The Godless one
Chapter 91: Familiar faces.
While Jing Yimu was focusing his entire attention on the stage, in a booth on the fourth floor on the other side of the building sat two girls, chatting and watching the auction without too much interest.
One of the girls had a tall stature and a buxom figure, smooth and unblemished skin, deep black eyes and long, fiery red hair. She was clad in a tight-fitting red robe that accentuated her figure. The girl had an honest smile on her face, but the aura that came from her body showed that she was already at the middle stage of the Xiantian realm. If Huang Ying was here, he would surely recognize her as the Shi Na from Empyrean Phoenix Academy that he once met.
Next to Shi Na sat a girl that was slightly shorter than her and had lightly tanned skin. She had long, raven black hair and limpid blue eyes. Her body was well proportioned and her every move brought with it a sense of grace and power. She was clad in a loose, deep red robe with a small badge sown into the chest. The badge was decorated with the picture of a small flame surrounded by darkness.
“It's a shame that you couldn't get your hands on that Demon Crystal. If your master could have concocted it into a pill, you might have been able to advance to the peak of the Xiantian realm.”
Shi Na shook her head with a slight sigh as she spoke. That Demon Crystal from the Fire Roc was one of the main reason they had chosen to come to this auction. The remnant page was another one of the reasons, but that too was taken by the people in the booth on the third floor.
“It's no problem Sister Na, there will always be more opportunities. Once I bring you back to the academy, you will learn how wide this world really is, one lost chance is nothing major.”
The girl next to Shi Na spoke with a faint smile as she looked at the stage. After Shi Na lost to Huang Ying during the Academy Battle, she only stayed in the Empyrean Phoenix Academy for a few more days before leaving. She had already fought and defeated the person who was the reason for her joining the academy, so she saw no more point in staying there.
After leaving, she bid her parents farewell and started a journey of her own. She lost to Huang Ying during the Academy Battle, being the fighting maniac that she was, she wanted to fight him once more, this time defeating him.
She did not have a specific place in mind when she started traveling, she simply wandered from place to place, fighting people and hunting Demonic beasts wherever she went. After spending some time in a certain wilderness, she stumble upon some ruins belonging to an old cultivator.
Inside the ruins, she not only met this girl, Chen Chun, but also found a technique that came from the ancient era where humans were still struggling in their fight against the Demonic beasts. Sadly, this technique was too risky and even slightly inhuman, so Shi Na had no choice but to give up on it.
But she learned that Chen Chun belonged to the Eternal Flame Academy, she even had a rather high status, being the personal disciple of one of the elders. Chen Chun saw that Shi Na had a high affinity with the fire element, even having some mutated Vermilion Bird blood. She promptly invited Shi Na to follow her back to the Eternal Flame Academy and join as a disciple.
Shi Na had heard about the Eternal Flame Academy before, and knowing that it would be the best place for her to get stronger, agreed. On the way back to the academy, they heard about some of the items that would be auctioned during this Golden Auction and decided to see if they couldn't get their hands on some of the better items.
“If you don't mind me asking Sister Na, you said that you would only join Eternal Flame Academy for as long as it would allow you to fight whoever you wanted, but why are you so obstinate about fighting?"
While the Crystal Ice Lotus Seeds ended up in the hands of the people from the booth on the third floor, Chen Chun turned towards Shi Na as she asked her question.
Most people would be jumping with joy if they were invited to join the Eternal Flame Academy, even if it was just to be as a servant they would be happy to join, but this Shi Na only agreed after Chen Chun assured her that fighting was not only allowed, it was even supported by the academy. Chen Chun wanted to ask earlier, but since it was considered a rather rude question, she found it hard to find the right time to ask.
“It's nothing special really, I just like fighting. Fighting others is one of the best ways to grow stronger faster. I recently lost to a boy who was younger than me, he even had a lower cultivation level than me. Yet despite this, he still beat me easily. I want to fight him once more, fight him and beat him. To do that I would need to become even stronger.”
Shi Na shrugged her shoulders as she spoke. She loved fighting others, the feeling of her blood pumping in the middle of a fight made her feel alive, she was intoxicated with this feeling. She lost to Huang Ying, so he would obviously be her next goal. Once she managed to defeat Huang Ying, she would find someone else stronger than her and use that person as her next goal.
“I see, then you should look forward to coming to the academy, there are more strong people there than there are clouds in the sky.”
Chen Chun still had a faint smile as she spoke. She knew that Shi Na came from the Empyrean Phoenix Academy, so to her, being defeated by someone with a lower cultivation level might seem impressive. But in Eternal Flame Academy, this was common place. Nearly everyone there could defeat others at a higher cultivation level, as long as that person was not someone like them and could defeat others at a higher cultivation level.
“What about you Sister Chun? What did you join Eternal Flame Academy for?”
Shi Na tilted her head slightly as she spoke. This Chen Chun was a rather honest and pleasant person who seemed to enjoy peace over anything else, she did not seem like the person that would join an academy to grow stronger.
“I have a family back home that I want to protect. I have an adopted little brother who was born without any element, so he is too weak to protect himself. My parents and grandmother died early on, so it was mostly my grandfather who raised us.”
Chen Chun copied Shi Na and shrugged her shoulders. She had long since gotten over the death of her parents and her grandmother, she had to take care of her little brother and grandfather after all, so there was no time to wallow in sadness.
“After I joined a small academy, it was up to my little brother to take care of my grandfather. But my little brother has no power, so how is he to protect himself and grandfather if anything were to ever happen? If I get stronger, I can ensure that they can both live the rest of their lives in peace.”
“Me and some of the better students of the academy were brought to the capital to see if we could manage to enter one of their academies. During that time, I was spotted by one of the elders by the Eternal Flame Academy. She said that I have a special physique that made me perfect for one of the techniques she had developed and took me in as her disciple.”
Chapter 92: End of the auction.
“I wonder how they are doing now? It has already been a long time since I last visited home, I hope they are doing fine.”
Chen Chun couldn't help but shake her head as she spoke. After she joined the Golden Dawn academy, the free time she got grew sparser and sparser. Even the times she could return home, it was only for a day at most.
Because she was rather talented, some of the other students quickly grew jealous of her. It eventually got so bad that she was too scared to return to her own home, lest the other disciples try to do anything to her family if they found out how much she cared about them.
“A long time? You don't come from the center region?”
Shi Na raised an eyebrow as she spoke. Most of the major cities in the center region had Spatial Arrays that led to the Three Academies, allowing the students to quickly return to their homes should they want to visit. Since it had been a long time since Chen Chun had returned home, it could only mean that she did not come from the center region.
“No, I come from a tiny little town located in a tiny corner of the Green Willows continent. It's a town called Azure Springs. One day i'll take you there and show you around, it is a lovely little place.”
Chen Chun had a gentle smile as she spoke about her hometown. It had been a long time since she had returned home, counting the years, it should be around four years already. But that did not mean that she had forgotten that tiny town where she grew up, that tiny town where her only family lived.
“I'll be looking forward to it.”
Shi Na gave a pleasant smile as she responded. She liked Chen Chun's company, so she would not mind following her on a journey. While the two girls were talking with each other, the auction had sold a few more items and was approaching it's end.
“If I can direct everyone's attention to the center of the stage, we will now auction of our final item.”
Kang Tao's voice was amplified using Qi, allowing it to reach every corner of the building. His words caused everyone to stop their chatter and focus on the center of the stage.
One of the girls standing behind Kang Tao stepped forward, a beautiful jade box covered in red cloth resting in her hands. Kang Tao removed the cloth and slowly opened the jade box. Once the box was opened, the temperature in the entire building started slowly dropping as a round metal orb was revealed to be lying on a bed of ice in the middle of the jade box.
“This metal orb fell from the sky a few months ago, landing in a lake not far from this city. We have yet to determine exactly what type of metal this orb is made of, but the moment it landed in the lake, the entire lake froze and turned to ice, so it is surely a supreme metal. There is no set price for this item, so bidding can simply commence.”
Kang Tao's entire face was red as he spoke, speaking loudly about the myriad of things this metal orb could do. But the thing he did not mention was that none of the blacksmiths they had hired to identify the metal were able to even put a scratch on it, it was close to impossible to use this metal for forging. Despite this, they still decided to make it their main item for this auction, simply because of how potent the cold energy it gave off was.
“2 Earth grade Spirit Stones.”
The auction hall was silent for a short while before someone cautiously threw out a bid. Kang Tao had spoken loudly about what this metal could be used for, but no one here was a fool. Since they were willing to auction it without a price, it could only mean one of two things, the item was either faulty or priceless.
If the item was truly priceless, there was no way they would auction it here instead of in the center region, so that could only mean that there was some fault with the item.
“3 Earth grade Spirit Stones.”
Not long after, an indifferent voice rang out from within a booth on the third floor. Inside the booth, Huang Ying was looking at the metal orb with a pleased gaze, Fang Shan sitting right next to him.
“Why would you bother bidding on that item? We are almost broke again after all the other things we have bought here, what would you even use that metal for?”
Fang Shan looked at Huang Ying and raised an eyebrow as she spoke. After leaving the Vast Plain Ruins and entering this Golden Auction City, she made Huang Ying sell most of the items he took from the castle of the king from Blue Dragon City. She also sold most of the items she had gathered up after her years of living on the floor.
Using these funds, they started buying up various ores that would be useful to upgrading Fang Shan's two daggers, as well as several items that contained certain elements. While these elemental items would not help Huang Ying upgrade his cultivation level, they would help him strengthen his elements. While his elements were already stronger and purer than most other peoples elements, it did not mean that they were perfect.
“I can use it to forge my weapon. I needed a strong metal to serve as a core for the entire thing, so this one seems suitable.”
In the memories of the king from Blue Dragon City, Huang Ying had found the blueprints for the morphing weapon that the king had used. While Huang Ying had everything he needed to forge the weapon, he was not completely pleased with the metal that would serve as the core.
If the core was too weak, he would often have to repair and replace it to allow his weapon to stay in perfect shape. Huang Ying could tell at a glance that this orb of metal was extremely tough and strong, it would be a perfect core.
“10 Earth grade Spirit Stones. My Jing clan is very interested in this item, so I hope you will all give us some face.”
A sound rang out from a booth on the fourth floor, Huang Ying and Fang Shan recognized this voice as it belonged to the person that had tried to outbid them on the Crystal Ice Lotus Seeds.
Hearing his voice, not only did Huang Ying's face turn gloomy, Kang Tao's face also turned gloomy. Huang Ying's face turned gloomy because it was just as Fang Shan had said, they were almost broke again, he did not have more than 4 Earth Grade Spirit Stones.
Kang Tao's face turned gloomy because Jing Yimu was using the Jing clan to warn others not to bid. This was generally seen as a despicable move that would cause others to frown in displeasure. But since it was someone from the Jing clan that did it, they had no choice but to swallow the displeasure.
This Golden Auction House belonged to the Heaven's Secrets Company, but that did not mean that they could do whatever they wanted, they would have to give the Four Clans some face at times.
Just as he thought, no one else dared to bid after Jing Yimu mentioned the Jing clan, causing the metal orb to fall into his hands. Since the metal orb was the final item, this also meant that the auction was over.
While Huang Ying and Fang Shan were picking up the items they had bought, Li Jun kept telling him to simply attack Jing Yimu and take the metal orb from him. Huang Ying simply ignored him and left the auction house. Huang Ying did not consider himself a good person, but since Jing Yimu had not done anything to him, there was no need for Huang Ying to do anything to him.
“Excuse me sir, could I have a second of your time.”
While Huang Ying and Fang Shan were heading towards the exit of the city, a polite voice rang out from behind them.
Chapter 93: Destruction Element.
Upon hearing the voice, Huang Ying and Fang Shan stopped and turned around. Behind them stood a group of five people, three men and two girls. They were all clad in light blue robes with an emblem sown onto the right chest of the robe. The emblem was in the shape of a large, transparent mountain of ice.
Huang Ying inspected the four people, but he did not respond to them. He did not recognize four of these people, but he recognized the male youth that stood in the middle. The male youth that stood in the middle had a slightly pale complexion, shoulder length brown hair, murky blue eyes and a scar that went from beneath his left eye, to beneath his right eye. This was the youth that had spied on Huang Ying and Fang Shan after they bought the remnant page.
“Thank you, I was worried that I would not manage to find you before you left the city.”
Jing Yimu gave a relieved smile as he spoke, his four Junior Brothers and Sisters standing behind him in silence with their heads lowered. The words he spoke were of course not true, he had started following Huang Ying and Fang Shan the moment they left the auction.
“I am Jing Yimu, I was hoping that you would be so kind as to sell the Crystal Ice Lotus Seeds to us, the Jing clan would be eternally grateful.”
Seeing that neither Huang Ying or Fang Shan were interested in responding, Jing Yimu did not bother wasting any more time, directly stating what he was here for. Jing Yimu chose to bring up the Jing clan for two reasons, one was to try and intimidate Huang Ying into selling the seeds.
The other reason was because of the hairpin that Huang Ying was wearing. Jing Yimu had only seen a hairpin like this once before, when it was worn by the young mistress of the clan. Jing Yimu was uncertain whether or not the hairpin that Huang Ying was wearing was given to him by the young mistress, but he chose not to act recklessly.
“Sorry, but i'm not selling them, nor do I think you have any money left to buy them. If you had more money than 10 Earth grade Spirit Stones, you would not have stopped at that number when they were selling the seeds. And seeing as you bought that round metal orb for 10 Earth Grade Spirit Stones, I do believe you are practically broke right now.”
Huang Ying spoke without batting an eye. Jing Yimu stopped bidding on the Crystal Ice Lotus Seeds after Huang Ying bid 10 Earth grade Spirit Stones. This could only mean that the most he could spend on these seeds was 10 Earth Grade Spirit Stones. Since that money was then spent on that metal orb, it was only reasonable that he was close to broke now.
“Please reconsider, my Jing clan will surely make it worth your while.”
The corner of Jing Yimu's mouth started twitching when he heard Huang Ying's reply, it was indeed true that he was broke now. But he still had to get his hands on those seeds, if he did not, the outer elder that sent him would surely punish him, especially since he then spent the 10 Earth Grade Spirit Stones on a metal orb that might be useless.
“No. I am a very selfish person, once I have claimed something, I refuse to give it up, no matter who wants it.”
Huang Ying furrowed his eyebrows as he spoke. He did not like repeating himself, especially when it was him repeating a rejection. He was also a man of few words, he would only talk a lot with people he enjoyed being with, the only reason he bothered speaking so much now was so that Jing Yimu would understand that Huang Ying wasn't going to sell.
“Please, I need you to understand, my Jing clan really needs those seeds.”
Jing Yimu's mouth started twitching even more. He was used to a rather exalted status amongst the outer disciples of the Jing clan, even some elders there would be polite to him, when had he ever had to beg someone like this before.
“Fuck off, we said no.”
Fang Shan couldn't help but curse out from beside Huang Ying. Huang Ying had already rejected him twice, but he still kept begging like that. Did he not know how unseemly he was acting? Fang Shan couldn't help if all people from large clans were like this. At least Xin Yang had an easy-going and carefree personality that made him easy to talk to.
“I was not talking to you!”
Jing Yimu's face turned completely red as he shouted out. In his rage, he swung out with his right arm in an attempt to slap Fang Shan. He was fine with Huang Ying being slightly rude to him, at least Huang Ying might have some connection to their clan's young mistress. But now even his guard wanted to talk like that to him?
While Jing Yimu's arm was swinging sideways, Huang Ying moved as well. He used two fingers as a sword and swung his right arm down, a pitch black line of light shooting out from the tip of the two fingers, heading directly for Jing Yimu's face.
When the pitch black light appeared, Jing Yimu felt a sense of danger and death envelop his entire body. He stopped his attack and hopped to the side almost on instinct. He hopped to the side, but he did not manage to completely dodge the pitch black light, it still hit him in the shoulder.
When the black light hit his shoulder, Jing Yimu quickly turned his head to check it, and immediately turned pale. There was no pain coming from his shoulder, but the black light had gone clean through his shoulder before vanishing, separating his right arm from his body.
What frightened him more than the fact that he lost his arm was what happened to the arm. Some of the black light stuck to the arm after it left his body and started moving down the arm, heading towards his hand. Wherever the black light moved, the arm would completely disappear. There was no blood or ash, everything simply disappeared, the only thing that was left behind was his interspatial ring.
The pitch black light that Huang Ying shot out was him trying out his destruction element. He was very pleased at how strong the destruction element was, Jing Yimu wasn't even able to defend before his arm was completely destroyed.
The only downside to it was how much Qi it required. That single pitch black line cost Huang Ying nearly half of his Qi, so it was clearly not something he could use whenever he wanted.
Huang Ying took a step forward and picked up the interspatial ring that was now lying on the ground. The only reason it was not destroyed was because Huang Ying had dismissed his Qi before it managed to destroy it. Since this Jing Yimu was going to be so rude as to attack someone that he was traveling with, there was no need to have too much mercy on him.
Had it not been for the fact that he belonged to the Jing clan and Huang Ying did not know if he had any relationship with Jing He, he would have just killed him right there.
“If you want to buy some Crystal Ice Lotus Seeds for the Jing clan, get Jing He to ask for you and you might have better luck.”
After picking up the interspatial ring, Huang Ying did not stick around. Jing Yimu was clutching the remains of his shoulder and was too scared to even think about stopping them from leaving.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan had only moved a short distance before another voice rang out behind them. This time it wasn't the voice of Jing Yimu, but an excited female voice.
Chapter 94: Fighting Shi Na again.
“Oh for fuck's sake, what is it now?”
Fang Shan was the one to respond, cursing out as she turned around. She saw that there were two girls following behind Jing Yimu, so she assumed that it was one of them that called out.
But when Fang Shan turned around, she saw that it wasn't the two girls behind Jing Yimu that called out to them. The one who called out to them was a tall girl clad in a tight-fitting red robe, she had long fiery red hair and deep black eyes, an excited smile covering her face as she looked at Huang Ying.
Not far behind this girl was a slightly shorter girl clad in a loose, deep red robe. This girl had long, raven black hair and clear, blue eyes, and lightly tanned skin. This girl was a short distance behind the red haired girl, looking like she was just catching up.
“Shi Na? Why are you here?”
From beside Fang Shan, Huang Ying spoke up with a slightly bewildered expression, it seemed like he knew this girl. Fang Shan tilted her head slightly as she moved her eyes between Huang Ying and Shi Na.
As she was looking at the both of them, she noticed that Huang Ying's eyes suddenly landed on the girl behind Shi Na. When his eyes landed on her, she noticed that his pupils suddenly shrank, almost shrinking til they looked like pinholes.
While she was shocked at his reaction, she also noticed that his fingers were slightly trembling. After a short moment, he gave a faint, self-mocking smile before he slightly shook his head. After he shook his head, his pupils returned to normal and his fingers stopped trembling.
Fang Shan couldn't help but be slightly shocked, taking a few more glances at the black haired girl. She had only known Huang Ying for a bit over a week, but she felt like she had a clear understanding of his personality.
He didn't even exhibit any signs of shock or fear when he was facing the middle-aged man inside the Vast Plains Ruins, keeping his carefree and laid back attitude. But just seeing this girl caused him to have such a shocked reaction? Fang Shan couldn't help but be curious about this girl's identity.
“I said that I would find you again for another fight in the future. I thought that I would have to spend a long time looking for you, but it seems like my luck is rather good, meeting you again so quickly.”
While Shi Na spoke, she pulled a red longsword out of her interspatial ring and took a few steps towards Huang Ying, her eyes practically burning with battle lust.
“Last time we fought, it was just like this, you being one cultivation level beneath me. Yet I still lost to you, lost quite horribly even. I have spent quite some effort improving myself since then, so I hope you aren't expecting to beat me as easily as you did then.”
Shi Na's entire body lit up with blue flames, blue feathers made out of fire forming behind her back. Fang Shan took a few steps back after the fire appeared. Since Huang Ying did not seem like he was intending to dodge this fight, it seemed like what she said was correct. In that case, this was not a fight she would bother interfering with.
At the same time, she couldn't help but look at the blue flames with some interest. The blue flames were clearly fire type Qi, but they exuded a strange chill, like there was ice hidden deeply within the fire. Fang Shan even felt a strong threat from these flames.
Shi Na wasted no time, sending forth a large plume of blue fire in Huang Ying's direction. Despite the blue fire billowing towards him, Huang Ying stood still, looking at the fire with some interest. Fang Shan was not too worried about his actions. Huang Ying had the devouring element, and this fire had yet to reach a level where he could not devour it. Fang Shan had seen him devour even stronger types of energy while they were traveling towards Golden Auction City.
The fire quickly reached Huang Ying, completely enveloping him and shrouding him from sight. But despite this, Shi Na still kept her serious expression. She had seen him walk out from her flames completely unharmed before, she did not think that just this would be enough to beat him.
“This fire is not enough to hurt me, you already know this Shi Na, so why bother with it?”
Just as she expected, not long after the fire completely covered his body, Huang Ying's voice rang out with a sigh from amidst the flames. Right after his voice sounded out, a small, pitch black dot appeared in the midst of the flames. After the pitch black dot appeared, the blue fire started distorting, completely vanishing after only a short moment.
