While Jiang Chao Ge was unconscious, he felt someone shaking him violently, causing his neck to nearly snap, and his stomach churned as if he might vomit at any moment.
Frustrated, he yelled, “Stop shaking me, damn it!”
Yun Xi was startled and backed away.
Jiang Chao Ge opened his eyes and felt everything spinning around him.
Zhi Xuan held onto his neck and said, “Jiang Chao Ge, wake up.”
Jiang Chao Ge looked at Zhi Xuan and opened his mouth but didn’t know what to say.
He felt confused and disoriented, not knowing where he was.
Yun Xi crawled back and said, “You need to wake up quickly.
Ju Fu needs you to summon him.”
Jiang Chao Ge was stunned for two seconds before regaining his senses.
“Oh, right…” With Yun Xi’s support, he sat up.
Yun Xi asked, “How much spiritual power do you have left?”
“Not much,” replied Jiang Chao Ge as he took the unpolished bone from Zhi Xuan, the spiritual tool of the Ju Fu.
He rubbed the blood from his face, “Summoning the monkey should be enough.”
“Then hurry, you’ve been unconscious for two hours.
The Ju Fu’s next attack may start soon.”
Jiang Chao Ge was in so much pain that he could barely move.
Yun Xi helped him up from the ground.
When he looked back, he saw their squad had suffered heavy injuries.
Only a few of their members could move, and even the tent was too difficult to pack up.
They managed to climb on Tian Rong and Jiang Chao Ge summoned the monkey and ordered it to take them out of the misty maze.
Ju Fu was indeed well-versed in the area, and they moved through the mist, although with Tian Rong injured in several places, they proceeded slowly.
They were nervous, afraid of being attacked at any moment, because if they were, there would be no other choice but to rely on Zhi Xuan’s ability to manifest again.
Jiang Chao Ge felt drowsy as he sat on top of Tian Rong, and Yun Xi kept treating his injuries to prevent him from fainting again.
They persisted and walked several miles before realizing they weren’t going in circles anymore, and the mist had lightened.
By noon, they finally left the maze, and when the warm sun shone on their faces, they felt like crying tears of joy.
It had been so long since they had felt the sun.
It almost felt unreal, and they were afraid it was just an illusion.
Tian Rong managed to walk a few steps before collapsing into the snow with a thud.
The others fell off him, and he was bleeding from his mouth and nose, looking dazed, and his fur was almost completely destroyed.
Yuren Shu held his head and said guiltily, “Tian Rong, rest now.”
Tian Rong uttered hoarsely, “Let’s walk a little further.”
“No, you can’t even stand up now.”
“Rest for a while,” Yu Ran Shu trembled as he ran his hand over Tian Rong’s fur.
Tian Rong chuckled, his amber eyes filled with pride.
“What are you afraid of? I won’t die.” He weakly curved his tail, tapping Yu Ran Shu’s back, trying to comfort him.
“But you’re in pain,” Yu Ran Shu took a deep breath.
“Listen to me and rest.” Without further delay, he put Tian Rong back into his weapon.
After Tian Rong disappeared, all Yu Ran Shu could see were the bloody footprints in the snow, which made his eyes hurt.
Yun Xi summoned a deer and put the immobile Long Xiang and Ruan Qianshu on it.
The rest of them walked.
The sky, free of the mist, was so blue and high, and even the dull snow and withered trees were beautiful.
They slowly moved forward, leaving a line of bloody impressions in the snow.
After walking all afternoon, everyone was too exhausted to take another step, so they picked a secluded area to rest.
Jiang Chao Ge collapsed on the ground, not even able to move a finger.
Zhi Xuan sat beside him, looking at him with complex emotions in his eyes.
There was sorrow, but more anger towards himself for not being able to use his power.
Jiang Chao Ge half-closed his eyes and looked at him.
He whispered, “What’s wrong? Do you want alcohol?”
Zhi Xuan’s small hand slid over his face.
“That’s rare,” Jiang Chao Ge crooked a smile.
Zhi Xuan looked at his weak and injured appearance, his eyes turning red.
“I want you to get better soon.”
Jiang Chao Ge took hold of his hand.
