Chapter 58: Parting Ways
Once the three python corpses have been stored in the pouch, the two squeezed their way in through the gap between the three trees.
Without personally seeing it with their own eyes, it would be hard to imagine that these trees were actually the entrance. Separated by just three trees, there was a completely different world inside.
After they had passed the entrance of dense fog, a picturesque scene that looked as if it was a painting of a fairytale opened up in front of them.
The large meadow was flourishing with blooming, beautiful flowers. An odd tree, with emerald green vine roots hanging down, stood in the middle of it. Birds were jumping around the branches, while the insects crawled leisurely.
"It really deserves being called a beast cave, we've struck it rich!" Yan Wugui took out a small shovel from who-knows-where, squatted down before a purple plant growing on a trunk, and started to dig.
Lu Mingshu looked left and right. "Brother Yan, what can I do?"
Yan Wugui pointed to the other side. "Bring some of those rocks, the ones that you feel are of better quality, with you. Don't carry all of them, they will sooner or later find this place, so it will be troublesome if you bring too many."
In the corner, there was a quarry consisting of a pile of pebbles. These grey stones looked unremarkable but felt warm and comfortable to the touch. Lu Mingshu held a stone in her hands, feeling traces of mystic force passing through the stone and permeating into her palm.
It was not her first time seeing ores that contained mystic force, but she had never seen such gentle mystic force. She carefully picked it up.
As she continued picking stones, she suddenly felt something was amiss when she touched something soft and warm.
Startled, Lu Mingshu pushed the pile of stones aside.
"What's wrong, what's wrong?" Yan Wugui stuffed the items into his mustard seed pouch and looked over.
Lu Mingshu waved her hands towards him with all her might. "Come over and take a look at what this is!"
Yan Wugui walked over to take a look and was instantly stupefied.
The ferocious beasts that were currently occupying this place, had dug a hole in the corner and filled it with ores that contained mystic force. Whenever they needed to heal, it was exceptionally effective to just stay inside.
This small beast was akin to a newborn kitten; it resembled a Roe Deer and had sparse hair throughout, but did not have horns growing on its head. Buried in the ores, it was slightly trembling.
As Lu Mingshu took it in her arms very carefully, the small beast called out softly and licked her finger.
"It looks to be a cub that has just been born. Why is it here?"
Yan Wugui pondered for a moment. "Perhaps it was placed here by its parents. The stone hole has enough mystic force to keep it warm and to help the cub get through its nascent period."
"What type of beast is this? Can we raise it?"
Yan Wugui stretched out his hands. "I don't recognize it, just bring it along if you want to raise it."
"Mhmm." That spiritual land would sooner or later be found. Hence, this cub would either be brought back by Nine Jade Palace or die here without any parents to care for it.
She fed the small beast some water, and when she saw it lightly closing its eyes to sleep, she carefully wrapped the small beast up in a long handkerchief and tied it to her chest.
Yan Wugui glanced at the sky. "It's about time, let's go."
"So soon? Lu Mingshu was a little surprised; they had only been here for a short while.
"The battle is about to end. If we don't go now, it will be troublesome later." What's more, I've already taken the most valuable thing in this spiritual land.
Once they had left the spiritual land, Yan Wugui said, "Alright, our fate ends here, let's part ways."
As he said it too abruptly, Lu Mingshu was a little stunned. "Brother Yan …"
Yan Wugui pointed to the front, towards the few children hanging on the precipice. "They should be Nine Jade Palace disciples, right? I have to leave before they arrive."
"Then I …"
"You find an opportunity to appear."
"But how should I explain?" Lu Mingshu felt her head starting to ache. I have to provide a reason for my mysterious disappearance and sudden appearance, right?
Yan Wugui laughed, "Just say, you tumbled down the cliff, and when you awoke, you found yourself here."
"It's impossible for my traces to have been completely wiped off." Yan Wugui continued, "It's not easy to fool a Spirit Realm expert, and how would they not be able to tell when the guardian ferocious beast here was killed? But, I had not gone overboard and they can't find evidence; they will most likely let the matter slide. Once the autumn hunt begins, I'll return to Seven Truths Platform, and by then nobody will be able to do anything about this."
Lu Mingshu carried the small beast and kept silent.
Yan Wugui patted her head. "I am glad to have met you, hopefully, we will have the opportunity to meet again."
Once he had finished, he turned around to leave.
Yan Wugui turned around to give her a smile. "Remember, to never let anyone know the route I've brought you through to come here."
"Take good care of yourself, don't give yourself too much pressure."
"... Take care."
Looking at Yan Wugui's silhouette disappear between the cliffs, Lu Mingshu's nose began to twitch and an urge to cry overwhelmed her.
They might have been strangers who had met by chance, but Yan Wugui's care towards her had far exceeded the care shown by her so-called relatives. However, It was unknown whether a day when they could meet again would come.
The small beast in her embrace rubbed its head left and right, as it was restless in its sleep. Lu Mingshu suddenly remembered the dagger that was still in her possession. But, Yan Wugui's silhouette had long since disappeared.
Her whole mind was swarming with thoughts. After standing there for a while, a voice suddenly sounded by her ear.
When she turned her head around, she discovered the person who had just climbed up the cliff was Gao Xiang!
"Why are you here?" Gao Xiang rushed over with a pleasantly surprised expression. "Didn't you disappear at the canyon?"
"Gao Xiang?" Lu Mingshu blinked innocently.
"It's me! What's going on? When I heard you've disappeared, I went to seek help from Martial Granduncle Zhang Kunzhang in the Lower House, but there was still no trace of you to be found. How did you end up here?"
"I don't know either." Lu Mingshu messaged her head. "I found myself here when I woke up."
"I fainted the moment I tumbled down the canyon. Afterwards, I was in a daze. I seem to recall being carried away by someone. When I awoke, I was already here." Lu Mingshu felt a little guilty from telling Gao Xiang a lie, but she knew she could not be completely honest, otherwise, she would bring trouble to Yan Wugui.
Her words alerted Gao Xiang. "Someone had infiltrated into Jade West Mountain Forest? Are you alright?"
"I'm alright." Lu Mingshu said. "I am a Nine Jade Palace disciple, he probably wouldn't want to offend Nine Jade Palace, right?"
Once he confirmed she was alright, Gao Xiang hurriedly told her everything that happened during those few days.
"I'm really glad I met you, I have made a bet with Fu Shangqing. Whoever finds the Snow Winged Cloud-treading Horse's nest first and gets a token, would be considered the winner of the bet. The loser will have to withdraw from the rankings. I even thought it was a pity that you wouldn't be able to come!"
"The nest of the Snow Winged Cloud-treading Horse?" Lu Mingshu thought aloud, slightly slanting her head.
Lu Mingshu shook her head. "I don't know, but, it should be in the vicinity. Let's go, and look for it."
"Okay." Gao Xiang was overflowing with happiness. He had met Lu Mingshu and even confirmed her well-being, hence he could rest assured. Furthermore, with her around, he was more confident in winning the bet.
"What is this?" he saw the small beast in Lu Mingshu's embrace.
"I don't know, I've picked it up on earlier on the way. It seemed to have been abandoned at birth." Lu Mingshu patted the small beast's head and kept the ores she had picked up on its stomach to keep it warm with mystic force.
"How cute! It's a Roe Deer right?"
"Not sure, it does resemble a Roe Deer a lot…"