The Godless one
Chapter 151: Retracing steps.
Huang Ying lead Fang Shan out of the palace, using the same path that he had used to enter the palace back when he first left Green Willows. Outside the palace there was already a large group of people that had gathered, looking at the palace with interest.
They had heard loud screams coming from the palace, and not long after, flames started spreading inside the palace. It had already reached a point where a large part of the palace was engulfed in flames, making it impossible for the Yang clan to put them out. How could the people of the city not be interested?
When Huang Ying and Fang Shan walked out from the entrance of the palace, the people standing in front of the palace could not help but take a step back. The two of them walked out nonchalantly, as if they hadn't done anything. But the bloodstains on Fang Shan's clothing showed that the two of them had most likely been the ones responsible for what had happened inside the palace.
Upon seeing the two of them exiting the palace, an old man standing at the front could not help but mutter in shock. Next to this old man stood several people from Willow's Hope, all of them looking at Huang Ying and Fang Shan with shock.
Huang Ying recognized these people. The old man was the current headmaster of Willow's Hope, Xu Yin. Xu Yin had once placed a tracking mark on Huang Ying after allowing him to partake in the Academy Battle, allowing him to keep a constant watch on his movements. Yet now Huang Ying had reached a height where Xu Yin never even dared hope that he could set foot.
“Why have you returned?”
Xu Yin spoke out after a slight hesitation, not coming up with anything better to ask. After leaving Cloud's End, Xu Yin had helped the Yang palace search for Huang Ying, as he was angry at Huang Ying for killing a teacher that worked for him. Facing Huang Ying now, Xu Yin had no idea how he should act.
“I have not come for you, I have simply come to make a quick visit to my old home.”
Huang Ying could guess that Xu Yin was worried about being killed by him, but the truth was that Huang Ying simply did not care about Xu Yin. Xu Yin was even weaker than Deng Rong, so how could he ever enter the eyes of Huang Ying? Of course, if Xu Yin made any moves against him, Huang Ying did not mind killing him.
“Xu Yin, lend me a bath. If anyone tries to come after us, I won't mind letting more people die.”
After Huang Ying spoke, he took a step forward, bringing Fang Shan with him as he headed towards the Willow's Hope academy. There was still a large amount of blood on her, so it was best to let her clean herself before they continued on their journey.
How could Xu Yin dare neglect any of Huang Ying's words? He gave a few quick orders to the people next to him, ordering them to prevent anyone from following them to the academy, before he himself followed Huang Ying and Fang Shan.
Despite the Yang palace burning and a large crowd of people seeing Huang Ying and Fang Shan enter the Willow's Hope academy, almost no one dared enter the Willow's Hope academy and look for them. There were a few who entered not long after Huang Ying and Fang Shan entered, looking to capture them and bring them to the Yang clan.
But none of them ever got to leave the academy again, their horrified screams being the last thing people ever heard of them. After that, no one else dared think that Huang Ying had been joking when he said that he did not mind letting more people die.
Huang Ying did not care about the commotion taking place in the city, only quietly guarding the room where Fang Shan was showering. Anyone who tried to enter the surrounding area would be killed by him, devoured by his devouring domain. He had dared kill everyone belonging to the Empyrean Phoenix academy, so how could he not dare kill everyone who tried to enter the surrounding area?
It was only after Fang Shan finished cleaning herself and changed into a fresh blue robe and she and Huang Ying left the city that the rest of the inhabitants managed to let out a sigh of relief. They had only killed anyone who tried to get too close, but the entire city still felt fear just at the thought that they were resting in the same city as them.
After leaving Willow's Heart City, Huang Ying and Fang Shan retraced Huang Ying's past footsteps. Fang Shan wanted to travel down the same road that Huang Ying had traveled in the past, so they followed the road to Yellow Winds Town.
“This is where I was forced to flee into the outskirts of the Divine Wilderness, we only called it The Wilderness back then however.”
While walking through the streets of Yellow Winds Town, Huang Ying pointed at a few spots that he felt were slightly memorable. He pointed at the spot where he first fled into the Divine Wilderness, at the store where he and Jing He first bought his blue robes, as well as at the restaurant where his feud with the rulers of this city first started.
“We definitely have to eat there.”
After hearing how his feud with the rulers of the city started, Fang Shan became adamant on the two of them eating in the same restaurant. She practically dragged him into the restaurant, ignoring the snickering gazes of the people around them. Upon entering the restaurant and finding a seat, she once more proceeded to order an almost ludicrous amount of food. Huang Ying could at least breathe a sigh of relief that the food here was cheaper than it was on the Cloud's Reach continent.
“So why exactly did we 'definitely have to eat here'?”
After the food arrived and the two started eating, Huang Ying could resist it no longer and asked the question he had been wondering about. He refused to believe that Fang Shan only wanted to eat here because she was hungry.
“Isn't it obvious? You ate here with Jing He before, so if I don't do the same with you, she will have a leg up on me once she joins your harem?”
Fang Shan slightly tilted her head as she looked at Huang Ying, acting like what she said made perfect sense. Once Jing He joined his harem, the act of the two of them eating here would be something she could hold over Fang Shan, so it was obvious that Fang Shan had to eat here with Huang Ying as well.
“Join my harem? What the fuck are you on about?”
Despite Fang Shan saying it like it was the most normal thing, Huang Ying was still completely dumbfounded. Jing He joining his harem? Since when did he have a harem that she could join?
“You don't want to add her to your harem? I am fine with you having multiple lovers, it is normal for powerful people after all. Father even told me that his ancestor had over 10 lovers. I simply demand that I be the first wife.”
Fang Shan was slightly confused at Huang Ying's reaction. Was his intention not to add Jing He to his harem? Most people at a certain level of power would often have many wives and concubines. Huang Ying was bound to reach that level eventually, so she had expected him to have a few wives of his own. She did not like sharing him, but she had accepted that it was likely to happen, so she had settled for making sure that she was the first wife and that he never abandoned her.
“I have no interest in a harem, I have you after all. Besides, I can barely handle one lover, how could I possibly manage any more?”
Huang Ying raised his eyebrow as he responded. Just Fang Shan alone was almost more than enough of what he could handle in the romance department, so how could he possibly think about getting together with any more people?
He was also perfectly content with having just Fang Shan, as she suited him perfectly. Since he had someone who fit him perfectly right next to him, why would he be interested in other people?
“You are not interested in a harem? What about Jing He then, I thought you loved her?”
Now it was Fang Shan's turn to be surprised. She had thought that Huang Ying was in love with Jing He, so when she saw Jing He arrive at Eastern Wind academy, she had felt rather pressured, forcing her to speed up her getting intimate with Huang Ying.
“What could possibly make you think that? She was only 12 or so when I first met her, so how could I possibly have any thoughts about her? I see her as the little sister I never got, nothing more.”
Huang Ying responded with an exasperated sigh and shook his head. The feelings he held for Jing He had never gone past what he would feel towards a little sister that he had to protect, how did that turn into him loving her?
Fang Shan couldn't help but ask. She did not want to share Huang Ying, so if she could have him for herself, that would be for the best. At the same time, she also felt very happy at how Huang Ying had said that he had no interest in a harem since he had her.
Huang Ying responded with another exasperated sigh, grabbing Fang Shan's chin and planting a kiss on her lips to make sure that he got the point across. Was that how people thought of him? That he was that dissolute in love?
Fang Shan's face lit up with a bright smile after Huang Ying separated his lips from hers. No one wanted to share the person that they liked, so she would obviously prefer this, having him all to herself.
“Excuse me. My name is Tao Dong Ling, and I was wondering if you were willing to follow me to a better table and share stories about your travels.”
After the two of them continued eating, a voice suddenly rang out from not far away. Turning their heads, they saw a group of five male youths heading towards them. The elegant male youth who lead the group gave the two of them a short bow and introduced himself when he was speaking.
He was talking politely, but he could not fool Huang Ying or Fang Shan's eyes. The male youth as well as the four youths behind him were constantly sneaking glances at Fang Shan, a slight lust concealed within their eyes.
Upon seeing this scene, Huang Ying couldn't help but burst out laughing, his loud laughter confusing Fang Shan and the group of male youths. The male youths couldn't help but wonder if he had some problems with his brain.
“Sorry, sorry, don't mind me. It's just that this scene is incredibly reminiscent of the first time I came here. Back then there was someone who tried to lay their hand on Jing He, so I acted incredibly rashly and killed the entire group. Now that I think about it, you kinda look like the people from back then. Are you from the five clans that rule this city?”
Seeing them look at him with confused expressions, Huang Ying stifled his laughter and explained it to Fang Shan. He then turned towards the group of five youths and raised his eyebrow as he asked. The one youth had already introduced himself as someone from the Tao clan, so Huang Ying guessed that the four others were from the other four clans that ruled this city.
“Acted rashly you say? Does that mean you won't kill them if they try to touch me?”
Fang Shan put on a faint smile as she looked at Huang Ying. It might have been a bit rash, but what girl didn't like it when someone acted rashly to defend her?
“Oh no, i'll still kill them all. It just won't be rash anymore.”
Huang Ying responded with a chuckle. It could no longer be considered acting rashly, as there was no one in the city who could threaten him.
“Could it be... Huang Ying?!”
The words of Huang Ying seemed to have caused a few lights to go off in the head of Tao Dong Ling, as his eyes suddenly widened, his face turning deathly pale. He hurriedly took a few steps backwards, almost falling down in fear.
It had been a year since Huang Ying had left Yellow Winds Town, but the story of how he massacred the five patriarchs was still fresh on the lips of the people. Every person belonging to any of the five clans had been given an image of Huang Ying and strict orders that they were to avoid this demon if they ever met him.
Because of him slightly changing in appearance since he left, none of the people in the group of male youths managed to recognize him straight away. Tao Dong Ling could not help but curse his bad luck. It had been a year since Huang Ying left Yellow Winds Town, and he just so happened to run into him on the day he returned?
“You should fuck off. I have no interest in any of you, just leave my sight. I will only stay here for a day or two.”
Huang Ying waved his hand at the male youths, not even bothering to look at them anymore. He only planned to stay here for a few days with Fang Shan, allowing them to get some rest. Unless they provoked him, he could not be bothered to kill these people.
The five youths quickly gave him a deep bow, before turning around and running out of the restaurant at full speed. Despite the five of them leaving, besides the voices of Huang Ying and Fang Shan, the restaurant was completely still. Everyone in town knew the name of the demon Huang Ying, so how could they not be both shocked and terrified upon finding out that he was currently sitting in the same restaurant as them?
Chapter 152: A quick visit home.
After eating at the restaurant, Huang Ying and Fang Shan wandered around the city for the remainder of the day, checking out any shops or locations that caught their fancy. Of course, since news about his deeds had spread around town, most people made sure to give Huang Ying and Fang Shan plenty of space.
It was only on the second day that people started approaching Huang Ying and Fang Shan. Of course, most people were far too terrified to go anywhere near them, but the patriarchs of the five clans kept approaching the two of them.
“For fuck's sake, fuck off!”
Huang Ying couldn't help but curse loudly, delivering a kick to the chest of the middle aged man standing in front of him, sending his body flying backwards. Seeing this, the cheeks of everyone watching couldn't help but twitch slightly. The man who had just been kicked was the current patriarch of the Tao clan, one of the most powerful and influential men in the town.
“I don't give two fucks about your battles, so stop trying to drag me into them.”
The five patriarchs had kept approaching Huang Ying, gifting him various herbs and materials. They were hoping to use him to eradicate the four other clans, allowing their clan to be the sole ruler of the town.
But how could Huang Ying possibly care about their battle for dominance? He only found their repeated visits to be annoying and bothersome. This was already the fourth time the Tao clan patriarch had approached him today.
“We should leave the town ahead of schedule.”
Fang Shan spoke up from next to Huang Ying, eliciting a nod from him. Since so many people in town already knew about him, if they continued staying in town, it would only be a matter of time before news of him spread to the Heaven's Secrets Company. He was trying to travel around without them constantly following him, so the less news they got about him, the better.
Before leaving the town, the two returned to the inn and picked up the few clothes that they had yet to store into their interspatial rings. After that, Huang Ying had Li Jun hide their appearance and they covertly made their way out of Yellow Winds Town and continued their journey.
After leaving Yellow Winds Town, Huang Ying and Fang Shan followed the same path Huang Ying used to first reach Yellow Winds Town after leaving Azure Springs Town.
They traveled through the same forest that Huang Ying and Jing He traversed back then, they even made a quick stop at the spot where Huang Ying had first met the White Tiger.
After the death of the White Tiger, the area was no longer covered in snow and ice, but had instead returned to being a normal forest. Huang Ying and Fang Shan headed down the stairs that lead to where Huang Ying had first seen the White Tiger.
“This is where you met the White Tiger?”
While they were walking down the stairs, Fang Shan let her fingers slide along the walls, feeling the icy air that the strange stone was giving off.
“Indeed. One hell of a coincidence isn't it?”
Huang Ying let his eyes roam around the passage as they walked. The stones still gave off the same icy air as they did back then, the same blue torches still lit up the passage that lead to where the White Tiger had been trapped back then.
“Which one do you believe in?”
The two quickly reached the room where the White Tiger had been imprisoned, but the room was obviously empty now. The thing Fang Shan talked about was whether Huang Ying believed the White Tiger or if he believed in the words of the person who had been imprisoned in the Vast Plain Ruins.
Both parties had told him a different version of the war that they had waged long ago, both had spoken about their own cause and tried to justify their actions. Of course, which one of them he chose to believe was up to Huang Ying.
“Neither really. I wasn't there, so I don't know if either of them was even speaking the truth. Nor do I care. Why should I get involved in their battle? As long as it does not involve me or those around me, they can battle for all eternity for all I care.”
Huang Ying shook his head as he spoke, turning around and leaving the underground prison. The White Tiger wanted him to join the side of the four Guardian Beasts and return balance to the planet. The man imprisoned in the mausoleum wanted Huang Ying to join them and kill the four Guardian Beasts and the three Great Gods.
But why should Huang Ying care? None of that had anything to do with him. As long as both parties were willing to leave him alone, he could not be bothered to do anything against them. Of course, should any of the two sides decide to move against him, he would repay them in kind.
After leaving the underground prison, Fang Shan and Huang Ying took one last detour to the bandit hideout where Huang Ying had first met Jing He. Despite time passing, the bandit hideout was completely abandoned, only a few small animals calling it their home.
After leaving the bandit hideout, the next stop was the location of Azure Springs Town. The area around where Azure Springs Town used to be located was completely deserted and lifeless, even the plants had wilted.
When Huang Ying first awakened his Baku bloodline, it had swallowed the entire town and left behind only an empty basin. It felt like that was several lifetimes ago, but Huang Ying knew that it had only been around one year since that day.
“Is this where Azure Springs Town was?”
Fang Shan looked at the empty basin in front of her as she spoke. Huang Ying had told her about when he first awakened his bloodline, and what it had wrought. But seeing it personally was completely different. It was just a small town, but knowing that it had completely vanished, leaving behind only a large basin that was slowly filling up with water, it sent a slight chill down Fang Shan's back.
“Indeed. There used to be a small hill over there, that is where I lived while I was a child. There used to be a prison over there. I spent six years locked inside a cell in that prison, all because I had been lucky and found a precious herb. It's probably better to say that I had been unlucky when I found it, after all, I was not strong enough to safely carry that herb.”
Huang Ying overlooked the entire basin as he spoke, his voice and expression calm. Using his memories, he pointed out a few places that he felt were memorable, such as his house and the prison where he had spent six years.
“That spot over there, that is where my chest was pierced by a sword and I first awakened my bloodline, devouring the entire town.”
The place where he first awakened his bloodline was engraved into his memory. That pain he felt when his Baku bloodline awakened and rebuilt his body was something that he would never be able to forget.
“Does it torment you?”
Seeing Huang Ying point out the memorable places, Fang Shan couldn't help but ask. Huang Ying often acted indifferent and confident, but Fang Shan knew that he was also capable of feeling sad and in pain. She was worried that the entire town dying for him to be reborn would torment him.
“Not really. It is all in the past, and it's not like there was anyone in the town I cared about. My sister was no longer in the town, and the person I called grandpa was already dead. There was already nothing for me in Azure Springs Town.”
Huang Ying shook his head and responded calmly. Back then, it had tormented him so much that he had repressed the memories. But now he felt nothing about it, there was nothing for him in Azure Springs Town when he devoured it. No one he cared about, nothing he wanted to save, so why bother letting it torment him?
“Let's go, i'm done here.”
Huang Ying sent one last glance at the basin that Azure Springs Town had become, before turning around and leaving. He only came here to remind himself what the price of weakness was. He had been too weak to hold onto that herb, so he had been imprisoned for six years, leading to the death of the person he called grandfather. He never wanted to experience anything like that again.
“Where will we head now?”
Fang Shan slightly nodded her head and followed Huang Ying, silently grabbing his hand. He said that it did not torment him, but she was certain that it was impossible for something like that to not at least gnaw on a person's conscience.
“Back to that underground prison, it is about time I forge my weapon.”
Huang Ying had gathered all the World Cores and Demon Crystals that he needed. He had all the other materials that he required, it was about time for him to forge his spear.
Chapter 153: Starting the forging.
“You plan on doing the forging here?”
After leaving the basin that Azure Springs Town had become, they returned to the underground prison where the White Tiger had been trapped. Fang Shan could not help but be slightly surprised that Huang Ying chose to forge his weapon here. What was the point in heading all the way here just to forge the weapon?
“Yeah. Once I start the forging process, it is very likely that a heavenly tribulation will arrive. Since there is no way for me to hide the heavenly tribulation, it is better to do the forging here, a position that is easily defend-able if we were to be attacked.”
He could not stop, nor hide the heavenly tribulation that would arrive once he started forging. This meant that people would notice that something was going on in the area, they might even come and check it out. If someone that is their enemy arrives and spots him in the middle of taking on the heavenly lightning, that could easily spell disaster for him.
“You expect us to get attacked?”
Fang Shan slightly narrowed her eyes. On the Green Willows continent, who would dare attack the two of them? Was that not the same as suicide?
“It is a possibility. So I will have to rely on you to protect me while I forge the weapon. However, if things get too difficult, call out to me and I will cut the forging short. No need to risk our lives for it.”
Huang Ying nodded his head. He was not too worried about the people living on the Green Willows continent attacking them, he was worried about news of them traveling to the Cloud's Reach continent and someone there sending people after them.
“Don't worry, I won't let anyone set a foot in here, no matter what.”
Fang Shan's lips curled into a smile and she turned around, pulling out her two daggers and leaving the underground prison. For her fighting style, it was better to guard the entrance of the underground prison, where she had more room to move.
“That's exactly what i'm worried about.”
Huang Ying couldn't help but mutter silently as he watched her leave. Since she said that she would not let anyone set a foot into the area, no matter what, it obviously meant that she would put her life on the line if necessary. Forging his spear but losing Fang Shan? Not worth it.
“Li Jun, keep an eye on the surroundings. If worst comes to worst, just warn me and we will immediately flee.”
Huang Ying gave Li Jun a quick message while bringing out the items he needed for the forging. With Li Jun keeping an eye on the surroundings, they would find out about enemies much earlier than they normally would. If the enemy was too strong for them to fight, Li Jun could warn them ahead of time.
“Now you remember me.”
Li Jun's voice sounded out in Huang Ying's head, sounding like he was rolling his eyes in a slightly disgruntled manner. Ever since Huang Ying started traveling with Fang Shan, he had only called upon Li Jun whenever he needed something.
“Quit your whining, you sound like a jealous little girl.”
Huang Ying responded with a slight chuckle. He knew that Li Jun was just faking being disgruntled. If something like that truly made him disgruntled, he would have gotten angry at Huang Ying long ago.
Huang Ying's eyes quickly turned serious as his gaze landed on the materials in front of him. Various metals and Demonic beast parts that he had acquired from the interspatial rings of the people he killed while traveling, as well as a total of 100 World Cores and Demon Crystals.
Huang Ying started with forging the core that would become the base of the weapon. He took out a vial of deep red blood and used it to draw an array on the ground beneath the World Cores and Demon Crystals. This was an array that Li Jun taught him when he first told Huang Ying about the technique to forge the core.
After finishing the array, Huang Ying placed a few Spirit Stones at the corners of the array. Once the Spirit Stones were placed, he crouched down and placed his palms on the array, filling it with his Qi. The array required a large amount of Qi, so the Sprit Stones were there to prevent him from running out of Qi immediately.
The array lit up with a black light that quickly surrounded the World Cores and Demon Crystals, slowly seeping into them and melting them. The array would infuse the World Cores and Demon Crystals with whatever element Huang Ying supplied the array, so he filled it with his devouring and destruction Qi. This way, the spear would be able to utilize all his elements, but be more suited for his two main elements.
As the World Cores and Demon Crystals were slowly melting and fusing together, Huang Ying once more saw those familiar arcs of lightning fill the air around him. But this time, it wasn't just arcs of red lightning, but also some purple and a few golden ones.
Seeing these arcs of lightning, Huang Ying couldn't help but feel like cursing. As far as he knew, heavenly tribulation lightning came in three varieties. The weakest was the red version, then came the purple version, and the final and strongest one was the golden version.
Last time he had tried to forge his spear using the strange orb, he had only summoned red lightning, but now he had not even properly started his forging, but there were already three different types?
Huang Ying shook his head and paid it no more heed. The stronger the heavenly tribulation, the stronger the spear would end up being. He might even be able to use the energy from the heavenly tribulation to increase his own strength.
After spending half an hour melting the World Cores and Demon Crystals, they had fused together and turned into a single orb. The orb was pitch black in color, but there would occasionally be flashes of a silvery-white color, a crimson color, as well as an azure color. These were the different elements Huang Ying could currently use, each color representing a different element.
With the core complete, Huang Ying drew up a new array and placed all the materials, as well as the core, into the array. He cut open his wrist and dripped pitch black blood onto all the materials as well as the array. Once everything was drenched by the blood, he started chanting in a low voice and using his Qi to activate the array.
Fang Shan was sitting on the ground just outside the entrance to the underground prison, her two daggers placed on her lap. She raised her head and looked at the dark red clouds that covered the sky above them, her heart slightly shivering.
“Aren't they lasting a bit too long?”
Fang Shan couldn't help but mutter as she looked at the clouds. She had already been sitting here for a few hours, simply waiting and guarding the entrance. The dark red clouds had appeared around an hour after she left the underground prison, but they had yet to let loose a single bolt of lightning, they were simply floating there silently.
No one had approached the area yet, but Fang Shan's vigilance had not lowered in the slightest. Looking at the dark red clouds, it was clear that the heavenly tribulation that was coming would be terrifyingly strong, how could she possibly dare be lax?
“Little girlie, a few people are approaching the area with hostile intentions. The forging process is almost complete, so do your best to hold them away. There is one who is at the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm, so don't bother attacking, focus on defense.”
While Fang Shan was keeping a close eye on the area, a voice that was a mixture of young and old suddenly rang out in her head, shocking her immensely.
“Who is there?!”
Fang Shan sprung to her feet and readied her two daggers. She had not felt any presence, nor heard any sounds, had someone snuck up on her that easily? Fang Shan quickly swept the surroundings with her eyes, but she did not spot anyone.
“I am not an enemy little girlie. I am a friend of Little Ying, my name is Li Jun. You can ask Little Ying about me later if you are curious.”
The voice rang out in her mind again, a slight chuckle apparent in it's words. Seeing her jump like that from just his words, Li Jun could not help but be slightly pleased.
“Where are you? Why should I trust you? How do I know you are not an enemy?”
Fang Shan would of course not trust the voice just because it mentioned Huang Ying. She continued sweeping the surroundings with her eyes, even spreading out her perception as far as she could, but she still found nothing.
“I have no physical body, so I am residing in Huang Ying's spiritual sea. As for the latter two questions, if I were your enemy, why would I warn you?”
Li Jun's voice rang out in her head with a sigh. He had chosen to warn Fang Shan about the incoming enemies rather than warn Huang Ying. Huang Ying was in the final stage of the forging, if he tried to cut it short now, he would suffer a worse backlash than last time.
Li Jun would of course not just send Fang Shan to her death, Huang Ying would hate and probably kill him if he did that. He had calculated the strength of the enemies, and was certain that Fang Shan would be able to survive if she focused on defense.
“You need to calm down girlie, or I will tell Little Ying about how you have been recently sneaking up on him while he is sleeping and glancing at his face.”
Seeing Fang Shan continue to be on her guard and check the surroundings, Li Jun spoke out again, mentioning something that only he and Fang Shan knew. Of course, Fang Shan had no idea that he knew this.
“You know about that?!”
A cute shade of red spread on Fang Shan's face after hearing those words. Ever since they left Yellow Winds Town, Fang Shan had occasionally sneak up on the sleeping Huang Ying. She was not quite sure what she wanted to do in that situation, so she only ever ended up staring at his sleeping face.
“You think you would have been able to get so close to his sleeping form without me hiding your presence?”
Li Jun's voice rang out with another chuckle. With how on guard Huang Ying was against most people, sneaking up on him without him noticing was hard even when he was awake. When he was sleeping, his guard would only become stronger.
“Get ready girlie, they have arrived.”
Li Jun did not continue talking, his voice growing slightly solemn. After his voice rang out, the sound of leaves and branches being pushed aside sounded out from the forest around the area.
Three people entered the clearing in front of the underground prison, all three clad in the uniform of Eastern Wind Academy. There were two women and one man. The two women looked like twins, with short crimson hair and deep green eyes.
The man had a slim and tall stature, with hair that was light green in some places and deep blue in others. His eyes also followed the same strange pattern, with one being green and the other blue. His face held a refined smile and he held a fold-able fan in his hands.
“Since you are here, it seems that Zhouyun was right. Huang Ying should currently be inside there right?”
The man with the strange hair looked at Fang Shan, a slight smile on his face. He used his fan to point at the descending stairs behind Fang Shan, his atmosphere nonchalant and carefree.
“Rank 98 on the Rising Dragon List, Ocean Wind Xie Gang.”
Fang Shan's face was solemn as she looked at the man. She and Huang Ying had memorized all three ranking lists, so she knew who this man was. He was at the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm and used the water and the wind element, granting him the title of Ocean Wind.
“If you just let us pass and handle Huang Ying, I am certain that Zhouyun would be willing to forgive you. He has taken quite a fancy to you after all.”
Xie Gang still held a refined smile. Zhouyun had ordered him to come here to kill Huang Ying. If Fang Shan resisted, he could kill her as well, but he would prefer to have her alive, even if she was crippled.
“Sorry, but my body belongs only to the future god of destruction.”
Fang Shan's eyes narrowed and turned cold as she raised her two daggers. Li Jun said that Huang Ying was at the last step of the forging process, so there was no way she would let any of these people get past her. There was even less chance of her willingly stepping aside and then serving Zhouyun.
Xie Gang shook his head slightly. The wind around him started raging, while small droplets of blood started appearing around the two girls standing behind him. Since she had refused, they could only cripple her and then continue on with their mission.
Chapter 154: Guarding the entrance.
The moment the wind around Xie Gang grew ferocious, Fang Shang's entire body tensed up. Blackish-blue scales quickly covered her body, two pitch black leathery wings sprouting from her back, her deep golden eyes sending a merciless glare at Xie Gang.
This was not a battle where Fang Shan could afford to take it easy, nor could she afford properly battle them. She could only put all her focus into defending herself as well as defending the small opening behind her.
The first to move was not Xie Gang, but the two twins behind him. They were only at the early stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm, but their blood element seemed to be able to merge together, increasing their strength as long as they were close to each other.
The orbs of blood that were floating around them gathered in their hands, turning into bows of blood. The two quickly drew back the string of the bows, arrows formed from crystallized blood quickly forming, their tips gleaming with a blood red light.
The Two released the arrows at the same time, sending them shooting at Fang Shan like red blurs. The attacks were clearly aiming at her vitals, yet Xie Gang was still only standing at the side with a carefree smile.
After all, Zhouyun had only said that he would prefer they capture Fang Shan alive, not that they had to capture her alive. Xie Gang also did not believe that something as small as these two arrows would be able to kill Fang Shan, if something that weak could kill her, there was no way Zhouyun would have made him come all the way here.
Fang Shan narrowed her eyes as she saw the two red blurs fly at her, she thought about blocking them with her lightning, but she quickly abandoned the idea. Trying to block an attack when she did not know just how much strength it held was a bad idea.
Fang Shan only twisted her body when the arrows were just about to hit her, causing the arrows to fly past her and hitting the ground next to the entrance to the underground prison. The moment the arrows hit the ground, the earth started sizzling and bubbling, vapor rising upwards as the earth was corroded.
Seeing this, it was clear to Fang Shan that the two twins focused on the corrosiveness of the blood element, rather than the life-giving or controlling aspect of it. The corrosiveness of the blood element was powerful, but it was not as dangerous as the controlling aspect. After all, the controlling aspect would even allow you to control the blood of others.
The reason Fang Shan only dodged right before the arrows hit her was that everyone who reached the Yin-Yang Formation realm had much better control over their Qi. Altering the trajectory of their attacks was incredibly simple for them, so it was best to dodge at a time that made it hard for your opponent to properly alter the attack's trajectory.
After the arrows hit the earth next to the entrance, a loud rumbling sound shook the air around them. The dark red clouds above them lit up with a crimson light, a red bolt of lightning shooting down from the clouds and piercing through the earth behind Fang Shan. The heavenly tribulation had begun.
“Well then, I will let these two ladies play with you, I have a date with the little hero behind you. Ladies, do at least try to keep her alive, otherwise Zhouyun will get all cranky with us.”
