In the middle of the night, a clap of thunder broke the silence of the forest. Then it was followed by a heavy downpour of rain. Such an occurrence was rare in autumn.
Lin Mu Yu put on his armor and grabbed a black umbrella before exiting his tent, Prairie Fire in hand. In the distance, the tents of Tang Xiao Xi and Qin Yin were both being guarded by Qin Lei and Feng Ji Xing.
Rain drops buffeted the umbrella and the stars were no longer visible in the sky. The bonfire flickered in the rain as several imperial soldiers tried to maintain the flames. The camp was suddenly in chaos, the patrolling horsemen quickly rushed to camp to find shade.
"Master Lin Zhi!"
Not far away, a member of the imperial army laughed. "Why are you holding up an umbrella in the midst of the rain? Quickly come inside the tent where it is dry, otherwise you might get sick!"
Lin Zhi shook his head and smiled. "No need, thank you, I want to look around."
Because he carried the gold star from the Temple he held a lofty position among the imperial soldiers. Also, Feng Ji Xing and Qin Lei were familiar with him, so Lin Mu Yu has a lot of freedom inside the camp.
Eventually, the rain extinguished the bonfire, so they were now in complete darkness inside the forest.
Lin Mu Yu unsheathed Prairie Fire and released a little bit of energy from his palm, passing it through the long sword, suddenly a raging inferno enveloped the sword. It’s heat remained unaffected by the rain and radiated light in all directions. He walked step by step around the camp, ensuring that no enemy laid in wait in the surroundings. It had been because of him that Tang Xiao Xi and Qin Yin came to Dragon Seeker Forest, if two of the empire’s treasures were to meet some accident, he would surely regret it for the rest of his life.
“Rain is leaking into the tents, go and find some wide leaves!" Said and unknown voice. Several imperial soldiers went into the forest and started cutting trees.
It was then that there was a slight rustling sound coming from the right side, Lin Mu Yu went on alert and turned Prairie Fire to illuminate the darkness. "Who’s there?"
"It’s me, don't say a word!"
In darkness, a beautiful face peered out from the hood of a cloak. It was Qin Yin, clad in the armor of an imperial soldier. She smiled and said, "What's wrong Ah Yu, do I look weird?"
"Why is Your Highness dressed like that?"
"If I didn't dress like this, how am I supposed to slip away?" She giggled.
"Hurry! Xiao Xi is already waiting for us up ahead." Qin Yin pulled the hood back up to cover her face then wrapped her cloak tightly around her body to shield against the rain.
Lin Mu Yu was confused but he held the umbrella for her. His other hand held Prairie Fire up to light their path.
Qin Yin looked up to realize that Lin Mu Yu was soaked, so she nudged the umbrella to cover his head, unable to hold back a smile. She didn't say anything, as princess of the empire, it would be unbecoming to comment.
"You’re both too slow!"
In front of them, Tang Xiao Xi’s voice came through the shrubbery. She was also wearing the garb of an imperial soldier, it looked ridiculous in her delicate frame. She was holding onto three fine horses, a wide grin on her face. "You are too slow. Hmph! Next time, I don't want to be the one stealing horses. I was almost kicked by these violent beasts!.
Lin Mu Yu already knew what they intended to do and tried to talk them out of it. "Isn't slipping away like this a bad idea? Elder Brother Feng Ji Xing and Elder Brother Qin Lei will go crazy looking for you!"
"It’s fine. I left them a letter inside my tent” Qin Yin said with a dimpled smile.
"It’s dark out, where are we even going?" Lin Mu Yu asked.
Qin Yin muttered to herself, pondering. Fog from the rain collected on her lashes and formed into small dewdrops. It shimmered and shined as it dripped in succession, increasing the beauty of this woman. She eventually lifted her head. "Let's go south to avoid the rest of the army and go deeper into the Dragon Seeker Forest from there. Enough talking, let’s get on the horses, and find somewhere to rest before dawn!"
Lin Mu Yu could only nod in resignation.
The three of them rode their horses southward. Not half an hour had passed when suddenly a gold light shot through the darkness. It looked like.....the God Binding Lock?
Qin Lei’s voice rang through. It was indeed him, he had been able to catch up to them.
"Don't run anymore!"
Qin Lei called loudly, abruptly raising his martial spirit as his God Binding Lock tore through the ground, creating a barrier in front of Qin Yin. Qin Yin, however, was not easy to deal with. She gently spread out her palms, the same God Binding Lock emerged from her body, thrashing Qin Lei’s martial spirit. She smiled and said, "Elder Brother Qin Lei, don't follow us. Go home, we will be back after a few days!"
"Out of the question!"
Qin Lei continued persuading them, "His Majesty sent me to protect you, I cannot leave my mission half-finished!"
Qin Yin gnashed her teeth together. "Hmph! You’re always following me. Do you have any idea how annoying it is? I don't even have the least bit of freedom, why can’t you understand? You blockhead!"
