Chapter 108: Poppies
Hearing what Sha Yun said, Hui Yue instantly stopped taking the wolf corpse apart and placed a hand on the stone floor, merging with the stone to scout the tunnel ahead of them.
It was exactly as Sha Yun had said, and a sneer was visible on Hui Yue’s face as he quickly returned to his body.
Thinking quickly, Hui Yue gestured to the others that they should withdraw for now, drawing back to the location where they had started, as the tunnel was the smallest there. While facing such a horde of wolves, it was beneficial to limit the amount they would have to fight at once.
Standing back, Wang Ju Long once more spread her plant seeds on the ground. This time she only used two incantations: the one which created poppies and the other which sprouted a tree trunk with multiple roots underneath the stone floor.
Deng Wu sighed as he swept across one of his storage stones, picking up a large stack of middle ranked inscriptions.
These inscriptions were all powered by spiritual energy, but none of them were as powerful as the ones he had used against the previous wolf. Deng Wu did not have the luxury to keep burning his cultivation base and instead picked up the premade inscriptions instead.
Sha Yun was no longer complacent while seated in the stone chair. She was instead gathering all her energy from her beast core in preparation of unleashing wave after wave of Earthen Spikes, ready to impale one wolf after another.
Hui Yue was the only one who was not preparing. Within his right hand was his Black Blood dagger, and after having sent a small amount of spiritual energy into it, he did nothing more than circulate the spiritual energy and Qi within his meridians, ready to assist should the others not be able to deal the final blow to the wolves.
Having returned to the entrance, only one wolf could attack at a time. Although this strategy was much safer, it would be important for Hui Yue and the others to save their spiritual energy when facing off against the wolves, unfortunately. They would be in quite a bit of trouble should their energy run out before the wolves did.
As a means of practice and to save spiritual energy, the friends quickly came up with the idea of killing five wolves each before switching out. This would let them have someone with their energy reserved at all times, able to step in should a higher ranked beast appear or any mishaps occur.
Growling could be heard as a wolf tried its luck, moving slowly towards the poisonous flowers and the youngsters behind them.
Its eyes were lit with intelligence, much like the previous wolf’s, and its fangs were bared in a sneer as it slowly inched closer and closer.
The flowers bloomed beautifully in the rays of light, which cascaded out from within the light stone, and Hui Yue could not help but feel a slight anticipation as he waited for the wolves.
The wolf looked at the flowers, but as though it knew they were toxic, it inhaled deeply and held its breath as it tiptoed through the flower field.
Hui Yue had never seen Wang Ju Long using such abilities before, so he looked at her in confusion with a hint of curiosity. Had the wolf truly overcome her flowers?
As soon as Hui Yue turned his head to look at Wang Ju Long, a single word escaped her lips. As soon as the mouth had closed, agonizing howls could be heard from within the flower field.
Hui Yue turned around in shock and the sight caused his eyes to widen in surprise, as the wolf was being dissolved while still alive.
The flowers had released a poisonous fog which grouped around the wolf, attaching itself to the soft fur and slowly corroding its skin. The fog entered the body and turned the petrified wolf into a mass of liquefied flesh and bones.
Seeing this, Hui Yue rose an eyebrow and could not help but let out a praising whistle. Although the flowers were unable to move, it was obvious that they managed to deal with the wolf in a simple and effective way.
The stench of blood quickly aggravated the wolves and one fierce howl after another could be heard from deep within the tunnels. The howls were so piercing that even the guards standing outside the gate leading to the tunnels shivered from the sounds. They immediately sent a message to the City Lord, letting him know that something was amiss within the tunnels. Even these guards were capable enough to know that it was due to the entourage they had allowed in.
Looking at the few scraps left from the first wolf, Hui Yue noticed how flowers close to the carcass seemed to have sprouted roots above the ground which sucked up the liquid goo, causing the poppies to undergo a transformation.
Seeing this unexpected result, Hui Yue stopped with his previous idea of switching between cultivators right away and chose to ask Wang Ju Long to continue for as long as she could, as he found the transformation interesting.
Although it hurt his heart slightly to see the many valuable materials turn into plant fodder, he still did not complain, rather deciding to watch and see if the plants could hold their own.
Seconds after, great shock filled Hui Yue as he saw how the flowers fought each other for the sake of absorbing the beast core. Each flower in the area was frantic in their attempts to absorb the others. Some attacked each other straightforwardly while others seemed as though they preferred ambushes.
The field, which had originally been filled with poppies, quickly grew smaller and smaller while the few poppies that remained grew larger and larger in size. The final poppies were about to start fighting one another when the sound of another wolf appeared; they instantly stopped in their tracks, slowly settling on the stone floor, and once more waited patiently for the wolf to advance into their domain.