Xie Gang spoke with a carefree smile, slowly sauntering towards Fang Shan. The two twins nodded their heads, a slight shiver going down their spines. All three of the people that had come here today were lovers of Zhouyun, so they knew just how terrifying he could be when he got angry or cranky.
“Don't worry little Shan, I will be right back to take care of you, so do forgive these two if they get a little rough.”
Xie Gang's movements were carefree and relaxed, like a light summer breeze. But his speed was like a raging tornado, reaching Fang Shan's front before he had even finished speaking.
Fang Shan did not react to his words, her deep golden eyes not betraying any emotion other than cold murderous intent. She quickly moved her arms, her two daggers moving like lightning bolts towards Xie Gang's chest.
Xie Gang simply responded with a carefree smile, lightly twisted his body, and struck out with his left hand. Thanks to the light twisting of his body, Fang Shan's daggers slid past his chest, not even touching his clothing.
Xie Gang continued his attack in an attempt to force Fang Shan to dodge backwards. But how could he have guessed that Fang Shan would not even bother dodging? When his fist approached her abdomen, Fang Shan moved her wrists, causing the two daggers that had slid past Xie Gang's chest to turn and stab into his shoulders.
Thanks to the defense that Xie Gang always maintained, the daggers did not even manage to reach to the bone, but it was still a great shame to him. Someone who wasn't even at the Yin-Yang Formation realm had managed to give him a slight wound, he had never suffered a greater shame since he started cultivating.
At the same time as Fang Shan's daggers stabbed into Xie Gang's shoulders, another rumbling sound shook the air around them. The clouds lit up once more, two bolts of lightning striking down at the same time, one red and one violet.
If anyone had been able to look past the deep red clouds, one would be able to see a massive creature lurking behind the clouds. A body that covered the skies, a crimson crown on it's head, pitch black wings alight with abyssal flames, deep golden eyes that despised all creation, and silvery white scales that shimmered with terrifying power.
It was the same beast that had appeared in the skies when Huang Ying first broke through to the Xiantian realm, but it's once pitch black scales had turned a silvery white, the same as Huang Ying's own scales.
Because of his momentary anger, Xie Gang put more strength into his left fist and slammed it into Fang Shan's abdomen. When his fist hit Fang Shan's abdomen, there was only a soft thud that rang out, but Fang Shan felt like all her organs had been crushed.
“Hurts doesn't it? The pressure of the deep sea is strong enough to crush even Sovereigns.”
Seeing a stream of blood pour forth from Fang Shan's mouth, Xie Gang's mouth slightly twisted. He used his wind element for speed and movement, while he used his water element for attacking, using the pressure of the deep sea to bypass defenses and crush his opponents.
“Man, being on the defensive sucks.”
Fang Shan mutteres slightly in response to his words, spitting some blood at his face as the sound of thunder shook the air around them again, a golden light lighting up the area. Now was not the time for her to worry about the pain, so she ignored it and put all her strength into her arms.
Her daggers were still stabbed into Xie Gang's shoulders, so she didn't have to make a new attack. She simply filled the daggers with as much Qi as she could, and forced them downwards and into Xie Gang's shoulders.
Arcs of black lightning coiled around the daggers as Xie Gang's defense was penetrated, the daggers digging into his shoulder bones. Xie Gang's face slightly contorted as he hurriedly put some distance between him and Fang Shan.
He had been struck by many lightning based attacks before, none which had managed to penetrate his defense. Yet Fang Shan's attack penetrated his defense like it had been paper. He could not help but wonder, how did she do it?
At the same time, he also grew even more furious, not only had he been wounded, she had even spat blood in his face. The corners of his mouth slightly twitched, but his face suddenly lit up with a bright smile. He had spread his perception around the area, and found something that made him extremely happy.
“Make it rain, but make it weak.”
Xie Gang turned towards the two twins and spoke. The two quickly nodded their heads and created a large orb of blood. They shot the orb of blood into the sky, causing it to hover above the battlefield.
The orb suddenly burst, turning into small droplets of blood that rained from the sky and drenched the battlefield. Just as Fang Shan was worried about how to respond, she noticed that the corrosiveness of the blood was much weaker than earlier, completely unable to harm her. The only thing it did was slowly corrode her robe.
“Since so many people have come to watch, it is only right that we put on a show for them. I am sure there are several amongst them that will find you charming. If I just tell Zhouyun that you died in battle, he won't mind if I lend you to some of the spectators. I really wonder what the 'future god of destruction' will do when he sees the scene.”
Xie Gang spoke with a twisted smile, having none of his earlier carefree charm. The rain of blood completely avoided him and the twins, only landing on Fang Shan. Just as he said, the sounds of battle and the strange lightning had attracted a large group of people, all of them hiding in the forest and watching the spectacle.
Without giving Fang Shan the chance to react, Xie Gang waved his hand. When he waved his hand, Fang Shan felt a horrifying pressure bear down on her, causing her legs to buckle and push her face first down onto the ground and into the muddy earth that had been mixed with the corrosive blood.
The pressure placed a large strain on her organs and bones, a creaking sound ringing out from her bones. Blood was pouring out not just from her mouth now, but even from her ears, eyes, and nose, her face quickly covered in blood.
Fang Shan felt like crying. She thought that she had gotten stronger, her confidence growing, but now she could truly taste how powerless she was. She could barely withstand a single punch from Xie Gang, a second attack of his forcing her down onto the ground.
The fact that her clothing was slowly melting, a large crowd eagerly waiting to see her exposed body, made it even worse. The only comfort Fang Shan could take in this situation was that they were all focused on her, everyone forgetting about Huang Ying.
She was also certain that even with the pressure bearing down on her, she would be able to end her own life before Xie Gang could let anyone sully her. Just like she said, her body belonged to Huang Ying, she would not allow others to sully it.
Fang Shan grit her teeth and forced herself to raise her head, she was too proud to allow her head to stay on the ground. Just as she raised her head, she noticed that the rain of blood had stopped, even the blood on the ground around her quickly vanishing.
Just as Fang Shan was wondering what was happening, a dreadfully cold voice rang in the ears of everyone in the area, and the world turned pitch black. It was just a single word, but everyone who heard it could feel a chill down their spines.
Chapter 155: God Devouring Spear, Longinus.
While Fang Shan was guarding the entrance, Huang Ying was focusing on forging the spear, completely unaware of what was happening outside. The materials he had placed around the new core were slowly melting and fusing with the blood he had poured onto the materials.
It was a slow process, requiring several hours before all the materials had completely melted and turned into a thick black liquid. The arcs of lightning that crackled in the air around him had dramatically increased in number, so it was clear that the heavenly tribulation would soon arrive.
“Alright. Final step.”
Huang Ying took a deep breath to focus his mind and calm himself. This would be his second heavenly tribulation, the first one he faced when he reached the 9th heaven, the second one he would face now. And the second one was clearly much more powerful.
After calming himself, his eyes turned sharp and he started forging on fusing the core as well as the black liquid. The black liquid covered the core and the fusing process quickly began, the outline of the spear slowly forming.
With the outline of the spear forming, the loud rumbling of thunder resounded in the area. Huang Ying was already prepared, so the moment he heard the loud rumbling, he reached out with his arms and grabbed onto the spear that was slowly forming.
A red bolt of lightning tore through the ceiling above him, completely shattering the prison that had once sealed a White Tiger. The bolt of red lightning struck the spear, red sparks flying everywhere.
The spear shook slightly, but Huang Ying inserted his devouring Qi into the spear and pulled most of the energy of the red lightning into his own body. The red lightning moved from the spear and into him, coursing throughout his body.
Huang Ying used his devouring Qi to slowly devour the red lightning, slowly strengthening his body as well as increasing his cultivation. This was his plan, to use his devouring Qi to protect the spear, while also using the energy from the heavenly tribulation to strengthen himself. After all, a heavenly tribulation contained immense of energy that he could devour.
Not long after the first bolt of lightning, two more bolts followed. This time it was one red and one violet one. The red one struck Huang Ying directly, while the violet one hit the spear, it seemed like the heavenly tribulation was viewing Huang Ying's actions like a challenge, so it decided to strike him as well.
Huang Ying's lips curled into a smirk, this just meant that he would have more energy that he could devour. The red lightning that struck him, as well as the violet lightning that struck the spear, he devoured as much of it as he could.
Taking on just the red lightning could not harm him, but the violet lightning was much more powerful than the red lightning. With the two of them mixing within his body, small cracks started appearing on his skin, some of his flesh getting singed.
Even with the energy of the heavenly tribulation interfering with his healing, wounds like these would not account for much. Instead, Huang Ying's smirk only grew wider as the energy from the heavenly tribulation rampaged through his body. He could feel his own cultivation, as well as his bodily strength, rapidly soar.
Another loud rumbling noise rang out, this one so loud that it drowned out all other sounds. Two golden bolts of lightning shot down from the sky, heading straight for Huang Ying and the spear. Looking at these two bolts, the smirk on Huang Ying's face vanished, a serious expression surfacing.
The bolts hit him and the spear, the ground beneath them completely shattering, some stones even melting under the strong heat. The moment the bolts of lightning hit them, Huang Ying maneuvered his devouring Qi with all his might, forcing the golden lightning into his own body. He refused to let the the spear shatter now, he had gone without a weapon for too long.
His robes immediately caught on fire when the lightning hit, turning to ash shortly after. His flesh and organs were slowly roasted as the heavenly tribulation rampaged through his body, his skin revealing large cracks that bled profusely. If one were to look at his cracked and bloody body, none would believe that he could survive it.
But Huang Ying persevered, because he did not want to die, because he still had things he wanted to do. The stronger the pain became, the faster he circulated his devouring Qi, the more lightning he devoured and used to strengthen himself.
While he was still focusing on devouring the energy of the golden lightning bolts, the sound of thunder rang out again. Six bolts of lightning rained down simultaneously, two red, two violet, and two golden. Three bolts of lightning for Huang Ying, and three for his spear.
“Is there really a need to be so pissy about it?”
Huang Ying couldn't help but comment. There was no way him forging his spear could cause such a reaction, so it was clear that these six bolts of lightning were the heavenly tribulation being angry at his actions. He could not help but wonder, since it was clear that the heavenly tribulation could get angry like this, was there someone controlling it?
He quickly stored away that thought, now was not the time to think about such things, he first had to handle these bolts of lightning. The bolts of lightning struck simultaneously, and Huang Ying felt like his entire body was about to explode under the surge of energy.
But he did not falter, he furiously channeled his devouring Qi to swallow all the lightning. But this time he did not have the lightning rampage around inside his body, but rather forced most of it to flow into his World Core. If he let all this lightning rampage through his body, he would break down before he finished devouring it all.
The energy that he did not force into his World Core, he channeled into Little Flame. Little Flame was currently residing within Huang Ying's bloodstream, as it was still a little weak after giving all of its energy to Huang Ying while they were in Empyrean Phoenix Academy.
The remaining energy from the heavenly tribulation was just right for having Little Flame regain it's strength. With the rampaging energy of the heavenly tribulation pouring into his World Core, colorful arcs of lightning danced around it, seemingly in joy.
Huang Ying quickly felt his own cultivation soar once more, until a faint sound reverberated from inside his body. His waning moon shaped World Core suddenly grew slightly, its surface wriggling like something was moving beneath it, a sign that he had reached the late stage of the Xiantian realm.
Huang Ying did not stop devouring the lightning, as there was still a large amount of energy left. But instead of using this energy to increase his cultivation, he once more let it rampage through his body. With his breakthrough in cultivation, his wounds were now starting to slowly heal thanks to the increase in his strength.
When all the lightning had been devoured, Huang Ying's body was covered in dried blood and his robes were completely turned to ash, but his body radiated a terrifying power. Huang Ying swiftly used his Qi to clean himself and put on a clean robe, only then did the power that radiated from his body retreat into his World Core, making him look like a normal mortal once more.
In front of him hovered his weapon, his spear. It was seven foot long and pitch black in color. The end of the spear was slightly thinner than the rest of the spear, it also twisted slightly, looking like a snake's tail. A pattern that looked like scales covered the entire handle of the spear, three colorful arcs of lightning seemed to run up the body of the spear, one red, one violet, and one gold.
The head of the spear was silvery white in color, a stark contrast to the rest of the spear. There was a small oval opening filled with sharp spikes at the back of the spear head, looking like an open maw.
“God Devouring Spear, Longinus.”
Huang Ying grasped the spear, an unprecedented feeling of power welling up inside him as he spoke its name. He had already decided on the name of the spear long ago. Longinus was the name of a warrior who only appeared in legends, a mortal man who had used a spear to pierce the throat of a god.
Just as Huang Ying was about to admire the spear a bit further, the situation outside of the underground prison caught his attention. Fang Shan was pressed down onto the ground, her face filled with blood. A rain of blood was slowly corroding her clothing as three people stood and watched.
Huang Ying managed to just barely catch the words of the man standing at the front, his eyes quickly turning ice cold. A quick sweep of his perception revealed that there were in fact several groups of people hiding around the area, watching. After hearing the words of the man, some of the people watching had expectant smiles on their faces.
Huang Ying's rage boiled over, turning colder than the winds of hell. Grabbing his spear and circulating all the Qi within his body, Huang Ying felt confident that he could do something he had not yet managed to achieve.
And just as he thought, a pitch black domain spread from within his body. The domain was very small for a domain, just barely covering the three people that stood in front of Fang Shan. But it's strength could not be doubted, for this was Huang Ying's strongest domain, a domain he had never managed to activate because he did not have enough Qi, his destruction domain.
Not only had they wounded Fang Shan badly, they had even planned to sully her. Huang Ying would never forgive these people. Huang Ying spoke the verdict in a cold voice, everything caught within his domain slowly turning into nothing.
Fang Shan was unaffected, and the three people standing in front of her manage to mostly resist its effects. But everything else was slowly vanishing, not even leaving behind dust or ash.
This was the power he imagined for his destruction domain, the ability to turn everything to naught, creating a perfect void. With spear in hand and rage in his heart, Huang Ying stepped out from the underground prison and stood in front of Fang Shan,
While Huang Ying was stepping forward, he was completely unaware of something happening within the Divine Wilderness. Two female youths were currently using all their might to run through the Divine Wilderness, with one of them carrying the other, their robes tattered and torn, blood leaking from several wounds.
The two females were both people who Huang Ying knew, one was Shi Na, while the other was his sister, Chen Chun. Shi Na was still relatively fine, she had some laceration wounds and some burns, but with some healing she would be just fine.
Chen Chun however, was in a much worse state. Her right leg had been completely ripped off, leaving behind only a bleeding stump. Her right arm was just barely connected to her shoulder, only a thin layer of skin and muscles keeping it connected. She was also covered in smaller lacerations and burn wounds.
“You can't fall asleep Sister Chun, you have to stay awake!”
Shi Na was running with all her might, calling out to the weak Chen Chun as she did so. From behind her, she could hear the sound of trees breaking, the smell of smoke filling her nose and lungs.
They had come here on a mission for their teacher, to hunt a Demonic beast that had the Golden Crow bloodline. Little did they know that this Demonic beast already had the strength of someone at the middle stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm. Had it not been for Chen Chun's quick reaction, both of them would have already died.
Shi Na could not help but feel like crying. They had already been chased for several days, as the Demonic beast would stop chasing them every two days, which gave both parties a chance to rest up and regain their strength. Shi Na had expected the Demonic beast to stop chasing them already, but it kept on persisting, sniffing them out and chasing them no matter where they went.
She had already fled so far that she had no idea how she would leave the Divine Wilderness. With the sound of trees breaking getting closer, Shi Na continued to flee through the Divine Wilderness, praying for someone to save them before it was too late.
Chapter 156: The lone Void Sun.
Huang Ying stepped in front of Fang Shan and let his gaze roam between the various groups that were hiding within the forest, as well as Xie Gang's group. The bloodlust releasing from his body pressed down on everyone but Fang Shan, making them feel like they had fallen into a sea of blood.
Huang Ying had killed many people and Demonic beasts, his entire body had been stained in blood. When he released his bloodlust, it would almost take on physical properties, pressing down on the bodies of those around him.
“So you are Huang Ying. I am Xie Gang, it...”
Xie Gang saw Huang Ying step out, and a smile spread on his lips. With Huang Ying stepping forward on his own, his own job would become much easier. Xie Gang started introducing himself, but before he got to finish his sentence, Huang Ying's body started changing.
Silvery white scales covered his skin, his fingers turning sharper. Two pitch black wings burning with abyssal flames sprouted from his back, a whip like tail sprouted behind him, and a crimson crown adorned his head.
With Huang Ying activating his bloodline, his domain also strengthened, the speed at which the world around him dissolved increasing. The moment his bloodline activated, Huang Ying struck out with his spear, a black blur shooting out from the tip of the spear.
Xie Gang hurriedly put up a defense, but the attack simply flew past him. Just when Xie Gang felt a sense of unease well up in him, a loud shriek rung out behind him, coming from one of the twin sisters.
He slightly glanced at the situation behind him, his smile cramping when he saw what had happened. One of the twin sisters was still fine, but the other one had a hole in her throat.
The hole in her throat was rapidly expanding, her body vanishing as the hole grew to encompass her entire body. By the time Xie Gang thought to react, the girl's entire body had simply vanished, only a single tendril of black energy remaining.
The tendril of black energy flew over to Huang Ying and entered his body, replenishing the Qi that he used to maintain his domain. This was the main function of his spear, to further compress his attacks.
Huang Ying himself compressed his Qi as much as he could before he released his attacks, giving his attacks a high penetrative as well as single target damage. But he could only compress his Qi to a certain degree.
Longinus allowed him to compress his Qi even further, letting the compressed Qi explode when he needed it to. When he inserted his Qi into the spear, it would travel up towards the spear tip, constantly being compressed. When it reached the small maw located at the back of the spear tip, it would be compressed one last time, and then shot out.
Of course, Longinus also functioned like an actual spear that he could strengthen by inserting his Qi. But the further compression of his Qi was the main function Huang Ying wanted his spear to have.
“You! What are...! Dodge!”
Xie Gang quickly opened his mouth and was just about to curse at Huang Ying, when he saw that Huang Ying struck out with his spear once more, sending out a sideways swipe.
The tip of the spear released a line of black light that sliced through the forest behind Xie Gang and the remaining twin. The two of them were prepared this time, so they managed to dodge in time. But the people hiding in the forest behind them were not so lucky.
The attack had been aimed at the people hiding in the forest, so Huang Ying did not mind that Xie Gang and the girl managed to dodge. With the black line slicing through the forest, the trees that touched it started rapidly withering, their life-force completely devoured.
Of the people hiding in the forest, every single person that had looked at Fang Shan with an expectant smile, was killed and devoured. Huang Ying did not bother with killing the other people in the forest, but the people who had looked at Fang Shan with expectant smiles as her clothing started corroding, these people he could not spare.
After killing the people who had looked at Fang Shan with expectant smiles, Huang Ying glanced at Xie Gang and the girl again. A black light flashed out from his body, Little Flame flying out from his chest.
Little Flame landed next to Fang Shan and turned into a black dragon, guarding at her side and allowing Huang Ying to start battling without worries. With Longinus in hand, Huang Ying stepped forward. With Little Flame guarding Fang Shan, there was no need for him to guard in front of her.
Fang Shan firmly stared at Huang Ying as he stepped forward, a bright smile on her face. The destruction domain was completely black, with Huang Ying's silvery-white scales being the only thing that released any light in the domain. Anyone inside the domain could see properly, but anyone who was weaker than Huang Ying and looked at it from the outside would only see a black dome.
With Huang Ying at the center of the domain, he shone like a lone sun in the void. At this moment, he truly looked like someone who fit the name Huang Ying. But to anyone but Fang Shan, that lone sun brought nothing but destruction and death.
Huang Ying did not waste any time on words. With the situation like this, words were already pointless. He had already delivered the verdict of death. He took another step forward, and then his body blurred.
Azure lightning arced around his body as he shot forward, fire gathering inside his spear. Xie Gang moved like the wind, nimbly moving to the side and putting up a thick screen of water around him.
The girl also hopped to the side, orbs of blood spawning around her and shooting towards Huang Ying. Huang Ying's eyes were completely locked onto the girl, his right arm moving and stabbing out with the spear.
Most of the orbs of blood were dissolved by his destruction domain, and he completely disregarded the ones that hit him. They would corrode him slightly when they hit him, melting his skin. But they were too weak to inflict any actual wounds on him, so the molten skin would quickly heal.
The spear reached the girl faster than she could hope to dodge, digging directly into her chest. When the tip of the spear dug into her chest, the fire that Huang Ying had gathered inside the spear was fully released.
With his fire compressed and then suddenly released, a large explosion happened inside the chest of the girl. Crimson flames exploded forth inside the chest of the girl, her torso exploding and sending burnt chunks of meat flying out.
Huang Ying did not even glance at the remains of the girl, immediately moving towards Xie Gang. Using the lightning element to boost his speed, while he was not as nimble as Xie Gang, he was able to move faster than him.
Huang Ying slammed his spear down in an overhead smash, clashing with Xie Gang's fan. Xie Gang only used the one arm to block, sending the other one out in a punch towards Huang Ying's chest.
Huang Ying blocked with his other arm, but Xie Gang only responded by sending as much of his Qi into Huang Ying's arm as he could. A loud crunching sound rang out as Huang Ying's left arm was crushed beneath the pressure that Xie Gang specialized in.
His arm was crushed, but Huang Ying persisted in his attack. The spear continued to push downwards, looking to smash Xie Gang's head. Xie Gang wanted to pull back his arm and reinforce his defense, but when he tried to move his arm, he found it completely frozen, even the bone had frozen.
“What sort of freak are you?!”
Xie Gang could not help but shout out loudly. He had seen Huang Ying use fire, ice, lightning, as well as the strange element that made up his domain. With so many elements at his disposal, how was one supposed to take advantage of Huang Ying's weaknesses?
Huang Ying did not respond, pushing his crushed left arm forward. The arm was only crushed up to the elbow, so Huang Ying could still move it. Xie Gang was slightly suspicious about Huang Ying using his crushed arm to attack, so he decided to block with his own frozen arm.
When the two arms came into contact with each other, a pitch black light shone from Huang Ying's shattered arm, engulfing Xie Gang's frozen arm. As the black light touched Xie Gang's arm, he was shocked as he saw his arm slowly disappear.
But Xie Gang was still someone ranked 98 on the Rising Dragon List. Xie Gang immediately reacted, no longer bothering to block Huang Ying's spear. With his now free hand, he used his fan to cut off his frozen arm at the elbow.
When the spear slammed down towards him, he twisted his bodt sideways, causing the spear to land on his left shoulder rather than on his head. When the spear landed on his left shoulder, he struck out with the fan in his right hand, hitting Huang Ying's chest.
When the fan hit Huang Ying's chest, another loud crunching sound rang out as his chest sank inwards and his body propelled backwards. With Huang Ying's body shooting backwards, Xie Gang immediately turned around and fled.
“Huang Ying, I will remember you! One day I will pay you back for my arm!”
Xie Gang let out a loud shout as he fled as fast as he could. He had crushed Huang Ying's chest and left arm, but he himself could no longer use his left arm. There was also a strange energy that had entered his body when he made contact with Huang Ying, slowly draining his Qi. Continuing to fight would be disadvantageous to him.
Chapter 157: Rank 99 Void Sun.
As Xie Gang fled, Huang Ying lifted his body up from the ground. His left arm was crushed, and his chest had sunken inwards from Xie Gang's attack, but his eyes were still cold and merciless as he looked at the fleeing figure of Xie Gang.
Huang Ying continued glaring at the fleeing Xie Gang, but he did not give chase. Even with Huang Ying's healing capabilities, he would require some resting time to heal these wounds, as Xie Gang's Qi was heavily slowing down the healing process.
Huang Ying removed his domain and glanced at the people hiding in the forest, spitting out a single cold word, blood leaking from the corners of his mouth as he did so. How could any of the people hiding in the forest dare to hesitate? They quickly turned around and left the forest at high speed.
The weaker ones had only seen Xie Gang flee at full speed, while some of the stronger ones had managed to bear witness to the entire fight. Once they managed to return to their cities, news of this fight would surely spread quickly.
After making sure that the people who were hiding in the forest had all left, Huang Ying undid his bloodline activation and walked over to Fang Shan, kneeling down beside her and pulling a robe out of his interspatial ring to cover her with.
“Are you stupid? I already expected a hard battle when I agreed to defend you.”
In response to Huang Ying's words, Fang Shan hit him on the top of the head with her knuckles, her face still carrying a bright smile. Fang Shan had agreed to protect him, fully knowing that she would likely have to fight people stronger than her.
“Little Flame, take us to the hideout.”
A faint smile appeared on Huang Ying's lips after getting hit by Fang Shan. He picked her up from the ground, carrying her in his arms, and stepped onto the back of Little Flame. Little Flame let out a loud roar and rose up from the ground, flying out of the forest and towards the bandit hideout.
After arriving at the bandit hideout, to speed up the recovery of his wounds, especially the ones on his organs after taking on Xie Gang's last attack, Huang Ying decided to close up in a room and spend a few days focusing on healing.
Fang Shan also spent two days focusing on fully recovering. Her wounds were lighter than Huang Ying's, so while Huang Ying required several days to heal, she only required two days until she was back in peak condition.
After Huang Ying spent almost a week focusing on recovery, he had managed to push out Xie Gang's Qi and allow his wounds to heal fully. After he left the room, Fang Shan immediately dragged him away to show him what she had found in the surroundings while he was recuperating.
“Isn't it great?”
A small distance away from the bandit hideout, hidden away between several smaller mountains, Fang Shan pointed at a large hot spring as she spoke. She had found this hot spring as she explored the area outside the bandit hideout, waiting for Huang Ying to finish recuperating.
The hot spring was only around ten meters in diameter, and released a constant stream of steam. The water was deep blue in color, and some chairs and tables had been placed around it. It was clear that the bandits who used to live in these mountains had used this hot spring.
“You can hop in first, I have already prepared everything.”
Fang Shan pointed at some folded up clothes that she had placed on the table next to the hot spring, then turned around and left, returning to the hideout. Huang Ying looked at her leaving figure and released a small sigh. He had just left his room and not even gotten a chance to say anything, he had simply been dragged away.
“Oh well. I guess it is my job to humor her. Li Jun, go to sleep.”
Huang Ying shook his head and started removing his robes, entering the hot spring. As he entered the hot spring, he made sure to tell Li Jun to go to sleep, lest he spy on what would happen next.
“Tch, you're no fun.”
Li Jun responded with something that sounded like he clicked his tongue, but he still acted obediently and allowed his consciousness to fall into a short slumber, no longer paying attention to the surroundings. Huang Ying also surrounded Li Jun's consciousness with his own Qi, to make doubly sure that he wasn't spying on them.
“If you were going to do this, why not just join me from the start?”
And just like Huang Ying thought, a little while after he entered the hot spring, the sound of bare feet hitting stone came from behind him. Huang Ying did not need to turn around to know who was coming, so he only shook his head with a sigh as he spoke.
“You think everyone is like you? A girl's gotta prepare her heart you know?”
Fang Shan walked up next to him and sat down in the hot spring, with only a white towel to cover up her body. She slightly glared at him in dissatisfaction, could he not have said something a bit more elegant?
“Oh? Prepare your heart? I wonder, what are you preparing your heart for?”
Huang Ying let out a slight teasing chuckle, letting his eyes roam over Fang Shan's figure. She was slightly petite, but she was still nicely curved, and her breasts looked like they were just big enough to fit in Huang Ying's hands.
“Who is Li Jun?”
Seeing Huang Ying's teasing expression, Fang Shan decided to catch him off guard and change the topic.
“Where have you heard that name?”
Huang Ying's expression distorted slightly in shock as he asked her. Seeing his expression, Fang Shan's lips curled into a victorious smile. After all, it was rare for her to see Huang Ying surprised.
“He was the one who warned me about Xie Gang before they arrived. He told me that he resides within your spiritual sea and that I should ask you about him if I was curious.”
Fang Shan repeated what Li Jun told her just before Xie Gang attacked her. She had been rather curious about Li Jun ever since then, but she was in no rush to ask Huang Ying about him.
“He did that? No wonder the bastard didn't warn me about Xie Gang attacking you earlier.”
Huang Ying's expression sank slightly after he heard Fang Shan's words. He had been slightly suspicious why Li Jun had not told him about Fang Shan's situation, but he thought that Li Jun had been completely focused on Huang Ying's state during the heavenly tribulation.
“Li Jun has been with me ever since I was born. While he was trying to reincarnate, his soul was dragged into my newborn body, so he has been with me ever since then. We haven't always gotten along that well, he even tried to have me killed on at least one occasion. But he has been with me from the very start and helped me quite a bit, so it's hard for me to hate him.”
Since Li Jun had already revealed himself to Fang Shan, there was no need for Huang Ying to hide anything. He narrated everything he knew about Li Jun, as well as how the two of them had lived together since Huang Ying was young.
“Is he listening in on this?”
Fang Shan was greatly surprised that Li Jun had been with Huang Ying for so long, but she had not come here to ask about Li Jun, so she quickly asked one last question. If he was listening in on them, even she would be too embarrassed to make a move.
“No, I made him submerge his consciousness, falling asleep so that he can not see the surroundings.”
Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders as he responded. He had already guessed at what Fang Shan wanted, so he made sure in advance that Li Jun wasn't spying on them.
