Chapter 47: Canyon floor
Without much hesitation, Lu Mingshu made her decision.
If it was an abnormal treasure, its dense mystic force would definitely be attractive to this Specter. If it was a powerful organism, she could take the opportunity to impede the Specter.
Of course, there existed a possibility where she could be caught in the middle and be smashed into smithereens.
But with the current outlook of the situation, reinforcements would not be arriving anytime soon. Hence, she could only try her luck no matter how slim the chances of winning were.
The Specter behind her sped up in a swoop to get her, creating an afterimage of a black line as it neared her rapidly.
Lu Mingshu suddenly leapt up and swung her sword in a bid to strike the Specter!
This one strike, which practically condensed her mystic force into threads, lasered towards the Specter's pupil.
The black line stopped and the Specter lifted one arm to block the incoming strike while striking out its other arm.
"Whoosh!" With one wave of its arm, gravel was sent flying in all directions.
At the same moment, an odd screech erupted from the Specter's mouth.
Lu Mingshu swiftly blocked the attack and saw a drip of black-coloured blood dribble down its palm, corroding the stones on the floor which instantly turned into black smoke.
The thinner the mystic force, the more penetrative power it had. However, few could condense their mystic force into such a concentrated and thin form.
1Lu Mingshu was lacking in resources. So for her, mystic force was exceptionally precious. Lu Mingshu valued every tiny bit of mystic force tremendously. Over time, she trained to have exceptionally good control over her mystic force.
Of course, this tiny injury meant nothing to the Specter. What kind of ferocious beast didn't fight in close quarters on a daily basis while living in Jade West Mountain Forest? Injuries were nothing out of the ordinary, and the injury inflicted by Lu Mingshu was only comparable to a mosquito bite.
However, this Specter who had already deemed Lu Mingshu as its prey was not happy about being hurt by its prey. It was immediately enraged.
Lu Mingshu steadied her body and kept her breathing tranquil.
Her remaining mystic force was not sufficient for her to run to that place now. Hence, in order to give herself an opportunity, she had to face this Specter head-on and beat it off.
Lu Mingshu circulated her internal mystic force and lowered her centre of gravity. Then she tightly held on to the sword in her hands.
The Specter lifted its thick, solid right arm slowly and unhurriedly; then, it abruptly swung its arm!
Faced with the strong winds of the attack, Lu Mingshu believed that this one punch could even smash a rock into particles.
Her gaze remained fixated on that black shadow, and right before it landed on her body, she leapt up and landed on a large rock.
As its first attack was unsuccessful, the Specter threw out a second punch.
The impact of the Specter's strike ruptured the large rock.
When Lu Mingshu was in mid-air from her leap, she brought down her sword.
The mystic force contained in the sword energy was extremely weak, and therefore it was no different from being hit by crushed rocks to the Specter; it did not care one bit.
However, threads of faint mystic force penetrated through the sword energy and hit the Specter in between its joint and meridians.
She only had one chance. Considering how much mystic force she had left, one chance was all she had.
When the Specter lifted its arm once more, another large rock was smashed to bits.
Each punch it waved resulted in a large rock getting crushed into pieces. Very quickly, not a single intact rock could be seen within a circumference of ten feet from Lu Mingshu.
The Specter's palm force broke each large rock into pieces, and with each consecutive strike, the rocks were broken into even tinier pieces. As the rocks became increasingly tiny in size, the wind brought about gravel from each wave of the Specter's arm, causing a storm of crushed rocks to surround Lu Mingshu.
Pushing her way through the storm of crushed rocks, Lu Mingshu persevered unremittingly in hitting the Specter's body with her sword energy.
The Specter had gotten used to her tickling attacks and didn't even bother to evade them anymore.
Under the incessant ‘tickling', the Specter screeched out in a violent rage as its mystic force formed mystic rays in its entire body.
As the mystic force circulated, the internal injury left behind by the faint sword energy was stimulated.
Lu Mingshu leapt up. With her remaining mystic force, she condensed a thin blade edge and struck downwards!
The Specter originally wanted to stretch out its hand to grasp it, but its joint went rigid, which delayed the movements of its arm and leg for an instant.
