Bai Yun watched as a group of men came out of the crack and stood in front of the weeds. There were seven of them. The one in the lead was a young man who seemed to be only twelve or thirteen. He was wearing a golden robe and stood there with his head held high. It was obvious from the first look that he was their leader. On his back he carried a saber. Even though it was sheathed, it could easily be seen that it was of a high quality from its hilt alone. In fact every object on his body was of a high caliber. Bai Yun realized that this must be Bai Qing. This look of affluence and arrogance was typical of a prince. Even though it was said that anyone could be a prince of the clan, without sufficient background it was impossible to achieve.
He was followed by a young man who seemed to be fawning all over him. Bai Yun figured that this must be Bai Hao. There was five other people beside the two.
Bai Yun used his perception to quietly prod them for their cultivation bases. The answer that he got only increased his worry. Other than Bai Qing and Bai Hao, there was one other person in the seventh stage of qi condensation. The rest of them were in the sixth stage of qi condensation. This was a formidable line up. By himself, it would be difficult to get away from them.
Bai Qing was inspecting the situation in front of him with a frown. He looked at the unexpected scenery in front of him.
"Bai Hao, why didn't you mention anything about the lava spiders. Or any other beasts. From the looks of things it has been a while since the cave has been found." One of the people following Bai Qing reprimanded Bai Hao.
"I don't know what happened. When I came here last there were no beats." Bai Hao explained in a panicked voice, afraid that Bai Qing will look down on him.
"There is no need to panic. It is just as I expected." Bai Qing reassured him which calmed Bai Hao down. "Demonic beasts have much higher sensitivity to such things compared to us. It would be a surprise if not even one demonic beast had found the fruit. Why do you think we left an hour before midnight, when it took less than ten minutes to reach here from where we were searching. The reason we came late was to make the people spying on us less wary and make them think we don't know where the supreme weed fruit is. For that it it would have been better to leave as late as possible. But we left early in order to kill the demonic beasts that have gathered and be in a position to grab the fruit as soon as it matured. Bai Hao you have done your job. From now on you can join our team. But be warned, the rules here are extremely strict. I will not ask you to do the impossible, but if you don not try your best, I will definitely kick you out." Bai Qing said.
Bai Yun was impressed by Bai Qing. He explained everything to a follower and also reassured, and mildly threatened at the same time, Bai Hao. He was like a natural born leader. Bai Yun was sure that he could never be like that.
Bai Qing turned to the lava spiders with a frown. Currently the two groups were simply staring at each other. Bai Qing knew just how bad a battle with the lava spiders would be. As for the lava spiders, they also knew just how strong the group in front of them was and did not rashly launch an attack.
Bai Qing frowned at them and said, "I never expected that the beasts here would be lava spiders. This makes things quite troublesome. We should not start a fight immediately."
"We should have send someone to take a look at this place earlier." The unknown seventh stage qi condensation practitioner said.
"How. You know just how many people were spying on us. If we had send Bai Hao here, at least one group would definitely find out and follow him here. Even now we had to be extremely careful and had to spend the entire night in order to trick them in to get here quickly without anyone finding out. Other than the large number of scattered hopefuls, there were three large groups following us. If any of them had found out about the location of the fruit, then we would have had to share it with them. And we cant fight because if we did that it would damaged the prince's reputation. It was simply not worth it." One of the group said.
"Not to mention that there is also Bai Shan. No one knows what he has been up to in the last few days. He may be an idiot but his brother is not. Most likely he send someone over in order to manage Bai Shan. We have to be wary of him too." A scholarly looking one among the sixth stage qi cultivators replied.
"What about the other two people who discovered this palace along with Bai Hao. Could Bai Song have found them and used them to find this location." The seventh stage qi condensation practitioner asked coldly.
"I don't think so. Bai Hao was quite smart and spread the rumor that he found the place by himself. Even we only came to know of them after meeting up with Bai Hao. There is no way for anyone to know about them. Also they were spotted about an hour from here a while ago." the scholarly boy replied.
"Are they trying to get their hands in the supreme weed fruit. How dare they!"
"Most likely not." Bai Qing replied. "It is likely that they saw the lava spiders and is staying around because of them. The maybe hoping that they could get the fruit after the lava spiders and us kill each other. Or maybe offer help at the critical point to get some resources. Either way I am sure that they are nearby."