After the flames disappeared, the pitch black dot lingered for a short second before shooting out. Before Shi Na even had a chance to react, the pitch black dot whizzed past her neck, grazing it and leaving behind a faint red line. Shi Na knew that if Huang Ying had moved that pitch black dot just a little, there would be a hole in her throat, so this was clearly her loss.
Huang Ying still stood where he stood at the start, shaking his head and sighing, his face even held a slightly disappointed expression. Seeing this expression Shi Na couldn't help but feel a mixture of sadness and joy.
She felt sadness because she had worked so hard to become strong enough to defeat Huang Ying. After these six months of training, she felt like she had a good chance of at least fighting with him evenly, but in the end she wasn't even strong enough to make him pull out his weapon.
But at the same time she felt joy, because this meant that she still had something to chase after. She could keep using Huang Ying as her target, working even harder to one day surmount him.
“I lost this time as well. It seems like I wasn't the only one who has worked hard to increase their strength in these six months. Next time I find you, I will at least force you to bring out your weapon.”
Shi Na shook her head, throwing away her feelings of sadness as she looked at Huang Ying, her battle lust growing ever stronger. Sadness was worthless if she wanted to grow stronger. Huang Ying growing stronger was good for her, it would allow her to have someone she could fight with no matter how strong she got.
“Good, I will look forward to that day.”
Huang Ying gave a smile as he spoke. He quite liked Shi Na's direct attitude and personality, despite losing so horribly two times in a row, she still kept her head high, focusing on the next fight. People like this were always worth having as friends.
After he finished speaking, he no longer wasted any time, turning around and heading towards the exit of Golden Auction City once more. Fang Shan cast a few more looks at the two girls before following Huang Ying to leave the city. This time they managed to leave the city without anyone stopping them.
Chapter 95: I am running away from her.
“So what's the story with those two girls?”
Not long after the two of them left the city, Fang Shan asked the question that was on her mind. That Shi Na girl seemed to have taken Huang Ying as her rival, while Huang Ying himself seemed to have a history with the black haired girl.
“What do you mean? That was Shi Na, I met her during a tournament and beat her, so she has taken me as her rival. I quite liked her personality, so I didn't mind taking the role of her rival.”
Huang Ying simply shrugged his shoulders as he spoke. Shi Na was just someone he met during the Academy Battle, since he liked her personality, he would not mind fighting her whenever she found him.
“But what about that other girl, you seemed to react rather strongly to her.”
Fang Shan had seen Huang Ying's fingers tremble, his pupils shrinking drastically. If he told her that he did not know who that black haired girl was, there was no way she would believe him.
“You saw that?”
Huang Ying slightly stiffened when he heard her words. He thought that he had been very inconspicuous about it, but now it seemed like he did not manage to hide it.
Huang Ying was considering just denying that he had any relationship with her, but seeing Fang Shan's intent staring, he shook his head with a sigh and started talking.
“She is my sister, Chen Chun. Before I managed to awaken the power of Baku, I was deemed a person without an element, so she took care of me in my younger years.”
At first, Huang Ying was angry at Chen Chun for not returning home to visit after she joined the Golden Dawn Academy, but he had long since discarded that anger. He had devoured everyone who lived in Azure Springs and already scoured through all their memories. This of course included several people who went to the same academy as Chen Chun.
From their memories, he had learned more about Chen Chun's situation in the academy. He had also learned why she would not visit home that often and kept her distance from him. Towards this sister of his, Huang Ying was a bit uncertain how he felt. He was happy that she worked hard to protect him, and she was also the only family Huang Ying had, but he also felt a sense of guilt.
Because of him, Old man Chen and everyone else in Azure Springs had died. Huang Ying did not care about their lives anymore, but there was no way Chen Chun would not care about their deaths, some of those people were her friends after all.
“She didn't seem to recognize you?”
Fang Shan had seen how Chen Chun looked at the battle. She watched the battle with something that approached indifference, only showing some interest after Huang Ying beat Shi Na. But that was it, there was no warm emotions or joy at meeting her brother.
“I have changed a great deal since we last saw each other. I would be more surprised if she managed to recognize me than if she did not manage to recognize me.”
Huang Ying shook his head again. Last time he met Chen Chun, he still had blue hair and green eyes, his body was slightly malnourished and he was even rather dirty. The difference between the past him and the current him was far too large.
“Then why didn't you call out to her?”
Fang Shan was a Demonic beast, but even Demonic beasts had family, had people they cared about. She did not understand why Huang Ying would not call out to Chen Chun and let her know who he was.
“Everyone in the town where we used to live died when I awakened the power of Baku, including people she called friends. I don't know how to tell her about this, how to face her ensuing rage and blame. So I am running from it for the moment.”
Huang Ying did not hide anything. He did not call out to Chen Chun because he was afraid she would hate him. No matter how cold he was now, she was still his only remaining family, he did not want her to hate him. So he was running, he would run away from it until he felt that he was strong enough to face her hatred.
“Really, you humans are always so roundabout.”
Fang Shan couldn't help but shake her head. Demonic beasts were often much more direct in what they were doing. If they had something to say, they would say it, not caring about what would happen next.
“So where are we going next?”
Since Huang Ying had told her about the two girls, there was no point in sticking on that subject any longer. Fang Shan did not know where they were heading, but she did not mind following Huang Ying. She knew too little about the world outside of the ruins, she only knew a little about the surrounding area.
She also knew that Huang Ying was also looking for a way to kill not just the Azure Dragon, but also the other Four Guardian Beasts and the Three Great Gods. So following Huang Ying was one of the best ways to accomplish her own goal of killing the Azure Dragon.
“Eastern Wind Academy. We are almost broke now, so we need resources. Joining the academy will allow us to not just undertake missions to acquire resources, it will also allow us to gather more information at a faster rate. I am also quite interested in that whole Immortal's Garden thing, so I will probably try to get a spot for that. What about you?”
Huang Ying had already made some plans for the future. Joining the Eastern Wind Academy was the best way to acquire more resources and information. It would also provide some cover for him if the unknown enemy that had caused the Empyrean Phoenix Academy to capture him was going to try it again.
Huang Ying was also rather interested in the event that Xin Yang spoke about, the Immortal's Garden. Joining the Eastern Wind Academy would also be easier since they were given the badges by Xin Yang.
“Joining the Eastern Wind Academy is indeed the best way to gather resources and information, so I might as well join you.”
Fang Shan simply shrugged her shoulders as she spoke. Her goal was to kill the Azure Dragon, but that goal was so far in the future that it almost seemed impossible. Since joining the Eastern Dawn Academy would allow her to grow stronger, there was no need to refuse.
Chapter 96: Gathering news about him.
While Huang Ying and Fang Shan decided to head towards the center region and join the Eastern Wind Academy, a commotion was taking place within a certain tower located in the center region.
The tower stood tall, it's spire piercing the clouds. There were no buildings situated around this tower, it stood completely alone, a solitary giant that none dared to offend. The tower was made out of a type of white stone that shimmered in the sunlight. This type of stone also had an auxiliary function, it prevented peoples perception from entering.
The reason there were no buildings around this tower was because this tower was the main headquarter of the Heaven's Secrets Company. None of the clans or academies were willing to risk offending the Heaven's Secrets Company by constructing a building next to their headquarter.
The reason there was currently a commotion going on within this tower was because of a simple message that they received a few hours ago,
«Traces of the devouring element as well as one unknown element were found shortly after a fight that took place in one of our locations, Golden Auction City.»
This message immediately caused the people at the top level of the Heaven's Secrets Company to gather. After they gathered at the top level of the tower, they immediately sent out a message to every location that was under their control, ordering them to find out who was fighting.
The top level of the tower consisted of only two rooms. One of the rooms was a large meeting room. A round table made out of seemingly simple wood stood at the center of the meeting room, 18 chairs placed around the table. Currently, 11 of these chairs were occupied.
The faces of the people on the chairs were shrouded by darkness, making it impossible for anyone, even themselves, to see who was sitting were. All of these people released an aura that was as deep as the sea, their cultivation was clearly incredibly powerful.
«Sirs, we have received the report on the people that were fighting.»
A man clad completely in black kneeled at the side of the table, respectfully placing a small jade bead on the table. The jade bead started glowing after the man clad in black injected some Qi into it. After the bead started glowing, it projected an image into the air above it, showing a picture of Huang Ying.
«We have confirmed that it was this man that released the devouring element as well as the unknown element. He was fighting with a person from the Jing clan, Jing Yimu. After searching the memories of Jing Yimu, we managed to confirm that it was him who released the two elements.»
The man clad in black injected more Qi into the bead, the image switching over to an image of Jing Yimu as well as the four people that were traveling with him.
«What do we know about him?»
One of the men seated at the table spoke up. Since it was confirmed that this youth held the devouring element, they needed to know everything about this youth. Once they learned everything about him, then they would be able to make the decision on what to do with this information.
«He entered one of our auction houses, Golden Auction House, under the name Lei Jiang, but after sending his image to our other locations, we found out that his real name is Huang Ying.»
The black clothed man quickly spoke up. Huang Ying had used the name Lei Jiang when he entered the auction house, but once they sent his image to all their other locations and people the found someone that had once seen Huang Ying, and from him learned his name.
«We have not yet managed to research much about him, so far we only know that his name is Huang Ying and that he travels with an unknown Demonic beast.»
The black clothed man quickly lowered his head as he spoke. They had only learned about Huang Ying's name and travel companion a short while ago, how would they possibly know anything else.
«Then why did you bother convening all of us? Call us again once you know everything about him.»
One of the men at the table gave a cold snort, before his figure started to slowly turn transparent and he completely disappeared from the room, the other people around the table following suite.
The black clothed man nodded his head, his entire figure vanishing into darkness, letting the room descend into silence. This silence lasted for almost ten days before the seats suddenly started filling up again, this time, all 18 seats filled up.
«Sirs, we have learned everything we could about the holder of the devouring element.»
The black clothed man kneeled at the side of the table once more, placing a jade slip on the table as he spoke. He had used ever single connection that the company had to learn everything there was to learn about Huang Ying.
«Let's hear it.»
«Yes. Before Huang Ying appeared at the Golden Auction City, we have sightings of him in a city called Eastern Sun, a short distance away from the Vast Plains Ruins. He changed his appearance, but we searched the memories of the witnesses and found his aura to be a nearly complete match.»
The black clothed man quickly started speaking about what he had learned, occasionally pulling out a jade bead that they had used to store certain memories, allowing the 18 men seated around the table to get a clear picture of Huang Ying's journey.
«Before Eastern Sun City, he spent a short amount of time in Cloud's End, where he made contact with one of our locations, one of our Waning Moon buildings, to order the assassination of a person called Yang Xinyyi, a teacher at an academy called Willow's Hope.»
«Huang Ying fought in a small tournament called the Academy Battle, taking the first spot. We invited the man ranked 6th on the Divine Dragon List, Undying Wu Bao, to help us reverse the time around the arena, allowing us to see and feel the events that happened there.»
Cultivators that had the time element could use it for various things, Undying Wu Bao got this title because he used his time element to slow down the flow of time in his body, allowing him to live much longer than normal people.
He could also slightly turn back time in certain areas, but only for a short while. This was good for seeing what happened at certain locations in the past. Because of this, the Heaven's Secrets Company had recruited Wu Bao early on.
«We confirmed that he used the devouring element during the tournament. After the tournament ended, the Empyrean Phoenix Academy hired people from our Waning Moon location to capture Huang Ying, he then spent around half a year inside the dungeon of the Empyrean Phoenix Academy before escaping.»
«Before he appeared in Cloud's End, Huang Ying joined the Willow's Hope Academy, but he was only there for a few months. Before that, we have found traces of him in a city called Yellow Winds Town.»
«He originally entered Yellow Winds Town with a person who we presume to be Jing He from the Jing clan. After he had a confrontation with the people in Yellow Winds Town, he was forced to flee into the Divine Wilderness. He proceeded to stay inside the Divine Wilderness for around one month.»
«Once he left the Divine Wilderness, he made contact with one of our Misty Moon locations. We tried to interrogate and search the memories of the person he spoke to while inside the Misty Moon house, but the man's memories had been completely devoured.»
«We instead turned our attention to other jobs that this man had been responsible for recently, finding two that seemed to fit. One was the assassination of the city lord of a town called Azure Springs, the other was to spread the news that the city lord had been killed to a nearby bandit group.»
«We then went to search this Azure Springs Town, but what we found was only a large basin in the ground, the entire town completely decimated. There were traces of the devouring element at the edges of this basin, so we once more invited Undying Wu Bao.»
«After turning back the time in that area for a short duration, we managed to capture the moment that Huang Ying awakened the devouring element.»
The man spoke without pause, quickly recapping nearly everything that Huang Ying had done and every place that he had visited. Once he reached the end, he placed a jade bead on the table and injected his Qi into it, showing the scene of Huang Ying awakening the devouring element, as well as the scene where Baku devoured the entire town.
«What do we do now? Should we sell this information to the clans? Or should we keep quiet about it?»
After learning everything, the people around the table started discussing what to do next. Some wanted to sell the information to the clans for a high price, while some wanted tokeep the information to themselves and see how things played out.
«This is too large for just us, we need to ask the founder what she thinks.»
One of the men sitting at the table suddenly shook his head and spoke up, causing the entire table to sink into silence. They all knew that the founder of the Heaven's Secrets Company was no longer on this planet, she would only rarely visit to check how things went. But they all knew that she was incredibly fearsome, so strong that none dared to not follow her orders.
Chapter 97: Kill their entire families if they touch him.
After the man spoke up and the room sank into silence, the other people around the table started nodding one by one. Since the black clothed man's report did not say anything about the unknown element that Huang Ying was using, it was clear that they had not found any information about it. Since it was like this, they might as well ask the founder if she knew anything, as well as what she was thinking.
The man who spoke up stood up and left the table, heading over to a door that stood a short distance away from the table. This door led to the second room of the topmost floor of the tower. Only the 3 of the 18 people sitting around the table could enter this room.
The inside of the room was completely empty, the only thing present was a large array that covered the entire floor. The man walked to the center of the array and poured his Qi into the array. Once his Qi sank into the array, the lines that made up the array quickly started releasing a white light.
Once the array lit up, the man left the room and returned to his seat. That array was only used to send a notification to the founder, letting her know that they had a matter that required her attention. They would still have to wait for her or her spiritual avatar to arrive.
After waiting for around an hour, a white orb of light appeared in the room. The white light quickly took the shape of a tall and graceful woman. The woman was clad in a pristine, white robe. She had waist long white hair, emerald like green eyes and smooth, beautiful skin. This was the spiritual avatar of the founder of the Heaven's Secrets Company.
A spiritual avatar was something a person who reached a high enough cultivation level could create. Using a piece of their perception and Qi, they could send their spiritual avatar out to scout areas or keep contact with several places at once.
«For what matter have you called me?»
The graceful woman spoke out, her voice sounding like a pleasant symphony that charmed anyone who heard it. She waved her hand, causing the floor beneath her to rise up and turn into a chair for her to sit on.
«We are sorry to disturb you founder, but we are uncertain about what we should do with some information.»
One of the men sitting at the table quickly stood up and gave a deep bow. They worked for this woman, but even they feared her great strength. This woman was the sole reason that none of the four clans or three academies dared antagonize the Heaven's Secrets Company.
The graceful woman sat on the chair, a slightly interested expression on her face. She was rarely called by these people, but whenever she was, it was certain that something interesting had happened.
«We have found a large amount of information about the current holder of the devouring element, but we are uncertain about what to do with it. This person also uses an unknown element that we have yet to identify.»
The man quickly spoke up. If it was just because Huang Ying had the devouring element, they would never have called down the founder. But since he had an unknown element, they wanted to be on the safer side.
«I see. Tell me a bit of this information before i decide.»
The woman slightly perked up when she heard the words unknown element. Since they could not identify it, it could only mean that it had not appeared on this planet before.
«Yes. The current holder is called Huang Ying, he seems to have been born in a town called Azure Springs- Founder? Is everything okay?»
The man started speaking, but he quickly noticed that the founder's expression had completely stiffened, even her body stiffened. He couldn't help but worry, so he quickly spoke up to see if everything was okay.
«Yes. Give me every piece of information you have about this person, everything.»
The graceful woman regained her wits, before quickly speaking out. Her face showed clear excitement as she spoke, her voice containing a mixture of urgency and longing.
The man dared not hesitate, quickly bringing out a jade slip that contained all the information they had, it even included all the images they had seen while the black clothed man reported to them.
The graceful woman quickly took the jade slip from the man's hand and sent her perception into it, scanning it's content. While she was scanning the jade slip's content, the room descended into silence, the men around the table not even daring to breathe too loudly. They had never seen the founder be this excited.
«So it really is you...»
The graceful woman pulled back her perception and let out a long breath, a blooming smile present on her lips as she muttered to herself.
«Founder.... what do we-»
Seeing the founder like this, the people around the table couldn't help but hesitate slightly before speaking out. The founder would usually only show an indifferent expression, maybe a slight interest at times, it was never like this.
«Tell no one! No one is allowed to know that he holds the devouring element! Send a message to the four clans and three academies. tell them that if any of them dare lay their hands on this person, once i return to this planet i will not just erase them, i will completely erase their entire family.»
The graceful woman turned her head to look at the 18 people around the table as she spoke. Her orders confused the 18 people, not only kill whoever hurt him, but even kill their entire family? Just who was this youth?
Despite their confusion, how would they dare hesitate. All 18 people quickly started turning transparent before vanishing from the room, hurrying out to deliver the message. After a short while, the only person left in the room was the spiritual avatar of the graceful woman. The graceful woman was playing with the jade slip in her hands, a large smile on her lips.
«I knew that you would be fine even if we couldn't be there. Just look at you, only a short year since you awakened your power, but you are already starting to raise waves. Don't worry Ying'er, mother will not let anyone hurt you. Me and your father will come visit once we are allowed to return to this planet.»
Chapter 98: Pitiful people.
A few days after leaving Golden Auction City, Huang Ying and Fang Shan were passing through a small forest located a few days walk away from the center region of the continent. The forest was actually small enough that Huang Ying and Fang Shan could have walked around it, they would even have saved some time like that.
But Huang Ying insisted on going through this forest, and Fang Shan found that there was nothing she could do to change his mind, he didn't even tell her why he was so adamant about going through the forest. Fang Shan still chose to follow Huang Ying into the forest, she did not know a lot about the world outside of the ruins, so following someone was still the best choice for her currently.
Fang Shan and Huang Ying sat around a small fire, Fang Shan roasting some Demonic beast meat over the open fire. The area around them was a small clearing of about 50 meters in each direction. There were a few bones strewn around the clearing, blood and flesh still present on the bones, these were the remains of a Demonic beast Fang Shan had hunted for food.
“Li Jun, are they still following us?”
While Fang Shan was roasting and eating the meat, Huang Ying was sitting with his legs crossed and conversing with Li Jun. The reason he wanted to enter this forest was because Li Jun had warned him that a group of people started following them not long after they left Golden Auction City.
“Yes. They are not far away, at most a few hundred meters. But they are using a type of equipment that shrouds their presence, making it hard for people to discover them.”
Li Jun's voice rang out within Huang Ying's mind, hoarse and rough, but it had lost some of it's old power, becoming more feeble and weak. Huang Ying had noticed that ever since they left the Vast Plain Ruin, Li Jun seemed to be less spirited, even seeming rather sad. But he refused to answer any of Huang Ying's questions, so he was forced to put the subject aside for the moment.
“Fang Shan, have you finished reinforcing your two daggers?”
Huang Ying turned his head towards Fang Shan as he asked. Fang Shan had acquired several materials in Golden Auction City that she could use to reinforce her two daggers, so she had been working on them whenever they stopped for a break.
“Yes, I finished reinforcing them yesterday. Why?”
Fang Shan looked at Huang Ying with a suspicious gaze, not quite understanding why he would ask about her weapons. Huang Ying did not respond to her, instead, he stood up and looked at a spot a few hundred meters away from them and spoke out.
“Isn't hiding like that rather boring? Why don't you pitiful people come out here so that we can just finish this quickly.”
After Huang Ying's voice rang out, there was no reaction for a short while. But after waiting for around half a minute, the sound of leaves being pushed aside came from the forest, five people appearing in the clearing.
The five people were all clad in tight black robes that covered every inch of their body, only leaving their eyes uncovered. Huang Ying knew that these robes were the standard uniform of people belonging to the Waning Moon
“I wonder who it was that hired you to come after me, was it that Jing Yimu? Or was it someone with a bit more power and influence than him?”
While Fang Shan hurriedly stood up and brought out her two daggers, Huang Ying was looking at the five people and continued talking. There was no reaction from the five people in front of him, so he knew that he would not get any information from them. But he had never expected them to answer, if they truly did answer, they would not be people from the Waning Moon.
“Old five. You, me, Little three, and Little two will take care of him. Little four, you take care of the girl.”
One of the men spoke out, his voice gravelly and distorted as he quickly spoke. After he finished speaking, four of the people moved towards Huang Ying, while the last one moved towards Fang Shan. Huang Ying did not move to stop them, these five people were all at the middle stage of the Xiantian Realm, they posed no threat to him.
“I wonder if you know the truth behind why you were hired. Just a few short days ago, I crippled someone at the peak of the Xiantian Realm with a single attack, there is no way that the person who hired you does not know this.”
