Majestic Feathers- Editor Ducky flew off and migrated so give a warm welcome to Editor Tippy who jumped out of some bushes and saved my butt! They did a beautiful job, especially since their first chapter, aka this one, was particularly painful to edit and translate.
Here is a few words from our new editor!
Tippy- “Hello everyone, I am the new Editor! Feather’s one day decided to bribe me with candy….
and now I’m in a basement somewhere…”
Feathers- “Hey, this basement is comfy!”
Anyway, thank you dear readers and enjoy!
Without warning, something flew out of the thick fog and was about to hit the helpless Long Xiang.
Drunk and naturally reactive, Zui You used his body to block the attack.
Ruan Qiansu threw her weapon, Zheng Chen Yue and it hit the flying object in mid-air.
The two objects fell to the ground, and upon closer examination, it turned out to be a fist-sized rock.
Everyone stood up, on high alert, and looked around.
Because they were unfamiliar with the terrain, none of them dared to enter the thick fog carelessly.
If they were to get separated from the group, they would be truly helpless, as their visibility and mobility were extremely limited in this situation.
They had no idea who had thrown the object, but they could confirm one thing: it wasn’t their imagination.
There was something in the fog, whether it was a strange beast or a person.
In the next second, countless stones suddenly flew from all directions into the dense fog.
Some were as small as eggs, while others were as big as a human head.
The most dangerous were the ones that fell from above!
Everyone quickly used their weapons to strike at the rocks, but due to the heavy fog, the stones could only be seen when they were less than three or four meters away from them.
At that point, their reaction time was often not enough to keep up.
Ruan Qiansu was suddenly struck and cried out in pain, throwing her weapons out to defend against her attackers within the fog.
Launching her crescent blades, they spiraled into the thick fog above.
Without a clear target, it flew around aimlessly in a circle before returning to Ruan Qiansu’s hands, without even a drop of blood on it.
Yun Xi summoned four zhen niao, who then spread their wings to protect everyone from the stones falling from above.
However, the rocks continued to fly in from all around, making it difficult to tell how many beasts were nearby.
Their senses were weakened by the constant appearance of hallucinations, making it difficult to detect spiritual power.
The eerie laughter, sounding like a mixture of human and ghost, echoed in their ears, causing shivers and their heads to throb.
They had to try their best to protect Ruan Qiansu and Long Xiang, who were centered in the middle of the group.
Ruan Qiansu was determined to protect the previously severely injured Long Xiang and stood in front of him, attempting to save him from the storm of rocks.
Except for Long Xiang, everyone was hit by the incoming stones surrounding them.
In their already weak and injured state, they could not resist the barrage.
The rocks may seem crude, but the damage they did was not to be underestimated, especially when there were a large number of them.
It was too dangerous to even poke their heads out and risk suffering a fatal blow.
In anger, Tian Rong and Zui You transformed into beasts and rushed into the fog.
Suddenly, Zhi Xuan exclaimed, “I remember now!”
“What?” Jiang Chao Ge asked anxiously.
“After we entered the Kunlun Immortal Boundary, we must pass through the thick fog that was created by a local tribe’s high priest as a maze.
They burn some kind of hallucinogenic herb all year round and mix it into the fog.”
Tian Rong and Zui You’s roar pierced through the fog, echoing into everyone’s ears.
Hearing a rustling sound, the barrage of stones suddenly decreased, and the group of beasts seemingly vanished along with it.
With this abrupt change, everyone was on alert and edge.
After a while, Tian Rong and Zui Yu returned, both exuding a fierce aura.
Yu Ran Shu asked, “What was that? Did anyone see it?”
“It was something like a monkey, with a leopard-like tail,” Tian Rong shook his head.
“They were very agile and obviously familiar with this area.
There were so many of them, but they disappeared quickly.”
Yun Xi weakly said, “From your description, it might be the ‘Ju Fu’.”
“Ju Fu?” Jiang Chao Ge repeated.
