Three days later, dusk.
Chen Mo came to the northern slope outside Little Jade City that Luo Kui designated. He sat on a slab of protruding stone, carefully scrutinizing the three Throwing Knives in his hands. The Throwing Knives appeared like crescent moons, their tips sharp, their tangs covered in scale patterns. When Chen Mo used his Star Energy, a faint aura of black qi surrounded the Throwing Knife. Chen Mo’s eyes shifted, spotting fifty meters away a large tree wide enough for four people to surround it.
He gripped the Throwing Knife and threw it.
The throwing knife whistled as it hid into empty space. A black line flashed through space, like a black python baring its fangs.
It pierced clean through.
The tree was severed with a rumble.
Chen Mo walked over and retrieved his throwing knife. “So this is the Black Python Throwing Knife you forged?” Zhongli Sanmei watched from a distance, yawning in boredom. From her perspective, the throwing knives that Chen Mo spent so much effort imbuing spirit into were honestly lacking in destructive potential.
Of the three throwing knives, only one had the Demon Pellet imbued. The other two were a bit lacking, but adding the Lacquer Meteor Iron would allow them to fend off an Essence Flower warrior. If he caught them unawares, even a Qi Flower warrior would need to be more vigilant.
The throwing knives functioned as defensive concealed weapons. Even if he encountered the Tang Sect in the future, he could be a bit treacherous.
“Sanmei, you try it.” Chen Mo suddenly flung it.
The throwing knife instantly vanished.
The yawning Zhongli Sanmei tilted her head, and a chilling blade brushed past her delicate neck. The second throwing knife followed, this one even faster, its angle of attack even more hidden. Zhongli Sanmei evaded once again.
All of a sudden, a black python appeared out of thin air, biting at Zhongli Sanmei.
This black python seemed to have been laying in wait, suddenly revolting the instant Zhongli Sanmei dodged. The throwing knife wrapped in strong killing intent broke open the atmosphere. A normal warrior would be dead without doubt.
The Black Python Throwing Knife’s snarl became a mournful wail.
Zhongli Sanmei caught it between her jade fingers, firmly stopping this throwing knife.
“Oh?!” Zhongli Sanmei gave an approving look. She had underestimated these throwing knives.
Chen Mo was very satisfied with the result of the throwing knives. Although they were completely useless against Zhongli Sanmei, any other warrior would not be so fortunate.
After testing the throwing knives a few more times, Chen Mo then began to sit cross-legged, a flower appearing over his head. Already, he was blooming the Essence Flower of Three Flowers Overhead.
Three Flowers Overhead warriors cultivated “Essence,” “Qi,” and “Spirit” flowers. After the three flowers bloomed, this stage was complete. Once Thunder Tribulation was reached, an entirely new realm was achieved. Although the Three Flowers of Essence, Qi, and Spirit had three phases, Chen Mo fortunately used Yin and Yang as well as Star Energy to temper his body. After the first phase Essence Flower bloomed, using the Nose Locking Art made progress very fast. In a short two days, he was already at the bottleneck for Essence Flower Middle Stage.
“Did you find that last person?” Chen Mo asked.
Zhongli Sanmei shrugged. She took Nianyou on a trip around Little Jade City, but she was not attacked nor monitored. She surmised the death of his two partners was a blow to him, and that the enemy did not dare move carelessly.
That there was still another person in the dark spying on them made Chen Mo’s heart a bit ill at ease. His top priority could only be to advance his own cultivation. This was the only way he could guarantee the safety of the people around him. He also knew about the Eastern Flower Sword Sect, one of the Great Chong Dynasty’s Four Great Sword Sects, second only to the Northern Underworld Sword Sect.
After a while, Luo Kui’s party trickled into the northern slope.
Standing next to Chen Mo was a woman, and hugged against his chest was a lovely and endearing little girl. Their family-like appearance left Luo Kui a bit lost. “Who are these?”
“This is my friend, Sanmei, and this is my little sister.” Chen Mo made introductions.