“This can only mean one of two things. One, he hired you to come here and die, creating enmity between me and the Waning Moon, causing you to send more and more assassins after me. Two, he hired you to come here and die in an attempt to gauge my power.”
Huang Ying spoke calmly, looking at the five people with pity in his eyes. He assumed that these people were hired by the same person that caused the Empyrean Phoenix Academy to capture him. Since this person knew that he had appeared in Golden Auction City, he must also know about the fight Huang Ying had just before leaving the city.
This was why Huang Ying called these five people pitiful earlier, there was no chance of them finishing this task. They had only sent themselves to their death. Of course, Huang Ying would not spare them just because he slightly pitied them. Huang Ying would not spare anyone that came at him with the intent to kill.
The five people did not respond, but their pupils had slightly contracted. How could they not know what Huang Ying had done in Golden Auction House? But they still had to go through with this job. When they saw that the targets were two youths, one at the early stage of the Xiantian Realm and one at the middle stage, they had immediately accepted the request.
It was their own fault for not doing a more extensive check on their targets before accepting the request. But as assassins of the Waning Moon, they could not decline a request after accepting it, so they had no choice but to go through with it and hope for the best.
The four people moving towards Huang Ying quickly arrived within 25 meters of him. Once they reached this boundary, black fog started surrounding the area around them, making it hard for people to spot them. This black fog was made up from their Qi and was something they used to help them whenever they accepted a request.
This group of five people had already been working together for over ten years, they started as a group of nine, but their numbers had slowly dwindled with time. All of the people in the group had the same shadow element, allowing them to blend into the darkness and attack from unexpected angles, making them perfect for assassination.
Huang Ying heaved a sigh and shook his head when he saw their actions. If they had chosen to leave right after he started talking to them, he would not mind sparing their lives, but since they had chosen to attack, their only end would be death.
Huang Ying raised his left leg, gathering all his Qi into his lower body. Once his left leg hit the ground again, the sound of thunder boomed forth as his entire figure vanished from sight. The four people quickly reacted, dodging to the sides in an attempt to flee. But how would Huang Ying let them do this?
The ground around the four people suddenly froze as they tried to move, large walls of ice growing out from the ground, preventing the four people from moving in any direction but forwards. Just as they grit their teeth and decided to move forward, a flash of light flew past one of them, bringing with it a burning sensation on his chest.
The flash of light hit one of the walls of ice and bounced off, flashing past another one of the four people. The flash of light bounced off of the ice walls two more times, flashing past the last two people in the group. After the flash of light flashed past the last person, it landed on the same spot where Huang Ying stood at the start, turning into Huang Ying's form.
Huang Ying couldn't help but nod his head and comment after he was done. The lightning element was known for it's speed and piercing power, but it lacked the flexibility of wind. This was the first time Huang Ying had tried using his newly acquired lightning element, and he had to say that he was more than pleased with it. With this, speed would no longer be one of his weaknesses.
Using his ice element, he could also make up for the lack of flexibility by raising walls of ice that he could use to alter his direction. Of course, this required him to set up the walls of ice beforehand, as he was not yet strong enough to create the ice instantly.
The walls of ice dissipated, leaving behind the four assassins who were standing there with blank expressions. There was a fist sized hole at the center of their chests, revealing the area behind them. They were already completely lifeless, they just hadn't fallen down as the ice had spread from the ground and into their bodies, causing them to stiffen.
Huang Ying had also sent in a sliver of devouring Qi into their bodies and gone through their memories, but found next to nothing that would help him, so he turned his attention towards Fang Shan's fight. Fang Shan used the same tactic as Huang Ying, using her lightning element to quickly move around the enemy, using her daggers to wound the person.
Since her daggers were created from her Demonic beast form, they were the most suited weapon for her and could conduct her power perfectly. Whenever Fang Shan left a wound on an enemy, a bit of her lightning Qi would seep into the enemy's body, slowly numbing and paralyzing them.
After Fang Shan had reinforced her daggers, they had grown slightly longer and sharper, but the largest change was on the pommel. There was now a thin metal wire connecting the two daggers at the hilt, allowing her greater flexibility and range with the daggers. This wire could also conduct her lightning Qi.
Fang Shan's fight lasted slightly longer than Huang Ying's only ending when she managed to thread the wire around the last assassins neck and use it to deliver a large amount of lightning into the assassin's body, completely scorching her throat and lungs.
After killing the five people and searching through their belongings, taking whatever seemed useful, Huang Ying used his fire to turn their bodies into ash before the two of them kept on traveling towards the center region.
Chapter 99: Heaven's Crossroads City.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan had to travel for a further seven days before they finally managed to reach the center region. The center region was in fact just a single massive city. The city was so massive that there were several Spatial Arrays located within the city, whose only purpose was to allow it's inhabitants to move around in the city easier.
The city housed the headquarters of the Three Academies and the Four Clans, it also contained several Spatial Arrays that one could use to travel to different places all over the continent, and even to different continents. Because of this, the city was given the name Heaven's Crossroads City.
Heaven's Crossroads City was divided into seven parts, each one of the Seven Overlords owning one part of the city. But while the Three Academies did indeed own a part of the city, they did not own any parts of the continent, like the Four Clans did.
This meant that while you could find academies around the continent that had connections with the Four Clans, you could only find the Three Academies here in Heaven's Crossroads City.
“So what are your plans?”
Huang Ying and Fang Shan sat opposite of each other at a small table, drinking some spicy fruit wine and eating some stew. They sat in the dining hall of a small inn that was located in the area owned by the Eastern Wind Academy. They had been given two Eastern Wind badges by Xin Yang, so it would obviously be best for them to enter the area owned by the Eastern Wind Academy.
Hearing Huang Ying's question, Fang Shan stopped eating as she closed her eyes to think. She knew that Huang Ying was planning on entering the Eastern Wind Academy. Joining them would give him access to their resources as well as whatever knowledge they had.
He could also take up missions that the academy sent out, allowing him to use their Spatial Arrays to travel around the continent, hunting whatever Demonic beast or rare resource that the mission required him to hunt. While he could also travel around the continent and do this without joining the academy, joining the academy meant that he would not have to search around blindly. The missions would tell him exactly where he had to go.
“Joining Eastern Wind Academy is the best option for now. Eternal Flame Academy and First Dawn Academy are a bit too skewed for my tastes.”
Fang Shan shrugged her shoulders as she made up her mind. All three academies accepted people no matter what element they had, but First Dawn Academy and Eternal Flame Academy gave students that had the light or flame element better treatment. This was done because when these academies first opened, they only accepted students that had either of those elements, making them better equipped at tutoring such students.
Eastern Wind Academy on the other hand, was much more suited for handling students with any kind of element. This was so because despite Eastern Wind Academy starting out as an academy that only accepted students with the wind element, it had started accepting all kinds of students hundreds of years before First Dawn or Eternal Flame.
“Alright, then we can just head over to the Eastern Wind Academy together later on to take the entrance test.”
Huang Ying had already expected this answer, as Fang Shan did not have many other options, so he was not very surprised, he had mostly just asked as a formality.
He quite liked spending time with Fang Shan, she had the same personality as him. She was very direct and honest, and she also liked to spend her time in peace and quiet. They had traveled together for a little over two weeks, and even though a large portion of this time was spent in silence, only occasionally asking each other questions to learn more about the other, he quite liked it.
“No, it would be best to wait for a few days before we join Eastern Wind Academy.”
Fang Shan shook her head and rejected Huang Ying's proposition almost immediately. They had already spent a few days in Heaven's Crossroads City, allowing them to gather a bit of information before really deciding on what to do.
Huang Ying raised an eyebrow as he responded, indicating for Fang Shan to explain what she meant.
“We were attacked by assassins only a few days after leaving Golden Auction City, and according to what you said, this wasn't even the first time you were attacked. You were even held captive for half a year because of the order of someone unknown.”
Fang Shan shook her head as she spoke. She had already learned about how Huang Ying was abducted by Empyrean Phoenix Academy, who had acted under the orders of someone else. At that time, there had also been people from Waning Moon helping Empyrean Phoenix Academy.
“This can only mean that there is someone rather powerful out there that is looking for you, most likely looking to kill you even. We could join Eastern Wind Academy now, but there is no way of knowing if that will cause a stir, we are joining them on special permission after all.”
She did not know if the news about students joining the academy before the actual entrance test would spread, but she did not want to take the risk. Traveling with Huang Ying was rather enjoyable, it was also her best option right now, so she would undoubtedly also be attacked if he was attacked.
“But if we wait a few days, Eastern Wind Academy will open their gates, allowing anyone who wants to join them to undergo their entrance tests. If we just join that event, and don't cause too much of a stir, we should be able to enter Eastern Wind Academy looking like normal students. No one would bother spreading news about us at that point. After all, just how many students join Eastern Wind Academy every year?”
She had spent the last few days learning about the Three Academies, so she knew that each academy would start taking in students in just a few days. Joining at that time would allow them to enter without causing any stir and being discovered.
“Since you are being targeted by someone powerful, the best course of action is to just lay low for a little while, at least until you manage to learn who is looking for you.”
She knew that Huang Ying was a very straight forward and direct person. He did not like laying low and hiding away, but she still felt that she had to say these things. For both of their safety.
“Right. Laying low might really be for the best. Very well, waiting a few more days is not problem.”
Huang Ying did not spend much time thinking before he responded, slightly surprising Fang Shan. She had expected him to at least protest a little bit, but now it seemed like her worries had been unfounded.
“Li Jun, has there been any change?”
After he answered Fang Shan, Huang Ying leaned backwards and started slowly sipping his fruit wine as he started talking to Li Jun.
“No, they are still watching from a distance, chasing away anyone who gets too close.”
Li Jun's tired voice rang out within Huang Ying's mind. Ever since they entered Heaven's Crossroads City, Li Jun had warned him that people from the Heaven's Secrets Company were keeping an eye on him. Not only were they keeping an eye on him, the moment other spies came close to him, they would chase them away.
“Do you know why they would be doing so?”
Huang Ying had some trouble understanding what their motives were, they had already sent people after him twice after all. Li Jun had told him several times that they held no hostile intentions against him, but how could he just trust them that easily?
“If I would have to guess? Someone with a high position is trying to protect you, or at least keeping any information about you hidden.”
Li Jun's voice rang out again, sounding like he was shaking his head. While he had worked with the Heaven's Secrets Company before, he had only worked with the Waning Moon part of it. Guessing at their intentions was not something he was capable of.
“Really can't catch a break. Continue keeping an eye on them, if worst comes to worst, we will have to find a way to escape from the city.”
Huang Ying couldn't help but sigh silently, already starting to make sure that he remembered every potential escape route.
Chapter 100: Eastern Wind Academy.
The next few days passed away in a flash, Huang Ying and Fang Shan spending most of their time wandering through the streets of Heaven's Crossroads City, making sure to take note of every place that seemed important.
After they spent five days doing this, the day where the Three Academies would accept new students finally arrived. Huang Ying and Fang Shan arrived outside the gates of Eastern Wind Academy early in the morning, not long after the sun had risen.
The place where they arrived was a large, empty square located just in front of Eastern Wind Academy. Eastern Wind Academy covered a truly massive area, just from where they stood, they could see seven separate mountains placed within the area that belonged to Eastern Wind Academy. The mountains were surrounded by forests and there were even a few lakes spread around.
There were buildings spread all around the area, each building was made out of a type of light green wood with wave like markings that looked like they had been carved by the wind. At the peak of each of the mountains stood a large mansion, towering above everything else. The entire area owned by Eastern Wind Academy was surrounded by a large metal fence that towered five meters into the air.
The empty square where they stood was already starting to fill up with people, despite it being so early. Just from what Huang Ying could see, there were already several hundred people standing in the square, just waiting for the people from Eastern Wind Academy to show up.
After waiting for around an hour, a large gate in the metal fence opened, and a group of ten people walked over to the square. The square was now filled with a veritable sea of people, easily reaching above two thousand people. The moment the ten people appeared, everyone in the square turned silent.
The group of ten people consisted of two old men, three girls that seemed like they were around their mid twenties, and five men who seemed to be the same age as the girls. Everyone in the group was clad in the same robes, a pair of loose, light green robes held together by an azure sash tied around their waist.
“Greetings everyone, you can call me Senior Brother Zhouyun, I will be in charge of making sure that this entrance exam period passes smoothly.”
One of the young men spoke up after they reached the square. The young man had a handsome appearance, silky brown hair that hung down his back, clean and pure green eyes, and clean and unblemished skin. He spoke with a pleasant smile, giving the entire crowd a short bow as he spoke.
“The tests we will conduct today are all very simple. We will start by testing everyone's cultivation level and age. Anyone above 25 will sadly be barred from entering.”
The young man raised a finger as he spoke, and the seven other young people behind him all stepped forward and brought a large mirror out of their interspatial rings. A mirror like this could be used not just to tell the cultivation of a person, but also their age. It did this by testing their Qi, as well as scanning their bones to see how old they were.
“After that we will use a pressure test to test everyone's determination, those who don't have enough determination will also be barred from entering. After testing your determination, we will test your total strength.”
The young man then raised a second and a third finger in quick succession. When he raised his second finger, one of the old men brought out a box from his interspatial ring. He had not opened the box, but it was already releasing a stiffing sense of pressure.
When he raised his third finger, the other old man brought out a man-sized puppet from his interspatial ring. The puppet was in the shape of a normal man, but instead of having a face, it had an array carved into it's head. A puppet like this was usually powered by Spirit Stones, it's strength depending on the quality of it's material as well as the quality of the Spirit Stone.
“If there are too many people left at the end, we will conduct another test, a more conclusive test.”
This was normal for each of the Three Academies. They could not take in everyone who applied, there was a limit to how many they could accept. If the number at the end was too large for them to take in everyone, they would have them take a test where all of their qualities was being tested.
“With all that being said, I won't take up any more of your time. If you would all please line up in seven different lines so that we can start, that would be wonderful.”
The young man finished his words with another quick bow before he stepped back and allowed the people holding the seven mirrors to step forward. After the seven mirrors were placed down and standing steadily, the sea of people parted and turned into seven lines, each one standing by one of the mirrors.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan took this chance to check out the other people that were trying to enter Eastern Wind Academy. While there were some people that were obviously too old to join the academy, and others that looked very nervous as they approached the mirrors, most people held confident smiles.
There might be seven mirrors, but there were still over two thousand people to test, so it was obvious that testing would take a while. Huang Ying and Fang Shan had placed themselves towards the back of the line, carefully checking out everyone that managed to pass through the first test.
The people that managed to pass the test varied immensely in both cultivation and age. The youngest person that Huang Ying saw was a child no older than 10. but what shocked Huang Ying and Fang Shan was that this child was already at the middle stage of the Xiantian Realm, even higher than Huang Ying himself.
The highest cultivation level that Huang Ying saw was the peak of the Yin-Yang Formation, but it seemed like most people that were hoping to join were only at the Xiantian realm. Huang Ying had not seen anyone at the realm of the Nine Heavens.
Fang Shan was up just before Huang Ying. Stepping forward and placing her palm on the mirror, she injected a small amount of Qi into the mirror. The mirror lit up once she injected her Qi, a round orb appearing at the top of the mirror, while the number 19 appeared on the mirror itself. This meant that she was 19 years old and was at the middle stage of Xiantian Realm.
After Fang Shan, was Huang Ying. The person in charge of the mirror looked at Huang Ying with suspicion for a short moment before allowing him to place his palm on the mirror. The reason he looked at Huang Ying with suspicion was because Huang Ying's body did not give off any aura.
Ever since Huang Ying had awakened the element of destruction, any trace of aura or energy that his body gave off had vanished, making him seem more like a normal mortal than a cultivator.
When Huang Ying placed his palm on the mirror and injected his Qi into it, he felt a strange energy enter his body from the mirror, digging into his bones and scanning them. After a short while, the mirror lit up and half an orb appeared at the top of the mirror, while the number 15 appearing on the mirror.
Seeing the mirror light up, the young man next to the mirror nodded his head and indicated for Huang Ying to follow Fang Shan and the others that had passed, making them stand at the side and wait while the others were being tested.
Chapter 101: Ancient horn.
“Excellent. I hope that anyone who did not manage to pass will leave the premises without further ado, so that we can quickly finish up the rest of the tests.”
After Huang Ying and Fang Shan finished, only a few more people had to be tested before they managed to wrap up the first test. Once the test was finished, the youth who introduced himself as Zhouyun stepped forward once again and sent a polite smile towards the people that had not managed to pass.
Out of the originally over 2000 people, around 300 people turned out to be over 25, meaning that they could not join the academy. Even though these 300 people were unwilling to just leave like this, they knew that they had no choice, so they could only put on bitter smiles and bid Zhouyun farewell.
“Now then. Like I mentioned earlier, the second test will be a pressure test aimed at testing your determination.”
After watching the people that did not manage to pass, Zhouyun turned towards the people that had managed to pass and put on a pleasant smile as he spoke. His eyes slowly passed over the sea of people, scanning each and every one of them, stopping on the people he felt were worth noting.
“If you would all please turn and face Elder Xiong, he will be in charge of testing you.”
After scanning the sea of people, Zhouyun turned his body and pointed in the direction of the two old men. More specifically, he pointed at the old man that had taken out the box earlier.
“I am Elder Xiong, and I will be in charge of the pressure test. This test is very simple. As long as you can approach me and get closer than 100 meters, you will have passed. Anyone who has not managed to enter the 100 meter range within five minutes will be considered as not having passed.”
The old man with the box, Elder Xiong, had a face that was completely covered in wrinkles and liver spots, with a white beard that hung all the way down to the ground. As he spoke, he walked over to an empty area, creating a large empty space around him.
“We will do this by the hundred. Every five minutes, a new 100 people will attempt the pressure test. Line up.”
After Elder Xiong spoke, the square fell silent once more. After a short moment of silence, people started scrambling forwards, trying their best at being part of the first 100 people. While the people were scrambling forward, Huang Ying and Fang Shan quietly pulled back, content with watching the test before taking action.
After the sea of people had managed to line up in a somewhat orderly manner, Elder Xiong nodded his head and opened the box in his hands. He took out an old horn from within the box. The horn was the size of a grown man's arm and completely black in color, it was as thick as a normal man's thigh, and spiraled around itself until it ended in a sharp tip.
“This is the horn of an ancient beast that once roamed these lands. After the founder of the academy slayed it, he sealed it's soul inside this very horn, allowing the horn to give off the pressure that the ancient beast gave off.”
Elder Xiong and the people from Eastern Wind Academy looked at the horn with reverence and awe, seemingly too afraid to even blink. The other people on the other hand were unable to look at the horn like that. The reason behind that was the pressure that the horn gave off. Huang Ying and Fang Shan were even able to feel the pressure from where they stood.
“The first 100 can begin, the five minutes start now.”
After a short moment of awe, Elder Xiong directed his gaze towards the closest 100 people and spoke out, raising the horn in his hands. The closest 100 people did not dare tarry, quickly doing their best to move forward. They stood around 200 meters away from Elder Xiong, so they would only have to move a little over 100 meters closer to pass.
The first 50 meters were the easy part, the 100 people quickly moving closer. But the closer they got to the 100 meter mark, the heavier the pressure that bore down on them was. After they spent almost half the alloted time moving forward, only a little over half the people had managed to move to the 100 meter mark. The rest of the people had been forced to their knees by the pressure, unable to move even a single step closer.
“Five minutes are up.”
After five minutes, Elder Xiong dissipated the pressure from the horn and his voice rang out, thoroughly crushing the hopes of the people that had not managed to move close enough. Out of the first 100 people, only 60 managed to pass through the pressure test.
The 60 people that managed to pass all quickly heaved a heavy sigh of relief after Elder Xiong dissipated the pressure from the horn. They couldn't help but smile as they moved to the side, making space for the next 100 people. The ones that did not manage to pass could do nothing but leave.
The test continued without pause. Every five minutes, a new group of 100 people would attempt to move closer to the horn, hoping to withstand it's pressure and move close enough to pass the test.
“Li Jun, do you know anything about what sort of beast this horn came from?”
Huang Ying was rather curious about this horn. Despite it's soul being sealed inside the horn, and it's body long dead, this ancient beast could still release such a stifling pressure.
“Hehe, that horn came from an ancient Mountain Eater that was killed by that old ghost Huo Fei Tang. The horn may look big to you, but that horn you see right now was only a tiny piece of the actual Mountain Eater's horn. It's real horn would be at least ten times longer and thicker. He would never shut up about how he managed to kill it. Oh, and don't let that man's words fool you, that Mountain Eater was not killed in this area, but on a different continent.”
Li Jun's voice rang out with a soft chuckle, like he was immersing himself in a pleasent memory of a past long gone.
“You knew him?”
Huang Ying was slightly shocked at Li Jun's words. He sounded like he had personally talked with this person, the founder of Eastern Wind Academy. One had to know that Eastern Wind Academy had already existed for several thousand years.
“Aye, but that was in a time that is already long gone, I doubt there are even people that still remember the Mountain Eaters.”
Li Jun's voice rang out with a sigh as he spoke, refusing to say any more. He still remembered those days, where the world was far more feral, with Demonic beasts running rampant across all the continents. Those days were truly hard, but they were also some of his most fond memories.
