Chapter 40 – The Man and the Wolf
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Yun Ling frowned. This wolf should be the one giving off the weak presence he felt from the cave just a while ago but at the same time, he felt that it wasn’t quite right. If he recalled correctly, the one he felt earlier was exuding a much weaker presence than this wolf.

Though the wolf in front of him was weak and injured, Yun Ling didn’t dare take him lightly. Out of all the lesser beasts he came across in the Thousand Mountain Valley, it was only this wolf that was alive. Yun Ling considered the possibility that the wolf might have a hand on those lesser beasts’ demise.

“Do you need anything from me?” Yun Ling asked warily. Even though he was cautious of the wolf, he would at least hear him out first before deciding what action to take.

The wolf looked at him deeply as he sent his intention to Yun Ling telepathically.

Yun Ling listened to him carefully before raising a brow.

“You want my help in exchange for that fruit?”

The wolf nodded at him in confirmation.

“I see,” Yun Ling muttered to himself.

A longevity fruit for his help. Whatever it was that the wolf needed help with, it would surely be troublesome for Yun Ling. For it to be worth the same as the longevity fruit, it was probably nothing easy.

“As tempting as the longevity fruit is, I’m afraid I’ll have to refuse. There’s something strange going on in this place. I don’t have any intention of staying here any longer than I’ll have to,” Yun Ling said much to the wolf’s disappointment.

The wolf was about to speak to Yun Ling once again when Yun Ling beat him to it.

“In fact, you, yourself are quite strange. Among all the lesser beasts I’ve encountered in here, you’re the only one I’ve seen alive. Why is that so?” Yun Ling asked as he narrowed his eyes at him.

The wolf paused for a moment before speaking to him telepathically.

“You’ll tell me if I help you?” Yun Ling let out a smile. “No matter what you say, my answer will remain the same. I refuse.”

The wolf growled as he tensed his body and looked at Yun Ling in hostility.

“Resorting to force now are we?” Yun Ling pointed his sword at him as he took on a fighting stance and distanced himself from the wolf.

Several seconds later, the wolf sighed, lowering his head to Yun Ling as he spoke to him once again, ‘My life… the longevity fruit… it’s all yours. Just help me save my son. I’m begging you.’

“Your son?” Yun Ling questioned as he lowered his sword.

Yun Ling stood atop his flying sword as he flew towards the cave at a speed that was neither fast nor slow. He would have preferred to go as fast as he could but he had to take into consideration the injured wolf who was running just beside him.

‘If it’s alright to ask, could you tell me what made you change your mind?’ The wolf curiously asked as he kept up with Yun Ling’s pace.

“What made me change my mind, huh?” Yun Ling pondered over the wolf’s question.

He was adamant about not helping the wolf earlier but after hearing what kind of help the wolf wanted, Yun Ling had a change of heart.

“If I have to say why…” Yun Ling started as he took a glance at the wolf beside him. “I guess, it’s because I’m a father myself.”

The wolf nodded in understanding, accepting his answer.

“However, don’t misunderstand,” Yun Ling said. “Although that may be part of my reason, it’s not just because of that. I’m not doing this out of charity. I only accepted your request since you swore that you’d give the longevity fruit and your life to me if I managed to help you save your son. Keep that in mind.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll keep my word. If you can indeed save my son, you can do as you please to me. Whether you make me your slave, throw me away, kill me or something, I will not complain,” the wolf gravely said.

Yun Ling looked at the wolf seriously as he thought, ‘He doesn’t seem to be lying but I’m not sure if he’s telling the truth either.’

“As much as I want to hold you to that”—Yun Ling took out a small round object from his storage ring and showed it to the wolf—“I can’t bring myself to trust you completely. I want you to take this pill.”

“Is that a…?” the wolf didn’t finish his question as he watched the pill warily.

“It’s exactly what you think it is. It’s none other than a slow-acting poison pill with a grade high enough to kill even a mortal lord if not given the antidote on time. If everything you told me was the truth, you’d have no problems taking this pill right?” Yun Ling said as he examined the wolf’s reaction.

“Alright,” the wolf nodded without hesitation. “If that’s what it takes to make you trust me, I’ll take it.”

Yun Ling said no more. He tossed the pill towards the wolf.

The wolf threw the longevity fruit he was holding with his mouth midair as he received the pill that Yun Ling gave to him. After that, he caught the longevity fruit back with his mouth as it fell towards him.

“I hope you don’t blame me for this.”

The wolf shook his head as he said, “It’s normal to be cautious. Even I would have done the same in your position.”

Silence fell between the two as they headed towards the cave.

Several minutes later, the figure of the dead Goliath Mountain King came into their view. Yun Ling might have seen it before but after looking at it again, he couldn’t help but be amazed. Just what kind of being was capable of doing that to the Goliath Mountain King, a powerful being at the Sacred King Realm?

What was even more surprising was that the wolf beside him was still alive after all this time.

“We’re here,” the wolf said, breaking him out of his thoughts.