Lin Mu would have never expected that he would be seeing Zhou Ye here. Zhou Ye was none other than the second hunter who had become a cultivator in the Northern Town. He was also the person who had won the annual martial tournament in the Wu Lim city last year.
It was also Zhou Ye, in whose hands Lin Mu had first seen a spirit stone in. Unlike Gan Ma, who was oppressive and disliked, Zhou Ye actually had a decent reputation in the town. While he didn’t particularly help people or did anything beneficial for them, he didn’t do anything to hurt them either.
Because of his neutral reputation, most people in the town recognized him and did not mind him. He and his small team of hunters were also the more sought after rather than Gan Ma’s. Though ever since the plague last year, Zhou Ye’s team of hunters had dwindled and now only two people were left. The other members had all succumbed to the plague last year.
Lin Mu had seen Zhou Ye a few times before, and even his father was acquainted with Zhou Ye, having cooperated in some hunts over the years. Though Lin Mu did not expect Zhou Ye to recognize him.
Pushing his train of thoughts to the back of his mind, Lin Mu rushed to the injured man to provide him assistance.
“CALL THE HEALERS!” Lin Mu shouted to the other mercenaries.
A few of the mercenaries immediately turned around to carry out his orders, while the rest rushed along with him. But still, Lin Mu was much faster than them and reached the injured man in a couple of seconds.
Zhou Ye too watched the people approaching him and the voice that had called out his name. His eyes were glazed over and the immense fatigue within them could be felt from the distance. There were multiple injuries on the man’s body, with the most prominent one being the Bone that was popping out of his left shoulder.
One could easily tell that his left arm was broken and the humerus bone had popped out sideways from the shoulder. The man also had multiple gashes and wounds all over his body, along with a large claw mark that extended from the man’s forehead onto his face, covering the nose, lips, and chin and then extending to the chest and the left arm.
Just from the distance between the five claw marks, one could tell that whatever beast that inflicted it was massive in size and had five claws on one limb, perhaps. Looking at Zhou Ye made one wonder how that man had still survived with all these injuries. Most of the injuries had stopped bleeding, and the blood had dried over, which allowed the observer to know that the wounds were perhaps inflicted a day ago.
Zhou Ye could not see clearly and only had one eye that was still open. The other one was too swollen to see from. Upon seeing that he had reached safety, a slight smile accompanied by pain, dressed his face as his mind relaxed in relief, making him collapse.
But just as he was about to hit the ground, Lin Mu appeared in a flash and held him up. He then gently turned him to the side and laid him down. He did a preliminary check on his body and discovered the multiple grievous wounds.
“Use your spirit sense and observer his internal condition.” Xukong reminded Lin Mu.
“Ah yes!” Lin Mu respond and hurriedly extended his spirit sense.
The spirit sense tendril touched Zhou Yew’s head and then scanned all over his body. Lin Mu discovered multiple internal injuries. Even though he had no knowledge about organs or injuries on them, he could still tell that they were injured because of the blood that was pooling inside his body. There were also many other bones in his body that were fractured and cracked.
Eight of Zhou Yew’s ribs were cracked, with one of them bending inward and was only a few millimeters away from piercing his heart. Lin Mu then used his spirit sense and tried to sense Zhou Ye’s meridians, but was unable to sense them. Wanting to gain a cleared view, Lin Mu started chanting the severing heart sutra and then tried to sense them again.
This time Lin Mu’s mind was still and free from any distractions. His perception rose as a result and he was soon able to sense the extremely faint pulse of qi that was flowing through Zhou Ye’s meridians. Even his meridians were damaged in multiple places, and Lin Mu could tell that the spirit qi was being impeded.
Lin Mu continued tracing the flow of qi and reached Zhou Ye’s dantian. His dantian seemed to be completely empty and dry of spirit qi. Faint cracks could even see in its surroundings. Though the thing that surprised Lin Mu was the size of his dantian.
