Chapter 337 A Funny Smell
“The snowstorm is really weird.”
Overlooking the pasture covered by more than three feet of snow, Guo Yuqing showed a tinge of apprehension on his face.
“The snowstorm is rather bitter.” Li Mu echoed.
Back on Earth, when winter arrived, TV shows and news reports in China often talked about the heavy snow in China’s northeast which turned the three provinces in that region into a kingdom of snow. Through social media, he often saw people joking about the cold and snowstorm in the northeast. But there was one thing for sure: even the wildest snowstorm in the northeast of China was nothing impressive if compared with the heavy snow he witnessed on the pasture. At the moment, large snowflakes were lavishly pelting down from the sky and piling up on the ground like layers of bricks.
“The two snowstorms we had this year are heavier than any of the snowstorms that befell the pasture over the past decade,” the Goddess of Martial Arts chimed in.
Guo Yuqing shook his head and countered, “Not exactly. None of those snowstorms over the past century is comparable to what we had this year.”
An inspiration suddenly flashed through Li Mu’s mind.
“Is this planet entering an Ice Age?”
“If we use scientific principles to explain this…”
As Li Mu was still pondering over the question, Guo Yuqing added, “The Spiritual Qi on the pasture has changed. That change has been brought about by both nature and human activities. Superb masters have arrived in the pasture, and I dear say there is a score of them… We must hurry up to locate the Wolf Temple. Otherwise, I’m afraid the situation will get tricky.”
“Superb masters? Are you talking about Sages?” Asked Li Mu.
Guo Yuqing answered, “They are not ordinary Sages, perhaps some of the Nine Superbs in the World.”
“Some of the Nine Superbs?” Li Mu repeated, obviously amazed.
Among the Nine Superbs, Li Poyue the Guanshan Master and Dao Chongyang the Taoist Master were going to have a duel. Although the two had both come out of their closed-door training, the place they designated for the duel was not the vast pasture but Peerless White Jade City, a large city in the border area of Western Qin. Therefore, those two could not have traveled to the pasture. Given Jiang Qiubai was a superb master himself, he could not be one of the newcomers, either. Then, which ones of the other six Superbs were on the pasture?
Each of the Nine Superbs of the martial art was way above ordinary people.
But all of a sudden, nearly all of them came to the pasture?
Li Mu felt nonplussed as if he just learned that Huskie had become a general.
He had only obtained the power of a Semi-Sage by relying on the extra support of the Spiritual Qi summoned by the Dragon-assembling Pattern in Taibai Mountain. In truth, he was a knock-off. That he came to the pasture on the pretense of being a Sage-to-be to rescue Shangguan Yuting was because he had no alternative. But then, he learned that almost all of Nine Superbs had come to the pasture as well… That news gave Li Mu quite a headache.
“Who knows if those Nine Superbs are easygoing or not? If they just find me disagreeable to the eye and kill me with a random slap, I will be dead for nothing, won’t I?”
“But who can I appeal to if that’s the case?”
“Oh, how sad this is!”
Looking at the overwhelming snowflakes, Li Mu heaved with a sigh.
It wasn’t until he got out of his comfort zone and traveled to other regions did he realize how vast the world was and how small he was.
“So I shall lose no time to continue enhancing my strength.”
Nevertheless, that General Huskie crossed his mind again. “I wonder how it is doing on Earth. It’s really odd that it appeared in my dreams lately. I hope it didn’t get too naughty in Randengsi Village. If not, those villagers who lost their temper might cook it and have a dog-meat hot-pot.”
In the distance, a stream of light glinted.
“Big brother, third brother!” Qiu Yin called, looking travel-stained. He finally hurried there following the aura marks Li Mu left on the way.
Li Mu felt heartened.
“Second brother!” Guo Yuqing yelled, a bright smile playing around his lips as well.
With a guilty look, Qiu Yin said, “My master asked me to stay in closed-door training so as to take over the mantle before he left for Mount Qingcheng to duel the Taoist Master…” He briefed the other two about why he failed to keep the appointment.
“Never mind. Taking the mantle of your master is no joke.” Guo Yuqing said understandingly.
Li Mu also used his humor to tell Qiu Yin he did not mind him arriving late. After all, Qiu Yin was the future leader of the Guanshan Pasture who shouldered the responsibility of managing the entire Guanshan Pasture in the first place. He was only their sworn brother in the second place.
Goddess of Martial Arts also paid her obeisance to Qiu Yin.
The three sworn brothers all perked up after their reunion.
They spent one more day traveling on.
The snowstorm did not subside. Instead, it appeared to be growing more and more violent.
“I sensed it!” Cried the Goddess of Martial Arts, who abruptly took on a thrilled look, “Wolf Temple’s aura is… in the southwest.”
“Come on.” Li Mu executed his Broadsword-commanding Skill, led Qiu Yin and the Goddess of Martial Arts to crack the void, and hurtled in the southwest. Only when the three had disappeared on the spots did layers of ripples course through the air, as if they just dived into a lake. A few seconds later, a rasping sound was heard. That was the crack generated as they broke into the void.
That was because Li Mu’s speed was supersonic.
At that scene, Guo Yuqing revealed a trace of astonishment on his features.
It was the first time he saw Li Mu give full play of the Broadsword-commanding Skill. Although he had to bring two people alongside, he could still move as fast as a flash of light. Even the Nine Superbs in the World were hardly able to overtake sound like that.
“My third brother turns out to be more impressive than I’ve imagined!”
A surge of pride washed over him.
Taking a stride forward, Guo Yuqing broke the void at Li Mu’s heels.
