The Demon's Gate

Discussion in 'Original Stories' started by Shiranui_Shukumei, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    A cultivator is someone who can channel the natural energy through their body, strengthening their own body or performing almost magical feats. Cultivators are divided into Warriors and Mages. A mage is someone who uses the natural energy to power his inborn spell, manifesting it into the outside world to fight. A warrior uses the natural energy to strengthen his body and uses his own body to fight, often because their inborn spell is not suited for combat.

    Yao Jun was born in a small branch of the Yao clan, his inborn spell is considered a useless spell, a spell with no effect. Despite his useless spell, Yao Jun is steadfast and determined to cultivate, spending each day training his body to the limit.

    All he wanted was to allow his parents to live an easier life, but fate makes a fool out of everyone, and his life would end up becoming so much more than he ever expected, taking him to the dark side of the world and beyond.

    demon king.jpg
  2. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 1: Yao Jun.

    The morning sun had just risen, but Yao Jun's upper body was already drenched in sweat, his fists sore and aching. He had a handsome face with smooth features. His black hair cascaded down his back, sticking to his skin. His eyes were underlined by signs of sleep deprivation, but his black eyes still sparkled like the stars in the light of the morning sun. He wore an emerald robe that almost made him blend into the forest.

    He stood in a horse stance in front of a tree, the spot on the tree directly in front of him was devoid of any bark, instead only holding the faint outline of a fist. Every day, Yao Jun would wake up before the sun rose to take a light run through the forest, ending up in front of this tree. He would then take up his stance and rhythmically punch the tree, slowly strengthening his fist and increasing his endurance against pain.

    Yao Jun had been doing this every day for almost 7 years. e started when he was 8 years old and hadn't missed a day since he started. He had just recently turned 15, but he still kept up his habits.

    When he was 7 and his inborn spell turned out to be a dud, a useless spell, he was crushed, but thanks to the urging of his parents, he started doing physical exercise. If he couldn't become a mage, he should just become a warrior instead. It was less lucrative, but if he did good enough, the clan would still provide for his parents.

    Yao Jun had been training for 7 years, but all he had to show for it was a body that was slightly stronger than his peers, but if he fought with them he would still lose. The only reason for this was because their inborn spells were better than his, allowing them to use it in combat.

    Yao Jun had always found it unfair that he who worked so hard got worse results than others who worked less than him, but as he grew older, he simply came to accept it. All he could do was chalk it up to his own misfortune, if he had gotten a proper inborn spell, he would probably have it just as easy as the other kids of the Yao clan.

    His inborn spell was a summoning spell that manifested as a small gate located next to his heart, but it was defect, it couldn't summon anything, the gate was empty. Due to this Yao Jun could only go the physical route in training, using hard work and the Raw Qi in the air to slowly strengthen his body.

    “Jun'er, you should come home now, breakfast is ready.” Just as Yao Jun was about to continue his training, a warm voice rang out from behind him.

    Turning around, Yao Jun saw a middle aged man with a slight stubble head towards him. The man's head was covered in brown hair and was well built, his face carried a warm smile.

    “Just a few more minutes father, I feel like I can go a bit further today.” Yao Jun spoke politely. This man was his father, Yao He, the man who had taken care of him all his life.

    Even when his inborn spell turned out to be a dud, he wasn't disappointed, he simply showed Yao Jun all the other options he had available to him and encouraged him to chase after his dreams with his all, no matter how low his starting point was.

    “Now now, be patient, even the mightiest oak was once just a tiny seed.” The man gave a small laugh as he looked at his son, others may not know, but he had seen how hard his son always worked.

    “What you plant now, you will harvest later..” Yao Jun tried to give an excuse, but his father had already grabbed him by the shoulder and started dragging him back to their house.

    “Yeah yeah, stop being so cheeky and using my own sayings against me. Breakfast will get cold and at that point your mother will scold both of us.” Yao He gave a laugh as he dragged Yao Jun towards a small cottage a short walk out off the forest.

    Entering the house, the smell of warm soup and bread hit Yao Jun. After entering the door and heading into the kitchen, he sat down at the table that was filled with a fragrant soup, some bread, and some steamed vegetables.

    Already sitting at the table was a mature woman with long black hair, black eyes and smooth features. She wore a kind smile and poured a bowl of soup for Yao Jun. This woman was Yao Jun's mother, Yao Xun, it was from her Yao Jun got most of his features.

    They sat around the table eating their food in a tranquil silence. They were part of the Yao clan branch family located in Flying Fish Town, it was only a small town, so there was rarely anything happening. Yao Jun spent most of his time training or studying in the library, rarely being at home.

    The excuse he used was that he simply wanted to get in some more training, but how could he hide anything from his parents? Both his parents had inborn spells that could be used in combat, so they used to be part of the main clan's combat corps, only retiring when his mother was pregnant with him.

    Both his parents had good inborn spells and even had a glorious history of fighting for the main clan, but he himself only had a dud inborn spell, he was ashamed of his own inadequacy, so all he could do was train his body and study. But even then the results he got were barely on par with the results of the other kids who had good inborn spells.

    They never said it out loud, but his parents were always worried about him, for him they had even left the main Yao clan, coming to this tiny branch so that he wouldn't be bullied because of his inborn spell.

    Coming to the branch clan led to the quality of his parents lives dropping, no longer getting the same delicacies that they got in the main clan. This was another thing Yao Jun regretted, that his parents had to make their own lives worse just because of him.

    To him, all the encouragement his parents gave him were like hot coal, forcing him to walk forward faster and faster. He wanted his parents to have a better life, to no longer worry about him and be proud of him, so every single word of encouragement they gave him became both another one of their hopes that he had to fulfill, as well as another piece of motivation to work even harder.

    Finishing his bowl of soup and the bread, Yao Jun gave his thanks for the food before heading out again. There was no times for brakes, if he wanted to get anywhere, he would have to put in at least twice the effort of everyone else
  3. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 2: Flying Fish Yao Clan.

    Flying Fish town was a small, almost negligible town located in an almost forgotten corner of Grand Quan continent. It was part of the Great Yan country, which in turn was located in the Bai Province.

    Being located in such a forgotten corner of the world meant that the town rarely ever got any visitors, so most of the residents had lived their whole lives here and everyone knew everyone. Barely any clan's would make branches here, the only reason Flying Fish town had a branch of the Yao clan, which was one of the major clans in Great Yan country, was because someone who belonged to a branch clan of the Yao clan had moved his family here hundreds of years ago and set up a new branch.

    Most of the buildings in the town were simple wooden buildings that were colored a faded red. The streets of the town were barren and silent, nearly devoid of life. Most of the residents were over the age of 30, once a child reached a certain age, they would be either sent out of the town to a larger clan, or head out on their own to adventure and experience life, making the town a quiet and boring place.

    This quiet and boring atmosphere was the reason Yao Jun's parents had chosen to move here when his inborn spell was discovered, hoping that the quiet town would allow Yao Jun to lead a life where he wouldn't be bullied for his bad inborn spell.

    At the start, this quiet life was indeed something Yao Jun enjoyed. But as he walked the empty streets now, he simply found this silence to be suffocating. It reminded him of the eyes the towns people, even the others of the Yao clan, used to look at him. Whenever someone saw him, they would look at him with pity in their gaze, some of the people in the Yao clan even looked at him with scorn hidden in their eyes.

    At the start, these looks had unsettled Yao Jun, but as time went on and he thought it over, he came to accept it. He could understand them, they looked at him with pity for having such a bad inborn spell when his parents were so outstanding and they looked at him with scorn because he was so useless that his parents were almost forced to move out to this forgotten corner of the world.

    Every time Yao Jun closed his eyes, he could see those looks of pity and scorn, and every time he saw those looks in his mind, he would open his eyes and return to training, pushing himself a little harder. With time, Yao Jun was ostracized by the towns people, partly by his choice, partly by theirs. Due to this, mixed with the shame Yao Jun felt whenever he faced his parents, Yao Jun was certain that he was the only one who knew just how hard he worked to change his circumstances, to allow his parents to return to their home.

    Yao Jun walked briskly through the streets, at his waist hung a longsword made of polished steel, a gift his father had gifted him once he turned 10. Yao Jun carried the blade everywhere with him, looking at it would remind him of how long his road still was, giving him the motivation to push on a little harder. Letting his parents return home wasn't enough, he wanted to let them return home in triumph, changing the looks of pity and scorn he got into looks of reverence and admiration.

    With these thoughts in mind, Yao Jun left the town. Not far from the town was a forest inhabited by normal animals and some low level Demonic beasts. Yao Jun would head into the forest every day as part of his training, hunting some normal animals to train his patience and concentration.

    Standing in their little cottage at the edge of the town Yao He could see his son leaving town and couldn't help but heave a sigh. Looking at the lonely back of his son he couldn't help but feel guilty. That day they left the main Yao clan, they never bothered to ask him how he felt about it, simply dragging him away and giving him some false encouragement.

    He could see how the atmosphere of this town was suffocating him, he could see how hard he worked every day, how hard he trained. He and his wife had long wished to tell their son to stop, no matter how hard he trained it wouldn't work, a Warrior couldn't become stronger than a Mage. But everytime they wanted to tell him, they would see his stubborn determination to keep training and their words would get stuck in their throat.

    Their son was ashamed to face them because he felt that he was inadequate and had betrayed his parents expectations, and they were to ashamed to face their son because they felt that they had given him false hope and then dragged him away to a forgotten corner of the world. And before they noticed, this vicious cycle had gone on for seven years, making it so that they didn't know how to break out of it.

    Yao Jun was walking through the forest silently, his footsteps not producing any sound even as he stepped on the fallen leaves. It was already autumn, so the entire forest was a colored in magnificent shades of red and yellow, leaves covering the entire ground. Yao Jun had spent seven years of his life in this forest, he knew the outer perimeter like the back of his hand, but today he wanted to go a bit deeper.

    In the outer perimeters lived nothing but normal animals, and they simply didn't pose a challenge to the current Yao Jun, he wanted to try to go a bit deeper and see if he could find a weak Demonic beast. If he managed to kill a Demonic beast, he could sell it's parts. Even though he didn't need any money now, once he saved up enough, he could head to a larger city and spend the money on medicine that would help him in his training, bringing him a step closer to returning to the main Yao clan.

    Steadily and stealthily making his way deeper into the forest, Yao Jun strained his perception to it's utmost, this wasn't the outer perimeter where the most dangerous animal was the occasional wild boar. In here he could meet actual Demonic beasts, getting caught of guard would most likely mean death.

    Before he noticed, the sun had already reached the edge of the horizon, slowly turning day into night. Noticing this, Yao Jun hesitated for a bit before climbing up the nearest tree and finding a large and solid branch that he could rest on. This wasn't the first time he had spent the night in the forest, but it was the first time he did it so deep into the forest.

    Laying on the large branch, Yao Jun barely slept, mostly just resting enough to keep himself in perfect shape. After switching between light resting and meditation to absorb the surrounding Raw Qi and circulate it through his flesh, the sun broke through the horizon and brought the dawn with it.

    The main difference between a Warrior and a Mage was that while a Warrior circulated and stored the Raw Qi in their flesh and blood, strengthening their body, a Mage circulated and stored the Raw Qi in their inborn spell, slowly strengthening it. Yao Jun had tried circulating and storing Raw Qi in his inborn spell, but it simply seeped out of it after he stored it there, seemingly completely dead.

    After dawn broke, Yao Jun continued through the forest, but he no longer dared venture deeper, instead traveling sideways inside the forest. After traveling without seeing a single animal, much less a Demonic beast, Yao Jun was slightly demotivated, but it also raised his caution to new heights. He had read about how some Demonic beasts would designate certain areas as their teritory, not allowing any other Demonic beasts or animals to enter.

    After spending a bit more time traveling, the sun started approaching the horizon, bringing with it the dimness of dusk. Yao Jun wanted to climb up a tree to rest again, but his eyes suddenly caught hold of something that shone with a purple light in the setting sun. After a bit of hesitation, Yao Jun moved closer to the purple light. After reaching the purple light, he saw that it came from a small rock that was located a few meters up on the slope of a small mountain.

    After thinking it over for a bit and checking the surroundings, Yao Jun calculated how much light there was left and how much time he would need. Gritting his teeth, Yao Jun quickly made his way up the small mountain, hopping up the rocks like a mountain goat, until he reached the purple light.

    Upon closer inspection, Yao Jun saw that it was a bit of purple fur that was stuck to the rock. Seeing that it was just some fur, Yao Jun gave a low self deprecating chuckle and was just about to head down again when he saw a purple blur out of the corner of his eye. Quickly reacting by putting his arms in front of his chest while jumping backwards, Yao Jun managed to dampen the impact, but the force of the collision still sent him tumbling down the slope.

    Tumbling down the slope and hitting the ground, Yao Jun quickly rolled backwards and into a crouching position, staring straight ahead. Not far away from him stood a beast that was a little smaller than him, with a length of about 1,75 meters, covered in purple fur with black stripes, a bloody maw filled with sharp teeth and claws that gleamed in the light of the setting sun.

    Standing face to face with this purple tiger, Yao Jun felt a chill go down his spine as fear started creeping into his heart, he finall found out what it felt like to come face to face with a true Demonic beast.

    The thought of escape slowly started to revolve around Yao Jun's mind, but he quickly threw out the idea and drowned the fear that crept into his heart. Looking at the Demonic beast in front of him, it was clearly not an adult yet, the power behind it's earlier attack wasn't too strong either, so Yao Jun was certain that his odds of victory were rather good.

    Yao Jun narrowed his eyes and placed his hand on the hilt of his sword, he had lost too many long nights training, heard too many words that cut him like knives, to simply give up the moment it seemed slightly dangerous. If he simply ran away now, it would only prove that his parents were right to take him away from the main Yao clan, that he wasn't someone who could handle pressure and stress, someone who could never amount to anything and fulfill their expectations. With these thoughts in mind Yao Jun drew his sword and stared at the tiger, figuring out his plan of attack.
  4. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 3: Garden of Eden.

    Yao Jun stood before the tiger, neither of them moving, slowly sizing up their opponents. Yao Jun kept his eyes squarely on the tiger, not daring to move them away or even blink for too long. The tigers eyes flashed with purple bolts of lightning as it slowly crouched, gathering it's strength in it's legs.

    Yao Jun found himself to be calmer than he had ever been, his heart beating a to a steady rhythm. But his blood was boiling, roaring in his veins, urging him to fight, to let loose the suppressed feelings gained from 7 years of training. Shouting at him to prove his worth.

    The tiger put a bit more weight into it's legs, and it's shoulders slightly moved. Yao Jun grasped the timing and moved immediately, stepping to the left and slashing out with his sword.

    Just as Yao Jun moved, the tiger shot out in a straight line, shooting straight for the place where Yao Jun had just stood. The tiger was caught off-guard by Yao Jun's well timed dodge and attack, but it wasn't slow to react.

    There was no place for it to leverage it's force in the air, so it chose to twist it's body slightly, using it's right shoulder blade to meed the sword. Yao Jun's sword flashed with a resplendent orange light in the sunset, slashing across the tiger's shoulder blade, drawing a line of blood through the air.

    Yao Jun wasted no time, he knew that he had hit the beast, but it was merely a slight wound, just enough to slightly impede it's movement. He quickly moved backwards, building up more distance between the two of them.

    The tiger twisted it's body, allowing itself to land steadily on it's feet. It quickly turned it's head and stared at Yao Jun with hatred in it's eyes, it had been wounded by someone it considered to be food, for a proud Demonic beast like it, there was no greater humiliation.

    The two of them returned to gazing at each other in silence, looking for the slightest flaws to exploit. Yao Jun noticed the light getting dimmer and dimmer as the sun was setting, he knew that if he continued to stay here for too long, night would fall and his vision would be too heavily impeded to properly fight. Thinking about ways to settle this fight faster, a slightly mad idea crept into his mind.

    Yao Jun moved his eyes away from the tiger for a slight second, pretending like something to the side caught his eyes. The tiger would obviously not miss a chance like this and lunged forward with all the might it had saved up.

    Yao Jun was already prepared for this, so he moved the moment he moved his eyes away. But instead of moving to the side to dodge the attack, he rapidly moved forward, welcoming the tiger's lunge with his own body.

    The tiger felt a slight unease as it saw him lunge towards it instead of dodging, but it was too proud to allow itself to change it's move just because of some human child that was supposed to be it's food.

    The tiger opened it's maw and slapped out with it's paws in an attempt to catch Yao Jun. Yao Jun took a step forward and leaned downwards, making the paws of the tiger clash with each other behind his back.

    The tiger was slightly taken aback but it quickly reacted, moving it's head forward and biting down with all it's might onto Yao Jun's left shoulder, a burst of electricity entering his body through it's teeth, numbing his left arm. Yao Jun gritted his teeth at the pain, listening to the sound of his bones shattering. He moved his right arm and stabbed the sword in his hand upwards.

    The sword sank into the tiger's chest and twisted itself, moving towards it's head, slicing it's entire chest open. Yao Jun fell backwards with the tiger on top of him, his sword had sliced open it's heart as it moved through it's chest, dimming the light in the tiger's eyes.

    Yao Jun used his right arm to pry the tiger's jaws out from his flesh, his entire body covered in cold sweat. If he had reacted any slower, he could have died in that earlier clash, but he couldn't draw it out either, every second longer would decrease his chances at survival, so he could only stake it all on that he would react faster.

    He gritted his teeth as he rolled out from under the tiger, he really wanted to scream out loud, but if he made too much noise, there was no telling what he would attract. He had spent seven years doing grueling physical training so he already had a high pain tolerance, but the pain of having his flesh lacerated and his shoulder completely broken still filled his eyes with tears as all he could do was crouch down and bend over, screaming in his heart.