Fang Shan trusted Huang Ying's words, so after getting confirmation from him, she moved her body and sat down on his lap, her front facing him. She hooked her arms around his neck and planting a kiss on his lips.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
Huang Ying did not immediately move to embrace Fang Shan, instead looking at her with a rare honest and gentle expression as he asked. They were still young, and they had just recently taken part in a battle, so he wanted to make sure that Fang Shan actually wanted to do it.
“I am yours, and you are mine, no matter what, no matter where, no matter when.”
Fang Shan responded with a determined voice. She did not show it openly, but she had truly been frightened in the previous battle. She was not only scared that she might die, but also that she might get sullied before she even got the chance to become one with Huang Ying.
“Alright, then I won't hold back any longer.”
Since Fang Shan was certain, what reason was there for him to hold back? He placed his arms behind her back and removed the towel, pulling her closer into a kiss as he did so. In only a short moment, the both of them started climbing the stairs to adulthood.
While Huang Ying and Fang Shan were enjoying themselves, there was a slight uproar taking place in the Cloud's Reach continent. The Rising Dragon list that had not changed in a while was suddenly updated.
The person who was rank 99 had been pushed down to rank 100, with someone new taking the place of the 99th ranker. He only had a single battle on record, but it had been a battle against the 98th ranked Xie Gang, a battle which ended with both parties wounded and Xie Gang fleeing.
“Heh. So it has already become impossible for you to hide your strength huh?”
Xin Yang was sitting in his room at Eastern Wind Academy, a bright smile on his face as he looked at the updated Rising Dragon List. On the 99th spot, written in large letters, stood the words, Void Sun Huang Ying.
Chapter 158: Entering the Divine Wilderness.
Two days after Fang Shan and Huang Ying first became one, they returned to Yellow Winds Town. Yellow Winds Town was located right next to the Divine Wilderness, so it would be easy for them to enter it from Yellow Winds Town.
“So what happened with hiding your strength? Fighting Xie Gang seems like a terrible way to do so. Now everyone knows your strength, they even know that you have the devouring element.”
Xin Yang's voice rang out in Huang Ying's mind with a mixture of a sigh and a chuckle. Using the jade token given to them by the academy, they could easily stay in contact, no matter how far away they were from each other.
“There was nothing I could do, he hurt my Shan'er so I had to fight him. I failed to kill him now, but I will kill him once I have gotten stronger. As for people knowing about the devouring element, it was doomed to happen sooner or later. I would have preferred it happen later, but nothing I could do about that now.”
Huang Ying responded nonchalantly. Since Xie Gang had hurt Fang Shan, his death was already set in stone. Huang Ying would have preferred if he could have gotten a bit stronger before people found out about him holding the devouring element, but now there was nothing he could do about it.
“Most people should keep a wait and see attitude, but you should still be careful in the future. What did I just hear, your Shan'er? Poor Xiao Mei is going to be heartbroken.”
Xin Yang responded with a slightly teasing sound after he heard how Huang Ying referred to Fang Shan. The fact that Xiao Mei had been extremely welcoming towards Huang Ying was well known within the academy, so most people thought they might already be a couple. Of course, Xin Yang knew Huang Ying better than the other students, so he had not believed those rumors for a single second.
“Don't remind me about someone so annoying.”
Huang Ying let out a sigh as he was reminded about Xiao Mei. He still did not know why she was so hell bent on getting close to him, but he was not looking forward to returning to the academy and having her stick on him again.
“So what happened to those people you said were following you? Wouldn't they intervene and prevent Xie Gang from attacking your location?”
Xin Yang slightly changed the topic, returning to a bit more serious topic. He knew that there were people following Huang Ying, people who seemed to be trying to protect him. Would they not help him when Xie Gang attacked?
“I snuck away from those people before we even left the academy, so how would they manage to follow me? They only managed to catch up after the heavenly tribulation arrived.”
Huang Ying had already snuck away from the people following him before he even left the academy. It was only after the heavenly tribulation had already started that they managed to catch up. By then it was already too late to intervene.
“Calm your breathing, gently lead it through your body.”
Huang Ying only used half of his concentration to talk with Xin Yang, the other one was focused on Fang Shan. His hand was currently placed on her back, preventing the energy in her body from rampaging wildly.
Since the two had already become one, they had shared their virgin Yin and Yang with each other, nourishing the other. But neither of them had a common bloodline, they had one of the strongest bloodlines in the universe.
Without someone to control the strong energy that their virgin Yin and Yang released, there was a chance that it could run rampant and harm their body. Huang Ying had Li Jun to control the rampaging energy inside his own body, but Li Jun could not assist Fang Shan, so that task fell on Huang Ying. The way Huang Ying went about it was by sealing most of the energy inside Fang Shan, only slowly letting it seep out and merge with her.
“A small commotion has already broken out here in the academy. Yuan Qiu is adamant about challenging you, he was pushed out of the Rising Dragon List because of you after all. Zhao Feng merely started chuckling, saying that all was as it should be.”
Yuan Qiu used to be rank 100, with the title of Evergreen. But since Huang Ying took rank 99, the previous rank 99, Gold Buddha Xia Zhu Kong, had been pushed down to 100, removing Yuan Qiu from the list.
“Yuan Qiu can make as much noise as he wants to, I have no interest in him. I plan on bringing Ying'er and entering the Divine Wilderness. There are only around five months left until the competition to enter the Immortal's Garden, so I want us to increase our strength as much as possible before then.”
Huang Ying did not care how Yua Qiu felt about it, his main focus was on the opening of the Immortal's Garden that would take place not long after the competition. He could force Xie Gang to flee, but Xie Gang was only ranked at the bottom of the Rising Dragon List. There were many people stronger than him.
“That probably is a good idea. While only people that are below the Immortal Ascension realm can enter, Xie Gang cannot compare to people like Dai Hui and the other top rankers.”
Xin Yang completely agreed with Huang Ying's thoughts. Everyone higher ranked than Xie Gang was stronger than him, and all those people would be entering the Immortal's Garden.
“How about Zhouyun? Has he been doing anything strange lately?”
Huang Ying was very wary of Zhouyun, so the more information he could find about Zhouyun, the better. Huang Ying knew that Xin Yang had a very special position within the academy, so there was no one better to ask.
“He has started leaving the academy much more than usual, but as to where he goes, I do not dare pry too deeply. But he seems to really have it out for you, even sending Xie Gang. You should be careful.”
Just like Huang Ying thought, Xin Yang had been keeping an eye on Zhouyun. Xin Yang kept an eye on Zhouyun partly because of Huang Ying, but also partly for his own reasons, because he did not like Zhouyun.
“No worries, I have a very hardy life. I have not even managed to see a single 'god' and tell them that I don't need them, so how could I let someone as small as Zhouyun take me down?”
Huang Ying only responded with a chuckle. He was confident in his ability to at least survive, and he refused to die before achieving his goal. He had also heard about the Gu continent, as well as seen the birth and death of the universe, so how could someone like Zhouyun mean much to him?
“Heh. First time I have ever heard someone refer to that worm Zhouyun as small, I like it. You can just enter the Divine Wilderness, I will keep an eye on things here at the academy. I'll contact you if anything happens.”
Xin Yang's voice rang out with a laughter, before the jade token in Huang Ying's hand turned dark, Xin Yang cutting the connection.
“They are outside again. They seem rather adamant about not leaving us alone.”
After Huang Ying stopped talking with Xin Yang, Fang Shan spoke up, pointing at the door of the room they had rented. There were currently two people standing outside the door, silently waiting for Huang Ying or Fang Shan to open the door.
“Really, guess i'll just hear them out and see what they want.”
Huang Ying responded by shaking his head and letting out a sigh. Ever since he finished battling Xie Gang, the two people had been following them, constantly trying to get into contact with them.
“Why won't you just leave us alone?”
Huang Ying and Fang Shan put on their robes, Fang Shan walking towards the bath while Huang Ying walked over to the door and opened it. In the hallway outside the door stood two men clad in black cloaks. They would normally be very menacing people, but after hearing Huang Ying's words, they could only let out sighs.
“If we could, we would. But we have been given orders, and we can't afford to not follow them.”
One of the two men spoke up with a sigh, pulling out an ice blue jade token from within his robe and throwing it to Huang Ying. They had been forced to wait nine days before they got the chance to give it to Huang Ying. Had it not been because they had been ordered to gently give it to Huang Ying, they would have just broken down the door and forced him to take it.
Huang Ying looked at the blue jade token as he asked. The token was the size of his palm and completely flat, a large snowflake engraved in the center of the token. The token radiated a slight cold, that made it very cool to the touch.
“We don't know, we were ordered to hand it over to you before we left. It is supposed to prevent situations like the one with Xie Gang.”
The two men only shook their heads and responded, quickly leaving the inn where Huang Ying had rented a room. Their job was only to deliver the jade token, so they no longer had a reason to stay around after finally managing to deliver it.
“Take it. That thing can keep you safe in very dire circumstances.”
Just as Huang Ying was wondering what to do with the jade token, Li Jun spoke up within his mind. Ever since Huang Ying and Fang Shan had started getting intimate with each other, the amount of times he had been forced to submerge his consciousness into a deep sleep had increased, so he had been slightly annoyed these two days.
“What is it?”
Huang Ying looked at the jade token with more interest as he asked. Since Li Jun said that it could keep him safe in very dire circumstances, it must certainly be a very rare item.
“It is a talisman containing the jade of a powerful cultivator. During a dire situation, it will be able to save your life once.”
Li Jun had encountered a talisman like this once before in his travels, so he had some knowledge about it. He could not tell exactly who had made the token, but it was clearly made by someone extremely powerful.
“Quite useful, huh?”
Huang Ying played around a bit with token before placing it into his interspatial ring. Not long after that, Fang Shan came out from the bathroom, her hair slightly damp from the shower she had just taken.
“Are you ready to leave?”
There was only around five months left until the competition to gain the right to enter the Immortal's Garden, so Huang Ying wanted the two of them to grow as strong as possible before then.
“Yes. But I have a request. Once we enter the Divine Wilderness, I want to be the one doing all the fighting.”
Fang Shan had a very serious expression as she answered, stating a demand she had spent some time thinking over.
“Sure, but why?”
Huang Ying did not mind leaving the fighting to Fang Shan, as it would allow her to get stronger, but he was curious why she looked so serious about it.
“You said that you wanted to let your parents, as well as the so called 'gods, know that you could manage just fine without them, right? As you are right now, you are making great strides towards that goal.”
Fang Shan knew about Huang Ying's goal, and he could truly be said to make great strides towards that goal, already being able to fight people ranked at the bottom of the Rising Dragon List.
“But what about my goal? I want to kill the Azure Dragon, carve him open and tear him limb from limb, getting revenge for all the years my family was forced to be trapped as guardians.”
But Fang Shan also had her own goals that she wanted to achieve. She wanted to get revenge for her father being trapped in the hidden realm, forced to spend his entire life to stand guard outside a tomb. To get revenge for that, she would kill the Azure Dragon.
“But all I do lately is be a burden and drag you down. You are slowly getting further and further away from me. I could not even hold back Xie Gang, but you managed to force him to retreat. If I continue as I am, I will never be able to achieve my goal. I must become stronger, much stronger.”
First it had been in the battle in Empyrean Phoenix Academy, where Huang Ying had to be the main attacker. Then it had been against Xie Gang. Both times Fang Shan had ended up wounded and forced Huang Ying to suffer wounds and expend great strength to protect her.
There was also another part that Fang Shan did not say at the end, and that was that she feared that Huang Ying might abandon her if she became too weak. For the sake of her goal, and for the man she had given her life to, she had to become much stronger.
“I'd say that you have never been a burden, but you wouldn't listen to me either way, would you? But the moment it looks life-threatening, I am joining the battle.”
Huang Ying reached out with his arm and gently stroked her slightly damp hair as he spoke. He had never seen her as a burden, but even if he told her that, she would not listen to him and still be adamant about it. So he could only agree to her demand and let her stand for the fighting.
Fang Shan responded with a bright smile. She knew that she could take this time to fight however she wanted, because there was someone behind her who would watch over her and keep her safe. The two of them did not speak anymore, only quickly packing their remaining items and leaving the inn. It was time to enter the Divine Wilderness.
Chapter 159: Fang Shan, a proud Ya'zi.
“Walking here really takes me back. This was where I and Jing He were first separated. A bit further away will take us to what I assumed to be the middle perimeter. And not far away from that, there is a place that used to be a Blood Ant nest. It really feels like it has been several lifetimes ago.”
While the two of them were walking through the outer parts of the Divine Wilderness, Huang Ying could not help but look at the area around him. As he looked at the familiar scenery, it was like he was brought back to that day where Jing He was taken back to her clan.
Back then it had taken Jing He an entire day to drag Huang Ying all the way here, but now it only took him a short amount of time to reach it. Even moving deeper into the Divine Wilderness and passing by the areas that once took him several days to reach would go much faster.
“This was where it began?”
Fang Shan looked at the area around her with interest. Huang Ying had talked slightly about the time he spent in the Divine Wilderness, especially about how what happened here became a catalyst for him to seek more power.
“Yup. I got beaten really bad back then, absolutely crushed. I don't ever want to feel that weak again.”
Huang Ying spoke with a slight chuckle, the memories of how his chest and right arm were crushed flooding into his mind. His face held a faint smile and he managed to chuckle as he talked about it, but his eyes were frighteningly cold. The weakness he had felt back then, unable to even protect a single person, he never wanted to feel that again.
“We should speed up. This far out, there won't be any Demonic beasts worth fighting.”
Huang Ying shook his head and changed the topic. Those times were in the past, there was nothing he could do to change what happened back then, so there was no point in dwelling on it.
And even if he was given the opportunity to go back and change it, he was not certain if he would actually do it. It had been horribly humiliating, an absolutely terrifying feeling. But it had taught him once more what the price of weakness was, taught him how much he required strength. Fang Shan nodded her head and did not say anything else, increasing her speed and following Huang Ying through the Divine Wilderness.
“That is where I first fought against the Blood Ants. I cleared out their entire nest, not even sparing the newborn Blood Ants. I found a strange bow inside the hive, but it quickly became too weak for me to use. I did however find a Lightning Ore that ended up being useful.”
While the two of them were running through the Divine Wilderness, Huang Ying pointed out the areas he had been before, as well as what he had found there. The bow he found in the Blood Ant hive quickly became useless, but he managed to use the Lightning Ore to wound Cui Xima when he first escaped from Empyrean Phoenix Academy.
“In that cave I killed a turtle like Demonic beast and ate a Heaven's Eye Mushroom, allowing me to see the flow of energy in the area around me. After merging this ability with the ability I got from devouring Yang Xinyi, it even allowed me to see the flow of energy within a person. That is how I knew where to seal my virgin Yang energy inside your body.”
He had acquired the Heaven's Eye Mushroom in a cave after killing the large turtle Demonic beast that guarded it. The ability he gained from the mushroom was of great help to him, especially after it merged with the ability of Yang Xinyi, which Huang Ying devoured when he killed Yang Xinyi.
“We can take a break here. I once killed a 6th rank Cloud Tiger here. That really was a dangerous battle, I never expected the Cloud Tiger to be able to activate its bloodline.”
The last time he had been in the Divine Wilderness, he had spent a month slowly walking around and hunting Demonic beasts. But now that he did not need to hide or fight anything, he managed to reach the place where he fought the Cloud Tiger after simply running for half a day.
The area where they decided to take a break for the night was the place where Huang Ying had killed the Cloud Tiger. Even after seeing a wide variety of places, Huang Ying still felt that this calm clearing, with a crystal clear lake and a single weeping willow, was one of his favorite spots so far.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan quickly set up a small camp, creating a small campfire where they started boiling some soup. They set up the camp right next to the lake, beneath the weeping willow. They only brought a single tent, as they were obviously going to share it.
“Right, I never did ask you exactly what type of Demonic beast you are. Would you mind telling me? Or would you prefer to keep it secret?”
While they were boiling some soup using meat from Demonic beasts that they quickly picked up while running, Huang Ying turned to Fang Shan and asked a question he had wondered about for a little while.
Fang Shan was a Demonic beast that had become strong enough to take human form. At first he had thought that she could do this because she came from a weak race of Demonic beasts, but as someone carrying the blood of the Azure Dragon, how could that be the case?
He had learned that the reason she could take human form was because her father had made her search for a special herb that grew within the secret realm, a herb that would let Demonic beasts take human form.
“There is no need to hide it, there has just never been a good time to mention it.”
Fang Shan shrugged her shoulders as she responded. She might not be willing to tell others, but how could she not be willing to tell Huang Ying? His blood already flowed in her veins, and they were connected for the rest of their lives. There was no need to hide anything from each other. Fang Shan stepped away from the campfire, her figure rapidly distorting and changing into something monstrous, into her true form.
In her Demonic beast form, her entire body was covered by deep blue scales that almost looked black. She had a large wolf-like head, two thick and large horns pointing backwards. Her body was that of a dragon, four thick limbs ending in draconic claws, and a long tail sticking out behind her.
There was a line of gray fur that went down her back, arcs of lightning crackling in the fur. Two large leathery wings unfurled from her back, granting her the ability of flight. Her body was almost 10 meters long, from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail, and her shoulders stood four meters above the ground.
“I am a Ya'zi, just like my family before me. Have you ever heard about the Ya'zi?”
After showing of her Demonic beast form, Fang Shan returned to her human form, her deep blue scales turning into a robe that covered her body. She stated the name of her race and looked at Huang Ying as she sat down next to the bonfire again.
“Mixtures of dragon and wolf, they are ferocious Demonic beasts that excell at fighting and killing. They are known to be proud warriors and excellent leaders. Because of their connection to battle and warriors, their visage often decorates the weapons of warriors. It truly suits you.”
Huang Ying listed up everything he knew about the Demonic beast race known as Ya'zi. As one of the nine sons of the dragon, the Ya'zi Demonic beast race was one of the more well known races. Seeing how Fang Shan fought, the faint smile she had on her face whenever she jumped into battle, Huang Ying could only say that she fit the Ya'zi race perfectly.
Chapter 160: Heading deeper into the Divine Wilderness.
After Fang Shan and Huang Ying left the place where Huang Ying previously killed the Cloud Tiger, they slowed down their traveling pace slightly. This was not because any of the Demonic beasts they could face might be too strong, but rather because neither of them had ever been in this area before, so they wanted to take it slightly slower and take in the sights.
The Divine Wilderness was massive, so it of course contained a massive amount of different types of terrain. In just the few days after Fang Shan and Huang Ying left their previous resting area, they had seen a desert, a small lake, a forest consisting entirely of rocks, as well as a place where the forest was so dense that no sunlight reached the ground.
Of course, the Demonic beasts they encountered as they traveled were also slowly getting stronger. When they reached a vast plain that stretched for as far as the eye could see, they had already reached the area where Demonic beasts around the middle stage of the Xiantian realm lived.
“Wide open plains like these are always bad news.”
Fang Shan slightly furrowed her eyebrows as she looked over the plain. The grass that grew on the plain was much taller than normal areas, growing up to her knees. The grass was slightly withered, no longer green but a light yellow. There were nearly no places where they could seek cover, so anything that moved on the plain was easily spotted.
“Spot anything that could be a danger?”
Huang Ying swept the plain with his eyes, noting down any Demonic beasts he spotted. None of the Demonic beasts on the plain that he could spot were above the middle stage of the Xiantian realm, so he did not consider this plain to be dangerous. Asking Fang Shan was mainly to see if she had spotted something that he had not.
“That lake over there, as well as that tall grass over there. The two strongest Demonic beasts I can spot seem to be hiding there. Of course, they are still only at the middle stage of the Xiantian realm.”
Fang Shan pointed at a small lake, as well as a place where the grass grew so tall that it even reached Huang Ying's shoulders. Those two places housed the strongest Demonic beasts that the could spot, of course, they were no threat to them.
“Which path do you suggest we take then?”
Fang Shan wanted to stand for all the fighting, but Huang Ying had also put her in charge of leading them, allowing her to make most of the decisions. This would help make it easier for her to react in a pinch if something were to happen, or if they were to somehow get separated.
“Of course the path that goes directly between both of them. That mountain over there, I want to climb it and use it to get a better view of the surrounding area.”
Fang Shan spoke with a wide grin as she pointed straight ahead. Only through combat could she become stronger, so even if the enemies were weak, she would still fight. They could also eat the meat from the Demonic beasts, as it contained large amounts of Qi and was great for strengthening them.
The mountain Fang Shan pointed at was located a good distance into the plain, and its peak almost pierced the clouds. If they managed to climb that mountain and survey the surrounding area, they might be able to see the entirety of the plain.
“Alright. Lead the way then.”
Huang Ying had no other opinion, so he let Fang Shan take the lead. Just like she said, the path Fang Shan chose would take them through a place where both the Demonic beast in the lake, as well as the Demonic beast in the tall grass would notice them.
But when they did reach the spot that was directly between the lake and the tall grass, the earth beneath Fang Shan started churning and rumbling. Large cracks appeared in the earth beneath Fang Shan, the grass twining together and forming thick and sturdy tentacles that grabbed onto Fang Shan.
Fang Shan let out a loud curse when the grass tentacles grabbed onto her. The ground beneath her finished cracking, forming into what seemed to be a large maw, rocks turning into sharp and sturdy teeth.
“Hoh? It managed to hide from view? It seems like it is excellent at hiding itself. Is it actually made of earth I wonder?”
Huang Ying had been far enough behind that he had not been caught as well. He could see that the Demonic beast that had caught Fang Shan was only at the late stage of the Xiantian realm. Even though it was the same cultivation level as Fang Shan, their strengths were still far apart, so he was not worried about her.
He instead inspected the Demonic beast with interest. Its body seemed to be made of earth, its hair out of grass, and its teeth out of stone. It was also excellent at hiding itself, managing to evade both Huang Ying and Fang Shan's perception. Li Jun had probably detected it, but chosen not to say anything because it was too weak.
“The two others are coming as well, so in a short moment you will have to face all three of them.”
Huang Ying glanced at the lake as well as the tall grass as he spoke. Something that seemed like a large yellow grasshopper, almost two meters long, flew out from the tall grass and headed for Fang Shan, who was still entangled by the grass tentacles.
Out from the lake came something that looked like a four meter long crocodile, but it had much longer legs, allowing it to sprint at high speed. Its body was covered in light blue scales, and sharp spikes ran down its entire back. Out of its entire four meters, the head alone stood for one of those meters.
Fang Shan let out a loud shout upon hearing Huang Ying's words that seemed to be filled with a slightly humored sound. She tried to free herself from the grass tentacles, but no matter how many times she cut them, they would simply grow back. There was also a strange liquid on the tentacles that caused them to stick to her.
“It seems like...poison? Or is it just to keep the prey in check? Stomach acid?”
Huang Ying had also noticed the strange liquid, loudly musing about what it might be. But he quickly discarded the thought that it might be poisonous or stomach acid. It did not seem to contain any properties that poison or stomach acid should have.
When the strange liquid touched Fang Shan, there were no other effects other than the tentacles sticking to her. As it was not trying to invade her body, it did not seem to be poisonous. And as it did not corrode her skin, it did not seem to be stomach acid.
“Need help? You seem to be getting slightly swarmed.”
The crocodile and grasshopper quickly reached the entangled Fang Shan. The crocodile seemed to have some control over water, shooting forth small spears of water, while the grasshopper seemed like it was capable of using the wind from its wings to send forth sharp blades of wind.
Fang Shan once more let out a shout, arcs of black lightning crackling around her body. The blades of wind were shattered by the lightning, while the small water spears that were shot at her were evaporated by the heat from her lightning.
With a twist of her hands, her two daggers appeared in her hands. She flung out one of the daggers, coating it with lightning. The dagger pierced into the head of the crocodile, discharging the lightning coating it into its body and roasting it.
Using the thread that connected the two daggers, Fang Shan used the remaining dagger that she still held onto to pull the other dagger back. When the dagger was back in her hands, she once more cut at the grass tentacles that bound her. But this time she also used her lightning, using the strange liquid as a conductor.
The grass quickly caught on fire because of the high heat of the lightning, the large mouth beneath Fang Shan letting out shrieks of agony as it was forced to drop her. As she fell, Fang Shan stored away her two daggers and gathered a large amount of lightning between her palms, forming a long lance.
Once the lance was formed, she flung it forwards, causing a large screeching sound to be heard as it tore through the air. The lance pierced the large grasshopper before it even had the chance to dodge, filling its body with large amounts of lightning and then exploding, tearing the grasshopper apart.
Fang Shan twisted her body, causing herself to land just beside the large maw that had opened in the ground. Upon landing, she created a large orb of lightning and sent it into the large maw. She did not know where its body started and ended, so just hitting inside its mouth was her best option.
The orb of lightning entered the large mouth and exploded, releasing a large amount of lightning that completely fried the insides of the Demonic beast. The large maw remained open, but the earth around the maw fell silent, the Demonic beast dead.
“See? Completely fine, just like I said.”
Fang Shan turned towards Huang Ying, a slight smile on her face. The three Demonic beasts were weaker than her, so even though she had won the battle, she did not feel overly proud because of it.
“Now how do we eat these?”
Fang Shan glanced at the remaining parts of the grasshopper as well as the roasted body of the crocodile as she spoke. Since they had killed them, now it was time to eat them.
Chapter 161: Training together.
Huang Ying was standing on the wide open plain, the slightly yellow grass gently swaying because of the wind, the sky above him was the same brilliant azure as his robes, not a cloud in sight. There were no Demonic beasts in the area around him, a pleasant silence reigning in the area.
But Huang Ying's eyes contained a sharp glint, constantly darting around the area. A blue light flashed around him, faster than his eyes were capable of following it. The blue light was constantly moving, not slowing down for a single second as it worked on closing in on him and finding an opening.
Huang Ying slightly relaxed his stiffened shoulders, and the blue light immediately struck, arriving behind his left side. The blue light stopped with a loud rumbling sound, Fang Shan appearing behind Huang Ying, her entire body coated in arcs of azure lightning.
She struck out with both of her daggers, aiming for the space between Huang Ying's ribs. The daggers hit his body and sank into his flesh, but before they could dig too deep into his flesh, Huang Ying tightened his muscles and prevented the daggers from moving any further, at the same time also preventing Fang Shan from pulling them out.
With the daggers stuck in his back, Huang Ying twisted his body and struck out with his fist. There was not an ounce of mercy in the fist, and before Fang Shan had the chance to move to dodge, the fist connected with her abdomen. Huang Ying hit her with such force that her entire body was raised up from the ground.
As Fang Shan felt something rise up her throat, the sweet taste of blood filled her mouth. She swallowed down whatever was in her throat and moved into action, she let go of her two daggers and grabbed onto Huang Ying's head, discharging as much lightning into him as she could, before utilizing the remainder of her strength to pull back.
“Stop. I can't go any longer.”
After Fang Shan landed, a thin stream of blood leaked out from the corners of her mouth as she raised her hands and called out. She was already completely drained of energy, so there was no way for her to continue fighting at this point.
“Your speed is excellent, but you are still not capable of turning all that speed into attacking power. As long as it is like that, it will be hard for you to create serious wounds on your opponents. It has gotten slightly better, but there is still much room for improvement.”
Huang Ying pulled out the two daggers from his back and cleaned away the blood on them before he handed them back to Fang Shan. At the same time he also delivered his thoughts about the battle.
The two of them battling like this had been Li Jun's idea, saying that Huang Ying could use his battle experience to help Fang Shan find her weak-points. Her main weakness was that she could not turn her speed into power, so while she could flee and attack as she wished, it was hard for her to inflict proper wounds.
“I know, but I still can't turn all the momentum into attack power, it always dissipates just as I try to use it to attack. Was there anything good?”
Fang Shan stored away the dagger and responded with a sigh. Over these last few days of battling each other, she kept trying to transfer all the momentum from her movement into her daggers, but most of the momentum would dissipate before it reached her daggers.
“That last attack was good. Because of your bloodline, you will heal much faster than your enemy, so it is fine to take a hit in exchange for landing a good attack on your enemy.”
Huang Ying nodded his head and responded. With the lightning invading his head, even he had a hard time focusing and was forced to spend a bit of time to readjust himself. The two of them had the destruction bloodline, they would heal far faster than normal people. They could afford to trade attacks and injuries.
“But you must not let your guard down. Simply relaxing my shoulders was enough to lure you into attacking me. You need to learn the difference between an actual opening, and an intentional opening.”
But Huang Ying did not forget to scold her once more, using his knuckles to gently hit her forehead. He had only relaxed his shoulders to bait Fang Shan into attacking him. Attacking when you saw an opening was fine, but you also needed to know when someone created an opening on purpose to bait you in.
“I know I know. But I gotta say, you really don't pull your punches. One of these days, I am certain that one of your attacks will end up breaking a few bones.”
Fang Shan slightly rubbed her forehead as she puffed out her cheeks and pouted slightly. The only way Huang Ying held back when the two of them were fighting was that he would not use his spear, Longinus, or his destruction element in most of the battles. Everything else was sent at Fang Shan with full force.
“Breaking a few of your bones now is better than having to bury your body in the future. As we are now, we are still far too weak. If we continue like we are now, we might die without even knowing how we were killed.”
Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders as he spoke, looking at Fang Shan with a gentle gaze. He of course did not like hitting her with everything he had, but it was far better than having to bury her because they had been too weak. To avoid having to do that, he was willing to do almost anything.
“You are certain that it lives there?”
Fang Shan flashed a bright smile, before turning towards a mountain in the distance as she spoke. The mountain was the same one she had decided to climb when they first entered the wide plain, but now she wanted to climb it for two reasons.
