Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Mu En said: “Of course there are. Even when they are newborn, dragons are still powerful Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, while adults are one of the top ranked amongst the Heavenly Beasts. They aren’t usually found anywhere else but in the Wan Shou Empire, where there are many dragon-like Heavenly Beasts. These leather armor of ours were created in the past when we purchases a huge piece of dragonhide and custom made them. Not only are they light and flexible, they also have an extremely strong defense. More importantly for our current mission is the aura it gives off, which will deter other ordinary Heavenly Beasts. They are indeed superb items.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Heh, teacher, is there any remaining dragonhide?”
How could Mu En not know what he was thinking, and he said exasperatedly: “How could we possibly have any remaining. If we had any surplus we’d have covered our entire bodies with it.”
At the same time, Hua Feng’s voice came from the front: “Maintain silence.”
As they stealthily entered the forest, the snow was about a foot deep, and it was tough for them to traverse the terrain. The weather was extremely cold, and Zhou Weiqing wore woolen clothing, but Shangguan Bing’er was unexpectedly only wearing a single garment. She looked towards Zhou Weiqing, her gentle gaze making him feel an itch in his heart.
Previously, Admiral Zhou had given him a birthday present called the Snow Silk Coverall, which was light and tight fitting; not only could it be used as a protective inner armour, it was also able to maintain body temperature. The reason why Shangguan Bing’er was not feeling cold was because Zhou Weiqing had given her the Snow Silk Cover. In his words, it was his betrothal gift, and Shangguan Bing’er had not rejected him. Alas, in a tragedy for him, due to the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit being around all the time, he had not been able to seize any opportunities to be intimate with her.
As soon as they entered the forest, Luo Ke Di vanished into thin air. The rest of them took a formation as such – Hua Feng in the front, Gao Shen and Han Mo at the flanks, Mu En covering the back, while both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were in the center.
After about an hour of travel, Luo Ke Di appeared suddenly. Currently, he did not look a whit like his normal lazy drunken self, and had a practiced, energetic look. With a gleam in his eyes, he told Hua Feng: “Boss, I’ve scouted out in a 5km radius from here but have yet to find anything. According to our employer’s information, the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears which live in these forests are those who have been exiled from their community. Most of the other Heavenly Beasts which originally lived here have also been chased out by the Icy Soul Heavenly Bears.”
Hua Feng nodded and said: “The mission this time is simple, but the main difficulty remains of the power of the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear. Go on and scout ahead, we will continue deeper in.” As he said that, he used an arrow to draw out a direction in the snow. Luo Ke Di nodded and after some more discussion, he disappeared once more.
After he left, under Hua Feng’s direction, the rest of them circulated their Heavenly Energy and moved at top speeds 5km in the discussed direction, before slowing down once more. Zhou Weiqing realised that the reason Hua Feng did this was to ensure that the companions were able to maintain themselves in top shape in order to react to any unforeseen circumstances.
As they traveled deeper into the forest, 2 days quickly passed. Their movement into the forest was rather slow; they could only traverse about 30km a day, and the busiest amongst them was undoubtedly Luo Ke Di. As the scout, he was always on the move to and fro. Zhou Weiqing had asked Mu En on the down low why they were traveling so slowly, and the answer was simple – for safety.
In such a forest where Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts lived, it didn’t require much for mistakes to be made – just 3 of those Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts would be more than sufficient to wipe out their whole party. That was the reason why Luo Ke Di had to keep moving and scouting the way ahead, not only was it to find an Icy Soul Heavenly Bear, it was also to find safe routes for his companions; if anything was amiss, everyone could immediately avoid it.
Under his careful observation, Zhou Weiqing noticed that although they had been searching for two days in this icy jungle, with nary a bite of warm food to eat, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit still remained calm and solemn, as if long used to such a life. “An assassin’s natural enemy is loneliness. An outstanding assassin’s best quality was patience.” Hua Feng told him.
Finally, in the 3rd day approaching noon, Luo Ke Di came back with an excited look on his face, with news that perked everyone up – he had spotted a lone Icy Soul Heavenly Bear about 4 km from where they were.
Hua Feng said solemnly: “Rogue, are you sure it’s just a single one?”
Luo Ke Di nodded and said: “As soon as I spotted it, I observed it and the surroundings, before scouting a few km radius to be sure, and there were no signs of another Icy Soul Heavenly Bear. This solo Icy Soul Heavenly Bear seems to be looking for something. It’s stout and strong, so it should already be an adult. Luckily it’s winter now, although it doesn’t need to hibernate like an ordinary bear, its senses are relatively duller than usual.”
