Chapter 168: The Red Weasel
Having fed the red staff spiritual energy, a red transparent weasel appeared from the aura of the weapon then it twisted itself around Wang Ju Long’s body and finally came to a standstill on her shoulder.
The weasel looked at the humans in the room before it let out an ear piercing screech and an overbearing aura filled the room. The weasel slipped from her shoulder and merged with the aura; a red hue billowed out from the weapon, increasing the baleful aura.
The aura was so intense that Wang Ju Long, who was holding the staff in her hand, felt the energy flooding into her body and it raised her combat strength at least a star or two above her actual level.
Unfortunately, just as before the spiritual energy was sucked out of the young woman leaving her listless and exhausted as she slumped to the floor exhaling loudly.
Hui Yue grabbed the staff as it was dropped by Wang Ju Long. Curiously he inserted some of his own spiritual energy into the staff, and excitedly waited to see what would happen.
Except nothing happened. The staff felt exactly like a normal staff. It did not feel like the weapon he just saw; a weapon which grew in strength the moment more spiritual energy was added. It felt nothing like what he just saw when Wang Ju Long used it.
Humming slightly, Hui Yue handed the staff back to the exhausted woman who quickly stored it away and once more accepted a medicinal pill from her white-haired friend to help her recover faster.
While handing over the pill, Hui Yue gently caressed the finger who reached forward, causing the face of Wang Ju Long to turn beetred and she withdrew her hand instantly. Seeing her expression laughter escaped his lips as he found a new joy in teasing the stoic woman in front of him.
Seeing the exchange, both Deng Wu and Sha Yun was somewhat taken aback; however, while Deng Wu looked curiously with laughter in his eyes, Sha Yun’s eyes were filled with anger. Her lips were shut tight and no words were spoken about her complicated feelings.
Clearing his throat, Deng Wu finally decided to break up the incredibly awkward atmosphere in the room which only Hui Yue seemed to be enjoying. He was shamelessly observing the increasingly embarrassed expression on Wang Ju Long’s face with gentle smile on his face.
“Well it seems as if no one other than Ju Long is capable of calling forth the weasel,” He commented, and Hui Yue instantly looked at his friends, his eyes serious once again.
A sigh of relief escaped Wang Ju Long’s lips but Sha Yun kept staring at the black-haired woman. If eyes were capable of killing then she would have been dead long ago.
“What do you think is wrong with the weapon?” Hui Yue asked curiously but no reply was heard, and instead he sat down in meditation allowing for his consciousness to enter his dantian cave where he sat next to Lan Feng.
The phoenix was frowning as it was illuminated by a golden hue, as one drop after another of Hui Yue’s spiritual energy entered into his forehead and caused the droplet to shine for a moment, only to dull again afterwards.
It was obvious that Lan Feng was refining Wu Wei, something which Hui Yue definitely had no intention of interrupting, instead, he sat still observing the bird for a few moments until the golden hue grew dimmer and dimmer before disappearing completely.
‘What do you want?’ The phoenix asked with an annoyed voice, ‘I can’t give you anymore strength right now, I’m working very hard to restore my own!’
‘I don’t need your strength.’ Hui Yue said quickly, his hands raised in a defensive gesture, ‘You’ve been so busy lately that you missed something.’ He continued and then went on to explain what happened with Wang Ju Long’s weapon and the more he explained the more interested Lan Feng was.
‘I see.’ Being quiet for a moment before he continued, Hui Yue could not help but look with baited breath as he hoped that there was an answer for what had happened.
‘Do you remember that I told you humans can integrate with the soul of a divine beast, or a very strong magical beast?’ He asked first as Hui Yue nodded his head. It was something he had learned the same day he realized Lan Feng had tricked him. There was no way that he would forget it.
‘It is not only humans who are capable of integrating the souls of magical beasts or divine beasts, though it is much harder to integrate souls into weapons, it is still possible. Considering how much strength she gains when the weasel appears I believe that it is a King or at maximum an Emperor ranked beast.’
‘She has been incredibly lucky.’ Lan Feng continued, now that he finally had a good reason to talk again, he decided to astonish his friend with knowledge that was within his head after living for many millennia.
‘When a weapon has a soul within, one needs to become accepted by the soul before it becomes willing to lend its powers to the owner. That being said, I have no idea how someone gets accepted,’ Lan Feng quickly added as he saw Hui Yue opening his mouth.
‘Just be happy that some luck came your way. The weasel will look after the girl for you, and she won’t die so easily any longer.’ Somehow, hearing those words Hui Yue felt his heart trembled and a stone lifted from his shoulders.
Wang Ju Long was not weak, however, she chose a path of cultivation where she would heal and assist others rather than fight and kill. Her attacks relied mainly on plants, and she herself could only rely on martial art skills, or her staff skills, but she was far weaker than most who specialized in combat. Knowing that the staff was not ordinary, it being staff which contained a strong divine or magical beast who decided to protect her, was something Hui Yue could only be grateful about.