As a genius casting master, to have a warrior friend was not strange at all. Luo Kui believed his own skills were average, but he knew plenty of Three Flowers Overhead warriors. But the woman in front of him was unavoidably too beautiful. And what was with that little sister?
Travel to the Western Desert would be very perilous. Demon Beasts dwelled there, and even Three Flowers Overhead warriors would need to be extremely careful. Luo Kui looked at the girl being held by Chen Mo. She seemed to have no martial arts at all, a very ordinary person.
Going like this was practically suicide.
Chen Mo saw his thinking and explained: “We have only each other, so I can’t abandon her. This friend has also come to help me. She’s quite interested in the spirit stone you found last time.”
“Is that so, I understand, I understand.” Luo Kui chuckled.
It seemed this child’s background was very pitiful, to surprisingly not have parents or a sect for support actually was outside of his expectations. He had originally thought that such an incredible casting master definitely would have significant backing to have been raised like this. Luo Kui was not very skeptical of his words. He could see that the girl on Chen Mo’s chest was still very pitiful. Even at such a young age, she had the makings of a beauty. If it was not for their situation, how could she have been willing to go to a place as dangerous as the Western Desert.
“He really is being dragged down by a family to feed. Luo Kui, are you sure your friend actually isn’t a problem.” A doubtful voice came from behind Luo Kui.
Chen Mo noticed there were three other warriors accompanying Luo Kui, two men and a woman.
The three of them were all dressed differently, and their ages were completely different from each other as well. There was a gentle young warrior who was very taciturn. There was also an old man dressed in a long magua. He had no hair, and his skin was pale. Lastly, the woman was full of experience. That ordinary looking face was filled with the traces of hardship. From a glance, Chen Mo knew she had spent much time in vile environments.
The one who spoke was this woman.
She was a bit dissatisfied that Chen Mo was carrying a little girl with them to the Western Desert. In her eyes, this was too frivolous. He was completely unaware of just how dangerous the Western Desert Tower was.
Chen Mo said: “I will be responsible for everything that happens in the Western Desert.”
“To have this kind of self-confidence at Three Flowers Overhead Early Stage, indeed only a genius would dare say such a thing.” The woman was expressionless.
“You can’t underestimate Brother Shi Jin. He made this Black Python Scale Armor that I’m wearing.” Luo Kui stepped forward to mediate. “Brother, don’t mind them. Yun Sha has this kind of personality.”
“She’s very right to be worried. If it was me, I’d be skeptical.” Chen Mo smiled.
“It’s for the best if you can think like this.” Luo Kui said gratefully.
“I’m called Zhuang Jing.1 Given the opportunity, I hope to be able to work with you.” The gentle and scholarly youth courteously extended his hand. Towards a casting master with boundless prospects, any smart warrior would be very delighted to become friends.
“Li Xiunian.2 Just call me Old Nian.” The hale and hearty old man also timely showed friendliness. “Young lad, Luo Kui has never praised a person like this before. Meeting you today, your presence is indeed extraordinary. Relax, I shall also do my utmost along the way to assist you siblings.” The old man was like a kind elder, every word filled with warmth and compassion, however, Chen Mo also knew that this was mostly due to his status as a casting master.
Finally, that serious woman expressionlessly introduced herself. “Yun Sha!”3
Zhuang Jing and Yun Sha both were Essence Flower Late Stage level, and Li Xiunian’s Qi Flower was already vaguely taking shape, already entering Two Flowers Overhead. Among them, Chen Mo’s Early Stage was the lowest cultivation.
Chen Mo more or less understood their natures and styles from their self-introductions, attitudes, expressions, and gestures.
Before they arrived, the three of them already learned about some of Chen Mo’s circumstances from Luo Kui. THey understood that he was a genius casting master, having forged a high-level defensive tool the likes of the Black Python Scale Armor. His goal was for those spirit stones. If it was anyone else, a warrior who had just cultivated to Three Flowers Overhead Early Stage would not have the qualifications to enter this party. But Chen Mo’s status was special, and they did not mind adding one more person. To make friends, future tool refinement with casting stars would not be bad.
