“A ferocious beast?” Jing Yue's eyes widened. What sort of operation was this?
Qin Yanzhi, “A Tranquil Fox.”
It turned out that Qin Yanzhi came from a noble family in Central Continent.
Although Qin Yanzhi had little involvement with the family since joining Sword Inscription Sect, the patriarch of the Qin family, Qin Zhanpeng, was fast approaching his thousand-year-old birthday. Qin Yanzhi's parents died young, and he was raised by Qin Zhanpeng for a while when he was a child. Since he happened to be in Central Continent again at this time, he should join the celebration no matter what.
However, Qin Zhanpeng had been unable to progress further since achieving the Golden Core stage, and now his lifespan was almost exhausted, his cultivation gradually dissipating, and he was about to turn mortal. Many years ago, his spiritual dais had been severely injured by a fierce beast. Unable to withstand the impact of a rare treasure of heaven and earth, Qin Yanzhi wanted to find a Tranquil Fox for him. Even if he was unable to fight against fate, at least he could restore his body and prolong his life for decades.
Jing Yue knew that the internal core of the Tranquil Fox could indeed maintain the spiritual dais, but not only was this creature scarce in numbers, it was also born with a talent for space teleportation, which made it very difficult to capture.
He said, “This matter is a bit troublesome. Firstly, the beast-suppression talisman is targeted at spirit beasts. I don’t know if it is effective for fierce beasts. Secondly, I’ve never done this before and I don’t have any knowledge about it. Thirdly, the Tranquil Fox is too obscure. I heard that even old man Tianxiang spent almost his entire life looking for it and only found a few.”
Qin Yanzhi, “I know but I still want to give it a try.”
Jing Yue looked at him earnestly and said, “Qin-zhenjun, I don’t want to hide this from you. So far, I only succeeded in refining a beast-suppression charm against the wood sparrow, while others are still in the exploratory stage. If the spirit beast is already like this, let alone the fierce beast? I really don’t have the confidence. Why don’t you approach Wu Dao-zhenren instead?”
Qin Yanzhi, “Wu Dao-zhenren has studied Talisman Dao for many years and his thinking has long been fixated, which makes it difficult. I noticed that you can always find a different path in this art, so I’d like to ask you for help. I’d be grateful to you no matter success or failure.”
Jing Yue said happily, “Is Qin-zhenjun so optimistic about me?”
Qin Yanzhi, “Yes.”
Jing Yue choked. He didn’t expect Qin Yanzhi’s answer to be so straightforward. He thought for a while and found that a suppression talisman for fierce beasts was a bit interesting. Moreover, Qin Yanzhi was his ‘creditor’, so he said, “Okay, but I need to prepare. How much time can Qin-zhenjun give me?”
Qin Yanzhi, “Is 7 days feasible?”
Jing Yue, “7 days then.”
On the same day, Jing Yue deferred all the orders he had received and focused on studying the characteristics of the Tranquil Fox.
The Tranquil Fox was small in stature, flexible, cunning and sneaky, and extremely vigilant. Apart from the ability to teleport in space, they also possessed deadly offensive power. They prefer a cold and humid environment and were nocturnal creatures. Other than feeding on some cold plants, the fox’s favorite food was a kind of fierce beast called the Mini Frostmouse.
According to these characteristics, Jing Yue formulated 27 materials for making the cinnabar, but he also needed the heart of a Mini Frostmouse.
Thus, he decided to hunt for the tranquil fox with Qin Yanzhi.
On the Central Continent, the most suitable area as the fox habitat was the Dreary Mountain.
On the day of travel, Jing Yue left blue phoenix in the academy. Of course, blue phoenix objected. It grabbed Jing Yue's sleeve robe with its claws and refused to let go, wailing vigorously, “Ji-ji can help you catch mice!”
Jing Yue, “Are you sure? The Mini Frostmouse is a level-3 ferocious beast. It can swallow you whole in one bite!”