“We are up.”
While Huang Ying was chatting with Li Jun, Fang Shan poked him in the side and whispered to him, letting him know that it was their groups turn to attempt the pressure test. Huang Ying returned his attention to his surroundings, and it was indeed their turn.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan both stood at the back of the group as they stepped forward, slowly feeling the pressure on their bodies increase as they moved forward. As they were walking closer, Huang Ying noticed that the pressure did not only push down on every inch of his body, but it was also pressing down on his mind, slowing down his thought process.
He also noticed one other thing that caused him to slow down his walking speed further. When he used his Qi to resist the pressure, it would slide down along his body, dissipating completely. But when he did not use any Qi to resist the pressure, but just let it bear down on his body, a small portion of the pressure would sink into his body and mind, slowly strengthening it.
He swept the rest of the group with his eyes, and found that it seemed like it was only him and Fang Shan that had noticed this effect. He mused that this was probably because of how strong their bodies were. They simply did not need to use their Qi to dissipate the pressure, they could just use their physical bodies to bear it.
Since it was like this, Huang Ying did not mind spending some more time walking up to the 100 meter mark. His body was already stronger than most people his level, but that did not mean that it was pointless to strengthen it further. Because of this, Huang Ying and Fang Shan only passed the 100 meter mark a few seconds before the five minutes were over.
Chapter 102: Breaching it's defenses.
After a short while, the second test also ended. Of the around 1700 people that participated in the second test, only around 1200 managed to pass the test. Standing amidst the crowd, Huang Ying and Fang Shan looked entirely unremarkable, but there was in fact one person that was keeping an eye on them.
Others might not have seen what Huang Ying and Fang Shan did, but how could Elder Xiong, who was controlling the horn, not notice what they were doing. Of course, he was only keeping an eye on them out of a slight interest, mainly because of their cultivation and age.
They were not the first to realize that they could use the pressure to train their bodies, but they were amongst the weakest and youngest. Fang Shan was already 19, but even that was considered rather young in this test, most people that managed to get this far were very close to 25.
The one that surprised Elder Xiong the most was Huang Ying. There were people that were younger than Huang Ying that took part in the test, some of these kids even had better cultivation levels than him. But most of these people only reached this cultivation level because their families put all their resources into training them.
This caused them to have weaker minds than others, often making them fail at this test. But this boy who was only 15 years old, with only a cultivation at the early stage of the Xiantian realm, seemed like he could walk through the pressure with ease. This not only meant that he had a strong mind, but also had an abnormally strong body.
“Congratulations on passing the pressure test everyone. The next test will be watched over by Elder Jianhong, so if you would all please turn over to him.”
Zhouyun quickly started talking when he saw that the second test was over. The ones that failed did not even wait for him to say anything, choosing to simply leave in silence. The crowd turned over to the last old man, Elder Jianhong. Elder Jianhong looked almost identical to Elder Xiong, the only difference being that Elder Jianhong did not have the same beard, but rather had abnormally long eyebrows.
“I am Elder Jianhong. I will not waste any words, my test is very simple. When I point at you, you will step forward and unleash your strongest attack against this puppet. If the attack manages to breach it's defenses, you will be considered to have passed.”
Elder Jianhong let his gaze wander over the crowd as he spoke, a slight smirk appearing at the corner of his lips when he saw how relieved the people looked at how simple the test was.
“Let me warn you. This puppet was created by the second headmaster of Eastern Wind Academy. After he fought a tough battle with Lustful Demon Han Song, narrowly grasping victory, he sealed Han Song's soul within his own dead body and refined it into a puppet, forcing him to serve the academy until the end of time. It might only be an un-activated puppet, but it still has at least 1/10th of Han Song's defense, breaching it will not be easy.”
Zhouyun hurriedly spoke out when he saw how the crowd looked. If they took this test too easily, there was a chance that no one would pass, which would reflect poorly on him, who was put in charge of overseeing all the tests. Hearing his words, the faces of the people in the crowd quickly turned gloomy.
Lustful Demon Han Song was a cultivator who lived several thousand years ago. He had a special variation of the fire element that allowed him to steal other peoples life force and strength through intercourse. He was given the name Lustful Demon because of his love for raping women to acquire their life force. It was said that his cultivation level was at the peak of the Deity Heart realm, just a single step away from becoming a Sovereign.
Elder Jianhong pointed into the crowd as he spoke, his finger landing on Fang Shan. Seeing this, Huang Ying could not help but curse silently, as well as heave a slight sigh of relief. He sighed in relief because he stood right next to Fang Shan, meaning that it could have just as easily been him that was called up.
The reason he cursed was because one of them was called up first. Since they were called up first, they had no way of checking to see just how strong the defense of the puppet really was. And since they only had one attack to breach it's defense, they would have to hit it with their full power, or risk not being able to join the academy.
“Forget about it, it's better that I stand in the limelight than you standing there.”
Fang Shan had thought of the same things, resulting in her shaking her head and whispering to Huang Ying as she stepped forward. Huang Ying was the one who was being hunted, so there was no real need for Fang Shan to lie low, she only did it because it was better to be on the safe side.
“You can use any weapon you like to make the attack. If you do not manage to breach it's defense, please leave.”
Elder Jianhong spoke up when he saw that Fang Shan had stepped forward, his voice spreading outwards, reaching everyone in the crowd. Fang Shan nodded her head, but did not bring out her two daggers. Her daggers were a pair, focusing on rapid attacks to destroy the opponent. Since she could only make one attack, this strategy was obviously not usable.
She slightly bent her body forward, looking like a jaguar that was preparing to pounce, the Qi within her entire body churning as arcs of blue lightning started to shoot out from her body.
This test was clearly a bit skewed, favoring people of a higher cultivation level. But she did not care. In her body flowed the proud blood of a Kirin, an overlord amongst Demonic beasts. And even though she did not like it, she also had the blood of the Azure Dragon in her body, only further increasing her power.
The lightning that arced out from her body quickly gathered on he right hand, which had now been extended, forming a spear hand. Lightning stood for speed and piercing, a fist was not suited for properly releasing it, at least not for Fang Shan.
After all the lightning gathered on her right hand, her body shot forward, blue arcs of lightning trailing in the air behind her. She had been standing about 100 meters away from the puppet, with her speed, this distance was covered in but a blink of an eye.
As she was charging forward, Huang Ying's voice fluttered over and entered her ear. She did not have time to question him at this time, so she simply altered her path slightly, her spear hand landing on the left shoulder of the puppet and unleashing all the lightning stored in her hand.
The sound of thunder rumbled across the square, a beautiful lightning bolt passing through the shoulder of the puppet and flying forward until it hit the fence surrounding the academy. On the left shoulder of the puppet, there was now a small hole going straight through. The hole quickly regenerated, but there had still been a hole there.
“Breached. You pass.”
Elder Jianhong looked at Fang Shan with some surprise as he spoke. The left shoulder of this puppet was one of the few weaknesses that it had, how did she know to hit that spot? Fang Shan nodded her head and stepped to the side, waiting for the rest of the test to finish.
“You are next.”
Elder Jianhong pointed into the crowd again, his finger landing on Huang Ying this time. Huang Ying had already expected this, so he stepped forward immediately. He did not take a running start like Fang Shan, walking forward until he stood right in front of the puppet.
He crouched down in front of the puppet and raised his hand, lightning cracking above his palm as it gathered together and condensed itself. Huang Ying pretended to condense the lightning for another thirty seconds, before he gathered the lightning in his right index finger.
He pointed the now lightning coated finger at the right knee of the puppet, pushing the finger forward and unleashing the lightning trapped within. The lightning shot forward, but there was no sound of rumbling thunder, the lightning was apparently weaker than the one Fang Shan had shot out.
The lightning hit the puppet's right knee and sank into the knee, creating a hole about eight centimeters deep. It didn't go through the puppet, but it had surely breached it's defense.
“Breached, you pass.”
Elder Jianhong spoke out again, his expression slightly odd. First Fang Shan had managed to find one of the puppet's weaknesses, now this Huang Ying had done the same? Huang Ying gave a quick nod and stepped to the side, standing next to Fang Shan.
Huang Ying was obviously not the one who found the weaknesses. Li Jun had told him about the places where the puppet was weakest, allowing Huang Ying to find the best places to attack.
Chapter 103: The last test.
The rest of the people taking the test were not idiots, seeing Fang Shan and Huang Ying passing with what seemed to be ease, they almost immediately realized that there was something off about the two places that the had chosen to attack. This was then proved correct when everyone who attacked those two spots managed to pass the test.
“This truly is highly unusual. I don't think there has ever been a time where over 1000 people have managed to pass the third test.”
After everyone had taken the third test, Zhouyun stepped forth once more, his lips curled into an unnoticeable smile that almost betrayed how much joy he found in what was about to take place.
“Sadly, there can only be at most 100 people joining my Eastern Wind Academy, which means that we must eliminate another 1100 people.”
Zhouyun scanned the crowd as he spoke, looking both apologetic and slightly concerned. After he scanned the entire crowd, making sure that everyone had seen his expression, he sighed and spoke out again.
“The last test is one that we rarely use, both because it is so rare for there to be so many talents trying to join us, as well as because it is dangerous.”
Zhouyun emphasized the word talent as he spoke, causing a few people in the crowd to turn quite red. What talent did they thave? They only copied what everyone else had done to pass.
“The last test will be in the form of a contest between all 1200 participants. We will send all 1200 of you into a spatial type treasure, transporting you to a random location within that space.”
As Zhouyun spoke, Elder Xiong took out a small bead from his interspatial ring, holding it up high for everyone to see. Spatial type treasure were a type of item that contained a different space within them, much like interspatial rings. Most spatial type treasures had very large spaces that could accommodate a large amount of people and other life forms.
“Everyone who enters will receive a jade token with the insignia of my Eastern Wind Academy carved onto it. The contest is very simple, you must steal the jade tokens from the hands of the other contestants. Once you have 12 jade tokens, you can head to the center of the space, where you will be sent out and be allowed to join my Eastern Wind Academy.”
Zhouyun grabbed the bead as he spoke, inserting his Qi into it. Once he inserted his Qi into it, a light flickered on the bead and the image of a large island appeared above the bead. At the center of the island stood a tall mountain, it's peak completely round and flat, looking like a massive stage. A few red dots were slowly moving around the island while Zhouyun was showing it off. Clearly, this was where the contest was going to take place.
“These red dots you see are a few Demonic beasts that live on this island, they are not too strong, but they should still prove to be a challenge to some of you. All of you who choose to enter this bead will appear as blue dots. This means that we will only know who you are once you leave this bead.”
“But I must warn you. Once inside this bead, we will not control the actions of other contestants. This means that you can die at any moment if you choose to enter. And even if you should be killed while inside, it is impossible for us to know who killed you. My Eastern Wind Academy only want the best of the best, show us that you are capable of taking that which you desire.”
Zhouyun's eyes turned sharp as he spoke, his words causing a cold shiver to run down the spine of the people in the crowd. This was just a test to enter the Eastern Wind Academy, but there was even a chance that they could die? They now finally realized why this test was rarely used.
“Anyone who does not wish to join this test may leave now. Everyone else who chooses to enter must sign this waiver, showing that they are fine with the possibility of death.”
Zhouyun took out a scroll from his interspatial ring, allowing the people in the crowd to read what was written on it. It simply stated that they were aware that they might die, and that they were fine with this, not putting any blame on Eastern Wind Academy.
There were some people hesitating at the start, but once there had been a few people who stepped forward and signed the contract, the rest of the crowd quickly joined them. In the end, all 1200 people signed the contract, agreeing to take part in the last test.
“Wonderful, my Eastern Wind Academy must be truly blessed to have so many decisive people wanting to join us. What a shame that we can't accept you all.”
Zhouyun spoke loudly, a proud smile on his lips as he spoke. His words caused the people in the crowd to hold their heads a little higher, but there were some who couldn't help but sneer. If anything could be said about this Zhouyun, it was that he was good at appealing to a crowd.
“Now then. Once you have managed to acquire 12 tokens, you can make your way to the top of the mountain at the center of the island. The 12 tokens will activate and send you out. If you wish to surrender earlier, you need only break your token and it will send you out.”
Zhouyun spoke out once more as he channeled his Qi into the bead, causing a silver energy to burst out from it and surround the crowd of people. Once he finished his words, the silver energy covered the 1200 people and returned to the bead, taking everyone with it.
After the 1200 people entered the bead, Zhouyun sat down where he stood, keeping the bead within the palm of his hand, continuously filling it with Qi. When his Qi entered the bead, the image of the island appeared within his mind. But unlike what Zhouyun said, there were no blue dots appearing on the island. Instead, Zhouyun was able to see what everyone who entered the island was doing. Watching the 1200 people start fighting against each other, Zhouyun resisted the urge to grin.
Chapter 104: Start of the last test.
Huang Ying felt the world in front of his eyes turn a blinding white, forcing him to shut his eyes. Once the blinding white disappeared and he opened his eyes, he found himself standing completely alone on a beach. Huang Ying did not move immediately, choosing to examine the surroundings first.
There was an endless expanse of water behind him, going as far as his eyes could see. To his left and right there was a long beach that curved as it got further away from him, it seemed to go around the entire island. In front of him was a tropical forest filled with towering trees, Huang Ying could hear the sounds of life in the forest even from his position on the beach. He could see a massive mountain standing tall in the distance, looming over everything.
After he examined the surroundings, he examined himself. The first thing he checked was his interspatial ring, quickly checking and making sure that everything was there. After checking his entire body and all his belongings and making sure that nothing was missing, he turned his attention to a jade token that now hung at his waist.
The jade token was about the size of a palm and was very simple in style and was made out of white jade. A shield was carved into the center of the token, the shield was filled with several wavy marks, looking like the marks the wind leaves in sand. This was the symbol of the Eastern Wind Academy.
“How is the situation Li Jun?”
Huang Ying still did not move from his original position, instead choosing to talk to Li Jun. Normally, Huang Ying's perception was only capable of scanning an area of about five kilometers, only a few hundred meters if he wanted to keep continuous watch over the area.
And it seemed like his perception was being hindered inside this bead, it could not even leave his body. Li Jun's perception on the other hand could continuously cover a truly massive area. In a situation like this, knowing your surroundings was crucial.
“All 1200 people have arrived on the island, the person closest to you is nine kilometers away. That Fang Shan girl is located on the opposite side of the island. There are a few Demonic beasts lurking around, but none that would normally be a threat to you.”
Li Jun's voice rang out after his perception scanned the entire island, nothing was able to escape his eyes. Not to mention this island, if he was to release his perception to it's limits, he could cover half the continent. Of course, if he did so, he would at best get only a short glimpse at the area before he would have to stop.
“Only normally? Meaning that they are a threat to me now?”
Huang Ying caught onto the meaning of Li Jun's words, his thoughts starting to move. Since Li Jun said that they would normally not be a threat to him, that could only mean that there was something about them that caused them to be a threat to him for the moment.
“That Zhouyun boy lied to you all. He is keeping a close watch on everyone on the island, he seems to enjoy watching you struggle. This of course means that you can't use all your power since you are currently trying to lay low.”
Not even Zhouyun watching them from outside the bead could escape Li Jun's eyes, he could even see the suppressed grin that Zhouyun was trying to hide. Since Huang Ying did not want news about him to be discovered, he could not reveal power that was too far above his level, he could at best reveal the power of someone at the middle stage of the Xiantian realm.
“I see, so we'll have to gather the 11 other pendants without showing our real strength. Send my voice to Fang Shan.”
Huang Ying fondled his chin as he started to slowly formulate a plan. The first thing he had to do was let Fang Shan know that Zhouyun was watching their every move. She did not really need to hide her true power, as it was Huang Ying that was being hunted, so Huang Ying did not remind her to lay low.
After he finished informing Fang Shan, he turned his eyes to the tropical forest in front of him, a faint smile creeping up on his lips. He had never taken part in a contest like this, so he was looking forward to the fun. With these thoughts in mind, he stepped off the beach and entered the forest.
The forest was humid and dark, the trees blotting out most of the light that was shining down from above. The light that shone down was produced by the spatial treasure. It would absorb light from it's surroundings and project it into the treasure itself. This meant that whenever the treasure was in a dark place, it would be dark inside the treasure.
Huang Ying did not walk around blindly after he entered the forest. He made Li Jun cover the entire island with his perception, constantly giving Yao Jun directions and updates on where the other people were. Since Zhouyun had not told them that there was a time limit, most people started moving quickly, searching out others to snatch their badges.
Huang Ying had already decided that he would use Li Jun to scout out the people that were weak enough for the current Huang Ying to beat without causing too much of a stir. He would then pretend like he was having a tough fight, before finally stealing their badge and moving on.
Being ordered around like this made Li Jun feel like sighing. When had he ever been treated like this when he still had his body? But despite his thoughts, he did not say anything to Huang Ying. When Huang Ying was still naive and powerless, Li Jun had several times tried to lead him to his death. The attack on Azure Springs Town was just the only attempt that Huang Ying knew about.
Since Huang Ying was no longer the same naive and powerless youth that he used to be, Li Jun decided that it was best to have a good relationship with him. And even if he did not want to admit it, he had watched Huang Ying grow up from a mere baby into who he was now.
No matter how hard he tried to bury those feelings, he could not deny that he had some protective, almost fatherly feelings, for Huang Ying. Of course, he would never let any of this show. He was the Dark King, the terror of the underworld and the king of killers, such emotions were unbecoming of him. These emotions were also part of the reason he attempted to kill Huang Ying several times in the past.
After traveling through the forest for a short while, Li Jun told Huang Ying to climb up into a tree not far from him. After climbing up the tree, Li Jun told him to make as little sound as possible and stay hidden.
After waiting for a few minutes, a male passed under the tree. The male youth was slightly overweight and clad in silken robes that gave off a sense of elegance. Had it not been for his weight, the person would have seemed rather elegant. Huang Ying did not need Li Jun to tell him what to do, dropping down from the tree without a sound.
When the overweight youth finally noticed something, it was already too late for him to react. Huang Ying's elbow made contact with the skull of the youth, letting out a slight crunching sound. The youth crumpled down like a sack of potatoes. Huang Ying had showed some mercy, not wanting to attract any attention because of his wanton murder, and only cracked the skull of the youth. He would not die, and his wound was healed easily enough through the use of different herbs.
After knocking out the youth, Huang Ying rummaged through his belongings until he found the jade token that he was looking for. He strapped the jade token to his waist, hanging it next to his own jade token, before he left the scene and headed deeper into the forest.
Chapter 105: Five tokens.
Around three hours after Huang Ying acquired his first jade token, he was hiding within a bush, keeping a close eye on a female youth that was walking through the forest not far from him. The girl was clad in a bright yellow robe and had short brown hair. Her face could be considered very delicate and charming. Her cultivation was at the middle stage of the Xiantian Realm.
Huang Ying had been following her for around 10 minutes already, she was going to give him two more jade tokens, giving him a total of five jade tokens. After he knocked out the first youth, he had followed Li Jun's directions until he found a second youth, stealthily knocking him out and taking his jade token.
The reason Huang Ying had followed this girl for 10 minutes was to find a good opportunity to knock her out quickly and quietly. The people on this island could not use their perception to scan the surroundings, but they could still use sounds to locate others. This forced Huang Ying to use a more stealthy approach, lest he was discovered by others.
“How does it look Li Jun?”
Huang Ying narrowed his eyes as he looked at the girl. She had just crouched down to drink some water from a stream, now would be a good chance to attack her. But it would still be best to check with Li Jun first. If there was anyone nearby, Huang Ying would probably be discovered, and would then be forced into a fight.
“There are four people within five kilometers of this area, the closest one being only two kilometers to the east. He is someone who has half a foot in the Yin-Yang Formation Realm, so even if you used your full power, there is only a 60% chance that you could beat him.”
Li Jun had been keeping a close eye on everyone on the island, even taking the time to examine the strength of everyone that was above a certain level of power. Even though Huang Ying could defeat someone at the late stage of the Xiantian realm, even someone at the peak of the Xiantian realm if they were not careful enough, defeating someone who had half a foot in the Yin-Yang Formation Realm was a completely different thing.
Huang Ying slightly turned his head, looking to the east. They were in the middle of the forest, so with the exception of some clearings and other areas, everything else was covered with densely packed trees. Li Jun had already described the entire island to Huang Ying, so he knew that there were no such clearings to the east of him.
This meant that even if he attacked this girl, the odds of the youth to the east of him seeing anything were minimal at best. Seeing that this was his best chance, Huang Ying decided to not waste any more time. Small sparks of blue lightning shout out from his body as he sped forward.
The place he was hiding was a little over a hundred meters away from the girl, he could cover this distance in around one second, even without using his full speed. He appeared behind the girl while she was drinking, his right hand clad in lightning reached for her neck.
The girl only managed to react when she heard the sound of wind coming from behind her. She did not need to turn around to know that she had been ambushed. She leaned her entire body forward, raising her left leg into a backwards kick as she did so.
As her foot approached Huang Ying's hand, a gray layer of stone covered her foot. The foot and hand made contact, resulting in a loud boom that resounded through the forest.
Huang Ying couldn't help but silently curse, he had not expected the girl to have such a fast response, it seemed like she had rather rich experience with fighting. Since he had come this far, he could not stop now. He grasped onto her foot with his right hand, preventing the girl from pulling it away.