“I’ll… be better soon.”
Zhi Xuan rested his head on Jiang Chao Ge’s chest, listening to his gentle heartbeat.
“If you had met me before I died, I wouldn’t have let you lose a drop of blood.”
Jiang Chao Ge forced a smile and said, “I know.”
“I can give you everything a human could want.”
“Even if you can’t give birth to a little qilin, I wouldn’t dislike you.”
Jiang Chao Ge coughed twice.
Zhi Xuan looked up at him and asked seriously, “You can’t even give birth to half of one?”
Jiang Chao Ge looked embarrassed.
“I was just giving an example.”
“Qilin can’t be half.”
“I know, I was just making a point.”
Zhi Xuan pursed his lips and laid his head back down, holding onto Jiang Chao Ge’s hand.
Just by listening to his heartbeat, he could confirm that he was still alive.
Zhi Xuan’s restless heart calmed down.
Jiang Chao Ge dozed off again, unable to stop himself.
When he woke up from his sleep, it was already the second day.
After resting for a night, Jiang Chao Ge’s spiritual power had slightly recovered, and the stiffness in his body had reduced somewhat.
However, the wounds, which had been left untreated all night, had become even worse.
He knew that he had lost too much blood.
This was not the first time he had experienced this.
In the past, during fights and scuffles, he had also suffered from heavy injuries and blood loss.
The feeling of his life force slowly fading away was terrifying.
Yun Xi was not idle.
In the tent, he busied himself with treating and dressing their wounds, giving them healing potions that he normally wouldn’t have used.
Ruan Qiansu, whose wounds were relatively light, had difficulty moving her leg.
However, her spiritual power had already recovered by half, and she rode Wei Chen to carry out reconnaissance.
Yun Xi had managed to heal most of Long Xiang’s injuries, and Jiang Chao Ge and Yu Ran Shu were gradually recovering.
Although they were temporarily safe, they were still in danger of being attacked and losing their lives during the time they spent catching their breath.
They stayed here, anxious and alert, for three days before everyone regained their ability to move.
Yun Xi was so tired that he fell asleep as soon as he laid down.
When Tian Rong and Zui You reappeared, their fur was as shiny as new, without any trace of the injuries from before.
Jiang Chao Ge expressed with admiration, “Being a spiritual beast is quite good.
Not only can they avoid death, but their injuries also heal quickly.”
Long Xiang said, “I also think it’s great.
They can live without eating or drinking and are not affected by the cold or heat.”
Zui You turned his head to rub his face against Long Xiang’s chest and said, “It would be great if you could turn into a spirit tool after you die.
Then we could be together forever.”
Yu Ran Shu’s voice was deep, “Don’t talk nonsense.
People cannot become spirit tools.”
“Why?” Jiang Chao Ge asked curiously, “In theory, humans are also animals with a spirit and soul.
They should also be able to be made into spirit tools.”
Long Xiang said, “It’s said that making humans into spirit tools would cause a disastrous calamity with unimaginable consequences.”
“A disastrous calamity?”
“Once a person dies, if they are revived, it will have an immeasurable impact on the original world.
Just imagine, if the Emperor dies and is turned into a spirit tool and is reborn without anyone knowing it, he becomes a tool controlled by the spiritual master.
Wouldn’t the power of that nation fall into the hands of someone with ulterior motives?” Yu Ran Shu’s face was somewhat gloomy.
“Therefore, strictly prohibiting the making of humans into spirit tools is the first law of Tianleng Continent.
Any spiritual tool master who dares to violate this law will be publicly executed with no possibility of pardon.”
Jiang Chao Ge listened to Yu Ran Shu’s tone and felt that there might be some internal affairs that he was unwilling to disclose, so he stopped asking.
He was just curious anyway.
Tian Rong led Yu Ran Shu and Yun Xi ahead.
After a bit of distance had been created, Long Xiang whispered, “There was really a person on Tianleng Continent who, in order to revive his dead brother, turned him into a spiritual tool.
That person was one of the emperors of the Yu family, who was Yu Ran Shu’s ancestor.”
Jiang Chao Ge was surprised by this.