Blue phoenix swallowed, flapped its wings, and said, “Well, then Ji-ji will stay here and watch the house, and help you keep an eye on Meng Shan!”
Jing Yue: ??? Keep an eye on Meng Shan for what?
Anyway, he managed to keep blue phoenix away.
As soon as Jing Yue left the yard, Qin Yanzhi was waiting outside. Black clothes, black hair, in a combat style, he did not look like a Daoist but rather like a swordsman of the pugilistic world.
“Qin-zhenjun, this is…”
Jing Yue, “…” Makes sense.
Qin Yanzhi suddenly asked, “Where is that chicken of yours?”
Jing Yue, “Watching the house.”
After speaking, he subconsciously glanced at Qin Yanzhi’s chest, but abruptly realized that it was improper. Then, he turned away calmly and said, “Please go ahead, Qin-zhenjun.”
It was a five-day trip to Dreary Mountain, and Jing Yue once again boarded Qin Yanzhi's flying weapon.
The two of them didn't talk very much along the way. Qin Yanzhi kept his eyes closed in meditation and Jing Yue was also able to endure solitude. Five days later, they finally arrived at Dreary Mountain.
In front of them was a steep mountain slanting into the blue clouds as if it would fall at any time. The bottom of this peak was green and verdant, the top white with snow. Only the middle of the peak was filled with black mist, like a layer of black gauze, concealing its true face.
The danger of Dreary Mountain was exactly at the midsection.
The flying magic weapon directly stopped somewhere in that area. As soon as Jing Yue landed on the ground, he felt the cold air penetrating straight into his pores. He couldn't help but shake and immediately urged his spiritual energy to shield himself.
Looking at Qin Yanzhi, he displayed no difference from beginning to end, calmly walking through the black fog in long strides, not affected at all.
Jing Yue glanced at him enviously and followed cautiously.
As the two of them walked into the mountain, the dark fog became thicker, and the Yin energy became stronger. Jing Yue couldn't help but feel a little strenuous and suddenly heard Qin Yanzhi said, “Are you uncomfortable?”
Jing Yue admitted, “A little.”
Qin Yanzhi, “Mm.”
Jing Yue was still wondering what that hum meant when instantly, his eyes went dark, and he was enveloped into Qin Yanzhi’s sleeves again.
The usually calm Jing-laozu restrained his inner desire to explode. At this moment, he vowed in his heart that one day, he would let this Qin-zhenjun have a taste of being swept into his Qiankun sleeve instead!
When Jing Yue saw the outside world again, they had already appeared behind a huge boulder. Here, the black mist had dissipated and there was no sense of chill too.
“I…” Can you stop Qiankun-sleeving me so rudely in the future?!
However, Jing Yue only uttered a single word when he found that a Silencing Charm had been placed on him.
At this time, Qin Yanzhi's voice sounded in his consciousness, “The Mini Frostmouse has acute hearing and is extremely sensitive. It’s more appropriate for us to communicate through private transmission.”
But Jing Yue was only at Foundation Establishment stage. How was he supposed to do this?
Qin Yanzhi also thought of this suddenly and added, “If you have something to say, you can write it in the palm of my hand.”
Jing Yue looked at Qin Yanzhi's ten slender fingers. For a moment, he wanted to break them one by one.
Qin Yanzhi didn't notice anything and said, “Look over there.”
When Jing Yue explored over the boulder, there was a cave in front of him. A few mouse-like creatures with forearms scurried about at the entrance of the cave. It was the Mini Frostmouse.
He was taken aback and was just about to speak when he realized that he had been silenced cruelly and inhumanly. Thus, he cursed Qin Yanzhi inwardly but took the opponent’s hand without any expression on his face.
Jing Yue originally thought that Qin Yanzhi's hands were cold, but the actual touch was slightly warm.
He touched it with his fingertips and could feel a thin layer of calluses. Under normal circumstances, after several rejuvenations and reconstructions, a cultivator’s physical body should not be left with calluses or scars. This showed how diligently Qin Yanzhi had practiced with the sword that allowed these traces to accompany him forever.
