Under the night sky, unbeknown to them, a shadowy figure appeared on the mountain top. The person was draped in a dark, black cloak. His entire person was under the cloak, as though he was afraid of being seen by people.
"Who are you?" Xu Qianqian looked at the shadowy figure. She was scared to the point she let out a cry. Her voice was shaking slightly as she asked.
"Who am I?"A hoarse voice came from the shadowy figure, "He he, do you really not know who I am?"
As he said this, he slowly removed his hood, revealing a face that was as old and ugly as deadwood. A pair of cold, crafty eyes silently looked at Xu Qianqian on the mountaintop.
"You" Xu Qianqian's eyes widened. Under the moonlight, the person's appearance was a bit blurry, but she managed to recognise him in an instant. Who else could it be but the miracle doctor that had recommended that she come to the Changbai Mountains to look for medicinal herbs.
"Why are you here?"
Xu Qianqian felt a sense of dread. Why would the old miracle doctor appear on the mountaintop in the middle of the night? Something was obviously abnormal.
When she had departed from her home to find the medicinal herbs, the miracle doctor had said that due to his old age he couldn't quite walk. So he had given her a map, telling her that all she needed to do was find the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom and pass it to him when she returned.
But now, the old miracle doctor had appeared on the mountaintop. This was clearly different from what he had said.
"Of course, I was waiting for you." The shadowy figure laughed maniacally. His body emitted a strange aura.
Xu Qianqian took a deep breath and said coldly, "What is your motive?"
"You still don't understand?"The shadowy figure laughed evilly, hoarsely saying, "Of course it's to kill you and to use your blood to feed this Blood Lingzhi Mushroom."
"What do you mean?"Xu Qianqian drew in a cold breath. This was all a trap. The miracle doctor had tricked her to come to the Changbai Mountains to kill her.
But if he wanted to kill her, why did he need to trick her to come all the way to the Changbai Mountains. Wasn't that superfluous?
"The Blood Lingzhi Mushroom is a panacea, did you think it could be simply picked just like that? Only after being fed with blood one last time can the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom be plucked."
The shadowy figure snorted coldly. His person's creepy aura got even heavier.
Xu Qianqian looked incredulously at the shadowy figure, "Feed it with blood?"
"To let you know before you die, before plucking the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom, it must first be bathed in the ventricular blood of a virgin, then only can it be harvested after a day. If it is simply collected just like that, the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom will wither and die. Also, the ventricular blood cannot have left the body for more than an hour, otherwise it is useless."
The shadowy figure said kinkily, " Now do you know why I tricked you into coming to the Changbai Mountains? To be the last feed of a panacea, you should feel honored."
"The only thing I want to know now is whether that Blood Lingzhi Mushroom can cure my father's illness."
Xu Qianqian bit her lip, coldly looking at the shadowy figure.
"No, it can't. That was just to trick you into coming. I can't believe that you took it." The shadowy figure laughed coldly. This woman was so naive to actually believe this hoax. What was the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom? To use it to treat someone's illness, it was throwing away a gift from heaven.
"You"Despair filled Xu Qianqian's eyes. So it actually was all fake; since the beginning there was no hope.
"Now do you understand? Then die." The shadowy figure laughed evilly. He was about to capture Xu Qianqian and head over to feed the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom, when an unexpected voice suddenly sounded in the night.
"There is something that I don't understand yet. Where is the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom?"There was no one around. The voice seemingly came out of nowhere.
"Of course it is at...who are you?"
The shadowy figure was halfway answering when he realised that something was amiss. There were only the two of them on the mountaintop. Since when was there a third voice?
He frantically looked left and right, not discovering anyone.
That strange voice sounded again. Behind the shadowy figure, a slender hand reached out and patted the shadowy figure on the shoulder, seemingly to tell him: I am right behind you.
The shadowy figure felt as though he was struck by lightning. His facial expression crumbled. With a swivel he shifted seven to eight meters to the side, turning to look back at his original position.
In the spot, a person was standing. More precisely, a youth was standing with his hands behind his back, calmly looking at him.
When did he appear? He had not noticed him at all.
The shadowy figure was terrified to his core. The youth was like a ghost.
"Who are you?" The shadowy figure asked cautiously.
"You seem to have not answered my question." Mo Wen raised his eyebrows.
"Who exactly are you? I advise you to mind your own business, otherwise don't blame me for not holding back."
The shadowy figure said in a severe tone. Although the youth had appeared strangely, but being so young, he wouldn't be very capable. It could be that he was just putting on a bluff. Just thinking of this gave him some peace of mind.
When Xu Qianqian, who was standing not far from them, saw Mo Wen appear, she let out a sigh of relief, her heart settling somewhat. Although the guy was despicable, he made her feel safe.
"It seems you are not prepared to voluntarily answer my question."
Mo Wen laughed coldly. The next moment he shifted, and like a lightning bolt stepped tens of meters to the side. He appeared suddenly in front of the shadowy figure, one hand violently grabbing onto his shoulder.
The shadowy figure's eyes narrowed and his heart was shot with terror. He withdrew backwards, but discovered that Mo Wen's speed was too fast and too sudden that he could not evade him.
Since he could not dodge him, then he naturally would not just stand there and wait for death. In an instant, he sent out a palm strike with all his might.
