The disciples walked through the rest of the small grove where they had found the traces with a foreboding feeling until they finally made it to the last row of trees and reached the side of a lake.
Yan Chang raised her hand, motioning for the disciples to stop while she narrowed her eyes and surveyed the place in front of them.
A small, black box was perching on a boulder at the side of the lake. It seemed to have been sleeping but finally cracked its eyes open when the disciples were close. The way it looked at them, this clearly wasn’t just an animal. No, this was some type of beast. But whether it was a spiritual or a demonic one and how high its level was still remained to be seen.
The other disciples stepped to the side a little, looking at the black fox and the lake behind it curiously. So far, the fox didn’t seem to be too dangerous so they weren’t worried.
Yan Chang thought the same but still picked out three disciples and motioned at the fox. “You keep an eye on it. The rest, let’s go and look around for the herbs.”
A lot of spiritual herbs were growing at the edge of bodies of water. So this lake was a good opportunity to find some more. Not to mention that it was surrounded by lush grass. There might as well be some hidden gems between the stalks.
The three disciples nodded and fanned out, looking at the fox from all directions, while the other disciples went to do their own tasks.
Hua Lin Yu and Xiao Li went to the side of the lake, rummaging through all the plants that were growing at the side. Usually, it wasn’t too difficult to tell a spiritual herb from a normal one, considering the amount of spiritual energy that was contained within. But then, your perception could be off when in a realm that had been created with spiritual energy. So it was always better to double-check each and every single plant.
Not to mention that they were looking for very specific ones. If they found anything else, they would usually leave it be unless it was something extraordinary that was vital to the sect.
This was an approach that all sects used for the demonic ancestor’s poisonous herb garden. Because if they didn’t, then soon enough, this realm would be picked clean. Nobody wanted that.
The herbs here were especially well-cultivated and if everyone only took some every couple of years, then the herbs could regenerate before somebody else went in. This was a practice that benefited everyone and not just the big sects. If somebody became too greedy, then soon enough, only the premier and first-tier sects would have the chance to profit off this. So, so far, nobody had dared to try anything. The disciples of the Jian Yi Sect would naturally abide by that code of conduct.
This time, Hua Lin Yu and Xiao Li weren’t lucky. While there were some herbs, none of them were on the list of what they needed.
Hua Lin Yu sighed and got back to his feet, feeling that this task was really rather tedious. If not for the fact that they were a dozen people, that all kept their eyes on the ground to search, he really didn’t think that just he and Xiao Li would’ve been able to do this task.
Xiao Li glanced at him smiled faintly. “It was just bad luck. Next time, it might be easier.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded and then looked at the lake, feeling that maybe the water quality wasn’t as high here as further into the realm and that was why they hadn’t had any luck despite the location being good in general.
Just then, he couldn’t help but furrow his brows. Narrowing his eyes, he took a closer look and then even stepped a little closer to the edge of the water. Finally, he couldn’t help but motion at Xiao Li. “Xiao Li, what’s that down there?” He pointed at the middle of the lake, still not sure if his eyes were playing tricks on him.
Xiao Li observed the place but he wasn’t sure what Hua Lin Yu meant. “What do you mean? There’s nothing down there, is there?”
Hua Lin Yu blinked his eyes, feeling as if he really must’ve seen wrong but it was still there when he did. Unable to help himself, he turned to the back and waved at Yan Chang who was looking through the grass to find some herbs. “Junior martial sister Yan, there’s something down here. Brother Xiao isn’t able to see it. Could you take a look as well?”
Not just Yan Chang, She Fen also came over. The two of them looked, but neither of them was able to see what Hua Lin Yu was seeing.
Hua Lin Yu couldn’t help but furrow his brows further, feeling that something wasn’t right. “I’ll go down and take a look.” He turned to the lake, wanting to wade inside but She Fen hurriedly reached out and grabbed his shoulder.
“Little junior, please don’t be hasty. Remember what Master told you.”
Hua Lin Yu pursed his lips. “Well, none of you are able to see it. So I’m the only one who can go and check it out, right?”
She Fen really wanted to curse. Xiao Yu was right but if there was something that only his little junior could see instead of all of them, then he really wasn’t happy about that. Right now, he regretted that Xin Lan wasn’t with them. As annoying as he had thought that guy was sometimes, he had to admit that having somebody who likely couldn’t be bested by anybody in the human realm at their side really made him feel that his little junior was so much safer.
When he didn’t have anything to retort, Hua Lin Yu hurriedly stepped out of his reach and jumped into the water. “I’ll just take a quick look!”
The little black fox at the side of the lake had turned around to them as well to watch, its eyes seeming to gleam.
The disciples that had been watching it, couldn’t help but call out. “Senior martial sister Yan, it looks like the fox knows what’s up.”
Yan Chang glanced over there and then looked at the figure of Hua Lin Yu that was diving down there. Now, she couldn’t help but worry.
Demonic beasts were very similar to demons. In fact, for mortals, it often wasn’t easy to distinguish a beast and an actual demon. And she knew that especially foxes were very good at creating illusions. So if only senior martial brother Hua was able to see something, then it might very well be that he had been targeted. If that was the case … she did not even want to think about what that could mean.