He pulled her towards him and twisted his right arm as he did so, causing her body to spin around and face him. Once she got close enough, he used his left arm to punch down onto her. The girl did not dare hesitate, immediately crossing her arms in front of her face and using her Qi to turn her arms and head into stone.
Huang Ying's fist made contact with her arms, pushing her entire body down onto the ground. Since she used stone Qi, there was no way for Huang Ying's lightning to enter her body and paralyze her, so he switched over to ice Qi when his fist landed on her.
He was not scared of letting people know that he had multiple elements, as it was not that rare. In Green Willows continent, such people may have been rare, but this continent was much larger and had far more people. Having multiple elements was much more common on this continent.
“The youth to the east has noticed the commotion, finish this fast.”
Li Jun's voice rang out as Huang Ying's fist connected with the girl's arm, urging him on. The ice Qi entered her arms and numbed them with the cold, but the girl still kept them in front of her face as defense. Huang Ying grabbed onto one of her arms with his left hand and pulled it aside.
The moment he pulled her arm away, he let go of her foot and punched down with his right arm. She was now placed almost right beneath him and was lying on her back, so he was not worried about her slipping away from him. His right arm was clad in lightning, slipping past her other arm and connecting with her face.
Just as he thought he had gotten in a good hit, a rune that was sown into her clothing lit up, sending out a small shield of Qi that blocked his punch at the last second. Huang Ying narrowed his eye as he saw this shield, he quickly calculated that he would have to use at least five normal punches to smash through this shield.
He obviously did not have the time for this right now, so he quickly made up his mind. He raised his right arm and punched down once more, his fist landing on the shield with a loud boom. A sliver of destruction Qi quietly entered the shield, opening a hole that was large enough for Huang Ying's fist.
This time, Huang Ying's fist landed directly on her face, bringing with it a crunching sound as his fist broke through her stone Qi and broke her nose, a small spray of blood shooting forth. The punch shook her entire head, producing a ringing sound in her ears and disorienting her. The lightning Qi entered her head and started wreaking havoc on her sense, making it impossible for her to react.
Huang Ying took this chance to quickly grab the two jade tokens hanging at her waist before he dashed away. The youth who was to the east had already noticed them when he made his second punch, staying there any longer was just begging to be caught.
Chapter 106: Humiliation.
Huang Ying quickly dashed away from the spot where he had just fought, running through the forest in what seemed to be a random route. Of course, this random route was a route that Li Jun had given him. It was erratic enough to seem random, but it also made it so that he would not come close to any other people as he ran.
“How is it Li Jun?”
As he was running, Huang Ying was talking with Li Jun. Since the other youth could not use his perception to find Huang Ying, Huang Ying only had to run for a short period before he would have been able to shake off the youth.
“Keep running, he is still too close for it to be safe.”
It was still not safe to stop and try to hide. The youth had just reached the area where Huang Ying had fought the girl. He gave the girl a quick little look before he moved on, following the traces of Huang Ying. He was rather surprised that someone would punch a rather pretty girl like that so viciously in the face, but this was after all a competition, there was no need for mercy.
Huang Ying did not doubt Li Jun's words at this moment, continuing to run through the forest with all the speed he could show without looking suspicious. As he was running, he made sure that he left as few traces as possible. Using trees and branches as stepping stones so as to not leaves tracks on the ground, running up and down streams so as to not leave tracks.
“Something is wrong.”
As Huang Ying was running, Li Jun's voice rang out in his mind. Li Jun's voice was gloomy, seemingly angry even. Hearing him talk like this, Huang Ying couldn't help but feel rather nervous.
“What is it?”
Huang Ying did not stop running as he was talking, even if he had a bad feeling about what Li Jun noticed, getting away and finding a safe place to hide for the moment still took top priority.
“He is still chasing you, even gaining on you. It seems like that Zhouyun brat is guiding him.”
Li Jun had been keeping a close watch on the youth, and had quickly realized that the youth was not just keeping up with them, he was even gaining on them. Huang Ying had not left behind enough traces for the youth to follow, and Li Jun did not sense any Qi lock onto them. This could only mean that the owner of this spatial treasure was guiding him.
“Why would he do that?”
Huang Ying's voice sank as he spoke, silently cursing Zhouyun. Was this not considered interfering in the competition? How could they make sure they got 'the best of the best' if he did things like this?
“I don't know. Maybe he wanted to prevent you from gathering all 12 jade tokens using the tactic you were using? Maybe he just did it because he felt like it? The only thing that matters is that he has done it.”
Just because Li Jun could see everything within this spatial treasure, and even what was going on outside of it, he had no way of telling what Zhouyun was thinking.
“Motherfucker. Are you able to hide me?”
If Li Jun was able to hide Huang Ying from Zhouyun and that other youth, it would give Huang Ying the chance to find a place to hide further away. He could then have Li Jun remove the camouflage and pretend like he had used a special treasure if he was asked.
“Too suspicious. Zhouyun would start wondering why you could hide from him within his own treasure.”
Li Jun on the other hand, rejected Huang Ying's idea. If Huang Ying suddenly vanished from Zhouyun's vision, it would be far too suspicious, even if he tried to use a special treasure as an excuse. What if they demanded to see this treasure?
“If I were to fight him, would you be able to hide our battle?”
Huang Ying's mind started moving rapidly. Li Jun had said that he only had a 60% chance of victory, even if he used his full power. This meant that Huang Ying was indeed capable of killing the enemy. If Li Jun was able to hide their battle, he could use his full power to kill the enemy before running away to hide.
“I would be able to obscure it, preventing him from seeing too clearly, but he would still be able to feel the fluctuations of Qi and find out just how much strength you can use?”
Hiding the battle itself was easy, they could even use the excuse that the strong Qi that was being thrown around distorted Zhouyun's vision inside the treasure. But this still meant that the Qi Huang Ying used was strong enough to distort Zhouyun's vision-
Huang Ying couldn't help but curse out, his mouth twisting as he gnashed his teeth. He turned his head as he ran, checking if he could see the youth chasing him, his mind moving rapidly.
“What do you plan on doing?”
Li Jun knew that Huang Ying's mind was moving rapidly right now. He knew that Huang Ying was facing a tough decision right now. Using all his power to fight with the youth had a decent chance of success, but it would make him show off too much.
“I'm still working on it.”
Huang Ying shook his head as he answered, heaving a heavy sigh. He said that he was working on it, but he had already come up with a plan on what to do. As they continued running, he started slowing down his speed, making it look like he was getting tired. After continuing to run away for almost ten minutes, he stopped running, sitting down next to stream of water, pretending to breathe heavily.
“Finally stopped running huh?”
Not long after Huang Ying stopped running, a voice came out from the forest in behind him. A tall male youth stepped out from the forest. The youth wore a loose robe that was a dark gold in color, a massive bird with spread wings embroidered into the robe, a golden scabbard hung at his waist. Standing at almost two meters, the youth tilted his head downwards as he looked at Huang Ying.
The youth had golden hair that hung down to his shoulders, features that looked like they were carved with a knife, and brown eyes that gleamed with a sharp light. Despite his rather ferocious looks, he held a rather elegant and composed expression, his lips curved into a faint yet arrogant smile.
“You've been following me this long?!”
Huang Ying staggered backwards a bit as he shouted out, pretending to be shocked as he looked at the youth. Seeing his expression, the tall youth's smile grew even wider as he took a step closer.
“You left plenty of tracks that I could follow. You did an excellent job running for that long, but since my cultivation level is higher than yours, I can chase for longer than you can flee.”
The youth raised his nose as he spoke, complimenting Huang Ying and praising himself. At the same time, he also came up with a lie, not telling Huang Ying about how he had been guided here.
“Now I wonder, will you hand me your jade tokens, or must I take them?”
The tall youth placed his hand on the scabbard hanging at his waist as he spoke, the look in his eye becoming even sharper as he spoke. If Huang Ying refused to do the sensible thing, he would not mind cutting him down.
“I have no choice here do I?”
Huang Ying pretended to think it over, even using his flame Qi to make it look like he was sweating, before he put on a wry smile and removed the five jade tokens from his waist. He held the tokens in his hand for a short moment, looking at them with a depressed gaze, before he threw them to the tall youth.
“Truly sensible. If you manage to enter the academy, you can come look for me, Bai Jing, I will take you under my wing and guide you while you are still weak.”
The tall youth started grinning as he received the five tokens, even beating himself on the chest and introducing himself, telling Huang Ying that he would take care of him and guide him. After he got the jade tokens, he did not bother waste any more time on Huang Ying, quickly heading towards the center of the island.
Huang Ying gnashed his teeth as he looked at the back of the tall youth. This was the first time he noticed just how stifling it was, having to hide his true power. Had it not been for the fact that he would have to hide his power, he would have chosen to just start a big fight with this tall youth.
He only had a 60% chance at victory, but if he could use his full power, he could at least guarantee that he could escape whenever he wanted to. The tall youth even said that he would guide Huang Ying while he was still weak! Huang Ying would be lying if he said that he was not feeling humiliated right now.
Luckily, he had experience with things like this. When he was a child, he was treated as an outcast for not having any power and being weak, he was even imprisoned for six entire years, for something he hadn't even done.
After he got his power, it got better, but he was still humiliated not long after he met Jing He, when she was forced to return to her family. Then it happened once more after he took part in the Academy Battle, when he was captured by the Empyrean Phoenix Academy and tortured for half a year.
Now that Huang Ying thought about it more closely, he realized that most of his life was just a long line of humiliations. He shook his head, throwing the thought out of his head, he did not want to think about those things right now. One day he would become someone that no one could humiliate, but he also knew that today was not that day.
Looking at the spot where the tall youth, Bai Jing, vanished, a faint smile crept up on Huang Ying's lips. He had pretended that it was hard for him to give up the tokens to make sure that Bai Jing was not suspicious, but he had also added a little something to the tokens. A little surprise he would make sure Bai Jing enjoyed sooner or later.
Chapter 107: Zhao Feng.
“What do you intend to do now?”
After making sure that Bai Jing was far enough away, Huang Ying stood up from the ground and dusted himself off. Li Jun's voice rang out in his mind as he was dusting himself off, prompting him to ponder in silence for a short moment.
“I guess i'll head towards the mountain at the center of the island. I wanted to head there after I had gathered a few more tokens, but it seems like I have no choice but to gather all the tokens in one go.”
Huang Ying quickly made up his mind, turning his head towards the mountain standing at the center of the island. Everyone who managed to gather 12 tokens would have to go there to complete this test, so it was obviously the best place to gather a lot of tokens quickly.
“You'll join the ambush?”
Li Jun of course knew what Huang Ying was planning. He would not be the only person who wanted to gather all the tokens immediately. There would be a large amount of people who would hide around the mountain, waiting for the people who had gathered 12 tokens to try and ascend the mountain.
“I don't have too many other choices left now, do I?”
Huang Ying shook his head as he spoke. The people who had gathered 12 tokens were not fools, they would know that there were people waiting at the mountain to ambush them. There was a chance that the people who already had 12 tokens would gather together to ascend the mountain together.
At that time, the people with 12 tokens would start a large fight against the people who did not have enough tokens. Joining this fray was a good chance at gathering the tokens needed, but it was also dangerous.
If you managed to steal someone's tokens, acquiring the 12 tokens needed, everyone around you would then start fighting you. You were constantly surrounded by people who could become your enemies at a moment's notice.
With Li Jun guiding him, it was easy for Huang Ying to reach the mountain without encountering any other people. The mountain was shaped like a cone, but it's top was completely flat, like it had been cut with a massive sword to create a spectacular arena. The top of the mountain stood around five kilometers away from the ground, allowing it to be seen from any place on the island.
“You should head to the east side of the mountain. That Bai Jing boy is hiding on the northern side of the mountain, there are several other people around his level of power hiding alongside him. The east side on the other hand has several people who are weaker than that Bai Jing, but there are more of them. None of them have more than two tokens.”
Li Jun guided Huang Ying as he walked, explaining the situation around the mountain. With his perception, it was easy to see where everyone on the island was, so finding out where the people were hiding was no problem.
Huang Ying headed towards the east side of the mountain, slightly crouching his body and walking silently, looking like he was searching for a good place to hide. His path just so happened to lead him straight past the area where the other people without tokens were hiding.
“Wait up kid. Come over here quickly, getting any closer is dangerous.”
As he was moving forward, a voice rang out from the top of a tree not far from him. Huang Ying pretended to have his body stiffen as he quickly turned his head to look at who was talking to him.
“No need to worry, im just like you, all my tokens were taken from me. There are others hiding not far from here, we plan on attacking the people that try to ascend the mountain. You will have better chances if you join us.”
The head of a youth peeked out from the leaves of the tree, looking directly at Huang Ying. The youth had completely white skin, looking exceedingly pale. He had deep green eyes and short black hair, his nose slightly crooked. He moved his head and indicated for Huang Ying to follow him.
From where the pale youth was hiding, he was able to see that Huang Ying did not have any tokens on him, meaning that he had been robbed of them all. Of course, he did not invite Huang Ying to join them because he thought that Huang Ying could help them in the fight. He was too weak to provide any actual help in the fight, but he could at least distract someone while the others were fighting.
Huang Ying followed the pale youth, with Li Jun keeping watch, there was no chance of the pale youth leading him into an ambush. They did not have to walk very far before they came to a small cave that was dug into the side of the mountain.
After the pale youth delivered Huang Ying to the cave, he turned around and returned to his old hiding spot. He was one of the people responsible for keeping watch and making sure that the others were warned when people started ascending the mountain.
Inside the cave sat a group of seven people, five men and two women, each one sitting with their legs crossed and looking at Huang Ying with an examining gaze. After examining Huang Ying's cultivation level and seeing that it was nothing special, they closed their eyes and returned to waiting in silence.
“You should be brother Huang Ying, right? I believe I saw you just before the test started. Come over here, we are just waiting for the people who have managed to acquire 12 tokens to ascend the mountain.”
One of the five men called out to Huang Ying, a simple and honest smile on his face. This man had caught Huang Ying's attention the moment he entered the cave, because he stood out amongst the other six people. The other six people were clad in luxurious robes, their skin smooth and clean, with an air of nobility around them.
But this man was different from them. He did not wear a luxurious robe, he wore a wolf skin robe, the head of the wolf located on his right shoulder. His body was tall and rugged, even taller than Bai Jing. Huang Ying guessed that if he stood up, he would be a little over two meters tall.
The wolf skin robe revealed the rugged man's chest, revealing that he had several large scars on his chest. His face looked like it was chiseled from stone, with distinct features that stood out. He had brown hair that was unkempt and hung down to his shoulders, slightly covering his eyes.
A large scar went across his entire face, going from one side of his face to the other, cutting across the bridge of his nose. He looked more like a barbarian than he did a cultivator, with his wolf skin robe and unkempt hair.
Another thing that slightly surprised Huang Ying was that the man only had a cultivation at the middle stage of the Xiantian realm, while the other six people had cultivation at the late stage of the Xiantian realm.
“Im Zhao Feng, you can just call me brother Feng, I look forward to entering the Eastern Wind Academy with you.”
The rugged man, Zhao Feng, slapped Huang Ying on the shoulder after Huang Ying sat down next to him. His words causing the other six people around him to slightly frown, as he was talking like the two of them had already entered the academy.
Chapter 108: Battle Junkie.
“What? You want to fight me Chu Sengyan? What about you Deng Guixa?”
Seeing the others frown, Zhao Feng spoke out loudly, pointing at them as he spoke. The six people frowned even deeper at his words, but did not say anything or take any actions, simply turning their heads away. They did not want to start a fight with this madman.
“Hmph, cowards. Ignore them brother Ying.”
Zhao Feng let out a snort when he saw them turn their heads away. He turned back to Huang Ying and shook his head. These people were simply too blind, not being able to see what was in front of them.
“No problem brother Feng.”
Huang Ying shook his head as he spoke. He did not mind the actions of these six people, he was much more interested in finding out why this Zhao Feng was so friendly towards him. After all, he had only shown the strength of someone at the middle stage of the Xiantian Realm, he looked much weaker than these seven people, so there was no need to be this friendly towards him.
Zhao Feng and Huang Ying proceeded to sit there and chat for a few hours, Zhao Feng explaining several things about Heaven's Crossroads City that Huang Ying did not know yet.
“They have started gathering, they should start ascending the mountain in not too long!”
After a few hours of chatting, a female youth entered the cave and gave a report. This female youth was in charge of keeping an eye on the people who had gathered 12 tokens, it was her job to inform everyone else when they started ascending the mountain.
“Good, we will proceed as planned. Zhao Feng, since you are so fond of this Huang Ying, you can take him with you.”
One of the six other youths in the cave, Chu Sengyan, spoke up once he heard the report. They had already planned what they were going to do. Once the people who had gathered 12 tokens started ascending the mountain, he and the other six people in this cave would split up into seven teams, each team attacking from a different angle.
This would allow them to prevent the others from escaping, forcing them to face them in a fight. The others did not disagree, quickly splitting up and picking up the people who were part of their team. Most teams consisted of people who belonged to the same clan, or those who allied up not long after the test began.
The only exception was Zhao Feng's team, which consisted of only Zhao Feng and Huang Ying. After the teams were assembled, they all quickly left for their own positions on the mountain, waiting for the attack to begin.
The people who had gathered the tokens would start ascending from the northern side of the mountain, so the ones who had not gathered the tokens were stationed mostly on the east and west sides of the mountain. Zhao Feng and Huang Ying were stationed further up the mountain, on a path that those who wished to ascend the mountain had to take.
This meant that the ascending ones would have to go through Huang Ying and Zhao Feng if they wanted to pass. Huang Ying had already been told that this was something that Zhao Feng himself requested.
“I wonder, why are you so friendly towards me?”
While they were waiting, Huang Ying transmitted his voice into Zhao Feng's ears. He did this so that Zhouyun would not be able to hear what they were talking about.
“The others might be too pampered to realize, being brought up in the safety of their clans and all, but I am from the Zhao clan. For countless years we have stood watch at the Divine Wilderness, protecting this continent. Everyone who is born in the Zhao clan must enter the Divine Wilderness to fight Demonic beasts. We live and breathe fighting monsters.”
Zhao Feng responded with a voice transmission. He did not mind telling Huang Ying, he had always been an honest person who was terrible at lying, so what was the point in even trying. He also wanted to become friends with Huang Ying, so honesty was the best way to go.
“And when I look at you I feel nothing but a truly horrifying sense of danger, like I am looking at a sleeping Primordial beast. People like that make for either the greatest of friends, or the most terrifying of enemies.”
“I can tell that you seem to plan on staying low key, so don't worry, I have no intention of telling anyone or forcing you to show your actual strength, I am trying to become your friend after all.”
Zhao Feng had fought countless Demonic beasts in his life, countless times had he stared death in the face and proceeded to spit on it. His senses towards danger were much greater than normal people. And this Huang Ying gave him a truly terrifying sense of danger.
“And what makes you so sure that you can become my friend? What if I end up becoming your enemy?”
Huang Ying could not help but raise his eyebrow as he asked. He could tell that this Zhao Feng was not lying to him. Searching his memories, he found that this was the first time someone had told him that he wanted to become friends with him.
“How i'm so confident? Isn't it obvious, it's my charming personality, i'm absolutely lovable.”
Zhao Feng responded with a completely straight face. Huang Ying couldn't help but crack into a smile, a slight laugh escaping his lips. Of all the answers he was expecting, this was not it. He could also tell that Zhao Feng was completely serious.
“Here they come.”
Huang Ying was just about to respond when Li Jun warned him that the people who had gathered the token were starting to ascend the mountain. Hearing his words, Zhao Feng's mouth spread into a large grin.
Seeing this face, Huang Ying couldn't help but shake his head. Seems like he had met another person who could be called a battle junkie. First he met Shi Na, now this Zhao Feng, was there something that attracted these battle junkies?
Chapter 109: Start of the battle.
“Where are they?”
Zhao Feng stood up with a wide grin on his face as he peered down the mountain, but contrary to what he was expecting, there were no people close to them. He was just about to turn and ask Huang Ying when he felt his Transmission Jade react, a message sounding out from it not long after.
“They have started ascending the mountain. Zhao Feng, you block them at first, we will come over as fast as we can and join in.”
Hearing the message, Zhao Feng couldn't help but slightly raise his right eyebrow as he glanced at Huang Ying. Huang Ying still wore a completely calm expression, a faint and mellow smile hanging at the corner of his lips. Seeing this expression, Zhao Feng couldn't help but chuckle to himself. It was really true that monsters had their own ways and means.
The two of them stood there in silence, just feeling the wind blowing past them, for a few minutes before they could finally spot people approaching them. The group of people consisted of almost 100 people of differing ages and gender.
Huang Ying already knew that there would not be 100 people joining the Eastern Wind Academy once this test was over. Of the 1200 people that had entered at the start of the test, there were only close to 300 people left.
Many had died, some had already passed the test, but even more people had crushed a token to escape. Because of this, there were no longer enough tokens for 100 people to gather 12 tokens each. Even among this group of close to 100 people, only around half of them actually had 12 tokens. The rest had agreed to help those who had 12 tokens ascend, for a certain price of course.
