Chapter 36: Bizarre Flying Squirrels

Food was very important!

A food shortage would make the entire exploration team sink into dire straits. Even the stress of a shortage might terrify the exploration team and cause unrest.

After the discussion with Cang Xu, Zhen Jin went to Zi Di’s tent alone.

The size of this tent was second only to Zhen Jin’s.

There was no bodyguard outside the tent.

Originally Zhen Jin wanted to give Zi Di some staff, however Zi Di clearly expressed that she didn’t need any.

She had her own means of defending herself.

Zi Di was resting, she had made medicine for the exploration team. The extremely big workload and troublesome process exhausted her.

Zhen Jin was pacing outside the tent, although the issue was grave, Zhen Jin did not want to rashly disturb Zi Di.

“I need to let her properly rest.”

As Zhen Jin was thinking this, Zi Di’s nose twitched as she slept inside the dusky tent, soon after, she slowly opened her eyes.

“Is it you my lord?” Zi Di’s voice came from the tent.

Zhen Jin was just about to leave, but upon hearing the voice he immediately turned around: “It's me, there is something I need to discuss with you.”

Immediately, a rustling sound came from the tent and before too long, Zi Di who was dressed neatly, opened the tent flap and greeted Zhen Jin.

“My lord, please come in.” Zi Di welcomed Zhen Jin into the tent.

Zhen Jin directly stated his purpose for visiting.

Zi Di shook her head: “I am very sorry, but I will have to disappoint your lordship this time.”

“Although lord’s method is feasible, there is actually a key material needed to make the potion.”

“I am almost out of this material and only have a little left in reserve so I can guard against any mishaps.”

“What material is it and can we find it here?” Zhen Jin was unwilling to give up.

Zi Di shook her head with a vexed expression: “Perhaps this material grows somewhere on this island. However I don’t have any relevant clues.”

“Besides, even if I have the material, to make enough medicine to use on the goats is a situation where the gains do not make up for the losses. Because, if we do this, we would expose the secret of the grass.”

After the goats were cleared of their chaotic magic power with the help of the potions, the others would realise that the goats were also victims.

The true source of the magic power—the grass would also be exposed.

This grass was a magic plant, it was far easier to pluck and transport than the goat meat.

Zhen Jin: “I have already informed Cang Xu of this secret.”

Zi Di was stunned for a moment and soon realized: “My lord, what you have done is the right thing. Cang Xu really is a rare talent.”

“Perhaps he had already discovered this secret earlier, but he didn’t reveal it. This is proof that he has considerable wisdom.”

“Perhaps he didn’t discover this secret, however your lordship decided to be frank about this secret, this will certainly make him understand that your lordship wants to treat him with sincerity as one of your own.”

“Congratulations to my lord for attracting this kind of outstanding advisor.”

Zhen Jin shook his head and told Zi Di what happened after that.

Zi Di didn’t expect that: “To think he has such a surprising battle qi art?”

She soon pursed her brows, her voice somewhat concerned: “My lord, such a battle qi art was given so easily, I’m afraid it’s not worth much.”

“Mr. Cang Xu is a scholar, he is not a beast master, and most crucial thing of all is that he does not possess extraordinary strength.”

“If the value of this battle qi art was high, he could definitely exchange it with other nobles for even more benefits.”

Regarding this, Zhen Jin had a different opinion: “Cang Xu is not a naive man, he handles affairs quite properly. He understands the value of this grass, therefore this battle qi art is at least equal in value.”

“This is his bargaining chip to preserve his own liberty as well as rejecting my solicitations. But by doing this, he has instead made himself more valuable in my eyes."

Upon saying this, Zhen Jin smiled.

With regards to the food shortage issue, Zhen Jin once again inquired Zi Di’s opinion.

Zi Di too, did not have any good methods, she only said: “This area of this island is very big, it is also full of danger as well as great wealth. We can only keep our eyes open as we travel. Maybe we can find a better source of food than the flock of goats. Besides, before finding you my lord, we had set up many camps by the waysides, there are some supplies still kept in them. If we can find them, obtaining those supplies can also relieve the food shortage issue.”

