Chapter 172: Dragon Blood Lily
While the disciples of the Lunar Sect were surrounded by turtles and scared out of their wits, Zhang withdrew his golden map that could sense dragon veins out from his interspatial ring. Since the map also had the ability to send out a pulse of essence and then depict its surrounding, he was going to use it to try to find the location of all of the caves and possible entrances into the place where the treasure he was seeking could be.
With the map held up in one hand and a bit of essence flowing into it, the golden map began to do its job and the outline of the surrounding area began to appear. Before long a dozen or so entrances into subterranean caves could be seen on the map.
“Let’s go wait here for a bit.” Zhang said as his shadow expanded against and the abyssal cape fluttered as a dozen or so black colored rabbits emerged and scurried away.
Since checking every single cave would take some time and ordering his soldiers to do so would draw unnecessary attention that could possibly lead to someone else finding the treasure, Zhang decided to use inconspicuous looking abyssal rabbits to do the job.
As Zhang and his wives made themselves comfy while the abyssal rabbits surveyed the caves, the students of the Imperial Institute continued to hunt down the forest’s bounty and bring them back to camp.
Dozens of demonic beasts could be seen being transported by groups of students who were covered in light wounds but had joyful expressions on their faces. Perhaps it is the thrill of the hunt, the joy of achieving success with friends or simply the nature of the field trip, but as their experience and achievements stacked up most if not all of the students were filled with glee.
In what was the Warring States Region, demonic beasts were considered a rarity since they mostly stayed out of sight, but here even beasts who were only at the first or second level of cultivation were brimming with confidence and always ready for a fight.
Since the demonic beasts were relatively weak but were willing to fight, the students were able to gain valuable combat experience that they could never do so elsewhere without placing themselves in danger.
Through dozens of fights, the students were able to slowly grasp how to position themselves, coordinate with each other, pinpoint the weaknesses of their opponent and last but not least learn to effectively utilize their knowledge, skill and power.
But there, of course, were students who encountered demonic beasts in the fifth and sixth level of cultivation that they currently could not deal with. Such encounters though dangerous were not fruitless because through these run-ins the students would develop an extremely important skill that would allow them to survive and avoid most dangers that they come across.
They would develop the ability to gauge an opponent and know to flee when encountering a stronger foe. Since blind confidence and inaccurate gauging of an opponent’s power usually led to defeat or death, the skill of reading an opponent and the skill of running away would definitely come in handy and be the difference between life or death.
“Let’s go Little Hong.” A familiar looking boy who Ai had referred to as Little Pan could be seen moving through the forest with a group of students and their demonic beast companions.
Of all of the groups of students, this group was comprised entirely of the Aurora Empire’s future beast tamers and their demonic beasts.
“Little Brother Pan, remember that our objective is not to hunt demonic beasts like the other groups, we are here to capture them alive so don't forget to use those talismans that teacher gave us.” A young girl said with a smile as the group quickened its pace.
For the most part, the students of the Imperial Institute either picked missions that had something to do with gathering medicinal herbs and plants, slaying demonic beasts or gathering rare materials, but this particular group decided to challenge a mission that many others probably would not dare to attempt.
They decided to capture demonic beasts to add to the Beast Pen and were given talismans created by Yuying to do so. These talismans would place whatever demonic beast they are stuck to under a deep trace so they could be transported back to camp. Although it may seem like a walk in the park to capture demonic beasts with the talismans in their possession, this was not true because for the talismans to work the students had to stick them onto their prey, which is diffidently not an easy task.
If one thought about it fighting, killing and fleeing were totally different from capturing because of the students dealt too much damage their prey would die but if they didn't deal enough damage they run the risk of their prey escaping or possibly harming them. So as this group consisting of the few brave souls who dared to attempt a mission that most others steered clear of, they stumbled upon their first opponent.
Underneath a massive apple tree, the students spotted a large shimmering suit of green scales that basked in the sun’s warmth.
“That's a level five Emerald Scale Viper. Those things can grow to be a few hundred feet and become large enough to swallow entire horses.” A boy in his teens with red colored hair and a scimitar in his hand whispered to the rest of the group.
“It seems to be sleeping, you guys think we can stick the talisman on it before it wakes up?” Little Pan asked.
“Let's move on but be careful since the strongest person in our group is only a level fix it'll be considerably harder to beat if it manages to catch us off guard.” A tall boy in his teens with blue hair and a blue colored fox by his side said.
“Frost, you keep an eye on my alright?” The boy said to his blue colored fox that replied with a nod before they group began to move in with talismans in hand.
In a flash, the group of a dozen or so students dispersed and formed a large circle around the tree that the snake was coiled around before they began to close in on it.
“Fall back! It's awake!” Little Pan yelled as the Emerald Scale Viper’s eyes sprang open and it bares its fangs.
Before anyone could do a thing the Emerald Scale Viper uncoiled itself and launched into the air at unbelievable speeds.
Luckily for the group of students before it can skew any of them with its fangs, Little Pan’s red colored wolf be his side named Little Hong opened its mouth and unleashed a torrent of flame.
Despite only currently being a level four Hellfire Wolf, Little Hong violent flames was able to make the Emerald Scale Viper alter its trajectory in midair and crash into a large tree causing the tree to topple over due to sheer force.
Although it was able to dodge Little Hong’s fiery blaze, scorch marks and traces of light burns could be seen all over the Emerald Scale Viper’s body
“Frost, attack!” The boy with blue hair yelled. Answering his call, the blue colored fox by his side made dozens of fist-sized icicles form in the air and shoot toward the large snake that was preparing to attack once again.
