smell of blood … Once they were done, the team of three continued forward.
1Afterwards, as Yang Zhou discovered, the commanding right of their team gradually and unconsciously changed.
Between the three, the one with the most experience was undoubtedly him, yet Lu Mingshu would always find the simplest combat style. Moreover, according to his observations, Lu Mingshu was really strong too — strong in a very odd way.
For example, Gao Xiang's strength could be easily described. He could draw his sword swiftly and accurately, was adept with the sword manoeuvres, had a fast reaction speed, and had an astonishing sense of physical energy about him.
As for Lu Mingshu? Her swordsmanship was indeed not bad, and it could be said that it was excellent in every way. Yet when she made a move, there would always be some subtle and ineffable shift of movement; he absolutely did not understand why she would make such a change at that time, but he discovered along the way that her every move would be optimized. Angle, force, and mystic force were not even a tiny bit wasted.
Even for a teacher, only a superficial trace of such a feeling could be found!
Once he became aware of this point, his thoughts and feelings towards Lu Mingshu did a complete one-eighty. He had previously disliked this young maiden that refused to listen to commands and had a bad temper. However, he realized now that it was because her ability was too overpowering.
As his feelings inclined, his viewpoint would change as well.
Yang Zhou was only an ordinary disciple in Nine Jade Palace, and the information he received would also be the same information that the masses would get. Obviously he would partially believe the sect leader more if he had to choose between the sect leader and the mother-daughter pair of unknown origins. Plus, with Lu Mingshu slapping the other party during their first meeting, he immediately had a negative impression of her.
However, he discovered now that she was not that maiden of irritable temperament that he had first thought she was. In fact, she was a capable maiden who was cool-headed in handling affairs; his previous impression of her henceforth started to waver.
1There was no doubt that every individual was subjective.
Since the three had solved their prejudices, with a tacit understanding in cooperation, their search speed subsequently increased.
"Have you guys discovered anything?" In the midst of their search, Lu Mingshu suddenly spoke.
Gao Xiang responded without thinking. "About what?"
Yang Zhou who now regarded her opinion highly looked towards her.
"On the way here, the ferocious beasts we met were not really ferocious."
"That's right," Gao Xiang said, "Which is to say, this mission is such a breeze to get through."
"No." Lu Mingshu furrowed her eyebrows, "No matter what, this is still the depths of Jade West Mountain Forest. Even if there aren't a lot of ferocious beasts in the higher realm because of the existence of the beast cave, how could we not have even met a single Harmonization Realm Beast? Based on probability, isn't it very unlikely to happen?"
With her reminder, Yang Zhou became serious. "It is indeed strange …"
"Perhaps they're on the other side?" Gao Xiang pointed towards the opposite direction, which was the direction that the other three were in charge of.
Yang Zhou was about to say something when a high-pitched shriek rang out in the distance, startling the birds before they all flew off in different directions.
"What was that sound?" Gao Xiang jumped in shock.
"Ah—" There was another blood-curdling scream.
Yang Zhou's complexion paled. "They are in trouble! Let's go!"
Regardless of their disagreement before, they still had to save them if they were in trouble.
The three quickly dashed towards the direction of the scream.
As they gradually approached the direction of the yelling, they suddenly spotted a person covered in blood from head to toe stumbling out.
Yang Zhou hurried up to receive the person only to discover the young lady from their team.
"Ah!" A shrill scream escaped the young lady's lips as she wildly swung her sword with no regard for ally or foe.
"Junior Sister!" Yang Zhou cried out, "It's us!"
The young lady was brought back to her senses from his cry. Her muddled eyes slowly focused, and as she saw them clearly, she let out a loud cry.
"Don't cry first!" Yang Zhou was as anxious as ants on a hot pan. "What exactly happened? What about the others?"
"Boo-hoo hoo… the-they're dead …"
"Dead?" Yang Zhou inhaled sharply. "What did you run into?"
"Senior Brother, it's too late." Gao Xiang interrupted their exchange. "Don't chat around here anymore! That thing is here!"
Yang Zhou could feel the rapidly approaching pressure and he now confirmed that it was a ferocious beast in the Harmonization Realm. To be able to kill two and heavily wound another in a single breath, this was no common ferocious beast. He carried the young lady on his back and made his decision promptly. He turned on his heels and ran. "Go!"
The four of them gathered together, but with the thick blood stench from the heavily injured young lady, the ferocious beast was quickly catching up to them.
The ferocious beast was hot on their heels.
A trembling wave coursed over the leaves upfront, and a black shadow flew out.
Gao Xiang shouted out loud, and with a flick of his wrist, the sword energy solidified into a beam that darted out.
Although his reaction could not be said to be slow — under the impact of the collision between his sword energy and the Specter— the Specter was pushed back, while Gao Xiang nearly flew off from the impact; thankfully, Lu Mingshu was there to pull him back in the nick of time.
Since their path was blocked, they did not have any choice but to stop.
The three directed their gazes over to take a look, only to discover a human-shaped black shadow blocking their way. It stood at a height of seven feet with a broad chest and droopy arms that practically extended to the ground. It had a pointed head and pupils as thin as slits, which would make one's hair stand with one glance. Its whole body was so black, it was as if it had draped black skin on itself.
Gao Xiang took a sharply inhaled his breath and shouted with a breaking voice. "S-Specter, it's a Specter!"
The Specter was a special type of demonic beast. It only arose in areas where there was a congregation of demonic beasts. It had a similar external form to humans and lived on devouring demonic beasts.
No wonder there weren't any stronger ferocious beasts in the vicinity! They had all been devoured by this Specter!