Chapter 45: Entering the Mountain
After returning from the Hundred Refinements Pavilion, Su Chen took Cloud Leopard and Iron Cliff with him and headed for the agreed-upon rendezvous point.
Because they had arrived a bit early, not a single person was there yet.
After waiting for a while, Zheng Xia, Du Qing and the others also appeared.
Su Chen made an introduction once everyone had gathered. “Iron Cliff is my servant. I’ll be taking him with me on this expedition. Of course, he and I are considered together.”
Upon hearing that Iron Cliff was basically free extra strength, everyone was quite happy and gave Iron Cliff a warm welcome.
Zheng Xia was still a bit worried. He asked, “How is his strength? If it’s too dangerous, I’m worried that……”
“Don’t worry. You won’t need to spend your energy watching over him,” Su Chen replied.
Zheng Xia finally nodded.
To the side, Sun Jizu asked, “Why hasn’t Wang Doushan come yet?”
“He’s probably still on his way,” Cloud Leopard piped up. “Let’s wait a bit longer.”
After quite some time, Wang Doushan’s round body finally came into view as he ran towards them.
As he ran he yelled, “Sorry, I’m late again!”
His appearance screamed that he had just woken up. Everyone was rendered speechless.
Zheng Xia sighed to himself. He was already worried about taking along Su Chen, but now it seemed that their Bloodline Nobility Clan member wasn’t very strong either.
They all seemed to be useless!
Although he felt regret in his heart, the matter had already been decided. He could only harden his forehead and continue to press on.
The eight member group was finally gather together and began to set out for the Thousand Ashes Gorge.
Before leaving, Su Chen pulled out a vial of medicine.
“What is that?” Du Qing asked with curiosity.
Su Chen replied, “Bug repellant. There are many insects within the mountains. With this, you won’t have to worry about being bit.”
“That’s pretty good.” Du Qing reached her hand out to grab it.
“Every bottle is ten Origin Stones,” Su Chen said.
Du Qing instantly withdrew her hand as her eyes opened wide. “Ten Origin Stones? Are you trying to rob us?”
Su Chen replied seriously, “It costs money to concoct medicine. This medicine usually goes for fifteen Origin Stones outside, and it’ll only be more expensive once we’re in the mountain – perhaps more than twenty. Ten Origin Stones per bottle is not much. Of course, you can also choose to go without it.”
Yan Fuxing harrumphed, “Everyone here is a cultivator. If we protect our bodies with Origin energy, how could a few insects affect us?”
“That’s right! Only idiots would spend ten Origin Stones on that,” Sun Jizu also said.
“So be it. I just wanted to let you all know.” Su Chen didn’t mind. He put away the medicine.
Sun Jizu, Zheng Xia, and Du Qing all shook their heads and gave up on it. Only Wang Doushan and Cloud Leopard bought it.
Cloud Leopard knew how useful the bug repellant could be. In all honesty, the medicine had been his suggestion in the first place. Wang Doushan was giving his friend face and trying it out.
But after entering the mountain, their party very quickly began to realize how frightening the bugs were.
The Falling Eagle Mountain’s bugs had seemingly also cultivated. They were extremely vicious when biting others. Even Origin Qi Scholars who cultivated body tempering Origin Skills could feel the sting, not to mention regular Origin Qi Scholars. Upon being bitten, a large welt would appear.
While a broken finger would heal in a day, these welts wouldn’t disappear even after half a day.
Setting up an Origin Energy Barrier was the only way to defend themselves, but that consumed Origin Energy.
Not long after, Zheng Xia began to complain incessantly.
Du Qing was the first one who couldn’t take it anymore. While the insects in the mountains were truly vicious, they were also extremely precise. One bit her on her face, causing a massive welt to appear in its place.
Not only did these welts hurt, but they also ruined her complexion.
She hurriedly went over to Su Chen and bought a vial.
Zheng Xia was the second one.
Yan Fuxing and Sun Jizu were hell-bent on preserving their face. After all, they were the ones who had said that only idiots would buy that medicine.
But as more and more welts accumulated on their faces, they finally couldn’t take it anymore and went to Su Chen to buy the bug repellant. If they had to be idiots, then so be it.
Su Chen didn’t haggle with them about it. He also pulled out a vial that could treat these insect bites.
That vial was more expensive. It was thirty Origin Stones.
They could only helplessly pull out their money. However, there was a bit of dissatisfaction in their hearts. They felt that this person was too stingy and didn’t have a sense of camaraderie, even charging members of the same team for basic medicine.
Humans were usually like this. As long as there was some form of relationship, they would feel that using someone was expected and even justified. If they were still charged for it, naturally that person was greedy and lacked camaraderie.
Naturally, the effort, care, and monetary cost that someone paid were not considered.
Of course, this was just a small matter that didn’t mean too much. It didn’t even really affect the interactions between the group.
The main difference between entering the mountain range as a group and entering as an individual was that it was a lot more lively. There were always conversations going on.
