Zi Ming looked right and left for a way out. The situation at hand was dire, but he had to keep his composure or he wouldn't be able to leave in one piece. The place was too dark for him to even see clearly.
Right now, he was overwhelmed with the sound of wild and ferocious howls from all corners. He was a bit scared, to say the least. His feelings were in a mess; fear, desperation or excitement, he didn't know which one he felt more. The young man was fighting with his own brain to prevent the release of detrimental emotions.
"Roar!" The feral beasts he was guarding against were going berserk.
He managed to dodge another wave of attack in time as he jumped to his right side, but just when he thought he could finally make a run for it, a ferocious row of sharp teeth suddenly appeared from the front.
He didn't have time to think. Zi Ming executed a backflip as his upper body slouched down and both his hands reached the ground.
His right foot which built momentum from this whole motion instantly made contact with the wolf's unprotected stomach. The wolf's charge was abruptly interrupted, however, the young boy didn't land much damage. This pack of grey wolves was exceptionally tough. They were protected with heavy fur, thick hide and killed their prey with their durable fangs.
Facing just one, Zi Ming was confident he would be able to kill it swiftly. But against this pack of eight wolves, he didn't feel very secure in getting out unscathed.
The strongest wolf in this pack was at the body refiner sixth level, but faced with eight of such deadly beasts, he was in a pinch. Four months ago he had broken through the body refiner fifth level thanks to the spirit herb his sister had found. The last three months, however, he had struggled to progress in his cultivation.
He knew that cultivation speed became slower as people got to higher realms. It was especially true of people who reached the martial beginner realm and cultivated magical powers.
But he never realized that it would become this hard to train as soon as he broke through. Body refinement stage five was only a threshold compared to what was lying ahead. With his current cultivation speed, he estimated that he would another five years before he broke through to the next level. This was without good resources to help him of course.
In the last few months, he had taught his sister to use a spear.
At first, he was surprised by how quick a learner the lass was, but then he was scared as he realized she was absorbing knowledge like a sponge. When their father saw her perform spear routines he said that her latent martial spirit probably had an affinity with spears.
The spear Zi Ming used was too heavy for her to use still, she started with a short spear and changed for a heavier one as soon as she broke through the body refiner level four. Zi Yurou's strength and speed reached another level after this breakthrough, and in terms of quickness, she was as nimble as her twin who was a stage higher than her.
Her body quenching became twice as fast with the help of a weapon. Right now, she didn't leave home much and kept sparring with their mother and father.
Their father was pleasantly surprised and felt so proud over having another child prodigy that he stopped hunting for the last two months. Zi Ming had heard some suspicious sounds at night; he had enough experience to know that their father was too busy with important business to care for matters concerning his own cultivation.
Ever since they were kids, Zi Ming was the one child that had to fend for himself. Zi Ming was pressed for time. He still had two weeks before the main clan's delegation arrived. According to Zi Tao, if he showed the cultivation of body refinement level six at age thirteen he was guaranteed a spot in the recruitment. As harsh as it might sound, the strength requirements for young girls were generally less severe for obvious reasons.
Zi Ming was a ball of nerves four the last four months. The servile attitude of their father didn't stand well with him. He needed strength. Powerful strength so no one could take advantage of their family.
"What's so good about that Zi Haofeng anyways?" Zi Ming said in annoyance.
"Roar!" The angered wolves prepared one more assault. The little man they encircled even had the nerve to taunt them after he penetrated their territory.
"Come!" Zi Ming stopped reminiscing over stuff he couldn't change and focused on the task at hand.
He still had thoughts to escape if he could, but he suddenly realized that these wolves' behavior was strange.
At this insight, an idea struck his mind.
It was a risk, but something told him, his poor recent luck could turn around if he was able to slaughter this obnoxious pack of wolves.