“It’s a type of ape-monkey beast, found only in the west.
They are small in size, can exude strange sounds, and are experts at throwing objects.
When they appear, it’s usually in a large group.” Yun Xi explained to the group while answering Jiang Chao Ge.
Jiang Chao Ge shook his head in disapproval, “So what you mean is that we’re trapped here by a group of monkeys?”
Yun Xi said, “No, we’re trapped here by the maze and the fog.
The Ju Fu want to kill us and eat our flesh.
This group knows how to use their voices to confuse us and destroy our spirits, then they will attack us in groups.”
Yun Xi pauses for a moment in thought, “They may have learned this from humans or it could have been passed down through generations of Ju Fu hunting.
Either way, they will run away if they fail in one attack, but they will surely come back.
We cannot afford to engage in a prolonged struggle with them.”
“What should we do to leave this place?” Jiang Chao Ge asked.
“The fog is too thick for us to mindlessly wander through.
Not to mention walking through the maze, we can’t even be sure if we are walking in a straight line or not,” Jiang Chao Ge said with slight frustration.
Everyone fell silent.
There seemed to be no hope of leaving this place unless the fog suddenly dissipated.
But according to Zhi Xuan’s explanation, this fog had existed for at least ten thousand years.
They had no way to deal with it effectively.
Yun Xi bit his lip and said, “There is a way, but it will take some time.”
Yu Ren Shu asked, “What way?”
“We can capture a Ju Fu, make it into a spiritual tool, and it will listen to us, allowing us to follow it out of here.”
Jiang Chao Ge said excitedly, “This is a good idea! But do you have the materials to make a spiritual tool?”
“I have those materials with me.”
“How long will it take?”
“Without making it into a weapon, just the most basic spiritual tool, it will take at least two days,” Yun Xi looked at them and said seriously, “In these two days, we have to make sure that we are not confused.
Do not fall for the illusions, are not hit and killed by the Ju Fu throwing stones, and lastly; we cannot let them interfere with my summoning of the spirit beast.”Yun Xi emphasized the last part heavily, without the tool, they would lose the sliver of a chance they had to get out of the maze.
Yu Ren Shu firmly declared, “No problem, we can hold on for two days.”
Jiang Chao Ge said with a sigh, “The problem now is how do we catch a Ju Fu?”
“I’ll take care of it,” Tian Rong voiced with certainty.
Before the next attack by the Ju Fu, they began to prepare.
First, they set up a thick windproof, and warm tent for Long Xiang and Yun Xi to stay inside.
The other three humans hacked up logs, as well as snapping off dry and sturdy branches from the logs.
Taking the branches and tieing them with twigs to create rope and other makeshift shields for the group.
At night, the forest was pitch-black, the heavy mist pressing down heavily on their morale.
Jiang Chao Ge, Zhi Xuan, Yu Ran Shu, and Ruan Qiansu clung to their weapons, sitting outside the tent.
They were like birds in a cage, waiting passively for disaster to strike from the sky.
The unknown time of its arrival kept their hearts hanging in suspense.
Zhi Xuan grabbed Jiang Chao Ge’s freezing hand and asked with a worried tone, “Are you cold?”
“No, I’m next to you, how could I be cold,” Jiang Chaoge replied in a soothing tone in an attempt to ease his worries.
“Why are your hands so freezing?” Zhi Xuan muttered as he slowly rubbed his hand to pour some warmth into it.
Jiang Chao Ge did feel a bit chilly.
His physical strength decreased significantly when his spiritual power was low.
He said, “I’ve been sitting for too long, it’s nothing.”
Zhi Xuan whispered in his ear, “Don’t be afraid.
If we cannot get out, I can transform into my true form again and bring you out.”
Jiang Chao Ge shook his head firmly, “I won’t let you reveal your true form again.
The next time you appear in your true form, it will be when I summon you.” He still remembered the anxiety and fear in his heart during the seven or eight days when Zhi Xuan was in a coma.
