Chapter 44 – Keep watch at night

“It seems that the sect’s experience is related to this person called Ren Xiao…” Yuan Ming pondered for a moment and followed along.

The group searched all night but found nothing.

“Hey, you beast slave, did you really see Ren Xiao?” Dongfang Yudubai asked, annoyed, looking at Yuan Ming.

“What Ren Xiao?” Yuan Ming pretended to be confused.

“The monster you described last night!” Kun Tu said angrily.

“If I didn’t see that monster, how could I describe it?” Yuan Ming retorted.

Kun Tu was speechless with Yuan Ming’s response, unable to find a reason to get angry.

“According to the information provided by the sect, Ren Xiao should not be active in this area.” Ba Da spoke up.

“Perhaps the situation has changed. The information from the investigation by the Execution Hall may not be accurate.” Chen Wan said.

Yuan Ming hesitated for a moment before speaking, “If the Ren Xiao you mentioned is the monster I saw last night, then someone encountered it last year.”

“What? Where did they encounter it?” Chen Wan asked eagerly, and the others looked at Yuan Ming with different expressions.

Yuan Ming then recounted the incident of Ha Gong being attacked.

“How is that possible?” Yang Chan said in disbelief.

Kun Tu turned to Wu Bao, who nodded subtly, confirming Yuan Ming’s words.

“If that’s the case, then Ren Xiao has been active earlier and in a wider range than what the sect told us. This is not good news.” Chen Wan’s expression became serious.

“Should we report this to the sect?” Ba Da tentatively asked.

“Why should we report it? Only we know this information. Isn’t it better that way?” Kun Tu retorted.

“If we don’t report it, other disciples may be unexpectedly attacked.” Chen Wan said.

“Junior Sister Chen Wan, don’t forget, this trial is related to whether we can become inner disciples. If we go back to report, delaying our journey and letting others get ahead…” Kun Tu pondered.

He didn’t directly refute Chen Wan, but his words caused a change in her expression.

Seeing Chen Wan’s silence, Kun Tu’s mouth twitched, revealing a disdainful smile.

Afterwards, the speed of the group slowed down, searching for Ren Xiao while continuing their journey.

However, it took them two extra days than expected, and they still didn’t encounter Ren Xiao again.


A thunderous sound echoed, and a bright white lightning flashed in the sky, briefly tearing open the dark sky.

Drizzling raindrops fell, covering the once quiet mountain forest with the sound of rain, filling the air with the scent of dust and grass.

Kun Tu looked up at the dark clouds that almost touched the treetops, riding on a green wolf to Chen Wan’s side.

“Sister, this rain seems to be big. It’s already late. Why don’t we find a place to take shelter and rest until the rain stops?” he asked.

“Yuan Ming, is there a suitable place nearby to take shelter from the rain?” Chen Wan looked at Yuan Ming and asked.

Throughout their journey, she had come to trust Yuan Ming’s ability to lead.

Yuan Ming replied, “I haven’t been to this area before, so we can only explore and see.”

Chen Wan nodded without disappointment and continued on their way.

After about an hour, the thunder became more frequent, and the rain grew heavier.

The forest was already dark, covered in mist, and the temperature dropped.

At this moment, Yuan Ming saw a large black shadow in the distance. He wiped the rain off his face and carefully looked at it. A flash of lightning illuminated the area.

“There seems to be a house over there.” Yuan Ming pointed to the black shadow and shouted.

He led the group to hurry towards it.

As they approached, they realized that it was a dilapidated building.

The lower half of the walls were made of rocks, while the upper half was made of mud bricks. The walls were heavily damaged, full of pits and holes of various sizes.

“This style of the house looks like a temple worshipped by savages,” Wu Bao, who had been inconspicuous in the group, suddenly spoke up.

The temple had no door, only an empty doorway that led to darkness, making it impossible to see anything inside.

Yuan Ming reached into his pocket, intending to take out a match to light up the place, when suddenly, a fist-sized fireball flew into the temple.

“Fireball spell?” Yuan Ming turned his head and saw that it was Chen Wan who cast the spell.

Soon after, several more fireballs flew into the temple, illuminating the inside.

Yuan Ming entered the temple and found it empty, with almost no furnishings. The floor and walls were covered in thick dust, giving it a desolate and dilapidated appearance.