" Hmm if they were to interfere then-" the seventh stage qi condensation practitioner said.
"You have my permission to kill them then. Now let us focus on the problem in front of us." Bai Qing cut him off.
Bai Yun was impressed by Bai Qing and his group. Not only did he figure out their intentions, he also knew to be ruthless when necessary. And his followers were also quite smart for their age. They were only eleven or twelve, but their thinking was extremely precise, very different from him back then. Even when he was eighty and become a god, he was still unable to think like this. It was only after fighting next to grand generals and tacticians of the alliance army for millennia, that Bai Yun learned to think as meticulously as that. He had a feeling that Bai Qing would go far in the future.
Bai Qing decided not to start the fight immediately. There was still so much time before midnight and they would all be tired if they were to fight now, and would not be able to get the fruits. And breaking through the defenses of three third circle qi stage lava spiders was nearly impossible with the firepower they had now. And he also needed enough energy in the reserve to handle other beasts or enemies that could turn up.
He moved a bit further inward and stayed there opposite the lava spiders. He didn't want to get caught up if some other beast were to charge in from the entrance. As for the lava spiders they had no desire to start a fight either. Everyone knew that the most important moment in the battle would occur after the fruits ripened, and no one wanted to start the battle beforehand. If they did they would only tire out by the critical point.
Bai Qing had chosen to stay near the entrance at a perpendicular to the entrance. He didn't want to move too inward as otherwise it would be difficult for everyone to escape after one of them got their hands on the fruits. Bai Yun was currently hiding in a hole almost directly opposite to the group. He was hoping to make the group move to the end opposite to the entrance of the cave so that the lava spiders would interfere if they were to chase after him. Two of the lava spiders moved around to face the group, and one of them remained facing the entrance to defend against any one else who might come.
As the group waited, Bai Yun sent his soul tendril towards the entrance. He placed his eyes squarely on the group. And just as they started to focus on their weapons, and the three lav spiders were also focusing on the group, Bai Yun rustled some of the grass at the entrance, and made a few sounds.
There was a reason for this. Bai Yun knew that since he had hidden himself here inside the cave the suspicion of how he got here would definitely fall to the couple he met earlier. After all they were the only people other than Bai Qing's group who knew the location of the cave. Thus he had to make it so that they would believe that he followed them here. But even if Bai Yun were to tell him outright Bai Qing would never believe it. His pride would refuse to admit than someone like him did not see anything the whole time he was being followed. So he had to give some signs that will make him suspicions. That will make him sure. Just enough rope for him to hang himself with.
Bai Qing frowned and looked around. So did the lava spiders. They all felt that something was wrong but couldn't quite pinpoint it. They tried using their perception to look around. Bai Yun simply smirked at their useless attempts.
"What was that?" Bai Qing asked.
"Huh did something happen?" One of his followers replied.
"I thought I felt something come in. We need to check if anyone is here." Bai Qing said.
"How is that possible. With all of us here no one could escape our eyes and enter-" Just as he started to retort they heard a rustling sound coming from the entrance. This time everyone, including the stunned Bai Yun turned towards the entrance.
A second later a large wolf like demonic beast at the peak of the second step burst through the weeds and entered the cave. It was growling with spittle running down its mouth, and all of its fur standing on its end. After it entered it saw the lava spider as well as Bai Qing's group. The two groups stared at the beast for a few seconds. The next instant, it stood up straight, it fur fell bank and its tail started to wag. It then barked cutely a few times, turned and ran back even faster than it came.
After a moment the group started to laughing. "You are amazing boss. You sensed it coming such a long time ago." One of them said after they finished laughing.
"Perhaps." Bai Qing replied. He still continued to look around just in case. Bai Yun smiled in satisfaction. Even if the wolf hadn't entered at the current point, he still had ways to hide if they started a search. But this saved him quite a bit of effort.
The two groups waited around for a while. A few more demonic beats came in during this time. Most of them chose to return, but a few chose to fight. They were all quickly dispatched by either the lava spiders or Bai Qing's group.
Soon there was only ten minutes left till midnight. Bai Qing's group finally got into position. The three lava spiders also turned towards them.
Bai Yun started to watch them curiously. It would soon be time for him to act.
The battle was about to begin.
Chapters missed left 4.
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