TGL Volume 5, Chapter 19 (6)

“Disciple Gu, are you alright?” 

Do I look alright? I’m feeling extremely not alright to the point of not being able to speak. That last punch I received from Lucia, it was completely unmitigated. I ran out of spiritual energy to protect myself, and as a consequence, I’m pretty sure my torso’s been roasted like a mortal’s dinner. If only I had my equipment! Before I could even orient myself after teleporting in to the ancient ruin, I was knocked out, and everything in my possession was stolen. I’m lucky I keep my rarest treasures in an interspacial jewel buried underneath my right molar, but the space inside isn’t large enough to hold clothes or weapons. 

“Quick, apply some ointment to his wounds.” 

It didn’t take very long for my fellow disciples to wrap me up in bandages and dress me in robes. 

“What happened to you?” a feminine voice asked. It belonged to Senior Mu. Although I was the holy child of the Blazing Sun Sect, Senior Mu was the strongest disciple of the Blazing Sun Sect’s younger generation, her combat prowess almost on par with a supreme immortal’s. As for why she wasn’t a holy child, she was the great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of the sect’s founding ancestor—who’s no longer around—and to prevent accusations of nepotism, she turned down the spot herself. Of course, the resources she receives from the sect are still greater than what I get every month. “You were gone before we even finished entering.” 

I’m well aware of that. “I’m not sure, but I believe I was ambushed by the squirrel you saw me with earlier. She wanted to Soul Scour me to gain information; luckily, all of you showed up in time to prevent that from happening.” 

“I see,” Senior Mu said and swept her gaze over the disciples who were present. There were only twenty of us in total. “This is why I warned everyone to keep their guards up before entering. Let this be a learning experience for all of you.” 

“We’re not going to chase and get revenge for Disciple Gu?” 

Senior Mu glanced at the man who had just spoken. “Do you attack the sky when you’re struck by lightning? Do you get revenge against the cold when it kills your crops? Squirrels are natural calamities and should be treated as such.” 

My fellow disciple puffed his chest out. “I might not be able to hurt the sky, but squirrels are made of flesh and blood. If we don’t retaliate after being attacked, won’t people think of our sect as weak? We’re all a part of the sect. We all contribute to its success. Attacking one of us is like attacking us all. If we don’t unite to protect our fellow disciples, what’s the difference between being a sect member and a rogue cultivator?” 

“Junior Tai,” Senior Mu said with narrowed eyes. “Who is the appointed leader of this expedition?” 

Junior Tai’s expression stiffened. “You are,” he said, his mouth sounding a little dry. 

Senior Mu crossed her arms over her chest. “By any chance, have you also been appointed as a leader of this expedition?” 

“No.” 

“Then shut your trap,” Senior Mu said. “My orders are absolute. My decisions are final. The next person who disagrees can reason with my saber instead of my words.” She swept her gaze over the group, and everyone collectively lowered their heads to stare at the ground. Senior Mu nodded and pulled a map out of her interspatial ring. It was blank, but after Senior Mu filled the parchment with spiritual energy, an image gradually formed from a single point like a blot of ink spreading across the surface of a pond. 

“There’s a point of interest to the northwest,” Senior Mu said. “We’ll head there now before someone gets ahead of us.” Her gaze landed on me. “We’ve already wasted enough time.” 

I know Senior Mu is strong, but she’s really quite insufferable. If someone else had materialized first instead of me, I’m sure they would’ve been clobbered by Lucia instead. Shouldn’t the first distortion have been caused by Senior Mu since she led the way? Why was I the one unlucky enough to be attacked? Perhaps my body has a better affinity for the space element which let me pass through the gate more quickly. Either way, this delay shouldn’t be blamed on me but on the dumb squirrel who fled. 

“Keep up!” 

With only those two words, Senior Mu dashed ahead, and although it was a little painful, I was still capable of following her pace. As for why we didn’t use a transportation tool, it was cheaper and faster for us to run since we were all immortals. As long as we didn’t exceed a certain speed, our spiritual energy would refresh at the same rate as its expenditure. 

After rushing through a field of gray, we arrived at a rectangular building. Senior Mu stopped, and a frown appeared on her face. She glanced at me again. “Despite being amongst the first to enter, we’re not the first to discover this point of interest.” Her gaze shifted onto Junior Tai. “You were assigned to the group as the scout.” Senior Mu’s head jerked towards the building. “Do your job.” 

“Yes, Senior Mu,” Junior Tai said and obediently lowered his head. He clasped his hands together as he closed his eyes, and a small ball of fire appeared on his shoulder. Wings sprouted from the flames, and the ball of fire flew forwards towards the building. A frown appeared on Junior Tai’s face. “There’s a group of demons within the building. There are signs of a formation, but it doesn’t seem to be complete.” Junior Tai’s eyes shot open, and his body hunched forward as he coughed out a mouthful of blood. “The squirrel that attacked Disciple Gu is also inside. She destroyed my bat the instant she saw it.” Junior Tai coughed a few more times. “She’s in an altercation with the demons. I’m guessing she’s the one who destroyed the formation they created.” 

Senior Mu nodded with her eyes trained forward, not caring about Junior Tai’s state at all. “We’ll wait here for now. After the two parties exhaust themselves fighting each other, we’ll go in.”

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