Zhen Jin nodded and prepared to leave with slight disappointment.

Just as he lifted the tent flap, Zhen Jin’s face flashed with hesitation, however, he still turned around and inquired: “Zi Di, do you still have the monkey bear's blood from earlier?”

Although he asked this, Zhen Jin did not hold much hope.

The monkey bear’s blood contained magic power, it was a type of magic material. However as time passes, the magic power would rapidly dissipate. It was not easy to preserve and to keep preserving it was very costly.

But Zi Di’s response pleasantly surprised Zhen Jin.

She actually still had a bit of the monkey bear’s blood.

“Give it to me.” Zhen Jin said.

Zi Di did not ask anything as she directly opened up her small waist bag and gave Zhen Jin a few glass vials.

Zhen Jin grabbed the glass vials filled with the monkey bear’s blood and left Zi Di’s tent.

He was the strongest one in the exploration team.

Currently, there was a food shortage and because almost everyone had taken the potion, their strength had decreased greatly.

Zhen Jin couldn’t activate his battle qi, in this kind of situation, the ability to transform his arms into claws had become his strongest means.

“According to my previous conjecture, drinking this monkey bear’s blood can replenish the corresponding internal magic power in my body. It is very possible that the transformation can be reproduced!” Zhen Jin thought to himself as he held the vial in his hands.

With a look of unwavering determination, he said to himself: “Of course, I will not drink this blood other than as a last resort.”

Chaotic external magic power would corrode the body and reduce its potential.

However, like what the Bai Zhen patriarch said in his memories, one must not be afraid of the risks nor should one fear when sacrificing their lives!

Early morning.

White mist lingered between the towering trees.

Turquoise moss and multicolored mushrooms decorated the woodland.

A small saffron deer was looking for food in the woods.

It took fancy to a short shrubbery, it was about to approach it when a series of sounds suddenly came from the other side of the shrubbery.

“Squeak, squeak, squeak…”

The small deer was frightened as it turned around and ran away with lightning speed.

After a few breaths, the squeaking noise grew closer as it became mixed with the shouts of people.

“Give chase!”

“Don’t let those flying squirrels escape.”

“Use the crossbows, use them quickly.”

The sounds grew louder and louder and soon after three flying squirrels squeaked as they leapt over the shrubbery, wildly rushing to escape.

The pursuers behind them were hindered by the shrubbery and were forced to slow down as they watched the flying squirrels disappear into the forest.

“What a damn pity!”

“Alas, we still couldn’t overtake them.”

The leaders of the pursuers were the two brothers, Lan Zao and Huang Zao.

Huang Zao was still unwilling to give up and wanted to chase after them, but Lan Zao stopped him: “Have you forgotten Lord Zhen Jin’s orders? Don’t break away from the larger group, right now we are already very far from Lord Zhen Jin.”

“I just want to get more food. These flying squirrels are large, their meat is safe to eat, and they are all very plump.”1

The exploration team didn’t have much food remaining and the incorporeal pressure was already pressing hard on everyone’s hearts.

However, when Huang Zao recalled Zhen Jin’s orders, he could only clench his teeth and relent.

When the pursuers returned to the group, they saw that Bai Ya and others were already processing squirrel carcasses. They would skin, cut, wash, and finally smoke them.

It had already been over ten days since Zi Di made sufficient potions and solved the problem of magic corrosion within the exploration team member’s bodies. After recuperating for a few days, Zhen Jin then led everyone to continue their journey.

This group suffered the poisonous crisis, the strength and combat capabilities of nearly everyone slid down a notch, however, suffering together brought them even closer in mutual understanding.

During their journey, they met with one crisis after the other, all of which Zhen Jin stepped bravely forward and united them to beat back the invading magic beasts.

“I am very sorry that we only killed two flying squirrels, Lord Zhen Jin.” Huang Zao walked up and reported to Zhen Jin with shame.

Zhen Jin nodded and gave his instructions: “Give them to Bai Ya for processing.”