    After spending a bit of time to calm himself down, Yao Jun stood up and turned towards the body of the tiger. He had just taken a step towards the body when it's entire body suddenly lit up with a purple radiance, forcing back the darkness that had settled in the area.

    Yao Jun was shocked and took a quick step back, but the purple radiance suddenly shrank into a small ball of light. As the radiance turned into a small ball, the corpse of the tiger disappeared, sucked into that small ball of light. The ball of light hovered in the air in front of the shocked Yao Jun for a short second, before violently shooting into Yao Jun's chest, merging with the little gate that was located next to his heart.

    Before Yao Jun had time to inspect his body, a hot stream of energy came out from the small gate, quickly spreading through his body. As the hot stream of energy moved through his body, Yao Jun lost all strength in his legs, falling to the ground while clutching at his chest. His mouth was wide open, looking like he wanted to scream, but no sound came out.

    Yao Jun thought the pain of having his shoulder crushed was almost unbearable, but only now did he understand what truly unbearable pain was. The hot stream of energy felt like liquid fire flowing through Yao Jun's body. Accompanying the agonizing burning pain was the crackling sound coming from his bones. All his bones felt like they were repeatedly breaking and displacing themselves, before the hot stream of energy passed by and pushed them back together.

    Even Yao Jun's shoulder slowly repaired itself, the broken pieces moving through his flesh and settling themselves back with the rest of the shoulder blade. The teeth marks swiftly disappeared, leaving behind nothing but a large scar from where the teeth had penetrated his flesh.

    Yao Jun endured the agonizing pain in silence for almost half an hour. It wasn't that he didn't want to scream, he simply couldn't. No matter how much air he pushed through his throat in an attempt to scream and give voice to the pain, the sound simply wouldn't leave his throat, it was like his entire throat was blocked.

    After half an hour, once the pain subsided, Yao Jun simply laid there on the ground, covered in sweat and trembling. After his trembling weakened he stood up and unsteadily walked towards a tree and sat down, using the trunk to support his body. Catching his breath for a few minutes to calm down and repress the last of the trembling, Yao Jun moved his thoughts towards the little gate located at his heart.

    It looked like a simple and unadorned gate made out of heavy black stones, almost no different from how it looked before. But Yao Jun noticed a small change on the edge of the gate, a small mark in the form of a purple tiger had appeared at the edge of the gate, looking exceedingly life like.

    As Yao Jun moved his thoughts closer towards the gate in an attempt to inspect the mark, the gate suddenly opened. A bright white light flashed as the gate opened and Yao Jun felt his entire consciousness dragged into the gate by that white light.

    When the white light disappeared, Yao Jun was shocked to find himself standing atop a large mountain, overlooking a small wilderness. From where he stood, he could see that the wilderness was only around five kilometers in size, consisting of only a large forest and the mountain he stood on.

    Turning around, Yao Jun saw that the gate was located right behind him, looming over the wilderness from the top of the mountain. Yao Jun turned his gaze back upon the wilderness below him, thinking how he should get down from the mountain to check out the wilderness.

    Just as the thought flashed past his mind, he found the space around him distorting, bringing with it a nauseating feeling. After the nauseating feeling stopped, Yao Jun found himself suddenly standing in that very wilderness.

    “Controlled through thought?” Yao Jun murmured to himself and tried it again, imagining himself standing atop the mountain once more. Just as he thought of it, space distorted once more and he appeared on the mountaintop.

    Seeing that his idea was right, Yao Jun tried something else. He imagined himself meeting whatever lived in the wilderness and as the thought passed through his head, space distorted and Yao Jun disappeared.

    Once he re-appeared, Yao Jun was standing in a small clearing in the large forest. In front of Yao Jun was a tiger covered in purple fur with black stripes, lightning dancing around it's fur. It was just a little bit shorter than Yao Jun and it's claws and fangs gleamed with a white light.

    Looking at the tiger, Yao Jun was shocked, it looked exactly like the tiger he had just fought and killed. As he thought of this, a few ideas about what the gate and that purple ball of light really were flashed through Yao Jun's mind.

    The tiger noticed Yao Jun's arrival and slowly sauntered over to him with a friendly look in it's eyes. As it reached his front, it laid down and rolled over, presenting it's stomach, looking like it wanted to be pet.

    Yao Jun carefully crouched down and slowly put his hand on it's stomach. When his hand made contact with the fur, a bolt of lightning ran through his mind, bringing with it a large amount of information pertaining to the Demonic beast itself, as well as how to use his power.

    His power had a very simple use, any Demonic beast he himself killed would be absorbed by the gate, allowing him to either summon the Demonic beast as a familiar, or utilize it's powers with his own body. If he killed two Demonic beasts of the same race, the first one he killed would devour the second one, empowering itself. The same would happen if he killed two Demonic beasts that were very similar.

    The tiger prostrating itself before him was from a race called simply Lightning Tiger. They were a type of Demonic beast that could utilize the power of lightning, but since the one before him was still a young child, it could only use the power of lightning through it's physical body, but not send it out over larger distances.

    As long as he used the gate to let the power of the Lightning Tiger flow through his body, he too could use the power of lightning, but to discharge lightning over larger distances would need him to strengthen the gate as well as the Lightning Tiger itself.

    Yao Jun finished petting the tiger and returned to the mountaintop. Looking over the wilderness he couldn't help but feel a bit giddy. He had been training for seven years, and every single day he cursed himself for having such a useless power, but it seemed like it wasn't truly useless, he simply hadn't unlocked it's true power yet.

    Looking at the large forest before him, a smile appeared on his face. Since this place was truly his Garden of Eden, why not just use that as it's name? Turning around, he pushed open the gate and disappeared from the large forest. It was time to return home and deliver the good news.
  5. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 4: Yao Jun's birth.

    When Yao Jun opened his eyes after leaving the Garden of Eden, he was shocked to find that the sun had already risen, covering him in morning dew. He had only been in the Garden of Eden for what felt like an hour at most, yet the sun had already risen. After giving it some thought, the only answer he could think of was that the sensation of time inside the Garden of Eden was twisted.

    Throwing the thoughts to the back of his mind, Yao Jun raised his right arm and turned his palm over, facing the sky. Circulating some of the Raw Qi in the air into his body and into the gate made him feel an exhilarating warmth that coursed through his body, making him feel completely comfortable.

    After circulating some Qi into the gate, he touched upon his connection with the gate, and the gate appeared above his palm, silently hovering there. Yao Jun looked at the simple black stone gate with a silly smile, this little gate was everything he had ever wanted while training.

    Looking closely at the gate, Yao Jun noticed that atop the gate were nine small spikes, like teeth. Under these nine spikes were nine indents, looking like compartments to store gems. The indent located all the way to the left had a small glow to it, like a tiny amethyst was growing in it.

    After going through everything he had read before, the only explanation Yao Jun could think of was that these spikes and indents were his power's indicators. Every inborn spell had an indicator that would allow others to see exactly what level the inborn spell had reached.

    These levels were simply called grades, from 1st grade to 9th grade. Every grade had 9 sub levels, reaching the 9th level would allow you to upgrade the spell to the next grade. The way to strengthen the level and grade of one's spell was by either absorbing the Raw Qi and circulate it into the spell, slowly storing Qi and upgrading it, or by eating some treasures that would strengthen it.

    Yao Jun returned the gate into his body and quickly stood up. Without even bothering to look around, he immediately began sprinting back home. As he ran, even though he was ecstatic, he still had enough mind to keep a careful eye on his surroundings, making sure that he wasn't attacked.

    While running he also noticed that he ran a bit faster than he usually did, towards the end he also noticed that he managed to last a little longer than he usually would. Thinking about it a bit, he was reminded of the pain he suffered right after the Lightning Tiger was absorbed by the gate. Thinking about how it felt like his flesh was melting and his bones creaking and displacing, Yao Jun assumed that when he absorbed a Demonic Beast, his body would gain a slight increase in power, a clear sign that one's inborn spell was of a rather high level.

    This thought only helped make Yao Jun even happier as he ran through the streets of Flying Fish Town, heading towards the small cottage where he lived with his parents. Yao Jun threw open the door and found his parents in the kitchen, eating breakfast.

    “Father! Mother! I have good news!” Yao Jun spoke as he panted heavily, trying to catch his breath.

    “Oh? Good news? I can't....” Before Yao He could finish his sentence, his voice got caught in his throat as he looked at Yao Jun.

    His once clean and elegant robe was covered in blood and dirt, the cloth on the left shoulder completely tattered and shredded. His face was dirty and his hair in disarray, it looked like he had walked out of a battlefield.

    “What happened to you?! Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Yao Xun rushed out of her chair and over to Yao Jun, grabbing him and inspecting every inch of him.

    “Don't worry mother, it's not my blood. Im perfectly fine, i'm even better than fine.” Yao Jun spoke with a bright smile as he snuck in a little lie, his mother would never stop worrying if he told her that it was his blood.

    “What happened Jun'er? Does it have something to do with the good news you mentioned?” Yao He managed to regain his calm upon seeing that Yao Jun seemed fine.

    “It does indeed have something to do with the good news, father.” Yao Jun nodded towards his father after comforting his mother for a bit.

    “I decided to walk deeper into the forest this time around. I found a heavily wounded Demonic beast, and after a short fight I managed to kill it. At that time my inborn spell activated and sucked in the beast's corpse, allowing me to gain control over it's power and to do this.”

    As Yao Jun spoke, he raised his hand and the little gate appeared in his palm. The gate opened and a purple light shot out of the gate, materializing into the Lightning tiger, standing on guard next to Yao Jun like his guardian.

    He had told his parents the main parts, but changed some details. If his parents found out that he had started a fight with a perfectly healthy Demonic beast, there was no telling how much they would yell at him.

    Yao Jun had a proud and brilliant smile while looking at the Lightning Tiger, but as he turned his eyes towards his parents, he noticed that their faces had gone pale with a shocked expression.

    “Father, mother, what is the problem?” Yao Jun hurriedly spoke as he returned the Lightning Tiger into the gate, and the gate back into his body.

    Yao He looked at his son as he was taking deep breaths, slowly calming himself down. “Jun'er, does anyone else know about this power of yours?”

    “No father, I haven't told or showed anyone else.” Seeing the grave face of his father, Yao Jun knew that something was wrong so he hurriedly spoke.

    “Good....good... that's good. Jun'er, take a seat, there are some things we must tell you.” Yao He beckoned Yao Jun over to the kitchen table as he himself took a quick glance out of the window. Not seeing anyone outside, he himself took a seat next to his wife as they looked at their son.

    “Jun'er, do you know why we moved to this tiny town?” Yao He started with a question that slightly surprised Yao Jun.

    “Because you were afraid that the pressure and bullying from the other children at the main Yao clan would be too much for me?” Yao Jun slightlty lowered his head as he spoke, but Yao He's next words gave him a slight shock as he raised his head again.

    “That is only a small part of the reason. Did you know that your mother and I retired from the Yao clan's army a few months before you were born? The reason we retired is because we suffered an ambush by the Demon Race in our latest skirmish, and your mother was hit by one of their attacks, infecting her body with the Demon Race's energy.”

    “Do you know why the Human Race and the Demon Race have been enemies for so long even though the two races look exactly the same? A person from the Demon Race may look the same as someone from the Human Race, but everyone from the Demon Race has a Soul Beast, instead of an inborn power.”

    “When someone from the Demon Race fights, they can either summon their Soul Beast to fight next to them, or draw upon it's power, relasing it as a foul miasma, this is what we call Demonic Energy, and it is fatal to humans.”

    “The reason I am telling you this is because when your mother was hit by the Demonic Energy, I tried to use my own energy to push it out of her body and save her life. But something went wrong, all the Demonic Energy went into her womb, and from there into you. Since nothing seemed wrong, we thought that maybe the energy had dispersed so we ignored it.”

    “We never told anyone, but when we saw that little gate appear on your chest as we were awakening your Inborn Spell and felt the slightly Demonic Energy radiating from it, we immediately decided to take you and leave the main Yao clan. Settling here in Flying Fish Town where no one had ever seen someone from the Demon Race or felt Demonic Energy.”

    “After spending some time here and not seeing any activity from the gate, nor any Demonic Energy radiating from you, we assumed that things were safe. But looking at it now, it seems like that Demonic Energy that entered your body back then has already become a part of you. While your power no longer radiates any Demonic Energy, it simply looks too much like a Soul Beast. Jun'er, you can never let anyone you don't trust see you summoning anything through that gate, and even if you trust them, think it over before showing them.”

    “You said that you could control the Demonic beast's power? Then you can simply pretend like your inborn spell is granting you control over lightning, as long as you don't summon the beast, no one will be able to tell.”

    As Yao He finished talking, he heaved a heavy sigh. The act of accidentaly pushing all that Demonic Energy into his unborn child's body had always been his greatest regret, and now it seemed like him doing that had caused a change in his son's body, making him neither Human Race nor Demon Race.

    Looking across the table at his son who was in deep thought, he couldn't help but feel guilty, yet another point where he had harmed his son, this time more physical than mentally.

    “I see, so my body contains both Demonic Race and Human Race energy... Since I now have a powerfull inborn spell, does that mean we can start working towards returning to the main Yao clan?” Yao Jun digested all the facts he had just heard for a few minutes before speaking up.

    “That's your question? Nothing about the Demonic Energy? You aren't angry at us for doing that to you?” Yao He was slightly shocked at how little his son seemed to care about not being completely human.

    “There isn't really anything I can do about the Demonic Energy, nor do I personally have any great hatred against the Demon Race, so why should I be angry about it? Besides, you did it to save mother didn't you? I can't be angry at you for something that simple, I would probably do the same.” Yao Jun gave a bright smile as he spoke his mind.

    Even though his power was based on the Demon Race's power, so what? Weren't they just like humans, just with different powers? Where was the need to hate them or their powers?

    “That's good... good....” Yao He had the slight urge to cry as he saw how little his son cared, and even forgave him. He had been afraid of his son hating him because of the past for so long, but now it all seemed like it had all been his own delusion.

    “Of course we can work on returning to the main Yao clan if you want, I can get in contact with some of my old friends, they will get us a nice house.” Since his worries were lifted, Yao He spoke with a happy smile.

    “If possible father, I would like to return to the main clan through my own efforts. In three weeks the branch in Flying Fish clan will hold a tournament to select the two candidates that will be transferred to the Golden Moon Town's Yao clan branch. I would like to participate in that tournament and win the right to head to the Golden Moon branch, and from there head on to the main Yao clan.” Yao Jun interrupted his fater and spoke with a solemn face.

    “Oh? Why would you want that?” Yao He spoke with a slightly confused face.

    “While we could simply return to the main clan through your connections, everyone will think that your connections are the only reason we could return. I want to prove to everyone who looked at me with pity and scorn that the son of Yao He and Yao Xun is not some nobody.” Yao Jun spoke with a determined voice, his eyes staring directly into Yao He's, showing his determination.

    “Good. Good. Indeed, the people here have truly not been looking at your properly. Then go, show yourself off, show them that the son of Yao He and Yao Xun is not someone who they are fit to look at.” Yao He spoke in a loud and proud voice, this son of his had never been someone who liked being beneath others.

    Yao Jun nodded his head in confirmation before quickly changing into a new robe and heading out into the forest again. He only had three weeks, so he had to take every moment he had to train.
  6. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 5: Repaying Debts.

    Three weeks passed by in a flash. To Yao Jun it felt like he had been training for only a few days, but as he woke up in the morning, it was already the day of the tournament. Yao Jun put on his green robe and quickly freshened up in the washroom before heading to the kitchen to eat a quick breakfast.

    “Jun'er, you mustn't forget, unless it is absolutely life threatening, you cannot let out the Lightning Tiger, just pretend like you can control lightning.” Yao Jun's mother repeated the words she had told him almost a hundred times these last three weeks once more, making sure that Yao Jun wouldn't get careless or complacent.

    “Don't worry mother, I won't be stupid.” Yao Jun responded with a smile before quickly finishing up the rest of his food and dashing out of the cottage, heading towards the town center.

    In Flying Fish Town, the Yao clan branch was the king, so using the town square for their own little tournament was no problem. The usually empty town square had now been replaced by a large square wooden arena surrounded by simple wooden benches.

    The main reason behind this tournament was to find two people who were qualified to be sent to the Golden Moon branch, but another reason was to showcase the Yao clan's strength to the rest of the town, solidifying their own position.

    The benches surrounding the square arena were filled with people. At first glance, it looked like almost 200 people had come to watch. To the residents of this town, seeing 200 people at once was a massive spectacle, but Yao Jun still had some memories of his short time in the Yao main clan, so he wasn't too shocked at seeing this small amount of people.

    There were a group of people standing on the arena, three withered old men clad in black robes embroidered with a large boulder, the mark of the Yao clan. A middle aged man with a scarred face, clad in the same black robes. And seven youths ranging from 14 to 18 years old, also clad in the same black robes.

    Flying Fish Town was a tiny town, and most of the youths would often head out on their own adventures, so even though the Yao branch was the king of this town, they didn't have too many youths, ones that were good enough to be sent to the Golden Moon branch were even fewer.

    The three withered old men were the patriarch and vice patriarchs of this Yao clan branch, so they held the highest authority in town. The scarred middle aged man was someone that was sent by the Golden Moon branch specifically to oversee this tournament and make sure that the quality of the youths sent to them would be of the correct standard.

    “Thank you all for coming, this old Yao won't stand on any ceremony with you, so why don't we just start with the tournament?” One of the three withered old men spoke in a hoarse voice. This was the patriarch of this Yao branch, but he and the vice patriarchs were brothers and looked virtually indistinguishable, so many people often mistook them for one another.

    “Wait, i'm going to join!” The withered old men were just about to leave the arena when Yao Jun called out and ran up through the benches and hopped up onto the stage.

    “Get down little Jun, this arena isn't a place for you.” One of the vice patriarchs spoke in a low voice to Yao Jun, wishing that he wouldn't make them look bad in front of the examiner from the Golden Moon branch.

