Chapter 29 Book 1: 27: After Scouting
Chapter 29 Book 1: 27: After Scouting
Book 1: Chapter 27: After Scouting
Shortly before dusk, by a small creek in the Innate Puzzle World:
Gu Hai and Gao Xianzhi waited patiently by the tent.
Suddenly, the sound of grass rustling reached their ears. Then, Chen Tianshan leaped out.
“Senior Chen, you finally returned. The sun is about to set already,” Gao Xianzhi said with a smile.
Suddenly, Gu Hai raised his eyebrows.
“Division Master, I have scouted the area. The flames of battle appeared to the north. There is a conflict taking place there. I guess that there are natives there,” Chen Tianshan reported.
Gu Hai nodded and said, “To the north? Pack up and immediately prepare to head north!”
“Ah? However, Division Master, a conflict already took place in the north. The treasures there definitely have been snatched away already. There would be no point in going there,” Chen Tianshan said with a frown.
“Our purpose is not the treasures in this independent world but to find a person. It would be easier to search for the Unborn Man in places where there are many natives.”
“Oh, yes!” Chen Tianshan nodded.
“Division Master, we are immediately packing up everything now? We are not waiting for Song Qingshu?” Gao Xianzhi looked at Gu Hai.
“Song Qingshu?” Gu Hai’s eyes narrowed as he said, “He already betrayed us!”
“Ah?” Chen Tianshan’s and Gao Xianzhi’s expressions changed.
Chen Tianshan appeared confused. However, Gao Xianzhi showed a trace of an unsightly expression. “Division Master is right. Division Master has already warned him twice before. The First Song Sect disciples are just nearby; it would be very easy for him to get information. If he wanted to stay, he would have worked hard and rushed back. He would only be back early and not late. Now…”
“Wait, two warnings? What do you mean by Song Qingshu betraying us?” Chen Tianshan asked blankly.
Without saying much, Gu Hai quickly carried the snake lady out in a blanket. After packing up the tent, he looked at everyone and said, “Alright, let’s go.”
“Yes!” Gao Xianzhi answered.
“Wait, what if Song Qingshu is just putting in extra effort to scout the place? How could he betray us?” Chen Tianshan exclaimed.
Gu Hai did not explain. Instead, he just headed into the forest with the blanket-wrapped snake lady.
“Senior Chen, there’s no need to feel conflicted about this. Even if the Division Master misjudged, at least we would be safe, right?” Gao Xianzhi said with a smile.
Chen Tianshan showed a strange look. Then, he followed the other two into the forest with a skeptical, bitter smile.
As the group traveled through the forest quickly, the sky slowly turned dark.
Four hours later, at the side of the earlier creek:
Grass rustled as forty First Song Sect disciples wielding weapons appeared, looking around, with Song Qingshu at the very front.
“It is definitely this place. Where are they? Did they run really quickly?” Song Qingshu said with an unsightly expression.
Song Qingshu returned so late because he wanted to play it safe. He searched for all the nearby First Song Sect disciples to make sure nothing could go wrong. Unexpectedly, Gu Hai and the others had disappeared by the time he returned.
Did they run? Can I still make use of my advantage?
“Search around! Search everywhere! Even if you have to dig one meter into the ground, find them!” Song Qingshu ordered with a depressed, twisted expression.
The next morning:
Gu Hai, Chen Tianshan, and Gao Xianzhi rested by a lake in the forest.
“Division Master, if it is as you say, we won’t be able to hide our movements for long,” Chen Tianshan said with a frown.
“The First Song Sect has some tracking skills. Of course, it is not some incredible technique. Some of their predecessors compiled their experiences in tracking people based on footprints, shrubbery damage, and strangeness in terrain. If many First Song Sect disciples are pursuing us, some people skilled in tracking will be among them. It is just a matter of time before they find us,” Chen Tianshan said worriedly.”
“Tracking skills?” Gu Hai said with a slight frown.
“Division Master, if that is the case, it will be somewhat problematic,” Gao Xianzhi said worriedly.
