Hei Bao was astounded, to say the least upon hearing Xie Bohai’s words, but then soon became elated. For this meant that they would not be failing this mission and would not have wasted their time.
“Good, good, good…” Hei Bao spoke while nodding his head.
He was truly relieved more than what others could see from his face. Hei Bao had always been a perfectionist and wanted to do the best for his lord, thus even the thought of failure was dreadful for him.
“Well then, where is Lin Mu?” Hei Bao asked.
“Senior Lin Mu is resting in the tent. The others have gone to call him so you need not worry.” Xie Bohai replied.
Just as Xie Bohai said this, another sound came from behind him.
“I’m here.” Spoke the approaching voice.
Xie Bohai and Hei Bao looked at the person approaching who was none other than Lin Mu. Lin Mu was looking at them as well, and in turn also at the large group of people that were coming from the forest one by one. The entire team had gathered there by now, and the border of the camp was now rather crowded.
Lin Mu did a quick sweep with his spirit sense and estimated that there were at least seventy people there now. He also noticed that some of them looked a little haggard, as if they had been in a battle of some kind.
‘Seems like they did encounter some beasts.’ Lin Mu thought to himself.
“We should move to the camp, I think. It’s getting a little crowded here and the others can rest for a bit as well.” Lin Mu suggested.
“Alright.” Hei Bao replied.
“That would be good. My companions are tired from the battle before.” Teng Xiaolian said in acknowledgment.
All of them thus entered the camp and were shocked by the sheer number of steel back wolf carcasses that were stacked in the corner. Even Hei Bao, Hong Luo, and Teng Xiaolian were shocked by this. Even though they had heard about the ambush that happened before, seeing something and hearing about it was different.
Teng Xiaolian and Hong Luo gulped in shock, for they could not even begin to imagine what kind of battle that must have been. Ten Xiaolian then turned to look at Lin Mu.
‘Indeed, we were not wrong. There is no chance that this could be accomplished by anyone other than the disciples of the top sects.’ Teng Xiaolian thought to himself.
The crowd then moved into the camp and sat down wherever they could. The camp that was once rather empty was now bustling with people. Some of the team members started butchering the beast carcasses to prepare a meal for the people.
They all seemed to be tired, thus this seemed to be the best ways to utilize the beast corpses. The mercenaries and the remaining members of the Hei corps also seemed to be rather grateful and went along to help them set it up.
Multiple smaller bonfires popped up in the camp, and the people were now sitting around them. With the main membered sitting at the very center of the camp between the four tents. This included Lin Mu, Xie Bohai, Teng Xiaolian, Hong Luo, and Hei Bao.
“So then, what did you exactly discover?” Hei Bao questioned Lin Mu.
Lin Mu then repeated the same story that he had told Xie Bohai and others. Hei Bao had a serious expression the entire time and listened to each word intently. Fifteen minutes passed and Lin Mu had finally finished speaking.
Hei Bao thought for a minute before speaking.
“I think we should take some of our stronger members to the cave and investigate it. The rest should wait here at the camp and wait for us.”
“Yes, that would be good. We will be faster to reach there with fewer people and the camp will also be safe with some people looking after senior Hei Yingjie.” Xie Bohai spoke in acknowledgment.
“I’m fine with it as well.” Lin Mu replied.
He then turned to look at the only people who had not spoken yet, Teng Xiaolian and Hong Luo.
“I’m fine with it as long as I get to come. I want to confirm it with my own eyes.” Teng Xiaolian spoke.
“I’ll do whatever that leader Teng says.” Hong Luo added.
“It’ll be no problem. You can pick some of your men to come with us.” Hei Bao replied.
“Well then, it’s decided. It will take about twelve hours to reach the cave, so they all should get ready as soon as possible.” Lin Mu spoke in an affirming tone.
No one objected to his words and nodded.
Lin Mu then remembered the injuries that some of the people that had come to the camp had. He could guess that they must have had happened end due to the battle but wanted to know more. Because if they were to head to the cave, they would have to go through an area heavily populated with beasts.
“Seems like you people had a hard time getting here.” Lin Mu spoke with a questioning tone.
“We did indeed. The beast suddenly went crazy and started rushing in towards our direction, as if they were scared by something. Only a little while later did we hear the faint roar that followed their arrival, and we understood that they were forced by another beast to escape.” Teng Xiaolian spoke.
“We were able to avoid fighting a majority of them, but some spirit beasts directly chose to attack us, but we were able to either kill or scare them away in the end.” Hei Bao added.
“Still, it’s not even close to what your team went through.” Hong Luo said while looking at the tent where Hei Yingjie was resting.
The five people became silent after that and simply ate their meal when it arrived. Teng Xiaolian stood up and went to talk to his men while Hei Bao did the same. They both returned five minutes later with their respective companions.
Hei Bao had ten people with him, and all of them were the members of the Hei Corps while Teng Xiaolian returned with five people which included his personal team and Hong Luo. Xie Bohai had also decided to come with them and had brought along two men with him too.
Lin Mu looked at the new twenty-person team that had just been formed.
“So is everyone ready?” Lin Mu asked.
“Yes, Senior.” Xie Bohai and his companions spoke.
“We are ready brother Lin Mu.” Teng Xiaolian and his teammates replied.
Hei Bao nodded and spoke, “we can leave now, please show us the way.”
Out of the nearly ninety people, twenty would be going further while the rest will be staying at the camp. They understood that with the increased amount of beasts right now, it would be better to stay where they are. Otherwise, they would have taken Hei Yingjie and left for the town.
Lin Mu then led the team out of the camp and into the forest. They were going towards the northwestern direction, the same way that Lin Mu had gone before. It didn’t take them long for them to encounter the first beasts.
Because of their large numbers, the beasts were startled and attacked them straight away. It was not like when Lin Mu was alone and had walked away from the beasts without a problem. To the beast’s, their large numbers meant a threat and that’s how they acted.
But their attack was for naught as this was a team made of cultivators and even if they encountered spirit beasts, they would be able to deal with them. The beasts were quickly killed, and the team continued on forward, though Lin Mu did store them in his ring.
The snow was still falling and cold winds were blowing, making their journey tougher. Although all of them were cultivators, not all of them were at the same stage and were thus susceptible to cold. Another thing that made a difference that Lin Mu noticed was the Body tempering realm cultivation of others.
While traveling, he had asked Hei Bao and some others about their body tempering realm cultivation and received some surprising answerers. Nearly all of them had only reached the ninth stage of the body tempering realm before becoming a cultivator.
None of them had actually progressed their body tempering realm cultivation after that, and neither had they tried. According to Teng Xiaolian, the only people who would even attempt to go belong the ninth level would be the ones that had no chance of becoming a cultivator or the ones who had used some unique alchemical pills.
Lin Mu had witnessed two such people back at the mercenaries camp at the Northern town. They were the two guards who were guarding the tent of Hong Luo. He had heard from Hong Luo that they had taken a pill called as the Vital spring pill.
Lin Mu had asked senior Xukong about them whether he could take pills such as those, but he had denied him. Senior Xukong had told him that unless it was an alchemical pill that was made especially for body refining experts, it would only harm him and burn his potential.
From what information Lin Mu had collected, most people would become cultivators when they reached the eighth stage of the body tempering realm, and very rarely would there be anyone that did it at the tenth stage.
Lin Mu was a little surprised by this, and so was Xukong.
“This world is strange… it’s almost as if someone intentionally skewed their understanding of cultivation.”