Chapter 65: Essence of the Trial
Xiao Chen took a deep breath as he looked at the bloody hole in his left arm. It seemed that his left hand was temporarily disabled.
Xiao Chen took out a Blood Replenishing Pill and crushed it between his fingers, turning it into a medicinal liquid. He spread the liquid on his wound and instantly felt a cooling feeling. The pain from his wound decreased significantly.
He ripped a piece of fabric from his clothes and wrapped it around his wound, then Xiao Chen headed forward to look for the tree branch that had shot out.
He walked about ten meters before he found the tree branch that pierced his arm. It stabbed through several huge trees before finally embedding itself in one of them.
Xiao Chen struggled, eventually managing to pull it out. He examined it carefully and discovered that this withered tree branch was only as thick as his finger, and not longer than one meter. However, it was giving off a faint radiance.
He got the feeling that it was unusual, so he enveloped the branch in his Spiritual Sense. Finally, he saw something different; the spirituality of this tree branch was higher than the weapons in Mo Fan's shop.
Remembering that a spell in the Compendium of Cultivation required a natural object that contained spirituality, Xiao Chen joyfully stowed it in his Universe Ring.
After discovering the direction Xiao Yulan and the rest had gone, Xiao Chen executed two Lightning Evasion in a row before seeing the figures of the group.
Xiao Yulan ran out from the group before Xiao Chen was near, asking him in concern, "Cousin Xiao Chen, what's wrong with your hand?"
Xiao Chen laughed, "Don't worry, it's just a small injury. It will be fine after a day. Let's go. I'll lead you all to the Xiao Clan campsite."
This time, no one refuted Xiao Chen's words; no one expressed any dissatisfaction along the way. Xiao Chen had won the respect of the entire group after the difficulty they had just endured.
For the rest of the journey, Xiao Chen kept his Spiritual Sense released. When he detected any Demonic Beast, he would circle around it. There were no other battles along the way.
After two hours, the group finally arrived at the Xiao Clan campsite. This site was where the Xiao Clan seniors had previously trained and built a simple camp.
The campsite had three simple wooden huts. Although it was simple and crude, it had all the daily living necessities. It was an extremely suitable place for them to rest for the next few days.
Xiao Chen felt no danger near the campsite with his Spiritual Sense, so he said, "Everyone! Let's tidy up the campsite first. It has been a long time since anyone was here and it is covered in dust."
The group dispersed; these cultivators were the elite of the Xiao Clan's younger generation. Xiao Chen was very satisfied that they used caution as they cleaned up the camp.
"Ah! There is a dead person here..." an alarmed cry interrupted Xiao Chen's thoughts.
Xiao Chen quickly ran over; the dead person was an old man wearing the uniform of the Tang Clan. Xiao Chen frowned, Why did a Tang Clan cultivator come all the way here?
The state of the old man was extremely horrifying; his chest was torn open, his heart and lungs were missing. It seemed that he had been eaten by a Demonic Beast. No wonder his face wore such a terrified expression.
Xiao Jian inspected the body and said, "This person is a Martial Grand Master. Furthermore, he died not too long ago."
Everyone was alarmed, Why did a Martial Grand Master of the Tang Clan come to the Xiao Clan campsite? Furthermore, he died at the borders of Gloomy Forest. How unbelievable!
"Quick look! There is another corpse here!" another alarmed voice cried out.
This corpse was found in one of the wooden huts. Xiao Chen moved as fast as lightning, and hurried over. The state of this corpse was the same as the previous one.
Seeing his attire, Xiao Chen was once again astonished. This was a person from the Zhang Clan. Furthermore, he was also a Martial Grand Master.
Xiao Chen connected all the clues together in his head, and a scene appeared to him. Before the Trial of Gloomy Forest started, the two Martial Grand Masters had snuck into the Xiao Clan campsite.
As Martial Grand Masters, they should have easily been able to kill everyone here. However, for reasons unknown, these two Martial Grand Masters were unable to best Demonic Beasts before achieving their goal.
Xiao Chen shuddered when he thought of this, For the sake of killing him, the Tang Clan and Zhang Clan actually dared to go against the rules set by the City Lord. What else would they not dare to do?
However, I want to see how many Martial Grand Masters you will send to die, Xiao Chen thought to himself ruthlessly.
Everyone worked together to bury the two corpses. The main reason being, they were afraid that the bodies would attract strong Demonic Beasts. Everyone's hearts were shadowed as they looked upon the two Grand Martial Masters who had each died miserably.
Under Xiao Chen's command, they started building traps to act as alarms in the area surrounding the campsite. Everyone here had the experience of training in Seven Horn Mountain, so these kinds of traps were familiar to them. Thus, there were no difficulties setting up the traps.
"Ye Lan, come with me to inspect the surroundings. We will officially begin killing the Demonic Beasts tomorrow," Xiao Chen told the tired Ye Lan, who was leaning on a tree, after resting for a period of time.
Ye Lan did not want to move and muttered, "Why is it always me?"
Xiao Chen smiled, "Let's go. Didn't you repeatedly say along the way that you want to kill Demonic Beasts? Now I am giving you a chance to shine; are you still not satisfied?"
When the rest heard this, they all smiled. They felt this fellow was asking for it. He could only blame himself for talking so big on their way here.
"Xiao Chen, let me accompany you. Your left hand is injured. I am afraid that if you meet any Demonic Beasts they will be difficult to handle," Xiao Yulan said from inside a wooden hut.