“According to the memories of the Demonic beasts, it should indeed live there. Only a few more days and we should reach it.”
Huang Ying responded with a nod of his head. According to the memories of the Demonic beasts living in the area, that mountain was the home of a powerful Demonic beast with strength that was almost at the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
They were going to climb the mountain for two reasons. One reason was to use its height to survey the surrounding area, and the other was to kill the Demonic beast that called the mountain its home, using its flesh to strengthen Fang Shan.
“I can't wait. I wonder what it tastes like?”
Fang Shan let out a short laugh and licked her lips. Stronger Demonic beasts would often taste better than weaker Demonic beasts. A Demonic beast that was almost at the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm must surely taste delicious.
“Who knows? Like chicken maybe? As long as it can help you reach the Yin-Yang Formation realm, I don't care if it tastes like ass.”
Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders, only slightly interested. The Demonic beast living on the mountain had some blood of a Vermilion Bird, so they were planning on using its flesh, blood, and Demon Crystal, as well as the remaining virgin Yang sealed within Fang Shan, to help her break through and enter the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
“Easy for you to say, I am the one who has to eat it.”
Fang Shan's mouth slightly twisted as she spoke. She knew that she had to eat it to have a good chance at immediately breaking through to the Yin-Yang Formation realm, but as expected, if it tasted like ass, she might have a hard time swallowing it.
“Alright. Let's take a break for about an hour. After that, it is time to hunt some more Demonic beasts, and after that it is more combat practice with me.”
Huang Ying only responded with a small laugh, pulling out some Demonic beast meat from his interspatial ring and preparing to roast it. Every minute mattered to them, so the days were packed with combat between Fang Shan and Demonic beasts, as well as between Fang Shan and Huang Ying.
“No mercy at all. Fighting a strong freak like you can really dampen a person's confidence.”
Fang Shan shook her head with a small laugh, sitting down next to Huang Ying. It was only when she first fought him that she learned how terrifying it was to face him. When he looked at you with his serious gaze, it was like you had been locked on by an ancient beast. But she also had to admit that she quite like his serious expression, when he looked completely battle ready, it was slightly arousing even.
“I only have this strength because my destruction and devouring elements are so special. If I did not have them, I would probably be weaker than even people my own age, considering how short the time I have spent cultivating is.”
Huang Ying started a small fire and started roasting the meat as he spoke. He was completely aware that his strength came from the destruction and devouring element. Had he not had those, but instead a normal element, he might even be weaker than most others his age. After all, he had only cultivated for a bit over a year in total.
“If's don't matter. You have the destruction and devouring elements, so they are part of your strength. No point in spouting if's and whatnot's to try and make me feel better. I am not so weak that I would be discouraged just because of someone being stronger than me.”
Fang Shan used her knuckles to hit Huang Ying on the head as she spoke. So what if he would be weaker if he did not have the destruction and devouring element. He had them, they were his, no one could change that fact.
“Besides, the one who is so freakishly strong is all mine after all, so why should I be discouraged? If anything else, it only serves as motivation for me to become just as freakishly strong.”
Fang Shan put her arms around Huang Ying's neck and pulled him into a kiss after she spoke. No one would mind if the person they loved was freakishly strong. The way Fang Shan saw it, the stronger the better. Of course, she would not let Huang Ying stand in front of her and protect her at all times. If she let him do that, she would have failed as his partner. She would become just as freakishly strong, and stand next to him.
Chapter 162: At the foot of the mountain.
When Huang Ying and Fang Shan arrived at the bottom of the mountain, the enemies they were facing were already Demonic beasts with strength equal to cultivators at the Yin-Yang Formation stage.
Thanks to that, the battles that Fang Shan was facing were steadily becoming much tougher. There were times where she was only capable of winning after sustaining several injuries. Of course, an environment like this also allowed her strength to rapidly increase, with her battle experience increasing as well as plenty of Demonic beast meat.
At the foot of the mountain, Huang Ying called for a break. Before they started ascending the mountain, he wanted Fang Shan to perfect her technique of transferring momentum. She had gotten better at it, but there were still times where she could not do it properly, or times where it was too weak.
Fang Shan held her daggers, her body slightly bent forward, like a wolf ready to pounce. They had spent a few days at the foot of the mountain, with Huang Ying increasing the intensity of their sparring. Thanks to their strong healing capabilities, even if he accidentally broke a few of her bones, there would be no problem.
“Be careful now, i'll show you what I came up with.”
After her words sounded out, Fang Shan's body turned into a blue blur that moved in circles around Huang Ying. The blue blur moved towards Huang Ying's back faster than his eyes could catch, two daggers aiming for his shoulders.
But before the daggers could make contact with Huang Ying's shoulders, his body turned sideways and a fist came smashing towards Fang Shan. Fang Shan slightly twisted her arms, instantaneously storing away the daggers and placing her hands on Huang Ying's arms. She pushed off with her arms and pushed the fist aside, using the counter force to move away from Huang Ying, bringing out her daggers again.
Fang Shan was not the only one who was growing stronger as they sparred, Huang Ying was also growing stronger and doing his best to nullify his weaknesses. Huang Ying had excellent strength, defense, and piercing power, and thanks to his strong healing, he did not even need to put much thought into defense.
But he was not without weaknesses. His strength and piercing power were all based on condensing his Qi to the max, increasing its power. This meant that if he was facing a group of people that were around his level of strength, he would only be able to focus on one at a time.
Thanks to forging Longinus, he was able to mostly offset this weakness, using the spear to send out attacks that were still condensed, but had a wider range. But he still had one more weakness, his speed. His element was devouring and destruction. Even though he could use the lightning element, he did not have the speed that other lightning users were famous for. He was even slower than some people who didn't have the lightning element.
Fang Shan for example could move so fast that Huang Ying's eyes and perception were completely unable to catch her. Were it not for the fact that she used to be bad at transferring her momentum, there would be no way for him to catch her form and counterattack.
Fang Shan was the one who taught Huang Ying how to offset his lack of speed when he faced someone faster than him. Every living thing had faint amounts of electricity running through their body. By spreading trace amounts of lightning into his surroundings, Huang Ying was able to cause it to resonate with the electricity inside living beings around him. He could not see them, but since he was connected to the lightning he spread around, he would be aware of their position and movements.
Having put some distance between her and Huang Ying, Fang Shan sped up once more as she approached Huang Ying. Of course, she would not simply repeat the same moves again. Every technique had a weakness, even the technique she had taught Huang Ying to locate her.
As she moved, faint amounts of lightning pulsed out from her body, surrounding Huang Ying and filling the area around him. With her lightning resonating with the lightning Huang Ying used to locate her, it was like there were people all around Huang Ying, all mimicking Fang Shan's moves.
Huang Ying couldn't help but comment. He of course knew about this weakness of the technique Fang Shan had taught him, but there was nothing he could do about it. With what seemed like multiple Fang Shan's attacking him, Huang Ying simply had to choose one that seemed most likely to be the real one, and attack it.
The one he attacked was the one that came at him from the left. Fang Shan had a bad habit of repeatedly attacking people from their blind spot, and it just so happened that Huang Ying's left side ended up being his blind spot at that moment. Because of that knowledge, Huang Ying found it most likely that Fang Shan would attack his left side.
Huang Ying's fist swung to the left, but it only ended up hitting air. A sweet voice accompanied by a slight chuckle rang out from in front of him. Right afterwards, a burning sensation came from his abdomen, lightning coursing through his body.
Huang Ying looked at Fang Shan, who was standing in front of him with a smile that screamed 'praise me'. After that, he looked down at his stomach, which now had a finger sized hole that went straight through to the other side.
“You read me, huh? Well done, it was an excellent attack.”
It seemed that Fang Shan had also been aware of her habit of repeatedly attacking from blind spots. Or had she simply been pretending from the start, trying to lure Huang Ying into a false sense of security? It did not matter. What mattered was that she had managed to avoid him, and then inflict a wound on him without losing any of her momentum.
“You say so, but you didn't even wince or blink.”
Fang Shan looked at the hole her attack had caused in Huang Ying's stomach as she spoke. The wound was slightly wriggling, slowly closing up. She didn't expect too much of a reaction from him, but not even blinking as his stomach was pierced, that she had never expected.
“I have already gotten used to pain, so it'll take more than this to get a reaction out of me. So how did you manage to transfer the momentum gained from movement into the attack? It was too fast, so I couldn't see it properly.”
Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders as he responded. As a child, he spent six years in prison, occasionally facing some torture. Then there was the pain that came when he awakened his Baku blood and devouring element, pain he could not forget even now. And then finally when he was captured by Empyrean Phoenix Academy and was tortured extensively for half a year. Pain had long since become an old friend of Huang Ying.
“It's rotation. I do faint twists of my entire body, guiding all the momentum towards my arms or whichever body part I use to attack. I then twist that body part a bit more, causing all the power to escape in the form of a rotational attack. It has high penetrative power and strength, but it is only suited in one on one fights.”
Fang Shan had come up with the idea while she was fighting Huang Ying and saw how he kept rapidly condensing his Qi whenever he attacked. She also noticed that he slightly twisted his arms whenever he attacked, giving his attacks even more penetrating power.
Using that as the basis, Fang Shan experimented with a few different ways of utilizing it, finally coming up with what she currently used. By continuously utilizing slight twists, she was able to transfer almost 100% of the momentum gained from her rapid movement. And since she twisted her body so much while attacking, the Qi used in the attack ended up coming out in the shape of a small tornado, with all the power gathering at the tip and giving it great penetrative power.
“It's a good technique. We should be able to ascend the mountain now.”
Huang Ying placed his hand on the head of Fang Shan and gave it a few rubs. It might be a bit strange for him to rub the head of someone older than him, but both of them enjoyed the sensation, so they didn't care.
Fang Shan had finished her technique, covering up one of her greatest weakness. Now it was time for them to ascend the mountain and hunt down the Demonic beast that made the mountain its home, allowing Fang Shan to break through to the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
Huang Ying had just recently broken through to the late stage of the Xiantian realm, and breaking through to the Yin-Yang Formation realm required a tremendous amount of energy, even for normal people. For him to break through to the Yin-Yang Formation realm, he would require both time and an absolutely massive amount of energy.
Chapter 163: Lord of the mountain.
The mountain was steep and barren, with only a few tufts of grass growing here and there. Besides the insects that were flying around, there were no other living beings that made their home on the mountain. This was the respect they had for the owner of the mountain, the king of this plain.
The atmosphere on the mountain was solemn and dignified, Huang Ying and Fang Shan moving up the mountain at a slow pace. Fang Shan was the only one who was going to be battling, Huang Ying would only watch and make sure that she did not die.
“Tell me again, what am I facing?”
As they kept climbing, Fang Shan went over the various plans she had made, preparing for any situation. She once more asked Huang Ying to tell her what she was facing, one last time making sure that she had heard everything.
“A Mountain Drake. It has faint traces of dragon blood in it's veins, making it stronger than normal Demonic beasts. It can control earth and stone, so this mountain is the perfect battleground for it. Your lightning however, will have to penetrate its defense before it can show any effect.”
Huang Ying listed the information he had obtained from devouring the memories of the Demonic beasts that Fang Shan had killed. As long as it had not been too long since it had died, he could still use his devouring element to obtain it's memories.
The two of them reached a large cave opening, almost 20 meters in height and 10 meters in width, at the halfway point up the mountain. This was where the Mountain Drake lived. From within the cave, a strong feeling of oppression that would cause people to feel instinctual fear leaked out.
“Are you afraid?”
Huang Ying glanced at Fang Shan as he asked. This oppressive feeling was something only strong cultivators or Demonic beasts could send out. Facing this oppressive feeling, one would feel like one was prey being stared at by a predator.
Fang Shan did not deny it, she was indeed slightly afraid. After all, the Demonic beast she was going to face had strength that was approaching the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm. She was confident she would not die, but the slight fear was still there.
“Good. Fear is important. But don't let yourself be controlled by it, for fear can be the mind killer. Let it pass over you and through you. When the fear is gone, only you will remain.”
The words Huang Ying spoke were words that his parents had once told him while he was still a baby, just before they abandoned him in Azure Springs Town. He was not fond of how his parents had abandoned him, but he had firmly memorized the words.
“Leave this place.”
A gravely voice rang out from within the cave, ringing within Huang Ying and Fang Shan's ears. The Mountain Drake was almost at the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm, so speaking the human language was no problem for it.
“No. I need your Demon Crystal and flesh.”
Fang Shan pulled out her two daggers and responded, arcs of blue and black lightning dancing around her. She would kill this Mountain Drake and use its flesh, blood, and Demon Crystal to reach the Yin-Yang Formation realm. She would then train a bit more and see if she could kill Xie Gang.
“Then it is death.”
The gravely voice rang out again and the sound of heavy footsteps could be heard coming from within the cave as the Mountain Drake came within view. The Mountain Drake was a little over five meters tall, and almost 10 meters long. Its body was rather bulky, its head almost completely round, yet despite its bulky body, two large wings were folded on its back.
Its body was covered in earthen brown scales, each one the size of Huang Ying's hand. It had four thick legs, each one thicker than a log. A long and thick tail spread out from behind it, and a single long horn stuck out from its forehead. The Mountain Drake had several scars and was missing an eye, so it was clear that it had fought several battles to attain its position.
When the Mountain Drake came into view, the earth behind Huang Ying and Fang Shan rose up, forming a large wall that closed off the cave, locking the three of them in. Neither Huang Ying nor Fang Shan moved to stop this, as Fang Shan would rather fight the Mountain Drake inside the cave, where its mobility was limited, than in the open sky.
Fang Shan immediately activated her bloodline, deep blue scales covering her body, two leathery wings sprouting from her back, as well as two backwards pointing horns sprouting from her head. Huang Ying was slightly curious why these horns had not appeared the other times she activated her bloodline, but now was not the time to ask.
Fang Shan was the one to make the first move, turning into a blur as she moved towards the Mountain Drake. The Mountain Drake had the advantage in strength and defense, so Fang Shan had to take full advantage of her greater speed and flexibility.
With Fang Shan moving forwards, Huang Ying narrowed his eyes and kept close watch. It was his job to make sure that she did not die, so he could not afford to look away for even a second. After all, with Fang Shan's speed and the strength of the Mountain Drake, a mere second was all it took for things to go wrong.
The Mountain Drake let out a disdainful snort, the earth within the cave rising up to form thick spikes that shot towards Fang Shan from all directions. But with Fang Shan's speed, there was no way for any of these things to hit her. Rather than hinder her, they only served as footholds she could use.
Within the blink of an eye she had reached the side of the Mountain Drake and struck out with her daggers. Since the Mountain Drake was almost as long as the cave was wide, it require a bit of work for it to turn its body within the cave, it first had to coil up its body. Fang Shan was going to take full advantage of this during the fight.
Her daggers hit the side of the Mountain Drake, and with a slight twist of her wrists, all the momentum she gained from her movement was transferred into the daggers. Black lightning crackled forth and shot out from the tip of her daggers, digging into the scales of the Mountain Drake.
Two small wounds were opened in its side, but before Fang Shan managed to dig the daggers deeper into its body, the earth beneath her feet started twisting and distorting, forcing her to move away. Shortly after she moved away, thick spears of stone rose up from where she had just stood and shot after her.
Fang Shan dodged the spears but just as the spears passed by her side, a small rod of earth extended out from the cave wall and pushed one of the spears to the side, causing the handle to crash into Fang Shan's waist.
The handle of the spear was solid stone, and its speed and force had been increased thanks to the last second push it got. When it hit Fang Shan's waist, a few of her scales immediately shattered, the hit stopping her movement and pushing her to the side.
“I will not stand idly by as you try to kill me.”
The Mountain Drake looked at Fang Shan as it spoke. It originally thought that the battle would be easy, since it had managed to trap the two enemies in the cave. But it did not expect one of them to posses such a fearsome bloodline, as well as such great speed.
It considered removing the wall that blocked the entrance to the cave, taking the fight to the outside where it could move more easily. But whenever it looked to the cave entrance and wanted to move, that boy stood there, his eyes catching every detail of the battle. Just the girl was this troublesome, yet the boy released an even more dangerous feeling.
Fang Shan did not mind the wound on her waist, it would heal if she gave it just a bit of time. She charged towards the Mountain Drake again, dodging the spears and spikes that grew out of the cave ground and walls. The Mountain Drake caused the ground beneath her to rise up and form walls, trying to trap her in a prison, but Fang Shan stabbed out with her daggers and shattered the walls.
She moved beneath the Mountain Drake this time, checking to see if its defense was slightly weaker there. As she moved beneath the Mountain Drake, it immediately started moving forwards and backwards, the ground of the cave forming a large amount of spears. Its abdomen was its blind-spot, so it could only do it like this if it hoped to hit her.
But rather than be discouraged, the sudden increase in attacks only assured Fang Shan that the abdomen of the Mountain Drake was its weak-point. She put her feet onto some of the rising spears, letting them pierce her feet and push her body upwards. Such a self destructive fighting style could only be utilized by people like her or Huang Ying, who had healed rapidly.
With the speed that the spears gave her added onto her own, Fang Shan shot upwards, raising both her daggers high and putting as much Qi as she could into them. With her Qi filling up the daggers, they even grew slightly longer, until they almost resembled two swords.
Her two daggers sank into the abdomen of the Mountain Drake, and Fang Shan quickly spun her body, carving out a piece of its abdomen. When she carved out the flesh from its abdomen, she did not stop her charge, her entire body vanishing into the abdomen of the Mountain Drake.
Huang Ying could not see what she was doing inside the abdomen of the Mountain Drake, but judging from the blood pouring out of its mouth, and its despairing and nearly lifeless eyes, he could easily assume that the fight was over. This was how fights between powerful existences often played out, only a few moves to decide the victor. Of course, the fact that the Mountain Drake could not move freely, nor deal with Fang Shan's speed and flexibility, was also a factor that made the fight end this quickly.
When Fang Shan cut her way out of the Mountain Drake, she held an fist sized and earthen colored Demon Crystal in her hands. Her body was covered in the blood of the Mountain Drake, the scales on her waist were shattered, and both her feet had large holes in them. But she still held a bright and victorious smile. She had won.
Fang Shan quickly stored away the body of the Mountain Drake in a separate interspatial ring. After she had finished recuperating and healed her wounds, then she could start her breakthrough to the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
“Good work. It was an excellent...”
Huang Ying stepped forward and took out a piece of cloth he had just prepared. He started wiping away the blood on Fang Shan's body and was just about to congratulate her, when Li Jun's hurried voice suddenly rang out within his and Fang Shan's head.
“Huang Ying! There is a forest not far from here, to the east. Inside that forest is a small cave. Head to that cave at your highest speed, at your full speed it should only take you around one hour to reach it! I just detected traces of that girlie, Shi Na, inside that cave. She is heavily wounded. And she doesn't seem to be alone.”
Li Jun's voice was not just rushed, it was also very grave. It was so grave that Huang Ying did not dare doubt his words. Nor did he dare try to make a joke about how they never managed to catch a break, there was always something going on. Since Li Jun said to move at his full speed, Huang Ying immediately activated his bloodline, pulled out Longinus, and dashed out of the cave.
The wall that was blocking off the cave was immediately smashed when Huang Ying hit it. His left hand held onto Fang Shan, allowing her to focus on healing her feet, while his right hand held onto Longinus, slaying any Demonic beast that got too close. While Huang Ying was dashing at his full speed, Li Jun was strangely quiet. Perhaps he had seen the full picture of what was inside the cave?
Since Li Jun told him to move at his full speed, it was clear that Shi Na was more than just heavily wounded, it was likely that she was fatally wounded. He did not have too much of a relationship with Shi Na, but he greatly appreciated her straightforward and honest nature. She would make for a good friend.
Just like Li Jun said, it only took Huang Ying an hour to reach the cave within the forest. The forest was dense, with only enough space between the trees for one person to walk there at a time. The trees were in full bloom, so there was a sweet fragrance spreading through the forest.
The cave that Li Ju led them to was clearly one that had been opened in a hurry. It was located at the bottom of a small hill, and it was just large enough for Huang Ying to stand in. The edges of the cave were burnt, so it had clearly been opened by using fire to create an explosion.
“Who is there?!”
The moment they set foot into the cave, a panicky voice rang out. Huang Ying spotted the owner of that panicky voice immediately. Shi Na was sitting at the end of the cave, her robe completely tattered and torn. Her left arm was completely gone, only the burnt shoulder remained.
There was also a part of her abdomen that had been gouged out. The wound was closed by using fire to sear it, so she was not in danger of bleeding out just yet. But none of that registered in Huang Ying's mind. The only thing that registered in Huang Ying's mind was the thing that Shi Na was grasping tightly with her remaining right arm. That single head that she was holding with all her might.
Chapter 164: Towering rage.
Huang Ying was completely blank. For the second time in his life, his mind had gone completely blank. The only other time he had been this blank was when he first awakened his Baku blood. Ever since then, even when he was mad, he had at least managed to keep his calm and think things through clearly.
“Huang Ying? Why are you here? You need to escape from here, a powerful Demonic beast is chasing me. If it finds you here, it will kill you too.”
Huang Ying had activated his bloodline, but Shi Na was still able to recognize his facial features. Huang Ying stepped towards her, his gait slightly unsteady. When he got in front of her, he dropped to his knees and grabbed the head that Shi Na was holding.
“No! It is my fault that she died, I need to at least bury her head properly!”
Shi Na let out a low shout, but she did not have enough energy to take the head back. Her skin had already turned pale, and blood covered a large part of her face. Where her right eye should be, only a hole that went through the head remained. Mutilated and ruined, but Huang Ying could still clearly recognize her, the person he regarded as his older sister, Chen Chun.
Huang Ying placed his forehead against Chen Chun's, closing his eyes and speaking in a dreadfully low voice. When he closed his eyes, it was like he had ben transferred back to the time before Chen Chun joined the Golden Dawn Academy. Those were some of his happiest memories. Even when the rest of the town despised him, she played with him and cared for him.
After joining Golden Dawn Academy, she had started taking a distance from him. But he later learned that even that was done to protect him, to prevent the students in the academy who had a grudge with her from doing anything against him. She was a good sister who care for her family. And now she was dead. He planned on meeting with her and revealing who he was after they returned to the academy, but that would never happen now.
Shi Na did not quite understand Huang Ying's question, so she could not help but ask. From what she knew, Chen Chun and Huang Ying should not have any relationship with each other. It was at this moment that Shi Na remembered that Chen Chun was supposed to have a little brother who came from the Green Willows continent, a little brother called Huang Ying.
But she was still not sure if they were the same person. Chen Chun had described how Huang Ying looked before he awakened his Baku bloodline, and the last time she saw him, he was only six years old. Chen Chun also said that her little brother had no power, so Shi Na found it slightly hard to believe that they were the same Huang Ying.
“WHO DID THIS?! WHO KILLED MY SISTER?!”
Huang Ying's voice came out like a roar, the walls of the cave around them shaking. The rage storming around inside him even caused him to slightly lose control over his power, lightning and fire dancing around his body. He of course made sure that none of the fire or lightning hit the head of Chen Chun.
“...Our teacher sent us out here to kill a snake type Demonic beast with the Golden Crow bloodline. We thought it might be a tough fight, but we never expected the Demonic beast to be at the middle stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm. I tried to carry her away and escape, but as the Demonic beast got closer, Chen Chun hopped off my back to stall the Demonic beast.”
With Huang Ying's words confirming her thoughts, Shi Na slowly moved her body and got onto her knees. She pressed her forehead against the ground and started explaining what had happened.
“Li Jun. Find it. Any Demonic beast with the Golden Crow bloodline that fits the description. Find them.”
Huang Ying stored Chen Chun's head away in a separate interspatial ring and stood up. His voice thundered out within his own mind. He could not spread his perception out far enough, so he left it up to Li Jun to find the Demonic beast.
“Heal her. She can be considered a friend, and my sister gave her life to protect her, so I will not allow her to die.”
Li Jun found three Demonic beasts within a 200 kilometer area that fit the description, giving Huang Ying the information. Huang Ying took out several medicines and herbs from his interspatial ring, handing them to Fang Shan before he left the cave.
“You can't go! It's too strong!”
Shi Na tried to reach for Huang Ying with her remaining arm, begging him to stop. She had already caused the death of Chen Chun, she did not want to also be responsible for the death of Chen Chun's little brother.
“It will be fine. A mere Demonic beast at that level of strength will not be able to do anything to him.”
Fang Shan stopped Shi Na from getting up and chasing Huang Ying. She knew that his emotions were raging right now, he needed to vent them. And a Demonic beast who was only at the middle stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm could not threaten him. Even she could kill Demonic beasts like that now.
The moment Huang Ying stepped out of the cave, he spread his wings and kicked off the ground with all his might. The ground beneath him cracked and shattered as his body flew up and turned into a black blur that vanished into the distance.
Huang Ying quickly flew towards the first of the three Demonic beasts that Li Jun had discovered. The Demonic beast was resting on a volcanic island located at the center of a large lake, resting inside the volcano. The moment Huang Ying landed on the edge of the volcano, the Demonic beast let out a loud hissing sound and charged out of the lava.
It looked like a five meter long snake, scales that shimmered a faint gold covering it's body. It made for quite a beautiful sight, with the glowing lava dripping off its body. But Huang Ying was not in the mood to appreciate it, all he wanted was to tear the snake apart as slowly as he could.
The snake charged out of the lava and towards Huang Ying, but the moment it got close to him, it was like its body was forced to the ground. A horrendous pressure radiated out from Huang Ying, pushing down on every inch of the Demonic beast and preventing it from moving.
If it was a human Huang Ying was facing, the pressure it felt would not be this strong. But now he was facing a Demonic beast, so the pressure from his bloodline, as well as the pressure of his Qi and elements were pressing down on it. Especially with Longinus in hand, the pressure he released only grew stronger. Like a monarch descending to the world, with spear in hand the world was forced to kneel.
Huang Ying's devouring domain spread out from his body, Longinus dissolving into the domain. Since Longinus was created using large amounts of his blood, it could perfectly blend with his domains. Wherever the domain was, so too was Longinus.
The devouring domain covered the golden snake, and Longinus appeared above it, striking down and shattering both its scales and skull. Huang Ying wanted to kill it slowly, just in case it was the one who killed Chen Chun. He also didn't really want to devour it, but he had to.
Since it was their teacher who had given the order for Chen Chun and Shi Na to come here, that teacher also had to die to atone for Chen Chun's death. And if anyone else had taken part in sending Chen Chun and Shi Na here, that person would also die.
But Huang Ying knew that their teacher was probably much stronger than him, probably around the same strength, if not stronger than, Zhouyun. Huang Ying needed more strength to kill them, so he could only swallow his anger and build up his strength. No matter how weak the Golden Crow bloodline in these Demonic beasts were, it was still the blood of the Golden Crow. Devouring it would allow Huang Ying to strengthen his own flame element.
Huang Ying searched the memories of the Demonic beast, but found nothing about Chen Chun. He quickly devoured the rest of it and then left the area, heading towards the next one that Li Jun had found. This one was currently sleeping at the bottom of a lake.
Huang Ying's feet touched the water, and as much lightning as he could currently conjure sank into the lake. Everything but the golden snake immediately died, their organs roasted. Huang Ying struck out with Longinus and finished off the Demonic beast.
Huang Ying spread out his devouring domain and devoured everything within the lake. Upon seeing the memories of the Demonic beast, his eyes grew colder, a roar escaping from his lips. The Demonic beast that had been resting here was the one that had killed Chen Chun, but there was also another thing Huang Ying noticed in its memories.
“It knew. It knew. IT FUCKING KNEW!”
Before Chen Chun and Shi Na had arrived at its territory, a person covered in a violet robe had come and warned the Demonic beast about Chen Chun and Shi Na's arrival. The robe completely hid the appearance of the person, so Huang Ying could not see who it was, but he knew that no matter who that person was, he would kill them.
Huang Ying left the lake and returned to the cave, undoing his bloodline activation as he stepped into the cave. Shi Na already looked much better, her wounds closing properly. As for healing her lost arm and the gouge in her waist, they had no medicine for that. The Eternal Flame Academy would have to do something about it.
“It's okay. I am feeling a bit better after killing them.”
Fang Shan came up to Huang Ying, grabbing his hand and looking at him with a worried expression. Huang Ying put on a strained smile and pat her on the head to calm her down. Huang Ying had managed to calm down slightly after killing the Demonic beast that killed Chen Chun, but his rage had only been buried deep within him, waiting for a chance to burst forth. Huang Ying stepped towards Shi Na and sat down in front of her.
“I want to know everything about your teacher, and anyone you know who might wear a violet robe.”
Chapter 165: A second grand feast.
“Teacher's name is Gong Hua. She is a very kind and elegant middle aged woman whose cultivation has already reached the middle stage of the Deity Heart realm. All the people of Eternal Flame Academy wear scarlet or crimson robes, I have never seen anyone wearing violet robes.”
Shi Na quickly summarized everything she knew about their teacher. As for people with violet robes, she had never seen or interacted with anyone. She knew why Huang Ying wanted to know about their teacher, but she could not figure out why Huang Ying wanted to know about anyone wearing violet robes.
“Do you know if your teacher frequently contacts others?”
Huang Ying did not for one second believe that their teacher, Gong Hua, really was a kind person. If she was a kind person, she would not have sent Shi Na and Chen Chun here to die. Of course, Huang Ying had no proof that it was their teacher who set everything up, she was simply the most likely suspect.
“I don't know. She will often leave the academy and go somewhere, but I don't know where she goes.”
