Liang Chen did not know when he fell asleep again, but when he opened his eyes, he was lying in his bed, his body cleaned and draped in a clean robe. Qing Chun was nowhere to be seen, so he guessed that she had likely already returned home. He sat up in the bed, his body was still aching, but it was far better than it was the previous day.
He rolled up the sleeves of his robe, checking on the wounds he had on his left arm. The wound where he stabbed himself with the knife was covered with a white paste and wrapped with clean bandages, and the fingers on his left hand were wrapped in separate bandages, allowing him to move them freely, while still covering his cracked nails.
A slight smile appeared on Liang Chen's face, friends like Qing Chun truly made life worth living. He got up from the bed, his feet somewhat unsteady, but not to a point where he would have trouble moving. He went to his closet and picked out two robes, using his knife to slice open one of the sides on the robes.
He brought the robes into the living-room, filling one of the robes with food and the other one with empty waterskins and some clothing. Once the robes were filled up, he tied up the loose ends, creating two make-shift bags that he could carry with him. He had left his only bucket in the forest, and they had never had a need for any bags, so there were none in the house.
He left the house and broke off a large branch from one of the trees, fastening the two bags onto the branch and leaning the branch against his shoulder. He swept the house and the garden with his gaze one last time, his eyes hardening with grim determination as he turned around and walked away.
He glanced at the sky as he headed towards the exit of the town, seeing that the sky was filled with clouds, the sky in the far distance filled with black clouds. Just like Qing Chun had said, it seemed like a storm was truly approaching. Liang Chen lowered his head slightly, his eyes focusing on the road ahead of him. If he let himself be delayed because of a mere storm, he would not be Liang Chen.
He quickly left the city and followed the same path he had taken previously, stopping at one of the rivers and filling up a few of the water-skins he had prepared. No one knew why the water was green in color, but the water had been safe to drink for countless years, so Liang Chen did not hesitate to fill his water-skins with the water.
After he filled his water-skins, he continued his journey towards the forest, quickly reaching the outskirts. The first thing Liang Chen did upon entering the forest was to head towards the bucket he had left behind previously. When he reached the spot where the bucket stood, he did not immediately walk up to it. He crouched down and hid in a nearby bush, carefully and slowly checking the area around the bucket.
The bucket was standing upright and undisturbed, but the body of the snake was almost completely gone, only a small piece of flesh left behind. Liang Chen silently sat in the bush, his vigilant gaze continuously sweeping the area. Only after he waited for over an hour, not spotting any movements, did he slowly stand up from the bush, carefully making his way towards the bucket.
The blood inside the bucket looked the same as when he left it, not coagulating in the slightest despite an entire day passing. After checking on the bucket, Liang Chen found a spot beneath a particularly large tree, placing down his two bags there. The tree looked large enough to block out most of the rain, so Liang Chen decided that using this tree was cover was his best option.
He would not let the storm delay him, and that included not letting the rain dilute the Demonic beast blood. He grabbed the bucket filled with blood, carrying it with him all the way out of the forest. Once he left the forest, he poured out all the blood within the bucket, then quickly returned to the spot he had chosen. He placed the bucket with the rest of his items, then let out a slight breath.
"I need to get to work."
Liang Chen grabbed the branch he had used to carry his bags here, removing the bags and then using the branch to start digging. The ground was a bit loose, but it was filled with large and small rocks, making digging a hole large enough for him a hard task, his hands aching every time he hit a rock. As the hours slowly passed, Liang Chen continued to use the branch to slowly dig, switching over to using his hands whenever he found a particularly large rock that he needed to take care of.
His work did not stop even when night came, he simply raised his vigilance, every little sound in the surroundings causing him to stop digging. At one point in the night, a snake similar to the one he had first killed crawled into his little camp. Despite slithering quite close to him, the snake seemed to be completely unable to spot him, something Liang Chen had already expected, as he had read that they had poor night-vision.
Using all his might, he hit the snake on the head with the branch he had in his hands, disorienting it long enough for him to stab it with his knife. He poured as much blood as he could into the bucket, and then carried the body of the snake a good distance away from his camp, throwing it deeper into the forest. Once that was dealt with, he returned to the camp and continued to dig until morning came. Not sleeping was something he had already gotten used to, so he was still able to continue working despite going for an entire day without sleep.
Once morning rolled around and he stopped digging, he climbed up one of the surrounding trees, finding a thick and large branch where he could sit. He sat down on the branch and closed his eyes, quietly cultivating for a short while, the only sound in the area coming from the wind that was slowly growing stronger. After he spent three hours cultivating, he opened his eyes again and climbed down the tree, continuing to work on the hole he had dug.
The hole he had dug was one meter deep and two meters long, large enough for him to lie down in it. His next course of action was to line the hole with the clothing he had brought, so he used his knife to cut the clothing apart and placed it inside the hole, using rocks and branches to keep them in place. Once the entire hole was lined with clothing, he walked to the surrounding trees and started to break off branches and gather a large number of leaves.
He covered the hole with the leaves, and then placed the branches on top of the leaves, as well as lining them up against the edges of the hole. When he had finally filled the hole with clothing, leaves, and branches, the sun had already set again, the second night descending upon him as the low howl of the wind rang through the forest. Liang Chen climbed up the same tree he had climbed earlier, sitting down on the thick branch as he started to quietly cultivate, a low mutter escaping his lips.
"Tomorrow. Tomorrow I can truly start."