Xiao Chen shook his head, "No need; this campsite is a little strange. Your strength is the highest amongst us, so you should stay here to look after this place. My hand is fine and will not get in the way."
"Furthermore, I'm just going to check things out. There should not be any danger."
Xiao Yulan did not persist after she heard Xiao Chen say this. She only exhorted him again and again to be careful.
Ye Lan followed behind Xiao Chen despite the dissatisfaction he felt in his heart. They both went south of the campsite.
In this dark and dim forest, the shadows of the tree branches were swaying, and a cold wind blew gently. Unseen dangers are always hiding in the darkness. As Ye Lan followed behind Xiao Chen, he kept feeling a pair of eyes staring at him from the darkness, and he trembled with fear.
Ye Lan looked at Xiao Chen's face, but he was unable to see any expression on it. This made it impossible for Ye Lan to determine what Xiao Chen was thinking. Xiao Chen seemed especially calm in the darkness.
A red shadow swept towards the two of them in the darkness. A tyrannical Qi spread through the forest, scaring Ye Lan silly.
"It's a... Fire Lizard! This is its... tongue!" Ye Lan already had a shadow cast in his heart by this kind of Demonic Beast. He started shaking uncontrollably as he spoke.
As Le Yan watched with an astonished gaze, Xiao Chen grabbed the red tongue with his right hand. A electrical light flashed in the darkness and it travelled along the red tongue, reaching the body of the Fire Lizard.
The long tongue gave off an electric light, resembling a luminous ribbon made from a clap of thunder. It was utterly breathtaking.
A painful cry resounded and the Fire Lizard withdrew his tongue. The gloomy forest was extremely terrifying.
"What are you doing staring blankly?! Chase after it!" Xiao Chen dashed forward, and he urged Ye lan before he left.
"En!" Ye Lan nodded his head resolutely and followed after Xiao Chen.
Its body was about twenty meters long, and its skin was covered in red lumps. A black Qi spread around the Fire Lizard's body, and its ten meter long tail was continuously thrashing on the ground.
A pair of red pupils glared at Xiao Chen and Ye Lan as they rushed over.
The scene before Ye Lan triggered the shadow in his heart, and his legs trembled as he said, "Xiao Chen, can you deal with it alone? My legs seems to have gone soft..."
Xiao Chen smiled coldly, "Do you think that you are going to have any future prospect like this? What's the point of coming to kill Demonic Beasts then? Where is the courage you had while competing against the core disciples of the Xiao Clan as an outer disciple?"
"I have already sent some electricity into its body; it will not be able to move for a period of time. If you are a man, then go and stab it with your sword."
Due to the earlier incident, a huge shadow was created in Ye Lan's heart with regards to Demonic Beasts. Thus, Xiao Chen specially brought him out to help him get overcome his fear.
Otherwise, if he maintained such an attitude, he might die or even drag down his teammates when the proper trial started. At this moment, all he had to do was stab at the Fire Lizard with his sword in order to remove the shadow.
"But what?! Are you lacking even that little bit of courage? If you cannot even do this then I'll send you out of Gloomy Forest tomorrow. You can continue to be an outer disciple and forget about rising any further for the rest of your life."
"Can it really not move?"
"Ye Lan, are you still a man? Even females are not as fainthearted as you. Hesitating at such a moment of life and death... Do you really want to die so much?"
Xiao Chen's merciless words cut into Ye Lan's heart like a sharp knife, causing his anger to slowly rise.
"Fuck! It's just a Fire Lizard! I have killed plenty of them in Seven Horn Mountain," Ye Lan shouted out explosively, spewing out a vulgarity. His body flew forward and stabbed the body of the Fire Lizard with his sword.
The strength behind this sword was great, and in addition, his cultivation was at the Superior Martial Disciple realm. The sword ruthlessly thrust in and a stream of purple blood spurted out, spattering his face.
The Fire Lizard cried out again in pain, then it managed to break free from the restraint of the purple light in its body. A baleful aura erupted forth and a huge lizard tail came flying at him.
Xiao Chen was surprised and was about to assist, but Ye Lan had an angry look on his face. A killing intent flashed in his eyes, as he turned around and ruthlessly hacked at the flailing lizard tail.
A huge force knocked Ye Lan into the air, but he did not panic. He somersaulted in the air and landed solidly on the ground. He grasped his sword, standing straight and tall, and gave the Fire Lizard a mocking look.
The robes on Ye Lan's body fluttered around. At this moment, even the eternal darkness of Gloomy Forest was not able to conceal Ye Lan's boundless battle intent.
Xiao Chen smiled faintly and revealed a satisfied expression. So long as Ye Lan could overcome the fear in his heart, his courage would remain strong and dealing with the Fire Lizard would be easy for him.
However, whether or not he could kill it was hard to say. Xiao Chen was not too worried, though. With enough practise, and going through some life and death situations, everyone would improve.
This was the meaning of the entire trial; to transverse the line between life and death, to experience the truth of the martial way.
The will of men will transcend heaven, and I shall dictate my own fate; not the heavens. I look towards the great Dao, and advance step by step. Even if the road ahead is full of thorns, I will not fear. My sword shall accompany me, and my will as a cultivator will never falter.
This kind of life is not ordinary, and without initiative or drive, it would plod on monotonously.
Just like those people who chased after their ideals in his past life, although their path was different, the Dao remains the same. If one has a firm conviction, one will have a bright future .