Chapter 62: Stonesnout
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With the Stonesnout injured, its movements quickly declined.

Wei Ping took this opportunity to stop running and charge back at the Qi beast.

Despite having two gaping holes on its flanks, the Stonesnout attempted to charge at the prey foolish enough to challenge it. However, it didn’t have the speed it thought it had, allowing Wei Ping to easily sidestep out of the way.

In return, Wei Ping was able to unleash the technique he had been training during his time in Emberglow City. He brought his arm up to his shoulder before throwing out a palm. The palm strike was something he had learned from the repository in Bloodwave Conclave’s bazaar and had a simple title of ‘Force Palm’.

No matter how simple it may be, it was an effective martial art that allowed its user to utilize their cultivation into an offensive attack. It was one of the most common techniques taught for a reason.

Wei Ping’s palm landed directly on the boar’s flank, right next to where its injury was. The force of the blow buckled the Qi beast’s knees, allowing Wei Ping to follow up with another attack. This started a downward spiral for the Stonesnout, as it couldn’t recover its balance.

The boar soon succumbed to the barrage of palm strikes and fell on its sides.

“T-that wasn’t e-enough to stir me up. Maybe only o-one of you should injure t-the next one,” Wei Ping announced, as soon as he confirmed the Qi beast was no longer a threat.

“Sure, but first, let’s skin this thing. It should be worth something, right?” Li Lang muttered as his gaze landed on Wei Ping. “Come on, you bought that dagger for a reason.”

While Li Lang wanted to take some of it into Ruby’s artifact space, he believed this wouldn’t be the last Stonesnout they would face.

The group took some time dissecting their prey, skinning it, and butchering the edible parts. They then packed up all the perishable parts before they began moving again. Due to the fact that their activities had spilled a lot of blood. They didn’t wait long before they found another Qi beast heading their way.

Like before, they repeated the same strategy, where they would use their numbers and the mindlessness of the Qi beasts against them. Once their target was injured, they allowed Wei Ping to fight it, so he could gain combat experience and hopefully inspiration to break through from the third stage.

Human beings were adaptable. It only took them three hunts before they got into their groove. Each time, Li Lang would discreetly let Ruby take away a portion of the prey as he stowed some of the spoils. It would be part of the hide, a tusk, and little by little, Ruby’s database would gain more details about the new Qi beast they had encountered.

On their seventh hunt, they found yet another Stonesnout.

“Same thing, let’s go!” Li Lang cried out.

The three boys split off in three directions at the oncoming Stonesnout. They knew this Qi beast, in particular, targeted the weakest prey it could find.

However, as the boys ran, they quickly found something strange. The boar was slower than all the previous ones they fought. It was already limping.

“It’s…already injured. Wei Ping, go ahead!”

The fight played out in a similar fashion to the previous bouts. Before long, they found another corpse of a Stonesnout in front of them.

However, before they could begin to skin it, they heard heavy footsteps coming in the direction where the Qi beast had charged out from.

The three quickly huddled together, placing their backs against each other.

“Is that its friend?” Long Yi muttered.

“No, it was injured. Maybe another Qi beast it was fighting with?”

“T-the wound didn’t l-look like it w-was from a beast. I t-think it’s from o-other humans.”

At Wei Ping’s words, they were instantly alarmed. Still, they didn’t have the time to escape as several figures came into view. They stilled when they spotted Li Lang’s group, but they then boldly strode over in indignation.

“You boys! Are you stealing my prey?” The teenager at the forefront of the group charged over without hesitation.

“Young Master Bai, please calm down.”

“Yes, Young Master, please have some water first.”

His companions tried to calm him down and pull him back but to no avail. Based on their clothing, the people trying to calm him were his fellow disciples. There was also a quiet middle-aged man in the back with bulging muscles.

It was upon spotting that man that Li Lang’s group was instantly taken aback.

“That guy should at least be at the peak of Energy Gathering if not past that, right…?” Long Yi whispered.