    “Who are you? Are you part of this Yao branch?” The scarred man ignored the vice patriarch's words and spoke to Yao Jun.

    “Yes sir, im Yao Jun, just turned 15.” Yao Jun looked straight at the scarred man as he straightened his back and spoke.

    “Good, that'll make this go much faster. Now there are eight youths, we'll divide them into four groups of two. Each group will fight, the winner moves on, the loser leaves. Four groups will turn into two groups of two, and two groups of two will turn into one group of two. Let me see your combat skills, i'll take with me the ones I deem good enough.” The scarred man spoke in a loud, but bored voice, seemingly wanting nothing more than to leave.

    “Yes sir.” Yao Jun and the seven other youths responded in unison before lining up. The scarred man quickly divided them into four groups and sent three of the groups down from the arena, clearing room for the first group to start their fight.

    The first group just so happened to be Yao Jun's group. Yao Jun was up against a youth he had seen several times, Yao Hou. Yao Hou was a youth who was two years older than Yao Jun, tall and stout, light brown hair and blue eyes, he was considered prince charming by some of the girls in the Yao branch.

    Yao Hou only looked at Yao Jun with disdain, they had never talked to each other, Yao Hou felt it was demeaning to be part of the same clan as someone useless like Yao Jun, much less talking to one. Yao Jun always knew what Yao Hou was thinking, he had seen disdainful eyes like these many times.

    Yao Jun only gave him a grin. Since he disdained him so much, then why should Yao Jun bother with being nice to him? Yao Hou had disdained him for seven years, so it was about time to pay back that debt.

    The two took up their positions across each other and Yao Jun took up a stance. Weapons were forbidden in this tournament, so he could only rely on his fists. But that didn't matter to Yao Jun, he had trained his body for seven years, he had even spent a large portion of those seven years in the forest, hunting and fighting animals, his entire body was a weapon. Taking some steps back, even if weapons were allowed in this tournament, Yao Jun wouldn't use one, these youths simply weren't worth him using his weapon.

    Yao Hou was the first one to move, he advanced towards Yao Jun, his fingers taking on a gray sheen, this was his power, using the element of metal to coat his hands in a hard layer to increase his punching power.

    To the youths who were watching, Yao Hou looked like he was rushing at full speed, but to Yao Jun, compared to some of the animals he had hunted, he was simply too slow. He slightly bent forward and took the same approach he did when he fought the Lightning Tiger.

    He dashed forward to meet Yao Hou, moving directly past his open arms and into his chest. Before Yao Hou had time to react, Yao Jun delivered an uppercut to his chin. Right after the uppercut connected and disoriented Yao Hou, Yao Jun took a step back before delivering a full powered kick straight to his solar plexus. Yao Hou fell backwards and started vomiting, clearly not in shape to continue fighting.

    If it were in the main Yao clan or even one of the larger branches, Yao Jun had zero confidence in beating the other youths with just his physical body, but he had never put the lazy youths of this tiny branch into his eyes. They never once trained their bodies, so how could they ever amount to much?

    After kicking down Yao Hou, the spectators from the Yao clan were stunned. Was this the Yao Jun that they had always disdained and scorned? Didn't he ignore their gazes because he was too weak to fight back? Had he been deceiving them for all these years? Sadly, these youths would never know the truth.

    The scarred man looked at Yao Jun with slight praise in his eyes, he found this kid's quick reflexes and decisive actions to his liking. After getting someone to bring Yao Hou down from the arena, the tournament continued.

    The four groups swiftly turned into two groups. This time Yao Jun was grouped against a woman who was slightly shorter than him, standing at about 1.75 meters. If it had been earlier, this woman would be insufferably arrogant and stare at him with disdain, but standing before him now, she could only look at him with a grave expression. She was confident in her strength, but she was also uncertain about his full strength.

    This woman, Yao Lei, had black hair, healthy wheat colored skin with nice proportions, and brown eyes, she could be considered quite beautiful. But Yao Jun wouldn't be swayed by something as simple as beauty, he had been scorned and disdained by almost for seven years, he had long since stopped paying much attention to how people looked on the outside, choosing instead to look at their personalities and beliefs.

    Yao Lei took a slight stance as she moved towards Yao Jun with a special rhythm. The sound of her footsteps on the arena reverberated around the square, making it hard for people to concentrate. This was her power, she could use the sounds that she herself created to confuse her opponents.

    Seeing this power, not only Yao Jun, but even the scarred man couldn't help but give a slight mocking smile. A power like this could be considered good in this tiny town that wasn't used to strong powers, but Yao Jun had seen his parents powers, and the scarred man came from the much larger Golden Moon branch, they had seen the greater world.

    Yao Jun simply stopped thinking and acted on reflex, shrugging of the girls powers. A swift punch to her abdomen stopped her in her tracks long enough for Yao Jun to grab her arm and spin around and throw her over his shoulder. With her untrained body she fainted the moment she hit the ground.

    Seeing how easily Yao Jun was beating their youths, the three withered old men had ugly expressions, but the scarred man simply ignored them and flashed a smile, this kid sure was ruthless enough, not caring about beauty at all.

    The other fight didn't last long either, quickly giving way for the final fight. Yao Jun was just happy that it was almost over, a silly little tournament like this was really just a waste of time. But Yao Jun was still glad that he participated, the whole point was to show that he wasn't someone they could disdain as they please, and he had indeed managed to show just that.

    For the last fight, Yao Jun was up against Yao Jing, a youth who was almost 18, he had black hair, green eyes and a very normal face, but he was the oldest one among the youths of the Yao clan who hadn't already left. Even now, as he was facing him, Yao Jing still looked at Yao Jun with disdain.

    “You should just give up, you won't be able to get through my defenses.” Yao Jing spoke in a lofty voice as he straightened his back.

    “I don't think you will be the one to decided that. Besides, i'm sure that Yao Hou and Yao Lei also thought that they would surely beat me, now look at them.” Yao Jun gave a low laugh as he advanced towards Yao Ling. He knew the power that Yao Ling had, it was also the reason he dared speak so arrogantly.

    He slowly walked until he stood in front of Yao Ling and threw a simple punch towards his solar plexus. In response to the punch, a translucent membrane of water covered Yao Ling's body, this was his power, a shield of water he could deploy around him.

    Seeing this membrane, Yao Jun gave him a mocking smile, and as his fist made contact with the membrane, purple sparks of lightning flashed on his fist, traveling up his entire arm, covering it in small lightning bolts. As the lightning made contact with the water membrane, it swiftly traveled through it and around Yao Ling's entire body, resulting in him collapsing and spasming on the arena.

    “You should always make sure you know enough about your enemy before you start acting arrogant.” Yao Jun spoke a simple sentence to the spasming Yao Ling before turning to the scarred man.

    “Haha, seems like this Yao branch actually has someone that is pretty good. Kid, follow me, we can head to Golden Moon Town immediately, I don't wanna spend another second in this backwater town. I'll be waiting at the town entrance for two hours, if you don't show up within that time, i'll assume that you don't want to join me and simply leave.” The scarred man spoke rudely with a laugh. Heading directly for the town entrance.

    Yao Jun quickly made his way towards his home, not even sparing a single glance for any of the other Yao branch members. Once he reached the cottage, he was surprised to see that his parents had already packed all his things for him, storing them in a green interspatial ring.

    “Here, this is your father's ring, you can consider it a gift for winning the tournament. We will head out for Golden Moon in a few days as well, so we will come find you then.” Yao Xun put the ring onto Yao Jun's finger as she spoke with a loving smile. Their son was doing so much just so that they could return to the main clan in triumph, so how could she not be proud?

    “Thank you mother, I will certainly come find you once you settle down in Golden Moon.” Yao Jun didn't stand on ceremony with his own parents, accepting the ring before quickly leaving the cottage and heading towards the town entrance, his journey had just begun.
  7. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 6: Golden Moon Town.

    The Flying Fish Town's Yao clan was located close to the edge of the Great Yan country, but the Golden Moon branch was located in Golden Moon Town, which was located almost at the center of Great Yan country. Only a week's walk away from the capital of Great Yan country where the largest branch of the Yao clan in the Great Yan country was located.

    Getting to Golden Moon Town from Flying Fish Town would require Yao Jun and the scarred man, who had introduced himself as Ren Hong, to walk along the road for almost a week. The upper echelons of the Golden Moon branch had thought about this already, so they lent Ren Hong a carriage that was large enough to carry three people.

    The carriage was a very simple carriage as the upper echelons didn't expect there to be anyone too talented in such a small town. They were willing to lend out a carriage, but they couldn't lend out one of the better carriages. This way they could safeguard themselves in case there was by any chance someone talented in Flying Fish Town, ensuring that the talented person wouldn't be too annoyed at having to walk the entire way.

    Ren Hong was someone who integrated himself into the Yao clan at a late age, so he wasn't required to wear the clan mark on his clothing, but he still chose to wear the clan mark to show his respect for the clan. The younger generation would generally not need to wear the mark unless they were going out on official business or to tournaments, but they would still wear it most of the time as a sign of respect.

    Yao Jun had never worn the clan mark, the reason behind this was because after his parents had performed a meritious deed during a great battle, they were granted one wish that the clan would fulfill.

    The wish that they chose was for their family to be exempt from having to use the clan mark on their clothing in the future. They did this because, while they were part of the Yao clan, they were not born in the Yao clan.

    One of the elders of the main branch of the Yao clan had gone adventuring while he was younger, and when he returned to the clan, he brought with him two children from two different clans who he had been entrusted with by a friend on his travels. These two children were Yao He and Yao Xun, this was also the reason why Yao Jun and his parents surname was different from the rest of the Yao clan.

    While Yao He and Yao Xun were younger, they wore the clan mark to show their respect to the clan for raising them, but once they grew up and had dedicated a large portion of their strength to the clan, they wanted to spend the rest of their lives honoring the people who had brought them into this world.

    This was also another one of the reasons that his parents did not have a high position in the main branch, even after gaining many merits during their battles, the Yao clan was worried about what people would think if they had people with different surnames as elders.

    While they were traveling towards Golden Moon Town, Ren Hong spent most of the time simply steering the carriage in silence, but as they got closer to Golden Moon Town he started to tell Yao Jun about some of the information he would need to know before entering the Golden Moon branch.

    This information included everything from the miscellaneous jobs he would have to do, information on elders and disciples that were noteworthy, who not to cross while in Golden Moon Town, the state of affairs in Golden Moon Town, and some information about people from the Peng clan.

    The Peng clan in Golden Moon Town was like the Yao clan, they were a branch of the Peng Clan, once of the largest clans in the Great Yan country, as well as the Bai province. The Peng clan and the Yao clan divided Golden Moon Town into two parts, each occupying a half.

    On the surface, the relationship of the two branches was very harmonious, often co-operating and sending their youths in mixed parties to partake in Demonic beast hunts. Once one looked a little deeper, one would see that the relationship was far from harmonious, fighting between the younger generation being common, often ending in deaths.

    The two branches were also secretly competing between each other, each trying to steal resources and land from the other. Sending the younger generation out on Demonic beast hunts in mixed parties was also a type of competition. The youths sent out would often end up fighting against each other, more disciples dying to each other than to Demonic beasts.

    After riding the carriage for four days, only stopping for the occasional restroom break and to sleep at night, Yao Jun and Ren Hong finally arrived at Golden Moon town.

    Being located close to the center of Great Yan country, the city would obviously be larger than a small Flying Fish Town. The city was surrounded by a large stone wall, defending the buildings and citizens within from the occasional Demonic beast attack. The city was shaped like a large circle, being almost 50 kilometers across.

    The houses were mostly painted in a light yellow color, while the more grandiose houses were colored a deep golden, showing that they were more distinguished than other buildings. The entire city was interweaved by both small and large roads, but there was one large main road that split the entire city into two halves.

    The road went from the entrance of the city, all the way to the city lord's mansion which was located at the other end of town. This road was also the demarcation line, one side of the road belonging to the Yao branch, the other to the Peng clan.

    Yao Jun had spent eight years living in the largest branch of the Yao clan, the branch located in the capital, so even though this city could be considered large for someone from a small town like Flying Fish, but it was still not enough to shock Yao Jun.

    Yao Jun and Ren Hong followed the main road until they reached a road that split off to the side, going in a straight line towards a large gray colored mansion. This mansion was the location of the Yao branch. The mansion was surrounded by a large courtyard, the courtyard had a small stream flowing through it and was filled with small patches of trees and was vibrant with plant life, giving the courtyard a peaceful atmosphere.

    Behind the mansion were several small and simple houses, placed at even intervals between these houses were small training areas that would allow the occupants to spar with each other or test out their techniques.

    Ren Hong took Yao Jun into the main mansion and brought him straight to one of the external elders. Yao Jun was just a slightly talented person from a small town, he was not qualified to meet any of the internal elders, he wasn't even qualified enough to let any of the internal elders know that he had entered the clan. Internal elders were elders that had the surname Yao and had been born in the clan, they mostly dealt with clan affairs and the most talented disciples.

    External elders were talented people the clan had taken in, but who still had different surnames. These people mostly dealt with the normal disciples, taking care of the premises and other smaller miscellaneous tasks.

    Yao Jun was brought before an aged elder with a kindly face, the elder looked just like the kind grandfather type. This elder was in charge of taking care of the newest disciples, giving them their identification jade and assigning them with tasks that they would have to complete to receive their monthly salary.

    Yao Jun quickly went through the procedures, receiving a jade token that had his name and hometown inscribed, a key to one of the smaller houses located behind the mansion, and getting assigned the role of medicine boy.

    His job as medicine boy was to travel between the Yao branch and their medicine garden, which was located on a small mountain located in a forest a small distance away from the city, and make sure that everything was as it should, before reporting which herbs were ready for harvesting and which would need to be planted again. This task had to be done at least once a week.

    It would be a lie to say that Yao Jun was not a little disappointed with how unenthusiastic his entrance into this Yao branch was, but he consoled himself with the fact that he would sooner or later rise up, it just depended on how hard he worked. And Yao Jun had never lacked for determination to do hard work.

    Ren Hong led Yao Jun to the small house that was assigned to him. The small house was built out of grey stones and was located at the very edge of the Yao branch premises, this was to make it easier on Yao Jun to make the trip between the medicine garden and the house. The inside of the house was just as simple as the outside, only containing a bathroom and a bedroom, a small corner of the bedroom being used as a small kitchen corner.

    The bed was just a stone slab that was covered with some fur to give the disciples to have something to lay on. This was done for two reasons, one was to motivate the disciples to work harder, striving for getting a better house by getting better results during competitions, and the other was to make the kids forego sleep for meditation. Spending the night meditating would remove the disciple's tiredness, just like sleeping, but meditating would also allow the disciple to gather more Raw Qi, as well as bringing the student closer to nature and training their mind.

    Yao Jun didn't have many things, just having some clothes and books, so there was nothing for him to put away, so he just followed Ren Hong on a tour of the premise, learning where everything was located. After that he returned to his house to start his meditating, tomorrow he would head to the medicine garden to complete his task and be given his initial salary, allowing him to buy some necessities.

    (The Yao clan uses the 摇 version of Yaò, which means rock. while our MC and his dad use 妖 which stands for demon, while his mother uses 要 which stands for Desire.)
  8. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 7: First Day in Golden Moon.

    The sun had just risen above the horizon when Yao Jun opened his eyes. After spending the entire night immersed in meditation and absorbing the Raw Qi in the air around him, Yao Jun was surprised to notice just how filled with energy was. It was indeed just like they had said, substituting sleep with meditation was a very good idea.

    Of course, that was only if you managed to persist with your meditation throughout the night. Yao Jun found that he had no problem persisting the entire night, in fact, he completely forgot track of time as he meditated, completely immersing himself in the pleasant feeling of merging with the Raw Qi around him.

    After stretching his body for a bit, Yao Jun left the small house and headed to the provisions department. The provisions department was located in the main mansion and was responsible for handing out some necessities as well as giving the disciples their monthly salary.

    The provisions department was in fact just a long counter placed in front of the storeroom. You would go to the person responsible for whatever chores you were assigned, and then that person would head into the storeroom and fetch out the things you were entitled.

    The person in charge of the medicine garden chores was a seemingly middle aged woman clad in the standard black Yao clan robes. She had long flowing black hair with some shades of gray, a buxom figure and a pleasant voice. She seemed like a very pleasant and seductive woman, but what subtracted from her charm was that her forehead was very wrinkled. She also had a very bad temper, almost flaring up at Yao Jun for requesting his initial salary and the book that held all the information he needed to know about his chores.

    After some silent grumbling, the woman, who he learned was called Xuan Yijun, entered the storeroom and came back with a small leather pouch and a small green book.

    “You can keep the book for a maximum of one year, after that you have to return it, if it is damaged or ruined, you will have to pay for it.”

    The woman flicked her hand and the book and pouch landed on the counter in front of Yao Jun. After that she sat down and took out a small purple rock that she held in her hand as she started silently meditating, no longer paying attention to Yao Jun.

    The small purple rock was something called a Mortal Grade Spirit Stone. Spirit Stones were the crystallization of Raw Qi and were used as cultivation tools by lower ranked cultivators as well as currency by higher ranked cultivators.

    The lowest ranked ones were Mortal Grade, after that was Spiritual Grade, Earth Grade and then Heaven Grade. There were also legends that above heaven grade was something called Primordial Grade and Empyrean Grade, but Yao Jun was currently far too weak to even know if these legends were true. He could barely get his hands on Mortal Grade at the moment.

    The monthly salary came in the form of 1 Mortal Grade Spirit Stone, and 10 silver coins. Coins were used by non cultivators or low ranked cultivators as currency. 1 silver was worth 100 copper. 1 gold was in turn worth 100 silver. 1 spiritual gold was worth 100 gold.

