Again Guo 12th became aware of how amazing his body was, He could not believe how fast he was running. With a few steps he was already by the cabin door. He knew that Thunder Eagles are good at lightning attacks, but as long as everyone is hidden inside the ship the attacks cannot penetrate through.
Guo 12th felt at ease when he entered the cabin. After reading “Animal Research” Guo 12th understood that Thunder Eagles preferred using their longer ranged lightning attacks over close range combat.
“Everyone get inside the cabin, nobody should stay out on deck!” Chen Chun Zhai said with a dignified and bossy tone, nobody dared to disobey his orders.
The Thunder Eagle was flying in circles above the ships, constantly observing the ships. Fortunately everyone has already ran into the cabin. The ships were empty without a single shadow. The Thunder Eagle continued to hover above the sky unwilling to give up and patiently waited for people to show themselves.
Chen Chun Zhai knew the Thunder Eagle’s habits very well, he loudly said, “No one should go out without my permission. The helmsman needs to pay attention to the direction of the ship, and do not get too close to the riverbanks.
There were often large beasts appearing around the riverbanks. Even if the ship was a few meters away from the riverbank some beasts can jump directly onto the deck . It would be dangerous if the beast got onto the ships, as it would damage the ship as they fought. Therefore, it is best to sail along the main channel.
The Thunder Eagle continued to hover above the skies until sunset and finally flew away.
Guo 12th went back to his own cabin, and while later, Chen Chun Zhai came in asking, “12th, you just saw a Thunder Eagle, how do you feel?”
“It was huge…and fast! Even though I did not see any attacks, I believe it would not be easy to deal with.”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “Thunder Eagles usually live in the grasslands. It is rare to see one come to the forest. This one should be an adult Thunder Eagle. Their attacks can instantly kill a Fu warrior. Provoking them would not be wise.”
“The ships will arrive at the Li Clan tomorrow, we need to restock our supplies there. You can go ashore and visit the shops. Here is your reward for cleaning up Guo Yi’s wounds.” He gave a small bag to Guo 12th, “If you decide to go shopping, ask one of the Fu Warriors to accompany you…and be careful not to be tricked by the vendors.”
Guo 12th was truly thankful, he could tell that Chen Chun Zhai treated him very well. When Chen Chun Zhai left, he opened the bag and saw 160 Black Fu Bills. By now Guo 12th was able to distinguish between the bills, one Black Fu Bill equals 10 Silver Fu Bills and 1 Silver Fu Bill equals 10 Green Fu Bills. The Green Fu Bills had the lowest value.
The Li Clan? Guo 12th recalled how his mother’s last name was also Li. She seems to be from the Li Clan. However, it was meaningless because he did not even know where his mother lived before.
The next morning, the three ships arrived at the Li Clan, there was a lot of other ships lined up around the dock.
Guo 12th went shopping with two Fu Warriors.
Chen Chun Zhai and Hong Chang Feng went to visit the Patriarch of the Li Clan in order to discuss the supply problem. All the other children went to play with the Fu Warriors.
Guo 12th did not in a rush to buy basic commodities, he first looked for a bookstore and bought a dozen books. Then he bought paper, pen, and ink. And finally he set off to find commodities because he heard that the destination will be very cold so he had prepare for it.
Guo 12th noticed that the value of Fu Bills were very high, a leather robe only cost 6 Black Fu Bills. And a bowl of rice and meat was only 1 Silver Fu Bill, it was very cheap. He even treated both the Fu Warriors to lunch.
When he returned to the cabin, Guo 12th began to read.
Chen Chun Zhai did not come back until the evening. He immediately gathered everyone to depart after the supplies were restocked.
Time went by quickly and two months passed by. Everyone was tired of living in the ship. During this period the ship resupplied twice. Every time the ships arrived at a dock, Guo 12th would go out and buy books to read. He needed to learn everything he can about the FuZhou World.
A month ago, they experienced their first snow, and the weather was extremely cold. It was even colder than Northeast China where Guo 12th lived previously. The water by the riverbank even start to freeze. Only the main channel can be sailed. There were even beasts who used the ice to reach and attack the ships. Thankfully the Fu Warriors and Zhou Knights killed all the approaching beasts, keeping everyone safe.
The ships finally arrives at the destination safely.
Guo 12th always wondered where Chen Chun Zhai planned to bring everyone. He had asked Chen Chun Zhai before, but he was unwilling to talk about it.
Before arriving to their destination, Guo 12th noticed that the ships were not even on Qing Chang River anymore, but on a smaller branch river. The ships sailed for three days before arriving to a mid-sized town. It was in the evening when they arrived. Snow covered the floors and the roofs.