He feared becoming a normal human in this world more than losing his crucial spiritual weapon.
Zhi Xuan smiled, “Good.
You have improved a lot compared to before.”
Jiang Chao Ge laughed, “I know, we finally don’t have to hold people back anymore.”
“You didn’t hold anyone back.
With me here, you’re the strongest,” Zhi Xuan said with an even wider smile.
Jiang Chao Ge’s heart was stirred as he watched the suave curve of Zhi Xuan’s lips, his slightly narrowed eyes, and the shallow dimple on his cheek.
Zhi Xuan was slightly shorter than Jiang Chao Ge, which allowed his head to rest perfectly on Jiang Chao Ge’s shoulder.
He raised his chin and licked Jiang Chaoge’s cheek with his tongue.
Jiang Chao Ge slightly moved away, but Zhi Xuan wasn’t easily deterred.
He moved in again like a puppy, kissing and licking until he had moistened half of Jiang Chao Ge’s face.
“What are you doing?” Jiang Chao Ge asked helplessly.
“I don’t know,” Zhi Xuan stared at Jiang Chao Ge without looking away.
“I just felt like doing it.”
Jiang Chao Ge was a bit embarrassed.
He looked around, but the others seemed to be used to it and were all meditating, ignoring them.
Zhi Xuan looked at Jiang Chao Ge, the only person he trusted in the group, and whispered, “Do you think we can all survive?”
Jiang Chao Ge stared at him, his expression calm, and replied firmly, “Of course we can.”
Although it was just his words, it made Zhi Xuan feel better.
Zhi Xuan looked away, afraid to meet Jiang Chao Ge’s eyes, seeing the taut lines on Jiang Chao Ge’s face.
Zhi Xuan knew that Jiang Chao Ge was not completely confident, but he pretended to be strong.
A roar sounded from the sky, and a large Ju Fu appeared out of nowhere, hovering in the black sky, its eyes glaring at the five people.
Jiang Chao Ge’s eyes narrowed slightly, and stated, “Let us begin.”
The other four nodded and began to prepare.
Yu Ran Shu, Ruan Qiansu, and Zhi Xuan covered the front with shields, Jiang Chao Ge and Tian Rong were responsible for the offensive, and Yun Xi was protecting their rear.
Tian Rong and Zui You rushed into the mist, one after the other, to capture Ju Fu.
Due to their quick response, Ju Fu’s screams were heard soon after.
As soon as the screams were heard, the barrage of stones intensified, aiming at them like targets.
Abruptly, a rock flew towards Jiang Chao Ge.
He couldn’t dodge it in time, and it smacked him hard on the head, resulting in him getting a gash on his forehead which immediately began oozing blood.
Zhi Xuan angrily roared twice, which caused the eerie laughter to stop.
Jiang Chao Ge covered his head, feeling dizzy and wanting to squat down.
But he knew that if he did, several more stones might fly towards him, which would be deadly.
He would have to endure the pain for now.
Wiping the blood off his forehead, he continued supporting the group as best he could.
Under the series of attacks, they endured for several minutes, receiving enough rocks that they could nearly build a house.
At this moment, Tian Rong came back with a brown monkey in his mouth.
The monkey indeed had a leopard-like tail, but it looked a bit small and skinny.
The Ju Fu withdrew again, probably because they ran out of stones to throw.
Excluding Jiang Chao Ge, who was bleeding from being hit on the head, everyone else was fine.
Long Xiang and Yun Xi, who stayed in the tent, were perfectly fine.
Tian Rong threw the Ju Fu he had been carrying around in his mouth by its neck onto the ground.
“One is enough.”
Yun Xi crawled out of the tent and walked around the Ju Fu.
“Enough, enough.” He carried the Ju Fu into the tent and placed it on the desk.
He opened the large medicine box, took out a dagger and a bone removing knife, and picked out a small piece of bone from the Ju Fu’s body.
Then he threw the corpse outside.
“Let’s cook and eat it.”