Shi Na shook her head as she responded. Gong Hua was their teacher, but they were not by her side at all times. Gong Hua would often leave the academy, leaving behind Shi Na and Chen Chun to train on their own. Where she went when she was alone, they had no way of knowing.
“Shan'er, can I leave taking her to the academy up to you? I don't think she will be able to leave the Divine Wilderness on her own.”
Huang Ying tapped his finger against the ground for a short moment before turning towards Fang Shan. He was not confident that Shi Na would be able to leave the Divine Wilderness alone, not while she only had one arm, and a hole in her abdomen.
Fang Shan immediately nodded her head. She could guess what was going through Huang Ying's head, and she also knew that the thing he needed right now was time. Some time alone to clear his head, calm his emotions, and vent his rage. He was probably going to end up in a state he did not want Fang Shan to see.
“Don't return her to the Eternal Flame Academy, bring her to the Eastern Wind Academy. I will talk with Xin Yang, he'll do something about it.”
Huang Ying fondled his chin slightly as he spoke. Returning her to Eternal Flame Academy, where they could not keep an eye on her, was a bad idea. If they brought her to Eastern Wind Academy, they could easily keep an eye on her. And with Xin Yang, who even Zhouyun and Xiao Mei were wary of, Huang Ying was sure that she would be protected properly.
“But I have to...”
Shi Na felt that she had to return to the Eternal Flame Academy, both to tell their teacher about the strength of the Demonic beast, and to let the academy know that Chen Chun had died. Huang Ying was clearly suspicious of their teacher, but Shi Na could not see their teacher as someone evil.
“Quiet! The Demonic beast you were hunting already knew you were coming before you even arrived. Someone clad in a violet robe warned it. Someone is clearly trying to kill either you or Chen Chun, maybe even both of you. I refuse to let you return to Eternal Flame Academy, as you will simply die upon arriving there. If you insist on returning to Eternal Flame Academy, I will simply break all your limbs and drag you to Eastern Wind Academy.”
Huang Ying interrupted Shi Na with a loud shout before she could finish her sentence. He had already lost a sister, he would not lose someone he considered a friend as well. Even if he had to completely crush her limbs to do so, he would drag her to Eastern Wind Academy.
“What will you be doing?”
Fang Shan stepped forward and helped Shi Na up. She was no longer in danger of dying from her injuries, but she was still very weak. As she picked up Shi Na, she also turned towards Huang Ying. Since he only said for Fang Shan to bring her back, it was clear that he had something else planned for himself.
“Training. I will be back at the academy before the competition to enter the Immortal's Garden. When I return to the academy, do you know what I want to hear?”
While Huang Ying spoke, a black light seemed to swim within his eyes. His devouring and destruction elements were yearning to be set loose, to swallow everything that caused their master pain.
“That Xie Gang has been killed and a certain girl taken his spot on the Rising Dragon List, right? Don't worry, you'll get to hear some good news.”
Fang Shan responded to Huang Ying's question as she left the cave, her words causing a ferocious smile to rise on Huang Ying's lips. He had to cut the training with Fang Shan short, but he was confident that she would not slack off while inside the academy.
“Xin Yang. I need to ask for a favor.”
After Fang Shan left the cave, Huang Ying took out the jade that the academy had given them, connecting with Xin Yang. Xin Yang had a high standing within the academy, maybe even within the Xin clan. Huang Ying needed his help to protect Shi Na.
“A favor? You? That's rare. What do you need?”
Xin Yang's slightly surprised voice sounded out. He did not see Huang Ying as the type of person who would ask for favors or owe people things. He saw him as the type of person that would try to accomplish everything on his own. So if he was asking for a favor, it was clearly rather serious.
“Shan'er is coming to the academy with a girl, a student from Eternal Flame Academy. Someone is trying to kill her, and I need you to protect her.”
Huang Ying gave a quick summary of what he wanted Xin Yang to do. If possible, he also wanted Xin Yang to see if he could learn anything about Shi Na's teacher, but he did not want to ask for more favors.
“Hoh? Since it is you that is asking, i'll of course do my best. But mind if I ask why?”
Xin Yang easily agreed, not even spending a second to think it over. But at the same time he was rather curious why Huang Ying wanted him to protect this girl. Did Huang Ying have other friends than him, Jing He, Fang Shan, and maybe Zhao Feng?
“She can be considered a friend of mine. And my sister died to protect her, so I refuse to simply let her die.”
Huang Ying gave a simple summary of the situation that had happened in the Divine Wilderness.
“...I'll do everything I can to protect her. Do you know who is trying to kill her?”
Xin Yang responded strongly after a short moment of silence. He had never heard about Huang Ying having a sister, but if the situation was like this, he could easily tell how serious the situation was to Huang Ying.
“It might be their teacher, someone called Gong Hua. There is also someone who hid his face with a violet robe, but I don't know who that is.”
Huang Ying spoke about their teacher, as well as the person that he had seen within the memories of the Demonic beast. These were the only two suspects he had.
“Alright, I'll see what I can find. When will you be returning?”
Xin Yang had a wide information network, so looking into Gong Hua would not be too much of a problem.
“Right before the competition to find out who will enter the Immortal's Garden.”
Huang Ying was planning on returning in time to participate in the competition. After all, there could easily be things within the Immortal's Garden that would be very useful to him.
“Good. I'll look forward to your return, I can't wait to see the look on Zhouyun's face when you do.”
Xin Yang responded with a light chuckle. He had long disliked Zhouyun, so any chance to see him angry would be treasured. Zhouyun had thought that Huang Ying was weak, even trying to make moves on Fang Shan. With Huang Ying revealing his strength and claiming Fang Shan, Xin Yang was certain that Zhouyun would be rather angry.
“Xin Yang. Thank you.”
Before Xin Yang cut the connection, Huang Ying said a low thanks. Xin Yang had no obligation to help him, nor did he have to use his connections to look into Gong Hua. But he still did it, not even thinking twice about it. For that, Huang Ying was thankful.
“Li Jun. Every Demonic beast with a special bloodline or higher elemental purity than me, can you find them?”
After Huang Ying put away the jade and stood up, he started talking with Li Jun. His eyes looked to the outside of the cave, the black light swimming within his eyes moving around like ferocious waves.
“As long as they are within 200 kilometers, they cannot hide from me.”
Li Jun's response was short and simple, everything within 200 kilometers was within his eyes.
“Good. Every single one of them within 200 kilometers, I want their locations. It is time for another grand feast.”
Huang Ying stepped out of the caves, the locations of several Demonic beasts appearing in his mind. The first grand feast was when he was beaten and Jing He forced to return to her clan. Now it was time to start the second grand feast.
Chapter 166: Five months.
After Huang Ying stepped out of the cave, he once again activated his bloodline. He did not immediately start hunting Demonic beasts, but instead used his fastest speed to fly out of the Divine Wilderness. He spent three days flying, not taking a single break, reaching the ruined Azure Springs Town.
After reaching the basin that Azure Springs Town had become, Huang Ying found a secluded spot at the corner of the basin and dug a small grave, placing the head of Chen Chun in the grave and closing it up. He had thought about devouring the head, so that he could always keep her at his side. But he decided against it when he thought about how Shi Na and Chen Chun's other friends would probably want to visit the grave at times.
“Sorry, but this is all I can do for you now. But I swear to you. Every single person who had a hand in your death, I will have them suffer until their hearts and souls break. And then I will deny them the chance to reincarnate, granting them eternal death.”
Huang Ying built a small grave marker out of ice, carving Chen Chun's name and his vow for revenge into it. This was the ice of the White Tiger and not just any White Tiger, but a White Tiger that held a trace of the primordial element of ice. This ice would never melt, nor be destroyed. Only another primordial element would be able to destroy it.
To actually use the ice that held a faint trace of the primordial element of ice required a large amount of Qi, even more than it required to use his destruction element, since he had to filter out the normal ice. Because of this, Huang Ying had never used this type of ice before.
Huang Ying sat in front of the grave marker in complete silence for an entire day, silently saying his final farewell. When he opened his eyes again, they were completely calm once more. No signs of rage or black light could be seen them, only a frightful calm.
“Time to begin.”
Huang Ying stood up and activated his bloodline, his body turning into a blur as he returned to the Divine Wilderness. He had about five months time before he had to return to the academy, and he was planning on increasing his strength as much as possible in those five months. Breaking through to the Yin-Yang Formation realm was almost impossible within such a short amount of time, so he planned on focusing on other aspects of his strength.
With Huang Ying entering the Divine Wilderness and starting a nearly indiscriminate slaughter, a strange calm descended upon the Cloud's Reach continent. The Demonic beasts he was butchering were far from the strongest in the Divine Wilderness, but they were the ones who made the most trouble. The stronger Demonic beasts preferred to train quietly at the very center of the Divine Wilderness.
With everyone below the Immortal Ascension realm quietly training and waiting for the opening of the Immortal's Garden, the tension of the continent slowly rose, with people already betting on who would gain the most from within the Immortal's Garden.
But this tension and quiet could not last forever. A month after Huang Ying entered the Divine Wilderness, the Jing clan announced that the engagement between their young miss, Jing He, and the young master of the Xin clan, Xin Yang, had been broken. The piece of news that followed this announcement also cause a stir on the continent.
During the next Dragon Meeting, whoever proved that they had the purest ice element would be given the hand of Jing He in marriage, becoming a part of the Jing clan. The Jing clan was one of the four great clans, so there were countless people dreaming about joining them. Because of these news, the next Dragon Meeting would surely be much grander than the previous ones.
But the exciting news did not stop with just that announcement. Two months after the engagement was broken, the sky above Eastern Wind Academy was suddenly filled with deep red clouds. Three crimson bolts of lightning descended from the clouds and landed in the academy. Seeing this spectacle, people knew that someone powerful in the academy had just broken through to the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
Only half a month after that, the Rising Dragon List was forced to release another change to their rankings. And it was not just a single change this time, but two changes at once. Rank 100, Gold Buddha Xia Zhu Kong, was beaten by the young master of the Xin clan, Xin Yang. Xin Yang became the new rank 100 and was granted the title Storm's Fury.
But that was not the main change on the list, the main change was rank 98. rank 98, Ocean Wind Xie Gang, had been challenged to single combat and slain. He had not simply been defeated, but slain, his head separated and then trampled. The previously unknown girl who killed him became the new rank 98 and was given her title, Dread Lightning Fang Shan.
Huang Ying would contact Fang Shan every five days, so he knew about everything that was happening on the continent. Of course, he never stopped his training, constantly engaging in battle as he devoured more and more Demonic beasts.
“It's time to go.”
When only a week remained before the competition to see who would enter the Immortal's Garden, Huang Ying stopped his training. He took off his tattered robe and put on a fresh sky blue robe, leaving the Divine Wilderness. His eyes were still dreadfully calm, his white hair dancing in the wind as he flew at full speed. His cultivation had not grown, but he was confident that if he were to meet Xie Gang again, he could kill him within ten moves.
The only change one could see after he left the Divine Wilderness was a large scar that went from his right eyebrow, all the way down to his left cheekbone, almost splitting his face in half. To create such a scar on him, who had such a powerful healing ability, the strength of that Demonic beast could be imagined.
The time for the competition to enter the Immortal's Garden had arrived, and the entire continent was looking forward to spectating it and seeing the contestants powers. And with the continent in such an uproar, Huang Ying returned, only a select few realizing that this meant a bloodbath would likely follow.
Chapter 167: Returning to Eastern Wind Academy.
“It'll be a bit harder for me to visit you in the near future, but I will do my best to make some time to come here.”
Huang Ying poured some water on the icy grave-marker he had made for Chen Chun as he spoke. It had not gotten dirty over the last five months, but cleaning it helped Huang Ying calm down his heart. Now was not the time to be hasty and rash, he had to be calm.
“You don't need to worry about me, I am doing fine. I didn't get the time during these five months, but in the future I will come back and tell you everything that has happened since we last saw each other.”
Huang Ying clapped his hands together and gave the grave-marker a quick bow, before turning around and leaving. After leaving the grave, Huang Ying traveled to Yellow Winds Town and bought some food. By now, Huang Ying's appearance was known by everyone in the town, so a path was opened for him the moment he stepped into town.
After stocking up on some food that wasn't Demonic beast meat without flavoring, Huang Ying left the town and traveled to Willow's Heart, the capital. His appearance was not as well known by the normal people there, but when he set foot in the imperial castle, there was no one that dared stand in his way.
Huang Ying reached the Spatial Array and quickly arrived in Cloud's End. When he reached Cloud's End city, he brought out Little Flame, who quickly grew in size until it was big enough for him to sit on its back. When Little Flame was in its bird form and didn't use any of its abilities, it looked no different from a normal crow. So even if Huang Ying rode him all the way to Heaven's Crossroads City, no one would pay it any mind.
Huang Ying quickly reached the city, dismounting outside the gates. Only certain special people were allowed to fly over the city, so he had to walk the rest of the way. Little Flame shrank in size and perched itself on his shoulder, looking like a small crow he had picked up along the way.
“Yikes, quite the scar you got there. Now how do you ever intend to get married?”
The first thing that greeted Huang Ying upon entering the academy again was a chuckle coming from Xin Yang, who brought along Fang Shan, Zhao Feng, and Shi Na. Shi Na lowered her head, not daring to look at Huang Ying.
“Tch, at least I wasn't dumped and had my engagement cancelled.”
Huang Ying responded with a chuckle of his own, planting a soft kiss on Fang Shan's lips right afterwards. Xin Yang shook his head with a wry smile at the comment, while Zhao Feng only raised his thumbs at Huang Ying.
“Ah? Junior Brother Ying, it is great that you have safely returned. I was worried that Junior Sister Shan was going to be beside her with worry if you didn't return.”
While Huang Ying and the others were walking on the road that would take them to the student lodgings, Zhouyun suddenly came around the corner. Upon seeing Huang Ying and Fang Shan, he let out a surprised exclamation and spoke to Huang Ying with a pleasant smile.
“Thank you for worrying about me, Senior Brother Zhouyun. But my life is far too hardy to die on some simple missions like that.”
Huang Ying wrapped his arm around Fang Shan's waist and pulled her closer as he spoke with a polite tone. It was very faint, but he noticed a slight twitch in Zhouyun's eyebrows.
“It seems like you and Junior Sister Shan have become a couple, allow me to give you my congratulations. And here I thought you and Junior Sister Mei were a foregone conclusion, with how close you were.”
Zhouyun still acted like nothing, even looking genuinely happy as he congratulated Huang Ying and then warned him. His warning was of course an attempt to sow discord between Huang Ying and Fang Shan.
“I have no idea what you are talking about, Senior Brother Zhouyun. There was never anything between me and Senior Sister Mei, perhaps there was a problem with your eyes? It would not be good if anything were to happen because you had a problem with your eyes, perhaps you should get it checked out?”
Huang Ying and Zhouyun both knew that the other person was their enemy. Zhouyun knew that Huang Ying had most likely killed Bai Jing, and then learned from Xie Gang that it was Zhouyun who had sent him. They were doomed to fight each other eventually. It was only that right now they still had to pretend to be on good terms, as they both knew that the other had a strong backing. If they were to kill the other one, they had to do it in a way that no one else could say anything against it.
“...Perhaps. I thank you for worrying about my well being Junior Brother Ying. Now if you will excuse me, I have some business that I need to finish before the competition. I do wish you luck.”
Zhouyun's eyebrows barely twitched after hearing Huang Ying's thinly veiled taunt. He greeted the others in the group and then bid them farewell, walking past them and vanishing down the road.
“I don't know what he is planning on doing, but he will certainly do something to tamper with the competition. You need to be extra careful.”
With Zhouyun vanishing down the road, the group continued heading towards the lodgings. Xin Yang warned Huang Ying in a low voice. Zhouyun had a lot of means at his disposal, even Xin Yang had to be wary around him.
“How will the competition play out? Is it just a battle tournament?”
Huang Ying nodded his head at Xin Yang's words and asked about the competition. He had yet to hear what the competition was, so he was rather curious how they decided who would be able to enter the Immortal's Garden.
“No. It is a hunt to gather points. Everyone will be sent into a separate space that was created long ago by the previous leaders of the seven overlords. Inside there, defeating other people and killing Demonic beasts will give you points. Stronger Demonic beasts give more points, and upon defeating a person, you gain the points they have accumulated. There are also five bases. Capturing and defending these bases gives a large amount of points. At the end, the people who have more than a certain amount of points get to enter the Immortal's Garden.”
Xin Yang quickly explained how the competition worked. He had already explained it to the others, so they only listened silently while walking at the side. The space had been opened long ago, so there were some Demonic beasts in there that were hard to find in the outside world. Of course, the fact that they were able to survive through so many competitions was proof of their strength.
“Will only people who have passed through this competition get to enter the Immortal's Garden? And what about killing others during the competition? How can you fight with your all if you aren't attacking with the intent to kill?”
Huang Ying fondled his chin slightly as he spoke. They had reached his cabin, so he opened the door and they all entered. He noticed that there was more furniture in his cabin than there was when he left, and looking at the smirk on Xin Yang's face, it was clear how they got there.
“No, others who are part of the smaller clans and academies will also enter, but they have their own competition. Each of the seven overlords also have their own hidden trump cards that they will send in once the Immortal's Garden opens. As for killing others, there is no problem with that.”
Xin Yang shook his head as he responded. There were certain people that the various clans and academies had specially trained, so they did not want to bring them out for the competition. They would just directly allow them to enter the Immortal's Garden when it opened.
“The space where the competition takes place was created by old leaders, so the current leaders can't interfere with what is happening inside. It also only records the amount of points a person has, it is impossible to see what is going on inside it. That is another reason you have to be careful. You might have fought Xie Gang to a draw, and then gotten much stronger in these five months, but even people like Dai Hui will enter this competition. There are still many people who can kill you.”
Xin Yang said it to warn Huang Ying, but when he saw the faint smile that Huang Ying's lips curled into, he knew that his warning did nothing.
“Don't worry, I won't be rash. I know exactly what I need to do.”
Huang Ying assured Xin Yang that he would not be rash. But he was quite looking forward to entering the competition. There would surely be people there who would try to kill him, and through them, he might learn more about who killed Chen Chun. Now all he had to do was wait for the competition to start in two days.
Chapter 168: Start of the competition.
Two days later the entire city was boiling with excitement. They were not able to see what was going on inside the separate space, but they would be able to see the amount of points that the people inside had. There were already many people placing bets on who would get the highest amount of points at the end of the competition.
During the days before the competition, the academy had been strangely silent. Even Xiao Mei had only come to visit Huang Ying once during the two days he had spent waiting for the start of the competition. She was a bit awkward when she saw that Fang Shan was preventing her from getting too close, but she eventually managed to pretend like she had not even noticed Fang Shan's actions.
“It's time to head out, so get a move on.”
While Huang Ying and Fang Shan were silently cultivating within Huang Ying's cabin, a loud knock was heard on their door, Xin Yang's voice ringing out. Huang Ying and Fang Shan opened their eyes and stood up, stretching their bodies as low popping sounds rang out from their joints.
“Alright, just give us a moment.”
Huang Ying called out in a loud voice, before both he and Fang Shan entered the bathroom. They took a quick shower and then put on some fresh clothing. After getting dressed, they left the cabin. They had already stored everything they might need in their interspatial rings, so there was nothing they needed to bring.
“Since it requires the power of the leaders of the seven overlords to send us into the separate space, we will be departing from the center of the city.”
Outside the cabin stood Xin Yang, Zhao Feng, and Shi Na. Huang Ying did not know exactly what strings Xin Yang had pulled, but he had somehow managed to secure a spot for Shi Na to enter the competition as well. The reason he did so was because it was safer to bring her with them, rather than leave her in the academy with Zhouyun.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan simply nodded their heads to Xin Yang's words. The group left the academy and started walking through the city to get to the center. Zhao Feng was so excited that he barely stopped talking as they walked. Shi Na still felt rather awkward around Huang Ying, so she mostly kept her head down and stayed silent.
While they were walking, Xin Yang also took the chance to explain a little about some of the more famous places in the city. Restaurants where one could eat meat from rare Demonic beasts, places where one could rent cultivation rooms that were better than the ones in the academy, there were even places where one could pay to have a fight with strong Demonic beasts.
The center of the city was a large circular opening, with not a single building present. Considering how packed the city was, it felt strange that there was a place like this in the city, with not a single building or vendor. The ground was paved with light blue stones that released a faint warmth. There were some places where the ground was paved with deep yellow stones instead of blue, the yellow stones forming a large array that covered the entire area.
Huang Ying scanned the area with his eyes, from what he could see, he would not be surprised if he was told that the area had a diameter of almost ten kilometers. Yet this massive area, that was usually completely empty, was now filled with people of varying ages and sizes.
There were a large amount of people, but they were clearly separated into seven different camps, one for each of the seven overlords. Xin Yang led the group to the place where the other students of Eastern Wind Academy were located, and they proceeded to wait for the time where they would be sent into the separate space.
“Let us begin! Students gather at the middle and prepare for the start of the competition!”
After waiting for a little more than an hour, a loud voice echoed over the area, resounding in everyone's ears. The students who were taking part in the competition stepped forward and gather at the very center of the area. From the backs of each group belonging to the seven overlords, an overwhelmingly strong Qi burst forth, surrounding the students. It was clear that the leaders of the seven overlords had started the process of sending them into the separate space.
“Not only we, but the entire city will be keeping a close eye on the amount of points each of you manage to acquire! Do your best and gather up as many points as possible, those who have gathered enough points at the end will be allowed to enter the Immortal's Garden. Those who fail to gather enough points will return in shame!”
Another loud shout was heard, putting more pressure on the students that were to take part in the competition. Of course, most people simply shrugged it off. Why would they care if they returned in shame? They were only trying to get stronger, there was nothing shameful in failing while walking along that path.
The world around the students changed into a vast and empty white world. Xin Yang had already told Huang Ying about this place. This place was what stabilized the separate space, a bridge that connected the separate realm and the outside world. The true form of this white space was the formation carved into the ground of the city center.
They would only be staying in this white world for a short duration, just long enough for the leaders of the seven overlords to gather up enough Qi to send them the rest of the way into the separate space. While everyone was waiting, Huang Ying swept the people in the area. There were some that he knew, but many more that he did not know. A quick and loose count showed him that there were over 2,000 people taking part in this competition. Quite a large number of people.
“It seems like there are quite a few of you who have something against me? Or is it that someone has paid you to kill me?”
While everyone was waiting, Huang Ying suddenly spoke out in a loud voice, catching the attention of everyone there. He had already noticed that there were a large amount of people here who had killing intent towards him. Most of the people with killing intent were people he did not even know, so he was rather curious why they wanted to kill him.
“But it does not matter what the reason is, I have been rather angry lately, so this will be a good chance to vent some of my anger. For your own good, I truly hope that you manage to kill me. Because if you fail to do so, I will hunt you all down and kill you. I will devour your memories to find out why you are looking to kill me, and if I find that someone set you up to do this, then I will kill them too.”
Huang Ying's lips curled into a ferocious smile as he spoke. Since they were looking at him with killing intent, they were his enemies, and that meant that he would hunt them down and kill them. And this competition was the perfect place to do so. The fact that he had the devouring element was already known, so he did not even need to hide the fact that he was going to devour them.
The gazes of several of the people looking at Huang Ying narrowed sharply after hearing his words, but no one spoke up or took any actions. Huang Ying's eyes continued to sweep over the people that were present, making sure the firmly remembered every single one of them.
The white world around them flashed brightly, blinding the people there as a falling sensation wrapped their bodies. When the falling sensation and the white light vanished, Huang Ying found himself standing inside a ruined house. The gray walls were covered in thick vines, with some parts of the wall broken and shattered. A few rays of warm sunlight shone into the house through the broken parts of the wall.
Huang Ying sent out his perception as far as he could, learning that he had ended up in a ruined city that seemed quite large. There were no other people for a few kilometers around him, so they had probably been sent somewhere else. Huang Ying's lips once more curled into a ferocious smile as he stepped out of the house.
“Well then, the hunt is on.”
Chapter 169: The first prey.
Huang Ying left the ruined house and started walking through the ruined city. The houses in the ruined city came in all shapes and sizes, but they were all built out of the same type of gray stone. Nature had completely overtaken the city, with vines and grass covering all the houses.
The plants that were growing around in the city were plants that Huang Ying had never seen before, with dark and subdued colors that attracted the eye. Huang Ying at first thought that the city had already been abandoned when it was brought into this separate space, but he could see clear signs that a great battle had taken place inside the city at some point.
The center of the city had completely vanished, the only thing remaining being a hole so deep that Huang Ying could not see the bottom. Not only was it deep, but it was also several kilometers in diameter, the edges of the hole completely smooth, so it was clear that whoever created the hole had used a supremely powerful attack.
While walking, Huang Ying had also checked out a few things. The first thing he checked was whether or not he could still talk with Li Jun, but there had been no response from Li Jun, so he was either hiding himself or cut off from Huang Ying.
The second thing Huang Ying checked was the point system. After entering the separate space, Huang Ying found a small blue jade square hanging at his waist. Putting his Qi into the jade would allow Huang Ying to see how many points he had gathered. He originally thought he could use it to check how many points the other people in the competition had, but it didn't seem to have that function.
Huang Ying was also very surprised at just how large this separate space seemed to be. He had walked for around half an hour, with his perception stretched to its very limit to keep an eye on the surrounding eight kilometers. Yet he had not spotted a single person, and only a few Demonic beasts none which were worth his time.
“Really. Over 2,000 participants but I haven't seen a single one yet. How much power did it take to create this place I wonder?”
Huang Ying could not help but mutter to himself while walking through the city. He had no idea how much strength it took to create a separate space, but he was certain that it required a tremendous amount. And to create a place as large as this? Li Jun might know, but he had no way of asking him that now.
While walking, Huang Ying had also inspected the ruined buildings more closely. He at first thought that the gray stones were just normal rocks, but when he inspected them more closely, he found that they were a strange type of rock that had great resistance towards Qi. To break a fist sized rock, Huang Ying would have to put all his strength into his attack, even using Longinus. And yet the entire city was ruined, the buildings broken and shattered.
He also found a few items that he had never seen or heard about before, strangely shaped weapons that were either completely round or square. They did not have any place where he could insert Spirit Stones, so they were probably operated by either directly inputting Qi or by using an unknown method.
Huang Ying suddenly stopped walking and turned his head towards the right, a slight sound escaping from his lips. Someone had entered his perception range. The girl was only at the middle stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm, so she had not detected that she had entered Huang Ying's perception.
Huang Ying's lips curled into a smile that could send chills down a person's back. The girl who had entered Huang Ying's perception was not just one of the people who had directed killing intent at Huang Ying, she was someone from Eternal Flame Academy. Huang Ying immediately dashed towards the right, heading towards the girl at full speed.
When he got close, he did not immediately approach her or reveal himself. He concealed himself and stalked her for a bit, making sure that nothing unexpected or dangerous would happen. She was weaker than him, so her perception would not be able to notice him.
The girl looked like she was about 16 or 17, but it was unlikely that she was truly that young, with a rather petite stature and black hair in a bowl cut. Looking at her cultivation that was slightly unsteady, it was clear that she had broken through not long ago, and most likely used some pills or herbs to do so. She was slowly moving through the city, keeping a close and vigilant eye on her surroundings.
Huang Ying stalked her for a few minutes before he determined that there was nothing dangerous about her. He undid his concealment and stepped out of the shadows, stopping in front of her.
“Do you know Shi Na or Chen Chun?”
Huang Ying had a polite and pleasant smile on his face as he asked the girl, but she only felt a chill go down her smile when she saw him. She did not believe that he had just coincidentally found her, but she had not even once sensed his presence as he got closer. This fact told her a single thing, that Huang Ying was most likely stronger than her.
“I have no idea who you are talking about. There is someone I have to meet over there, so I would like to keep moving.”
The girl took half a step backwards and bent her body slightly, a mace appearing in her hands as she spoke. Her entire body was tense, sweat gathering on her forehead. She knew that Huang Ying held the 99th rank on the Rising Dragon List, but according to the information she had gotten, he had gotten that rank due to luck. That was the only reason she had agreed to the deal about trying to kill him.
“I wonder if that is true. I also wonder why someone as weak as you would be roped into attempting to kill me. Will I learn the reason once I see your memories I wonder?”
Huang Ying only kept smiling as he responded. There was not a single person in the direction that the girl was heading, as that direction was where Huang Ying had come from. It was clear that she had only spoken those words to make Huang Ying think that she was not alone.
“Like I said earlier, I am rather angry right now, so I will be venting that on you.”
Before the girl had the chance to say anything, the polite smile on Huang Ying's face turned sinister and cold, his eyes turning emotionless. He took a step forward, the sound of thunder ringing out in the area. The girl took a step backwards and sent out a sideways strike with her mace, trying to force Huang Ying to change his attack.
Huang Ying simply raised his left arm and grabbed onto the head of the mace, clamping down on it like a vise and completely preventing the girl from moving it. He raised his right leg and stomped down on the girls left knee, causing it to shatter and bend backwards. The girl let out a scream in pain, but Huang Ying used this chance to grab onto her lower jaw with his right arm.
Realizing what he was about to do, the eyes of the girl were dyed in despair as she tried to plead with him. But Huang Ying did not pay attention to her silent pleading. Right now he was letting the rage that had gathered in his chest get free reign. His right hand tightened its grip and he pulled back his arm.
With a sickening snapping sound, the lower jaw of the girl was shattered and separated from her head. Even her tongue had been torn out of her mouth along with the jaw. With the jaw in his hand, Huang Ying smashed his right arm forward, driving her own lower jaw into the face of the girl and shattering her skull.