“Yu Ran Shu’s ancestor?”
Long Xiang nodded.
“Later, the emperor was turned into a puppet by his brother and caused disaster to the entire Tianleng Continent.
The country was almost destroyed.
Since then, prohibition of turning humans into spiritual tools has been strictly enforced, and this has become a taboo on Tianleng Continent that cannot be mentioned openly.”
Jiang Chao Ge nodded in understanding.
“Yu Ran Shu has a point.
Once a person dies, they are dead.
If they are brought back to life, it defies destiny.
I really don’t know what will happen.” He thought to himself that if an ordinary mouse or frog dies and comes back to life, it probably would not have much impact on this world.
But a person with thoughts and abilities is different, especially when that person holds some power.
It could really have a huge impact.
So, what about the ancient spirit beasts? These creatures have strong energy, both good and evil.
How will their awakening bring about earth-shattering changes to this world? Jiang Chao Ge had a premonition that the awakening of the 12 ancient spirit beasts would cause a violent tornado in this world, and he himself was in the center of that storm.
After leaving the foggy area, their compass suddenly worked again.
Their destination was a place called “Xuanyuan Hill.” Zhi Xuan had said that it was once the residence of Yin Chuan, but he could not clarify where Xuanyuan Hill was.
Their map was rudimentary, and not necessarily accurate, with no markings for this place.
They could only follow Zhi Xuan’s words and head west.
Jiang Chao Ge tried to communicate with Ju Fu through his feelings, but he found it difficult.
He could use his subconscious mind to command the monkey to turn left, sit down, or even lead them out of the maze, but he could not ask the Ju Fu “Do you know where Xuanyuan Hill is?” because he had no concept of Xuanyuan Hill and could not convey the concept to the monkey.
As they continued on their journey, they rested along the way and after a few days, their injuries were mostly healed thanks to Yun Xi’s care.
Yunxi said, “We can’t continue on blindly like this.”
Yu Ran Shu nodded.
“Then what should we do?”
“Let’s go find the human tribe in Kunlun Immortal Boundary.
That person riding on the bird must be a member.”
“But he wanted us dead.”
Jiang Chao Ge said, “But we’re not dead.
We didn’t die in the foggy maze, even though the enemy was hidden and we were exposed.
If we can survive in such perilous circumstances, I don’t believe we will fare worse in a direct confrontation.”
Yun Xi nodded.
“Right, if those monkeys didn’t have the advantage of terrain, they wouldn’t have gotten us into such a sorry state.
In a direct confrontation, they are no match for us.
If we can find the local tribe, we can find someone to lead us to Xuanyuan Hill.
We need to get ourselves a guide.”
Long Xiang snorted.
“We’ll just have to fight them.”
They all had a deep grudge against the Ju Fu who had beaten them half to death in the maze.
Facing them in a fair fight, even if it meant shedding blood and sacrificing their lives, was at least honorable.
But being in a situation where they could only passively take a beating, unable to fight back, was incredibly frustrating.
Long Xiang may look like a young master on the surface, but he was very competitive as a young hero and not lacking in courage.
Yu Ran Shu asked, “Shall we ask the monkey to lead the way?”
Jiang Chao Ge closed his eyes and tried to command the beast with his mind.
After a moment of confusion, the Ju Fu really started to lead the way.
Ruan Qiansu asked, “What shall we do if we meet those tribes?”
“Try to make peace if we can, but if not, we will have to fight,” Jiang Chao Ge joked with Yunxi.
“You’re the one who looks the most friendly, why don’t you try to negotiate with them?”
Yunxi shook his head vigorously.
“I don’t talk to strangers.”
“How did you dare to stop us in the street and sell us things?”
“I observed you for a long time and didn’t think you looked like robbers.”
Long Xiang frowned, “Did you follow us? Why didn’t I notice?”
Jiang Chao Ge thought to himself that Yun Xi, who had the presence of furniture, was hardly noticeable by ordinary people.
After walking east for a day, they entered a forest with sparse snow and a hint of greenery.
The road here showed signs of artificial repair and they knew the Ju Fu had led them to the right place.
As they continued in this direction, the forest grew denser and the road became easier to travel.