While Yun Xi was preparing to make a spiritual tool, the group was also preparing dinner outside.
In fact, nobody had the appetite to eat.
The hallucinogenic effect of the mist became stronger over time, and several humans began to fall into a trance.
It started off short, just a few seconds, but eventually became longer.
The weapon beasts had to constantly watch over their respective spiritual weapon users, lest they fall into the abyss of illusion and never wake up again.
The group had a tasteless meal and after they were done eating, they proceeded to guard outside the tent, too afraid to sleep.
From inside the tent, the smell of herbs and the stench of animal ingredients wafted out.
Curiously, Jiang Chao Ge lifted the curtain and peeked inside.
He saw a table full of materials he didn’t recognize in front of Yun Xi.
Putting the herbs and animal ingredients aside, there were also some crystals and dyes laid down upon the table.
Yun Xi seemed to have noticed him and turned his head.
Jiang Chao Ge felt embarrassed and was about to let go of the curtain when Yun Xi said, “If you want to see, come on in.”
Jiang Chao Ge didn’t hesitate and went inside without any reservations.
“Won’t I disturb you here?”
“You will.” Yun Xi didn’t even look at him and quickly mixed something with his hands.
“But it’s just a basic summoning of a spiritual tool that I could make since I was six.
It’s okay to disturb me.”
“If you’re not affected, then it’s like I didn’t disturb you,” Jiang Chaoge said.
Yun Xi pursed his lips.
“Then you go out.”
Jiang Chaoge acted as if he didn’t hear it.
“I’m really curious, how do you make spiritual tools?”
Yun Xi said, “It’s simple.
First, you prepare a medicine that summons the soul of a spiritual beast.
Soak the animal ingredients in the medicine, place them on a soul summoning formation drawn with the blood of a spiritual tool master, and light a fire.
Use your spiritual power to ignite the fire and summon the soul of the spiritual beast into the animal ingredients.
Newly dead beasts are the best to summon because their soul is still nearby.
Summoning a spiritual beast takes a lot of time, but if it’s nearby, it doesn’t take almost as long.
After the soul returns to its place, carve the animal ingredients into the shape you want.
This step is difficult, but since we only need a simple spiritual tool, it’s easy.
Two days are enough.”
Jiang Chao Ge nodded.
“I find that your trade is really profitable.
You can make a spiritual tool in just two to three days with little cost, and sell it for hundreds of silver coins or even gold coins.”
Yun Xi chuckled twice but didn’t reply.
Jiang Chao Ge furrowed his brows.
“What do you mean?”
“This type of tool can only summon spiritual beasts, and it’s the lowest and easiest to make among all of the soul weapons.
However, it’s not worth much, at most a few dozen silver coins, it’s rare to sell for hundreds.”
“If you can summon powerful spiritual beasts, then you can sell them for more than just a few hundred silver coins.”
“A good spiritual beast is not used to make the crudest spiritual tools, that would be a waste.
Good spiritual beasts are used to make weapons or armor that can be sold for high prices based on their attributes.
The lowest level type of spiritual tool is usually for farm animals or common pets that are used for remedial tasks.”
Jiang Chao Ge gave a perceptive look, eager to learn.
“Ah, then can you teach me? Making spiritual tools seems simple to me.” He saw that Yun Xi had already prepared a pot of dark, foul-smelling medicine and had chucked the Ju Fu bone into it.
Yun Xi said, “Then you have to practice a set of martial arts if you want to set up a blood formation.
Not everyone can do it.” Yun Xi carried the pot of medicine and went out.
Jiang Chao Ge wrinkled his brow.
“What’s with the attitude?”
Yun Xi sliced his finger with a knife and drew a strange formation on the ground the size of a washbasin.
He placed the pot in the center of the formation and then handed the knife to Jiang Chao Ge.
“What’s this for?” Jiang Chao Ge asked.
“Didn’t you want a personalized spiritual tool? Drop a bit of your blood in there, and only you will be able to summon it from now on.”