Huang Ying examined the group, taking note of everyone who seemed noteworthy. Fang Shan stood amidst the group, 14 tokens hanging at her waist, but the two pretended to not know each other. Huang Ying also noticed that the highest cultivation level was people with half a foot into the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
This did not mean that none of the people with a higher cultivation had already failed. Instead, most of them had already passed. After they reached the Yin-Yang Formation realm, they became much stronger, so no one wanted to pick a fight with them, simply letting them ascend the mountain as they pleased.
“I guess you are the one who is supposed to block us at first?”
The group of people stopped around 200 meters away from Huang Ying and Zhao Feng. A tall youth clad in golden robes, Bai Jing, stepped out from amidst the group of people, looking straight at Zhao Feng as he spoke, not even glancing at Huang Ying who stood next to him.
“No. I am here to beat you up and take your tokens. It has been a while since I fought someone who had half a foot into the Yin-Yang Formation realm.”
Zhao Feng shook his head and licked his lips as he spoke, staring at Bai Jing with a fire burning in his eyes. After he finished his words, he did not bother saying anything else, taking action immediately.
Zhao Feng dashed towards Bai Jing, a brown light sinking into the ground from his body. Once the brown light entered the ground, the earth beneath them started trembling. After a short moment, tall walls of earth shot out from the earth, forcing the others to stay within a small area, as well as blocking them from going further up the mountain.
Bai Jing did not waste any more words either. He took a step forward, a white light releasing from his body and into the surroundings. Once the white light entered the surroundings, the temperature started dropping drastically as snow started appearing in the area. Even parts of the walls that Zhao Feng had summoned turned into ice.
This was one of the differences between someone at the Xiantian realm and someone who had touched the Yin-Yang Formation Realm, Domain. Someone at the Xiantian realm could use their Qi to control and alter the Raw Qi in the area around them, using it to conjure flames and ice at will.
But someone at the Yin-Yang Formation could use their Qi to forcibly create an area around them that contained only their own Qi. This drastically weakened other people's control over that Qi, in some cases even negating it completely, while strengthening your own control over it. This was called a Domain.
Of course, Bai Jing only had half a foot into the Yin-Yang Formation stage, so his Domain was not strong enough to completely shut down Zhao Feng's ability to control the surrounding Qi.
“Make sure to cover me up properly once the fight begins.”
Huang Ying walked backwards, reminding Li Jun as he did so. With so many people fighting at once, Li Jun could safely obscure Zhouyun's vision of Huang Ying. The battles would cause enough disturbance to where it would not be suspicious if he could not clearly see everything.
This meant that as long as Huang Ying devoured the memories or killed everyone who saw him use his full power, he could fight with as he wanted. Of course, the best would be to use as little strength as possible.
Because of the walls that Zhao Feng had put up, the rest of the group was confined to a small area, forced to first work on breaking through Zhao Feng's walls before they could do anything.
Huang Ying walked backwards until he reached the wall that blocked the path up the mountain. After making a staircase out of ice, he reached the top of the wall, which was almost a meter thick, and sat down at the edge, overlooking the group of people.
Jumping in now would just be stupid. Zhao Feng was strong enough to make the others unwilling to gang up on him, both in personal strength and in background. No one was willing to offend someone from the Zhao clan. Huang Ying however was different, he was a weak nobody, they would not mind ganging up on him.
So he sat down at the top of the wall and waited, occasionally glancing at the fight taking place between Zhao Feng and Bai Jing. Bai Jing used ice to conjure forth a myriad of weapons that assaulted Zhao Feng.
Zhao Feng used his control over the earth element to constantly move the earth below Bai Jing, making it hard for him to find proper footing. If the weapons got too close, he would cover himself in earth to block them.
The longer he fought, the more ferocious he got, even going as far as being willing to sustain wounds just to hit Bai Jing with his own attacks. But he also did not forget to occasionally use his earth element to prevent the rest of the people from escaping his walls.
It did not take long for the other people who had guarded the other places on the mountain to arrive. They used their own different methods to scale the walls and quickly started fighting the group of people that were stuck inside the walls.
Seeing the others arrive and start fighting, a faint curve appeared on Huang Ying's mouth. Since they had arrived, there was no longer a need for him to wait here. He stood up and dropped down from the top of the wall and headed towards the large battle.
“Well then, let's have some fun.”
Chapter 110: Screwing over Bai Jing.
“I've obscured your presence, so Zhouyun will not be able to locate you properly, he will only know your approximate location. You can use your full power, but if you use it for too long or too often, he will notice that something is suspicious about you.”
As Huang Ying was approaching the battle, Li Jun's voice rang out in his mind, reminding him not to use too much strength for too long. Zhouyun would not be able to locate Huang Ying properly, only get an approximation of where he was. But if there kept being large amounts of Qi discharged wherever Huang Ying appeared, anyone would be able to realize that there was something suspicious.
“Got it, i'll make sure to stay low.”
Huang Ying nodded his head and entered the battle, arcs of blue lightning shooting out from his body as he moved. He did not move to join the fight, but instead focused on moving around at his full speed.
There were some people in this group that had half a foot in the Yin-Yang Formation realm, but they were all currently fighting Zhao Feng and the six other people that were at the late stage of the Xiantian realm, so they had no time to focus on the rest of the battle. This meant that Huang Ying was free to move around as he wanted.
Since the rest of the people were only at the late stage of the Xiantian realm, they were only able to see a blue blur flash by them when Huang Ying moved at his full speed, meaning that no one was able to see him. That is, no one but Zhao Feng was able to see him.
Zhao Feng was fighting Bai Jing, but thanks to his control over earth, he could keep an eye on the entire area using the vibrations that were the result of people moving. Thanks to this, while he could not see Huang Ying, he could sense the vibrations produced in the earth from Huang Ying moving. This allowed him to see exactly where Huang Ying was, and how fast he was going.
Noticing the speed Huang Ying was going at, Zhao Feng felt like wiping some cold sweat from his forehead. When he first saw Huang Ying, he wasn't sure if he should try to become his friend, or see how strong he was by challenging him to a fight. Now it seemed like he had truly made the right choice. If he were to have to fight against speed like this, he would have more than just a small headache trying to figure out a response.
Of course, Huang Ying could not move at his full speed at all times. He would need to stop for a short moment to grab the jade tokens he was hunting for. This short moment was enough for some people to realize that he had managed to reach their side without them noticing.
Before the female youth in front of him had the chance to say anything else, his arm shot out and grabbed onto her face. A stream of devouring Qi flowed into her head from his palm, devouring her memories of the last minute. While the devouring Qi flowed into her head, he grabbed the jade tokens at her waist. Once the memories were gone, his figure flashed away from her dazed and confused body.
This girl was just at the middle stage of the Xiantian realm, she also only had two jade tokens, so she was clearly just there to help the others reach the top of the mountain. He did not kill her because he did not feel that there was a need to do so.
He did not mind killing people, even massacring people was fine, as long as they were his enemies. Huang Ying did not allow himself to murder people indiscriminately, only people who were enemies or would hurt him or those he cared about could be killed. If he started killing people indiscriminately, he was afraid that he would be unable to hold onto his last shred of humanity.
After he flashed away from the dazed girl, he continued to move around the area, snatching a jade token here and there. Huang Ying took tokens from everyone, even the person who had brought him to the cave ended up losing his tokens to Huang Ying.
These people were not his ally, they would turn on him the moment they realized he had gotten enough tokens. Of course, he made sure that he did not step close to the areas where the people who had reached half step to Yin-Yang Formation realm were fighting, lest they accidentally spot him.
At times he would assist Fang Shan if she was about to be attacked by a group of people, sneakily using his ice element to make them fall over. Other times, Fang Shan would assist him if he was about to be spotted, using her lightning to draw the attention away from him. With Li Jun allowing him to stay in contact with her, he constantly told her about the situation of the surroundings.
Of course, Huang Ying was paying special attention to the fight between Zhao Feng and Bai Jing. Bai Jing and Zhouyun were people that Huang Ying would make sure that he got his revenge on, one way or another. Zhouyun had guided Bai Jing to him, breaking the rules of this test.
Bai Jing had not really done anything to Huang Ying, but Huang Ying did not like it when people looked down on him like Bai Jing had. The arrogance that Bai Jing showed when he made Huang Ying hand over the jade tokens was something that Huang Ying made sure to remember. He had gotten enough of people being arrogant towards him when he still lived in Azure Springs Town as a powerless weakling.
Since the robe Huang Ying was wearing was a loose one, he hid all his jade tokens inside his robe, using his ice Qi to freeze them to different locations. Some were hidden inside his sleeve, some around his legs, and some on his back and chest. Like this, Huang Ying made it look like he had zero tokens when he really had 13. Zhouyun had only said that they needed to ascend the mountain with 12 tokens, he never said anything about them being forbidden from hiding and concealing them.
After gathering 12 tokens, Huang Ying stopped moving around at his full speed, choosing to move around the battlefield with a more leisure pace. Since he looked like he had no tokens, no one bothered trying to deal with him. This allowed him to spend more time trying to find a good chance to screw over Bai Jing.
His chance came after the fighting continued for a few minutes. The walls that Zhao Feng had put up were still there, so even though the fighting had been going on for almost half an hour, no one had gotten to leave yet.
The chance that he was looking for came in the form on Bai Jing accidentally moving too close to another fight. Bai Jing was distracted by that fight for a split second, giving Zhao Feng the opportunity to dash in and send his fist rumbling towards Bai Jing's chest.
Bai Jing threw up both his hands and covered them in his Qi to block the attack, not daring to waste any thoughts on anything else. As he did this, five streams of black Qi left five of the jade tokens at his waist, digging into his body.
The five streams of black Qi were devouring Qi that Huang Ying had left behind within the tokens, waiting for a chance like this. Of course, if a chance never arrived, he would just have the devouring Qi detonate and destroy the five tokens, making it impossible for Bai Jing to finish the test.
The devouring Qi immediately split up, two streams traveled to Bai Jing's legs, two to his arms, and one into his dantian. The one that entered his dantian dug into his World Core and hid itself deep within.
This one stream was something Huang Ying decided to hide away in Bai Jing's body in case Bai Jing decided to try and go after Huang Ying in the future. If he chose to do that for any reason, Huang Ying would not mind completely crippling him.
The streams that entered his arms and legs devoured all the Qi he was using to defend and stabilize himself. After they devoured his Qi, Huang Ying made the devouring Qi dissipate, leaving behind no evidence.
Bai Jing was shocked and terrified when the Qi he was using vanished. He was shocked because he had no idea why it suddenly vanished, and terrified because this meant that he would have to take Zhao Feng's attack with his body.
Zhao Feng's fist crashed into Bai Jing's arms, a sickening crunch sounding out as they collided. Since there was no Qi in Bai Jing's legs to stabilize his body, his feet lift off the ground and his body shot backwards, blood spewing from his mouth.
Chapter 111: Welcome to Eastern Wind.
“Are you insulting me Bai Jing?! How dare you not use any Qi to defend yourself, are you really so arrogant as to think that you don't need it?!”
Seeing Bai Jing shoot backwards, Zhao Feng's expression turned gloomy. The way he saw it, Bai Jing had not even bothered to put up a proper defense, as if he was looking down on Zhao Feng's attack.
Hearing his words, Bai Jing felt like cursing out loud. Both his arms and a few of his ribs had been broken by that punch, all because something had caused his Qi to suddenly vanish. And now Zhao Feng was even shouting at him, what had he done to deserve any of this?
His back hit the ground and his body rolled backwards for a short distance. Just as he was about to get up after his body stopped rolling, he felt a foot land on his chest, preventing him from getting up.
“These are mine now.”
Zhao Feng bent down and took the jade tokens hanging at Bai Jing's waist, his voice sullen. He had been looking forward to an excellent and thrilling fight, having the fight end like this left a bad taste in his mouth.
After taking the tokens from Bai Jing, he removed his foot from his chest and delivered him one last kick, sending him rolling even further away. After that, he no longer bothered with Bai Jing. Without use of his arms, even though Bai Jing could threaten others below the late stage of the Xiantian realm, he could not threaten Zhao Feng.
Zhao Feng moved his head, looking at Huang Ying who was looking like he was taking a stroll in his own backyard, checking if he had everything he needed to leave. Huang Ying cast a glance at Bai Jing, before he turned to Fang Shan and indicated for her to come over. Once she arrived at his side, he nodded his head at Zhao Feng.
Bai Jing had noticed the small glance that Huang Ying had thrown his way. Seeing Huang Ying's completely indifferent eyes as he looked at him felt like more of an insult than if he had looked at him with disdain. This was the first time Bai Jing had ever been treated like he was nothing.
Seeing Huang Ying nod, Zhao Feng turned towards the top of the mountain and removed the walls that he had put up. He did not care about the other people still fighting, as their fights had nothing to do with him.
As the walls sank into the ground, Zhao Feng, Huang Ying, and Fang Shan all moved for the top of the mountain. Since they were prepared for the wall disappearing, they got a head start up the mountain, allowing them to move unhindered.
Huang Ying could hear the people behind them notice that the way up the mountain was no longer blocked. He could also hear Bai Jing's enraged shouting, doing his best to collect 12 new tokens, but he did not care. With their speed, and with no one to stop them, they could reach the top of the mountain in but a minute.
The top of the mountain was a completely flat surface, like someone had sliced away the peak. The area was devoid of other people, with not a soul other than them in sight. As they stood at the top, scanning the area with their gazes, a light shot down from the sky and surrounded their bodies. Their tokens flew away from their bodies and into the light, vanishing as the light surrounded them.
Their vision quickly turned a blinding white, preventing them from seeing anything around them. Once they regained their vision, they were standing in the large square outside of the academy. Not far from them stood Zhouyun, a pleasant smile on his face as he looked at them.
18 people sat on the ground a short distance behind Zhouyun. Huang Ying recognized these people, they had entered the last test at the same time as him. They all had a cultivation that had reached the Yin-Yang Formation, so it was clear that they were the ones who had passed the last test earlier.
“Congratulations on passing the final test. It does not matter how you managed to pass the test, whether it was through trickery, skill, or strength, all that matters is that you passed.”
Zhouyun stepped forward, giving a short clap as he spoke. He let his eyes roam over the three of them, his eyes lingering a bit longer on Fang Shan as he swept her body. He had seen the performance of all three of them.
Zhao Feng used his great strength to smash down Bai Jing, while Fang Shan used her speed and showed a surprising amount of flexibility as she fought. Huang Ying was more boring in comparison, using trickery by hiding his tokens to make it look like he had none. But, just like Zhouyun said, it did not matter how they got the 12 tokens, only that they got them.
“You can wait over there, once the last few people have managed to pass, you can officially enter the academy.”
Zhouyun did not let his eyes wander around Fang Shan's body any longer. He was rather impressed by her performance, and she did indeed have excellent looks, but Zhouyun was too proud of a man to start making moves immediately. He pointed to the spot where the other 18 people were sitting, indicating for them to head over.
“Li Jun, what is Zhouyun's cultivation?”
Huang Ying was not too comfortable with how Zhouyun was looking at Fang Shan, mixed with the fact that he was already planning on getting his revenge on Zhouyun, he decided to start planning immediately. The first step was knowing just how strong his enemy was.
“Just reached the early stage of the Deity Heart realm. He is around 40 years of age, so he can be considered a decent talent.”
Zhouyun was covering up his cultivation so as to not make the new applicants nervous, but how could he hide anything from Li Jun's eyes? Huang Ying's eyes couldn't help but narrow slightly as he heard Li Jun's words. Deity Heart realm was one of the top cultivation levels in this world, at least as far as Huang Ying knew.
It seemed like getting his revenge on Zhouyun would be much harder than he thought. Huang Ying slightly shook his head and threw the thoughts out of his head, his mouth curving into a faint and sinister smile. It would be harder to get his revenge, but he would get his revenge nonetheless. Huang Ying was a patient person, he would wait as long as it took to get his revenge.
Not long after Huang Ying arrived in the square, the rest of the people who passed started arriving in the square. Huang Ying sat in an inconspicuous spot with Zhao Feng and Fang Shan, watching the other people. He noticed that despite both of his arms being broken, Bai Jing still managed to gather up 12 tokens in the end, passing the test.
“Congratulations on passing the final test. There are no longer enough tokens for anyone else to pass, so the test is now over. Welcome to Eastern Wind Academy.”
Zhouyun brought out the people that did not manage to pass, as well as the bodies of those who had died, before he announced the result. He produced a brilliant smile as he looked at the 43 people who passed, not even sparing a glance at those who had died or not passed.
Chapter 112: Entering Eastern Wind Academy.
“Please follow me, I will take you to formally enter the academy while also explaining how things work here.”
Zhouyun indicated towards the large gate as he spoke, taking the lead and heading into the academy. The 43 people who passed all started following him, entering through the large gate.
Passing through the gate was like entering a new world. Once they entered the gate, Huang Ying noticed that not only had the sound of the city completely vanished, the Qi was much more abundant after they entered the gate. The amount of Qi in here was easily five times the amount of Qi that was in the outside world. The entire academy was clearly surrounded by a massive array that isolated it.
“Let me start by telling you the main rule of Eastern Wind Academy, battles are fine, but intentionally crippling or killing your opponent is completely forbidden. Anyone caught intentionally doing either of these, will be imprisoned or expelled.”
As they were following a small road that was made out of what seemed to be light green jade, Zhouyun started talking, his voice loud and clear. Of course, while it was forbidden to intentionally kill or cripple, accidents happened all the time, especially during very close fights.
“Here in Eastern Wind Academy, we have something called contribution points. Everything relies on these points. To enter the better cultivation grounds, buying weapons, techniques, herbs, and all other types of items cost contribution points. Even attending classes or getting a better room or food costs contribution points, the only thing that is free is the standard food and lodgings.”
As they were walking, Zhouyun took out several milky white jade tokens from his interspatial ring. Each jade token was engraved with the insignia of Eastern Wind Academy. He handed each of the 43 people one jade token.
“Once you drop your blood on this jade token, binding it to you and you alone, you can use it to keep track of your contribution points and any missions that you have accepted. It will also let you see the ranking lists, browse the inventory of the Treasure House, browse the various available missions, as well as contact other students.”
Zhouyun explained what the jade tokens did, and the 43 people each dropped some blood on it. After the blood sank into the token, the token lit up for a short moment before vanishing into their bodies. Huang Ying waited for confirmation from Li Jun that it was safe before he dropped his blood on it.
“Every month you will receive a certain amount of contribution points based on your ranking within the academy. There are three different rankings, the Man Rankings, the Earth Rankings, and the Sky Rankings.”
“The Man Ranking ranks students based on how many contribution points they have earned through working the jobs that the academy offers. The Earth Ranking ranks students based on how many contribution points they have earned through undertaking different missions outside of the academy. The Sky Ranking ranks students based on their combat strength.”
As Zhouyun spoke, he took out a jade token that looked like the one he had just given them, but his was indigo in color. The token lit up and a large amount of names started flashing in the air above the token, showcasing the three ranking lists.
“In one month, after you have gotten accustomed to the surroundings, we will hold a tournament where you can show off your strength. This is so that we can give you an approximate ranking in the Sky Ranking. Including the 43 of you, this academy now has around 10 000 students, so do not be surprised when you are ranked at the very bottom of these 10 000 students.”
There was nearly no limit to how long a student could stay at Eastern Wind Academy, only a cultivation limit. Once a person reached the realm above Deity Heart, they could no longer stay a student, but had to become an elder.
“There are several teachers here that each teach different subjects, but to attend these classes you will have to pay contribution points. The more popular classes that feature stronger teachers and subjects that many people wish to learn, cost more to attend, often having a limit on how many can attend.”
While they were walking, Zhouyun pointed at various mountains and buildings, explaining their purpose. This was after all an academy, so they of course had people who could teach others the things they knew, whether it was fighting techniques or survival techniques.
“You can go to the restaurant whenever you want, but to eat anything but the standard meal, you will have to pay. The Treasure House buys and sells various items. If you are looking for anything, you will find it here.”
The restaurant was a large building made entirely out of stones that were colored a faint orange. A large bowl of rice was engraved into the stone at the top of the building. The simple word Restaurant was engraved right next to the bowl.
The Treasure House was located not far from the restaurant, and it was just a simple building that seemed to consist of only a single small room.
“The Mission Central handles all missions that take place outside the academy. They will not stop you from accepting any missions, but if you were to take a mission that was too hard for you and end up dying, it will be your own fault.”
Mission Central was another building that followed the style of the Treasure House, but it was slightly larger, seemingly made out of three small rooms instead of just one.
“We have a myriad of cultivation grounds, some contain more Qi than others, while some are skewed towards one particular element. Each month, you get one free hour inside any cultivation ground that is not restricted. Any further time inside the cultivation grounds will cost you points.”
“The arena is where you can battle to your hearts content. Fighting and winning against people who are lower ranked than you will earn you no contribution points, unless you bet on the fight of course. Every victory against someone at a higher rank than you earns you a certain amount of points, based on the rank difference.”
“Of course, if you were to try and cheat the system, like say willingly losing to someone at a lower rank, and then fighting and beating that same person to rise in rank, you will be expelled.”
Eastern Wind Academy would not be so stupid as to allow students to use cheap methods like this to acquire contribution points. If they wanted to earn extra points, they would have to put forth some actual skill and strength.