Occasionally, beasts would appear in the forest, adding to the sense of vitality.
In the afternoon, as they were walking, Jiang Chao Ge suddenly exclaimed, “Halt!”
Tian Rong and Zui Yu both stopped in their tracks.
Jiang Chao Ge jumped off Tian Rong and frowned as he looked around, feeling that something was not quite right.
He had learned some jungle ambush tactics from a paramilitary soldier in his original world and had some experience in setting traps.
Although he might not be able to spot an abnormality in a forest like a professional, he was always alert.
After all, the laws of nature do not change.
The direction of tree growth, the pattern of plant veins, and the tangle of roots are all regular patterns.
If someone had tampered with them, there would be a flaw.
Jiang Chao Ge took two steps forward and felt that the way some branches snapped was not quite right.
He said cautiously, “There may be traps around here.”
“I have to look for them…” Jiang Chao Ge regretted not learning more.
He thought he would never have the chance to fight in the wild again.
After all, he had already decided to retire.
He had just taken two steps back when he suddenly heard a swooshing sound in the air.
His muscles tensed up, and although his nerves had already registered the danger, his muscles were too slow to respond to his brain, he couldn’t dodge.
Ruan Qiansu swung her crescent blades fiercely.
There was a loud sound of impact.
Jiang Chao Ge felt a burning sensation on his cheek, and then everything around him stopped.
He took a deep breath, his heart was still beating, he was still alive! He lowered his head and saw a bamboo arrow embedded in the ground next to his foot.
The bamboo arrow had been cut off by the crescent blades, changing its direction at the last moment.
Otherwise, this arrow would likely have pierced through his head.
Zhi Xuan was furious and filled with anxiety.
He roared into the forest, shaking everyone’s eardrums.
Fear quickly spread throughout their bodies, even making Jiang Chao Ge tremble.
Birds and animals scattered and fled in the forest, and the usually quiet space suddenly became lively.
Yun Xi gestured anxiously, “Shh, shh.” He subconsciously wanted to cover Zhi Xuan’s mouth, but Zhi Xuan turned his head and snarled at him, making him quickly retract his hand.
Zhi Xuan growled fiercely, “Don’t touch me!”
Yun Xi hurriedly placated, “Okay, okay.”
Jiang Chao Ge ran towards Tian Rong’s underbelly and said, “Zhi Xuan, I’m fine.
Qiansu, thank you for saving my life.”
Ruan Qiansu sneered, “How do you plan to thank me? Aren’t I a financially irresponsible woman now?”
Jiang Chao Ge awkwardly said, “We’re even now that you returned the gold coins to the Qi family.”
Ruan Qiansu rolled her eyes and ignored him.
The whole team entered a state of alert, hiding under the bodies of Tian Rong and Zui Yu to protect against hidden arrows.
Yu Ran Shu shouted, “Who goes there? Come out!”
A head popped out from behind a giant tree trunk.
Then, more and more heads emerged one after another, up to dozens of people who all held bows and arrows, lurking behind the tree like monkeys.
It turned out that they had already been surrounded.
A man spoke rapidly, with a similar accent as the person met before they had entered Kunlun Immortal Boundary, and Jiang Chao Ge impatiently shouted, “What kind of bird language are you speaking? I don’t understand it.”
The man paused and spoke in awkward English, “Who are you, and what do you want?”
“We come from outside the mountain and want to go to Xuanyuan Hill.”
“Why do you want to go there?”
Without hesitation, Jiang Chao Ge said, “To worship our ancestors.”
“Why do you worship them?”
“Thousands of years ago, our ancestors came from the Kunlun Immortal Boundary.
For unknown reasons, they migrated outside of Kunlun Mountain.
They passed down the memory of their hometown from generation to generation, hoping that one day their descendants could bring their remains back to their homeland and rest peacefully here.
Our tribe is now only a few of us left.
Therefore, we want to fulfill our ancestors’ wishes while our bloodline still exists, and also satisfy our longing for our hometown.”
Yun Xi stared at Jiang Chao Ge in disbelief as he lied his ass off without even pausing to think.
The others were used to it.