Jing Yue's dissatisfaction was replaced by respect in a blink of an eye, and also some inexplicable closeness. He lowered his eyes, his long eyelashes flickered, and he simply wrote, “The nest?”
Qin Yanzhi felt a slight itch in his palms, clenched his fists loosely, and said, “I saw traces of the tranquil fox along the way and came across this nest of the Mini Frostmouse after following the trail. Presumably, the fox will come to forage occasionally.”
He thought for a while and then said, “You need the heart of the mini frostmouse for the talisman, but I can’t kill all of them. Otherwise, it will arouse the tranquil fox’s vigilance. Generally speaking, a group of mice will go out to hunt once every four hours. When the time comes, I’ll follow behind and wait for them to get away from the nest before I try to catch some.”
Jing Yue nodded as a sign of agreement.
They waited in the same spot for a while. Sure enough, a group of small mice came out of the nest in sequence and ran to the east.
Qin Yanzhi was about to follow but found that his clothes had been grabbed. When he turned around, he saw Jing Yue shaking his head.
Qin Yanzhi frowned in confusion. Jing Yue took his hand and wrote, “There’s more.”
At this moment, a group of mice came out of the cave and went west, but before it was over, another group left the cave and headed south.
Qin Yanzhi suddenly realized. “Could it be that the queen mouse in the cave is about to give birth?”
Mini frostmouse were ferocious beasts that live in groups and there was only one queen in a litter of mice. The queen had a birth period once every three months. During this time, the queen's body was very weak and must rely on a lot of sustenance to maintain its physical strength to help it give birth to tens of thousands of babies. Therefore, the little mice will go out to hunt very frequently.
Jing Yue nodded and wrote, “Queen is best.”
Qin Yanzhi understood that Jing Yue wanted to take the opportunity to catch the queen and said, “But there are thousands of mice in the nest. If we capture the queen by force, it will inevitably disturb the nest, and the tranquil fox will avoid this place.”
Jing Yue, “I have an idea.”
He learned a formation in his previous life called the Twin Switching Formation. If the queen was used as the eye of the formation, Jing Yue could simulate the aura of the queen, forge a fake queen and put it outside the nest, and hide the real queen to confuse the senses of the other mice.
Mini frostmouse would always follow the queen. Once they were blindsided by the aura, they would naturally move closer to the fake queen, and Jing Yue can take advantage of the void in the lair to snatch the real queen away.
In the past life, when he was still a Golden Core cultivator, he once went after a demonic cultivator. The opponent set up this particular formation, hid in dark, and snuck an attack on Jing Yue, who was confused by this deception. If Jing Yue didn’t carry a secret treasure with him, he might have fallen on the spot. Although he escaped later, he was also seriously injured and recuperated for a few years.
Of course, the demonic cultivator eventually died in his hands, and the grass on his tombstone… the tombstone was probably gone by now.
Anyway, Jing Yue killed that demonic cultivator and also obtained this set of formations.
It was very troublesome to write out in detail, so Jing Yue only described it briefly.
Qin Yanzhi didn’t even put much thought before saying, “Such is best.”
Jing Yue raised his eyes to examine the other party, then lowered his head and wrote, “Do you trust me a lot?”
He found that Qin Yanzhi had always trusted him unconditionally, whether when he proposed himself as bait for old man Tianxiang back then, or asking him to refine a beast-suppression talisman this time, or the formation that he roughly described just now, all of which sounded pretty unreliable.
Anyone else was bound to ask more questions but Qin Yanzhi never said much.
Qin Yanzhi looked calm. “How can the patriarch of Frostcloud Sect be incompetent?”
Jing Yue cast an admiring glance at him, marveling at his insight.
Qin Yanzhi paused, and then said, “How do we proceed with this formation?”
Jing Yue grinned and wrote slowly, “You be the fake queen.”
Qin Yanzhi, “…”