Before long the students and their demonic beasts began to unleash barrage after barrage of attacks upon the Emerald Scale Viper. As it was being pelted by attacked the viper couldn't even find an opportunity to strike back. Although it was superior in power there were simply too many attacks coming toward it for the viper to do anything besides trying to defend.
Like a ghost, one of the students seemed to merge with the shadows and disappear without leaving a single trace before appearing behind the viper with a talisman in hand.
Noticing a presence emerge behind it the viper turned its head back and spat a mouthful of its deadly poison, liquefying a small tree nearby.
Luckily for the student, she had merged back with the shadows and moved elsewhere or else she would have been turned into a puddle of gore.
“Activate!” The girl yelled as she extended her hand and stuck a talisman onto the viper causing countless runes to appear on its body and making it spasm before being knocked out cold.
With cheers and faces full of grins they students began to attach ropes to the viper and drag it back to camp with the help of their demonic beasts.
In the meantime, while the students dragged back their prize toward camp, Zhang could be seen sitting crossed leg on the forest floor. As he received information from the abyssal rabbits that were sent to investigate the caves one after the other a frown appeared on his face before being replaced with a slight smile a second later.
“Did you find it, brother?” Ai asked as she saw the smile on Zhang’s face.
“None of the caves are the right one but for our troubles, I've found a reward.” Zhang said as he gestured for the beauties to follow him.
“What did you find?” Ai asked with a curious look on her face.
“A small treasure trove.” Zhang replied with a smile as he waved his hand and made the trees and wines in front of him bend and twist to create an open path.
Full of intrigue the beauties followed closely behind their husband as the sun began its descent and the day neared its end.
A while later after Zhang and his wives entered a small cave whose entrance opened up in the middle of the ground. After a thirty feet drop the group found themselves in a large chambered filled with blood red colored flowers that gave an otherworldly feeling to those that gazed at them.
“Dragon Blood Lilies.” Lingqi murmured as she landed and caught sight of the beautiful flowers.
“If I recall correctly from that book you lent me, these flowers don't grow where the light of the heavens can reach them.” Zhang said as he recalled a passage from a book Lingqi had loaned him.
“The flower that is said to have spawned from the blood of the dragon god, the flower that is struck by the wrath of the heavens when light shines upon it. The flower that grants those who consume it the power to escape detection for twenty-four hours. These are also dozens of ancient advanced level magical pills that use them as a base material.” Lingqi said while a faint smile as she bent down and plucked one of the many beautiful flowers that littered the ground.
“These are pretty.” Ai said as she picked a few of the Dragon Blood Lilies. Before long everyone in the group began to collect the lilies one after the other.
Although they could not find the entrance to the treasure they came here to seek, Zhang and the beauties stumbled on yet another treasure that many people would kill for. Thus for the following days, as the students continued to gain experience fighting demonic beasts and roaming the forest, Zhang continued to scout out one area of the forest before heading to the next.
Sadly, no signs of what they sought after could be found but of course, there were other harvests that were collected. Dozens of different demonic beast dens were captured by Zhang and added to the Beast Pen while various many other treasures were found. Much to his delight
Zhang’s interspatial ring along with those held by his wives slowly filled up with many unique and rare treasures.
But Zhang and the beauties were not alone since the students were able to retrieve and find treasures for themselves, treasures such as rare herbs, demonic beast cores, demonic beasts and a large variety of other things. Demonic beasts captured using Yuying’s talismans were quickly imprinted with Yuying’s mind control magic and partnered up with the students who used them to capture more demonic beasts.
Overall the trip had resulted in a tremendous increase in the battle potential for Zhang’s forces, however despite how calm and great things currently were, the people of the Lunar Sect were still on the prowl and occasionally could be seen throughout the forest.
“Damn it why won't these dumb turtles leave!” A disciple of the Lunar Sect cried as he and his comrades were stuck in the same spot for days while being surrounded by hundreds of dog-sized turtles.
As cultivators they wouldn't die anytime soon from lack of food or water but it was evident that they were straining themselves as shown by their sunken eyes and how frail they appeared.
“Why hasn't anyone come to help us yet?” Another man cried. Little did he know, the rest of the people of the Lunar Sect had actually begun avoiding the area he was currently being in due to frequent attacks by the abyssal turtles.
Although the turtles didn't really harm anyone after a few runs ins with them the people of the Lunar Sect began to avoid the area. Labeled as dark shadows that could not be identified the turtles caused a stir of commotion within the camp of the Lunar Sect.
It was only after a total of ten days did the abyssal turtles begin to suddenly disperse and meld back into the shadows did these disciples of the Lunar Sect manage to return to their camp with only their undergarments and heads filled with questions.
Upon telling others what happened to them, the group that was surrounded by turtles were ridiculed and laughed at because generally turtle demonic beasts are extremely weak in terms of cultivation unless they had grown to monstrous sizes after living for countless years. So a dog-sized turtle demonic beast would at the most be comparable to a level two cultivator.
That is to show the power that the Abyssal Cape controlled was truly marvelous and mysterious as it was able to create abyssal beasts that fit Zhang’s needs who were not constrained by the level limits that real demonic beasts had. Perhaps the only downside to the caps power was that it's creations lacked a soul, intelligence, were very fragile and would disappear after some time.