With her skull shattering, the girls screams stopped and her body fell backwards. Before he body could hit the ground, Huang Ying released his devouring Qi and devoured the body of the girl. He quickly skimmed through her memories, looking for any information that was useful.
“Dai Hui, huh. On the list you go.”
There was barely any information about Shi Na or Chen Chun, but he did find out who got the girl to join in on the attempts to kill him. It was the top ranker of the Rising Dragon List, Blooming Lotus Dai Hui. Huang Ying merely muttered her name with a disinterested expression. Since Dai Hui got this girl to attempt to kill him, Huang Ying would kill Dai Hui. Huang Ying picked up the interspatial ring of the girl and then continued moving. One had been killed, but the hunt was far from over.
Chapter 170: Learning of Zhouyun's powers.
The place Huang Ying reached after leaving the ruined city was a forest so dense that there was only space for a single person between each tree, deep green vines coiling around the trees like snakes, the tree crowns twining together and blotting out all sunlight. Of course, the darkness in the forest was no problem for Huang Ying who was practically half Demonic beast.
While walking, Huang Ying also made sure that he constantly paid attention to the Qi in the surroundings. Using the color of the Qi in the surroundings, Huang Ying could guess at what types of Demonic beasts or humans were in the surroundings. He had done this once before, when he was hunting the 6th grade Cloud Tiger, following it by tracking the ice Qi that it released as it moved.
Of course, he also kept his perception stretched out at all times, but there existed many Demonic beasts and cultivators who specialized in camouflage, slipping through his detection. Huang Ying was moving towards such a Demonic beast at this time. He had spotted it because of the Qi it released, and he noticed that there was a human heading in the direction of the Demonic beast, so he was moving over there to spectate what was going to happen.
Once he got closer, Huang Ying jumped up from the ground and started using the tree tops and branches to move around, making sure that he was well hidden by the leaves of the tree. Once he reached the place where the Demonic beast was hiding, Huang Ying stopped moving and hid his own presence, waiting silently.
After a few minutes of waiting, the person Huang Ying had spotted with his perception entered his vision. Huang Ying knew the person who was walking over, it was one of the reasons why he decided to spectate what was going to happen. The person who entered Huang Ying's vision was a young boy with smooth skin and short black hair, looking no more than 11 years old.
Had it been anyone else who looked this old, Huang Ying would have thought that they were using medicine to keep themselves young, but Huang Ying knew that this boy was truly no more than 11 years old. When Huang Ying first underwent the test to join the academy, this young boy had also been there. Back then he had been 10 and at the middle stage of the Xiantian realm.
He had failed to join the academy at that time but still joined this competition as a student of Eastern Wind Academy, so Huang Ying guessed that the boy might have gotten special permission to join the academy during the five months that Huang Ying was training. And just by looking at the boy Huang Ying could understand why he had gotten that permission. Since Huang Ying had last seen him, he had grown from the middle stage of the Xiantian realm to the early stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm. For an 11 year old boy to reach this level could only mean one of two things, he had supreme talent, or had a very powerful backer.
The boy slowly made his way closer to where Huang Ying was hiding, vigilantly surveying the area with his eyes as he moved. The young boy could not notice it, but Huang Ying noticed that the deep green Qi that was present in the area was getting restless, a sign that the Demonic beast that was hiding there was getting ready to attack.
The young boy took another few steps forward, and the hidden Demonic beast sprung into action. Some of the vines that were coiling around some of the trees suddenly uncoiled themselves and shot towards the young boy. The Demonic beast had the advantage of the surprise attack, but the young boy was after all someone at the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
The moment the vines shot towards him, he jumped up and grabbed onto a branch, using it to pull himself higher up. He slightly opened his mouth, seemingly attempting to say something. There were no words that came out of his mouth, but Huang Ying could see a transparent, nearly invisible Qi come out from the boy's mouth. The invisible Qi hit the vines causing them to rupture and explode, sending deep green liquid splashing throughout the area.
Huang Ying was rather interested in the Qi of the young boy, as it was of an element he had yet to experience for himself. The invisible Qi that came out from his mouth had vibrated slightly as it moved, and then started to vibrate violently when it touched the vines, which caused them to reverberate with the vibrating and explode. This method of attacking was the most common way of attacking for people who had the element of sound, a rather rare element.
But Huang Ying did not stop hiding just because of his interest in the sound element. Even if the young boy managed to defeat the Demonic beast that was hiding here, which was in the shape of an underground root that controlled the surrounding vines, he would still die in the hands of Huang Ying. The young boy had shown killing intent towards Huang Ying earlier, so he was already placed on the list.
The deep green liquid that splashed out from the ruptured vines seemed to be highly corrosive, as everything that was touched by it started melting. A few drops landed on the cheek of the young boy, who had neglected to dodge because he did not expect the liquid to be dangerous. He had a high cultivation level, but he was onl 11 after all, so once the drops landed on him and his cheek started melting, he let go of the branch and started letting out shrill screams in pain.
More vines shot forward and started coiling around the legs of the young boy, slowly pulling him towards the spot where the root was hiding underground. It seemed like the vines could excreted the corrosive liquid at will, as the legs of the boy started slowly melting after the vines coiled around them, his screams growing higher in pitch as his upper body started thrashing around in panic.
“I can't let you kill him.”
While the boy was thrashing around and screaming, Huang Ying dropped down from his hiding spot and spoke out. When his feet touched the ground he sent his ice Qi into the ground and froze the root that was the core of the Demonic beast, causing the vines to slowly freeze.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
The boy started rapidly thanking Huang Ying, thinking that Huang Ying had come to save him. It seemed like in his panic and pain, he had forgotten the proclamation that Huang Ying had made at the start of the competition. Huang Ying only looked at him with a cold and nearly emotionless gaze as he stepped towards him and placed his hand on the head of the young boy.
As the young boy realized that something was wrong, Huang Ying put strength into the hand that was on the head of the boy, clenching it tightly and crushing his skull. The boy was only 11 years old, but since he had shown killing intent towards Huang Ying, there was no way Huang Ying would spare him. After crushing his skull, Huang Ying used his devouring Qi to search through the memories of the boy.
“Really Zhouyun, there has to be a limited to your depravity. This is just disgusting to look at.”
Huang Ying's mouth twisted after he finished going through the memories of the boy. He had managed to ascertain that Zhouyun seemed to swing both ways when it came to lovers, did not care for the age of his lovers, and that it was indeed Zhouyun who had gotten the boy to show killing intent towards Huang Ying. But he also managed to learn one other fact that he had not know before. Through the memories of the young boy, he had seen that Zhouyun seemed to be capable of either brainwashing or controlling others using his Qi.
“Really Zhouyun, things would never have ended up like this if you just learned to keep your hands to yourself.”
Huang Ying shook his head and left the area, continuing to look for other people. He could not help but feel like laughing at how he and Zhouyun had ended up as enemies. Zhouyun had seen Fang Shan and felt that she was beautiful enough to try and conquer her, but to do so he felt that he had to get rid of Huang Ying first. If he had just ignored Fang Shan, he and Huang Ying would never have become enemies. But now it was already too late for that, now it would only end up with either of them dead.
Chapter 171: Towards the fortress.
Huang Ying continued traveling through the forest, looking for a place where he could get a good view of the entire surrounding area. He could use Little Flame to fly above the forest, but as he did not know what sort of Demonic beasts might be lurking in the sky, as well as not knowing who might be watching, he decided against it.
It was only after walking for almost half a day, avoiding any Demonic beasts he encountered along the way, that Huang Ying spotted the edge of the forest. The edge of the forest was a good place to lie in ambush, so he upped his vigilance further and started making his way towards the edge, ready to attack at the slightest sign that there was anyone lying in ambush to attack other competitors.
Yet his expectations were betrayed, as he was able to easily leave the forest and arrive at the top of a tall hill that allowed him to get a decent view of the areas in front of him. He swept the top of the hill for any signs of people, but the only thing he could see was the edge of the forest.
Just as Huang Ying was going to check what lay ahead of the hill, a loud sound resounded over the entire area, drilling into his ears. The sound only lasted a short moment, before it started to slowly recede. While Huang Ying was looking for the source of the sound, he saw that large letters had appeared in the sky, so large that they could be seen from any point in the separate space.
“The northern fortress has been captured by Yuan Wuhan, and the western fortress has been captured by Xing Kan? So we get notified whenever a fortress get captured?”
Huang Ying fondled his chin, muttering to himself as he read the letters that had appeared in the sky. If everyone was notified whenever a fortress was captured, it meant that everyone would know your location after you captured a fortress, so Huang Ying made a mental note to be prepared to be swarmed by others once he capture his fortress.
“Yuan Wuhan and Xing Kan, are you targets?”
Huang Ying tried to see if he knew anything about the two people that had captured the two fortresses, but he did not have a single memory about them. Of course, there were over 2000 people taking part in this competition, so it was impossible for him to know about everyone. Huang Ying stopped looking at the writing and swept his eyes over the area in front of him, thinking about where to head next.
Since he stood at the top of a hill, he was able to see for quite a distance, even being able to see one of the five fortresses standing in the distance. The first thing he noticed was the sheer size, despite walking for so long already, the separate space still continued on as far as he could see, vanishing into the horizon.
To the north of him was a vast plain dotted with a few small lakes, going even further north would turn the plain into a desert, a few dry mountains sprouting up from the desert. To the east was an area that contained several deep valleys and steep mountains, with one of the five fortresses located amidst the mountains. And to the west of Huang Ying was a continuation of the plain, but this one contained many vast lakes covered in small waves.
“Let's go towards the fortress first, there should be more people there.”
Huang Ying's gaze landed on the fortress placed amidst the mountains. He not only had to collect points, but he also had to meet up with Fang Shan, Shi Na, Xin Yang, and Zhao Feng. Because of this, going to places where there would be more people was better for him. And even if none of the people he was looking for were there, there would surely be someone that he was hunting there.
Huang Ying made his way down the hill and started heading towards the east. He had not spotted any threats from atop the hill, so he released Little Flame and allowed him to roam freely, allowing it to hunt for Demonic beasts. Little Flame had also grown over the five months Huang Ying had spent training, so it turned into a black blur that vanished into the distance the moment it was set free.
He let Little Flame go so that it could hunt Demonic beasts, but also so that it could get a better look at the surrounding area, checking if there were signs of other people, or if it could spot anyone that he knew. With Little Flame's speed, it would be no problem to rapidly return to Huang Ying when there was a need.
With Little Flame gone, Huang Ying continued moving towards the mountains, this time moving faster than he did through the forest. Here he could easily see everything around him, so the chance of getting ambushed was far lower than it was in the forest. Of course, he never dropped his vigilance, nor did he stop keeping an eye on the Qi in the surroundings.
As Huang Ying got closer to the mountainous area, he started to hear sounds of battle coming from the distance. At first he thought that it might just be two people engaged in battle, but he soon noticed that there were in fact quite a few different voices, as well as many different types of Qi.
Huang Ying pondered over it for a short moment before deciding to check it out. The way he saw it, even if none of the people he was looking for or hunting were there, he could still beat up the people fighting and take their points. He followed the sounds of battle, which took him to a valley located at the very edge of the mountainous area.
Huang Ying hid himself at the top of the valley, peering down at the people fighting. At the bottom of the valley was a large group of people, with Huang Ying counting a little over 20 people engaged in battle. There were two groups engaged in battle, one group consisted of only three people, with the rest of their group seemingly already killed. The other group consisted of the remaining people, who seemed to be ganging up on the three people, attempting to kill the leader of said people, a tall and slim female with short black hair, sharp features and a muscular body.
Huang Ying only glanced at most of these people for a short moment, his eyes finally landing on two of the men who were a part of the larger group. Huang Ying did not know the name of these two men, but he knew that they were among the people that had pointed killing intent at him before the start of the competition.
Huang Ying's lips curled into a faint smile as he stepped forward and dropped down into the valley with a loud thud as he hit the earth. They had pointed killing intent at him, so the death of these two men had already been set in stone.
Chapter 172: Finding information.
When Huang Ying made contact with the ground, the sounds of battle immediately stopped, everyone turning a vigilant eye towards him. When they noticed who it was that had arrived, the two people that Huang Ying had locked onto tensed up slightly, but they also revealed excited expressions.”
“Senior Void Sun, please help us! We will reward you handsomely!”
The tall woman with short black hair let out a loud shout directed at Huang Ying. Huang Ying was slightly confused at first, but then quickly remembered that he had been granted the title of Void Sun when he firsts got a spot on the Rising Dragon list. He only glanced at the woman for a short woman, before his eyes landed on the two people he had locked onto.
“I am only interested in those two, as long as the rest of you hand over all your points, I can't be bothered to crush you.”
Huang Ying's words instantly caused the other people present to grimace. His words implied that they were not even worth noticing, that crushing them would only take a short moment, time he could not be bothered to waste. No one liked being insulted like that, even if it was unintentional.
“Are you willing to be treated like that, brothers, like you are not even worth his time? Form the array and let us crush him, show him that we are not people he can just disregard!”
One of the two people that Huang Ying had locked onto spoke out in a loud voice, rousing the other people. He had been wondering how he could enlist the aid of the others in taking down Huang Ying and get the reward, but then Huang Ying had handed him the chance on a platter. No one liked to be treated like they were not worth noticing, so the others in the group quickly let out sounds of agreement.
Huang Ying simply looked at them with a disinterested, almost mocking expression. The three people who had been besieged started slowly sneaking away, but when they noticed Huang Ying glancing at them, they no longer dared move further away. All they could do was grit their teeth and wait, hoping that he would stay true to his words and not crush them if they did not engage in battle.
The remaining 19 people quickly got into a simple formation that would let them share their Qi with each other and empower the attacks of each other. The two people who Huang Ying was targeting were the center of the formation, as their cultivation was the highest there, almost reaching the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
“Are you sure you want to do this? As long as you surrender your points now, I can still let you go. But the moment you launch an attack, your fate will be the same as the fate of those two.”
Huang Ying looked at the 17 other people that formed the array, warning them one last time. He simply did not consider any of these 17 people worth his time, even if he killed and devoured them, he would barely gain anything. But his words had the opposite effect, firing them up even more and causing them to put more Qi into the array.
All the Qi of the 19 people gathered together at the center of the array, flowing into the two people who served as the core of the array. The two people drew their weapons, an axe and a saber, and slashed out at Huang Ying. The collected Qi turned into two large slashes that flew towards Huang Ying, gouging out the earth as they approached Huang Ying.
The slash sent out by the youth with the axe was deep purple, showing that his element was poison. The attack of the saber user was light green in color, showing that his element was wind. The attack of the saber user was slightly faster than the one of the axe user, so it was the first to reach Huang Ying.
Yet despite the attack arriving directly in front of him. Huang Ying's eyes were still completely disinterested. He raised his leg, the sound of thunder resounding through the valley as Huang Ying's figure vanished. The saber attack hit empty air, with the axe attack following shortly after. The spot where Huang Ying had previously stood was completely destroyed, the ground turning into a deep crater.
But by the time the attacks hit the spot where Huang Ying had stood, Huang Ying had already arrived in front of the people that formed the array. Wind was one of the faster elements, but there was no way for it to be faster than lightning, the fourth fastest element.
“Since you all are so intent on sharing the same fate as them, then so be it. Vanish from this earth.”
Huang Ying raised his right arm, placing his hand on one of the people in the array, a short female youth. His face was completely disinterested and calm as he channeled his destruction and devouring Qi into the body of the female. Once the Qi entered her body, he pulled back his hand and took a step back. The Qi rapidly spread through her body, her limbs disintegrating and vanishing at an astonishing pace.
But before the other people in the array could react with shock, they were terrified to realize that the Qi that Huang Ying had planted in the girl was spreading to them, using the array they had set up to spread to all of them.
“What the fuck is that?!”
One of the people in the array could not help but call out in a terrified voice. He tried his best to force the Qi out of his body, but the more he tried to force it out, the stronger and more ravenous it grew, his entire body slowly disintegrating.
“Destruction is a plague. It will breed nothing but more destruction, which it will then use to fuel and spread itself, until it has devoured and destroyed all creation.”
Huang Ying looked at the disintegrating people as he spoke. Over the last five months of training, this was what he had realized. Devouring and destruction were very similar like that, the more they destroyed or devoured, the more powerful they would become. Huang Ying was confident that if he became strong enough, he could release his destruction Qi and have it swallow up the entire universe if he gave it enough time.
The three people who chose not to take part in the battle stood at the side, looking at the disintegrating group of people with utter horror. Was this the power of someone ranked 99 on the Rising Dragon List? If he was already this strong, how strong were the ones higher ranked than him? Of course, they failed to realize that it had already been quite some time since Huang Ying last battled someone on the Rising Dragon List, so his true ranking was already unknown.
“Jing clan? I don't believe I have any grudges with them, though? And as expected, nothing about the others.”
Once all 19 people had disintegrated, Huang Ying rummaged through their memories in search of anything useful. From the memories of the two people he had locked onto at first, he learned that the reason they were after him was because they had been promised a handsome reward from an elder in the Jing clan.
But after searching his own memories, Huang Ying could not find a reason as to why the Jing clan elder would want him dead. He also did not manage to find any information about where Fang Shan and the others had ended up, so he was slightly disappointed.
“Now it is your turn.”
Huang Ying turned his head towards the three people that had been besieged. He did not care to find out why they had been besieged, and he could not be bothered to kill them. All he wanted was for them to hand over their points quickly so that he could be on his way.
“Wait! I know where the ones you are looking for are!”
Just as Huang Ying was about to walk towards them, the tall female took a step backwards, raising her arms and hurriedly speaking out in a loud voice. Huang Ying stopped his steps, raising an eyebrow as he looked at the woman.
“You should be looking for Senior Dread Lightning and Senior Storm's Fury, right?”
The woman hurriedly started talking, seemingly afraid that Huang Ying would attack them if she was even the slightest bit slower. Huang Ying's eyebrows perked up slightly when he heard her mention Xin Yang and Fang Shan's titles.
Chapter 173: Zhao Rong.
Huang Ying motioned with his hand, telling the woman to continue talking. If the woman actually had information about where he could find Fang Shan and Xin Yang, he could save plenty of time.
“I am Zhao Rong, I come from the Zhao clan. I cultivate a special technique that lets me create avatars that I can control like puppets, even letting me see through their eyes. I sent out several of them right before we entered this place, causing them all to be sent to different locations. One of them spotted Senior Dread Lightning in the south, past a ruined city, while another one spotted Senior Storm's Fury to the north, in the distant desert. I spotted them shortly after entering, so I don't know their current locations, but I can have my avatars look for them.”
The woman, Zhao Rong, quickly introduced herself and started talking about where she had seen Fang Shan and Xin Yang. While talking, she also took out a square jade plate from her interspatial ring and injected her Qi into it. Once she filled it with her Qi, several images flickered into existence above the jade plate. Each image showed what one of her avatars, clone puppets, could see, showing Huang Ying that she was speaking the truth.
“One to the south and one to the north huh? And no news on the two others. Wouldn't it be better to have them come to me then?”
Huang Ying fondled his chin as he looked at the images, muttering slightly to himself as his mind started moving. The competition would not last for too long, he guessed that it would likely end in only two or three days. After all, there were only around three months left for the actual opening of the Immortal's Garden, they had to give the ones who were going to enter it a bit of time to prepare. Because of that, he wanted to make sure that he could group up with Fang Shan and the others as soon as possible, to prevent any accidents from happening.
“You, come with me. Use your avatars to look for Fang Shan and Xin Yang, at the same time, look for these two. The moment you hear or spot them, let me know.”
Huang Ying looked at Zhao Rong, using his Qi to create images of Zhao Feng and Shi Na. Since she had mentioned her own abilities it was clear that she was willing to aid him. Of course, since she was going to aid him, he would have to keep her safe and not rob her, such were the rules of their unspoken contract.
“Yes, Senior Void Sun!”
Zhao Rong and the two other people quickly nodded their heads and voiced their agreement. By staying with Huang Ying like this, they could at least avoid losing all their points, meaning that they had a better chance at being amongst the group of people that would enter the Immortal's Garden. As for why they only called him by his title, it was a sign of respect for the strong.
Huang Ying nodded his head at the three of them and then started walking, with the three of them quickly following him. Of course, Huang Ying constantly kept his perception stretched out, keeping an eye on the surroundings as well as the three people following him. If they so much as tried to attack him, he would immediately kill them.
“Where are we headed, Senior Void Sun?”
After they walked for a little bit, climbing out of the valley and heading deeper into the mountainous area, Zhao Rong could not help but ask Huang Ying. From the way Huang Ying walked, she could tell that he had a goal in mind, but she was not quite sure exactly what that goal was.
“To the fortress located a bit away from here. Taking over the fortress will let Fang Shan and the others know where I am, making it easier for all of us to meet up.”
Huang Ying pointed towards the distance, from their current location one could just barely see the top of the fortress that was standing in the distance. Since it would take too much time to head to where Fang Shan and the others were, he figured that it would just be easier to let them know where he was and have them come to him. This would also alert those who wanted to kill him to his location, but he had enough confidence in his own strength to at least escape if things got too bad.
“You plan to capture the fortress? With just us?”
Zhao Rong and the two others stopped in their tracks, Zhao Rong's voice trembling slightly as she looked at Huang Ying and asked for confirmation. Capturing a fortress, with just the four of them? Did he not know how difficult it was to capture a fortress?
“No, with just me.”
Huang Ying turned his head slightly as he responded. The way he saw it, Zhao Rong and the two others were too weak to be of use in capturing the fortress, it was more likely that they might die while trying. Huang Ying wanted to keep Zhao Rong alive to keep an eye out for Fang Shan and the others, so he would not allow her to die here.
“Senior Void Sun, taking over the fortress requires you to fight your way through all the puppets and golems that guard it, reaching the throne room and then capturing the throne. People usually form large groups when they want to capture a fortress.”
Zhao Rong spoke in a slightly hushed tone, thinking that Huang Ying really didn't know what it meant to capture a fortress in this competition. If it was so easy to capture a fortress alone, would they really make the fortresses give out so many points?
Huang Ying merely gave her another glance before turning back towards the fortress, his voice calm and confident. Others might need to form groups to capture the fortresses, but that did not mean everyone needed to. Would people like Dai Hui need to form groups? No, they would capture the fortresses alone.
Huang Ying continued to lead the group until they arrived at a location not far from the fortress, halfway up a mountain. The fortress ahead of them was in the shape of a building made completely out of metal, the light of the sun reflecting of the walls. A large wall surrounded the inside of the fortress, four cylindrical towers connected to the wall and serving as sentries.
After passing through the wall, one would have to move through the garden that was located right behind the wall, only then would they reach the actual fortress. The fortress itself was rectangular in shape, with only a few windows located along the wall, and with a triangular roof that ended in a sharp point. It was very simple and unadorned, but it looked very sturdy.
Huang Ying put his fingers to his mouth and let out a loud whistling sound. While Zhao Rong and the others were wondering what he was doing, a loud screeching sound reached their ears. A black blur flew over from the distance, stopping right in front of them and revealing itself to be Little Flame.
“Wait here and don't go anywhere. I will let you know when you can enter.”
Huang Ying spoke to Zhao Rong and the others, nodding to Little Flame after he spoke. Little Flame let out a low screech and then landed on the ground, its eyes keeping close watch on Zhao Rong and the two others. They were not fools, Huang Ying had clearly called this strange bird here to keep an eye on them and make sure that they did not escape. They did not know how strong this bird was, but since it was the pet of Huang Ying, it was clearly not weak.
Huang Ying turned away from Zhao Rong and the two others, moving down the mountain and heading towards the fortress. While walking, he stretched out his right arm and opened his palm. A black light flooded out of his arm and grew longer, quickly solidifying and turning into his spear, Longinus.
Huang Ying tightly grasped Longinus and then started dashing towards the fortress. As he got closer, the four towers around the perimeter of the fortress started glowing with a crimson light, causing a faint smile to appear on Huang Ying's face.
“Alright then, show me what you got.”
Chapter 174: Storming the fortress.
The four towers lit up with crimson light that grew in intensity as Huang Ying got closer to the walls of the fortress. Once he got within two kilometers of the walls, the crimson light that was gathering in the towers was released, shooting towards Huang Ying like crimson rays of light, bringing with them a screeching sound as they tore through the air.
Huang Ying narrowed his eyes and lowered his body, bringing it closer to the ground as he upped his speed. The four rays of light moved at differing speeds, causing them to arrive with a slight difference. The rays of light were fast, but they had not reached a point where Huang Ying was unable to dodge them.
Huang Ying dodged the first one by ducking, causing it to almost graze his shoulder. The second one came right afterwards, with Huang Ying dodging it by taking half a step to the side. The third and fourth were dodged by Huang Ying jumping up slightly and then stabbing his spear into the ground to push himself sideways. After the towers shot out their first ray of light, they needed one second to recharge themselves and shoot out the next one, causing the second volley to arrive shortly after Huang Ying dodged the last shot from the first volley.
Huang Ying continued to dodge the rays of light, jumping up and using his spear to change his direction mid-air if he felt the need to. With his speed, even while he was being bombarded by attacks, he could cross two kilometers in less than 15 seconds. The attacks grew more frequent when he crossed the first kilometer, but it was still not enough to stop his charge.
Once he reached the wall, which he now realized was almost 50 meters high, the towers stopped firing at him. Huang Ying looked at the tall wall in front of him and placed his hand on it. The wall was cold to the touch, made out of a strange metal that Huang Ying had not seen before. He clenched his fist and noticed that his fingers sank into the wall. Once he removed his hand from the wall, the part where his fingers had sunk in started quickly repairing itself, showing that the metal was capable of restoring itself.
Huang Ying readied Longinus and filled it with lightning and fire Qi, causing arcs of lightning and orbs of fire to spin around the tip. He struck out with Longinus, the tip of the spear sinking into the wall and then exploding. Fragments of the wall flew past Huang Ying at high speed, leaving slight cuts on his skin as they grazed past him. But such slight cuts were nothing to Huang Ying, so they quickly started healing themselves.
A large opening had been torn in the wall, large enough for two people to easily pass through it. But even then, the wall was slowly repairing itself, the pieces that had flown away sliding along the ground as they slowly returned to the wall. Huang Ying stepped through the hole and entered the garden behind the walls. Looking over him from the distance, Zhao Rong and the others could not help but gaze at him with gaping mouths. Were those still the same walls that usually required them to set up an array and work together to break through them?
Now they truly realized the difference between them and Huang Ying, he was not someone they could gauge with the same measures they used for themselves. He belonged in the same category as people like Dai Hui and the others ranked towards the top of the Rising Dragon List. Of course, something that completely slipped their minds was the fact that Huang Ying was still only at the peak of the Xiantian realm, while Dai Hui and the others were at the peak of the Yin-Yang Formation realm.
Once Huang Ying stepped into the garden, he noticed that seemingly everything in this fortress was made out of metal. The trees were twisted and bent, shining with a silver color. The grass was straight and sharp, easily capable of slicing up the feet of weaker people if they were to step on it. The main building of the fortress was located three kilometers away from Huang Ying, slightly further away than the range of the towers had been.
Huang Ying swept the surroundings with his eyes, taking a step forward as he did so. Once he took a step forward, the metallic trees started trembling slightly. The trunk of the trees straightened and then opened up, metallic humanoid puppets with elongated limbs stepping out from within the trees. Huang Ying swept the surroundings once more and counted a little over a hundred puppets in his immediate area.
While normal people might feel a bit apprehensive at this point, his lips simply curved into a smile. If there was one thing Huang Ying did not fear, it was group combat. He grasped Longinus and released his devouring domain, a black dome spreading out from his body and slowly devouring the Qi that was being used to activate and control the puppets.
Huang Ying took another step forward when he suddenly heard a screeching sound coming from behind him. He rapidly jumped to the side, a crimson ray of light brushing past his body and hitting the metallic grass. When the ray of light hit the grass, it was immediately reflected off the grass, shooting into the distance and hitting a tree, which then reflected it away once more.
Huang Ying turned his head and saw that the four towers had lit up with crimson light again, rapidly sending out rays of crimson light. A wry smile spread on Huang Ying's face as he realized why people normally formed group to capture these fortresses. Not only would they have to deal with the puppets and the sharp grass, they would also have to constantly dodge rays of light coming at them from unpredictable angles.
Of course, Huang Ying was not like normal people. With his devouring domain spread out, not only were the dolls turning sluggish from having their Qi drained, even the rays of light that entered his domain were slowly being devoured. After all, they were still only Qi.
Huang Ying crouched slightly, and then shot forward like a blur. Huang Ying did not even bother with using Qi to protect his feet from the sharp grass, he simply stomped down on it. Each stomp would shatter the metallic grass and propel Huang Ying forward. After five months in the Divine Wilderness, his bodily strength had increased greatly, even putting many Demonic beasts at the Yin-Yang Formation realm to shame.
Whenever a puppet managed to position itself in front of him, he would swing out with Longinus, either slicing the puppet in half or sending it flying to the side. But as he continued to move forwards, he noticed that the grass and puppets seemed to be made out of the same material as the outer wall was, as they started slowly repairing themselves.
Huang Ying took his eyes off the slowly repairing puppets and grass, as they would not be able to stop his advance. He focused his gaze on the building ahead of him, looking for an entrance while he continued to dodge the rays of light that were starting to fill up the entire garden. After doing a quick sweep of the building and not finding an entrance, Huang Ying decided to use the most efficient way of entering it, smashing through the wall.