Gu Hai nodded and said, “It’s not a problem. Let me give this a try.”
“Try? Try what?” Chen Tianshan opened his eyes wide.
What was there to try?
However, Gao Xianzhi’s eyes gleamed as he stared at Gu Hai.
After all, the enemy was pursuing them. It would be a fool’s dream to want to figure out the enemy’s situation without coming in contact with them. Investigating the people one pursued would be easy. However, how were they to investigate the people chasing them?
Gu Hai smiled faintly, appearing to notice Gao Xianzhi’s suspicions. Then, he took out a sack from the authority token’s compressed space.
“Gao Xianzhi, split the contents of this sack into ten. Then, scatter them there, there, there…a total of ten places!” Gu Hai instructed Gao Xianzhi, letting Gao Xianzhi do the heavy work.
“Yes!” Gao Xianzhi said excitedly.
Chen Tianshan appeared confused. The snake lady, who just woke up, also looked at this scene in confusion.
“Division Master, are these food provisions? Millet?” Gao Xianzhi asked out of curiosity.
Gu Hai nodded.
Gao Xianzhi quickly carried out Gu Hai’s instructions. Soon, he scattered the sack of millet in ten different places.
“What next?” Chen Tianshan asked, still confused.
“Let’s go!” Gu Hai smiled as he carried the snake lady.
Chen Tianshan: “…!”
Gao Xianzhi looked at the scattered millet and entered deep thought. Then, he followed Gu Hai into the forest, continuing their journey.
“Benefactor, thank you for saving me,” the snake lady said gratefully.
As Gu Hai traveled through the forest while carrying the snake lady, he smiled and said, “There’s no need to thank me. When your injuries are healed, I’ll send you away.”
“Ah? Benefactor, I…I…I have nowhere to go. How about I follow Benefactor?” the snake lady suddenly cried.
“You have nowhere to go? What about your parents?” Gu Hai asked, feeling curious.
“I do not have any parents. Since I hatched eight years ago, I have never seen my parents. Right after I hatched, the people here captured me to be a servant. They bullied me every day, even sending me to death! Sob! Sob! Sob!” the snake lady cried.
“Oh? You are only eight years old?” Gu Hai said in shock.
Chen Tianshan also felt confused at this. “How can this be? You already became a snake spirit in just eight years, even materializing a human head?”
“I…I don’t know why. I have looked like this since hatching. Benefactor, let me follow you, alright? I won’t bring you any trouble. I can farm herbs and can help you care for your herb fields in the future,” the snake lady said sorrowfully.
“Alright. Treat your injuries first. We will discuss this again after you are healed.” Gu Hai nodded with a bitter smile.
“Thank you, Benefactor!” The snake lady smiled, no longer crying.
“What is your name?” Gu Hai asked.
The snake lady shook her head and replied, “I do not have a name. They either called me demon, snake spirit, or little beast. I…”
“How can you not have a name? I’ll give you a name, then. You shall be called Xiaorou!” Gu Hai said with a smile.
[TL Note: Xiaorou means little soft/supple.]
“Yes. I am Xiaorou. Benefactor, thank you for granting me a name!” the snake lady immediately said happily.
She was just eight years old. No wonder she still had such a young face.
“That’s right. I seemed to have heard that the natives of this independent world brought you to block the outsiders. However, after the outsiders captured them, they committed suicide. Are the natives all so ferocious and unyielding?” Gu Hai asked, feeling curious.
Gu Hai could not understand this. Committing suicide upon being captured? Only Xiaorou feared death, and all the others didn’t?
Xiaorou shook her head. “How can that be? Their deaths do not matter, as they can reincarnate very quickly.”
“Oh?” Chen Tianshan felt curious.
“I heard that death does not matter to the people here. As long as babies are being born, they can immediately reincarnate into a baby. There are even people who commit suicide to reincarnate upon learning of their poor cultivation talent. Of course, I also heard that some first elder ordered that the people were not to commit suicide without a proper reason. Otherwise, he would seal the memories of their past lives. That stopped many people from committing suicide,” Xiaorou recalled.