Not everyone was proficient in processing beast corpses.

But Bai Ya was from a hunting family and was trained in that since childhood, thus he was very familiar with it.

The goat meat poisoning incident allowed the youngster to show off his talents. He was nicknamed ‘The Lucky Boy’, he had tended to almost the entire exploration team, and because of his diligent hands he gained a good relationship with the others.

Huang Zao carried the two flying squirrels and walked over to Bai Ya.

Bai Ya was in the middle of processing another flying squirrel, his knife had already skinned it and disposed of its internal organs. At the moment, Bai Ya was trying to cut off the squirrel’s neck.

Even after several slashes with the knife, the neck bone still wasn’t completely severed.

“Hey, lucky boy, use this.” Huang Zao laughed and gave Bai Ya his sword.

One glance would be enough to reveal the sword’s shoddy quality. Its handle was only a slightly polished block of wood and the blade was fastened in with hemp rope. However its blade was fearsome as it shimmered coldly. It seemed to be made of iron yet wasn’t iron, it was a blade-legged spider’s limb.

This was of course Zhen Jin’s weapon, however after the poisonous incident, the combat capability of the entire exploration team fell. In order to improve their combat might as much as possible, Zhen Jin picked out a few bladed weapons and lent them to his subordinates.

Bai Ya received the sword, it was his first time he held it.

The first thing he felt was how lightweight it was, it wasn’t as heavy as he imagined.

Bai Ya aimed and slashed at the squirrel's neck, a flash of cold light crossed his eyes and the previously stubborn flying squirrel’s bone was severed cleanly in two.

Bai Ya immediately revealed his shock, before, when he cut the bones, it felt like he was cutting iron, his hands had felt numb after many unsuccessful cuts. Now, by using this blade, it now felt as effortless as cutting through bread. It was too easy.

“Truly ferocious!” Bai Ya gazed at the blade as he gave his sincere admiration.

“It is only natural, after all it was from a silver level magic beast.” Huang Zao laughed.

Bai Ya shook his head: “No, I meant Lord Zhen Jin. That silver level blade-legged spider must've been very frightening. But his lordship prevailed over it, he really is worthy of being a templar knight!”

As Bai Ya spoke, his heart was filled with adoration and reverence, all of which were revealed on his face.

Huang Zao smiled and approvingly said: “Yes, we are truly fortunate to come across Lord Zhen Jin. The others have not said anything about their most recent encounter with the flying squirrels, but Lord Zhen Jin threw daggers with infallible accuracy! The great majority of the flying squirrels were slain by his lordship!”

“Wait a minute, I can process the carcass of a flying squirrel chieftain with this blade.” As Bai ya thought of this, excitement spread across his face as he ran to another place.

The carcass of the flying squirrel chieftain exuded a bronze level aura, however the aura was currently dissipating rapidly, it would not even take half a day for it to completely dissipate.

There was a dagger in the flying squirrel chieftain’s eye. It was a mortal wound dealt by Zhen Jin’s hand.

Bai Ya tightly grasped the spider-blade sword, after he slowly moved to an appropriate position, he then used the blade to cut hard and quickly skinned the squirrel’s fur.

The flying squirrel chieftain’s fur was very tough, an ordinary iron sword could not cut it.

However, under the spider-blade sword, everything was cut when it met the blade’s edge.2

“Eh?” As Bai Ya cut open the squirrel's abdominal cavity, his hands suddenly stopped moving.

“What happened?” Huang Zao questioned.

Bai Ya wasn't too sure as he said: “The flesh of this flying squirrel chieftain, it seems to be different from the other flying squirrels.”

Huang Zao glanced at it: “I don’t see any differences.”

“No.” Bai Ya appeared grave, he returned the sword to Huang Zao before crouching on the ground to touch the flying squirrel’s nearby internal organs and bones.

Afterwards, Bai Ya’s tone became more certain: “Indeed, there are many minute differences, I should first give this to Lord Cang Xu.”

“Ok. That’s a good idea.” Huang Zao approved.