As Lin Mu turned around, he could see the blurry silhouette of a small beast rushing into a bush. He was actually shocked by this, as the speed of the beast was still too high for Lin Mu to see it. He would have understood this in the past if he was at a lower cultivation stage. But he was relatively strong now and should not have had a problem.
Lin Mu could not even sense that strong of spirit qi waves from the beast and estimated for it to be at the early or mid stage of the qi refining realm.
“How is that beast so fast for its cultivation base?” Lin Mu spoke feeling confused.
He extended his spirit sense and did a scan of the area but couldn’t find it anything nearby. Whatever the beast was, it had now run away.
“Senior, do you have any idea of what kind of a beast it could be?” Lin Mu questioned.
“Hmm, it is difficult to say. I do know of a few beasts that have great speed and agility, even at a low cultivation, but I doubt any of them could be found in a world like this. It’s quite likely that it is a native beast of this world.” Xukong answered.
“I see…” Lin Mu muttered before checking the area that he suspected the beast had come from.
Lin Mu blinked to the top of a tree and tried to look around but could not spot anything.
‘Seems like the beast is good at hiding too. But considering its size, it shouldn’t be that dangerous.’ Lin Mu thought to himself.
From the size of the blurry silhouette that Lin Mu had seen, he could estimate that the beast came up to his knees and was less than a meter long. The beast also had a tail from what Lin Mu spotted at the end of the silhouette.
“You can check the jade slip that you got from Jing Wei. Perhaps you will be able to narrow down the choices.” Xukong suggested.
“Ah yes. That would be good.” Lin Mu replied before getting down from the tree.
Now that the snow had mostly gone, the beasts had started coming out from the deeper parts of the forest. Lin Mu was able to spot plenty of them with his spirit sense but did not bother killing them as it would not be worth it for him to spend any effort on hunting normal beasts. Though Lin Mu would not mind if they were to come to attack him first.
Lin Mu’s main aim was to get spirit beasts, but they had also retreated to the depths of the forest now. Before, when Lin Mu came to the northern forest during winter in an area this deep, he had already encountered around four to five spirit beasts. But now he had not even seen one.
Lin Mu kept on moving through the forest and continued on for another hour. Finally, he found something that would be worth his time.
“A herd of Ash Crowned deers, this is good.” Lin Mu muttered, feeling delighted.
Lin Mu had hunted Ash Crowed deers a few times before during his journey to the culprit’s cave, thus was familiar with them. But unlike before, when he only encountered one or two of them, there was an entire herd of them here.
Ash Crowned deers were a common spirit beast that were found in the northern forest and had characteristic ash colored horns that extended upwards looking like a crown. They were relatively docile and did not attack humans unless provoked and usually stayed together in a herd that was around the size of fifty to eighty females and one male that was called the Ash Crowned Buck.
Unlike the females, the Ash Crowned buck was much larger in size and had bigger horns as well. It could run at a great speed and would impale anything that threatened it or its herd with its horns. In fact, Lin Mu could see the dried blood present on the horns of the beast, which implied that it had recently fought and perhaps killed another creature.
Lin Mu spread his spirit sense and observed the cultivation of the nearest few deers and found them to be at the early stage of the qi refining realm. But Lin Mu did not attack right away he waited as he wanted to make a plan first.
Now that he had come across so many beasts, he wanted to hunt as many as possible. But if he attacked carelessly, it was likely that all of them would run away and the Ash Crowned buck would attack him. While the Ash Crowned buck wouldn’t pose much of a challenge to Lin Mu, he did not want to waste extra time to chase the herd.
Lin Mu circled around the grazing herd and eventually came close to the Ash Crowned buck. He then sensed his cultivation base and found it to be at the peak stage of the qi refining realm.
‘It’s much stronger than the rest of them. Though I should be able to handle it.’ Lin Mu thought to himself.
Lin Mu spent a few minutes thinking before he was able to devise a plan that would probably allow him to hunt at least twenty of them before the herd found out and ran away.
Lin Mu blinked to the top of a tree and looked out for any Ash Crowned deers that were slightly scattered from the herd. After finding one, Lin Mu blinked closer by going over the tree tops. Once the beast was in the range of Blink, Lin Mu teleported next to it with his short sword drawn and stabbed into its neck before quickly storing the beast into the ring.
In the very next second, he blinked back to the tree top. He then immediately looked around and saw that none of the beasts had detected him yet.
“Good, this should work.” Lin Mu muttered to himself before finding his next target.