Hua Feng immediately made a decision, giving out orders solemnly: “In that case, let’s take action. Everyone, remember, we have to kill the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear in the fastest possible time and immediately retreat. Rogue, you provide the distractions. Gao Shen, Han Mo, both of you will be in charge of disrupting any of its skills. I will be in charge of striking its weak points.”
As he said up to here, his gaze landed on Mu En as he said: “Old scoundrel, the front line, I’ll leave it up to you.” Mu En nodded.
Listening to Hua Feng giving out the tasks, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but be surprised. With his teacher’s smallest and thinnest frame, he was actually given the task of being in the front and facing the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear? Did he hear wrongly?
Hua Feng seemed to notice Zhou Weiqing’s thinking, and he said with a faint smile: “Little Wei, when the fight starts, you and Bing’er will have to hide further off and not take action. You both will be in charge of providing support and covering our retreat. Do not feel baffled by my arrangements, Mu En will show you his true strength, and let you know what it means to be invincible in a hundred yards.”
With the misgivings in his heart, Zhou Weiqing followed the rest, who advanced ahead under Luo Ke Di’s leadership. They sped through the several kilometres distance, before Luo Ke Di finally slowed down and gave a hand signal. All of them instantly slowed and held their breaths in rapt attention as they started advancing slowly and stealthily.
Indeed, after a short distance, they passed some thick pine trees, and their target appeared in their line of sight.
200 yards away, a huge black bear was lying on the ground, its 2 front claws pawing at the ground, looking like it was trying to look for something.
Seeing the huge fellow, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t help but draw a sharp breath. Although Zhou Weiqing had seen Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts in the Skill-Storing Palace before, those were after all sealed and weakened, each of them well behaved and not shocking to him. However the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear in front of them was totally different. It was at least 6 metres tall, and its huge bear paws were constantly slamming on the ground, giving forth a *Dong* *Dong* sound. Even at 200 yards away, all of them could feel the earth shaking from the reverberations.
The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear had a white patch of fur the size of a large palm on its back, extending all the way down to its tail. Its body was faintly surrounded by a layer of dim icy mist. As its back was facing them, Zhou Weiqing could not tell what was the difference between it and an ordinary bear, besides the size.
Mu En soft voice rang out in Zhou Weiqing’s ear: “Every Zong Stage Heavenly Beast can be considered a strong Heavenly Jewel Master.”
“For example, this Icy Soul Heavenly Bear can be considered a Strength Type Heavenly Beast, and has 2 elemental attributes – Ice and Wind. Amongst the Zong Stage Heavenly Beasts, it is considered one of the stronger ones, and is extremely troublesome to deal with. Furthermore, its defence is astounding. You and Bing’er should just head up this tree, and no matter what happens later, do not take action rashly, understood?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded and grinned: “Safety first, I understand.”
Hua Feng waved his hands slightly, his fingers weaving in a series of signals, and without any further speaking, the 5 members sprang into action.
Luo Ke Di immediately rushed to the side to flank it, while Hua Feng, Gao Shen and Han Mo all moved in different directions as well. Only Mu En raised his right hand, releasing his Physical Jewels, and headed towards the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear from the front.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er couldn’t help but feel nervousness grip their hearts. This was their first time hunting such a high level Heavenly Beast after all. Zhou Weiqing pointed up the tree, putting his hands around Shangguan Bing’er’s waist, before leaping up the tree with her.
Shangguan Bing’er rolled her eyes at him, but did not resist, instead leaning into his embrace. Zhou Weiqing grinned with delight, holding her hands lightly. In this land of ice and snow, breathing in the fragrance from her body, with a big battle to spectate, he felt strangely satisfied. The gloom he had from running those 20 days seemed to vanish in an instant.
At the other side, the members of the Heavenly Bow Unit had already taken action. Silent arrows streaked towards the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear from various different angles, targeting its weak spots like its ears and eyes. Without doubt, towards any living creatures, those were usually their vulnerable points.
However, just as it seemed like the arrows would hit their target, all of a sudden, a layer of dim blue light sprang forth from the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear’s body, and with a soft *Pssh* sound, the arrows were all deflected by the blue light barrier.
The Icy Soul Heavenly Bear gave a savage roar of anger. It had not been hit, but it was angered by the sudden attack and spun its head around towards the direction the arrows had come from. As it turned around, Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er could finally see it from the distance. Its eyes were icy blue, full of bloodlust and killing intent, its gaze seemed piercing like a bolt of lightning shattering through the air.
*Wuuu* The air around the Icy Soul Heavenly Bear seemed to spin around as howling winds arose in a cyclone, whipping up the snow around. Where the cyclone passed, a loud cracking noise was heard as the trees and brush around were all smashed into pieces.
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