Chapter 57: Into the Magical Forest
Hui Yue and the others spent the first six days only visiting the Magical Forest during the daytime. This resulted in the six of them gaining an immense amount of low grade demon cores along with allowing the village to fill their pantries with all kinds of dried, salted, and smoked meats.
Each evening was a feast where they had either eaten various roasted magical beasts, stewed magical beasts, or fried magical beasts. Although Hui Yue was suppose to be in the growing age, he was certain that the amount of protein he was getting was slightly over the top.
These six days had not proven difficult to Hui Yue, nor any of the others, and after catching so many low ranked beasts they finally felt ready to tackle something bigger. The six of them left to enter the actual Magical Forest for a week, before returning, spending the week fighting higher ranked beasts, yet they would not enter into the core regions where the truly strong magical beasts resided.
Hui Yue chuckled slightly as he looked at Gao Yan and Rong Ming who both kept yawning as they made their way through the trails within the forest. It was obvious that neither had managed to sleep particularly well the previous night, which now caused the two youngsters quite some troubles.
Hui Yue had not understood why Rong Ming was so excited considering he had been hunting these grounds every year for the last six years, yet things were different now as he had six friends who were travelling with him. Especially considering how those two older boys were both incredibly competitive, both wished to prove that they were better, neither caring about the differences in their cultivation base.
Hui Yue shook his head with a smile on his face, and once more focused his attention on the trail on which they were traveling. It had clearly been created by magical beasts that were moving through the forest, and it seemed fairly worn. The ground had been stomped flat, and the plants were growing tidily to the sides, showing that all roots had been either destroyed by being stepped on or eaten.
At the outskirts of the Magical Forest, the trees were spread fairly loosely allowing the youngsters a good view quite far ahead of them, yet the further in they moved the more packed the trees became and the more beasts could be heard bustling about.
Although there were many more beasts at this place than there had been in the outskirts, these beasts did not allow for Hui Yue and the others to see them. The beasts would, in general, try to escape as soon as possible when they noticed that a group of six cultivators had entered the forest.
The higher the cultivation of the beast the higher their intellect would be, and at this point most of them knew that a group of cultivators was no easy target. Even if they both had the same cultivation levels, despite the fact human cultivators were suppose to be weaker than beasts of the same rank, they knew there was safety in numbers.
This safety was one which most beasts did not have, and unless the beasts were capable of laying an ambush and guaranteeing their own escape, none wished to attack these humans.
After walking for a couple of hours, the group reached a small pond which was placed in a clearing. The tall trees were up to ten metres tall and their crowns were so dense that almost no sunlight could break through.
The pond was small and round, approximately twenty metres across, and multiple water animals were visible within the still and clear water. The forest floor was covered with moss, unlike the rough path they had taken so far. The moss acted like a heavy blanket that had muted all the sounds from outside.
“Let’s camp here for now.” Deng Wu said with a sigh and Hui Yue quickly agreed. The six of them had travelled for a couple hours, and they wished to eat some food before they sat down to plan their next move.
A small fire was created by Rong Xing who quickly started to prepare a stew for their lunch. While she was cooking, at first they had planned to set up tents, but after considering it for a short while Hui Yue decided against it. If they needed to suddenly move during the night, the tents could easily prove to be trouble rather than a protection.
Instead they started to look at the pond and the surroundings, wondering why it was so incredibly silent. Previously while making their way through the forest, Hui Yue and the others had heard multiple magical beasts bustling around, yet this pond which should be swarming with them was completely silent, not even shadows were moving about.
The silence which seemed so tranquil suddenly turned eerie and Hui Yue backed up, moving toward the fireplace, gesturing to the others that they should do the same.
None of them spoke as they slowly made their way back to the campfire, everyone now completely aware that something off. Their eyes shone with vigilance as each of them kept observing their surroundings, all senses stressed to their limits.
Watching everything happen slowly, Hui Yue knew that they were currently being observed by a beast, and this beast was most likely one of the high ranked beasts in this part of the forest, causing him to be extra alert and he started to send his Qi roaming his meridians, activating Velocity Flow.
Suddenly something happened as the pond water instantly started turning, creating a cylinder shaped water hurricane which moved towards the six youngsters that had gathered at the campfire.
The water moved within seconds, allowing none of them much time to react. Hui Yue rushed to the side by using Velocity Flow, and at the same time placed his palms parallel to each other, channeling the Fire Spark skill.
Although Hui Yue had multiple attack skills, none of them would be useful against a massive body of water, yet Hui Yue knew that water would evaporate if he used fire. Unfortunately, the fire could be drowned in the water, but it was his only option and he channeled the skill with no time to spare.