Arcs of lightning and orbs of fire once more started to dance around the tip of Longinus, waiting to burst out with their full might. Huang Ying dodged another ray of light and then shot forward, stabbing out with Longinus. The moment the tip of Longinus hit the wall of the building, a loud explosion rang out as azure arcs of lightning and tongues of crimson flames covered the area. The metallic grass that was not shattered and blown away by the explosion immediately started to melt under the high heat of the lightning and flames.
A large crack opened in the wall of the building, allowing Huang Ying to dash forward and enter the building. Once inside the building, it immediately became quiet, not even the sound of the wind outside present. Huang Ying looked back and saw that the crack in the wall was still there, but sound seemed to be unable to enter the building through the crack.
The inside of the building was rather dark, with only a few spread orbs of light floating around and making sure that it wasn't pitch black. Huang Ying held Longinus ready and walked around the building, inspecting the inside. The building was only two floors tall, and even smaller than the garden outside, so Huang Ying quickly managed to inspect everything inside the building.
The building was filled with rooms that seemed to be set up so that people could sleep in them, containing a single bed, a table, and a single chair. The first floor was filled with rooms like these, while the second floor consisted of a single large room. The room that was the second floor only contained a single piece of furniture, a tall throne that was made out of a different type of metal than the rest of the building, a strange dark golden metal.
Huang Ying walked towards the throne and inspected it for a bit, but found nothing strange or dangerous about it. He tightly grasped Longinus and sat down on the throne, leaning his back against it as he sat in a relaxed position. Even after he sat on the throne, there was no reaction from it. He tried to insert a bit of his Qi, which caused the throne to light up with a golden light, intricate runes appearing on the back and armrests of the throne.
When the intricate runes appeared on the throne, a loud booming sound rang out, drilling into Huang Ying's ears. When the loud booming sound rang out, Huang Ying felt his own mind connect with the throne beneath him, allowing him to see everything going on in and around the fortress. He also felt himself connect with the puppets in the garden, as well as the four towers that were connected to the outer wall.
It did not take a genius to figure out that this meant that Huang Ying could control the puppets and the four towers, making it easier for him to defend the fortress from future attacks. While he was connecting with the fortress, he also noticed writing appearing in the sky, the notification that he had captured the eastern fortress appearing for everyone to see.
“Now then, who will be the one to arrive first, enemy or friend?”
Chapter 175: Yi Kaishi, nemesis.
Huang Ying sat on the throne, overlooking the entire fortress. He sent a message to Little Flame, who quickly brought Zhao Rong and the two others to the fortress. Huang Ying used his control over the fortress to open entrances for them, so they did not need to expend any energy to enter. While entering the fortress, the three of them could not help but be shocked. It had not even taken Huang Ying two minutes to capture the fortress, not even two minutes to do something that might take a group of people like them almost an hour or more to do.
“You can rest in any room you want, let me know the moment you spot any signs of Fang Shan or the others.”
When Zhao Rong and the two others entered the second floor, Huang Ying waved his hand and gave them a simple message. He was connected to the entire fortress, so he was not worried about them escaping while he was not paying attention. Zhao Rong and the others simply nodded their heads stiffly, and then quickly found some rooms that they could rest in. If they feared Huang Ying earlier, now their fear of him had reached a completely new level. Zhao Rong did not even dare think about being the slightest slow in informing him if she found signs of Fang Shan and the others.
After sending away Zhao Rong and the two others, Huang Ying proceeded to wait in silence while sitting on the throne, closing his eyes and resting. Little Flame flew forward and perched itself at the top of the throne, keeping a vigilant watch over the room while Huang Ying was keeping his eyes closed.
Huang Ying kept his eyes closed and continued resting, only using his perception and his connection with the fortress to keep an eye on the surroundings. But even after he had waited for an entire day, there had not been a single person or Demonic beast that had gotten close to the fortress, causing him to be somewhat confused.
Huang Ying straightened up and then stretched his body, causing slight popping sounds to ring out from his joints. After resting on the throne for an entire day, his body had gotten somewhat stiff from not moving.
“Ah, are you finally waking up, Jieshu?”
While Huang Ying was stretching, a female voice suddenly rang out from a short distance in front of Huang Ying. Huang Ying instantly opened his eyes wide and jumped off the throne, dodging backwards and tightly grasping Longinus, pointing it towards his front.
A short distance in front of the throne, a table and two chairs had appeared. Huang Ying had checked the entire building earlier, so he was certain that the table and chairs had not been there earlier. What was even more shocking was that there was a woman sitting at the table, holding a porcelain pot of tea in her hands. She had delicate and full features, with rosy red cheeks that looked like they would feel good to the touch. Her eyes were golden in color, a kind expression evident in them. Her head was covered in vibrant green hair that hung down all the way to her buttocks, and she was clad in a pure white robe. When her eyes met Huang Ying's, a pleasant smile spread on her lips.
“Don't act like that, Jieshu. We have not met for so long, come join me for some tea.”
The woman put down the tea pot and used a smooth and seemingly untainted hand to point at the second chair at the table, indicating for Huang Ying to sit there. Huang Ying glanced at Little Flame, who was still perched at the top of the throne. Little Flame looked between Huang Ying and the woman with a confused expression, as if he could not understand why Huang Ying was acting like he did.
“What have you done to Little Flame?”
Huang Ying did not sense an ounce of hostility from the woman, so he stepped forward and sat down at the table, his perception fully focused on the woman in front of him. He could not sense any Qi from her, as if she had not even began cultivation. But she was able to appear in front of him without him noticing, even setting up a table and prepare tea, so how could she possibly be someone without cultivation?
Seeing Little Flame look at Huang Ying as if it could not understand his actions, he was convinced that the woman in front of him had done something to Little Flame. Perhaps she had done something to control Little Flame's mind, or done something to confuse it.
“Done to him? I have done nothing to him. As his mother, how could I possibly harm him?”
The woman raised her arm, beckoning Little Flame over. Little Flame let out a happy screech and flew over, perching on the arm of the woman. The woman let out a smile and raised her other arm. A small piece of raw meat appeared in her palm, as if it had appeared out of thin air, and she fed it to Little Flame.
When the woman caused the meat to appear out of thin air, Huang Ying's expression contorted into a grimace. He had been confused when she said that she was Little Flame's mother, but the moment she brought out the piece of meat, Huang Ying understood who she was. When the meat appeared in her palm, Huang Ying felt the destruction bloodline within his body tremble fiercely, as if it wanted to burst out of his body.
“It seems you have already guess it, but let me introduce myself. I am Yi Kaishi, the one who controls the primordial element of creation. It is good to see you again, Jieshu.”
The woman, Yi Kaishi, turned her eyes away from Little Flame and smiled at Huang Ying. She stood up from the chair and grasped the bottom of the robe, giving Huang Ying a graceful bow as she introduced herself. The holder of the primordial element of creation, Yi Kaishi, the nemesis to Huang Ying, the holder of the primordial element of destruction.
“I am not Jieshu, I am Huang Ying.”
When Yi Kaishi sat down again, a short moment of silence followed as Huang Ying's mind raced to organize his thoughts. Once he managed to calm himself down somewhat, he opened his mouth and spoke. Yi Kaishi had referred to him with the strange name of Jieshu three times already. Huang Ying did not know why, but the name sounded both familiar and unpleasant.
“For now. You will eventually become Jieshu, that is how it always goes, that is how it has gone countless times before.”
Yi Kaishi shook her head slightly as she spoke. When she spoke about Huang Ying becoming Jieshu, her eyes looked conflicted, showing a mixture of sadness and longing. To her, Jieshu was the person she wanted to see the least, as well as the person she wanted to see the most.
“Have you come here to fight me?”
Huang Ying narrowed his eyes as he looked at Yi Kaishi, tightening the grip he had on Longinus. From what Huang Ying knew, the primordial element had sealed away the primordial element of destruction, slowly draining its power. Not the holder of that primordial element had appeared before him, how could he not be expecting it to break out into a fight.
“Fight you? I cannot do that. I am the creator, not the destroyer, I cannot battle. At most I can create beings to battle for me. I simply came because I wanted to see you again, Jieshu. I also came to deliver a proposition.”
Yi Kaishi let out a crystal clear laughter, using one hand to cover her cherry red lips. Huang Ying's eyebrow could not help but prick up slightly after hearing her words. Could not battle? If that was true, did that not mean he could just kill her here and immediately unlock the full power of his destruction element?
“Ah, I should also mention this. Even if you destroy this body, it is merely one of the countless I have created over time. But I only have a few bodies in this higher realm, most of them are located in the lower realms, so it would be a shame if you were to destroy it.”
Yi Kaishi seemed to read Huang Ying's thoughts as she hurriedly spoke out. While speaking, she was also creating more pieces of meat and feeding them to Little Flame, who was perched on the back of her chair and happily eating from her hand.
Huang Ying could not help but raise an eyebrow when he heard her words. Higher realm, lower realm? He had never heard these terms before, so he was unable to understand exactly what they meant.
“You don't know yet? This planet is considered one of the highest realms in this universe, one that countless cultivators strive to reach. Although this particular continent does not hold too many of those cultivators, most of them are gathered on what you call the Gu continent.”
Yi Kaishi seemed happy to be able to explain things to Huang Ying, as she spoke in a cheerful voice, clearly explaining the meaning of her words to Huang Ying. At the same time, she did not find it too surprising that Huang Ying did not know about the lower realms, or that this was a higher realm. After all, most of the ascending or descending cultivators were on the Gu continent.
“So this is one of the higher realms? Are there any higher ones?”
This was the first time Huang Ying had heard about the lower realms, or that this planet was part of the higher realms. But if this planet was a higher realm, did that not mean that there could be even higher realms, where even stronger people resided?
“There are, but only one. And that realm is one that can only be reached by nine individuals, the nine individuals who hold the nine primordial elements. I hope you never manage to reach that realm, Jieshu, for it means that we will stand on opposing sides again.”
Yi Kaishi slightly shook her head as she spoke, her expression and voice showing how much she wished for Huang Ying to never reach the highest realm. After all, if he reached that realm it meant he would once more try to do what was his duty, the destruction of the universe.
“What is the proposition?”
Huang Ying could not help but be slightly shocked at her explanation. An realm for the nine people who held the nine primordial elements. How grand would such a realm be? He quickly calmed down his mind again, opening his mouth and asking about what she had said earlier, her proposition.
“It is very simple actually. I want you to give up the destruction blood flowing within you. If you are willing to give up the destruction blood flowing within you, I will create you a completely new body. The new body can contain any bloodline you want, besides the destruction one, and I will even make sure that the body has the best talent possible, allowing you to rapidly cultivate. You get to cultivate and live in peace, while I will not be forced to stand against my Jieshu again.”
Yi Kaishi clapped her hand, a bright smile on her face as she spoke. The way she saw it, Huang Ying could just give up the destruction blood in his veins and acquire a new body. Like that, both of them could end up happy, neither needing to become enemies with the other.
“I was told you were the brother, so why are you in the form of a woman?”
Huang Ying did not immediately respond, tilting his head at Yi Kaishi. When he first heard the voice of the primordial element of destruction, it called the primordial element of creation its brother. Yet the holder of the primordial element of creation was clearly a woman.
“Because I felt like it. Mother of all life sounds better than Father of all life, isn't that right, Father of all death?”
Yi Kaishi let out another clear laughter, slightly shrugging her shoulders as she spoke. While speaking, she also sent Huang Ying a wink, as if what she said was a joke that he was supposed to understand.
“Why do you want to create a universe that lasts forever?”
Huang Ying changed the subject once more. Yi Kaishi wanted to seal away the primordial element of destruction, clearly to create a universe that would never be destroyed. But Huang Ying could not understand why she would want that, what did she gain from it.
“The destruction of the universe means the death of every life in the universe. Don't you find that unbearably sad? Why must so many lives be snuffed out? Just so they can be created again and forced to go through the same cycle again later? It is pointless and sad, isn't an everlasting universe where people can cultivate to reach infinite lifespans much better?”
Yi Kaishi had a sad smile on her face as she spoke, creating an illusion above her palm that showed the destruction and creation of the universe, of the countless lives that were lost each time. As the creator of all life, seeing it destroyed like that was the worst type of torture.
“I see. Sorry, but I refuse your proposition.”
Huang Ying nodded his head in understanding, and then proceeded to shake it sideways as he rejected her proposition with a calm face.
“But why? Are you that intent on standing against me, Jieshu?”
Yi Kaishi had a pained expression on her face as she looked at Huang Ying, her eyes were even turning moist and red, tears appearing at the corner of her eyes. Her proposition was perfect for both of them, so why would he refuse? Did he simply want to stand against her that much?
“I already told you, I am not Jieshu. I am Huang Ying, I have always and will always be, Huang Ying. My fate and life are mine and mine alone to control, I refuse to leave it in the hands of others, especially yours.”
Huang Ying shook his head as he spoke. He did not care about Yi Kaishi's everlasting universe, nor did he care about the duty of the primordial element of destruction. None of that mattered to him. All that mattered to him was to control his own fate, to keep those that he cared about safe, and to prove that he did not need his parents or so called 'Gods' to succeed in life. For all he cared, everything else could fuck off.
“You can say that now, but one day you will become Jieshu, and at that point, the destruction of this universe will be all that you can think of.”
Yi Kaishi spoke to Huang Ying with tears in her eyes, reaching out to place her hands on his palms in an intimate gesture, even Little Flame was looking at Huang Ying with an imploring expression.
“That is only what you think. I don't care if you have seen it happen several times, I refuse to follow that fate.”
Before Yi Kaishi could place her hands on his cheeks, Huang Ying stabbed out with Longinus, piercing it through Yi Kaishi's chest. Huang Ying did not believe that it was impossible to go against the fate of becoming this 'Jieshu'. So what if she had seen it several times before? He was Huang Ying, he would always be Huang Ying.
“Ah, why must you always go down this road, Jieshu? I didn't want to stand against you once more, to strike you down once more.”
Yi Kaishi's white robe was quickly dyed crimson as blood spurted out from the wound in her chest. She looked at Huang Ying with sorrowful eyes that were quickly growing dimmer. Her entire body turned into small light green leaves that blew away with a non-existent wind, her words and the table the only thing remaining of her.
Chapter 176: Fish out rank 62.
With the body of Yi Kaishi dispersing like leaves in the wind, Huang Ying returned to the throne and sat down. Little Flame flew over and perched at the top of the throne, as if it had not just completely ignored Huang Ying in favor of his enemy.
“As if it's completely natural, how frightening.”
Huang Ying glanced at Little Flame and then muttered to himself. Little Flame was acting as if it was completely natural for it to listen to Yi Kaishi, as if the blood flowing in its veins wasn't Huang Ying's own blood. If Yi Kaishi could do that with Little Flame, could she do the same with others as well.
“I refuse to follow your usual pattern. I am Huang Ying.”
Huang Ying once again muttered out, but even he was not sure if he said it aloud to affirm that truth to himself, or if he said it because he feared what Yi Kaishi speaking about becoming the truth. Huang Ying shook his head and put the thought away, there was no merit in wasting time worrying about something like that right now.
Huang Ying used his connection with the fortress to sweep the surroundings, checking for signs of anyone approaching. But once more his search came up empty, the surroundings of the fortress not even containing a single animal. He checked out the letters in the sky, checking who had taken over which of the four other fortresses, but Huang Ying did not see the names of anyone high ranked, so he merely glanced at the names. Just when Huang Ying was wondering if nothing was going to happen for the remainder of the competition, he noticed that Zhao Rong left her room.
She rapidly made her way to the second floor where Huang Ying was, her face somewhat pale and her steps hurried. She quickly arrived at the second floor and stopped in front of the throne, bringing out the same jade plate she had shown when she talked about her avatar technique.
“Senior Void Sun, I have found Senior Storm's Fury!”
Zhao Rong hurriedly activated the jade plate, projecting what her avatars were seeing as quickly as she could. The way she saw it, the only reason she was still alive was because of her avatars and the fact that Huang Ying had a use for her. The moment he found her useless, she feared that he would kill her with a wave of his hand.
“Xin Yang? Where is he?”
Huang Ying raised an eyebrow when he heard her words, scanning the various projected images for any signs of Xin Yang. He quickly located Xin Yang, who was currently standing in a desert, surrounded by an endless expanse of sand and dry rocks. Zhao Rong's avatar seemed to be hiding behind a rock a good distance away, so the image was not perfectly clear.
“He has moved further north, getting closer to the northern fortress. But he is currently embroiled in battle.”
Zhao Rong quickly explained, injecting her Qi into the plate and increasing the size of the image of Xin Yang. Huang Ying looked at the image with a calm gaze and saw that Xin Yang was indeed battling someone right now, it seemed like it was a rather fierce battle, with Xin Yang already bleeding from a few cuts.
“That should be rank 62, Flute of Death Kong Youyan, correct?”
Huang Ying's eyes landed on the person Xin Yang was fighting, a bald male youth who was missing his left eye and had a large scar at the corner of his mouth, as if it had been torn open. The face looked familiar to Huang Ying, so he searched through his memories and pulled up the information he had about the bald youth. Besides the information he read about Kong Youyan from the Rising Dragon List, Huang Ying also recognized him as one of the people that had locked onto him before the competition started.
Kong Youyan was holding a silver flute in his hand, occasionally blowing into it as he jumped around. His element was sound, and he specialized in using vibrations to shatter his opponents organs and bones. It was a technique that was famous for being hard to defend against. Even worse was the fact that Kong Youyan had managed to infuse the vibrations of sound into his own body, allowing him to generate those very same vibrations with his every move, making close quarter combat against him dangerous.
“Indeed. Senior Storm's Fury has landed in a very perilous situation, will you go out and save him?”
Zhao Rong quickly nodded her head, looking at Huang Ying with a gaze that was a mixture of fear and hopefulness. She was fearful because she was worried that Huang Ying would go out to save Xin Yang, and bring them along while doing so. If someone like her were to intrude in a battle like that, there was no way she would come out alive. But she was also hopeful that Huang Ying would go out and save Xin Yang, leaving her here while doing so. If he did that, she could take the chance to flee, reducing the risk of her dying if she became useless.
Huang Ying continued looking at Xin Yang's battle, shrugging his shoulders with a carefree expression. The way Huang Ying saw it, rushing out in an attempt to save Xin Yang was utterly pointless.
Zhao Rong was caught off guard by Huang Ying's response, slowly repeating his own words in a confused tone. Wasn't Xin Yang supposed to be a friend of Huang Ying? Why would he not rush out to save his friend?
“Xin Yang is quite mysterious, every time I see him he is far stronger than when I last saw him. Even now I don't know just how strong he is, or how he improves so fast. And just look at the state of the battle. Xin Yang is at a disadvantage, but he is not outright losing. If he wants to escape, he can do so at any time he wants. Keep the image up, I want to watch.”
Huang Ying continued to observe Xin Yang's battle with calm eyes as he explained. The first time he met him, Xin Yang had only been at the 9th heaven. The second time they met, Xin Yang had almost reached the Yin-Yang Formation realm. And then the third time they had met, Xin Yang had become so strong that he could rank on the Rising Dragon List. Even Huang Ying could only marvel at such quick growth.
Huang Ying and Zhao Rong continued to watch the battle, Zhao Rong getting more and more shocked as the battle went on. She quickly realized that Huang Ying was correct, Xin Yang was not losing the battle. He used his wind element to great effect, throwing up sand to confuse Kong Youyan, jumping around and floating above the ground, even using his wind to feel where Kong Youyan's sound attacks were coming from.
He suffered a few injuries in the process, the worst one being a shattered wrist from Kong Youyan grabbing onto him. But Xin Yang carved a few wounds into Kong Youyan as well, throwing out dagger after dagger that flew through the air as if they were part of the wind. With Xin Yang's control over wind, the daggers could change directions as much as they wanted, each dagger he threw out becoming another weapon that Kong Youyan had to constantly be aware of.
“See? If he wants to escape, Kong Youyan cannot stop him.”
After the battle went on for a short while, Huang Ying spoke out again. Xin Yang had just created a small tornado, gathering up large amounts of sand that spun around Kong Youyan and prevented him from moving freely. While the tornado was keeping Kong Youyan in place, Xin Yang took the chance to dash away at high speed, even kicking off the ground and flying in the air for a short distance.
“Kong Youyan should have a younger brother, correct? I believe it was rank 85, Fire Tempest Kong Mingxue?”
After Xin Yang fled from Kong Youyan, Huang Ying tilted his head slightly and turned to Zhao Rong. Kong Youyan looked like a bald youth, but he was already almost 40 years old, so having a younger brother was not that strange. Kong Mingxue was also another person that Huang Ying had memorized, as he had joined his older brother in locking onto Huang Ying before entering the competition.
“Yes, he has currently taken over the west fortress, sending Xing Kan fleeing.”
Zhao Rong hurriedly responded to Huang Ying's question. Kong Youyan was an adopted person of the Yong clan, but Kong Mingxue was a student of the Eternal Flame academy, a person who could use both fire and wind to great effect. Since he was ranked 85 on the Rising Dragon List, he had been able to easily send Xing Kan, who was the first person to capture the west fortress, fleeing.
“Good. Keep an eye on them, let me know if there is any new information.”
Huang Ying nodded his head and stood up from the throne, his eyes landing on Little Flame as he spoke. He was now uncertain if he could fully trust Little Flame, but he still chose to put Little Flame in charge of keeping an eye on Zhao Rong. The reason behind this was that he did no longer really care if she fled while he was away. There was only a little over a day remaining of the competition, and since none of the others had come to this fortress, despite knowing that he was there, it seemed unlikely that they would come before the end of the tournament.
“Where are you going?”
Little Flame let out a low screech and locked its gaze onto Zhao Rong. Huang Ying started walking, heading towards the stairs that would bring him down to the first floor. He heard Zhao Rong's question, but he did not stop walking.
“To gather more points.”
Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly as he spoke. He had watched calmly while Xin Yang was battling, even staying calm while Xin Yang got wounded. But that did not mean that he did not care about Xin Yang getting injured. Kong Youyan had injured Xin Yang, and he was also one of the people that had pointed killing intent at Huang Ying, so Huang Ying decided that he was going to fish him out and kill him.
After leaving the fortress, Huang Ying dashed away at full speed, leaving behind a blur and the sound of rumbling thunder as he moved. The western fortress was a good distance away, so Huang Ying would need around two hours at full speed to reach it. Due to the sheer speed he was moving at, none of the Demonic beasts that Huang Ying encountered along the way were able to stop him or keep up with him, allowing him to advance unhindered.
A little over two hours later, Huang Ying reached the western fortress. The western fortress looked the same as the eastern fortress, but this fortress was located on a small island situated in a large lake. The only way to get to the fortress was to either swim through the lake, or use the narrow bridge that led to the wall of the fortress.
“Let's see how long it will take you to arrive, Kong Youyan.”
Huang Ying had a faint smile on his face as he spoke, Longinus appeared in his right hand and he started to slowly walk towards the bridge that led to the fortress. While walking, tendrils of devouring Qi entered the ground through his feet, each step causing the land around him to wither and die. The more the land withered, the stronger the aura that came from Huang Ying's body became.
This was the greatest benefit he had gotten from the five months of training in the Divine Wilderness, a technique created just for him. When he normally used his devouring Qi, it would add what he devoured onto his own strength, slowly integrating it into himself and allow it to become a permanent part of him.
But this technique was completely different. His devouring Qi would devour the energy and vitality of everything around him, ignoring the limits of his body as it continued to devour and strengthen him. The end result was that he would gain a temporary increase in strength, but the price was that the strength would not become a permanent part of his, and if he kept it active for too long, he risked destroying his own body.
By the time Huang Ying had taken the ten steps required to reach the bridge that led to the wall of the fortress, his body and spear were so filled with strength that the tip of his spear was rapidly vibrating, distorting the space around it. The opening in his spear head that looked like maw started to fill with pitch black Qi that continuously condensed itself, growing stronger and stronger. Huang Ying was going to fish out Kong Youyan and kill him, and the way he would do it was by completely destroying this fortress, as well as everyone inside the fortress.
Chapter 177: The demon on the shattered throne.
The sun hung high in the sky, sending down it's scorching rays and causing the sand beneath Kong Youyan's feet to become almost unbearably hot. Kong Youyan held a dim white crystal in his left hand, looking at it with furrowed brows and an uneasy expression.
“Still no response from him?”
While Kong Youyan was looking at the crystal, a voice rang out from behind him. Kong Youyan put away the crystal and turned his head, coming face to face with a male youth with chiseled features, crimson eyes and yellow hair that was tied up into a bun. The youth was Meng Changyu, an old friend who joined the competition alongside Kong Youyan.
“No, nothing yet. It has worked perfectly up until now, so I don't think it should be broken.”
Kong Youyan shook his head as he responded to Meng Changyu. The crystal was something specially made for this competition where most normal forms of long distance communication did not work. Using the crystal, he could chat with whoever held the other part of the crystal. In this case, the one who held the other part was his younger brother.
“He has probably put it aside while he was enjoying himself with Lin Juxie. No one wants to be contacted while they are in the throes of passion, sucks all the joy out of it.”
Meng Changyu pat Kong Youyan on the shoulder and spoke with a chuckle. There had been no notification that anyone else had taken over the western fortress, so he did not believe that there was a need to worry about Kong Mingxue.
Kong Youyan gave a slight nod of his head, not completely convinced, but he decided to drop the subject for now. The two of them turned towards the north, in the direction of the northern fortress, and continued to move. Their goal was to take over the northern fortress that was located in this desert.
“Still no response. I am going to go back to the western fortress and check up on him.”
After they had continued moving for a little over an hour, Kong Youyan stopped in his track, checked the crystal once more, and then spoke out, turning his body towards the direction of the western fortress. There was a nagging feeling at the back of his mind that he could not get rid of.
“Now? But we are already nearing the northern fortress. If you head back now, you won't have enough time to come back and take over the northern fortress before the end of the competition.”
Meng Changyu furrowed his brows slightly as he moved his gaze between Kong Youyan and the direction of the northern fortress. If they just continued moving for a little less than an hour, they would reach the northern fortress. If they captured it now, they would only need to defend it for a few hours before the competition ended.
“It doesn't matter. I am worried about little Xue, so I am going to make sure that he is fine.”
Kong Youyan shook his head and started moving towards the western fortress as he spoke, his speed even faster than the speed he had used to head towards the northern fortress. The nagging feeling at the back of his mind was only getting stronger and stronger, so he did not want to waste any more time.
“Hah, you really worry too much. Fine, let's go back and check on him.”
Meng Changyu let out a sigh, casting one last look towards the north before dashing after Kong Youyan and following him with a wry smile. Despite Kong Youyan moving at almost full speed, Meng Changyu was able to easily keep up with him.
“You are joining me?”
Kong Youyan raised an eyebrow, glancing at Meng Changyu with his right eye. Meng Changyu was staying on his right side, as he knew that Kong Youyan did not like it when people walked on his left.
“With your sense of direction, who knows where you would end up if I let you wander off alone.”
Meng Changyu shrugged his shoulders as he spoke in a somewhat teasing tone. Kong Youyan nodded his head, but he did not say anything else. After all, they had been friends for quite a while already, there was no need for words of gratitude between them.
The two continued to move towards the western fortress in silence, entering the vast plain covered in lakes after spending three hours on the move. They expected to encounter a few Demonic beasts as they approached the western fortress, but the entire plain seemed to be devoid of life.
“Something doesn't seem quite right.”
Meng Changyu could not help but speak out with a furrowed brow after they reached the shore of the lake that contained the western fortress. The narrow bridge that led to the fortress was fine, but the wall surrounding the fortress were completely shattered and broken, pieces of it sent flying into the lake. Of the four towers that were connected to the wall, only one was still standing, but even that tower was badly damaged.
“Indeed. He never mentioned that he had to crush the fortress like this to take it over. They might have suffered an attack, prepare for battle.”
Kong Youyan's face was serious as he spoke. This was not the first time he had participated in this competition, so he knew that the material that the fortresses were made of could repair itself after being damaged. Yet the wall and towers ahead of them were completely shattered, not showing any signs of repairing themselves. Kong Youyan pulled out his silver flute, while Meng Changyu pulled out a golden bow and prepared an arrow.
“What the hell happened here? Were they besieged by a group of Demonic beasts?”
The two of them quickly crossed the bridge and moved past the shattered wall, entering the area right before the fortress. But upon stepping past the wall and seeing the scenery behind it, Meng Changyu's face contorted as he spoke out.
The area behind the wall was in a worse condition than the wall itself. The metallic trees were either shattered or molten into twisted shapes. A fine layer of ice covered parts of the ground, both the frozen ground and grass turning into fine dust when Kong Youyan or Meng Changyu came into contact with it. There were places where the ground was gouged out or rended, clearly showing that a strong attack had been used there.
But the worst part were the corpses that were scattered around. Kong Mengxiang had easily captured the western fortress with his large group of allies, a little over a hundred people aiding him. And now it seemed like all those people had been slain and thrown about. The corpses that were still intact were the minority, most of them missing several limbs or chunks of flesh. There were even corpses that were scorched beyond recognition, or frozen and then shattered.
“No. Demonic beasts would not leave behind the corpses like this, they would simply eat them. And look here, these wounds came from a spear, not from teeth or claws.”
Kong Youyan's expression was solemn as he spoke, kneeling down next to one of the intact corpses and using his finger to point at a hole that went straight through the chest of the body. The hole was a bit smaller than he was used to, but it was unmistakably made by a spear.
“So it was people that did this? But why would they kill them like this? Just beating them up to get the points is enough.”