Qin Lei was a very simple and straightforward person. He continued to urged his horse forward, his body unprotected from the rain. He scratched his head and smiled, "I understand how you feel, but Xiao Yin, you are much too important to the empire. We cannot allow anything to happen to you. I can indulge you in anything you want except for this."
Qin Lei then turned to raise his brow at Lin Mu Yu. "Ah Yu, kid, help me convince her!"
Lin Mu Yu looked at Qin Yin, but didn't say a word. Qin Yin was the one who replied. "Ah Yu, if you are my friend, you won’t try to convince me. I hate it when people watch me all day.
Tang Xiao Xi was smiling, enjoying the scene as one enjoying in the misfortune of others.
Lin Mu Yu rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Your Highness, why not allow Elder Brother Qin Lei to come with us. Going deep into Dragon Seeker Forest is a lot safer with the four of us."
"Right, right! What Ah Yu said!" Qin Lei looked at Lin Mu Yu with gratitude, "I will go with you, myself. No need to bring other people. Is this acceptable, Your Highness?"
Qin Yin rubbed at her nose and groaned in frustration. "Come on then. But you will listen to me, if you use father to pressure me, you go back immediately!"
Qin Lei nodded agreeably. "Sure, sure! Whatever you say!"
Lin Mu Yu and Tang Xiao Xi looked at one another and smiled. Their party now consisted of four people to face the dangers ahead. Qin Lei was the strongest among the four of them, it would be much safer with him along.
While walking through the night, they met several spirit beasts below a thousand years, all of which were easily defeated by Lin Mu Yu and Qin Lei. Qin Lei had already seen Lin Mu Yu’s Four-Way Sword Skills during the Upper Sunset Festival banquet. He genuinely admired this guy’s talents, even though there was a huge disparity between their positions he was still very polite the entire way.
The rain stopped at daybreak.
The early sunlight shined on them. Qin Yin sat atop her horse as her body produced thin wisps of smoke, unconsciously drying her clothes with the God Binding Lock martial spirit. And Tang Xiao Xi’s martial spirit being a fire fox, was able to do the same. As for Lin Mu Yu and Qin Lei, the body heat from their male bodies was sufficient to dry their clothes.
As the three of them had deviated southward, it took an entire day to reach the deeper part of Dragon Seeker Forest.
At noon, lazy sunlight sprinkled through the forest canopy.
Qin Lei consulted his map, reading it carefully. "According to the map, we must go south approximately three days to reach this legendary Dragon Tomb. But it is a restricted area and the spirit beasts are strong. It has been reported that it's been a long time since someone came out alive."
Tang Xiao Xi’s martial spirit leaped to her shoulders, she happily said "It's okay, we have four people this time. Elder Brother Qin Lei has reached Heaven Realm and the rest of us are in the Earth Realm. Once we find a suitable spirit beast, Xiao Yin and Mu Mu can reach Heaven Realm as well. The entire party’s strength will go up. Encountering spirits beasts is no problem."
"Alright then!" Qin Lei nodded and carried on forward with his sword flickering with lightning energy.
His sword was of interest. Thunder Cleaver was said to have mysterious origins that Prince Jin Ning spent a considerable amount of effort to acquire. He eventually gave it to his son, Qin Lei, allowing Qin Lei to become one the empire’s best warriors. In the capital, Thunder Cleaver was synonymous to Qin Lei, and vice versa!
Qin Yin watched Lin Mu Yu silently travelling on. Her head cocked to the side as she asked gently, "What kind of spirit does Ah Yu need?"
Lin Mu Yu stared blankly, a little overwhelmed by her attention. He had already met a lot of beautiful women in his world, but none of them could be compared to Qin Yin. Whether in personality or appearance, Qin Yin far surpassed them. She had the kind of immortal beauty that could not be compared to beauty gained from the use of cosmetic powders.
"Any plant type spirit beast will do. It’s also fine if it’s not. My martial spirit isn’t picky. Thank you for your concern, Your Highness."
Qin Yin could not stop a laugh from coming out. "A martial spirit that is not picky? Ah Yu is quite interesting...."
Qin Lei immediately raised his hand all of a sudden to interject. "I believe such a spirit beast is in ahead of us. Be careful everyone, three hundred meters north from here is a spirit beast at least 5000 years old!"
"5000 years?" Qin Yin was both worried and excited. She unsheathed the sword at her waist and smiled. "Then let's prepare to attack!"
"Wait." Qin Lei's look became contemplative as he spoke, "It’s a stone beast. As hard as stone, and very powerful. We must not look down on a 5000 year old stone beast. Ah Yu, follow my lead, your martial spirit is a master of defense, much more convenient in dealing with these types of beasts."
Lin Mu Yu pulled out his long sword, cheerfully said, "Okay!"
Translated by: shogun
Edited by: seriouspotato