Neither Li Lang nor Wei Ping bothered to respond because, if that were true, he could easily hear them, despite whispering. They wordlessly stood there as the young master reached them.

The young master pointed a finger at Wei Ping’s chest as he began to berate him.

“You, what do you think you’re doing with that little knife? Trying to steal my prey, is it?”

“N-no, I d-didn’t know it was y-yours. It c-came charging at us o-out of nowhere.”

“Are you courting death?” Young Master Bai clicked his tongue. “Didn’t you see my arrow wrapped around in red cloth to mark my prey? You ruined my hunt!”

It was only then that Wei Ping and his friends spotted an arrow sticking out at the rear end of the Stonesnout. Previously, they had been too busy dealing with the monster to spot the injury.

“I-I’m sorry.” Wei Ping quickly bowed.

However, the young master didn’t seem to care and raised his arm, ready to slap the young boy. Before Li Lang could spring into action, the middle-aged man finally spoke.

“Bai Yuchen, calm down. They already apologized.” The man’s authoritative voice instantly froze the young master.

He stood frozen for a brief moment before turning around and clasping his fist at the man.

“I apologize, Master Lei. Please forgive my immatureness.”

“Good. If there is any dissatisfaction, you must express it in the proper way.”

Hearing the man’s words, Bai Yuchen took a deep breath before turning to face Wei Ping once more.

“I feel deeply disrespected at having my prey stolen. My last name wouldn’t be Bai anymore if I didn’t address this grievance. Therefore, I challenge you to a duel!”

“What? Here and now?” Long Yi cried out even faster than the person being challenged.

“My friend here is right. This isn’t an appropriate place to have a duel, not to even talk about the fact the difference in cultivation level between the two of you.” Li Lang added.

It was after these words that the burly man finally faced the three kids before him for the first time since their encounter.

“Do not worry. I will stand guard while they duel.”

The middle-aged man’s aura was suddenly unleashed, covering the entire area around them.

“Then it’s decided. Let us begin right anyway. Unless you don’t dare. In that case, I might be willing to let you go if you just crawl between my legs and call me your grandfather.” Bai Yuchen took his protector’s words as tacit support, instantly flaming his enthusiasm for the duel.

While Li Lang and Long Yi both wanted to reject this duel somehow, the other party didn’t seem receptive to taking no for an answer. With an expert who was at least in the Foundation Establishment realm on the other side, they couldn’t act recklessly.

LI Lang had one hand in his sleeves, prepared to unleash his trump card at any moment.

Seeing how the two of his friends were troubled, Wei Ping stepped up behind them and slapped them both in the back.

“Don’t worry. I accept the duel. I feel like this is a good opportunity.”

With the consent of both parties involved in the duel, the deal was sealed.

Both Li Lang and Long Yi wore an ugly expression seeing how things progressed. They weren’t optimistic about how this duel would end. On their side was someone who had only started cultivating seriously recently, while the other party was a demonic cultivator of unknown origins. Even if Wei Ping gained the upper hand, they were unsure if the expert would intervene.

I’ll have to be prepared to use the talismans to get us out of here if anything goes wrong...

While the two were fretting about their situation, the participants of the duel didn’t delay the start of their fight. They stood several feet away from each other, with the burly expert at the center.

“The fight will be done unarmed and will go on until someone gives up or one party can no longer resist. While I would like to declare the start of the match immediately, you’ll have to give me one moment.”

The man suddenly drew the sword on his hips and ascended into the air. He unleashed a wide slash that sent a wave of Qi rushing down into the treeline. The attack easily sliced through the obstacles, resulting in several trees crashing down with a thud. Once the dust settled, they all drew their eyes to the bright red color that stood out from the scene. It was a neatly bissected body of a Red Serpent.

The burly man took one last glance around before descending back down to his original position.

“Thank you for the wait. You may begin the duel now.”

Will I be able to react in time to use my talismans…? Good luck, Wei Ping. Hopefully, these people don’t mean us harm, and I won’t have to use our trump cards.