    The book he was given was an encyclopedia of spiritual herbs. Spiritual herbs had the same classification as Spirit Stones, and were mostly used to make pills or other concoctions. The encyclopedia was not specialized for the Yao clan, so it contained information on every herb that had been discovered so far. Yao Jun's job was to study and memorize this encyclopedia and use the information within to maintain the medicine mountain.

    Yao Jun left the main mansion and the Yao clan area, following the main road to find a small miscellaneous store. Yao Jun entered the store and spent 5 of his silver, buying a small basket, a few tools, and a small book that he could carry with him.

    The tools and basket were to be used for the herbs, the tools would make it easier to pick some of the herbs and maintain others. The basket was a specialized herb basket that prevented the herbs from losing their accumulated medicinal properties and energy, while the small book was just so he could have something that he could use to write down any notes that he had.

    Ever since Yao Jun had absorbed the corpse of the Lightning Tiger and awakened his powers, he had acquired an eidetic memory, but the act of taking notes on things he felt that he needed to remember had already been ingrained in his body after doing it for so long, so he was incapable of stopping himself from doing so.

    After he bought what he needed, he returned to the Yao clan and entered his little house. Before he headed to the medicine garden, it would be wise to accustom himself to some of the more common herbs, so he started by reading the encyclopedia he had gotten.

    Thanks to his eidetic memory he had no problem remembering the information about the herbs, and once he had gotten halfway through the book, he heard a small knock on his door.

    Putting away the book and heading to the door, he was greeted by a slender girl clad in the standard Yao clan robes. She had raven black hair, limpid blue eyes, a rosy complexion, a nice figure and small dimples on her cheeks that were formed from smiling.

    “You should be junior brother Jun right? I'm Yao Pianzi and I can be considered your senior since im a year older than you.” The girl, Yao Pianzi, spoke with a bright smile as she grabbed Yao Jun's hand and forcefully shook it.

    “Ah, yeah i'm Yao Jun, nice to meet you.”

    Yao Jun spoke somewhat awkwardly, he had spent most of his life training alone, so he was not accustomed to being with others, especially beautiful girls around his age, so he was slightly at a loss, not sure what to do.

    “Hehe, I heard that out medicine garden group was getting a new member, so I came to greet you and take you for a tour around the medicine garden. If i'm not wrong you shouldn't have been there yet.”

    Yao Pianzi spoke with a large smile as she dragged Yao Jun out of his house without waiting for his reply. Yao Jun honestly just wanted to stay in his house and continue reading the encyclopedia, but he was unsure how to turn down Yao Pianzi. He was afraid that she would be a bit sad if he just suddenly turned her down, so he could only sigh in his heart and follow her to the medicine garden.

    Golden Moon Town was surrounded by forests on all sides, only being connected to the other towns by winding roads that went through the forests. The forests outside of Golden Moon Town were used by the Yao clan and the Peng clan to both train their younger disciples, as well as store their medicine gardens.

    The Raw Qi was thicker in the forests due to the gathering of Demonic beasts and herbs, so it was better to place their medicine gardens there than to place them in the town. The path leading to the medicine garden was protected by small array stones, beads injected with arrays, so no Demonic beasts would attack people as long as they were on the roads.

    The Yao clan medicine garden occupied an entire small mountain and was protected by a larger array formation that not only protected the herbs from Demonic beasts and trespassers, but also gathered the Raw Qi from the surroundings and converged it onto the mountain, promoting the growth of the herbs.

    To pass the protective array, all one had to do was hold one of the Yao clan's identification jades and the array would completely ignore you. Entering the array, Yao Jun took a deep breath, feeling the thick Raw Qi submerging the entire area gave him a carefree and pleasant feeling, like he was floating amongst the clouds.

    Yao Pianzi took him on a tour around the entire mountain, explaining to him what he had to be careful about and other things to keep in mind. With her explanation, Yao Jun got a much better understanding of what was expected off him and what he had to do.

    After they went around the entire mountain, they returned to Golden Moon Town and walked around town a bit together. Yao Pianzi showed him around town, showing him which stores had the best items and prices, showing him some of the better places where one could buy specialized goods or food. They walked around town for most of the day before returning to the Yao clan.

    “You should go rest early junior brother Jun, tomorrow we still have to head to the medicine garden to pick some herbs.”

    Yao Pianzi gave Yao Jun a sweet smile as she waved, returning to her own housing. And just like that, Yao Jun's first day in the Golden Moon Yao branch passed.
  9. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 8: Life in Golden Moon.

    When the first rays of sunlight shone through Yao Jun's window, he awoke from his meditation. He had already been in this Yao branch for a few weeks and it had become a habit to end his meditation this early. He and Yao Pianzi would head to the medicine garden in the morning so that they could wander around town during the afternoon, evening and night was strictly for cultivation, Yao Jun had made this very clear.

    Quickly freshening up in the washroom before leaving the house, Yao Jun met up with Yao Pianzi and a few other people at the town exit. The group consisted of Yao Pianzi, a tall and elegant youth with light yellow hair called Yao Mu, and a pair of twin sisters with chestnut brown hair and a lovable appearance, they were a bit younger than Yao Jun, but since they were born in this Yao branch, he had to call them Senior Sisters, they were called Yao Zhu and Yao Wei.

    “Little Jun! You seem to be getting more and more punctual, even we just arrived!” Yao Pianzi skipped over and patted Yao Jun lightly on the shoulder as she spoke in a praising tone.

    “Come on now big sis Zi, I only overslept twice, it wasn't that bad.” All Yao Jun could do in face of her praise was embarrassedly scratch his cheek.

    Big sis Zi was something Yao Pianzi had convinced Yao Jun to call her not long after they got to know each other. At first he found it rather embarrassing, but as he got used to it, he found it rather pleasant to be able to call a friend with a nickname.

    “Greetings Senior Brother Mu and Senior Sisters Zhu and Wei.” Yao Jun cupped his hands and gave the others a standard greeting. These people had also been rather good to Yao Jun so he was also quite fond of them.

    “Good morning Junior Brother Jun, since you are so punctual today, I believe that our luck should be rather good.” Yao Mu returned his greeting with a light chuckle, eliciting a small laugh out of the others.

    They left the Yao clan and followed the main road towards the town exit. Before leaving town, Yao Jun made a small detour to greet his parents, who had already settled down in Golden Moon Town, just not in the Yao clan. Yao Jun visited his parents every morning before he left for the medicine garden, partly to check up on them and ensure them that he is fine, and partly to pick up his breakfast and lunch, which his mother prepared for him every day.

    After picking up his breakfast and lunch, Yao Jun shared the breakfast with everyone in the group as they left the town and followed the path that would lead them to the medicine garden. He split his breakfast with them every morning, he also did the same with his lunch, mainly because the others only ate in the Yao clan cafeteria and always forgot to make their own food before leaving.

    After arriving at the medicine garden, since today was the last day of the week, they started harvesting some of the herbs that had a faster growth speed. Every week they had to harvest herbs on the last day and deliver them to the clan. They had to fill up a certain quota each week and month, if they harvested too little, they would lose some of their salary, but if they harvested too much, they would not get anything extra.

    Harvesting the herbs was rather strenuous work as it required them to walk all over the mountain, check all the herbs to see if they were ripe, then bend over and cut them above the roots to harvest them. They would then place them in specialized baskets and write down what they had harvested and how much, taking stock of what they had.

    After spending around two hours harvesting, they would gather again and eat lunch together. While everyone else had filled their books, noting down their harvest, Yao Jun's book was still empty. This was not because he hadn't harvested anything, on the contrary, he had harvested more than anyone else.

    Since he was new, Yao Pianzi had given him charge of the area with the most herbs. Since there were more herbs there, there were obviously more ripe herbs there as well. Yao Pianzi said that she did this so that Yao Jun wouldn't end up harvesting too few herbs and end up losing his salary.

    But Yao Jun noticed that Yao Pianzi and the others never managed to harvest enough, so he told them that they could just start harvesting from his area. The others adamantly rejected this proposal, stating that it was important to have borders and not encroach on other peoples area.

    After thinking it over for a little bit, Yao Jun came up with the idea that he could just harvest a bit more and then give that to the others, allowing all of them to reach the quota. The others spent some time thinking over it and couldn't come up with anything against it, so all they could do was accept with reluctant faces. This led to Yao Jun having to harvest almost twice as much as the others to keep up.

    “Little Jun, how come the food you bring is always so good? Much better than the food in the cafeteria, you should just come cook for me all day, I'm sure your mom taught you....” Yao Pianzi muttered under her breath while eating a small pastry.

    “Come on now big sis Zi, I already told you that I was too preoccupied with training to ever learn any cooking.” Yao Jun gave a wry smile in response to Yao Pianzi's words. She would often end up muttering under her breath while eating the food his mother made, complaining that no one would cook for her.

    “Junior Brother Jun, are these the herbs you harvested?” Yao Wei spoke up from the side and leaned her head over to peek into the basket placed next to Yao Jun.

    “Ah, yes I managed to harvest enough this time as well.” Yao Jun stretched his body and picked out some herbs from his basket, quickly handing them over to the others.

    “Thank you Junior Brother Jun, we really have inconvenienced you.” Yao Mu accepted the herb and gave Yao Jun a slightly apologetic smile.

    “It's no problem, no problem at all. It's my fault for hogging the best harvesting spot after all.” Yao Jun quickly waved his hands to stop Yao Mu.

    Just as he finished talking, a small flame flashed into existence in front of Yao Pianzi, illuminating her surprised face. This little flame was the mark of a transmission jade, signifying that someone had sent a message to Yao Pianzi. Yao Pianzi's face quickly went from surprised to elated.

    “The inner disciple tournament date has been decided! It will start in another week, all disciples are to suspend all chorse to focus on the tournament!” Yao Pianzi spoke with a happy smile as she sprung up.

    “Come, come, let's return to the clan, we have to start training!” Yao Pianzi stopped caring about anything, throwing the food aside before grabbing her basket and running back to Golden Moon Town.

    Yao Jun was the only one who didn't run back. The inner disciple tournament was only for disciples who had spent a certain amount of time in the Golden Moon branch, giving them a chance to become inner disciples, meaning that the clan would give them more resources and that they could stop doing chores.

    Yao Jun had not been in the clan long enough to participate in the tournament, so there was no need for him to rush back. He looked around the area where they just sat, overlooking all the food the others had thrown onto the ground and heaved a small sigh.

    “What a waste of food. Sorry mother.”

    Yao Jun stood up and cleaned away the food before heading back to his part of the medicine garden, he had picked enough herbs for the others, but he hadn't picked enough herbs for himself yet, so he had to finish that first.
  10. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 9: Inner disciple tournament.

    Yao Jun spent some time wandering around town, checking out various stores. It had been a week since Yao Pianzi had gotten news of the inner disciple tournament and he hadn't met any of them since. They could suspend their chores to focus on training, putting some finishing touches on their skills before the tournament.

    Yao Jun saw no point in doing this, he couldn't participate in the tournament, so taking the week off from the chores would only lead to him having nothing to do all day. Rather than spend all day doing nothing, he found it better to keep up his old habits, heading to the medicine garden every morning.

    But as he traveled to the medicine garden alone, he found it to be a rather lonely chore, so he had also gotten quite fond of meditating in the medicine garden. Since the medicine garden had a Qi Gathering Array, the concentration of Raw Qi was much larger on the mountain, giving people twice the result for half the effort.

    Normally people were forbidden from meditating in the medicine garden as it would take Raw Qi away from the herbs, but since Yao Jun was the only one in the medicine garden, there was no one to tell him off. Thanks to spending time meditating in the medicine garden and his daily meditating at night, Yao Jun had already managed to reach the 3rd level, close to the 4th.

    He hadn't managed to step into the first grade yet, but since he had only been able to train his Inborn Spell for a bit over two months, he was still rather pleased by the result. Ever since he had managed to reach the 3rd level, he had also felt more in tune with energy, giving him the feeling that he was almost capable of seeing the Raw Qi floating around him.

    In truth, Yao Jun felt very stifled in Golden Moon town. As long as he was in the town or it's surrounding area, he couldn't bring out or enter his Garden of Eden, so ever since he left Flying Fish Town, he hadn't entered it once. He could try to enter the gate while he was in the medicine garden, but he was worried that doing so would trigger some mechanism in the Gathering Array, alerting the clan.

    Thinking about the quiet forest and lovable Lightning Tiger located inside his Garden of Eden and knowing that he couldn't enter it, Yao Jun shook his head with a slight sigh.

    “Forget it, i'll just head to the clan and watch the inner disciple tournament. They are basically guaranteed to pass, but I can at least cheer big sis Zi and the others on.” Yao Jun stopped wandering around town and turned towards the Yao clan premises, making his way back.

    After arriving at the Yao clan, Yao Jun headed to his house to freshen up and put on some new clothes, his emerald robes had gotten a bit dirty while in the medicine garden. After freshening up, Yao Jun took out a black robe from his interspatial ring.

    In truth, Yao Jun felt slightly out of place in the Yao clan. Every disciple wore the black robes embroidered with the clan mark, every disciple except Yao Jun. Yao Jun still wore the same emerald green robes he had always worn, making him stand out amongst the other disciples.

    He had thought about changing to the standard black robes, but whenever he looked at them, he just felt that they looked so dreary and lifeless. Other than that, the green robes he wore were made by his mother, so he was did not want to simply stop wearing them.

    Throwing the thought to the back of his mind, he stored the black robe back into his interspatial ring, taking out another green robe. If he didn't want to wear the black robes, he wouldn't, Yao Jun did not want to live a life where he did things he did not want to do.

    Leaving the house, Yao Jun headed towards the largest training ground placed behind the main mansion, this was where the inner disciple tournament would take place. Clad in a green robe, sword hanging at his side, his black hair tied up with a piece of string, combined with his soft and elegant features, he looked like a scholar heading to war.

    But when he arrived at the training ground, no one paid any attention to him, all eyes locked onto the middle of the training field where the disciples that would take part stood.

    Yao Jun found an inconspicuous place to stand and watch the tournament. He wasn't too surprised at the others not paying attention to him, even if there wasn't a tournament today, they still wouldn't look at him. The only ones Yao Jun was acquainted with was Yao Pianzi, Yao Mu, Yao Wei, and Yao Zhu. Other than these four, no one else in the Yao clan had spoken to Yao Jun so far, so Yao Jun was very thankful towards Yao Pianzi and the others for making him feel so welcomed.

    There was not a lot to be said before the inner disciple tournament, only mentioning that weapons, intentional murder, and intentional crippling of the opponents were forbidden. The tournament followed a very simple formula, the people participating drew opponents at random, losing a fight meant that in the next fight you would fight someone else who also lost. Winning meant fighting someone else who also won their first fight.

    This went on until everyone had fought six fights. The clan would then choose the five people who had the best scores and nurture them as inner disciples. After being an inner disciple for a period of time, the disciple would then be given the chance to become a core disciple. After becoming a core disciple, the disciple could challenge one of the top ten ranked disciples. If they won, they would get that disciple's rank and an increase in the resources they would get, becoming a ranked disciple. Most clans would follow this set up, with some slight differences.

    The tournament quickly moved on, and it was indeed just like Yao Jun had thought, Yao Pianzi and Yao Mu went undefeated. Yao Wei and Yao Zhu each lost one fight, but that was only because they ended up meeting Yao Pianzi and Yao Mu.

    The last person who got a spot in the top five and became an inner disciple was called Yao Gu, he had pale skin and short ruffled black hair, looking very unkempt. He fought in a very frenzied way, resembling a wild beast. His power seemed to be the ability to use his Qi to enter a frenzied state, simulating a wounded wild beast, as well as giving him an increase in his physical power.

    Yao Wei also had a brutish way of fighting, she looked petite and lovable, but her power was a pure physical power boost. Once she activated it, her physical power would instantly double, allowing her to waltz over almost any opponent that didn't have any means of ranged attacks.

    Yao Zhu was more elegant while fighting, her power manifested in the form of wind transforming into the shape of strings. She could control the strings with her fingers, making it look like she was playing a zither while she was fighting. But her strings could not be underestimated for they were sharp and deadly.

    Yao Pianzi and Yao Mu stood undefeated and the main reason behind that was that their powers could be considered top tier. They had also managed to train their powers up to the 6th level, allowing them a greater range where they could manifest their powers. Their powers could also be controlled mentally thanks to this, meaning that one could not predict where they would strike.

    Yao Mu looked elegant, but his power gave him control over stone, allowing him to use the earth to shield him while simultaneously flinging large rocks at his opponents, giving them no chance to get close or attack him, he was truly a fearsome fighter.

    Yao Pianzi could control mist, allowing her to turn the humidity in the air around her into mist to hide her body and deceive her opponents. She was like a specter while she fought, it was impossible to get a lock on her. Her opponents could only fall for her tricks before being defeated by her swift and merciless attacks.

    And just like that, the inner disciple tournament came to an end. The next one would not take place before in around a year, it was also at that point that Yao Jun would be allowed to participate, giving him a chance at becoming an inner disciple.
  11. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 10: Pianzi.

    Yao Jun opened his eyes in the morning, ending his nightly meditation session. It had already been two weeks since the inner disciple tournament ended, so all the disciples that didn't become inner disciples had already returned to doing chores. Despite this, Yao Jun had still not managed to meet with Yao Pianzi or the others again, but he comforted himself with the thought that they were probably busy with being introduced to the inner disciple area.

    Standing up from the bed and stretching his body, Yao Jun heard a pleasant popping sound from his joints. After two more weeks of meditating, he had managed to enter the early stages of the 4th level, and was pleasantly surprised to see that reaching the fourth level had given his body a small boost in toughness and strength.