Compared to Lin Mu’s own dantian, Zhou Ye’s was about three times smaller. Because Zhou Ye was so injured and depleted of spirit qi, Lin Mu could not estimate his cultivation base.
“What could his cultivation base be Senior?” Lin Mu questioned.
“He should have been at the peak stage of the qi refining realm.” Xukong estimated.
“What? But the size of hi dantian is so small. I thought he would at most be at the late stage of the Qi refining realm.” Lin Mu replied.
“The injuries to his meridians and dantian are not because of the beast or whatever that harmed him,” Xukong spoke.
“Then how else would he get them then?” Lin Mu impatiently asked.
“He has probably consumed a potential igniting pill. It’s a special kind of alchemical pill, that can provide a massive increase in strength and qi. It is supposed to be used in terms of emergencies and life and death situations. Though it has the side effect of reducing if not crippling the cultivation of the said individual.” Xukong answered.
Lin Mu felt shocked that such a pill could exist. Now having learned of this, his attention was focused on how to save the man in front of him.
“How do I help him, senior? Do I feed him the healing pills?” Lin Mu questioned.
“Feed him one each of the internal replenishment pill and lesser wound restoration pill. Then use your spirit qi and gently guide it into his meridians. Place your right hand on his abdomen and your hand left on his heart. This will create a small qi circuit that should help replenish his qi and also help in healing his injuries.” Xukong explained.
Following Senior Xukong’s instructions, Lin Mu first fed Zhou Ye the two pills. The pills melted after entering his mouth and flowed down his throat. Lin Mu then placed his right hand on Zhou Ye’s abdomen and his left on his heart.
Then, while using his spirit sense to trace his meridians, Lin Mu started pushing his own spirit qi into Zhou Ye’s meridians. At first, it was difficult for him, but soon under the effect of the two healing pills, Zhou Ye’s body started responding.
Lin Mu was successful in inserting his spirit qi into Zhou Ye’s meridians. Under the instructions of senior Xukong, he then guided the spirit qi in a special circuit.
While Lin Mu was doing this, the other mercenaries that were accompanying him checked up on the other person that was lying on the shield that was being dragged by Zhou Ye. They lifted the cloth that was covering it and then recoiled in shock.
The person under the cloth did not have a head, as it had been decapitated rather gruesomely. One could tell that a very strong blow must have hit the man’s jaw as it was separated from there. Five faint claws could even be seen extending from the base of the neck.
One of the mercenaries lifted the man’s arm and saw the symbol that was embroidered on the headless man’s clothes.
“It’s an elite mercenary from the Ashen Cloak mercenary company!” The mercenary shouted.
The other mercenaries came close to take a look and confirmed the mercenary’s claim. The symbol, while caked in blood and mud, was still recognizable to them.
By now, the other mercenaries had also reached the site. Hong Luo, Teng Xiaolian, and his team members were nearby as well. They were sprinting with urgency, and tense expressions could be seen on their faces.
A minute later they finally reached the location and saw Lin Mu sitting on the ground, with his hands on Zhou Ye’s body. Xiong An and Long Da were about to approach Lin Mu to offer him help when Teng Xiaolian suddenly shouted.
“NO! Don’t disturb him.”
Xiong An and Long Da froze in their steps as they turned around and looked at their leader with an inquisitive look. Before Teng Xiaolian could speak anything, Hao Xiao suddenly spoke.
“Look, he’s using a healing technique.” She exclaimed.
Surprise appeared on the faces of the six people as they looked at Lin Mu with an even more intense gaze. And with these very gazes, they saw the injuries on the man healing at a visible rate. The faint trickles of blood that were flowing down from the gashes on Zhou Ye’s body stopped bleeding.
The smaller cuts and scratches twitched and slowly started to close up under the effects of the healing pills and Lin Mu’s assistance. The swelling that was around Zhou Ye’s left eye also started reducing at a visible rate until when it completely disappeared and his eye was visible again.
“It can’t be! A High-grade healing technique!” Hong Luo gasped in shock.