Luo Kui’s party had once gone with him in search of the Western Desert Tower, and it was there that they found the Wind Concealment Divine Stone. Reportedly, the tower would only appear during particular times. According to the pattern, this was the time for it to appear. However, Luo Kui particularly emphasized that the Western Desert was very dangerous, fraught with Demon Beasts.
The group discussed for awhile.
Li Xiunian was quite curious about Nianyou and Zhongli Sanmei. It was a pity that Nianyou was wary of strangers. In the fact of others’ attention, she buried her head into Chen Mo’s chest. The King Of Extinguished Ashes had even less interest in becoming familiar with the ordinary cultivators. She crossed her arms and stood aloof.
After all, this was a team, so Chen Mo did not want to be too inharmonious.
Fortunately, these people did not mind.
After a while, Yun Sha was somewhat impatient: “Luo Kui, just how much longer?”
“There’s still one more person, let’s wait a while longer.” Luo Kui looked at the time.
“Who else is there? Too slow.”
“Too many people is too annoying.” Yun Sha was slightly displeased.
Luo Kui forced a smile.
After a while, the last person slowly came into everyone’s view, but when they saw that person, everyone was taken aback. Even Chen Mo was left speechless.
Surprisingly, he was Jin Fu’er.
“Apologies, apologies, I’ve made everyone wait too long.” The fat man wiped his head that was covered in sweat.
Everyone in Little Jade City recognized the young master of the Great Tool Court. Upon seeing it was him, the others said nothing more. “Fatty, why do you want to go to the Western Desert. That is no place for drinking and pleasure.” Li Xiunian narrowed his eyes, smiling benevolently as he asked.
The others had skeptical looks. They were also very aware of the fat man’s nature. With a Middle Stage Casting Master as a father, he nevertheless showed no interest at all in the craft of casting, spending his entire day making merry with scoundrels; he loathed hardship the most.
The Western Desert’s environment needed no description, soaring temperatures during the day, deep cold at night. It was absolutely unbearable for the young master who lived like a prince.
The fat man patted his chest, solemnly vowing: “You guys look down too much on this Fat Master. This Fat Master also has a very adventurous spirit.”
An adventurous spirit with this flabby body? Luo Kui was amused.
The fat man helplessly said: “Truth be told, This Fat Master is bored and wanted to come out for a stroll. I heard that Brother Shi Jin is going, so naturally, I want to go, too. As a Fat Master, I will definitely share in life and death.”
Chen Mo was defeated by their mutual familiarity.
“And This Fat Master will inherit the Great Tool Court in the future. I heard that tower has never-before-seen spirit stones. Of course I have to go and see.” The fat man added.
Everyone had tacit understanding.
They were very aware of matters regarding the Great Tool Court. Nominally, they were a branch of the Sword Casting Villa, but in truth, Jin Wuliang always wanted to break away from the Sword Casting Villa. On the other hand, the Sword Casting Villa always wanted to replace Jin Wuliang with one of their own people. Both sides were inharmonious. Everyone glanced at Chen Mo, probably understanding the fat man was here to rope him in.
“Could these two beautiful girls be your sister-in-law and niece?” The fat man rubbed his hands, gazing at Zhongli Sanmei and Nianyou with glittering eyes.
“My friend, and this is my little sister.” Chen Mo introduced them.
“Sorry, sorry, little sister, I didn’t bring anything precious for you for our first meeting. When we come back, This Fat Master will definitely prepare a gift.” Jin Fu’er said.
Nianyou ignored him.
Jin Fu’er was embarrassed.
“Let’s head out, it’s already late.” Yun Sha impatiently urged.
“At the edge of the Western Desert is a relay station. I’ve already arranged for camels there. Let’s go there first.” Luo Kui called out.
Everyone mounted horses and set out for the Western Desert.