    Yao Jun quickly washed himself before slipping into a new green robe and leaving the house. He did not manage to meet with Yao Pianzi and the others, but he still had his chores to take care of. The only difference was that he was now the only one taking care of the medicine garden, instantly nearly tripling his workload. He had already talked about it with the external elder that was in charge of the medicine garden, and she had promised him that they would send over more people, but so far there was no one.

    Yao Jun slowly wandered through town, since he was now the only one taking care of the medicine garden most of his time was spent there, giving him little time to do anything but sleep and work. Due to this he would always walk through town very slowly as he was headed towards the medicine garden, enjoying the peaceful walk.

    As he was nearing the town entrance, he spotted a small group of people entering the town. Seeing these people, Yao Jun was pleasantly surprised. The group was exactly Yao Pianzi and the others. Yao Jun put on a smile and made his way towards the group.

    “Good morning Big sis Zi, Senior Brother Mu, Senior Sisters Wei and Zhu. I never did get to congratulate you on successfully becoming inner disciples. Congratulations!” Yao Jun spoke with a smile as he cupped his hands at the group.

    “Ah? Junior Brother Jun? What are you doing here?” Yao Zhu seemed rather confused at seeing Yao Jun.

    “Did you not tell him Senior Sister Pianzi?” Yao Wei looked towards Yao Pianzi while raising one of her eyebrows.

    “Tell me what?” Hearing their exchange and seeing how dismissive Yao Mu was, Yao Jun felt slightly uneasy, but even more confused.

    “Ahaha, yeah I didn't really bother to tell him, I just stopped thinking about it after the tournament.” Yao Pianzi spoke with a small laugh and shot a slightly apologetic look in Yao Wei's direction before turning towards Yao Jun.

    “Listen Junior Brother Jun, you should stop meeting with us.” Yao Pianzi still held the same smile as she spoke to Yao Jun, but her words hit Yao Jun like a punch, only increasing his unease.

    “....What?” After being dazed for a bit, Yao Jun managed to spit out the word, but after thinking about how they interacted in the past, he managed to draw some conclusions.

    “Listen, I know we may have been a bit close earlier, but that was only so that we could get more time to cultivate. If we didn't get that time to cultivate in the medicine garden, there was no way we could have managed to become inner disciples.”

    “But if we simply spent all our time cultivating in the medicine garden, people would be suspicious when we never came back with any herbs, so we all agreed that we needed someone to harvest the herbs for us.”

    “And then I was told that we were getting a new disciple in the harvesting group, it was the perfect chance. You got to have some friends for a while, and we got to get in more cultivation time, it was a win-win situation.”

    Yao Pianzi still wore that cheerful smile, but the others in the group had already looked away from Yao Jun, no longer paying attention to him. Yao Jun himself had a rather ugly face. His face was completely pale and he looked lost, like an abandoned puppy. He had made some conclusions upon seeing Yao Mu be so dismissive, but he found that actually hearing it was much worse.

    “So it was all just a lie? A little game you played to get what you wanted?” Yao Jun spoke in a slightly hoarse voice as he swept his gaze across the group. Yao Pianzi still looked cheerful and Yao Mu still looked dismissive. The Wei and Zhu twins were the only ones who looked slightly apologetic, but even that faded quickly.

    “Not everything was a lie, the food really was good, that wasn't a lie. And you shouldn't say it so harshly, look at it like a business transaction. You got some friends for a while and we got to cultivate, like I said, it was win-win.”

    Yao Pianzi seemed slightly annoyed at how Yao Jun phrased it, so she corrected him, but she didn't expect him to burst out into laughter.

    “Really, I can't fucking believe that I fell for it. Should have known not to trust something that seemed so simple and sweet. Fucking really, what a good lesson.”

    Yao Jun spoke in a self deprecating tone before turning his gaze to Yao Pianzi. His eyes had lost all the shine they used to have when he looked at her, all that was left was a dead gaze, like he was looking at air.

    “Pianzi right? Really should have known, the name itself tried to warn me. Fucking hell, never have I seen anyone whose name fits so well. Fucking hell.”

    As he was talking, Yao Jun had already started walking past them, heading towards the medicine garden as the sound of his cursing slowly drift away with the wind, leaving behind only his lone back.

    “He didn't have to be that rude did he? Who does he think he is?!” Yao Pianzi spoke with a cold snort, it was truly the first time someone had spoken so rudely to her. She was used to people fawning over her because of her looks and talent, but that mongrel even made fun of her name? After she had been so good to him ever since he arrived?

    “Never mind that Sister Pianzi, we should head back to the clan, the salary should have been divided by now.” Yao Mu spoke with an indifferent voice, but he still turned his head and narrowed his eyes at Yao Jun's back. He had been pursuing Yao Pianzi for a while now, and even considered her to be his woman, so hearing someone who came from such a tiny town like Flying Fish insult her made him quite angry.

    Yao Jun went to the medicine garden, but he didn't come back in the evening. He only showed up at the entrance of Golden Moon after the fourth day ended. He looked just like he did as he left, only a bit dirtier than normal, his hands were especially dirty, covered in dirt and blood. His face held a faint smile, looking like nothing had happened, only his slightly red and moist eyes betrayed his emotions.

    (Pianzi is chinese (骗子) and stands for deceiver)
  12. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 11: Root of all problems

    Yao Jun slowly walked through the town, his clothes dirty, his hands covered in blood. On his face was a faint smile. His hair was disheveled, his emerald green robe dirtied, but as he walked slowly and gracefully, he gave off a type of elegant bearing, making him seem like an immortal walking the streets.

    He had spent four days in the medicine garden. Sometimes he raged at how he had been used and lied to, when he was angry he would find a tree or a rock and simply start hitting it until he calmed down and started cursing.

    Sometimes he would be sad that he was the only one who thought that he had managed to make some friends, when he was sad he would either sit or lie down somewhere and just cry, cry until he could cry no more.

    Sometimes he would just laugh out loud, laugh at his own stupidity for believing them, laugh at how he ignored the obvious signs that he had been used. When he laughed, he would laugh until his voice was hoarse and he started to cry again.

    Sometimes he would start cursing and shouting, cursing the heavens for making him the target of their deceit, cursing himself for being unlucky enough to be the only one to transfer at this time. When he cursed, he would curse until he started laughing.

    As the time passed and he kept thinking it over, he slowly started to realize something. They left the main branch because his power was a dud and he would be weak. He was too ashamed to properly face his parents because he was too weak and thus was a disgrace. In Flying Fish Town he was scorned and pitied because he was too weak. Here in Golden Moon Town they took advantage of him because he was too weak and stupid to notice anything wrong.

    When his thoughts came to this point, he realized that all the things he had cursed and blamed his bad luck for, had all stemmed from his own weakness.

    If he was strong, would his parents feel the need to leave the main branch and move to a tiny town where they had no friends? Would he be too ashamed to look at his parents without feeling like a disgrace? Would the people in Flying Fish Town dare scorn him? Would the people in Golden Moon dare use him? The answer to all of these questions were no.

    Since the root of all his problems was his own weakness, then all he had to do was become strong, strong enough to where he could live his life just the way he wanted to. Of course, he realized that becoming strong was not everything, would Yao Pianzi and the others have been able to use him if he had been more suspicious and less eager to trust others? Of course not!

    Since it was like this, his future course of actions were clear. Become stronger, and less eager to trust. The more easily he trusted others, the easier it would be to be used, so trusting people without fully knowing them quickly became a taboo to Yao Jun.

    With his thoughts and mind having reached this point, Yao Pianzi and the others became a non factor to him, he simply removed them from his mind. Since they were not friends or trustworthy, there was no point in spending any energy on them.

    After walking for a while, Yao Jun found himself outside his house in the Yao clan compound. He entered the house and took a long bath, allowing the warm water to wash away all the dirt, blood, and negative emotions he still had left. He changed water several times, soaking in the warm water for almost three hours, just enjoying the peace.

    After he finished bathing, he put on a fresh green robe and packed everything that he owned into his interspatial ring. He wanted to get stronger, but he also knew that staying here would not allow him to cultivate with max efficiency. He left the little house and headed to the main mansion before heading into the section that dealt with what chores the disciples undertook.

    Normally, the only way a disciple could change what chores they undertook was by either becoming an inner disciple, or whenever new disciples arrived. But there was one exception, and that was signing up for the Cloud Wilderness Expeditions.

    The Cloud Wilderness is the name of the largest known wilderness on the planet, it is so large that only around half of it has been mapped. Most of the center parts have not been explored by humans, making the entire Cloud Wilderness a mystery.

    Joining the Cloud Wilderness Expedition meant that you were willing to join a team of disciples consisting of people from both the Yao clan and the Peng clan to explore the small section of the Cloud Wilderness that they controlled. The section they controlled was located on the periphery, but even then, only people whose powers had reached the first grade had a survival rate that exceeded 60%.

    Anybody could sign up to join the Cloud Wilderness Expedition, but to be allowed to go there, one had to sign a contract that stated that if one died there, the clan would hold no responsibility.

    Yao Jun quickly reached the counter that was responsible for managing the disciples that would head to the Cloud Wilderness. Behind the counter sat a wrinkly old man clad in a patched grey robe, his eyebrows were a pure white and hung loosely down his temples, his head was completely bald.

    “Hello, I would like to sign up for the Cloud Wilderness Expeditions.” Yao Jun cupped his hands and spoke in a polite tone.

    “Oh? Why would you join those expeditions? You are still young my child, there is no need to partake in such dangerous missions.”

    The old man spoke slowly and his voice was hoarse, but at the same time his voice was filled with warmth, it gave one the feeling that one was sitting in front of a fireplace during the cold winter.

    “I thank you for your concern, I know that it is dangerous, but I also believe that it is something that I have to do.”

    Yao Jun gave the elder a short bow as he spoke, but his eyes shone with determination.

    “Ai, If that is what you feel, then I would not be doing my job as your elder if I kept pestering you. Just be careful my child, I have seen too many young ones leave in high spirits but come back in coffins.”

    Seeing the determination in Yao Jun's eyes, the elder knew that there was nothing he could do to stop him. He had the feeling that if he blocked him from joining the expedition, the child in front of him would just wander off and find a way to enter the Cloud Wilderness alone.

    He took out an azure jade token that had the words Yao and Cloud inscribed on it and handed it to Yao Jun, explaining to him how to use the token.

    “You can go now my child, I will handle your dismissal from the other chores.”

    Yao Jun cupped his hands and thanked the elder once more before handing over his identification jade. The elder inspected the jade once and wrote down who was in charge of Yao Jun's chores before returning the jade and seeing Yao Jun out.

    “Ai, what does one have to do make a young child like him like that?” After Yao Jun left, the elder shook his head and sighed. Yao Jun had spoken politely and respectfully, even a bit cheerfully towards the end. But the elder had clearly noticed that while he spoke like that, he was constantly wary and guarded, keeping a slight distance between himself and the elder, both physically and mentally.

    Yao Jun left the Yao clan area and took a quick trip home. He explained to his parents that he would take a trip with the clan, leaving the town for a while. He didn't explain where he was going, he didn't even tell them the dangers, but how could his own parents not notice that he was hiding things from them.

    They knew that he was hiding things from them, but even then, they didn't ask him where he was going. They could see the determination in his eyes and they knew that their son was already 15 and had already started spreading his wings. As parents, it was their job to make sure that he could properly spread his wings, not clipping them, so they simply told him to be careful and forced him to bring some more food and water with him.

    After he was done, Yao Jun proceeded to head to the city center, the place where the spatial formation that would take him to the Cloud Wilderness was located.
  13. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 12: Cloud Wilderness Expedition.

    The spatial array located in the town center was owned by both the city lord, the Yao clan, and the Peng clan, so they all sent guards to protect it. If someone who was not part of either of the three factions wanted to use the spatial array, they would have to pay two Mortal Grade Spirit Stone per person who wanted to go.

    Of course, even those who belonged to either of the factions had to present proof that they were allowed to travel for free, if they could not, they too would have to pay. Yao Jun only needed to show the azure jade token before he was immediately and respectfully sent through the spatial array.

    The people of the clans were always respectful towards the ones who joined the Cloud Wilderness Expedition. The expeditions generated a lot of revenue for the clans, and the people who participated in the expeditions were under constant threat of death, so everyone who was part of the expeditions could expect the highest level of treatment.

    The spatial array was a simple array that was set up using the blood and bones of a high-grade Demonic beast. The blood was set down in one location, while the bones were set in a different location. A cultivator who specialized in arrays would then inscribe runes into the bones and blood, connecting the two. One could then use either Spirit Stones or ones own Qi to activate the array, transporting the one standing in it from one location, to the other.

    The other end of the array was placed in Golden Cloud Town, a small town built by the city lord, the Yao clan, and the Peng clan, outside of their section off the Cloud Wilderness. There were very few people living in the town as it was impossible to know when Demonic beasts would swarm out from the Cloud Wilderness and attack.

    Due to this, the town only held a few stores that sold necessities, a few hotels and some pleasure areas. The disciples would often stay in the pre-arranged housings that the clans prepared for them, but some disciples would use the hotels if they were going to associate with others that did not belong to the clan.

    Yao Jun arrived in the spatial array in Golden Cloud Town and quickly headed towards the Yao clan area. The Yao clan area was just a large gray building that was used to house the disciples that ventured into the Cloud Wilderness, and the elders that were stationed there to watch over them. After arriving at the building and notifying the head elder of his arrival, Yao Jun was brought to meet with the other disciples from the Yao clan that he would be traveling with.

    He was brought into a small lounge that contained a few couches and tables, allowing the disciples to relax and converse with each other. There were already three other youths sitting in the room chatting, upon noticing Yao Jun's arrival, the largest of the youths waved him over.

    “You must be a new kid, i'm Yao Min and can be considered the leader of this group.” The largest youth, Yao Min, looked almost 20, had a tall body and was sturdily built, almost resembling a bear. He had short black hair and a chiseled face.

    “That's Yao Qin, he is in charge of identifying herbs and other flora that we find. You'll be hard pressed to find a kid more knowledgeable about herbs in the younger generation.” Yao Min pointed towards a youth that seemed to be about 17, short brown hair and a simple and honest face.

    “That's Yao Xiang, he doesn't know too much about herbs, but he is good at fighting and if you need someone to help keep you alive in the wilderness, he's your guy.”

    Yao Min pointed to the last guy, a youth who looked almost 18, his head was clean shaven and he had sharp eyes. A scar that went across his chin made him look ferocious. As Yao Jun greeted them all, he noticed that all three of them had a few scars, whether it was on their arms or heads.

    “I'm Yao Jun, you can consider me a jack of all trades. I am knowledgeable about herbs, survival, and fighting. Pleased to meet you.” Yao Jun cupped his hands and gave a short greeting and introduction.

    “Alright, i'm going to call you little Jun since you are now the youngest. Let me ask you little Jun, have you ever killed anyone before?” Yao Min patted Yao Jun on the shoulder and gave him a seat as he spoke.

    “Killed? No Humans, no. Only some animals and Demonic beasts. Why?” Yao Jun sat down and asked in response.

    “As you may know, we often venture into the Cloud Wilderness alongside people from the Peng clan. The clans say that this is to foster friendly relations, but it is mostly to train the younger disciples.”

    “Whenever we venture into the Cloud Wilderness together and find something good, it always ends in the people of the Yao clan fighting the people of the Peng clan, which can easily result in death. If you are too soft hearted while fighting them, it can quickly lead to the death of people from your own group, so I need to know if you are capable of killing someone before I can bring you along.” Yao Min spoke emotionlessly as he looked at Yao Jun, awaiting his response.

    “No problem, as long as they attack us, I have no problem killing them.” Yao Jun responded just as emotionlessly as Yao Min.

    Yao Jun wanted to become strong in a world focused on cultivation, and cultivation required resources. Fighting over resources was as common as the clouds and the law of the jungle reigned supreme. His parents had long ago instilled in him the mindset that one could not show mercy to ones enemies, so Yao Jun would obviously not shy away from killing someone if they wanted to kill him.

    “If you say so I can be a bit more relieved, we will probably end up spending a long time with each other, so we can be considered brothers, it is always sad to lose a brother.” Yao Min smiled at Yao Jun's response and gave his shoulder a forceful pat.

    “But I must warn you, in two months we will be venturing into the Cloud Wilderness with people from the Peng clan again. Until that day we will try to teach you everything that we know so that you will be better prepared, but there is no telling what might happen in the Cloud Wilderness, always be focused and on guard.”

    “Yeah, I heard that one time, someone from the Peng clan walked a route they had mapped before, but a spatial node suddenly opened next to him and sucked him in, no one has heard from him since.”

    Yao Min spoke with a solemn expression as he warned Yao Jun, and Yao Qin chimed in with a rumor he had heard somewhere. It was like this that Yao Jun's stay in the Cloud Wilderness began. The next few weeks were spent taking short trips into the Cloud Wilderness, allowing Yao Jun to get used to the environment and improve his fighting capabilities by sparring with Yao Min or Yao Xiang. Before anyone had noticed, two months had passed and the day they would venture into the Cloud Wilderness with the Peng clan had arrived.
  14. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 13: Peng Group.

    Yao Jun spent two months alongside Yao Min and the others. Yao Xiang helped him with sparring and increasing his combat abilities and Yao Qin crammed as much knowledge as he could into Yao Jun's head. Yao Qin was pleasantly surprised to see that Yao Jun had an eidetic memory, saving him the trouble of repeating his teachings.

    Yao Min mostly only oversaw everything, but he would also comment on things, helping Yao Jun understand why he was taught these things. Most of the teachings took place just within the Cloud Wilderness. The reason behind this was that the Cloud Wilderness was special. The Cloud Wilderness is constantly surrounded by a type of natural array formation, making the Raw Qi more abundant within the Cloud Wilderness.

    While it made the Raw Qi more abundant within, it was also more chaotic and violent, making it harder to absorb Raw Qi to train or refill ones reserves. It was this chaotic and abundant Raw Qi that made the Cloud Wilderness the perfect place for Demonic beasts and certain plants and treasures.