A lot of people were waiting by the dock. Everyone was wearing a thick leather robe. After the ships docked, everyone went aboard the ships. Guo 12th looked at them with curiosity and found that they were mostly women.
A middle-aged woman walked in front of him and gave him a hug. She put her leather robe on him and said, “Child, what is your name? I will be your Auntie from now on and take care of you! Put on this robe, it is very cold, you children from the South will not be accustomed to the weather here.”
Even though Guo 12th’s appearance was a child, he did have the soul of an adult. He felt a bit embarrassed, but he can tell that the woman was being honest. He wondered if she was going to be his caretaker. He said with a blank smile, “My name is Guo 12th.”
The woman walked him off the ship and said, “My last name is Lan, you can call me Auntie Lan, or just Auntie… I will call you 12th.”
All the children with Fu Knight or Zhou Knight potential had their own personal caretaker, and the 26 children with Fu Warrior potential had 5 caretakers.
Guo 12th thought that Chen Chun Zhai must be from a very powerful organization. Without an abundance of resources how can they provide caretakers for all these children? In addition, Guo 12th was pretty sure that there were children from other Clans besides his Guo Clan, which meant there were even more caretakers.
Chen Chun Zhai walked over and shouted, “Xue Mei! Is Xue Mei here?”
An elderly women answered, “Elder Chen, I am here, what do you need?”
Pointing at Guo 12th, Chen Chun Zhai said with a frown, “Assign two Fu Warriors and one more caretaker to him. One is not enough!”
Guo 12th wanted to say no, but it seemed rude to refuse Chen Chun Zhai’s kindness and arrangements. He said to himself, “I will settle down first.”
Xue Mei had a look of surprise, “That…is the highest level of treatment.”
Chen Chun Zhai said impatiently, “Go arrange it quickly!”
Xue Mei answered, “I will do it right away.”
Chen Chun Zhai shouted, “Ok everyone, do not stay at the dock, hurry up into the town.” He then said to the woman standing next to Guo 12th, “As a reminder, take good care of 12th. You can stay here if 12th is satisfied with your care after 3 months. Understand?”
Auntie Lan happily replied, “Yes, I know all the rules, please trust me.”
Chen Chun Zhai gave a nod of satisfaction and ordered them to enter the town with him.
The town did not have any inns. Everyone lived with the townspeople. Chen Chun Zhai lived in the Mayor’s house.
The Mayor’s whole family was waiting outside, they warmly welcomed them into their home.
Guo 12th walked into the yard. The Mayor’s house was built from large stones. It was not very tall, but when he stepped inside the house, he noticed that the house has been dugged 10 feet deep into the ground. It was 10 feet above the ground! A huge copper pot filled with coal was placed in the middle of the house. It warmed the air around the house and filled it with the smell of burning coals.
Around the copper pot, there was 4 chairs. The Mayor invited Chen Chun Zhai to sit on the chair and asked his family to bring out the food. There was a wooden plate in front of everyone along with two knives for the meat, a pinch of salt and two pieces of breads.
Guo 12th realized that the meat here was unlimited, while the bread was limited.
Guo 12th did not know that this place was surrounded by wild animals, meaning meat was very common, while bread was very precious because wheat cannot be grown here and was completely dependent on outside transportation. In the winter, wheat was transported even less causing bread to become a sort of luxury.
The Mayor seemed to be very passionate and kind towards Guo 12th, which caused him to be confused. Guo 12th thought to himself, “It is so strange, I have neither power nor money, why is he so passionate towards me?”
After dinner, the Mayor brought in a boy. He said to Chen Chun Zhai with a smile, “Elder Chen, this is my son.” and signals his son and quickly says, “Come over here kowtow towards Elder Chen!”
The boy looked strong and healthy, resembled a fierce leopard. He came up and saluted and quickly kowtowed towards Chen Chun Zhai, “Huo Bao is here to pay his respects to Grandpa Chen!”
Chen Chun Zhai had a serious expression, “Elder Huo, Mayor Huo, what is the meaning of this? Kid, stand up!”
The Mayor replies with, “Elder Chen, you promised me last time!” The Mayor was in fact very nervous and carefully said, “Huo Bao is 12 years old now, I know that all the children who accompanies you have FuZhou potential. I am just wondering if you can let Huo Bao follow him.”
Chen Chun Zhai had a little laugh and said, “You are such a cunning old fox.”
The Mayor says with a hint of embarrassment, “Huo Bao is very good at hunting, he was able to defeat a bear this spring. You know how cruel the bears are in the spring.”
Chen Chun Zhai lightly asked, “Was it an adult bear?”
“Of course not, the bear was only one year old. Huo Bao is only 12 years old, it is still extraordinary to kill a young bear at his age.” The Mayor responds with.