Turning around, he saw a three-foot-high altar with a clay statue on it.

The statue was completely different from ordinary ones. It had a fierce appearance with a tiger-like back, a wolf-like waist, and four arms. It lacked the solemnity of a typical statue and instead looked eerie and sinister.

Upon closer inspection, Yuan Ming saw that the two heads on its shoulders did not resemble humans. One was a fox head, and the other was a wolf head.

The statue was heavily damaged, with exposed wooden frames and straw visible all over. It seemed to have been abandoned for a long time.

“Fortunately, the roof is intact. Let’s rest here for the night.” Ba Da looked around and seemed satisfied with the place.

“Wu Bao, go out and get some meat. Yuan Ming, gather firewood and start a fire.” Kun Tu ordered.

Wu Bao quickly ran out, and Yuan Ming obediently went out to gather firewood.

After a while, two bonfires were set up in the temple. Kun Tu and a few named disciples sat around one, while Yuan Ming and Wu Bao sat around the other.

Wu Bao took care of the roasted wild boar on the fire, while Yuan Ming closed his eyes and rested without saying a word.

At this moment, Kun Tu suddenly looked towards Yuan Ming and ordered, “Yuan Ming, you keep watch for the first half of the night. Stand outside.”

Yuan Ming opened his eyes, got up, and walked outside.

The rain was still drizzling, and the heavy thunder occasionally illuminated the night.

Yuan Ming stood outside the doorway, leaning against the wall. The shallow eaves above his head couldn’t shield him from the rain, and soon his clothes were soaked.

The cold mountain wind passed through, and even Yuan Ming felt a bone-chilling cold. The drowsiness he felt earlier had completely disappeared, and he could only stare into the dark forest.

Voices from Chen Wan and the others could be heard from inside the temple, and Yuan Ming listened attentively, quickly catching the gist of their conversation.

It turned out that there were more than just Chen Wan and her group of named disciples who entered the Ten Thousand Mountains this time. The entire sect had at least over a hundred named disciples participating in the trial.

Their goal in the trial was to hunt down Ren Xiao.

According to what Kun Tu said, their performance in this trial seemed to determine whether they would be recognized by the elders of the sect and become their direct disciples, also known as inner disciples.

Although Yuan Ming wasn’t entirely clear, he could guess that it must be a great honor, otherwise these disciples wouldn’t risk entering the Ten Thousand Mountains.

In the dark rainy night, unable to see the moon and unable to discern the time.

Yuan Ming suddenly smelled a strong meat fragrance coming from inside the temple. He wrinkled his nose and looked inside.

He saw Kun Tu and the others sitting together, still chatting, while the wild boar on the fire in front of Wu Bao had turned golden and was sizzling with oil, making one’s mouth water.

“I didn’t expect this guy to be quite skilled.” Yuan Ming couldn’t help but praise.

But at this moment, he noticed that Wu Bao’s forehead was sweating, and his face looked somewhat nervous. His gaze kept drifting towards Kun Tu and the others.

While Yuan Ming was surprised by his suspicious behavior, Wu Bao suddenly turned his head and looked in Yuan Ming’s direction.

Yuan Ming immediately turned around, facing the temple door, pretending to be diligently keeping watch.

After a pause of two breaths, Yuan Ming suddenly turned his head and saw Wu Bao trembling as he took out a small bottle from his pocket. He removed the stopper and sprinkled the liquid inside onto the roasted wild boar.

“What is he doing?” Yuan Ming wondered.

He sniffed carefully but didn’t smell anything unusual. Combined with Wu Bao’s guilty appearance, he knew that the substance he put on the boar was definitely not seasoning, which made him even more puzzled.

“Could he be poisoning it?” Yuan Ming frowned.

He thought to himself, “Wu Bao wouldn’t dare to poison these named disciples for no reason, unless he doesn’t want to live anymore.” His mind raced.

But obviously, someone who could gather a group and become their leader wouldn’t willingly seek death.

Yuan Ming furrowed his brow, about to turn around and report this, when suddenly, a warning bell rang in his mind.

“Yes, Wu Bao wouldn’t want to die. If he dares to do this, there must be someone behind him instructing him. And that person…”

Yuan Ming’s gaze wandered, finally landing on Kun Tu.

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