A streak of red flares emerged from the palm of the shadowy figure. The shrivelled hand was like a glowing red piece of iron, completely dyed in crimson. With a strike of his palm, a heatwave spread forth.
"What!" Mo Wen raised his eyebrows. The old fellow was a flame technique ancient martial arts practitioner. His flame technique was not bad. The Flaming Palms were a ranked martial arts. Even the Zhou Clan Manor from before did not have a high rank martial arts.
Clearly the old man dressed in black before him had some background.
The corner of his mouth curled. He too sent out a palm strike. A beam of golden light expanded from the center of his palm, like a sun radiating ten thousand light rays. The flaming aura madly swept past.
The two palms met, and the night sky on the mountaintop lit up as though it was day. In an instant, however, it returned to darkness.
Mo Wen silently stood on his spot, his silhouette stood tall and straight. The night breeze came, blowing up his shirt and hair. He was like an old tree, unmoving like a mountain.
The shadowy figure, however, was sent flying like a kite with a broken line. After floating in the air for some distance, he came crashing to the ground.
"You have the cultivation of the Qi Nucleation realm?"
The shadowy figure struggled for a bit to get up from the ground. He looked at Mo Wen in disbelief. How could a mere youth have the cultivation of the Qi Nucleation realm? Such demonic talent. Of all the types of people, he happened to meet this type.
If it wasn't someone of the Qi Nucleation realm, then it was impossible for him to have been hurt from just one attack. Only a Qi Nucleation realm ancient martial art practitioner had the ability to do so.
He looked at his arm. Right now, the entire sleeve had been reduced to ash. His arm was like a cooked shrimp, completely red. His arm was 100% burnt.
He was a practitioner of flame techniques. Usually he was the one who burnt people, how could he end up being burnt by others?
From this, he could confirm that the youth was also practising flame techniques, and he was at a realm far higher than his own. Such an incredible flame technique expert, and such a young one at that. The entire ancient martial arts world had very few people like him. Who was this youth?
Mo Wen loosened his shoulders, not saying anything. The cultivation of the old man before him was not weak. He was at the later stage of the Sea of Qi realm, but this realm compared to his was not worth mentioning.
Xu Qianqian's dainty hand covered her mouth. Her eyes were wide open as she stared at Mo Wen and the old man dressed in black in astonishment. She had actually seen flames coming from their bodies. What was going on?
Martial arts experts? Supermen? Deities? Naruto? Dongfang Bubai ?
A few absurd and disoriented thoughts swept through Xu Qianqian's little mind. She was unable to react for a bit.
"Now you should probably answer my question right?" Mo Wen dusted off his sleeves as he said calmly.
"Your Excellency, I am from the Medicine Manor. Could you please overlook this on behalf of the Medicine Manor. I would be grateful for your kindness."
The shadowy figure wiped off the bloodstains in the corner of his mouth as he struggled to get up, bowed and said.
The Blood Lingzhi Mushroom was the panacea that he had discovered fifteen years ago. Back then the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom was still not ripe, so he could not harvest it. He had waited for fifteen years, wishing to the moon and stars for the day the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom would finally ripen. How could he had known that a unforeseen circumstance would emerge halfway and a person would want to snatch the panacea from him.
From the words of the youth, he knew that he was interested in the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom. But to ask him to just give up the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom like that was something he could not do.
So he had brought up the name of his sect, hoping to awe the youth. He had confidence in his sect. In the entire ancient martial arts world, very few people would not give face to the Medicine Manor.
Mo Wen raised his eyebrows, nonchalantly saying, "What is that? Never heard of it."
The old man dressed in black pointed at Mo Wen, unable to say a word. The Medicine Manor was one of the Ten Great Sects of ancient martial arts world. Every year, they were listed as one of the more powerful and prosperous of the Ten Great Sects. Whether it was their heritage or their capabilities, all were far beyond the imagination of normal people.
Despite being a person in the ancient martial arts world, the youth actually said that he did not know of the Medicine Manor. If that wasn't meant to belittle him then what else could it mean? It even made fun of the Medicine Manor as well. It was the epitome of arrogance.
"Your Excellency, if you are willing to forgo this Blood Lingzhi Mushroom, I am willing to return to the Medicine Manor to plead for three bottles of cultivation enhancing pills in exchange. Perhaps this could further enhance your cultivation. As for the Blood Lingzhi Mushroom, Your Excellency doesn't seem to know alchemy. It would be of no use to you even if you had it."
Since using the sect's reputation was useless, the old man dressed in black decided to entice him with benefits. The pills of the Medicine Manor were highly sought items by the practitioners of other sects of the ancient martial arts world. Many could but dream of obtaining them; he did not believe that this youth would not be tempted.
As for a stalk of Blood Lingzhi Mushroom, for someone who did not know alchemy, aside from selling it, it practically had no value.
"Your people in the Medicine Manor know alchemy?" Mo Wen raised his eyebrows and asked curiously.
The Medicine Manor faction had the word "medicine" in its name. It was obvious that they knew a thing or two about the usage of medicinal plants. Ancient martial sects that could concoct pills in that world weren't few. The Mo clan was one of the most famous of these factions. For generations, they had produced miracle doctors.
But in this world, this was the first time he had encountered a sect that specialized in researching medicines. He naturally was curious.
: Dongfang Bubai, literally "Invincible East", is a fictional character in one of the martial art and chivalry stories by Jin Yong.