Lan Feng, seeing the happiness on the other’s face smiled gently before he once more closed his eyes as golden light radiated from his body. Looking at the bird, Hui Yue had a feeling as if the bird was preparing for something, that he was waiting for something important to happen.
This thought caused Hui Yue to be extra vigilant. Could Lan Feng perhaps have sent them into the Dungeons of the Divine knowing that they would have to rely on his strength later on? Even little dragon had hidden himself as well, Deng Wu was unable to get an answer from the lizard just like Hui Yue wasn’t hearing anything from the phoenix.
Sighing deeply, he knew that he would not be given an answer if he actually asked the bird and instead he returned to his body and opened his eyes. After which he explained the weasel to everyone present.
At first Wang Ju Long felt slightly uncomfortable having a weapon with a soul trapped within it, however, after thinking about how the creature accepted of her the discomfort quickly changed into that of honor. She nodded her head hard as her hands clenched tight, determination shone in her eyes.
Being at the inn, Hui Yue and the others all sat down and started to relax as no killing intent was evident. In the rooms next door, it was easy to hear the loud guards drinking beer that they bought in the restaurant downstairs.
Neither Xie Lan nor Xu Piao were visible anywhere, but that did not worry Hui Yue. It was possible that the two of them were just quiet within their room doing different work related things, or perhaps enjoying some quality time together.
Although everything was quiet and relaxing, it was impossible for Hui Yue to be completely at ease. Although he was quite certain that Scarface would wait for him at the final cave, there was still possibilities that it was only wishful thinking and that he was close by.
This caused Hui Yue to stay vigilant even while relaxing with his friends, and when everyone went to sleep he sat still all night, observing the courtyard for anything that moved.
Around him snoring sounds could be heard and there was no one walking on the stairs outside, nor was there anyone moving in the darkness. As the night grew dimmer, the sun broke through the sky and Hui Yue once more assured himself that the man would be waiting for them at the final cave, but a small voice in his mind told him to stay vigilant. Even if it was likely, there was always a small chance of things not going according to plan.
The day commenced and the group started travelling again. The Golden Lion’s Cave was as large as the Demon Dwelling Cave and after a week the group reached the capital city of the cave; however, unlike when they reached the capital in the Demon Dwelling Cave, nothing exciting happened here.
They took a break for a day, but that day was spent in their hotel rooms and the next morning they once more took to the roads, the caravan swiftly making its way towards yet another tunnel system.
Every day Hui Yue was on guard, and every night he would sit awake and watch their surroundings. But day after day as nothing happened, Hui Yue felt as though it was a waste of energy and slowly allowed for himself to use the nights to cultivate. In the end his strength was far from enough to battle Scarface himself, as such he needed to spend every moment he had to improve.
Reaching the end of the Golden Lion’s Cave, yet another tunnel-system awaited them and this time the group decided to travel on the lit road. During their trip on the lit up main path they were not alone, but they met groups of people who were also travelling through the system. Cave after cave and tunnel after tunnel, everything soon started looking the same. Soon Hui Yue and the group managed to get safely to the halfway point between where they started and the Dragon Corp’s headquarters, the cave known as the Dragon Core.
The cave they were in was the same cave where they would have to say goodbye to the young master Yang Bai and his entourage.
They arrived within the cave days before and now they were moving towards the academy city, the whole city existed because of the academy which had taken root there. The cave was known as the Thousand River’s Cave, as numerous amounts of rivers ran through the cave. Some of them formed into a large lake which took up half of the ground within this cave.
Their destination was at the lake side and the group all hurried towards the academy. The group had been on the road for half a year, and during this half-year multiple things had changed for them. Hui Yue was about to break into the Grandmaster rank; Deng Wu was about to become a second star Grandmaster while Wang Ju Long and Sha Yun both had reached the ninth star of the Master rank.
During the trip not much happened which allowed for the group to focus on their cultivation, something which they were all grateful for. Hui Yue, however, was at a bottleneck and he was unable to get any further until he fought in some sort of battle where he could push his cultivation base to its limit. Sparring alone was not enough for him to achieve a breakthrough.
The fact that both Wang Ju Long and Sha Yun had reached the ninth star Master rank was because of their constant hard work, even Hui Yue had to admit that the two women worked much harder than what he expected.
Looking at the lake in front of him, at the beautiful water lilies and the various white birds swimming in the lake, Hui Yue decided that the party needed to stay in this beautiful cave for a short while and regroup. Whether they decided to take on another mission, or if they wanted to travel on on their own this was something which Hui Yue had to decide soon. But some things came first and while nodding to the carriage as they moved towards the lake and the city which was going to be their final destination.