    While they were helping Yao Jun get accustomed to the Cloud Wilderness, they also took the time to teach him about the people of the Peng clan and the state of affairs when they entered the Cloud Wilderness. Since their lives were constantly at risk when they were within the Cloud Wilderness, the bonds between the people of each group were especially thick, favoring to call each other brothers instead of clan mates.

    They could enter the Cloud Wilderness whenever they wanted, but if they entered with just the people from their own clans, they would stay close to the edge of the forest. Every two months, or whenever they planned it together, the people from both clans would get together and venture into the deeper parts together. The reason they entered together was because entering the deeper parts with just a group of four, especially people who were as weak as them, was practically suicide.

    When they entered together, they would often have specific goals in mind, either scavenging for treasures, or hunting Demonic beasts. To prevent there from being rampant killings between the two clans, the people from both groups had come up with certain rules between each other.

    They would take turns scavenging or hunting, so while one part of the group took all the parts from the killed Demonic beasts, the other group would take all the herbs and treasures that they found. These rules were set in place to prevent rampant killing, and they did in fact work most of the time, but it was impossible to know when one would stumble upon a treasure that both sides wanted. If that happened, all rules and agreements were made null, as Yao Min explained it “Birds die for food, men die for wealth.”

    On the morning of the day they were going to venture into the deeper parts, Yao Jun and the others were eating a hearty breakfast together. Yao Xiang was the one who stood for most of the cooking in the group, his parents owned a restaurant so he was the one who was most proficient in it.

    Most of the food he made often contained large amounts of meat, but whenever someone complained he simply laughed and stated that one can't accomplish anything on an empty stomach, and nothing fills a stomach like some good meat. They were too close to the Cloud Wilderness to rear any animals, so all the meat they ate was meat that came from the Demonic beasts that they hunted. Demonic beast meat was not only delicious and nutritious, but it also came with the added benefit of being full of Qi, so eating a piece of Demonic beast meat was the same as training.

    After training and eating Demonic Beast meat for two months, Yao Jun had reached the 6th level, resulting in six of the indents above the gate shining with a brilliant purple light, but he had yet to reach the 1st grade. Yao Min and the others had all already reached the 1st grade and started to increase their levels, but once you reached the 1st grade, it would get harder and harder to increase your power's strength, especially if you only had a weak power, so they had yet to break past the 5th level of the 1st grade.

    “Alright, the sun is already at it's apex, we should go and meet the guys from the Peng clan, lest they start nagging again.” Yao Min put down his chopsticks and stretched his waist as he stood up.

    Since Yao Min had already given the order, the others would certainly not tarry any longer, putting down their chopsticks and following Yao Min out of the building, heading towards the edge of the Cloud Wilderness. They had already stored everything they would need in their interspatial rings the day before, so they were prepared to leave at any time.

    The only thing they didn't store in their interspatial rings were their weapons. Yao Xiang was the one who taught them this, explaining that they would be able to react faster if they carried their weapons on them. Carrying the weapons on their body also helped them increase their familiarity with the weapon. Seeing as his logic was sound and reasonable, no one had any problem with carrying their weapons on them at all times.

    As they got closer to the edge of the Cloud Wilderness, Yao Jun saw that there was already a group of four people waiting for them. Contrary to the black robes that Yao Min and the others wore, or the green robes that Yao Jun wore, these four people all wore golden robes that seemed to shine beneath the sun. These were the robes of the Peng clan, their clan mark broidered onto the chest of the robe.

    The clan mark of the Peng clan were two large intertwined golden wings. The Peng clan took it's clan mark and name from their guardian beast, a massive golden Peng tamed by their first ancestor.

    “Really now Peng Yi, are you trying to get us killed? How many times are we going to get attacked by Demonic beasts because they are attracted by your garish robes?”

    Seeing the four people and their robes, Yao Min couldn't help but curl his lips into a taunting smile as he spoke.

    “Our golden robes are the sign of our glorious ancestor, why don't you take off your dull black robes instead?”

    The one who responded with an equally taunting voice was Peng Yi, the leader of the Peng group. Peng Yi was almost two meters tall and had such a strong build that he seemed more like a bear than a man. He had dark golden hair and black eyes, his skin was smooth and fair, showing that he went through great lengths to take care of it. Peng Yi carried a large gray claymore on his back and his strength was about the same as Yao Min.

    Yao Jun had already been told about everyone from the Peng clan, so he quickly identified the rest. The group of the Peng clan had a setup that was very similar to the one from the Yao clan. Peng Yi was the leader, Peng Dong was the fighter, he was very similar to Peng Yi, only he was a bit shorter and his skin was rougher and more scarred. Peng Dong was the younger brother of Peng Yi, so even though he stood for fighting, he spent most of his time at the back of the group, protected by his elder brother.

    Peng Shi had the same role as Yao Qin and stood for identifying herbs and treasures. He had pale skin and sunken in eyes, making him seem like a creepy person. His back was slightly bent, making him seem shorter than the other people present. He had short brown hair and blue eyes. Yao Jun knew that even though he looked like a creepy and sinister person, he was a surprisingly honest and nice person.

    The last person of their group was called Peng Yan and he filled the role of an extra fighter. He had healthy tanned skin, was only a slight bit shorter than Peng Yi, and had well defined muscles, looking like a chiseled rock. His head was completely shaven and polished, with two rows of dots tattooed onto his forehead, making him seem like a monk.

    “Tch, aren't you funny. Our black robes symbolize the Yao clans unity and strength.” Yao Min only clicked his tongue in response to Peng Yi's words.

    “So this is the new member you brought along, Yao Jun was it? I'm Peng Yi, that's Peng Dong, Peng Shi, and that's Peng Yan. We'll do our best to keep you alive as long as you do your best to keep us alive.”

    Peng Yi turned his head to Yao Jun and spoke with a polite smile as he pointed at the rest of the people of his group and introduced them one by one. The two clans were enemies, but the groups that entered the Cloud Wilderness would rather try to be friendly with each other unless there was a need to be enemies. Another friend would always be better than another enemy, especially when you had to spend prolonged periods of time together in a dangerous place.

    “I'm Yao Jun, you can consider me a jack of all trades, i'll be looking forward to working with you.” Yao Jun gave a polite smile and returned the introduction.

    “Heh, where did you find this one Yao Min? Finally a Yao clan member who actually has some manners.” Yao Shi spoke with a light chuckle as he spoke to Yao Min.

    “All Yao clan members are good people, there simply isn't a need to have good manners in front of brutes like you.” Yao Xiang was the one who responded, curling his lips into a slight smile as he teased the people from the Peng clan.

    “Sure sure, we'll be brutes, brutes get to live longer! Let's go, we're wasting daylight, I want to get a bit of distance in before we have to pitch the tents.” Peng Yi gave a loud laugh in response to Yao Xiang's words and waved the groups towards the Cloud Wilderness as he started walking.

    “What's the matter Peng Yi, you seem rather nervous?” Yao Min picked up on something unusual in Peng Yi's voice and spoke with a frown.

    “I'm hoping it's nothing, but we have gotten some reports about other groups hearing strange noises in the Cloud Wilderness lately.” Peng Yi knit his eyebrows as he replied.

    “Strange noises? What type of strange noises?”

    “Whispering. We have gotten reports of people hearing whispering and seeing things that shouldn't be there, so i'm a bit worried that there might be a psychic beast roaming the outer perimeter.” Peng Yi spoke with a solemn expression, psychic beasts were capable of using illusions to trick others, some of the stronger ones can even read minds and drag out a persons greatest fears.

    “You heard him guys, we need to be extra careful this time. I want all of us to be on full alert.” Yao Min wasn't stupid enough to think that Peng Yi would joke about something that could be this serious, so he made sure to remind Yao Jun and the others to be extra careful as they headed deeper into the Cloud Wilderness.
  15. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 14: Fang Xun.

    When they entered the Cloud Wilderness it mattered little which path they took. Every five years, the Qi at the center of the Cloud Wilderness would surge and roil, throwing everything within the Cloud Wilderness into turmoil and confusion.

    The herbs, treasures, and Demonic beasts from all over the Cloud Wilderness would find themselves thrown to all corners of the Cloud Wilderness. When this surge had just passed would be the moment where one could get the greatest harvest from entering the Cloud wilderness, but it was also the time where the Cloud Wilderness would be at it's most dangerous.

    Since everything had been thrown around at random, it was impossible to know what one would encounter. If one's luck was bad, they could even stumble upon Primordial or even Desolate beasts that were making their way back towards the center of the Cloud Wilderness. All form of maps and other things that had been prepared beforehand would also become obsolete, you would have to learn everything anew.

    The last time the Cloud Wilderness surged was a little over half a year ago, just before Yao Min and the others arrived at the Cloud Wilderness. It was common to send new people to the Cloud Wilderness after every surge. This was not because it would be easier for people who hadn't spent a long time in the Cloud Wilderness to adapt to the new Cloud Wilderness, it was simply because the mortality rate of the teams that ventured into the Cloud wilderness after a surge was over 90%.

    The last team of disciples that foraged the Cloud Wilderness before Yao Min had entered the Cloud Wilderness right after the surge, that was the last time they were ever heard from again. A month after they entered the Cloud Wilderness their Soul Jades all cracked at the same time, signifying that they had all died.

    A Soul Jade was used by even the smallest of clans, it was a type of jade that could store souls. A disciple would put a small piece of their soul into the jade, once the person died, the jade would crack and turn to dust, letting the holder of the jade know that the person had died.

    Yao Jun and the others slowly advanced into the Cloud Wilderness, it had only been a short half year since the last surge, so large parts of the area that was their territory had yet to be explored. Since large parts were unexplored, they had decided to travel slowly and double check everything that they came across, lest they accidentally walk past something valuable.

    “Little Lord, this is called a Ghost Vine, it only shows itself once the morning mist has set in and then camouflages itself once the morning mist leaves. The best way to spot it is to check around large damp trees and check if there are any suspicious dry spots. Ghost Vines are excellent for curing most poisons.”

    As they were walking, Yao Qin and Peng Shi took the chance to impart more of their experiences onto Yao Jun, giving him more actual experience by showing him the herbs they were talking about and supplementing the information from the encyclopedias with some of their own experiences.

    “You must never forget Little Lord, if you encounter a Demonic beast like the Three Headed Snake or the Twin Tiger, before you make any rash moves, you must identify which of the heads is the main head. You can identify the main head by looking at the eyes, the eyes of the main head will always shine brighter and contain more intelligence than the other heads. This is the head you must attack, the rest of the heads play a nearly negligible part.”

    Yao Xiang joined hands with Peng Dong and Peng Yan to impart their knowledge about fighting and Demonic beasts to Yao Jun, if they encountered a beast and Yao Jun did not know how to fight it properly, leading to deaths, that would be a great shame.

    After Peng Shi asked Yao Jun how he wrote his name, he made a joke that since his name was Jun, he must be a little lord. Ever since then, they had only called him Little Lord or Little Brother.

    They had already spent two days traveling deeper into the Cloud Wilderness, but they had yet to meet and Demonic beasts, only stumbling upon some herbs and smaller treasured plants. All the herbs and plants were taken by the Peng clan, it was their turn to gather the herbs, so Yao Min and the others could only grumble and murmur in jealousy.

    Yao Min and Peng Yi spent most of their time checking the surrounding area, scouting ahead of the rest of the group to find the best path to go. Yao Jun on the other hand spent most of his time with the other people from the group, listening to their lessons or occasionally sparring with them, he also started helping Yao Xiang with the cooking, slowly absorbing all his knowledge.

    It was during the afternoon of the third day that they stumbled upon something new, other people. Yao Min and Peng Yi had spotted a small group of people traveling through the Cloud Wilderness, and after making sure that they were not Demons or people from other areas, they invited them back to the camp.

    “Thank you for inviting us, i'm Fang Xun and these are my body guards, Zeng Tai, Zeng Hong, and Zeng Ping.”

    The leader of this group introduced herself and the people she was traveling with. The leader was a girl who looked like she was no older than 20, clad in tight fitting leather armor painted white, she had long brown hair and small dimples at the corner of her mouth. She had an enchanting face that seemed like it belonged on a temptress, but there was a heroic aura exuded from her entire body that made her seem like a great general.

    Her three body guards were tall and burly with completely shaved heads. Their bodies bulged with muscles and they had rough features. They looked more like bears than they did humans, but they all wore a silly, honest smile that made it hard to fear them.

    “Fang Xun? You are the city lord's niece?” Yao Min spoke as he looked the girl up and down, he had long heard about the city lord's niece. A proud daughter of heaven as proficient in fighting as she was beautiful, she was the pride of the entire Golden Moon Town and could do whatever she wanted. When she turned 19 she had left Golden Moon Town and came to the Cloud Wilderness to temper herself, a model child.

    “Indeed, it is nice to meet you all.” Fang Xun gave a small nod and a small bow as a greeting.

    “I'm Yao Min, the leader of the Yao group, that's Yao Xiang, Yao Qin, and Yao Jun, also from the Yao group. Those guys are people from the Peng group, led by Peng Yi, behind him are Peng Dong, Peng Shi, and Peng Yan. The pleasure is all ours.”

    Yao Min respectfully returned the greeting and introduced the others, facing this famous girl, even he could only sigh in awe as he experienced her heroic and elegant demeanor.

    “Are you traveling deeper into the Cloud Wilderness?” Fang Xun gave a small nod to everyone she was introduced to before turning back to Yao Min.

    “Indeed, we are scouting out some of the areas we have not explored yet to see what the last surge brought with it.” Yao Min gave an affirmative nod.

    “I see, do you mind if we join you? We are looking for a young Mist Eagle and have seen some signs that it is in this part of the Cloud Wilderness, we would like to get rid of it before it becomes a problem.” Fang Xun spoke with a solemn face, signifying exactly how big of a mission this was.

    “Tch, so it was a Mist Eagle, no wonder we got so many strange reports lately. I say we should help them Brother Min, as long as there is a Mist Eagle in the area, it's going to be hard to find anything good.” Peng Yi spoke to Yao Min and the others with a voice transmission, a skill where one could wrap their voice with Qi and transmit it to others. As long as there was not someone around that completely eclipsed you in strength, it was impossible for others to hear what was said.

    “I agree, a Mist Eagle is too large a threat, if it get's to grow and awaken it's bloodline, it could maybe even threaten our Golden Cloud Town.” Yao Min responded with a grim face, a fully grown and awakened Mist Eagle was not something they would be able to handle, so they had to kill it early.

    A Mist Eagle was a type of psychic eagle that could confuse people, making them hear voices and see things that were not there. A stronger Mist Eagle could even use it's psychic powers through it's eyes to see through everything, discerning peoples greatest fears and even see through their bodies.

    The Mist Eagle also had a faint bloodline in it, it was the descendant of the Illusory Roc, a Desolate beast that legends say could fade in and out of existence and use it's illusions to confuse even the gods themselves.

    “Very well, this Mist Eagle is too large a threat to leave alone, we will aid you in this quest to kill it.” Yao Min and Peng Yi turned to Fang Xun and spoke with solemn faces, a Mist Eagle really was too large a threat.

    “Really? You will even help us? Thank you so much.” Fang Xun's face lit up with a smile and she gave a deep bow as she spoke with a dignified voice.

    (Jun is chinese for King 君 )
  16. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 15: Campfire Dreams

    Fang Xun and her group of body guards joined Yao Jun and the others on their expedition, but the goal of the expedition changed from scouting the Cloud Wilderness, to finding the Mist Eagle.

    Fang Xun had seen some tracks and signs that implied that the Mist Eagle was in the area, but actually finding the Mist Eagke would be more difficult. Mist Eagles are adept at hiding themselves and confusing their pursuers, the closer one got to a Mist Eagle, the harder it would be to find it.

    A Mist Eagle could use it's psychic powers to confuse and bewilder it's opponents, but these psychic powers had a certain range, being too far away would make them useless, but if you got closer, they would only get stronger. What one thinks is tracks from a Mist Eagle might just be an illusion that the Mist Eagle set up to lure you away from it.

    “So Little Lord, how come you are traveling with the others, you seem to be a bit too young to travel in the Cloud Wilderness, no?”

    Fang Xun was walking next to Yao Jun as they were searching for more tracks to locate the Mist Eagle. Yao Jun had been put in charge of taking care and keeping an eye on her. Yao Qin and Peng Shi were too focused on gathering intelligence, so their strength wasn't too good, making them unsuited to protect her. Yao Xiang and Peng Yan were needed as the main fighting force since they were the ones that were most knowledgeable about Demonic beasts, so they were also unsuited to keeping an eye on her.

    The only other options were Yao Jun and Peng Dong, but since Peng Yi wanted to keep his little brother close to keep him safe, and since Yao Jun was a jack of all trades, he was chosen to stay close to Fang Xun. Yao Min and Peng Yi had heard about the niece of the city lord, but it would be foolish to simply start trusting someone you didn't know, especially when you were traveling in a dangerous place like the Cloud Wilderness. So they put Yao Jun in charge of keeping an eye on her while also protecting her.

    “The name's Yao Jun, they just came up with the nickname Little Lord, no need to use it. I travel with them because I want to.”

    Yao Jun waved his hand and gave a polite smile, but his eyes were constantly scanning the surroundings. Ever since they entered the Cloud Wilderness an uneasy feeling had crept up on him. He knew that this uneasy feeling was in fact the instincts of the Lightning Tiger placed in his Garden of Eden. Since the Lightning Tiger was a Demonic beast, it had a much better sense for danger than a human, so Yao Jun had been on high alert ever since they entered the Cloud Wilderness.

    “But it's rather nice isn't it? Having people that like you enough to give you nicknames? Being the niece of the city lord is so dull, everyone always keeps their distance from me, idolizing me like some kind of god. Just flying around here in the Cloud Wilderness is so much more fun.”

