◎ Vacation Travel, Balancing Work and Rest ◎
The Desolate Mountains stretch from east to west, with continuous mountains and rivers.
Ordinary martial practitioners on horseback would take at least twelve days to cross it and reach the nearest Hongxing Town, which was also the endpoint of Lin Shuang’s current mission.
According to rumors, there are groups of bandits large and small in the Desolate Mountains, numbering no less than twenty.
They take turns blocking and robbing travelers on the must-pass roads within the mountains, such as the One-Line Sky Mountain Pass.
“Ah, I see.
The One-Line Sky Mountain Pass is a must-visit scenic spot.”
Lin Shuang sat on her snowboard-like wide sword, checking the small bag of snacks prepared by Zhao Junior Sister for her trip while reading the detailed mission letter written by Senior Brother Xu Rui.
“Junior Sister Lin.”
While she was reading, the sound of flying swords in the distance gradually approached.
Zhou Xuanwu, dressed in the same blue outer sect robe of the Clearwater Sect as her, landed his flying sword about five steps away.
When his gaze fell on the strange arrangement of her sitting on two wide swords side by side, his square face couldn’t help but twitch.
Although she had entered three months later than him, they hadn’t exchanged more than ten sentences.
Lin Shuang smiled and nodded at him, “Senior Brother Zhou.”
Zhou Xuanwu made a sound of acknowledgment, took three steps back, and sat down cross-legged.
Her peculiar behavior and temper, combined with her low cultivation level, made it difficult for him to find common ground with her.
Indeed, she wasn’t the type of travel companion that was easy to communicate with.
Lin Shuang also lowered her head, revealing a content smile.
Fortunately, before leaving, she had already had three days of friendly exchanges with Junior Sister, all concentrated and finished ahead of time.
The two of them each occupied a spot at the base of the mountain, ten steps apart, sitting back-to-back in silence.
When the mission client, an elderly man surnamed Lu, arrived with a caravan of sixteen people at Desolate Mountain and saw this scene, he couldn’t help but feel perplexed.
“Two Daoist friends…”
Old Man Lu of the caravan couldn’t distinguish clearly.
Of these two immortals, a man and a woman, which one should he address as more senior?
“We are entrusting this journey to you.
It’s best that we arrive at the One-Line Sky Mountain Pass before sunset to avoid being besieged by bandits.”
Zhou Xuanwu opened his eyes and stood up in one swift motion from his cross-legged position.
He nodded coolly at the other person, “Understood.
Let’s set off.”
But soon, Lin Shuang’s lively voice came from behind him, “Hold on.
It’s not yet the agreed departure time.”
Zhou Xuanwu frowned, about to speak, when a burst of loud and carefree laughter echoed from far to near.
Accompanied by a sword wrapped in several layers of cloth, making it look bulky, a figure appeared before him.
This person was dressed in a shimmering golden silk robe, with both feet suspended in the air, seemingly using a levitation technique.
His flying sword, still three feet away from the midair flight, appeared at a distance.
Zhou Xuanwu narrowed his eyes, alert as if facing a formidable enemy.
A sword possessed, innately gifted.
In less than three years since joining the Mountain and Sea Sect, he had already reached the Ninth Layer of Qi Condensation, nearly stepping into the threshold of Foundation Establishment.
He progressed faster in his cultivation than Zhao Keran.
In the numerous battles over spiritual springs between the two sects, Xiao Qi had always been the toughest opponent.
But Zhou Xuanwu had never fought against Xiao Qi before, even though his cultivation had been suppressed by half a layer.
“It’s been a while, Senior Brother Zhou.”
Xiao Qi’s fair and handsome face revealed a hint of casual smile, as he saluted Zhou Xuanwu politely.
While speaking, he jumped down from his flying sword in midair, not willing to let the sword touch the ground.
Zhou Xuanwu looked up; his lips slightly pursed.
He saw Xiao Qi’s expensive golden silk robe fluttering, revealing the black inner armor beneath it.
His eyes gleamed, like ripples in a teacup.
This was a sign of a breakthrough.
He was nearing Foundation Establishment?
Was he seeking a challenge to break through the final obstacle?
Zhou Xuanwu immediately spoke with seriousness, “Junior Brother Xiao Qi, do you have something to find me for? I have a mission at hand, I’m afraid I can’t accompany you for a sword duel…”
But Xiao Qi sheathed his cherished sword and went straight past him.
Zhou Xuanwu was taken aback.
“Senior Brother Zhou, you’ve misunderstood.
I came here this time to find Junior Sister Lin Shuang.”
Zhou Xuanwu turned around in astonishment.
He saw Lin Shuang sitting calmly, with a composed smile.
She extended her right hand in a casual gesture, waving it at Xiao Qi.
Xiao Qi immediately approached her with a smiling face.
“We can set off now,” Lin Shuang turned sideways and nodded with a smile at Zhou Xuanwu, “The person I was waiting for has arrived.”
Zhou Xuanwu: “?!?”
The caravan consisted of six horse-drawn carriages and twelve accompanying horses.
To guard against unexpected incidents along the way, they had extra horses to replace any that might be needed.
And at this moment, yellow papers inscribed with wind-travel symbols were attached to the walls of both the front and rear carriage compartments, as well as to the saddles of the horses.
Traveling with the wind could double the speed of an ordinary person.
Currently, Zhou Xuanwu was flying ahead of the convoy, leading the way.
He extended his spiritual sense, capable of hearing any movements within a radius of ten miles.
If bandits were to attack, he would detect it in an instant.
“We should be able to reach Hongxing Town in about three days.”
“A must-visit scenic spot is the One-Line Sky, where you can get a distant view of the sunrise beauty if you arrive in the morning and enjoy the vibrant sunset if you arrive in the evening.”
Soon, a lively and gentle voice echoed from behind Zhou Xuanwu, reaching his consciousness.
“Elder Sun, besides that, what other unique sceneries does this route offer?”
“Elder Sun, what are the must-visit restaurants for delicious food in Hongxing Town?”
Zhou Xuanwu’s brow twitched: “…”*
He turned around to see Lin Shuang, who was supposed to guard the rear of the caravan.
She was now sitting cross-legged on her wide sword, which was like a small platform.
The height of the platform matched the window of the last carriage.
To her left was Xiao Qi, who floated on his sword, listening attentively without interrupting.
To her right was Sun Lao from the caravan, chatting with her through the window.
Zhou Xuanwu took a deep breath.
For mortals, it was one thing.
But why had even Xiao Qi fallen so low?
He looked at Lin Shuang.
He saw her fair skin, as white as snow, in the snowy landscape of the desolate mountains.
Her eyebrows were natural, her lips naturally red.
Amid the snowy world, her colors stood out vibrantly.
Zhou Xuanwu closed his eyes.
When Xiao Qi conceded defeat to Lin Shuang during the spiritual spring contest, was it because he had a youthful infatuation with her?
But earthly beauty was of no importance to cultivators like them.
Even if seeking a Dao companion, it was better for their levels of cultivation to be close, so they could progress together.
How could Xiao Qi be so muddled?
Well, he couldn’t control it.
Zhou Xuanwu turned his head back and focused on the road ahead.
He could complete this task alone.
He hadn’t expected her to do much.
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