The petals which had been a beautiful red now shined with a red hue, a mist very similar to the one within Hui Yue’s dantian cave. This time, Hui Yue did not dare remove his eyes from the flowers and closely observed every moment of the attack.
The wolf was unable to see the corpse of the previous beast, causing it to feel fairly confident as it made its way past the flowers. But as soon as it was within reach, Hui Yue gaped in surprise. He saw how the flowers did not emit the poisonous smog from earlier.They actually used their roots to bind the unsuspecting wolf, transmitting the poison and instantly absorbing the flesh left behind.
The flowers not close enough to partake in the wolf banquet ripped up their roots and made their way to the already dead wolf, injecting their own poison and digesting the wolf, increasing their own strength.
From the point the vines and roots swirled around the wolf till the moment it died was less than the time it took for 1 incense stick to burn. The wolf had no time to scream out in despair.
Although the scent of blood thickened, more wolves appeared in the distance, as they assumed the first wolf had success considering the lack of agonizing howls. However, as soon as they saw the flowers feas on a pack brother, hate and indignation were visible within their intelligent eyes. A few barks resounded out as two wolves squeezed together, moving their target from the young humans to the flowers digesting their comrades.
The wolves were in no way something which should be underestimated, as when the two wolves launched their attacks together, the poppies started losing vines and roots. Unfortunately for the wolves, biting the roots filled them with poison. But even then they kept putting up a fight, determined to take down the flowers with them.
As the two wolves finally succumbed to poison, only one of the poppies was still standing. It was a flower which had not participated in the previous battle, but instead took the opportunity to absorb the two previous beast cores.
Hui Yue finally understood what Lan Feng meant when he said that even flowers had a cultivation base and the ability to gain strength much like humans. These seeds were definitely special, allowing for cultivators with an affinity for the Wood element to share their cultivation base with the flowers.
Pondering a little, Hui Yue turned to Wang Ju Long. “This flower…” he started with a cunning smile on his face. “Does it stay for some time? Or is it alive until broken?”
Wang Ju Long thought about the question for a little while. She had practiced the flowery field often, yet this was the first time she had been in fight where she was capable of using it; although, her previous experience told her that the flower would stay until it was destroyed.
“Perfect!” Hui Yue cheered as he patted the girl’s shoulder. “Call the flower here and bring the wolf corpses too. Feeding these things to your flower seem to make it stronger. Having a watchdog like this is not a bad idea.”
Hearing the suggestion from Hui Yue, Wang Ju Long did not wait long before closing her eyes and allowing for a bit of her will to enter the plant, informing it about the orders.
The plant, as though it were highly intelligent, instantly did as ordered. It twisted two vines about the dead wolves and another three around the dead flowers, tugging all four corpses back to its creator and quickly started digesting the new energy sources.
Seeing how easily Wang Ju Long had dealt with four wolves and had even managed to produce a plant which intrigued Hui Yue, Sha Yun could not help but feel a burning jealousy within her stomach. She rushed forward, dead set on being the next one to face the wolves. She would prove to Hui Yu what true strength was.
Sha Yun grumbled, as no wolves were coming her way, and her tail was slowly tapping against the ground, showing her extreme displeasure.
The wolves, however, showed absolutely no signs of attacking. Instead, they settled down in a group five hundred metres away from the entrance as they patiently waited for the cultivators to give up and try attacking all of them at once.
The wolves were not as intelligent as the young cultivators, but although they were not as intelligent, they were still far from dumb. It had been easy for them to see that every wolf which had tried their luck against the humans perished, and considering how often this happened, it was safe to say that the wolves stood no chance in their current location.
This in turn caused the leading male of the pack to call all his eager wolves back with him, as he relocated to a place where all the wolves were together, but at the same time not allowing for Hui Yue to sneak past them.
Having merged with the earth, which the tunnels were made from, Hui Yue observed the entire retreat and had to admit that the wolves were smarter than expected.
Although they were weaker than his friends and himself, they had an astonishing advantage in numbers. Even if Hui Yue went all out, it was likely that they would get injured in the process.
Getting injured on the way to the magnificent Dragon Corps was not on Hui Yue’s to do list. Instead, he leaned against the chilled tunnel wall and closed his eyes, thinking through their options.
Unfortunately, as soon as his eyes closed, he felt the shadow of a figure flash forward; when he opened his eyes, he noticed that Sha Yun had rushed towards the direction of the wolves. While swearing, Hui Yue rushed up and gestured for the others to follow as he dashed after Sha Yun.