    Fang Xun placed her hands behind her head as she complained about her life, acting completely carefree and relaxed.

    “I guess I can't deny that it is rather nice to have people give you a proper nickname, it's a nice change of pace.” Yao Jun responded politely.

    This wasn't the first time this Fang Xun had complained to him about how she was idolized while living in Golden Moon Town. They had already traveled together for an entire day, and every second sentence out of her mouth was a complaint about her life in Golden Moon.

    It had already started grating on Yao Jun's nerves that she seemed to only be able to complain about the same thing again and again, but Yao Jun kept up his polite and elegant appearance. He had been put in charge of keeping an eye on and protecting Fang Xun, so it would not be proper to get angry at her for something as simple as complaining.

    “Alright guys, let's set up camp for today while we still have some sunlight. Yao Jun, you and Fang Xun will be in charge of making food. Zeng brothers, you can set up the tents. Yao Xiang, Peng Yan and Peng Dong, you guys watch the perimeter and place the Camouflage Powder.”

    Just as Fang Xun was going to open her mouth again, Peng Yi shouted out the order to set up camp. They had to set up camp early, before the sun started setting, otherwise it would be hard to see their surroundings and make sure that everything was secure. The Camouflage Powder was in fact just a type of powder made from dried Demonic beast excrement.

    Once the powder was placed around the camp, other Demonic beasts would smell it, making them think that a Demonic beast had already claimed that place as part of it's territory. The powder would work best in places where only low level Demonic beasts roamed, as getting the excrement of higher leveled Demonic beasts was simply too hard for them.

    If a Demonic beast of a higher grade than the Demonic beast who created the excrement that ended up becoming the Camouflage Powder came around, it would simply ignore it and trespass, so one had to make sure that one brought the appropriate Camouflage Powder to the appropriate place.

    After around 30 minutes, the camp was completely set up. Six tents were placed in a circular formation, with a campfire in the middle. The people from the Peng clan and the Yao clan each put two people in a tent, but the Zeng brothers all slept in the same tent, while Fang Xun had her own tent.

    After Yao Xiang and the others finished spreading the Camouflage Powder, everyone was gathered around the campfire, eating a stew made from dried meat and some vegetables that they had gathered as they were traveling.

    “Say, Zeng brothers. You never really talk too much, so it's rather hard to get close to you, but mind answering a question?” Yao Xiang was the first one to open his mouth and talk, throwing a glance at the always silent Zeng brothers. The Zeng brothers only gave a small nod, indicating him to ask his question.

    “So what drives you? What dreams do you have that you want to accomplish?” Yao Xiang had always found it odd how they always just followed behind Fang Xun and kept quiet. He himself always followed Yao Min, but he did it because he had dreams he wanted to accomplish, the Zeng brothers on the other hand seemed like empty shells that only followed orders.

    “We are orphans taken in and raised by the city lord, we only want to protect his niece to repay this great favor.” The oldest of the Zeng brothers, Zeng Tai spoke emotionlessly before continuing his eating.

    “This sounds like a fun topic! What about you Xiang, what do you dream about?” Fang Xun seemed to find this topic extremely interesting, so she jumped at the chance to ask the others about their dreams.

    “My dream? It's just a simple dream really. My parents own a restaurant, this restaurant has been in the hands of my family for several generations already, the oldest son of the family taking over once his parents retire. I have a younger brother who loves cooking, he loves cooking way more than I do. Originally, I was supposed to take over the restaurant, but it would probably be better off in the hands of my little brother, so I want to join the kingdoms army and become a great general. That way, while I can't take care of the restaurant itself, I can still protect the country where the restaurant is placed.”

    Yao Xiang spoke with a smile as his thoughts drifted back to the restaurant where he spent his childhood. After reminiscing for a while he tilted his head towards Fang Xun.

    “What about you? What do you dream off?”

    “Me? I just want to fly freely, shackled by nothing and beholden to no one.” Fang Xun waved her fist around as she spoke loudly, gazing at the sky with a dreamy stare for a short while before looking at Peng Yi.

    “Your turn Peng Yi, what do you dream about?”

    “Sorry but I don't have any lofty dreams like you, I just want enough strength to protect the Peng clan that my family has protected for several generations, if I can do that, then I can close my eyes and rest peacefully when I die.” Peng Yi spoke silently, glancing at his little brother as he spoke. To protect his home and family was all he wanted in his life.

    “What about little brother Peng Dong, do you share your brother's dream?” Fang Xun turned her gaze towards Peng Dong as she spoke. She seemed determined to wrench everyones dreams out of them.

    “I don't have any large dreams, if I can ease my brother burdens a little, then I will be happy.” Peng Dong copied Peng Yi's way of talking as he spoke. He was the one who had been watching his brother the longest, so he was also the only one who knew how hard he worked.

    “What good brothers. What about you Peng Shi, Peng Yan ?” Fang Xun spoke with a smile and wiped the corner of her eyes before turning towards Peng Shi ad Peng Yan.

    “I want to travel the entire world, I want to make an encyclopedia containing all the plants in the world, wouldn't a book like that make it much easier to traverse the Cloud Wilderness?” Peng Shi was the first one to answer, throwing a glance at the trees and plants around the camp.

    “I don't have any large dreams, I'm just a fighting maniac, if I can fight stronger and stronger opponents, that will be enough to make me happy.” Peng Yan spoke with a boisterous laugh, loudly proclaiming his simplicity.

    Fang Xun cast her gaze towards Yao Min and Yao Qin, indicating that it was their turn to spill the beans.

    “I just want to learn what is located at the deepest parts of the Cloud Wilderness, maybe write a book about my travels through the other uncharted areas of the Cloud Wilderness.” Yao Qin gave a simple, yet ambitious answer. The Cloud Wilderness had existed since time immemorial, yet there were no records of anyone ever reaching the deepest parts, so his dream could be considered as ambitious as the heavens.

    “My family has protected Golden Moon for generations, so as long as I can keep the city safe from Demons and Demonic beasts, i'll be happy.” Yao Min gave an answer that was very similar to Peng Yi, an answer filled with determination and responsibility. Yao Jun couldn't help but think that this personality was probably what made him the leader of the Cloud Wilderness expedition team.

    “Alright Little Lord, you are the last one up, make it a good one.” Fang Xun grinned at Yao Jun, tossing him the responsibility of placing the finishing touches on this night.

    “Sorry to disappoint you, but my dream is so simple it probably can't even be called a dream. Because of me, my parents ended up having to leave behind all their friends, moving to a tiny town at the edge of nowhere. As long as I can return them to where they belong and give them a good life, I will be happy.”

    Yao Jun shrugged his shoulders as he spoke. The only thing he wanted was to give his parents the life he felt they deserved. He had spent too many years being too ashamed to face his parents to have any other ambitions, so he wasn't even sure what he would do once he returned to the main branch of the Yao clan.

    “Ho, you weren't wrong, that really is simple. Oh well, you are still young, who know, maybe you will find a proper dream in the future.” Fang Xun quickly finished the last of her food before standing up and heading towards her tent.

    “Im going to call it quits there, it's already getting late, and we seem to be getting closer to the Mist Eagle, so I want to be at my best for tomorrow. Who knows, we might end up finding it tomorrow.” With those parting words, Fang Xun entered her tent and closed the flaps.

    “You heard the lady guys, let's head to bed, we'll start searching again tomorrow morning.” Yao Min took the lead to stand up after Fang Xun left, putting out the fire and heading to his tent.
  17. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 16: Mist Eagle.

    The sun was positioned high in the sky, sending sweltering rays down upon the Cloud Wilderness. Despite the sweltering rays of the sun shining down, the Cloud Wilderness itself was dim and damp. The thick morning mist still lingered between the large trees, their canopy blocking out the sun and darkening the entire Cloud Wilderness.

    Yao Jun and his group carefully and slowly made their way through the Cloud Wilderness. No one talked, only a few scattered questions and orders broke the silence at times. They had already been walking for a few hours so their clothing was wet from the thick mist. The dark and damp forest, mixed with the ethereal mist gave the entire Cloud Wilderness an eerie feeling, raising the alertness of everyone in the group.

    Earlier in the morning, not long after they had gathered up their tents and started the days trek, they found a large gray feather stuck to a tree not far from the campsite. Gray feathers were found on very few bird type Demonic beasts, but the Mist Eagle was one of the few that had gray feathers.

    It's gray feathers were the sign that it had the bloodline of the Illusory Roc. The more it awakened it's bloodline, the grayer it's feathers would be. Legends had it that the Illusory Roc's feathers were as gray as the void itself, and that a single one of it's feathers, even after it was plucked, was still powerful enough to traverse the void and confuse your enemies.

    When they found the feather, instead of being overjoyed at finding traces of the Mist Eagle, they grew uneasy. Mist Eagles had intelligence, it was not at the level of a normal human yet, but it had enough intelligence to know who was an enemy, inspect it's enemy, and to make plans against it's enemy. Since the feather was so close to the camp, it was highly likely that the Mist Eagle had been watching them from a distance.

    They tightened up their formation, Yao Xiang and Peng Yi walked in front, Yao Qin, Peng Shi, Yao Jun, and Fang Xun's group walked in the middle. Peng Yan walked with them at the side, and Yao Min and Peng Dong walked at the back, bringing up the rear and keeping an eye out.

    As they walked deeper into the Cloud Wilderness, they also came upon more tracks left behind by the Mist Eagle. If there was anything comforting about their walk, it was that the feathers of the Mist Eagle all had traces of blood on them, showing that it had most likely been wounded. This would also explain why the Mist Eagle was only watching them, instead of attacking while they slept.

    The tracks left behind slowly turned from lost feathers to broken branches, upturned dirt, and streaks of blood on the leaves. The Mist Eagle was a strong bird type Demonic beast, but not even it could fly freely above the Cloud Wilderness., electing to spend a large amount of it's time either in the tree tops or on the ground. To fly freely above the Cloud Wilderness required the Demonic beast to either evolve into a Desolate beast, or become as strong as a Desolate beast.

    A weaker beast that could only absorb trace amounts of Raw Qi was called a Vicious beast. Once it absorbed enough Raw Qi and gained some rudimentary intelligence, it would evolve into a Demonic beast. After it cultivated itself further, either by absorbing Raw Qi or awakening it's bloodline, it could evolve into a Massacre beast. Evolving a step further would make it a Desolate beast.

    After Desolate beasts came Primordial beasts, but for a beast to evolve into a Desolate or Primordial beast required a massive amount of energy. This energy could either be absorbed as Raw Qi, gained from awakening it's bloodline, or gained by devouring cultivators and other beasts. Most documented Primordial beasts were beasts that had lived for a countless number of years, as evolving into one required passing a tribulation sent by the heavens, making it too hard to evolve for most beasts.

    After following the tracks for a short while longer, the group came upon an opening in the forest that gave way to a large hill. At the bottom of the hill was a large cave that seemed to have been dug out in haste, dried blood all around the cave entrance. There were scattered gray feathers spread around both within the cave and on the ground outside. The cave was too dark to see the end of it, but the group did not think about it for too long, quickly coming to a consensus that this was where the Mist Eagle was recuperating.

    “Let's stop here first, simply charging in can easily get us killed.” Peng Yi took the initiative to settle down at the edge of the clearing. The Mist Eagle might be injured, but caution sails a ship for ten thousand years, so having at least a semblance of a plan before they attacked would be wise.

    “If you don't mind, I might have a plan.” Fang Xun was the first one to raise an idea, her group was the one who had been following this Mist Eagle for the longest.

    “Little Lord, you are the weakest one here so if you fight on the front lines, it will only get you killed faster. You see that small ledge located just above the cave entrance? You can hide there while we lure it out of the cave. It is wounded, so it is bound to jump at the chance to eat us to help it heal. Once we lure it out, you jump down and drive your sword into it's neck.”

    “Wait! Isn't that a bit too risky? The Mist Eagle's neck might be it's softest point, but it's back and wings are it's most reinforced parts, won't the entire attack become pointless if he hits it's back or it blocks?” Yao Qin interjected while Fang Xun was talking about her plan. He was the one who had the most theoretical knowledge about Demonic beasts, so he knew which part of the Mist Eagle were strong, and which were not.

    “Indeed it is very risky, but it is much better than having him fight on the front line and die immediately. We will simply need to have some trust in Little Lord.” Fang Xun responded with a sweet smile. Yao Qin knew that she was right, Yao Jun would have a much higher risk of death if he were to fight on the front lines, so he closed his mouth and continued to listen.

    “Me and the Zeng brothers will be responsible for luring it out of the cave, Yao Min, Peng Dong, and Yao Xiang should hide next to the cave entrance and cover us once we lure it out of the cave. Peng Yi and Peng Yan, you should hide here with Yao Qin and Peng Shi by the trees, once we have lured it out of the cave and Little Lord has stabbed it in the neck, you can charge out and cut off all paths of retreat. What do you think?” Fang Xun finished talking and swept her gaze around the group.

    The group pondered over the plan for a bit, especially Peng Yi. He wasn't too comfortable with having his little brother join Yao Min and the others to take part in the first attack. After giving it some thought, he realized that it would indeed be the best setup. His brother was slightly stronger than Peng Yan, not to mention Yao Qin or Peng Shi, so he would be more use in the first attack, if they put both Peng Yi and Peng Dong in the clearing to cut of it's retreat path, the first attack group might be too weak to even force it to head towards the retreat path.

    They all assented to the plan and proceeded to silently make their way towards their locations. Yao Jun climbed up the large hill from a location that was a good distance away from the cave, before slowly making his way sideways until he was on the small ledge above the cave. Peng Yi and Peng Yan took Yao Qin and Peng Shi to a small hiding spot that Fang Xun pointed out. Yao Min and Yao Xiang hid on the left side of the entrance while Fang Xun and the Zeng brothers hid on the right side, preparing to enter the cave and lure out the Mist Eagle.

    Yao Jun crouched down on the small ledge, his sword was already drawn and ready, he knew that he would most likely only be able to get in one proper attack. He still felt nervous as this would be his first proper fight against a stronger Demonic beast. A Mist Eagle that had yet to awaken it's bloodline could be considered as strong as a human cultivator who had reached the 4th level of the 1st grade. It was considered slightly weaker than Yao Min and Peng Yi, but it had enough strange abilities that it made it very hard to fight it.

    More than just nervousness, Yao Jun also felt uneasy. The Lightning Tiger within his Garden of Eden was on full alert, even seeming to be afraid of something. Yao Jun would not dismiss these feelings, so he silently activated part of his Garden of Eden, allowing the power of the Lightning Tiger to flow through him. As he circulated the Qi from the Garden of Eden, his black hair gained some purple hues as lightning crackled around in his veins. Even his eyes changed, taking on a more feral appearance, like a tiger, increasing the strength of his vision.

    As Yao Jun slowly strengthened his Garden of Eden with Qi, he slowly discovered more and more wondrous changes. After he reached the 6th level of the 0th grade, he found that the Lightning Tiger within the Garden of Eden had grown slightly, now almost reaching two meters in length, slowly maturing as he fed it Qi. It was also at that point that he noticed that when he channeled the power of the Lightning Tiger, that his hair and eyes would subtly change while also increasing his attributes. He never told anyone else this of course, they still believed that his power was only to control lightning.

    Everyone else quickly got into position so Fang Xun took the Zeng brothers and entered the cave, quickly disappearing into the darkness. After waiting in silence for an entire minute, a loud screech sounded from within the cave. The screech echoed throughout the cave before sounding out from the cave entrance. The screech seemed to dig into peoples ear canals, reverberating inside their heads.

    After the screech came the sound of shouting and running. Fang Xun and the Zeng brothers came sprinting out from the cave, the loud sound of claws scraping against ground coming from behind them. Yao Jun and the others all tightened the grip on their weapons, sweat dripping from their foreheads. After Fang Xun and the Zeng brothers got a small distance away from the cave, the Mist Eagle came out after them.

    The Mist Eagle was much larger than Yao Jun first anticipated, reaching a little over two meters in length and over one meter wide. It's massive wings were tucked at it's side, he did not doubt that if it spread it's wings, it would have a wingspan of over four meters. It had long, sharp claws on it's legs, a large white beak hanging beneath two amber eyes. All it's feathers were a light gray and seemed to shimmer beneath the little light that came down from above the trees. The Mist Eagle was indeed wounded, a large scar that was still bleeding going from it's right chest to it's right thigh.

    The Mist Eagle had just moved most of it's body out of the cave as Yao Jun moved forward, plunging himself downwards. He was a little over a meter above the Mist Eagle, so he would reach it in less than two seconds. He had just hopped down from the ledge when his heart suddenly dropped in his chest. He saw the Mist Eagle raise it's wings, covering it's neck, only giving Yao Jun room to attack it's most reinforced parts. Yao Min and the others also saw this and charged out, hoping to distract the Mist Eagle and make it lower it's wings.

    To their dismay, the Mist Eagle simply ignored their charge. Yao Jun didn't have too much time to think as he saw the Mist Eagle raise it's head and look at him, so he simply allowed the Lightning Tiger's instincts to take over. He held onto his sword with one hand, channeling his lightning through the blade as he swung at the Mist Eagles head, aiming directly for it's eyes.

    The Mist Eagle evidently did not want to suffer damage to it's eyes, so it slightly tilted it's head to the side, forcing the blade to hit it's wings and bounce away, giving up the chance to bite at Yao Jun. Yao Jun took this chance. As his blade hit the wing, he used his other arm to grab hold of the wing, and before the Mist Eagle got the chance to shake him of, he swung himself at the Mist Eagle's chest.

    He grit his teeth and ignored the pain and numbness in his right hand and stabbed forward with the sword, driving it directly into the bleeding scar. He wasn't stupid enough to think that he would be able to slice open it's chest with his little power, so he aimed for the wound that was already there. As his sword stabbed into the wound, he circulated the Lightning Tiger's power, driving as much lightning as he could into the Mist Eagle's chest.