“Punishment Hall takes care of everything that goes against the rules of the academy. If you were to kill someone on purpose, they will punish you. Punishment Hall also contains the Life and Death Arena.”
As he spoke about Punishment Hall, even Zhouyun couldn't help but shudder slightly. Punishment Hall did not care who you were or what status you had, if you broke the rules, you would face the consequences.
“If you have a feud with a fellow student that simply cannot be reconciled, you can ask to use the Life and Death Arena to fight a battle to the death. Unless there are five elders that disagree with the fight, the fight will take place, with only one person surviving.”
“;Most students will band together into something we call associations, groups of like minded students. Associations will often ask you to pay a price to join them, but will in return protect you from attacks from other associations. Think carefully before joining any associations, as it is hard to know what they really want from you when you join them.”
The academy did not stop students from forming associations, as they considered them a form of healthy competition. There would often be fighting between the different associations, but this was a good way of teaching the students how the real world worked.
“After you enter this building, you will be introduced to several guardians. These guardians will be in charge of helping you get accustomed to the academy. You will be divided into several different groups, with each guardian taking care of a single group. You will then also have the chance to meet other students who have recently joined the academy through other means.”
Zhouyun stopped outside a large building made out of golden stones, it looked more like a palace than a normal building, with spires and towers reaching towards the clouds.
Under the light of the sun, the entire building seemed alight with golden flames. There were no words or decorations engraved on the building, but it's majestic and grandiose air made it noticeable from anywhere in the academy.
“Well then, I hope you enjoy your stay in my Eastern Wind Academy. Should you have any troubles, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will do my best to help you.”
Zhouyun gave a bright smile as he opened the doors to the golden palace and indicated for the 43 people to follow him.
Chapter 113: Split into three groups.
Just as Zhouyun opened the doors to the golden palace, Li Jun's shocked voice rang out in Huang Ying's mind, stopping him from taking a step closer to the palace. This was the first time he had heard Li Jun this shocked.
“What is it?”
While Huang Ying asked, his entire body subtly tensed up, ready to burst out with his full power to flee. Anything that could cause Li Jun to be shocked was definitely something extremely grand.
“A perception just swept over the group here, scanning the people. If it was just a normal person's perception, I would not care, but this perception belonged to someone I never expected to find here, Huo Fei Tang. I thought that old ghost died long ago, even earlier than me.”
Li Jun had clearly sensed Huo Fei Tang's perception sweep over this group of people. They had traveled together for so many years in the past, there was no way he would mistake that old ghost's perception for someone else's. He had always thought that Huo Fei Tang died in that gruesome war so many years ago.
“With him alive, it is going to be much more troublesome. If I were to be too active inside the academy, there is a good chance that he would discover me. While we were good friends in the past, I cannot reveal that I am still alive. I have far too many enemies that will stop at nothing to completely destroy me. Unless it is an emergency, do not call upon me.”
While he was alive, he had simply had too many enemies. He died because he was careless for but a short moment, which allowed his enemies to locate and surround him. Had he not reacted quickly and separated his soul and body, he would have truly died back then.
After he finished his words, Li Jun stopped talking and retreated as deep into Huang Ying's mind as he could, covering up all traces of his existence. Of course, since he was in Huang Ying's mind, no matter how deep he went, he could never hide from Huang Ying.
Huang Ying felt like complaining to Li Jun, but ended up just staying quiet and heading into the golden palace. He himself had enemies that he wished to stay hidden from, so he could understand what Li Jun was facing now.
Entering the golden palace lead them into a massive empty hall, a large red carpet covering the floor. There were a large amount of doors covering the walls of the hall, but all of them were closed. At the other end of the hall were a few steps that led up to a few large golden thrones that stood side by side, there were nine thrones in total.
At each side of the hall stood several tall pillars, each reaching all the way to the ceiling. The pillars were all engraved with carvings of different Demonic beasts and people. Huang Ying managed to recognize the Four Guardian Beasts, but none of the others.
After they reached the middle of the large hall, Zhouyun signaled them to stop. After the 43 people stopped, Zhouyun walked over to the bottom of the stairs and gave the nine thrones a deep bow. After he gave the bow, the space around three of the thrones started distorting.
After a short moment, three people appeared on the three thrones, each sitting on their own throne. The people were covered in a silver shroud, preventing the group of people from clearly seeing their forms or faces. One of the three people waved his hand, and two of the doors that lined the walls opened.
One person walked out from each door. The first person was a male youth clad in simple robes that were colored a light orange. His head was covered in unkempt blonde hair that slightly hung down over his green eyes. He had a mellow smile that seemed to fill whoever looked at it with a sense of peace. He sauntered over and stood next to Zhouyun.
The second person was a female youth who looked like she had just reached 20 years of age. She had long and silky black hair that hung down to a little over her waist. Her face could be considered extremely beautiful.
She had two black eyes that seemed to shimmer in the light, a pleasant smile on her cherry red lips, and a small nose that made one want to pinch it. Her body was well proportioned, with a slender waist, plump thighs, and breasts that would fit perfectly in one's hand. She was dressed in a light green, tight fitting dress that stopped a little bit above her knees, showing off her legs.
Seeing this girl walk out, besides the group of 43 people being slightly absent minded at her beauty, both Zhouyun and the male youth clad in light orange robes were shocked. They had not expected the last of the three guardians for this group of newcomers to be her. The girl walked over to Zhouyun and the other youth, politely greeting them.
“We three are the guardians that are responsible for making sure that you get accustomed to life within the academy. I am sure that you already know Senior Brother Liao Zhouyun. I am Senior Brother Song Zhihao. This is Junior Sister Xiao Mei.”
The youth in light orange robes did not stay shocked for long. He turned his eyes from the girl and turned towards the group of people standing there waiting. He cupped his hands and gave a quick introduction of himself and the female youth.
“We will divide the 43 of you into three groups, each one of us taking care of one group. If you do not mind, we will start immediately. Senior Brother Zhouyun, why don't you start?”
The female youth, Xiao Mei, gave a quick bow and greeted the group. Her voice was sweet and pleasant, cleansing the heart of everyone who listened to it. She turned to Liao Zhouyun and indicated for him to start choosing.
“Since Junior Sister Mei says so, then I hope you won't mind my rudeness.”
Liao Zhouyun gave a faint smile before he turned towards the group of people. He stepped forward and started pointing at different people and calling them over, making them stand a little bit behind him. After he pointed out 15 people, he stepped back.
“Senior Brother Zhihao, after you.”
Xiao Mei smiled at Song Zhihao, indicating that he should pick the next people. Song Zhihao smiled back and stepped forward, picking out another 15 people and calling them over.
“The rest will be given to you Junior Sister Mei. I am looking forward to seeing the final rankings.”
Song Zhihao stepped back after picking 15 people, leaving the last 13 people to Xiao Mei. After he finished his words, Song Zhihao took the 15 people he had chosen and headed towards the exit of the golden palace. Liao Zhouyun did the same with his 15 people.
Xiao Mei walked over to the remaining 13 people and gave a sweet smile before she indicated for them to follow her. After the 43 people had been split into three groups, Fang Shan had been chosen by Liao Zhouyun, Zhao Feng had been chosen by Song Zhihao, while Huang Ying was in the last group of people, ending up with Xiao Mei.
Chapter 114: Tour of the academy.
“This is where you will be living for the foreseeable future. If you manage to gather up enough contribution points, you can move to better accommodations, but very few people manage to do that in their first or second year here.”
Xiao Mei brought the group of 13 people to a small mountain that stood a short distance away from the golden palace. There were several small cottages placed around the mountain, serving as homes for the newer or poorer students.
All the cottages were made out of simple wooden logs, and contained only a single bed, a small table, as well as a bathroom. The cottages were very simple, but there was an array beneath each cottage that gathered the Natural Qi in the surrounding area.
“Excuse me Senior Sister Xiao Mei.”
After they arrived at the cottages, one of the people in the group raised his hand and spoke out. Xiao Mei turned towards the youth and sent him a sweet smile as she spoke.
“Please, just call me Senior Sister Mei. What are you wondering about?”
“I was just wondering what final rankings Senior Brother Zhihao was talking about before he left.”
the male youth could not help but turn slightly red as he spoke. A person like Xiao Mei who was not only beautiful, but also kind, often had a terrifying effect on people with weaker minds.
“The final rankings are something of a bet between the guardians. Whenever a new batch of students arrive, the guardians will all bet on which group will have the best results after a set amount of time.”
“In one month, there will be a competition to see where on the Sky Ranking you will rank. There will be another such competition at the end of the year, just before the Immortal's Garden opens. The group that has the best result in these competitions will be crowned the winner, and their guardian will win the bet, acquiring whatever prize they bet on.”
Xiao Mei let out a faint laugh as she spoke, looking like she did not care about the bet at all. After she let out the laugh, she indicated for the 13 people to each choose one of the cottages.
Most of the people quickly started checking each of the cottages closely, trying to see if there were any cottages that were better than others. Huang Ying simply chose the closest cottage and entered it, closing the door behind him.
He noticed that when he closed the door, an array seemed to activate. The array completely isolated the cottage, blocking any outside noise and distraction. Huang Ying couldn't help but let out a slight noise in admiration, the way things were done in Heaven's Crossroads City were much more thorough than in Green Willows Continent.
He checked out the rest of the cottage, but besides the array that attracted the Natural Qi in the area, there was nothing else. He left the cottage and returned to the area in front of it. Most of the people had chosen a cottage for themselves now, so they had all returned to the area around Xiao Mei.
“Now that you have all chosen your future homes, let us go take a closer look at the different areas at your disposal.”
Seeing that everyone had returned, Xiao Mei let out a smile and started leading them away from the cottages. She started by taking them to the restaurant and showing them how it looked on the inside.
The inside of the restaurant was divided into three floors. The bottom floor was a single large room with long tables and benches for students to sit at. There were currently a few students sitting there eating.
The second floor featured tables and chairs that could seat four people, these tables and chairs were more spread out, allowing for more privacy. The third floor did not have any tables and chairs, but it had several rooms that people could rent, allowing them to eat in a completely isolated environment.
The next place she took them was the Treasure House as well as the Mission Central. The two buildings were very similar, both in appearance and size. The Treasure House was just a single room, with a large crystal pillar at the center and a counter at one end of the room. An old man with a face covered in wrinkles and long white eyebrows sat behind the counter.
To purchase anything, they could either use their jade token, or send their Qi into the crystal pillar to see what was available. They would then go to the counter and talk to the old man behind the counter, letting him know what they were buying. Once they had paid the contribution points, the old man would go and fetch the item.
Mission Central consisted of three rooms, each room looking the same as the Treasure House. The first room was for taking on missions of the Man difficulty, missions that people at the Xiantian realm could complete.
The second room was for taking on missions of the Earth difficulty, missions that people at the Yin-Yang Formation realm could complete. The third room was for taking on missions of the Sky difficulty, missions that could only be completed by people at the Immortal Ascension realm or higher.
The arena was the next place that they were introduced to. The arena was in the shape of a circle, with one large platform at the very center. This platform was surrounded by several smaller platforms. There were seats lining the surroundings of the arena, allowing the spectators to observe all the platforms.
“We are forbidden from entering Punishment Hall unless we have official business, so I cannot show you how it looks on the inside. I sincerely hope that none of you ever need to see how it looks inside.”
Xiao Mei stopped outside a large building made out of black metal, a grim atmosphere and pressure radiated forth from the building. This building was Punishment Hall, the nightmare of many students.
“All associations build their own headquarters, so I will not show you around the associations. You will have to choose on your own which association you feel is best for you to join. Who knows, you might not even join any association.”
Associations were created and run by the students. The academy would give them some places where they could build a headquarter, but nothing else. If someone came in and stole the spot that an association had been given, the academy would also not interfere.
“What association are you part of Senior Sister Mei?”
Someone among the group of 13 people quickly shouted out after Xiao Mei's words sounded. After hearing the shout, the other male youths in the group quickly strained their ears, afraid that they would miss even the slightest word Xiao Mei spoke.
“I am not part of any association. I have always liked being free and relaxed.”
Xiao Mei shook her head as she spoke, letting out a small laughter. After answering, she clapped her hands and let out another sweet smile at the group as she spoke.
“Now then, how about we go look at some cultivation grounds?”
(i have fixed the patreon, so now patreons can read up to two chapters ahead. i have also created a discord for people who want to talk about the story or give advice.
Chapter 115: Cultivation areas.
After hearing Xiao Mei's words, the group immediately grew excited. The main reason most people joined an academy was to acquire resources as well as use their cultivation grounds. Eastern Wind Academy was especially famous for containing a wide variety of cultivation grounds.
“Excellent enthusiasm, please follow me then.”
Xiao Mei led the group of people around, making sure that everyone remembered the path they were taking. Most cultivators had excellent memory, so remembering the path would be no problem.
“This is the cultivation area for people with the fire element, anyone here who has the fire element or a similar element can enter now. Since this is your first day here, you all have half a day of free time.”
A short distance away from the group stood a large mountain, a cave opening leading into the depths of the mountain. Despite the distance between them, Huang Ying could feel a warm wind escape the entrance of the cave. There was clearly something inside the cave that released a strong heat.
For people who had the fire element, cultivating in places where there was actual fire or strong heat was much better than normal cultivation. The stronger the heat, the larger the benefits they would get from cultivating there. Two people from the group immediately ran towards the cave and entered the mountain.
Seeing no one else enter the cave, Xiao Mei led the rest of the group away from the mountain. The next place she stopped was by a deep valley. The group stood on top of a hill, allowing them to look into the depths of the valley.
The entire valley was covered in snow and ice, a harrowing chill lingering in the air. Huang Ying could see a small pond at the center of the valley, placed at the area where the cold was at it's worst. Yet despite the harrowing cold, the pond seemed completely unaffected, the water had not even frozen.
“Everyone with the ice element or similar elements can enter this valley, but do not get too close to that pond, otherwise there is a good chance that you will die there.”
Xiao Mei turned towards the group of people and warned them, only letting the four people who had the right elements enter the valley after they had nodded their heads and assured her that they would stay away from the pond.
Xiao Mei still did not leave just yet, instead choosing to wait there and watch the people who entered the valley. After she made sure that no one got too close to the pond, she led the rest of the group to the rest of the cultivation areas.
“This area is for people cultivating in the earth or rock like elements, as well as those seeking to train their bodies.”
The next stop was another cave dug into a mountain. But this cave did not release a warm wind, it did not release any wind in fact. Huang Ying could not sense anything unusual about this cave.
“Anyone who wishes to enter this cave must be careful, as the gravity inside it gets stronger and stronger the deeper you head.”
Seeing the confusion on their faces, Xiao Mei opened her mouth and explained a bit about the cave. Hearing her words, Huang Ying couldn't help but be slightly shocked. He had never even heard of any arrays or natural occurrences that could increase the gravity of an area.
Another three people left the group and entered the cave, leaving behind only Huang Ying, Xiao Mei, as well as three other youths. Xiao Mei brought the four of them and left the cave, bringing them to the next area.
The next area was another mountain, with another cave that led into the depths. But there was no heat coming from this cave, there was instead a tingling sensation that spread across Huang Ying's body as he approached the cave.
“The inside of this mountain has been hollowed out by the founder. Inside it you will find an array that produces an endless amount of lightning, increasing in strength as you head deeper into the mountain. This area is for people who use the lightning element.”
Xiao Mei gave a description of the area to the three remaining youths. The three remaining youths quickly ran into the cave with excited expressions, leaving behind only Huang Ying and Xiao Mei. Huang Ying was just about to enter the cultivation area as well, when Xiao Mei's voice rang out an stopped him.
“There is no need to enter that area, we have a special area for people like you and me, people with multiple elements. Come.”
Xiao Mei spoke with a sweet smile, grabbing onto Huang Ying's sleeve as she dragged him along. Huang Ying did not stop her from dragging him along, only slightly narrowing his eyes when she grabbed his sleeve.
The place she dragged him to was a house that was placed next to a small lake. The house resembled the cottages that they were given after entering the academy, but this house had five rooms instead of just two.
Xiao Mei dragged Huang Ying after her into the house and closed the doors behind them. There was no furniture inside the house, all five rooms were completely empty. Huang Ying could feel that there was a powerful array located beneath each room, but he did not know how to activate it.
“There are arrays beneath each room that can be activated by inserting your Qi. Inserting just fire Qi will make the array produce fire, while inserting multiple types of Qi will make the array produce multiple elements.”
Xiao Mei saw Huang Ying examine the floor of the array and let out another sweet smile as she spoke. She let go of his sleeve and placed her hand on the floor, inserting her Qi into the array beneath the room.
After she inserted her Qi, the room suddenly changed. The floor and walls disappeared, and the two of them appeared on a frozen wasteland. The ground beneath their feet was frozen, but there were large bolts of lightning arcing through the air above them.
“I can use both the lightning and the ice element, just like you, so this cultivation room is perfect for us.”
Xiao Mei sat down on the ice and patted the ground in front of her, indicating for Huang Ying to sit down in front of her. Huang Ying narrowed his eyes for a short moment before he put on a faint smile and sat down in front of Xiao Mei.
Chapter 116: Three things to do.
“So why did you join Eastern Wind Academy? Oh, if you don't want to respond, you don't have to.”
Seeing Huang Ying sit down in front of her, Xiao Mei's smile grew even brighter. Her eyes gleamed with curiosity as she looked him up and down.
“A friend invited me to join, and since I had nothing better to do, I decided that I might as well join.”
Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders as he spoke. It was not wrong to say that Xin Yang had invited him to join the academy, he had given him a token that would allow him to take the entrance test immediately after all.
“Oh? You already had a friend here? Who is it, maybe I know him.”
Xiao Mei let out a sound of surprise when she heard Huang Ying's words. Since he could invite him to join the academy, it meant that this friend of his had a rather high status within the academy.
“His name is Xin Yang. I met him as I was traveling and we found that we both hit it off quite well, so he invited me to join the academy.”
Huang Ying explained with a faint smile, giving a vague description of how he and Xin Yang had met.
“You were out traveling? I rarely get to leave the academy, so you have to tell me about the adventures you have had in the outside world.”
Xiao Mei's eyes gleamed with excitement when she heard Huang Ying say that he had been out traveling. She moved her body closer and leaned forward as she talked, looking like she was listening expectantly.
Huang Ying had a faint smile and started talking. He did not talk about the things he had done, but instead used the memories of the people he had devoured to come up with many stories that sounded exciting. He continued to talk for half a day, spending all the time he had for cultivating on talking.
“Oh no! Half a day has already passed, so you will have to leave the cultivation area. It is my fault that you could not cultivate in peace. You have to let me make it up for you tomorrow. “
Xiao Mei suddenly smacked her forehead as she exclaimed. Half a day had passed, so Huang Ying no longer had any free time within the cultivation area. And since he did not have any contribution points, he could not buy more time in the cultivation area.
She hurriedly stood up, grabbing onto Huang Ying's arm and pulling him up, apologizing profusely. Huang Ying still kept a faint smile as he spoke in a tranquil voice.
“There is no need to worry about it, time spent chatting with a beauty is not wasted.”
He let out a faint chuckle after speaking and injected his Qi into the array beneath them. Once his Qi entered the array, the frozen wasteland vanished, and they both re-appeared within the house.
“I will find you tomorrow and I will definitely make it up to you.”
Seeing Huang Ying head for the door, Xiao Mei hurriedly followed him as she spoke up. Huang Ying did not respond, only maintaining that faint smile of his. He followed Xiao Mei to the other cultivation areas as she picked up the other students.
After she had picked up all the students, she lead them all back to the cottages that they had picked out before heading to the cultivation areas. Xiao Mei bid them all farewell, even waving at Huang Ying, before she left, eliciting envious gazes from the other male youths.
Huang Ying ignored the gazes and entered his cottage. After closing the door to his cottage, he sat down on the bed and couldn't help but narrow his eyes. In his mind, he was playing back every interaction he had had with Xiao Mei.
“I don't know what you're planning, but I hope you don't expect everything to go your way.”
Huang Ying leaned against the wall as he muttered to himself. He was now convinced that Xiao Mei was planning something with him. From the reactions of Zhouyun and Zhihao when she arrived, it was clear that she had a somewhat special status in the academy.
If she was just friendly to everyone, Huang Ying could still believe that she was just that type of person, but she was a bit too friendly. The moment the two of them were alone, she immediately became more intimate, grabbing onto him and dragging him along.
She also knew that he used the ice and lightning element, something that only Zhouyun could know. Huang Ying had only used his lightning element during the first three tests, but during the test inside Zhouyun's spatial treasure, he was forced to use his ice element.
This obviously meant that Zhouyun knew that Huang Ying could use both ice and lightning. Huang Ying had not seen Zhouyun use a Transmission Jade, so the odds of him telling anyone was low.
So how did Xiao Mei know? And why was she so friendly and intimate with Huang Ying? He did not have an answer to these questions as of yet, but he would make sure that he found the answers eventually. He did not like people scheming against him.
Huang Ying closed his eyes and arranged his thoughts for a short moment, organizing the things he felt that he needed to do while in the academy. There were currently three things he wanted to do in this academy.
The first one was to forge his weapon, this he could do right now. The second one was to enter the Immortal's Garden and see what was inside it, there was still a year until the garden opened, so he would have to wait.