Chen Chun Zhai says, “It is indeed not easy, 12th, do you want to take him to be your supporter?”
The translation uses the word follower, but I think supporter/companion/assistant will describes this role better.
The Mayor tensed up. Even Chen Chun Zhai cannot make this decision for Guo 12th. Guo 12th asks with a smile, “Grandpa Chen, what is a supporter?”
Chun Zhai Chen answers with, “12th, you have high FuZhou potential, it will not be a problem for you to advanced into a FuZhou Knight. Every FuZhou Knight have someone to support them, even Fu Knights and Zhou Knights have a supporter. You have to understand that even though a FuZhou Knight is powerful, the protection from a Fu Warrior is neccessary when you are out in the wilderness.”
Chen Chun Zhai continues, “The Mayor wants his son Huo Bao to become your supporter, his role is to protect you, collect materials and to handle all the chores for you. These are the responsibilities of a Fu Warrior supporter.”
Guo 12th thought for a moment and says, “If his role is to support me, what do I have to provide him with?”
The Mayor carefully stared, it was the first time he has seen a child who had such a calm mind. “This child will have a bright future.” He thought.
Chen Chun Zhai looked at Guo 12th with a satisfied expression and answers, “Of course, you will have responsibilities towards him too, you will provide for all his basic necessities and provide him with all the Enhancing Fu he needs to become stronger.”
Guo 12th asked, “What is an Enhancing Fu?”
Chen Chun Zhai smiles, “It is commonly known as Tattoo Fu.”
Guo 12th recalled the patterns on Uncle Puer’s body. He now understood that those were not patterns, they were FuZhou. He said, “Can I learn how to make Tattoo Fu soon?”
Chen Chun Zhai nodded, “I am taking you to a place so you can be advance to become a FuZhou Knight.”
Guo 12th simply says, “Ok then, I will need to examine him for a year, if we can get along he can become my supporter.” He knew that if he carelessly accepted, Huo Bao will be following him for life and it would be painful if they did not get along.
Mayor Huo was very happy. He did not care about the one year examination. FuZhou Knights will rarely accept a supporter without careful inspection. Most Fu Warriors are cultivated as a child together with the FuZhou Knights themselves. This was not a relationship of masters and servants, but a relationship of brothers!
Chen Chun Zhai Said, “Congratulations Mayor Huo… your family have great luck! Remember the child I brought in last time? 12th is a hundred time better than him!”
Mayor Huo was thrilled, “Elder Chen, is that true? Great! Great!”
Huo Bao concentrated his attention towards Guo 12th. Guo 12th was shorter than him by half a head, was polite and had delicate features which made him look harmless. But when Guo 12th glanced at him, he felt a hint of intimidation and his heartbeat quickened, it reminded him of his encounter with the bear last spring.
Guo 12th was also observing Huo Bao. Bao Hua has a very good figure, bald, light eyebrows, and small eyes. His head had a very unique triangular shape, wide nose, big chin, and thick neck. Guo 12th thought that Huo Bao was born to be a warrior.
Both of them were satisfied with each other.
Guo 12th stood up and said, “I am Guo 12th, very nice to meet you.”
Huo Bao was surprised with the sudden introduction and quickly stood up, “Huo Bao, nicknamed Leopard, hope we could get along.” His stern look faded away with his smile.
Mayor Huo laughed, “Leopard, go prepare yourself and follow 12th tomorrow. Remember 12th is still young, you have to take good care of him.”
Early in the morning, everyone got onto a sled led by snow dogs. The snow dogs here were muscular, had extremely long fur, and resembled moving clouds as they ran, these dogs looked very majestic. These snow dogs can only be seen here.
Each sled can carry up to eight people, and it was pulled by twenty one snow dogs.
Guo 12th was sitting on one of the sleds together with the dog trainer, three Fu Warriors, Chen Chun Zhai, Huo Bao, and Auntie Lan.
There was 200 people in total, including the luggages and supplies, a line of forty sleds were formed.
Guo 12th asked, “Grandpa Chen, where are we heading to?”
“Up the mountains!” Chen Chun Zhai answered.
Guo 12th wanted a more informative answer so he asked Huo Bao very quietly, “Huo Bao, do you know where we are going?”
“You really do not know?” said Huo Bao.
Guo 12th said impatiently, “Why would I ask you if I knew!”
“We are going to the North Fu Sect.” Huo Bao answered.
“North Fu Sect?” Guo 12th says.
Chen Chun Zhai glanced at Guo 12th and with a faint smile he said, “The North Fu Sect is formerly known as the North Fu Alliance, this alliance flourished and became the North Fu Sect. You will become a disciple of the North Fu Sect.”
Guo 12th curiously asks, “Is there a relationship between the Guo Clan and the North Fu Sect?”