"Szzz–" The slight sound was barely perceptible within the storm of crushed rocks.
The sword energy condensed from mystic force pierced in from the tiny wound from before.
The sharp blade penetrated the Specter's arm.
"Eeeek –" The shrill was so loud that it sounded like it would puncture one's eardrum to shreds.
Lu Mingshu exerted strength to push the blade even deeper in. Pu! Black blood spurted everywhere.
Afterwards, without even sheathing her sword, she turned her tail and ran.
Her small silhouette quickly disappeared in the midst of the dust.
When the storm of crushed rocks finally quietened down, the Specter had already lost track of its prey.
The Specter screeched repeatedly, pursuing its prey by sniffing the scent that was left behind.
Almost, almost there.
When the Specter had caught up once again, Lu Mingshu leapt up and tumbled down the valley.
A stretch of deep canyon extended all the way across after she tumbled down.
Lu Mingshu curled up her body into a ball and tightly hugged her head.
As she rolled, the gravel, grass, and stems scraped her back and limbs. Her tumbling speed grew faster and faster.
In the depths of the canyon, under a rocky precipice, a young man was meditating with his eyes closed.
Suddenly, a body fell from the sky through the ‘roof' that had carelessly been made out of twigs and fell right before him.
He abruptly opened his eyes and grabbed ahold of his weapon.
However, the sharp blade was only drawn out by an inch before it was stopped.
He looked at the body on the floor, his brows knitted together puzzledly.
From the looks of the body, this was a child.
This child's arms were hugging their head and was curled up into a ball — a defensive posture. From the looks of things, there didn't seem to be any distinct bloodstains or heavy injuries, but he had no idea if the child had any internal injuries.
He walked towards the body and poked it with his scabbard.
When he saw the body shift in discomfort, he let out a breath of relief. Thank god, it hasn't died.
His thoughts were just that — thoughts; Lu Mingshu was slowly coming to her consciousness and slowly sat up.
Lu Mingshu felt wrecked from the fall. When she sat up carelessly and suddenly saw a person standing there without any mental preparation on her part, she was stunned into stillness.
"What is it? You've been stunned speechless from a look at my handsome face?" The other party gave a sinister smile which was further intensified by the knife scar on his face.
Lu Mingshu looked at the man before her cautiously.
This was a young man clad in a body of black and held a black scabbard weapon. He looked to be about seventeen to eighteen years old, and his face … had pretty well-sculpted facial features. However, he had a knife scar that was about three inches that extended down one half of his face.
Such a face, matched with the words he had just uttered would make one feel extremely constipated.
"Aiyo, it's a little maiden." The young man stroked his chin. "Could it be that God thinks I might be bored being here all alone and sent a little maiden to accompany me?"
Lu Mingshu went on high alert, but it was only when she stretched out her hand and touched air did she remember that she had left her sword behind on the Specter's body.
However, the situation was a little better from what she had anticipated.
"Big brother, may I ask …"
Jade West Mountain Forest was basically Nine Jade Palace's backyard. Hence, there would not be any outsiders around. However, judging from the young man's get-up, he did not seem to be a disciple of the Nine Jade Palace. His clothes and ornaments carried a distinct Zhongzhou characteristic.
A few years ago, in order to stabilize his position as sect leader, Fu Shangqing once went into an alliance with Seven Truths Platform. Nine Jade Palace dispatched disciples over to Seven Truths Platform as an exchange, and their forfeit was to open up Jade West Mountain Forest to let Seven Truths Platform disciples come over regularly for training experience.
But the last time Seven Truths Platform dispatched disciples over should have been after last year's autumn hunt. It couldn't possibly be that this young man stayed more than half a year in the Jade West Mountain Forest and had not gone back at all?
The young man opened his mouth and was about to answer when his imposing manner suddenly changed. "Clang!", he unsheathed his weapon.
A black shadow tumbled down from the sky, and with a flash of the young man's silhouette, he rushed forward.
"Little maiden, I don't mind your arrival, but it isn't sincere to bring such a dangerous gift along with you!"