Chapter 345: Arriving at the Grave
The Blood Vulture family were not the only ones who attempted to extort money from the many merchants and craftsmen who followed the group of cultivators slowly making their way to the Grave of the Unknown. Though every time they reached Cou Ling and demanded her to pay a fee, Hui Yue showed no sympathy nor mercy as he got rid of one group after another.
Every time, he delivered the money back to the people who were robbed he would then give the rest of the gold to Cou Ling to share with the other merchants. Hui Yue kept all the storage stones with items for himself. Already halfway to the grave, Hui Yue had accumulated quite the haul of treasures. Shortly after he made a small stall for himself selling weapons, armor, and various items. All the medicinal pills he came across he kept for himself; however, the martial art skills that he found were sold. None of them could hold a candle to the skills Hui Yue gained from Lan Feng.
At first, the merchants looked confusedly at the young man who suddenly created a stall from a few branches, but they could not help but laugh slightly when they saw what he put up for sale. While these items he sold were of great use to other experts, they all meant little to Hui Yue, therefore, selling them was a great way to waste time during their trip.
His friends noticed that he was selling items, and they all came to chat with him. Everyone was quite amused to find that Hui Yue had gained all these items as loot just from protecting Cou Ling. Even the prince who visited the stall ended up laughing at how Hui Yue had obtained the items.
This time was also when Hui Yue requested someone to lead Cou Ling back to Muchuan City safely, and the prince instantly agreed. He said that he could not afford for any of his merchants or craftsmen to be wounded. They were important for trade within the capital and paying them extra attention was, of course, necessary.
Hui Yue had been incredibly relieved when he heard this. While he knew the main reason for the prince to send out his personal bodyguards was due to his gift from earlier, but he didn’t care in the least. As long as Cou Ling arrived safely, that was all that matters. Especially since the main reason was to cause the third prince to be less alert around him. Anything else was merely icing on the cake.
Ma Kong, Gao Yan, the Rong twins, and Deng Wu all came to visit Hui Yue when they saw that he had a stall open, but their conversations were short. They were all part of other groups whom they needed to socialize with, and didn’t have a lot of time to spend with Hui Yue. While they were together, Hui Yue managed to stress the importance of their lives, warning them not to be blinded by treasure as he was worried about them.
After a few days, even Sha Yun and Wang Ju Long came to visit him. Sha Yun was behaving as odd as she had been before; she casually greeted Hui Yue, but she did not stay long, and she did not introduce Hui Yue to the people whom she was with.
Wang Ju Long came by one evening, and she had greeted him quietly. She reminded him that he needed to be careful in the grave and that if he was injured, he should find her. By the time she stopped speaking her face was completely red, and even her ears were burning as she rushed into the crowd of people clearly embarrassed.
While Hui Yue was talking with Wang Ju Long his demeanor had completely changed. His entire being was gentle and warm, his voice alluring, and his eyes filled with admiration. Seeing him like this, Cou Ling felt her heart skip a beat after which it ached. Shocked she looked at herself as raising a hand to cover her breast. Why did she react this way, she thought bewildered.
“Halt!” A scream sounded out as everyone was walking through the uncomfortable terrain. The voice called everyone to a standstill, and even the many chatting cultivators abruptly stopped.
From the front, the voice which had called everyone a halt belonged to a Saint who reinforced it with Wu Wei to ensure everyone heard it. “The grave is located deep within this magical mountain range,” The voice continued informing everyone in the area. “We will need to move through quite a bit of land that belongs to magical beasts; it is in no way an easy feat to even reach this grave which is why we will wait until tomorrow morning to move into the forest.”
Although the voice sounded out a warning, looking around at the many cultivators in front of him, Hui Yue knew that plenty would attempt to enter the forest during the night and personally look for the grave on their own. This was something Hui Yue had no intention of doing. He understood perfectly well that the grave would be hidden very deeply inside the mountain walls; it would definitely be sealed by inscriptions and traps, and going on his own was most likely suicide.
Looking around their current location, Hui Yue sensed that Lan Feng had stopped refining Wu Wei and that the bird within his dantian was quite restless; it was almost as if something in the air caused him to stir.
‘What is the matter?’ Hui Yue asked worriedly when he noticed Lan Feng behaving oddly, something dangerous was definitely afoot.
‘This grave…’ Lan Feng muttered as he started pacing around in the dantian cave. ‘I can feel the ripples of energy from the sealing inscriptions all the way out here. Although they have diminished over the many years, I fear that this expert is not a Saint but rather the grave of a God.’