“The Guo Clan is one of the branch clans that follows the North Fu Sect.” Said Chen Chun Zhai.
Guo 12th was surprised, “The Guo Clan is just a simple branch clan?”
Chen Chun Zhai nodded, “The Guo Clan can be considered to be second-rate even among the other branch clans.”
Guo 12th shook his head in disbelief, just how much influence and power does this North Fu Sect have? Is it even more powerful than a country? He then asked again, “Why is the North Fu Sect located up the mountains? Isn’t it better to be by the plain?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “It is necessary for the North Fu Sect to be here on the mountains because they are defending against the beasts and wild men from the North.”
The sleds were very fast, causing the wind to blow very hard. Even with a leather robe Guo 12th was constantly shivering. Auntie Lan said, “12th is still getting used to the cold weather here.” She clutched him in her arms and covered him with another leather robe, “This should keep you warmer.”
Guo 12th felt very awkward because nobody cared about him in his previous life, but now Auntie Lan was showing him warmth from the heart.
Although the leather robe worn by Huo Bao was not as thick as Guo 12th’s, Bao Hua did not care because he has already gotten used to the freezing temperature here.
Guo 12th finally peeped his head out from Auntie Lan’s arms and asked, “When will we arrive?”
Huo Bao looked at Guo 12th and could not help laughing out loud. Chen Chun Zhai looked back and gave him a smile as well.
To keep Guo 12th warm, Auntie Lan wrapped him with a few extra leather robes which made him look like a cotton ball.
Guo 12th sighed as he really did not like being treated as a child. He was seventeen when he was “awakened” from his previous life, therefore he could not act like a young child.
Chen Chun Zhai resisted laughing and said, “It should take about seven to eight days, do not worry and just rest on the sled.”
Guo 12th withdrew his head back into the robe ball which made Huo Bao laugh. Bao Guo thought this was amusing.
Chen Chun Zhai turn said, “Bao Guo, 12th is only eight years old, it is his first time in these mountains, there is nothing funny about it.”
Huo Bao immediately stopped laughing with a face full of shame.
There were many settlements along the way, there were even some supply stations. Since the sled team was so enormous, not many beasts would dare to approach them.
When the sled team almost reached the last supply station they finally encountered a large group of beasts. It was a pack of Ice Blood Wolves, the sled team quickly went into a circular defensive formation.
Chen Chun Zhai calmly commanded, “Has the help signal been sent?”
“Yes!” replied a Fu Warrior.
“Good, Chang Feng, you are responsible for the safety of the children. I will lead the warriors to kill these Ice Blood Wolves!” Chen Chun Zhai said with an air of confidence.
The dog trainers commanded the snow dogs to form another circular formation and the fourteen children with Fu Knight, Zhou Knight and FuZhou potential including Guo 12th were ordered to go inside it. The next layer was for the remaining twenty-six children who had Fu Warrior potential . The sleds were the last defense, creating a barrier in front of the snow dogs. On the outside were all the warriors, and they were directly facing the Ice Blood Wolves.
“Auntie Lan, hold me up.” said Guo 12th, he wanted to stand on top of the luggages. Auntie Lan warned, “Be careful not to fall!” For the past few days Guo 12th has gotten closer to Auntie Lan and he believed that Auntie Lan truly cared for him.
“I can finally see them!” Guo 12th said with a hint of excitement as he stood on top of the luggages.
Ice Blood Wolves usually traveled in packs of a hundred. The group in front of Guo 12th was unbelievable, this group had a total of four hundred, and was commanded by a Wolf Emperor.
Huo Bao was holding a steel knife, standing next to Guo 12th, as his duty was to ensure Guo 12th’s safety. Bao Hua says, “It is unusual for a pack of Ice Blood Wolves to be this large, there must be a Wolf Emperor in the pack.”
Ice Blood Wolves were very similar to the common wolves, the main difference is that the Ice Blood Wolves were larger in size. According to the “Animal Research” book, the Ice Blood Wolves were not the most powerful wolf types, but when they attacked in a group it would not be easy to escape.
Guo 12th thought that this will be a good opportunity for him to observe the capabilities of the Fu Fighters before arriving at the North Fu Sect.
[t/n] I used the term Fu Fighters to group Fu Warriors, Zhou Knights, Fu Knights and FuZhou Knights together.
Chun Zhai Chen said loudly, “Get ready! The Ice Blood Wolves are preparing to attack! Their skin is nice, it can become good quality leather after the battle! Lets kill all the wolves and their mothers!”
“Kill the…wolves’ mothers!” All the Fu Warriors yelled in unison while laughing.
Even Guo 12th and Huo Bao got excited from Chen Chun Zhai’s battlecry.