It was a dull and bleak afternoon. The sun was hidden behind the clouds and a chilly breeze was blowing. The trees in the forest rustled and swayed with the wind. Traces of snow could be seen on the tops of trees and even some on the floor of the forest.
A group of ten people was walking through a path in the Northern forest. These people were none other than Lin Mu, Hei Yingjie, and the other members of his team. It had been two days since they had started their journey.
During these two days nothing significant happened, and they simply traveled. Still, on the second day, the winter had intensified and the temperature had fallen even more. Before, the snow would usually melt in the morning and could not be seen. But now traces of it could still be seen.
Lin Mu knew that this was just the start and it would soon get worse. The first month of winter had just started, and there were three in total. Every month would just mean more hardships and lower temperatures. The final month was the worst and there would not be a single day during it that the snow was less than a foot deep.
They didn’t exactly know how long it will take for them to reach the location they were aiming for but knew that it should be within a traveling distance of four days at the maximum. Sure, it would take them more time to actually find it, but it should be within that traveling distance.
The team came to a halt as they heard a faint howl coming from the distance.
“Wait, there’s a spirit beast ahead.” Hei Yingjie gestured and ordered everyone to stop as his spirit sense detected something.
“I’ll scout it out.” One of the members offered.
“Alright, but be careful. Retreat at the first sight of danger.” Hei Yingjie replied but kept his spirit sense already nonetheless.
The man nodded and then went ahead. He returned five minutes later and seemed to be fine.
“Well, what did you find?” Hei Yingjie questioned.
“There’s a small pack of steel back wolves ahead. It seems to have been separated from a bigger pack or is probably a hunting party. It’s being led by a steel back wolf that has become a spirit beast.” The man answered.
Everyone took a breath of relief upon hearing the man’s words.
“This should be easy then. We can take them out.” Lin Mu suggested.
Lin Mu had been wanting to hunt there past two days but unfortunately, they had not encountered even a single spirit beast. They had come across some normal beasts, but most of them directly ran away upon seeing their group.
Lin Mu wanted to hunt them for the meat since he was missing the taste, but since they had brought enough supplies with them, he just ate that. But now that he had obtained this opportunity, he wanted to take it.
“Sure, we’ll help you out.” Hei Yingjie replied.
Hei Yingjie was a little confused on why Lin Mu wanted to hunt the beasts but just attributed it to Lin Mu wanting to battle. He did not know that he was actually hunting them because he wanted to eat them. According to him, with Lin Mu’s status, he had no reason to hunt such beasts for that reason.
The other members split out and formed an encirclement. The steel back wolves were currently grouped together in a small area and seemed to be resting. This had just made it easier for them to approach. They paid no heed to the direction of the wind, even though it was blowing towards the small pack.
The steel back wolves would pick up their scent, but this was exactly what they noted. This way the pack would not run away and stay there until they reached there. Lin Mu withdrew his short sword and got ready.
Since he couldn’t use his skills in front of other people, he just decided to rely on his own strength. The pack of steel back wolves was now visible to them and seemed to be agitated. They were growling towards the approaching humans.
Lin Mu looked closer and saw that there were only around twelve wolves in the pack. It was definitely much less than that of a proper steel back wolf pack, which usually numbered more than two hundred. Lin Mu also spotted the leader of this pack.
It was a wolf that was one size bigger than the other wolves but didn’t look much different than that. This was the second time Lin Mu was seeing a steel back wolf that was at the qi refining realm and had become a spirit beast. The last time he had seen one was five years ago, when a large party of hunters had successfully hunted one.
He had been amazed at that time, seeing that a group of hunters could kill a spirit beast like that, but now here he was, about to hunt one himself. Lin Mu took a deep breath and calmed his excitement.
The leader of the pack growled at the approaching Lin Mu and bared its teeth at him. Lin Mu was about ten meters away from the leader, when it couldn’t hold back anymore and sprinted towards him. Lin Mu already had his spirit sense extended, thus could perceive every movement of the wolf as soon as it got within his range.
Lin Mu strengthened his legs and arms with spirit qi as he focused on the approaching wolf. Just as the wolf was about to leap at him, Lin Mu lunged ahead and leaned to the side. Both of them clashed in a diagonal manner as they separated.
A wincing sound was heard as blood spilled from the body of the steel back wolf. Lin Mu had lunged and successfully slashed its belly apart. The wolf let out a few more sounds and struggled to move before it went silent.
“That was easy.” Lin Mu muttered to himself as he approached the now dead steel back wolf.
He confirmed that it was completely dead and then looked at the other members of the team. They were casually standing and had already killed four of the steel back wolves. The remainder of the pack had evidently decided to run away to save their lives.
The members of the Hei Corps had also not stopped them and had only killed the ones that were moving towards Lin Mu. For them, killing a bunch of fierce beasts was child’s play. Hei Yingjie came forward and stood near Lin Mu.
“I guess we’re having fresh meat for lunch today.” Hei Yingjie spoke in a jovial manner.
He then looked at his subordinates and spoke, “Prepare the carcasses, we’ll take a break.”
“Yes, sir.” They all spoke.
Lin Mu also picked up the wolf that he had killed and started skinning it right then and there. Hei Yingjie saw this and was about to stop him, but then he noticed the look on Lin Mu’s face. It was a look of hidden excitement.
‘It should be fine if he wants to do it himself.’ Hei Yingjie thought and then went to sit under a tree.
Hei Yingjie sat in a meditative and started cultivating. Some of the other members did the same while the rest went to prepare the carcasses. An hour later Lin Mu was done skinning the wolf and had stored the pelt and the other useful parts away in the ring.
The others were also nearly done with their work. They then gathered the meat together and set up a few fire pits to cook them. In all, they had five beasts worth of meat. Even half of this would be enough for them to fill their bellies.
Lin Mu took out his spices and condiments and started to prepare his own meal. While he was open to sharing the food, he still preferred the meat that he had cooked himself and was up to his tastes. The others saw this but paid it no mind and just did their tasks.
Soon a mouth-watering aroma was spreading from the place where Lin Mu was cooking the spirit beast meat. While the others were also cooking, but the aroma could not be compared. By now Hei Yingjie had woken up and was also ready to eat.
Some of the team members had started cutting apart portions and were distributing them. Hei Yingjie did not go to the others, but instead went to sit with Lin Mu.
Lin Mu saw this and gave out a little smile. He cut a leg apart from the cooked wolf and offered it to Hie Yingjie before he could even ask.
“Here.” Lin Mu spoke as he offered.
“Ah! Thank you brother Lin Mu. Eating food prepared by you will be an honor.” Hei Yingjie spoke in a flattering manner.
Lin Mu nodded and cut another leg for himself. Both of them started eating and in no time they had finished it. Hei Yingjie looked up and wondered what they were going to do with the rest of the cooked meat, but was then shocked.
In the time that he had finished that one leg, Lin Mu had not only finished his own but had also devoured half of the cooked meat. Right now he was biting down on some ribs and was eating it with gusto, paying no heed to his demeanor.
Hei Yingjie was shocked by this and felt as if his eyes were lying to him.
“That boy’s no less than a beast himself.” He muttered to himself.