The third was to find a way to meet Jing He again, this possibly needed him to join the Dragon Meeting. If it required him to join the Dragon Meeting, he would have to wait for around three years.
Huang Ying opened his eyes and made up his mind. He would play along with Xiao Mei for the time being. At least until he found out exactly what she was planning, and who had made her do it.
Chapter 117: Xiao Mei.
After making up his mind, Huang Ying took out the white jade token that he got upon entering the academy. He sent a message to Fang Shan, telling her to be careful around Zhouyun, as it seemed that there was someone planning something with them.
After talking a bit with Fang Shan about how they would act, he sent a message to Xin Yang. He first sent a message telling him that he had arrived at the academy and joined it. He then sent another message to Xin Yang, asking him about Xiao Mei.
He continued to wait for around half an hour, but seeing as he had still not gotten a reply from Xin Yang, he could only assume that Xin Yang was currently unable to answer him.
He then opened up the ranking lists that Zhouyun had showed them after they entered the academy. He started by checking the Sky Rankings for a few names. Zhouyun and Zhihao were easy to find, as they were ranked near the top. Zhouyun was rank 9, while Zhihao was rank 27.
After finding these two names, Huang Ying went through the rest of the rankings, even checking the Man and Earth Rankings. After checking all the rankings, he put away the jade token and furrowed his brows.
He had checked every rank, but he had not found Xin Yang or Xiao Mei on the rankings. He could say that Xin Yang was not on the rankings because he was too weak, but there was no way Xiao Mei was not on the rankings.
Since she became one of the three guardians for this batch of students, it was clear that she was on the same level of strength as Zhouyun and Zhihao. This meant that she was not on the rankings not because of lack of strength, but because of some other reason.
Huang Ying continued to wrack his brains, trying to find a reason, but he only came up blank. He shook his head and threw the thought out of his mind. If worst came to worst, he would just have to do his best to escape.
He sat down on the bed in the lotus position and calmed his breathing. He closed his eyes and started focusing on slowly absorbing the Natural Qi in the surroundings.
At the same time, he also split off part of his focus and used it to control the Qi within his body and surroundings, having it take on different shapes. He did this to increase the control he had over Qi, allowing him to use it more proficiently in a fight.
Using the devouring element to devour other peoples strength was a quick way to strengthen himself, but Huang Ying did not let this get to his head. Everything would have to be done one step at a time. He refused to let himself rely solely on the devouring Qi to grow stronger, he would also rely on his own hard work.
While Huang Ying was focusing on slowly absorbing and controlling the Qi around him, Xiao Mei was sitting on a luxurious bed in a majestic palace and talking to a jade talisman in her hand.
“It has only been half a day grandfather, how can anything have happened already?”
Xiao Mei shook her head as she spoke to the jade talisman. She had only met Huang Ying half a day ago, how could her grandfather expect any results this early.
“What are your thoughts on him?”
An old and hoarse voice rang out from the jade talisman in Xiao Mei's hands. The volume of the voice was low, but the words reverberated throughout the entire room.
Xiao Mei tilted her head to the side for a short moment, going over everything she had done with Huang Ying. After a short moment of silence, she opened her mouth, her brows slightly furrowed.
“He is mysterious. When I touched him, I could sense an abnormally strong power in his body. He looks rather refined and delicate, but it is clear that his body has almost transcended the Xiantian Realm in toughness.”
She had only touched him for a short moment, but she had clearly felt the explosive strength hidden within his body. It was like a dormant monster lying in wait. The strength was no threat to her, but she was still extremely shocked to find it within the body of a boy at the early stage of the Xiantian realm.
“And then there are his eyes. He had a faint smile on his face the entire time, and looked at everything with curiosity, but his eyes were frighteningly calm. When I look into his eyes, it is like looking into a black hole, I can't read anything from them.”
Huang Ying's eyes were the thing that caught her attention the most. Even when the two of them sat and chatted, with her moving closer and closer as they talked, his eyes kept their same frightening calm. They were like two black holes that devoured everything before them.
“Good, only a man like that can be worthy of you. Don't underestimate him because of how weak he is now, that child will surely become a true monster in the future. Do whatever you can do build a good relationship with him. If you can manage to seduce him and have a child with him, that would be for the best.”
After a short moment of silence, the old voice rang out from the jade token once more, a slight chuckle accompanied it. Hearing the words, a slight blush crept up on Xiao Mei's face. She still did not know why her grandfather had ordered her to get closer to a certain student who had just joined their academy, but she had no choice but to obey his orders.
“Don't worry about anything else and just work on getting closer to him, all will be clear in the future.”
After speaking those words, the jade token in Xiao Mei's hand dimmed. Xiao Mei let out a sigh and shook her head. She was slightly indignant about her grandfather ordering her to get closer to Huang Ying, especially about having a child with him.
But after having met with him, she had to admit that her curiosity had been piqued. She wanted to find out exactly what was so special about this boy, and exactly what it was that gave him those eyes.
Chapter 118: Rank 100 Evergreen Yuan Qiu.
Early the next morning, there was a knock on Huang Ying's door, bringing him out of his cultivation. He stood up from the bed and stretched his body for a short moment, enjoying the sensation of his joints crackling. He walked over to the door and opened it, coming face to face with Xiao Mei.
“Good morning. I still need to repay you for yesterday, so I came to pick you up.”
Before Huang Ying had the time to say anything, Xiao Mei grabbed onto his arm and pulled him out from the cottage. She ignored the gazes of the 12 other people around them and dragged Huang Ying away, heading towards the restaurant.
As he was getting dragged to the restaurant, they encountered several people on the path. But upon seeing Xiao Mei, everyone hurriedly looked away from her, settling their eyes on Huang Ying.
Some looked at him with envy, some with curiosity, and some with confusion. It seemed like they were trying to figure out who he was, to be this close with Xiao Mei.
“You just sit right here and wait, I will be right back with some food.”
After reaching the restaurant, she immediately brought him up to the second floor and found a table where the two could sit alone. She sat him down at the table and walked away to go buy some food. While she was walking away, Huang Ying was inspecting the people around them.
Some of the people just ate in peace, but some looked at Huang Ying with curiosity. Huang Ying noticed that most of the people eating on the second floor were all people who were around the peak of the Yin-Yang Formation Realm.
That was because it cost a fair bit of contribution points to eat the food on the second floor. It was mostly only people who had reached the peak of the Yin-Yang Formation Realm could finish the missions that paid enough to allow them to eat on the second floor.
Xiao Mei quickly returned to the table, carrying a tray filled with food. There was soup, rice, vegetables, some bread, as well as a few different types of meat. All the food in the restaurant was made from Demonic beasts as well as herbs and plants that only grew in places with a large amount of Qi, so it was of the highest quality.
“There was no need for you to do all that, you could have just sent me to get the food.”
Huang Ying stood up and took the tray from her hand, putting it down on the table with a faint smile. Since he had decided to play along with whatever she was planning for the moment, he had to play his part in this charade. Huang Ying was more of a quiet person who preferred action to words, but this situation called for a more kind and suave persona.
“Don't say that, I stole all your cultivation time yesterday, so this is nothing. After we have finished eating, I still plan on taking you to a few of my favorite places in the academy.”
Xiao Mei wore a bright, almost bashful smile as she waved her hand and spoke, completely shocking all the people who were watching. Huang Ying responded with a smile of his own, before he indicated for Xiao Mei to sit down.
“What do you think of the cultivation areas, they are quite special aren't they?”
While the two were eating, they engaged in some small talk, ranging from their personal lives to the academy.
“They truly are magnificent. I thought I had seen a lot in my travels, but I have never seen anything like them. I can't even begin to fathom how they were created.”
These words were Huang Ying's true feelings. The fire and ice cultivation areas could be said to be created naturally, but the lightning, earth, and other cultivation areas were created using arrays. Huang Ying truly could not even begin to understand how complex arrays like that would have to be.
“Junior Sister Mei? What a surprise to see you here, it seems like today will be a good day.”
While they were chatting, a surprised voice suddenly rang out not far from them. Turning their heads, Huang Ying and Xiao Mei could see Zhouyun bringing Zhihao and one other person over to their table. They all had trays of food in their hands, so they were obviously here to eat breakfast.
“What are you saying Senior Brother Zhouyun, I am just here eating breakfast.”
Xiao Mei held a polite smile on her face as she stood up and cupped her hands and greeted the three people who walked over. Huang Ying stood up alongside her and cupped his hands in a greeting as well.
“This should be our new Junior Brother Ying right? You cleared the last test in a very interesting way, but I hope you will put more effort into your cultivation, tricks like that will rarely work in a fight.”
Zhouyun turned towards Huang Ying as he spoke. His voice was calm and pleasing, he even held a worried expression as he spoke. But it was clear that he only said it to slightly humiliate Huang Ying, implying that he was too weak to clear the test without using tricks.
“Thank you Senior Brother Zhouyun, this one will make sure to remember your advice and work hard.”
Huang Ying did not break his persona, he did not even twitch upon hearing Zhouyun's words. He put on a grateful expression and thanked Zhouyun seriously, looking like he had not even understood what Zhouyun was implying.
“Let me introduce you. You already know Junior Brother Zhihao, so I won't introduce him again. This is Junior Brother Yuan Qiu.”
Zhouyun put on a satisfied expression after hearing Huang Ying's reply. He pointed at the two people next to him, doing the introductions for Huang Ying.
“Greetings Junior Brother Ying.”
The third person in the group, Yuan Qiu, was a slight bit taller than Huang Ying. He had long hair that was colored a deep green, powerful brown eyes, and chiseled features. He wore the uniform of the Eastern Wind Academy. He cupped his hands and gave Huang Ying a polite greeting, but his eyes narrowed slightly as he looked at Huang Ying and Xiao Mei.
“It is a pleasure to meet you Senior Brother Qiu.”
Huang Ying returned the greeting, but he could already feel a headache brewing. It was clear that Zhouyun had come over to make things difficult for Huang Ying, most likely because of how close he was to Xiao Mei.
Huang Ying could also tell that this Yuan Qiu in front of him had some hostility towards him. From the way Yuan Qiu was looking at Xiao Mei, it was clear that he fancied her. Since Huang Ying was so close to a woman he fancied, of course he would show some hostility.
This woman was truly someone who brought misfortune down on him. It wasn't bad enough that she was planning something with him, she even made him enemies just by walking next to him.
This Yuan Qiu was not some nobody, he was ranked number 100 on the Rising Dragon List, Evergreen Yuan Qiu. He could use his Qi to control not just wood, but even the plants in the surroundings. He was only ranked 100, but his strength was still at the very peak of the Yin-Yang Formation Realm.
Chapter 119: A statement.
“Please don't mind us. The two of you can enjoy your breakfast, we won't intrude any longer. Junior Brother Ying, please make sure that you remember my words.”
Zhouyun gave a polite smile and stepped away from the table as he spoke. Zhihao and Yuan Qiu stepped back alongside Zhouyun, moving away from the table. Zhihao had a carefree smile on his face, but Yuan Qiu was still looking at Huang Ying as he was moving away from the table, looking like he wanted to engrave his image into his mind.
“Just ignore them Junior Brother Ying, they are simply aggrieved that I am spending some time with you.”
Xiao Mei narrowed her eyes as she looked at the backs of Zhouyun and Yuan Qiu, before she shook her head and turned towards Huang Ying. She slightly bowed her head and gave a sincere apology.
“Haha, I can't really say that I blame them. After all, I get to enjoy a delicious breakfast alongside the beautiful Senior Sister Mei. I am sure that there are countless people in the academy who would kill to be in my position.”
Huang Ying let out an uproarious laughter as he waved his hand. Hearing his words, even Xiao Mei blushed slightly. It was not the first time someone complimented her, but it was the first time someone had done it in such a loud and straightforward manner. Not to mention the fact that they were surrounded by people.
While Xiao Mei was slightly blushing, even throwing a slightly seductive glare at him, Huang Ying continued eating. The words he spoke were what he really thought. He did not let beauty influence him, but he still had to admit that Xiao Mei was beautiful. And with her strength, there must be countless people in the academy trying to chase after her.
After the two of them finished eating, Xiao Mei dragged Huang Ying towards the cultivation areas. Xiao Mei dragged him over to the lightning cultivation area, but they did not enter it. She instead dragged him to the other side of the mountain, where she made him follow her up a secluded path that lead to the peak of the mountain.
“Look. From here, you can see nearly every part of the academy. It is also very secluded and nearly unknown, so it is one of my favorite spots in the entire academy. You are the first person I have ever showed this spot.”
Xiao Mei sat down at the peak of the mountain, pulling Huang Ying down next to her. She moved her arm in a graceful curve, as if she was trying to showcase the splendor in front of them.
Huang Ying did not say anything, just taking in the sights. From the top of the mountain, he could indeed see almost everything in the academy. He could see the various lakes and forests, the mountains that reached into the sky, he could even see the pure white valley that was ice cultivation area. Mixed with the silence of the surroundings, it made for a wonderful scene.
“It really is a good place.”
Huang Ying couldn't help but nod his head. This place was peaceful and calm, with only the sound of the wind to keep them company.
“Right? When I come here and overlook the land, I always feel so free and unrestrained. Like there is nothing holding me down.”
Xiao Mei's mouth curved into a smile. She pulled up her legs and held her knees tight to her chest, almost curling up into a ball as she spoke. Her voice was still the same as before, but Huang Ying could sense some helplessness and sadness hidden deep within.
“Can you tell me something Junior Brother Ying? Why do you cultivate?”
Xiao Mei did not look at Huang Ying as she spoke, her voice almost as soft as a whisper, like she was scared of hearing his answer.
“I don't want my life to be controlled by others, I want to be in complete control. It's also to make a statement.”
Huang Ying did not need to think before he answered. Ever since he first became able to cultivate, it had always been with the same two goals in mind. He did not want others to control his life, only he would control it.
Xiao Mei slightly tilted her head, looking at Huang Ying as she questioned. She had never heard of anyone cultivating just to make a statement.
“A statement that I can achieve great things even without them. I don't need them, nor these so called gods to help me achieve greatness, I can do it on my own. Everything I want, I will grasp with my own hands.”
As Huang Ying spoke, his mouth curled into what could only be called a cheeky grin. He stretched out his arm and opened his palm, causing everything he could see to fall into his palm. All he had to do now was close his hand, and the entire horizon would be in his grasp.
The people he was talking about were his parents as well as the people that the civilians of this world called gods. His parents abandoned him because he did not awaken any element, or so he thought at least, while he had suffered as a child because the other people of the town thought he had been abandoned by the gods.
He would achieve greatness, reach power people had never even thought possible. All so that he could control his own life, and one day stand in front of the ones called gods and say that he did not need them, all he needed was himself.
Even the devouring element and destruction blood flowing in his body were all his. The devouring element had been his since birth, it had simply needed something to awaken before it showed itself. As for the destruction blood, it was a mixture of the blood of Baku as well as the blood of the Four Guardian Beasts, all things which he had acquired on his own.
Xiao Mei did not respond to him, only looking at him in silence for a short while. The two of them stayed on the mountain top for a while longer, before they left the mountain top to go and cultivate.
Chapter 120: Attracting a heavenly tribulation.
After they left the mountain top, Xiao Mei brought Huang Ying with her to the same cultivation area that they had used the day before. Xiao Mei did not start chatting with Huang Ying this time, allowing him to cultivate in peace for an hour.
She chose not to chat with him this time because besides the half day of cultivation they were given right after entering, they only had one free hour of cultivation per month, any more would cost contribution points.
Huang Ying found that cultivating in that area was a strange experience. He sat cross legged on the icy wasteland, absorbing ice Qi into his body from the ice below him. But while doing so, he was also attracting bolts of lightning from the sky above him, absorbing lightning Qi whenever the bolts struck him.
This caused there to constantly be two streams of Qi entering his body, one that was icy cold, and one that was scorching, producing a very strange sensation as he let the Qi course through his body. Once the Qi had coursed through his entire body, he led it into his dantian, where it entered his World Core and became a part of his strength.
“Now that the one hour is up, let me show you to a few more places in the academy.”
After spending one hour cultivating in silence, Xiao Mei stretched her body and sent Huang Ying a dazzling smile. It was only noon, so there was still plenty of time for her to drag Huang Ying around.
“I'm terribly sorry, but I would like to return to my room and try out a few experiments. Cultivating in such an interesting environment has given me a lot of inspiration for things to try. How about I accompany you tomorrow morning instead?”
Huang Ying put on a very apologetic expression as he spoke, even giving a slight bow of his body. He of course was not going to return to his room to experiment on anything, he was going to forge his weapon.
“Of course you can return to your room. If you don't grasp that inspiration as soon as it shows up, you might lose it forever.”
Xiao Mei was not phased by Huang Ying's refusal, grabbing his arm and dragging him out of the cultivation room as she spoke. She followed him all the way back to his cottage, before she bade him farewell and ensured him that she would come pick him up tomorrow morning.
Huang Ying entered the cottage and closed the door. He checked the array and made sure that the entire room was isolated from the outside world, no sounds coming from the cottage would be heard from the outside.
He sat down at the center of the cottage and started bringing items out from his interspatial ring. He brought out various pieces of ore, crystals, and wood. The last thing he took out was the round metal orb that he took from Jing Yimu in Golden Auction city. Once the orb left his interspatial ring, the temperature of the cottage started slowly dropping.
Huang Ying brought out a vial filled with thick blood and used the blood to inscribe various runes and symbols, forming an array around all the items he had placed at the center of the cottage. Once the array was formed, he took out some Spirit Stones and placed them at various locations in the array.
Once everything was set up, he stood up and used a sharp knife to cut a large gash in his arm. The blood from the gash all landed inside the array and on the items Huang Ying had brought out. He made sure that the destruction blood would not destroy itself after leaving his body, causing both his human blood as well as his destruction blood to enter the array.
As the blood entered the array and dripped onto the items, Huang Ying started channeling his Qi into the array, causing it to light up with a blinding light. The light started out completely white, but it quickly started changing between white, red, blue, and black, each one of his elements producing a different color.
Huang Ying started chanting in a low voice as the array lit up, causing the different items to float up and move towards each other, slowly merging together, the round orb floating at the center of all the items.
They continued to slowly merge for dozens of minutes, until they formed a black orb that floated in the air. There were still a few parts of the orb that were not completely round, nor black, so it was clear that the process was not done just yet.
Huang Ying continued chanting, when he noticed something changing. Small arcs of red lightning started suddenly appearing in the room, the pressure quickly dropping, even the Qi within his body was showing signs of becoming restless. Huang Ying quickly narrowed his eyes when he saw the red lightning.
Red lightning was one of the signs of a a heavenly tribulation. Since Huang Ying was not entering the Yin-Yang Formation realm right now, it could only mean that once he completed the forging of his weapon, it would attract a heavenly tribulation.
If the weapon survived the heavenly tribulation, it would become stronger and more durable. If it failed, the weapon would be completely destroyed. The problem was that Huang Ying was in the middle of the academy right now, if he triggered a heavenly tribulation, people would notice.
Huang Ying did not want to be noticed right now, so he quickly made up his mind to stop the forging process. Since his blood and Qi was used in the forging process, he would suffer some pain and loss upon forcefully ending it, but it was better than being discovered.
Huang Ying immediately tried to extract his Qi and blood from the orb, but was shocked when he noticed that it refused to listen to him. The human blood he inserted during the forging process immediately returned to him, even his ice, fire, and lightning Qi returned to him. But his destruction blood, as well as devouring and destruction Qi refused to return to him, stubbornly refusing his orders.
He tried to forcefully recall it, but it only resulted in the Qi within his body suddenly going rampant, rampaging around inside his body, bringing with it a flesh rending pain.
“You are mine! I don't care about your high and mighty origin, once you enter my body, you belong to me! And you will follow my orders!”
Huang Ying grit his teeth and narrowed his eyes, shouting out as blood started dripping from the corners of his mouth. He did not care if destruction Qi was something that belonged to a being whose sole purpose was to end everything. Once it was inside his body, it had to follow his orders.
Huang Ying reached out with his hand and grabbed onto the orb, forcefully absorbing the Qi and blood that was inside it. The Qi in his body was already running completely rampant, the arcs of red lightning in the room growing more and more numerous.
As he started forcefully absorbing the blood and Qi, the arcs of red lightning started slowly decreasing, but the pain in his body only grew as he absorbed more. He could feel the destruction and devouring Qi stubbornly resist his absorption, trying to stay within the orb.
Huang Ying ignored all the attempts at resisting him, forcefully absorbing the blood and Qi into every part of his body. He was bleeding from all seven orifices, but his mouth had curved into sinister grin. Despite the blood and Qi's attempts at resisting him, their only fate was to be returned to his body.
When he absorbed the last of the blood and Qi inside the orb, he felt like an explosion went of in his head. The orb in his hand shattered and exploded, sending his body flying into the wall of the cottage.
His body was dripping with blood and his consciousness was hazy, but he still did his best to check the room. The arcs of red lightning had all vanished and the pressure was returning to normal, so it was clear that the heavenly tribulation would not descend.
Seeing this, Huang Ying's mouth curled up into a smile as his consciousness drifted into darkness. While he was dripping with blood, he knew that all his wounds would restore themselves in no time, so he could faint without worrying about dying in his sleep.