About 20 minutes later, the four landed on an expanse of boundless snow-blanketed pasture. The land was quite flat, with no wavy hills in the vicinity. The place was vast and vacant. They could see nothing other than snow.
“Wolf Temple is right here!” said the Goddess of Martial Arts.
She was wearing a suit of leather armor. Being tall and slender and having thick blond hair bright as the warm sunshine in the winter, she was radiating a valiant beauty that only a woman could have.
Li Mu opened his Third Eye without hesitation. As it scanned the land, he sure spotted layers of energy fluctuations of a tactical deployment hidden in the void. He saw it dimly that a gigantic black wolf seemed to be sitting behind the tactical deployment.
Guo Yuqing slowly paced around them, his eyes unfathomable. Then, he lowered his head as if contemplating something before sticking out a finger and pressing it against the void.
Ripples spread through the snowy void.
The entire landscape of the Wolf Temple unfolded before the four at last.
Flames of revere and exhilaration danced in the eyes of the Goddess of Martial Arts. As one of the most outstanding pasture residents, she also worshiped the Wolf Temple to the marrow like many others on the pasture did. When she was baptized in the Wolf Temple the last time, she was also that close to it. Although many years had passed by, her revere for the Wolf Temple was all the same.
She knelt down in reverence, putting herself on all fours to worship the Wolf Temple.
“Let’s go.” Guo Yuqing said, taking the lead.
The other three followed close behind him.
Marching across the void, the four came to the huge mouth of the giant black wolf. Pointed stone pillars sprouting from the ceiling and the floor were interlocked on both sides, which looked like massive fangs.
“This can’t be a real prehistoric huge wolf, can it?” Li Mu said as he touched the stone pillars in surprise.
After that, he sensed a… well, very familiar smell.
“This seems a bit familiar.” His eyes then caught sight of a patch of the wet surface at the bottom of the pillar standing closest to the front gate. It looked like some snow just melted there. “But the smell… I might have caught that small before.”
Following Li Mu’s eyes, Qiu Yin also noticed that wet patch.
He strode over, dipped a fingertip in the fluid, and sniffed it. Then, he tentatively licked it and said, “It seems to be…” But he broke off right then. Suddenly, he sprang to his feet with an awkward look, took out a handkerchief, hastily mopped his fingertip, and then forcefully tossed the handkerchief on the floor. After that, he headed for the depths of the Wolf Temple in silence, walking faster than ever.
Guo Yuqing also took a glance at that wet patch but did not say a word.
Li Mu and the others went off after Qiu Yin.
They set foot down a bizarre tunnel and went on and on, their footsteps reverberating from the ground to the walls.
“Isn’t there any guard in the Wolf Temple?” asked Li Mu with mild curiosity.
He could not figure out why there was a sense of solitude and dolefulness permeating the Wolf Temple.
“There once were some. But later… they disbanded.” Guo Yuqing halted in his track. A moment later, he started marching forward again.
“There got to be some juicy stories behind this!”
Li Mu thought to himself.
Yet, he knew it was not time to gossip.
Soon, Li Mu detected some marks Shangguan Yuting left behind.
She had sure been taken to the Wolf Temple.
But the problem was… how to rescue her from Jiang Qiubai, the master of Wolf Temple and one of the Nine Superbs in the World. That was still a knotty question.
Li Mu repeatedly counted all his ace cards inwardly and conceived all kinds of plans without a stop as he headed down the tunnel.
A short way ahead of them, a spacious room was waiting for them.
Li Mu’s expression altered the moment he entered that spacious room.
Because he noted the residue of the aura of a horrible fight between demons in the huge room. Right in that room three Sages, who were all Nine Superbs, had had a fierce battle. In addition to the aura of raging waves, he discerned a wisp of trivial but also magnificent Sword Intent and a thread of wildness as profound and long-lasting like ancient demons’… The three kinds of aura tangled, repelled, destroyed, and strangled one another in the spacious room. Any practitioners above the Natural Realm could feel them even if they were standing afar with their eyes closed. It was no mistake that three experts possessing exceedingly formidable powers had had an inconceivably terror-inspiring fight there.
“Guo Yuqing is correct.”
“More than more of the Nine Superbs have come to the pasture. And they’ve also visited the Wolf Temple.”
Guo Yuqing paced to a huge oval maroon rock sitting at the center of the spacious room.
His palm started to glow. Then, he gently pressed the palm against the rock.
In an instant, the oval maroon rock turned scarlet and shone brightly, giving them a clearer view of the carves on it, which resembled intertwined old roots. As if a drum was beating inside the rock, a series of deep and slow beats sounded. Accompanied by the drumbeats, the scarlet light the rock was issuing began to flicker.
Guo Yuqing looked quite stern. It seemed that he was receiving some coded message.
The Goddess of Martial Arts stood next to him, her face solemn. The loyal follower of the Wolf Temple had finally realized something was wrong. An invasion had occurred there. Very frightening invasion. Nonetheless, she was in no fear. For the sake of the Wolf Temple, she would do all it took to fight the invaders until she was killed.
Qiu Yin’s expression was rather absurd.
On the way, he spotted more puddles of that fluid with the funny smell. Several were lying in the spacious room. He had guessed what it was, but he was reluctant to believe he was right. Anyway, in normal cases, that kind of creature would not prowl in the Wolf Temple.
Li Mu activated his Third Eye and spiritual force at the same time and started to search the room like a radar.
Shortly, he detected that in a corner of the room, there was a wisp of remaining aura of Shangguan Yuting, which was as negligible as a leaf drifting in the sea.
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