“Fascinating.” Jiang Chao Ge smiled, sliced his finger, and squeezed his blood into the pot.
Yun Xi said, “I will use my spiritual power to ignite the fire.
It will take a day at most, then I will be able to summon the spiritual beast.
You cannot let anything disturb me, or it will ruin everything.”
“Don’t worry,” piped in Yu Ren Shu.
Yun Xi started the fire and hung the pot over it.
He sat cross-legged, closed his eyes, and breathed evenly.
The blood formation began to emit a faint light, and soon the mixture in the pot began to boil.
The group was on high alert, fearing both sudden attacks from Ju Fu and getting trapped in illusions.
No one dared to sleep, even though exhausted, they couldn’t let their guard down.
Ju Fu launched two more surprise attacks during the night and Jiang Chao Ge couldn’t help but wonder how the monkeys learned these tactics.
Not only did it weaken their strength and drain their energy, but it was also gradually breaking their morale, leaving them unable to rest and constantly on edge.
The more tense they became, the easier it was for them to get lost in the dense fog.
Each time Ju Fu launched a surprise attack, they grew weaker.
At this rate, in less than three days, they would be finished.
If they were driven to a dead end with no choice but to attack, it would not only waste their energy, but they could also get separated, making it easy for them to be picked off one by one.
Jiang Chao Ge was impressed by this viciously clever strategy, and believed it was nearly impossible to overcome.
The group had no choice but to place all of their hopes on the Ju Fu spiritual weapon.
They gritted their teeth and guarded Yun Xi with all their might.
Even Long Xiang, who was still heavily injured, refused to lie down and instead protected Yun Xi with the rest of the group.
That night seemed to never end.
Long Xiang’s wound had burst open and he fainted, while Ruan Qiansu had been hit by stones in multiple places and couldn’t use her crescent blades anymore.
Zhi Xuan had exhausted all of his spiritual power and had reverted back to a child.
They had to retreat back to their tent.
Yun Xi’s spiritual power had all been used up in the Resurrection Array, and he couldn’t summon the zhen niao birds anymore.
Their difficult situation just kept getting worse.
Jiang Chao Ge had never been in such an exhausting situation like this before.
In previous battles, no matter how fierce they were, they were always resolved quickly.
It was nothing compared to the pain he felt now, with the anxiety, fear, and despair stretching on without end, becoming more unbearable with each passing moment.
It was like a small knife slowly cutting deeper into one’s flesh, initially not too painful but gradually becoming unbearable, until it became an insurmountable burden.
Yu Ren Shu and Jiang Chao Ge were in a state of exhaustion, panting and covered in sweat and blood.
They looked like they could collapse at any moment, but they gritted their teeth and persisted.
Tian Rong and Zui You weren’t faring much better; their previously sleek fur was matted with blood, and their eyes were filled with a beastly killing intent that couldn’t hide their distress.
It was their most difficult and chaotic night.
By the time morning came, Jiang Chao Ge could barely keep his eyes open, and he had to use the Zhi Xuan sword to prop himself up to avoid falling.
If the Ju Fu launched another attack at that moment, they were unsure if they could keep protecting Yun Xi.
Yun Xi whispered, “Hold on a little longer.
We’ve already retrieved its soul.”
Jiang Chao Ge wiped the blood off his face and replied, “Hurry up, or it’s our own souls that will end up disappearing.”
Yu Ren Shu’s silver hair was stuck to his face, and he gritted his teeth, “How much longer is this going to last?”
“According to the Ju Fu’s attack frequency, you’ll have to hold on for one more attack,” Yun Xi said.
“Damn it…” Jiang Chao Ge felt like he could collapse at any moment.
He mumbled, “If I die, could you turn me into a spiritual weapon and summon me back?”
Yun Xi and Yu Ren Shu were visibly stunned, their faces turning somewhat unnatural.
Yun Xi said, “Using a human as a spiritual weapon is a taboo that goes against the heavens.