The man hesitated for a moment and asked, “Could it be that you are descendants of the Laya people?”
“Yes, do you know our tribe?” Jiang Chao Ge responded.
“A thousand years ago, many tribes lived near Xuanyuan Hill.
Later, one by one they disappeared.
My father said that the Laya people migrated outside of the mountain,” the boy who spoke emerged from behind the tree trunk, a boy of about a dozen years old with a simple and honest face.
Jiang Chao Ge thought, right on target.
He nodded repeatedly, “We probably know less about our ancestors than you do, and the language has been lost.
You are so young and know so much.
You are really impressive.”
The boy scratched his head, feeling a little embarrassed.
Suddenly he remembered something and asked, “You’re the ones who got through the Lamacuo maze, right?”
“The one with a lot of fog? Yes.”
“No one has ever gotten through that maze,” the boy looked at Tian Rong and Zui Yu, “Chimera and Nine-tailed Fox, no wonder…”
Jiang Chao Ge thought, there shouldn’t be any “people” here.
The boy said, “Put down your weapons, leave the spirit beasts, and follow me back to the tribe.”
Long Xiang asked, “Put down our weapons? What if we lose them?”
“Then you’ll have to find another way around and not approach our tribe again.”
Yu Ran Shu and Jiang Chao Ge glanced at each other and said, “Fine, we’ll put them down.”
Tian Rong disagreed, “No, Shu, it’s too dangerous.”
Zui Yu also said, “Without us, you’ll be at the mercy of others.”
Jiang Chao Ge shouted, “Can I bring this child with me? Although he is a spirit beast, my spiritual power is weak and I cannot even summon his true form.
He cannot leave me either.”
The boy slid down from the tree and sensed Jiang Chao Ge’s weak spiritual power up close.
It was indeed insufficient to summon a heavenly-level spirit beast.
He said, “Okay, but leave your weapons and spirit tools behind.”
The group then put down their weapons and spirit tools, leaving Tian Rong and Zui Yu to guard them.
They followed the boy deeper into the forest under the watchful eyes of dozens of arrows.
Zhi Xuan hugged Jiang Chao Ge’s neck and said with satisfaction, “It’s good that you always carry me with you.”
Jiang Chao Ge laughed, “I’ll always carry you with me.”
“If there is danger, I will also carry you out.”
“I know.” Jiang Chao Ge was not very confident in himself.
They were on someone else’s turf, and his life was in someone else’s hands.
But luckily, he had Zhi Xuan with him.
They walked for about half an hour when the path ahead became clear.
A hundred-meter-tall tree appeared in front of them with seven or eight treehouses built on it.
Around the tree was a village with a mix of above-ground and underground houses.
People and various spirit beasts were seen wandering around the village, bustling with activity.
This was the first time Jiang Chao Ge had seen such a native village, and he found it fresh and new, but he did not let his guard down.
He chatted with the boy on the way, using small talk to extract useful information.
The boy was very naive and easily gave out a lot of valuable information.
By the time they arrived at the village, Jiang Chao Ge had learned that their tribe was called the Tuozu, with over two thousand people, and had never left the Kunlun Immortal Boundary.
They were skilled in archery, weaving, hunting, and farming for a living.
Zhi Xuan saw the people coming and going in the village and unconsciously hugged Jiang Chao Ge’s neck tighter, saying unhappily, “So many humans, it’s so annoying.”
“What’s wrong?” Jiang Chao Ge asked.
“It reminds me of the tribes that were far away from the Kunlun Immortal Boundary ten thousand years ago.
They also wore clothes similar to these.” Zhi Xuan snorted, “No, back then, they didn’t have anything called clothes.
They just wrapped themselves in animal skins, drank raw blood and ate raw meat.
They were no different from other animals except that they walked on two legs.
It was Yin Chuan who taught them agriculture, animal husbandry, literacy, even trained them to become spiritual weapon users, spiritual tool masters, and spirit priests.
He taught them how to make spiritual weapons, medicine, and what did humans do in return to Yin Chuan?” Zhi Xuan became angrier as he spoke, gnashing his teeth, “That’s why I hate humans the most.
They forget kindness, only seeking profit.”
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