“We need to do something, there should be something more here.” Hong Luo spoke with frustration.
“We’ve already looked enough. There doesn’t seem to be anything else here.” Hei Bao finally spoke after getting a hold of himself.
The faces of his subordinates and the other mercenaries dropped upon hearing his words. But then he spoke again.
“Fear not, we will eventually figure out something. In fact, we do know of one such location that we had previously found before.”
Everyone looked up at him with questioning faces.
“The abandoned warehouse!” Lin Mu suddenly spoke.
“But didn’t we already investigate that before?” A member of Hei corps spoke up.
“Yes, of course we did. But before we didn’t know why they were gathering the mercenaries and had thought whether if they were just hiding corpses. But now we know that they have a proper use for them, they need their blood. That means they have to keep them alive and fed to keep their blood fresh.”
“But for doing this, they will need another location that is as large as this to keep them. Also, after the beast attack, I doubt they will take the risk of setting up a place like that here.” Hei Bao explained.
“Then that means… they will hide in the town? Or the areas around it?” One of the men asked.
“That is one of the possibilities. But we at least know that whatever their final destination is, the northern town is probably close to it. We don’t know about the other locations but do know that we know the mercenaries are being captured from there too, we will be able to expand our scope of investigation.”
“This is far too big of a conspiracy to keep hidden. There is bound to be a leak of some kind. We just need to look out for it and wait for the right time.” Hei Bao answered.
The people nodded in understanding and realized that there was no use obsessing over what had already happened. All they could do for now was to wait and see.
“We should rest for now. We leave at first light.” Hei Bao ordered.
Everyone decidedly agreed, as the sun had already set by now. Even the snow had started falling heavily. In fact, now that the large boulder that was blocking the entrance of the cave was removed, the wind was blowing in swathes of snow.
The floor of the front part of the cave was already covered in snow. The men thus gathered around and sat near the braziers. The braziers were there in the cave already and were used to heat up the cave. But since the cave had been abandoned and no one was keeping them lit, all that was left in them was ash and charcoal.
A few of the members of the Hei corps decisively went out and gathered a sufficient amount of wood for them to burn. Lin Mu took out the carcasses of the beasts that they had killed on their way here and let the others prepare it.
Lin Mu didn’t have the mood to do it himself right now, and his mind was not in the right place. While he was reading from the piece of cloth, senior Xukong was also watching it. After he had finished reading it he had asked him what it could have meant and Xukong had told him to wait for them to be done first.
“What did you think, senior?” Lin Mu questioned in his mind.
“There are far too many things that they could have been doing with the blood of the mercenaries. But the most likely thing that I can think of that would require so many of people’s blood would be what you humans call an evil cultivation technique.” Xukong answered.
“An evil cultivation technique?” Lin Mu asked in a confused tone.
While he could understand the meaning behind the words themselves, he could not understand the context. Senior Xukong had just told him that it was something that humans called it.
“Cultivation techniques themselves are rather neutral. It is only the humans and other intelligent beings that give them a bias. It all depends on the perspective. While here we can see that this ‘master’ of the culprits is gathering blood for himself, it is only bad because the humans are the ones being hurt.”
“If it was beasts in question here, not many would mind it. But such is the truth of the universe.” Xukong replied.
Lin Mu thought over it, but still felt a bit lost.
“Then senior you mean that it is right even if humans are getting killed and I should not mind it?” Lin Mu questioned, feeling uneasy.
“No… rather, as long as it is something that bothers you, you should mind it. It does not matter if it’s humans, beasts, demons or immortals. These things that you hear, good and evil are but a matter of perspective. But in the end, all that is right in the world is the might of the strong.”
“If you are strong, you can decide what to do and you won’t have to mind what others think of it. Such is the way of the strong. A strong will comes from a firm mind, and a firm mind comes from an unyielding heart. And finally, the fastest way to gain an unyielding heart is to be ruthless. Be ruthless to your foes and be even more ruthless to yourself.
Only then would you survive and flourish in the cultivation world.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu went silent after hearing the words of senior Xukong. At first, he felt that the words of senior Xukong seemed to be wrong. Lin Mu had always been taught by his parents to be kind and righteous. He didn’t understand how it would be correct to equate the killings of humans to that of the beasts.
Lin Mu also didn’t understand why senior Xukong had told him about this right now and had related it to the sacrifice of the mercenaries. He was feeling frustrated but knew that being hasty would not do him any good. Instead, he decided to calmly think over it.
Lin Mu did not speak anything, even when he was given food to eat and simply ate it before returning to cultivate again.