Don’t even think about it.”
Jiang Chao Ge had just spoken offhandedly, and didn’t expect such a serious response.
He had a feeling that there was a story behind it, but he didn’t have the strength to ask.
The eerie laughter echoed out from the fog once again, less than an hour after the last ambush.
Jiang Chao Ge was filled with anger and frustration, shouting, “Are these bastards throwing rocks at us again?!”
Tian Rong and Zui You got up from the ground and protected Yun Xi with their bodies.
The rain of stones fell once more, and with their backs pressed against each other, Jiang Chao Ge and Yu Ren Shu yelled, lifted their shields, and swung weapons.
With a loud clang, they simultaneously knocked away a rock!
Stones flew from all directions, and Tian Rong and Zui You were too large to dodge them.
They could only use their bodies to block the stones, which only a few of them could be deflected.
In order to protect Yun Xi and the Resurrection Array, they had to endure the pain of being hit by the stones.
Their beautiful fur was splattered with blood, and the scene was brutal and gruesome.
Yu Ren Shu and Jiang Chao Ge’s shields were on the verge of being smashed to pieces, with rocks of all sizes hitting them constantly.
They did their best to protect their vital points, but for other areas, they could only leave it to fate.
Jiang Chao Ge’s arms were numb, and he couldn’t feel them anymore.
Since his spiritual power had increased, he no longer felt that the Zhi Xuan sword was heavy.
However, using only one arm to swing it continuously throughout the night was taking a toll on him.
The progress he made in his swordsmanship during this night might exceed that of the past several months combined.
Jiang Chao Ge’s leg was hit by a stone, causing him intense pain, and he fell to one knee.
Zhi Xuan looked at him covered in blood, and his eyes seemed like they were on fire.
His expression was twisted and savage, no longer resembling that of a human.
Jiang Chao Ge knew that he wanted to transform, so he quickly hugged him and shouted, “Zhi Xuan, don’t! I can handle this, these injuries will heal, I can handle it!”
Zhi Xuan embraced his neck, his voice trembling, “It’s painful, is it?”
Jiang Chao Ge’s eyes were slightly moist, and he had the impulse to cry, “This level of pain is nothing to me.
Don’t deplete your cultivation any further, or our chances of victory against stronger beasts will decrease.
I can handle it now, trust me, let’s go back into the tent.”
Zhi Xuan tightly grabbed his clothes, and his golden eyes were filled with endless struggle.
Jiang Chao Ge pinched his small chin and kissed him hard on the forehead, “Listen to me.” He then stuffed Zhi Xuan back into the tent and pulled the curtain closed.
A stone hit him hard on the left shoulder, causing him to muffle a groan and fall to the ground.
Zhi Xuan wanted to rush out, but Jiang Chao Ge grabbed the tent flap and growled, “Don’t come out!”
A strong hand grabbed Jiang Chao Ge’s arm and pulled him up from the ground.
He looked up and met Yu Ren Shu’s exhausted but steadfast gaze.
Jiang Chao Ge reached over and grabbed his hand, squeezing it tightly.
The two leaned back-to-back, resisting the barrage of stones pouring down.
Even if the pain was unbearable, as long as they had a breath left, they would not give up!
Yun Xi suddenly opened his eyes and reached into the steaming medicine pot with one hand, taking out the spiritual tool and exclaimed, “It’s done!” At the same time, he summoned two zhen niao birds with his remaining spiritual power, protecting Yu Ren Shu and Jiang Chao Ge in front of him.
The two could no longer hold on, and they both fell to the ground, barely conscious.
Yun Xi dragged them into the tent.
Fortunately, the attack had already come to an end, and the beasts gradually dispersed.
Yun Xi was excited, holding up the spiritual tool, “It’s done, it’s done, it can definitely get us out!”
Jiang Chao Ge half-squinted his eyes and looked at the small spiritual tool, and breathed a sigh of relief before fainting.
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