‘A God?!’ Hui Yue exclaimed in shock, his entire consciousness was shaken to the core. For once, he was grateful that he had not said anything out loud. The words would have caused the entire area to turn into a frenzied group of greedy people.
‘We need to be careful,’ Lan Feng said. ‘It is not unusual for Gods to enter lower planes like this one and then build their graves there because they know that the chances of their final resting place being disturbed or entered are a lot less likely. But we need to keep this quiet. Don’t lead the way, let others set off the traps. Might as well use these experts as a flesh shield for you.’
‘You seem pretty confident that this is not a Saint grave. How come these Saints haven’t noticed anything?’ Hui Yue asked, but before he received an answer he looked shocked at Lan Feng, ‘They all know but they just keep quiet? They allowed this many people to join because they knew they would need them for the traps?’ He asked curiously, but Lan Feng shook his head. ‘I have been around Gods before. I know what they feel, but they definitely do not. All they think is that he was a strong Saint.’ Lan Feng explained.
While conversing with Lan Feng, Hui Yue had been just standing silently saying absolutely nothing and he hid his emotions deep within. He had been so busy focusing on the conversation that he had not noticed Cou Ling pulling on his sleeve a few times. After a second he finally noticed and a gentle smile was on his face as he looked at the woman by his side.
“You’ll be careful when you enter the grave, right?” Cou Ling asked. Her eyes were looking down, and her hands were slightly shaking. She watched as Hui Yue protected her daily on the road. They had talked about everything and nothing, eaten their meals together, and sold their items side by side. It was impossible for her not to be taken by this young man.
Hui Yue smiled at her while patting her head. “I’ll be fine. All you need to do is make sure you return to the city safely.” He laughed before he contemplated for a while about the task at hand. Lan Feng told Hui Yue that he should stay in the middle of the pack of experts that entered the grave, so following the prince was not an option. He would definitely be at the front, and Hui Yue had no intention to disregard the suggestion Lan Feng had given him. Inside he was struggling with his emotions. He was not certain if he wished for the third prince to have an accident and die swiftly or if he wanted to to be the one to drive the knife through his heart.
Sighing, he shook his head and laughed mockingly at himself. It was impossible for him to determine whether or not the prince would survive the traps, and he had no power to end the prince’s life with one of the assumed traps within the grave. All he could do was enter the grave and hopefully find a way to meet up with the prince when he was by himself and kill him. The chances of that happening were incredibly low, but the young man had no other option than to hope that his luck was great.
The entire horde of humans were filled with excitement as they had heard the words that floated through the air. They were excited that they were finally close to the grave which they had traveled so many days for. They were almost at the end of the kingdom; they could see the mountaintops which bordered Shenyuan.
Many experts felt a chill go down their spines as they looked at those cold mountains, but all of them shook the fear away. They needed to overcome their fear if they were to defeat the other experts and gain the treasures hidden inside this tomb.
Hui Yue showed no signs of worry, nor did he seem overly excited about the fact that they had arrived. All people was a casual smile on his lips while he was coaxing Cou Ling into cooking some more of the delicious deer meat she had brought from Muchuan City.
Seeing the playful behavior of the young man, many merchants and craftsmen were secretly surprised. He had shown his strength time and time again by getting rid of more than a few groups of experts that wished to abuse them. Still, now that he was not fighting, he seemed as docile as a cat while playing around with his friends, in no way did he seem like a dangerous youth.
The evening came, and the scent of deer meat wafted through the air as a satisfied expression was seen on Hui Yue’s lips. He was happy to have won their small discussion about the evening meal. Hui Yue was leaning back on the ground and was enjoying life. Because of Cou Ling he had a very comfortable and calm trip towards the Grave of the Unknown. He was secretly incredibly grateful to the woman for the time they had spent together. He had also gotten to know her better, and she was now someone whom he considered a genuine friend.
He also quickly noticed that the woman was worried about him, and it warmed his heart to have someone worrying about him. In many ways it made him feel as though he had an older sister who truly cared about him. To Hui Yue, friendship was something he valued greatly, and he promised himself quietly that he would always be there for his friends if they ever needed him.
The evening was spent in great company as Hui Yue chatted with Fang Wei and Cou Ling. Slowly both the spiritual blacksmith and her trainee forgot all about the dangers Hui Yue was about to go through and instead they enjoyed the entire night. For once, Hui Yue did not train under the moonlight absorbing Yin energy; instead, he allowed himself to relax with his blacksmith friend as they enjoyed their time together. He needed to be in his peak condition the following day.