“What? Are you saying that the souls of people who died here do not leave but reincarnate in this independent world?” Chen Tianshan asked in shock.
“The memories of their past lives? What does that mean?” Gu Hai said, feeling curious.
“I heard that the first elder has a piece of Three Life Stone, which can help newborns recall the memories of their past lives. Because of that, many babies can start cultivating immediately. Cultivating as a baby would be faster. Of course, the Three Life Stone can also seal the memories of their past lives,” Xiaorou explained.
“So, that is the reason. No wonder the natives do not fear death!” Chen Tianshan marveled.
“Oh, right, I heard that many outsiders entered in the past. What happened to them after they died?” Gao Xianzhi asked, feeling curious.
“When outsiders die in here, their souls cannot escape, either. They will reincarnate here. However, they do not reincarnate as humans but into all sorts of animals, just like me. They could be pigs, cows, sheep, birds, and many more. However, they are not so lucky; they cannot recover the memories of their past lives,” Xiaorou explained.
“Is this because that first elder does not permit the use of the Three Life Stone to recover the outsider’s memories of their past lives, as they were enemies?” Gu Hai asked with a frown.
“That should be the reason. Furthermore, I heard from my former master that they just had to endure for one year. When the entrance closes, a heavenly punishment will descend on all the outsiders to this world. No matter how capable they were, they will all suffer the wrath of heaven, destroyed by the heavenly punishment,” Xiaorou explained.
“The Innate Puzzle World? What an incredible ritual array!” Gu Hai exclaimed in shock.
As the group chatted, they walked very far away. After six hours, they arrived midway up a mountain.
“Division Master, look!” Gao Xianzhi immediately shouted with a gleam in his eyes.
Gu Hai, Xiaorou, and Chen Tianshan looked in the direction Gao Xianzhi pointed at.
That place was the lakeside in the forest where the group rested earlier. As a dense forest covered the view, they could not see the lakeside. However, they saw a flock of birds suddenly taking to the sky, appearing startled. However, as they flew in the air, they did not leave. Instead, they remained in the vicinity.
After that, another flock of birds flew into the sky not far away, then circled in the air after being startled.
“Those are sparrows? Hey, there are some other small birds as well,” Chen Tianshan said, feeling curious.
“There are quite a lot of people,” Gu Hai said with narrowed eyes.
“Division Master, did we scatter the millet earlier to attract the surrounding birds to come and feed? To make them stand guard for us?” Gao Xianzhi speculated with a gleam in his eyes.
Gu Hai nodded.
“The arrival of Song Qingshu and the others must have startled the birds. Since we scattered the millet all over the place, there would only be one or two groups of birds flying out if it were ordinary people or beasts. However, birds flew out from all ten places. That means that Song Qingshu’s group fanned out to search,” Gao Xianzhi said after some thought.
Gu Hai nodded and said, “The birds circled the area because they are reluctant to leave the food behind. They are just waiting for this group of people to leave.”
Indeed, after a while, the circling birds returned to where they flew out from.
“They are giving chase!” Gao Xianzhi’s expression changed.
“Ah? There really are people following us, searching for us?” Chen Tianshan’s eyes were wide with surprise.
Now, Gao Xianzhi learned one more thing. He immediately bowed to Gu Hai and said, “Many thanks for Division Master’s guidance!”
Gu Hai nodded. Then, he looked into the distance and frowned.
“The First Song Sect disciples are really pursuing us? Right now, I am restricted to the Innate Realm. If they have a lot of people, I…!” Chen Tianshan’s expression turned unsightly.
“Division Master, what should we do next?” Gao Xianzhi looked at Gu Hai.
“Song Qingshu is showing clear disregard for his superiors. Of course, he deserves the death penalty. Since he dares to bring people to surround and kill us, he has to be ready to die!” Gu Hai said coldly.
“Ah? You want to deal with Song Qingshu from so far away? Do you think you are just telling a story? It is not that easy,” Chen Tianshan said skeptically.