Meng Changyu's expression twisted further as he spoke out, his voice full of confusion and disgust. He had taken part in life and death battles before, even killed people during this very competition. But he had never heard or seen about anyone engaging in a slaughter like this.
“I don't know, some people are just a bit twisted. What I am wondering is why there has not been a notification that the western fortress has been taken over. With everyone outside dead like this, they should have already captured the fortress. Little Xue...”
Kong Youyan stood up and shook his head, glancing at the sky as he spoke. What was the point in killing the people in this fortress if it was not to capture the fortress itself? Looking at all the corpses, Kong Youyan also came to the conclusion that Kong Mingxue was most likely already dead, a fact that pained his heart greatly.
The two continued to move towards the actual fortress, only shortly glancing at the corpses that were spread around. The fortress itself was also badly damaged, with several holes blasted into the wall. Some of the holes pointed outwards, while some pointed inwards, so Kong Youyan guessed that the fighting had continued inside the fortress.
After they stepped into the fortress, they only gave the first floor a quick look over, checking the various rooms for any living people. They were not surprised when they didn't find any people, so they quickly made their way up to the second floor.
“Rank 62, Flute of Death Kong Youyan. And you should be rank 71, Sun Child Meng Changyu. I was starting to wonder if you would fail to show up before the end of the competition, but it seems like my luck is quite good.”
When they reached the second floor, a pleasantly surprised voice rang out, causing both of them to tense up and prepare to strike at a moment's notice. Kong Youyan looked towards the place where the voice had come from, his gaze landing on the throne at the center of open second floor.
Not even the throne had been spared from destruction, the top part shattering until only jagged and sharp pieces remained. Sitting leisurely on the shattered throne was a young boy, Kong Youyan guessed that he had not even reached 16 years of age yet. The boy was clad in a sky blue robe, had pitch black eyes that did not show his thoughts, and long hair that was pure white in color.
Leaning against the shoulder of the boy was a long black spear covered in what seemed to be scales, three colorful lightning bolts moving up the handle of the spear, stopping when they reached the silvery white spearhead. At the back of the spearhead was a small oval opening filled with sharp spikes, resembling the open maw of a demon.
“Rank 99, Void Sun Huang Ying. Are you the one who did this?”
Kong Youyan's voice was cold as he looked at the young boy, Huang Ying. A small distance away from the shattered throne he could see the corpses of both Kong Mingxue and Lin Juxie, almost causing his vision to go red. Their bodies were shriveled and dry, as if their vitality and life had been completely drained.
“What a stupid question to ask.”
Huang Ying did not even respond to Kong Youyan's question, looking at him with his almost emotionless gaze as he slightly tilted his head. He was sitting here all alone, was there really a need to ask a question like that?
“Why did you kill them all?”
Kong Youyan narrowed his eye, looking at Huang Ying with an expression as if he wanted to eat him. He wanted to charge at him right now and tear him apart, but he held himself back for the moment. Looking at how calm Huang Ying was as he sat there, Kong Youyan felt a strange unease.
“Did you not listen to what I said earlier? I said that I was waiting for you, so I clearly killed them to drag you out. Well, at least that is part of the reason. Of the people in this fortress, there were actually only about 20 people that I really had to kill. But most of the others decided to get in my way and try to kill me, and I have no mercy to anyone who wants to kill me.”
Huang Ying tilted his head a little bit more, looking at Kong Youyan as if he was an idiot. When he had stormed this fortress to kill Kong Mingxue, he had been pleasantly surprised when he saw that there had been quite a few other people in this fortress, there were even quite a few that had been on his list of people to kill for showing killing intent towards him.
Of course, he did not simply start and indiscriminate slaughter. He properly pointed out who he had to kill and told the others that they could leave. Only the people that showed killing intent towards him after that were slain by him. Those who had chosen to escape early on were allowed to do so.
“Meng Changyu, you are not on the list, so I have no reason to kill you. You can leave.”
Huang Ying turned his head, his gaze landing on Meng Changyu as he spoke. Quite a lot of people had shown killing intent towards Huang Ying before the competition, but Meng Changyu was not one of them, Huang Ying only knew about Meng Changyu because of the Rising Dragon List.
“Leave? How could I leave after seeing what you have done here? I also can't leave this idiot alone. So I will stay here and help him deal with you.”
Meng Changyu glanced at the corpses of Kong Mingxue and Lin Juxie, before he turned his eyes back to Huang Ying and spoke out, readying his bow as he narrowed his eyes. He was not someone so lowly that he would leave behind an old friend.
“I will not show mercy if you decide to fight against me.”
Huang Ying's eyes narrowed, his voice turning cold as he spoke. Meng Changyu felt a slight chill go down his spine, but his eyes remained narrowed and determined as he pulled back the string of his bow, golden flames gathering around the arrow.
“I don't need the mercy of someone like you.”
Meng Changyu nearly spat out the words. Huang Ying was clad in a clean robe, but as he sat on the shattered throne in a fortress surrounded by corpses, with a spear leaning against him, Meng Changyu could not help but feel like he was looking at a demon. To him, the mercy of someone like that was not worth anything.
“Then so be it.”
Huang Ying gave a slight nod of his head and stood up from the throne, tightly grasping Longinus. Since Meng Changyu was so intent on standing against him, then he could only kill him alongside Kong Youyan.
Chapter 178: End of the competition.
As Huang Ying stood up from the throne and took a step forward, he immediately entered his strongest state. Silvery white scales sprouted over his skin, his eyes turned amber, a thin and whip like tail sprouted behind him, and two pitch black wings grew out from his back. Huang Ying was not someone who went easy on people, so despite being confident that he could kill Meng Changyu and Kong Youyan without using all his strength, he still chose to not hold anything back.
Tendrils of devouring Qi penetrated the fortress and sank into the earth, Huang Ying's aura steadily rising as more and more energy was devoured and brought to him. Huang Ying raised Longinus, pointing the tip at Kong Youyan, looking at him with cold eyes. Just as Huang Ying took another step forward and was going to charge at Kong Youyan, he heard the sound of something moving through the air at high speed.
Huang Ying quickly tilted his head to the side, a thin golden line flashing past his head and leaving a small cut on his neck. Huang Ying ignored the searing sensation of the cut, narrowing his eyes at Meng Changyu. Meng Changyu was already preparing another arrow, the first one shot so fast that Huang Ying had not even noticed when he released it.
Kong Youyan charged forward the moment he saw Huang Ying look at Meng Changyu. Every step Kong Youyan took shattered the floor beneath him, the air around him vibrating and releasing a low droning sound. The distance between the three of them was not far, so Kong Youyan reached Huang Ying in the blink of an eye, smashing his flute down towards Huang Ying's head.
While Kong Youyan charged forward, Meng Changyu took several steps backwards, shooting out the second arrow and preparing the third. The two of them had fought together several times, so they were very familiar with how to best work together.
Kong Youyan aimed at Huang Ying's head, and Meng Changyu aimed at Huang Ying's abdomen, a thin golden line scorching the air as it shot towards him. Huang Ying's eyes narrowed further as he took half a step backwards, grabbing Longinus with both hands and spinning it slightly. The tip of the spear crashed into the arrow, while the handle of the spear collided with Kong Youyan's flute.
The tip of Longinus was slightly pushed back by the arrow, but the arrow was quickly unable to move further, shattering from the stored up energy that found no release. With the handle of Longinus colliding with the flute, Huang Ying felt a vibrating energy move through the handle and into his right arm, resonating with his bones as if it was trying to shatter them.
Huang Ying paid no heed to the vibrating energy, spinning Longinus and pushing Kong Youyan's flute to the side. In the same movement he used to push the flute aside, he tilted the tip of Longinus upwards, pulling the handle towards himself in an upwards slash. Kong Youyan narrowed his eyes and took half a step backwards, he did not dare hit the spear with his bare hand, so he instead kicked upwards, the tip of his foot hitting the base of the spear-head and distorting its course.
After distorting the path of the spear, he took a few more steps backwards, meeting up with Meng Changyu. He waited for the vibrating energy to shatter Huang Ying's bones, but his eyes narrowed when he saw how nonchalant Huang Ying was acting. His mouth twisted slightly as he thought of a possibility.
“I see. So you have infused your bones with your ice Qi to increase their toughness. No wonder you can resist the vibrations.”
This was the only excuse Kong Youyan could think of, there was no other way for Huang Ying's bones to be able to resist the vibrations that his attacks brought with them. Huang Ying merely shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly.
“Whatever you say.”
There was no way Huang Ying was going to tell Kong Youyan that he had only managed to infuse the bones in his right arm with his ice Qi. The Qi he used to infuse his bones was not normal ice Qi, it was primordial ice Qi. It was far tougher and stronger than normal ice, but it also required more control and Qi to infuse it into his bones.
Huang Ying did not bother to say anything else, charging forward at full speed. Kong Youyan stepped forward, taking up position in front of Meng Changyu and allowing him to focus fully on firing his arrows. The distance between the two of them was crossed in an instance, Huang Ying stabbing out with Longinus, aiming for Kong Youyan's chest.
Kong Youyan put his flute to his mouth and blew into it, a soft tune ringing out. The tune sounded soft, but the air started to distort and vibrate strongly the moment the tune left the flute. When the tip of Longinus hit the distorted air, Huang Ying felt like he had hit a solid wall. Huang Ying stomped down on the ground, putting more force into his right arm, destruction Qi surging into the tip of Longinus.
The distorted air shattered, the sound used to create it vanishing into nothingness, Longinus continuing to pierce towards Kong Youyan. Kong Youyan's face distorted slightly as he struck down with his flute, colliding with the tip of Longinus. When he clashed with Longinus, he felt just how much force was behind that one strike.
He pushed down with his flute, trying to push the tip of Longinus into the ground, but as he begun to push it down, he noticed that his flute was slowly disintegrating. His face rapidly paled as he let go of his flute and jumped backwards. Had it not been for a golden arrow that flashed past his face and struck the tip of Longinus, the spear would have pierced into his leg.
Kong Youyan could not help but look at the disintegrating flute, his face pale as he wondered, was this the effect of the devouring element? At the same time, he felt a slight pain in his heart, that flute had been with him for many years already, and now it was disintegrating like this. Kong Youyan took a deep breath, glaring at Huang Ying. He could not afford to care about his flute now, he first had to make sure that he could leave here alive.
Huang Ying ignored Kong Youyan's glare and charged forward, the tip of Longinus radiating a pitch black light that distorted the air around it. With Kong Youyan losing his weapon, Meng Changyu took the role of attacker upon himself, rapidly firing arrows. Firing them rapidly let him shoot out more of them, but the force behind each one was lowered drastically.
Kong Youyan did not stand by idly, he could still fight even without his flute after all. He started to let out several low whistles, each whistle turning into sharp vibrations that moved through the air at the speed of sound. Huang Ying narrowed his eyes slightly and stomped the ground, twisting his body as he continued to charge forward.
While Huang Ying could see the golden arrows that flew towards him, the vibrating blades were invisible, so he had to rely on the sound of them moving through the air to locate them. Despite this, Huang Ying was still able to easily dodge the arrows and blades, his gaze completely locked onto Kong Youyan and Meng Changyu, who were rapidly retreating as they threw out more attacks.
As Huang Ying got closer to the two of them, dodging and deflecting their attacks with ease, Kong Youyan noticed something. To dodge their attacks, Huang Ying had to move at speeds faster than sound, yet Kong Youyan could barely feel Huang Ying use any Qi to increase his speed. For a short moment, he could not help but be confused at this, but a realization quickly struck him, causing him to let out a shout as he stared at Huang Ying with disbelieving eyes.
“You madman! Not only have you infused yourself with your ice Qi, but even your lightning Qi! Are you trying to blow yourself up by having the different elements collide!?”
The only way Huang Ying could move that fast and barely use any Qi was if he had infused his own body with lightning Qi. But to do that when he had already infused his bones with ice Qi was the same as trying to kill himself. The lightning Qi would clash with the ice Qi, both vying for supremacy. Until finally, the clash between the two elements caused the body of Huang Ying to explode. Huang Ying merely responded with a faint smile.
“Does it look like I am about to explode?”
Just because others believed that it was impossible, did not mean that it was truly impossible. Huang Ying had indeed infused his body with his lightning Qi, drastically increasing his speed. He had also encountered what Kong Youyan mentioned, the different elements colliding, but that was easily brought under control by using his destruction Qi to destroy any trace of the colliding elements, forcing them into tranquility.
Huang Ying stomped the ground, shooting forward like a blur. He let a few of the golden arrows hit him and scorch his flesh, deciding that it was better to suffer a few injuries and quickly deal with Kong Youyan, rather than dodge the arrows and risk that something might go wrong. He reached Kong Youyan and Meng Changyu in a short instant, sweeping out with Longinus with such a speed that there was no chance for them to dodge.
Meng Changyu looked at the sweeping spear with a solemn expression, placing his bow in front of the incoming spear in hopes of blocking the brunt of the attack. Kong Youyan on the other hand grit his teeth, stepped in front of Meng Changyu, and let out a low whistle that caused the ground beneath him to vibrate. As the whistle rang out, the blood-vessels in his eyes exploded, coloring his eyes blood red. He raised both arms, pointing his palms towards the incoming spear as he continued to whistle.
The sleeves of his robe ruptured and laid his arms bare, showing that they were starting to crack, blood pouring out as the sound of his bones vibrating rang out. Longinus crashed into Kong Youyan's palms, coming to a complete halt as Huang Ying felt the bones in his arms creak. His right arm was still fine, but the bones in his left arm were on the verge of shattering, a terrifying vibration entering his body via Longinus.
Kong Youyan managed to stop the attack, but it clearly cost him quite a bit. Not only were his eyes dyed blood red, his arms were cracked and his entire face pale. Just as Kong Youyan grit his teeth and decided to use the same secret technique again, he felt a strange energy surround him. His face quickly lit up with a wide grin, because he knew what this energy meant, the end of the competition. With the energy surrounding him, he could not help but look at Huang Ying.
“Why are you only rank 99? Your strength has already gone far beyond a mere rank 99, you fucking monster.”
Huang Ying had been able to kill his brother, so he had already guessed that Huang Ying was stronger than his rank said. But to be at a level of strength where both he and Meng Changyu were completely suppressed when joining hands? That he had never expected. Huang Ying sensed the energy surround him, a slight frown on his face as he looked at Kong Youyan.
“I could ask the same of you, according to my calculations, you should be dead already. But you are not, so you have clearly hidden a few moves yourself.”
Huang Ying had no idea what technique Kong Youyan had used to block his attack at the end, and he was confident that he would have been able to slay Kong Youyan had it not been for that technique. Kong Youyan let out a sneer, the energy surrounding him turning into a white screen of light that brought him out of the competition grounds, only his words staying behind.
“This is not over, Huang Ying. There is no way the clans will allow something as ruthless as you to live for much longer, especially with that element you have.”
Huang Ying ignored Kong Youyan's threat, glancing at the spot where Meng Changyu had stood. He too was surrounded by a screen of white energy, his body quickly vanishing from the competition grounds. He looked at his own body, seeing a screen of white energy start to surround his body. He swept the ruined fortress with one last glance, a low mutter escaping his lips, heard by no one but him.
“Don't think that the hunt has ended just because the competition has. I will have your heads. I will have my revenge.
Chapter 179: Rampant arrogance.
When the white energy had completely surrounded Huang Ying, he felt a sensation as if his body was rapidly flying through the air. The sensation stopped after a short moment, the energy surrounding Huang Ying vanishing along with it. Once the energy vanished, Huang Ying found himself standing in the same white world they had entered at the very start of the competition, the bridge that connected the separate space with the outside world.
Huang Ying swept the surroundings with his eyes, checking if he could find Fang Shan and the others. He quickly spotted Fang Shan standing together with Shi Na in the distance, but his eyes narrowed slightly when he saw a tear in Fang Shan's robe, revealing a fresh scar on her abdomen. He also quickly spotted Xin Yang and Zhao Feng, who were standing at separate places a good distance away from him.
Other than them, he also spotted Meng Changyu and Kong Youyan, both who were looking at Huang Ying with a mixture of fear and anger. Compared to how many they had been when they had entered, they were clearly fewer now. A quick count showed that they were at least 400 people less, so it seemed like Huang Ying had not been the only person who had killed some people during the competition.
A strong pressure descended upon the white world, enveloping all the people within it and preventing them from moving. The pressure enveloped all the people like a cocoon, the world around them quickly blurring. The blurring world was overtaken by a myriad of color, and the pressure enveloping them slowly started to recede. Once all the pressure was gone, they all found themselves standing in the center of the city again, surrounded by a large group of people.
A strange silence covered the area, neither the people who had just finished the competition nor the people surrounding them saying anything. Huang Ying quickly felt that something was off, because he could sense that there were quite a few people in the crowd that were looking at him and Fang Shan. He started to slowly make his way towards Fang Shan, both his eyes narrowed and his hands opening slightly, ready to strike at any moment. Just like Huang Ying worried, while he was making his way towards Fang Shan, a loud shout was heard from the crowd.
“You lowly beast, return my daughter to me!”
Right after the shout sounded, a middle-aged man shot out from the crowd. The middle-aged man held a large axe in his hands and his body was wreathed in crimson flames. His face was currently contorted into a wrathful expression, his eyes red and moist. The man had a cultivation that had reached the late stage of the Yin-Yang Formation realm, but he was far weaker than the people on the Rising Dragon List, so there was no real need for Huang Ying to worry.
But Huang Ying would still not allow anyone to attack his Fang Shan, not while he was around. In a flash of black light, Longinus appeared in Huang Ying's right hand, lightning covering the entire spear. Huang Ying took a step forward, the sound of rumbling thunder ringing out as his body blurred and he shot towards the middle-aged man. The middle-aged man barely even had the time to notice Huang Ying before it was already too late.
Huang Ying stabbed out with Longinus, piercing directly through the man's chest. All it took was a twist of his spear, and the man's entire chest was twisted apart, life vanishing from his eyes. Not even Kong Youyan could properly resist Huang Ying, much less this middle-aged man who was far weaker than Kong Youyan. The only sound present within the area was the sound of the man's body and axe hitting the ground.
Huang Ying pulled Longinus out of the man's chest, cleaning the blood off the tip by swinging the spear once. He stored away Longinus and swept the surrounding crowd with a cold gaze, he could sense several hidden auras at the back of the crowd, so the representatives of the seven overlords were clearly watching and waiting. A slight sneer suffused his lips as he spoke out.
“Anyone else want to step forward? Looking at all of you, you clearly know that I too have killed quite a few people during the competition. I am standing right here, so if you want your revenge, now is your chance.”
Huang Ying could somewhat guess how the people here figured out exactly who it was that killed others during the competition. In the air above them, he could see a large scroll filled with names. Besides each name was a number, showing how many points they had acquired during the competition. But there were several names missing from the scroll, the names of those who had been killed.
Whenever a name disappeared from the list, they could check who it was that had gained points equal to the points that the deceased had as they died. Of course, it was not 100 percent accurate, but it was good enough for these people. After hearing Huang Ying's words, there were several people in the crowd who seemed to tense up, their firsts clenching as they stared at him with expressions dyed in hatred. Other than those who stared at him with hatred, there were others that stared at him with surprised expressions, exclaiming slightly at his actions, which could only be described as rampantly arrogant.
Huang Ying recognized the people who stared at him with hatred, they were the families and friends of the people he had killed during the competition. Thanks to his devouring element, he had devoured the memories of nearly every person he had killed, he knew exactly how many people would grieve after hearing about his kills. Huang Ying had long since come to terms with their hatred and grief, and he had come to a decision about how he would handle it.
The decision he had come to was that their grief and hatred meant nothing to him. Huang Ying had people he wanted to protect and things he wanted to achieve, and he had decided that anyone who tried to stop him or harm those close to him, he would kill them without mercy. He would not care about the grief and hatred of those left behind, they would either try to take revenge, or they would be too scared to do anything against him. If they were too scared to do anything to him, he would not bother with them, but if they were to try and get their revenge, he would kill them too.
After a short moment, it seemed like there was finally someone who could no longer resist. An old woman covered in wrinkles clenched her fists tightly and took half a step forward, but before she could do anything, a loud voice rang out over the entire area.
“Halt! No one is allowed to fight within the city center! The competition has ended, and the Immortal's Garden will open in one month, everyone return to your own homes!”
Huang Ying saw a man fly out from the crowd, soaring in the sky above everyone as his voice reached everyone. Since he could fly, he was either a cultivator who used wind or someone who had reached the Immortal Ascension realm. The old woman who had taken half a step forward grit her teeth, but eventually stepped back. Huang Ying merely glanced at the man flying above them, his lips curling into a sneer.
If fighting was truly forbidden, then they would have stopped the man who attacked earlier. Since they had chosen not to do so, instead waiting and watching, it was clear that they were trying to achieve something, most likely checking how strong Huang Ying and Fang Shan really were. Huang Ying swept the retreating crowd with his eyes one last time, before turning around and nonchalantly stepping over the corpse of the middle-aged man. He quickly reached Fang Shan and the others, a smile appearing on his face as he grasped Fang Shan's hand.
“Shall we return to the academy? We need to prepare for the opening of the Immortal's Garden.”
Chapter 181: A relaxed day.
Time continued to slowly pass, the opening of the Immortal's Garden slowly drawing closer and closer. The people who were going to enter the Immortal's Garden were all focusing on increasing their strength, sharpening their trump cards so that they could acquire better resources from the Immortal's Garden. After a few days were passed in quiet cultivation, Huang Ying's cultivation was cut short by a simple demand by Fang Shan.
Huang Ying opened his eyes, standing up from the bed and stretching his body. Ever since the end of the competition, neither he nor Fang Shan had left their cabin. His eyes landed on Fang Shan, who was looking at him with a gaze that told him that he did not have the right to refuse, so he only gave a slight smile and a nod.
“Sure, where to?”
After he spoke, he entered the bathroom, turning on the shower and giving himself a quick clean. As a cultivator, he released far less sweat and waste than others, but he still liked to shower and feel clean. Once he finished his shower, Fang Shan handed him a fresh blue robe and spoke up.
“Into the city, always being stressed and focused on cultivation isn't good for you.”
Huang Ying slightly raised one of his eyebrows after hearing her statement, the slight smile on his face growing slightly. Fang Shan was a Demonic beast, a race which was far more impatient than humans. He put on the fresh blue robe, grabbing onto Fang Shan's hand and heading towards the door as he spoke.
“Alright, I acquired quite a bit of money during the competition, so we can go get something good to eat.”
How could Huang Ying not see what Fang Shan wanted to do? Not only was she impatient, he also knew that she was basically an insatiable glutton. She was clearly just looking for an excuse to drag him into the city so they could have some fun and eat a lot of food. Just like Huang Ying expected, Fang Shan's face bloomed into a smile.
“I knew you'd understand me.”
The two left the cabin hand in hand, locking the door after them. As they walked down the path that would lead them to the exit of the city, quietly chatting about whatever came to mind, a kind voice interrupted them, prompting them to stop walking momentarily.
“Junior Brother Ying, Junior Sister Shan. Are the two of you heading out?”
Huang Ying and Fang Shan turned towards the right, spotting Zhouyun who was walking towards them with a relaxed gait and a calm and warm smile on his face. Huang Ying put on a slight smile of his own, responding with a calm voice.
“Good morning, Senior Brother Zhouyun. We are indeed heading out into town for a bit, just to relax a little.”
Zhouyun put on a somewhat surprised face when he heard Huang Ying's response, but his smile quickly regained its normal calmness. He stepped forward, putting on a slightly nervous and worried face as he looked at Huang Ying and Fang Shan.
“I see, then you must make sure that you are careful. There are quite a few people that are rather angry at you, it would be a shame if anything happened.”
He acted like a senior brother who was truly worried about the safety of his junior brother, even stepping forward and reaching out to pat Fang Shan on the shoulder. But before his hand got to make contact with Fang Shan's shoulder, Huang Ying grabbed onto his wrist and stopped him from moving his hand further. Zhouyun turned towards Huang Ying, a confused look on his face as he spoke.
“Junior Brother Ying, is there anything wrong?”
Huang Ying continued to hold onto Zhouyun's wrist, only letting go when Zhouyun pulled his arm back. He wore a a slight smile, glancing at Zhouyun's fingers with a somewhat sharp gaze as he spoke.
“Oh, it is just that your fingers looked a little purple, so I was worried that you would dirty her clothing. Perhaps you should clean your fingers and make sure that they stay clean in the future.”
Huang Ying had devoured the memories of several people who had fallen under Zhouyun's control, so he was very clear on the effect that Zhouyun's strange element had on people. There was no way he was going to let him touch a single hair on Fang Shan's body. Zhouyun's eyebrow twitched slightly when he heard Huang Ying's remark, his expression sinking for a split second. But he quickly managed to regain his state of mind, a thankful smile appearing on his face as he nodded to Huang Ying.
“Thank you for the warning, I will make sure to keep it in mind.”
Huang Ying bade Zhouyun farewell, walking past him and leaving Zhouyun's eyebrow slightly twitching as he looked at their leaving backs with a slightly dark gaze. After they had walked a good distance away from Zhouyun, Fang Shan spoke out in a low voice.
“Was he really trying to use that strange element of his? At this point in time?”
Fang Shan had heard about Zhouyun's strange element, she was even on guard against it, but she did not expect Zhouyun to try and take control over either her or Huang Ying at this point in time. He hadn't tried to use that element against them earlier, so what was the point in doing it now, when they were hated by quite a few people in the city? Huang Ying gave a slight shrug of his shoulders, nonchalantly responding.
“No idea, I just didn't want him to touch you.”
Huang Ying had no idea how Zhouyun's strange element worked, he only knew that it basically controlled the victim's mind, and that it seemed to require him to touch his victim. But even if it weren't for that strange element, Huang Ying would not want Zhouyun to touch Fang Shan. Fang Shan's lips curled into a smug smirk as she reached out, poking Huang Ying's cheek as she spoke.
“Hah, jealous that someone else is interested in me?”
Huang Ying slightly turned his head, his gaze landing on the smug smirk on Fang Shan's face. His eyes rolled for a short second before his own lips curled into a smug smile.
“Weren't you the same when you thought about Jing He?”
Huang Ying still remembered how Fang Shan acted when the two of them arrived at the Green Willows continent and retraced the path he had taken there. She tried to hide it well, but she had clearly been jealous about the time Jing He had spent with him. Seeing Huang Ying's pleased expression, Fang Shan stopped poking his cheek, clicking her tongue.
“Tch, don't you look so smug. Just watch me make you pay for everything.”
While Fang Shan grumbled slightly, Huang Ying shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes. Of course he would pay for everything, he had always been paying for everything.
“Isn't that how it always is when we go out?”
The two continued to chat amongst each other as they left the academy, heading into the city to look for a place to eat. While walking, they would occassionally stop at a street vendor and check out what they were selling, the two thoroughly enjoying themselves. In the end, they settled on a small restaurant that allowed its customers to sit on a porch in front of the restaurant.
Huang Ying and Fang Shan weren't the only customers sitting on the porch and enjoying their meal, there were a few other people, mostly couples and families. Some people looked at Huang Ying and Fang Shan with wary gazes, but most simply paid them no heed. While they were eating and chatting, Huang Ying suddenly spoke out with a slight sigh.
“Please leave, I want to enjoy a nice and peaceful meal.”
Some of the people around them looked a bit surprised when Huang Ying suddenly raised his voice, but Fang Shan simply continued to eat. Huang Ying swept the surroundings, his eyes narrowing and his gaze growing sharper. While he swept the surroundings, the shadows around the porch started to wriggle and extend, Huang Ying's voice turning cold.
“Then so be it.”
After his voice rang out, the sound of muffled thunder rang out, Huang Ying's body blurring. When Huang Ying's body blurred, four people clad in black leather shot out from the shadows. Two people aimed at the place where Huang Ying had sat, while the other two aimed at the place where Fang Shan was sitting. But before they could ever reach their targets, Huang Ying had already grabbed onto the foot of one of the people.
Huang Ying exerted his strength, swinging the person he was grabbing, using him like a club as he repeatedly smashed him into the three other people. Dull sounds rang out whenever Huang Ying hit someone, but the dull sounds quickly turned into cracking and squishing sounds, the bodies of all four people quickly ending up mutilated from the great force. It took Huang Ying less than a minute to kill all four people, their blood splattering the porch, their bodies shattering the surrounding tables and the porch beneath them.
After all four were dead, Huang Ying let go of the now completely limp and mutilated person he had used to smash the other three. While the rest of the customers had backed up and were looking at Huang Ying with clear terror, he walked over to the waiter, handing him and interspatial ring filled with money.
“Forgive me for the disturbance, this should cover the cost of the damages.”
The moment Huang Ying had grabbed onto the leg of the person he used as a club, he had flooded his mind with his devouring Qi, going through all his memories. They were sent by a group known as the Night Rose, an independent assassins guild. The waiter was still shocked and terrified when Huang Ying handed him the interspatial ring, but he quickly shook his head and regained his mind, giving Huang Ying a deep bow as his face paled slightly.
“...Ah! Please don't worry about it, it wasn't a problem.”
The waiter tried to give back the interspatial ring, but Huang Ying forced him to accept it. He then returned to his seat, speaking to the undisturbed and still eating Fang Shan with a slight smile.
“Let's continue the meal, the Immortal's Garden will open soon, so we should enjoy ourselves while we still can.”
The more nonchalant and calmer Huang Ying acted, the more terrified the surrounding customers got. It was as if he had not just used one person to kill three others, but instead simply taken out some trash. They now firmly believed that the name Huang Ying was synonymous for violence.