Lin Mu then went on to make up a series of events on how he found the cave where the culprits were supposed to have been using before. He told them that he discovered some broken trees and found the broken piece of the carriage and how he related it to the story that Zhou Ye had told them.
The Hei corps had known about Zhou Ye and the situation behind him, thus when Lin Mu correlated the events with Zhou Ye’s story they did not doubt him.
“So the cave has been abandoned, Senior?” One of the members asked.
“Yes, it did look like that to me, but there may be clues that I couldn’t find there. I hope that you people would be able to find something, I reckon you all are better in that aspect.” Lin Mu answered.
Xie Bohai hit his chest with his fist in a show of confidence before speaking.
“We shall not disappoint you, senior. Whatever clues that are left in the cave, we will find them.”
“Yes senior, we will do our best and will not disgrace our lord’s trust.” Others chimed in.
Lin Mu nodded in acknowledgment and felt a little better. His thoughts then went towards the other teams of the Hei Corps. He wondered if they had been contacted yet or not. The total people here were currently eight, including Hei Yingjie and him, which meant that the last two members had not returned yet.
“Have they not returned yet from informing the other teams?” Lin Mu questioned.
“They should be here by tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest senior. I think the increase in the number of beasts probably delayed their progress.” Xie Bohai answered.
“Ah yes, that is true. They will probably have to fight some beasts in order to reach here.” Lin Mu replied.
“For now, all we can do is wait. Senior can also resume his cultivation in the tent. We’ll inform you at the first sign of the other team.” Xie Bohai added.
Lin Mu nodded in acceptance and then picked a tent at random and walked in after lifting its flap. He had depleted nearly two-thirds of his spirit qi in returning to the camp as fast as possible, thus wanted to take this chance to replenish it.
Lin Mu thus sat down onto the bedroll and started chanting the severing heart sutra. Hours passed by in the blink of an eye and it was finally night time. Lin Mu opened his eyes upon hearing the sounds of people moving around outside.
He had thought that the other teams had reached them at first, but then upon using his spirit sense he realized that it was just the members of the Hei Corps setting up for some dinner.
‘I should eat as well, I guess.’ Lin Mu thought.
He walked out of the tent and looked at the men that were skewing a haunch onto a large skewer for roasting. They had set up a smaller campfire for ease of cooking. The larger bonfire in the center of the camp was better for heating and illumination, and rather impractical for cooking.
Lin Mu too set up another fire and started cooking the meat of the Alpha steel back wolf. Half an hour later he was done with his meal and so were the other people. They had finished up and had switched for the guard duty.
It was now Xie Bohai and another member’s turn for the guard duty. Xie Bohai talked with Lin Mu for a bit before starting his guard duty, while Lin Mu himself returned to the tent. He wanted to assimilate the vital energy and spirit qi from the meat quickly.
Lin Mu wanted to see what kind of effect it would have this time. The effect yesterday was rather strong, and Senior Xukong had told him that the effect would be lessened than the first time.
It turned out to be as what senior Xukong had told Lin Mu. While he did experience a slight increase in his vital energy; it was not as great as before and neither did he expel the black corrosive gas from his mouth again.
“Well, that was a little disappointing.” Lin Mu muttered to himself.
Pushing this to the back of his mind, Lin Mu wondered if he should sleep or cultivate for now. He reckoned that the other team may return at any time, thus it would be better to just cultivate. The main reason for him wanting to sleep was that he could learn the legacy technique of the lost immortal.
Lin Mu could still learn it right now, but he preferred to stay undisturbed for a long time and the current situation was not worth it. Thus Lin Mu simply decided to continue cultivating till the morning and that’s what he did.
His cultivation had stabilized and Lin Mu was now attempting to refine another drop of liquid spirit qi. He had heard from Senior Xukong about the use of liquid spirit qi, thus wanted to quickly start refining it. He channeled spirit qi into his meridians and started refining it like before.
Lin Mu had to attempt it five times and lost quite a bit of spirit qi before he succeeded. Another drop of liquid spirit flowed down his meridians and settled down at the bottom of his dantian.
Lin Mu let out a breath of tiredness and focused his attention again. He observed his dantian and discovered that he had spent nearly five hundred whips of spirit qi in order to refine that one drop of liquid spirit qi. The drop itself was condensed from less than a hundred wisps of spirit qi, but the failed attempts had caused him a small loss.
Now that he had refined the second drop of liquid spirit qi, Lin Mu had to replenish the depleted spirit qi first before he could even refine the next. Seeing the rate at which he was refining the spirit qi was a little disappointing to Lin Mu but he soon picked himself up after Xukong’s reminder.
It had taken him nearly two hours to refine one drop of liquid spirit qi, thus Lin Mu could only guess how long it would take him to reach the next stage of the qi refining realm. For in order to break through to the peak stage of the qi refining realm, a cultivator had to have at least half of his dantian filled with liquid spirit qi.
“Don’t worry, the more experienced you get, the easier it will get for you to refine the liquid spirit qi. It is usually difficult for most people at the start.” Xukong advised.
“Yes senior.” Lin Mu responded and returned to his cultivation.
Lin Mu could only hope that his speed would soon increase in the future.
More time passed by and now it was the time for the sunrise. But still, the sun could not be seen and was hidden behind the dark clouds. The snow from last night had not stopped yet and was still ongoing. A little more time passed by and finally, the sounds of footsteps came from far.
It seemed as if there were tens of people walking together, thus the sound was rather easy to hear. The members of the Hei corps that were on guard duty immediately became alert. Xie Bohai went to the side that the sound was originating from while holding his weapons.
The other guards had woken up by now as well and walked out of the tents and notice the sound as well. They saw Xie Bohai standing at the edge while holding his sword. They instantly understood what was happening and got ready as well.
A minute later the sound increased more and the people could finally be seen.
Everyone took a collective breath of relief once they confirm that the people who had just reached them were the other teams of the Hei Corps. They were being led by the two members Xie Bohai had selected for sending the message.
Along with the two, there were additional three people standing alongside them. These three people were none other than Hei Bao the captain of the Hei corps, Hong Luo and Teng Xiaolian, the current leader of the mercenaries.
“You all are finally here, that good.” Xie Bohai spoke in a relieved tone.
The two members of his team came forward and whispered some things in his ear before going behind him. The two of them had gone to call Lin Mu while the three men, Hei Bao, Hong Luo, and Teng Xiaolian came forward to talk with Xie Bohai.
“How is Hei Yingjie now?” Hei Bao questioned first.
“Senior Hei Yingjie is stable for now. Because of senior Lin Mu’s help, he was saved from qi deviation.” Xie Bohai answered.
Hei Bao too took a breath of relief and calmed won. He hadn’t show it to others, but he was rather stressed because of this. They only had three members of their higher corps left right now and they couldn’t afford to lose another core condensation realm expert.
They didn’t know what kind of conflict they would be having in the future, and they would be needing every bit of their strength. From what his lord and Hei Wan had guessed, Hei Bao felt that the future seemed to be bleak.
They had only come halfway and one of their top experts was already out of commission, Hei Bao was sure that they would be failing their mission now. But when he heard Xie Bohai’s next words, his hopes rose again.
“There’s an important thing I need to tell you, captain. Senior Lin Mu found the hideout of the culprits.”