The big cylinder formed body of water quickly morphed into four small orbs, each and every one of them with a long tail which connected it to the lake in the middle.
Hui Yue was not the only one who had been pre-activating his skills, and a smile appeared on his face as he heard a loud boom resound through the clearing in which they were fighting. Ma Kong did not manage to escape the water prisons which attacked them, however he had managed to activate his Qi bombs, and the loud bangs kept resounding as he tried to blow his way out of the water.
Rong Ming, Rong Xing, and Gao Yan had all also gotten caught, and flashes of different shades of white were constantly shown on the water prison in which they were caught, showing that every one of them were fighting to the best of their ability.
Deng Wu, who had been quick enough to escape had long since activated his Dancing Qi Pillar, but just like Hui Yue, he was currently charging it to maximum strength.
“Go for the lake itself!” Hui Yue yelled loudly, as he saw how the water prisons were constantly restored to their previous appearance after each attack.
The Fire Spark skill had reached its max for how much Hui Yue could control without adding any spiritual energy, and he timed the attack together with Deng Wu.
While Hui Yue threw the Fire Orb into the lake, Deng Wu used this chance to cut the Water Prisons from the lake with his Qi Pillar, which in turn allowed for the four captive youngsters to escape the bubbles.
As soon as the Fire Spark hit the water’s surface the blazing orb instantly exploded, the heat was so severe that the water it came into contact with instantly evaporated, and the entire clearing was filled with steam in seconds.
“We did it!” An excited voice sounded within the steam, but Hui Yue quickly hushed them, causing whomever it was to instantly turn quiet.
“We still haven’t seen the beast itself,” Hui Yue whispered, while his senses were pushed to their limits, “keep an eye out.”
A low laughter appeared in the thick mist, followed by a bloodcurdling shriek. The laughter clearly contained happiness, but unfortunately for Hui Yue, he recognized the shriek as belonging to Rong Xing.
‘This is most likely not a pure beast, but one of the mixed races,’ Lan Feng said with clear hostility in his voice, ‘I did not intended to help you out, but I will make an exception right now.’ He continued, after which he stopped suppressing his aura allowing for the aura of a Saint ranked beast to exit Hui Yue’s body.
The voice which was previously laughing heartily now wailed in fear, and it swiftly vanished into the distance. Not only had this beast become terrified of Hui Yue, constant rustling could be heard followed by panic-stricken roars and loud sounds of retreat.
Hui Yue did not have the time to wait and listen to the retreat of the many beasts which clearly had appeared to see humans die, instead he rushed towards the area where he had heard Rong Xing shrieking previously.
Rong Xing was laying on the grass, her body limp and eyes closed, while her skin was pale, devoid of all blood. Her leg had been badly injured, and a bruise was appearing on her neck, yet none of the injuries seemed to be severe which lead Hui Yue to breathed a sigh of relief.
Lan Feng’s aura quickly got suppressed once more as it was too dangerous to keep it up. If there was another Saint ranked magical beast within the Magical Forest, it would obviously not wish to share its territory, and the two of them would fight. Although Hui Yue had obtained the aura through Lan Feng he was obviously no match for a true Saint ranked beast.
“What happened?” Ma Kong asked seriously, as none of them could figure out why the magical beasts had retreated in such a panicked manner just now, yet their answer was quickly given by Lan Feng as he took over Hui Yue’s body.
“I, the always benevolent and almighty, Lan Feng was the one who scared them away.” He said with his usually arrogant voice instantly revealing that he had taken over their body, though as soon as the sentence had left his mouth, the smug expression changed to that of a serious child.
“The beast was most likely a mixed breed.” He said causing the others to look slightly surprised. A sigh escaped the phoenix as he sat down and gestured the others to do the same. With the flick of his hand a jade case appeared which he handed to Rong Xing. It contained healing medicinal pills which he bought at the academy before leaving.
Rong Xing gratefully took one before handing the case back, and looked at Lan Feng who finally started explaining.
“Magical beasts of a certain cultivation are capable of changing into human form. I have one myself, and I dare say I am incredibly handsome.” Lan Feng started explaining while Rong Xing’s injuries were healed in front of them.
“When a human and a magical beast have a child it is neither a beast nor a human, instead it becomes a mixture. Some of these half breeds are much weaker than humans and beasts while others are much stronger, as they have gained the benefits of both races.”
Hearing this a shiver ran through Hui Yue’s spine. Magical beasts with the intelligence of humans was simply too terrifying to think about.
“You guys cannot handle a strong mixed breed yet.” Lan Feng said with a sigh, “when we run into them I will make sure that they disappear, but everything else is up to you guys to deal with. Also she will be back later, so I suggest that we scram now.”