Du Qing was the happiest in the entire group. The young maiden was kind-hearted and lively, bouncing back and forth and taking the entire way. From time to time, she would run ahead of the group, or she would see a beautiful wildflower that she would pick and wear in her hair. She would even linger around in places with particularly beautiful scenery.
The group constantly started and stopped because of her. Their speed was quite slow.
However, no one criticized Du Qing for it.
Su Chen and Wang Doushan were here mostly for the experience. They were in no hurry. It was obvious that Zheng Xia and the others liked her.
The only person who wasn’t happy was probably Cloud Leopard.
He helplessly shook his head. “How are we here to hunt and kill Vicious Beasts? This is more like a scenic vacation.”
He paid no attention to his volume when he spoke. Yan Fuxing and Sun Jizu both heard it, and they shot him unhappy glances.
Su Chen patted Cloud Leopard’s shoulders. “Relax a bit. We don’t need to treat every expedition as a life-or-death trip. Scenic vacations are fine every once in awhile.”
“The issue is that Vicious Beasts don’t think this way,” Cloud Leopard replied.
Su Chen pulled Cloud Leopard closer to him and muttered, “I know you are a regular here at the Falling Eagle Mountain. Your experience is very important; however, in this team we are guests, and sometimes guests need to respect the rules of the host. It’s not right for us to try and usurp them. You just have to let these small things go, but if there’s any danger, inform us in advance.”
Cloud Leopard nodded and grunted in agreement.
Meanwhile, Du Qing had run underneath a tree. She picked a few red fruits and excitedly ran back. “Look, there are fruits for us to eat.”
Just as she was about to hand them out, Cloud Leopard glanced at them and then suddenly tossed the handful of fruits away.
This forceful action scared Du Qing badly.
Everyone stared at him with infuriated gazes. “Hey, what are you doing?”
“The fruits are poisonous,” Cloud Leopard indifferently replied. He turned around and went back to his original position.
The group gazed at each other and then at the vibrant red flesh on the ground. They had no way of verifying whether what Cloud Leopard had said was true, but there was no way that any of them were going to try it anymore.
“Is it poisonous if you say it’s poisonous?” Du Qing asked unhappily.
Cloud Leopard ignored her, his attitude practically screaming, “I don’t care if you believe me or not.”
If Su Chen had been the one to inform everyone that the fruits were poisonous, he wouldn’t have used such a simple yet ferocious method.
But Cloud Leopard was different. His environmental circumstances had taught him to use simple and ferocious methods to deal with problems, and it was unlikely for him to consider the mental fortitude of others when doing things. Wang Doushan and Su Chen were used to his temperament, but evidently Zheng Xia and the others weren’t.
Yan Fuxing and the others were the original members of the team. They couldn’t help but feel a sense of superiority, so it was hard for them to accept such a development.
“Forget about it. Whether the fruits are poisonous or not, it’s best not to randomly eat the things growing in this mountain.” Zheng Xia was the first to speak up.
“Even if it is poisonous, can’t he just say it nicely? How coarse, he might as well be a barbarian,” Du Qing pouted.
Zheng Xia sighed. Weren’t you the one that found this person?
After a while, Team Bright encountered their first target – a wandering Black Mountain Goat.
The Black Mountain Goat was not very powerful, but it was a massive pain to deal with. It could use at least three Origin Skills, including a kind of demonic curse that could cause one to rapidly age.
The Hidden Dragon Institute’s Vicious Beast class had specifically covered the Black Mountain Goat.
The best way to deal with it was to attack it head-on without giving it any time to activate its curse, which required a certain period of time before it could be activated.
Based on their prior knowledge, Team Bright easily took care of their first battle.
After killing the Black Mountain Goat, however, Zheng Xia discovered that Su Chen and Iron Cliff were still standing over the body.
The two of them were moving their arms around strangely.
“What are you doing?” Wang Doushan asked, baffled.
Su Chen smiled. “We’re honoring the dead so that its soul may find rest.”
Du Qing was shocked. “You believe in Buddha?”
Buddhism did exist in the Primordial Continent, but its influence was much weaker. Out of many religions, it was the most unassuming one. The principle of reincarnation was not popular in this society. Similarly, gods also existed, but they did not have much influence either.
Once humans possessed strength that exceeded even the power of the gods, their respect for deities greatly decreased.
If possible, they wanted to become gods themselves.
After all, in this world, humans were not that far removed from the heavens.
Su Chen didn’t really care about believing in Buddhism. However, if he wanted to absorb those motes of Origin Energy that floated through the air, it was best to choose that excuse.
Allowing its soul to find rest was a pretty good way of putting it.
Thus, he replied, “It’s better than just idling around.”
Zheng Xia was completely speechless.
What kind of teammates had he found for himself?
A fatty who had no sense of time, a barbarian who didn’t know how to speak politely, and a joker who treated money like his life.
Zheng Xia had completely lost all hope for this expedition.