    The Mist Eagle let loose a loud screech as it howled in pain, before shaking it's body and throwing Yao Jun off, sending him crashing into the side of the cave entrance. Yao Jun spat out some blood as his back crashed into the wall and he slid down. The Mist Eagle wanted to finish him off, but at this time Yao Min, Peng Dong, and Yao Xiang had arrived to take it's attention.

    Peng Yi brought the others with him as he regrouped with Fang Xun and the Zeng brothers and headed towards the rear of the Mist Eagle, aiming for a pincer attack. Yao Jun shook his head a little as he swallowed down a mouthful of blood and tried to clear his head. He unsteadily stood up and just so happened to throw a glance into the cave. The others were unable to see into the cave, but as he circulated the power of the Lightning Tiger, gaining it's outstanding vision, he managed to see everything that was inside the cave. As he peered into the depths of the cave, he felt a cold shiver creep up his back as his heart started beating fiercely. He threw his head and shouted to the others.

    “Peng Yi, get away from her! The plan is a trick! She's not real!”

    Yao Jun shouted at the top of his lungs, warning Peng Yi. As he peered into the depths of the cave, he saw four corpses. Two of them were pecked apart and mostly eaten, but he could still make out the corpse of Fang Xun. If Fang Xun was already dead, and they had already seen signs that the Mist Eagle was watching them, that could only mean that the Fang Xun they were traveling with was an illusion. The Mist Eagle had been plotting against them all along.

    Peng Yi and the others were shocked at his words, even the Mist Eagle slightly stopped in it's tracks. The Fang Xun next to Peng Yi only gave a light laugh before she slowly turned ethereal and disappeared, leaving behind a stunned Peng Yi. The Mist Eagle took this chance, quickly turning it's body and opening it's beak, clamping down on Yao Qin. Yao Qin didn't even have time to scream as the beak clamped shut, directly crushing Yao Qin into two halves.

    The Mist Eagle threw it's head backwards as the top half of Yao Qin's body slid down it's throat. The Mist Eagle threw it's gaze at the rest of the people present, and Yao Jun could swear that it's beak emulated a mocking sneer.
  18. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 17: Bloody Fight.

    The rest of the group felt their backs drenched in cold sweat after seeing the expression of the Mist Eagle. Yao Qin's power was not completely suited for combat, it only allowed him to triple his speed for a short duration, but he had still reached the 4th level of the 1st grade, so he should still be able to at least put up a fight.

    The rest of the group had ugly expressions. The people from the Peng clan were better off, after all, Yao Qin was not from their clan. But Yao Min and Yao Xiang had spent the last seven months together, fighting and training together, building up a strong sense of brotherhood. To see him die like that, without even a whole body, not only filled them with sadness, it also filled them with rage.

    They were furious, but they still had to keep a clear head, lest they all end up dying here. Since the Mist Eagle managed to kill Yao Qin with a single attack, albeit being a sneak attack, it still showed that it had already started to awaken it's bloodline. Yao Min locked eyes with Peng Yi, and they both gave a heavy nod.

    The Mist Eagle was already wounded, and Yao Jun's attack had already worsened it's wound. If they tried to escape, the Mist Eagle was faster than them, so it would just take them down one by one, starting with the slowest. Since it was already wounded, and they couldn't run, they might as well stand their ground here and take it down.

    Yao Qin's death saddened them, but the moment they set foot into Golden Cloud Town and decided to scout the Cloud Wilderness, they had already come to terms with suddenly dying. They had even prepared letters and wills that would be sent out if they were to lose their lives in the Cloud Wilderness.

    Yao Min motioned for Yao Jun to take some distance from them. In a frontal attack, he was too weak to be off any use, he would instead just be a burden. They could not talk to each other, the Mist Eagle obviously understood human speech. The only way they could fight was by using their tacit understanding.

    This was Yao Jun's first time entering the Cloud Wilderness alongside the people from the Peng clan. So he would obviously not be able to understand their fighting style, aiding and supplementing them. It was much more likely that he would end up blocking and distracting them, thus, they decided to send him away and out of the fight.

    Peng Yi took his group and assaulted the rear of the Mist Eagle, while Yao Min and Yao Xiang assaulted it's front. Peng Dong used guerrilla tactics, dashing in and unleashing one or two attacks before quickly retreating. The Mist Eagle could indeed conjure up illusions, it even seemed like it could use it's strong mental powers to probe into peoples memories.

    But all this was under the precondition that it was given the time needed to focus and concentrate. While it was under the furious assault of Yao Min and Peng Yi's groups, it was simply too hard for it to conjure up an illusion of the same strength as the one it had tricked them with earlier.

    Yao Jun did not dare interfere in this fight, he was very clear on just how weak he was. He backed up into the cave, hiding out of sight in the darkness. In his hand appeared a small and unadorned black stone gate, 6 dim purple lights shining just above the gate. He was waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

    He did not dare let the others see the gate, his fathers warning still ringing clear in his ears. Even if everyone else in the group ended up dead, he would not let them see the gate. He had spent a bit over two months with Yao Min and Yao Xiang, he also had a good impression of the people from the Peng clan. But if they saw the gate, there was no way of knowing who they would tell.

    If they told the wrong people, it could easily end up implicating his parents, branding them with the name of Demons. Yao Jun was unwilling to see this happen, in this whole world, he had no one but his parents, so he would not allow anything bad to happen to them.

    While Yao Jun was waiting for his opportunity, Yao Min and the others were slowly cornering the Mist Eagle. Peng Yi had a power that allowed him to instantly erupt with double his normal strength. Using this power, he managed to land a heavy blow on the Mist Eagle's right wing, shattering the bone and ruining the wing.

    Meanwhile, Yao Min had focused most of his attention on the Mist Eagle's chest wound, slowly worsening the wound through rapid attacks. Yao Xiang placed his focus on it's head, forcing it to keep moving it's head to dodge his attacks, but he still managed to take out one of it's eyes.

    Peng Dong and Peng Yan focused on one leg each, slowly hacking away at them and robbing the Mist Eagle of it's mobility. Peng Shi did not have a strong combat ability, he had the ability to produce small orbs of light that he could fling around. He mostly used these orbs to distract and disorient the Mist Eagle, flinging them directly at it's eyes and head.

    The Mist Eagle had lost most of it's mobility and was losing blood fast, but no one rejoiced. Peng Dong had lost an arm during a failed attack, Peng Yi could only use his right arm, his left arm ended up completely shattered after breaking the Mist Eagle's wing. Yao Xiang had lost a chunk of meat from his left shoulder and Yao Min had a large gash across his abdomen. Only Peng Yan and Peng Shi were still mostly fine.

    They didn't dare relax either, they knew that when the Mist Eagle was truly driven into a corner wold be when it erupted with it's most fearsome strength. They did not dare hope that they would all be able to return home. They only hoped to be able to allow at least one of them to survive to return and give them a proper burial.

    The Mist Eagle accidentally put too much weight on one of it's wounded legs, causing it to falter and stumble. Yao Min and the others decided to take this chance to rush in all together, not allowing the Mist Eagle to focus on any single one of them.

    Just as they were rapidly approaching it and letting loose their attacks, the eyes of the Mist Eagle bloomed with a ghostly light as it raised it's head skyward and let loose a deafening screech. A dim gray light burst out from it's body, rapidly engulfing Yao Min and the others within. As they were engulfed by the gray light, their eyes quickly lost their clarity, turning dull and confused. Their attacks moved slightly, no longer heading for the Mist Eagle but for each other.

    They seemed incapable of putting up any resistance under this gray light. Yao Min directly decapitated Peng Dong, while Peng Dong's blade sank into Peng Yan's chest, going straight through him. Peng Yan cleaved down on Yao Min's head, splitting it open like a ripe watermelon.

    Peng Yi and Yao Xiang both started hacking at each other with all their might, reducing each other to what could almost be considered mince meat. Peng Shi's situation was the one Yao Jun found the most eerie. Peng Shi simply walked up to the Mist Eagle and placed his head into it's beak, allowing it to bite of his head.

    The gray light quickly dimmed, and the eyes of the Mist Eagle also lost their luster, becoming murky and unfocused. Releasing the attack clearly drained it of most of it's power, but Yao Jun still couldn't help but shiver when he looked at it. Just that single attack from the Mist Eagle caused everyone else to start murdering each other. An attack like that was simply too dreadful.

    The Mist Eagle lowered it's head, chest heaving and body trembling, it was obviously at it's weakest point. Yao Jun took a deep breath, the heavy stench of blood almost making him throw up right there, and charged out. He could not miss this chance, if he did, he would probably be the next one to die.

    The Mist Eagle slightly raised it's head and looked at Yao Jun, it could not see him clearly, but it knew just who it was that was dashing towards it. Just as it was about to sneer at this human who didn't know it's place, a black light flew out of Yao Jun's hand, hovering above the Mist Eagle.

    The Mist Eagle raised it's head to look at the black light that materialized as a small black stone gate, it could feel a threat from this tiny gate. As it looked at the gate, the gate slowly opened. The Mist Eagle used all it's might to focus it's eyes and look at the gate. As the doors of the gate opened, the Mist Eagle saw a small forest, only around five kilometers in length, behind it's gate.

    Before it had time to process any of the information, a purple light shot out of the gate, quickly forming a ferocious Lightning Tiger that was almost two meters long. The Lightning Tiger crackled with purple lightning as it crashed into the Mist Eagle, it's jaws clamping down on it's throat and bringing it crashing down to the ground.

    Yao Jun was not far behind the Lightning Tiger, coming up next to the Mist Eagle just as it crashed into the ground. The Lightning Tiger clamped down on it's throat, preventing it from moving, but it still managed to figure out what was going on. The Mist Eagle moved it's eyes onto Yao Jun, the insignificant human it had ignored all along, it's eyes shone with an unwilling light.

    Had it died to Yao Min or one of the others, it could accept that as they were very close to each other in actual strength. But it actually died to an insignificant human it could kill in less than three seconds, how could it not be indignant? Yao Jun ignored the eyes of the Mist Eagle, sweeping his gaze around the bodies scattered on the ground.

    He was rather fond of all these people, so watching them die without being able to do anything made him feel a stifled feeling in his chest. Yao Jun heaved a deep sigh and shook his head, he was simply too weak, he was so weak that he did not even have the right to dream about protecting people he was fond of.

    Yao Jun turned his gaze back onto the Mist Eagle, this Mist Eagle would be his second step towards becoming stronger. He raised his sword and stabbed into the Mist Eagle's remaining eye, piercing directly into it's brain. Once it's brain was pierced, the Mist Eagle's trembling stopped as it's body lost all strength.

    Yao Jun pulled out the sword as he took a step back, beckoning the gate to return to his chest. The Mist Eagle started emitting a dull gray light as it slowly shrunk, turning into a small orb of gray light that followed the gate into Yao Jun's chest. Yao Jun felt a stinging pain coursing through his body as the gray light orb entered his chest.

    The pain was most notable in his eyes, almost going as far as making Yao Jun wish he could simply pluck them out. Yao Jun thought that he was well prepared this time, especially considering that he had already felt this pain once before. But as the pain coursed through his body, slowly strengthening it, he still found that he had underestimated just how painful it would be. Yao Jun curled up on the ground, clawing at the dirt as he waited for the pain to disappear.

    After writhing on the ground for a few minutes, the pain finally subsided, allowing Yao Jun to sit up. Yao Jun slowly made his way to the cave, sitting down within it. He did not want to sit amidst the corpses of Yao Min and the others, he was also interested in whether or not the Mist Eagle had hidden anything within the cave, so the cave would do as a temporary abode.

    Once Yao Jun entered the cave, he checked his body. Other than his body being slightly tougher and stronger than before, the most notable changes he found where that his eyesight was much better than it used to be. He could now see everything with much greater clarity, his vision range also increased greatly.

    The other change he found was that he could feel an energy source located within his head, placed just behind his eyes, integrating with them. Yao Jun realized that this was Mental Energy, also known as psychic energy. This was the power that the Mist Eagle used to produce illusions and scan people to learn their secrets.

    He could use this Mental Energy either like the Mist Eagle, discharging it from his body, or by using his eyes. If he discharged it from his body, the power would be weakened, but allow him more flexibility. Using his eyes as a conduit lacked some flexibility, but it greatly increased the power it could produce.

    These two changes where the changes he wanted the most when he first started thinking about absorbing the Mist Eagle. Greater eyesight would make it easier to wander around in forests and unexplored areas. While the Mental Energy would greatly help him in fights and with more covert tasks.

    “You are not allowed to eat him.”

    Yao Jun turned his gaze to the Lightning Tiger that was laying down next to him, head resting on this lap. He could strengthen the beasts he absorbed in three different ways. The first way was by slowly absorbing Raw Qi from his surrounding, some of this Qi would flow into the gate, strengthening the beasts. The second way was to feed them some herbs and natural treasures that contained a strong elemental power that matched their own element. The third way was by absorbing other Demonic beasts and letting them eat each other. He would lose the abilities of the devoured beast, but it would greatly strengthen the beast that ate it, shortening the time it took for it to evolve.

    The more he strengthened the gate, the more of it's wondrous mysteries slowly revealed themselves to Yao Jun, enthralling him with it's potential. If he strengthened his beasts enough, they could even evolve into Desolate beasts and above.

    The Lightning Tiger raised it's head and gave a low growl, signaling that it understood, before laying it's head down on Yao Jun's lap again. Yao Jun also leaned against the cave wall and closed his eyes. Tomorrow he would start looking for more Demonic beasts to feed to his Lightning Tiger and Mist Eagle, but now he just wanted to sleep.
  19. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 18: First attempt at Mental Energy.

    When the first rays of sunlight managed to slip past the canopy covering the Cloud Wilderness, Yao Jun awoke. When he fell asleep after killing the Mist Eagle, it had only been late in the afternoon. But ever since they had started wandering the Cloud Wilderness, they had only slept a few hours every day, often only around four to five hours. Coupled with the stress from the fight and the pain from absorbing the Mist Eagle, Yao Jun had no problem with sleeping all the way until noon the next day.

    Yao Jun rubbed his face a little as he looked around. The Lightning Tiger had at some point positioned itself behind him, acting as a sort of bed for him. It's eyes were clear and sharp, so it had probably been awake for a little while, standing guard for Yao Jun.

    Yao Jun turned his eyes towards the outside of the cave. There was light outside, but it was still dim and overcast. The Cloud Wilderness was formed like a massive forest, the only difference from a normal forest being the chaotic Raw Qi and the massive trees. The trees covering the entire Cloud Wilderness easily reached several hundred to several thousand meters in height. The deeper one went, the taller the trees would become.

    The trees were tall and their canopies covered large areas, blotting out a large portion of the sunlight. Even though their canopies covered a large area, the tree trunks were surprisingly narrow. There was easily enough space for both the Lightning Tiger and Mist Eagle to walk around on the ground between the trees.

    “Ah, thanks Little Thunder, we'll spend the next few days finding some good food for you and Little Gray.”

    Yao Jun stood up and stretched his body a little, removing the slight stiffness in his body from sleeping in such a bad place. Little Thunder and Little Gray were the names Yao Jun decided to give to the Lightning Tiger and Mist Eagle. He was connected to them mentally, so they could easily understand what the other's intentions were, but he still felt like they needed a name he could use when he was talking to them. Using Lightning Tiger or Mist Eagle every time would quickly turn dull and could even cause Yao Jun to feel like he was disconnected from them.

    The way Yao Jun saw it, to him right now, there were only two things he could trust completely. The first thing he could trust completely was his parents, he was certain that his parents would never do anything to harm him. The other thing he could trust completely were the beasts that he absorbed with his Garden of Eden. The beasts that he absorbed would be completely loyal to him, following every order he gave them, even if it could lead to their deaths. Facing this loyalty and trust, Yao Jun did not want to betray them or treat them like they were only dolls to be used, so he decided that the first step was to give them names.

    Little Thunder stood up after Yao Jun, shaking it's body from side to side before stretching itself, copying Yao Jun. It gave a low purr at Yao Jun's words before turning it's gaze inwards, towards the other end of the cave, before tilting it's head at Yao Jun.

    “Not just yet, there is something else I wanna do first.”

    Yao Jun knew what Little Thunder meant, it wanted to see what was deeper in the cave. But Yao Jun still had something he needed to do first, so exploring deeper into the cave would have to wait for now. Yao Jun left the cave, heading to where the bodies of the others were located.

    “Rest peacefully brothers, I will make sure that your families get your wills and letters.”

    Yao Jun grabbed some items from each corpse, whether it was a ring, pendant or hairpin, and stored them in his interspatial ring. These items were things that the others wanted to return to their families if anything ever happened to them. With Yao Jun being the only one left alive, this task naturally fell on him.

    Yao Jun dug some quick graves with the help of Little Thunder, placing each body into their own grave. The only thing he could use as grave stones were some branches. He had no choice but to bury them here, there was not enough space in his interspatial ring to store their bodies, and dragging them all the way back to Golden Cloud Town was out of the question. It would take him over a week to return to Golden Cloud, dragging these bodies with him for the entire way would only make them rot or attract Demonic beasts.

    After Yao Jun finished saying a small prayer for them, he took out a round, white jade bead from his interspatial ring. He spoke a few sentences into it before circulating his Qi into it. The jade lit up with a bright light for a short while before quickly dimming. This jade bead was called a Transmission Jade. Transmission Jade's always came in pars. He could say a few sentences into it and then charge it with Qi, the jade bead would then transfer the words he had said back to the other jade, it's Partner Jade.

    This allowed for long distance communication between two parties. Of course, each Jade only had a limited number of uses, rarely more than 10 uses, before it would become useless. This Transmission Jade that Yao Jun used was the Partner Jade of his parents Transmission Jade. Yao Jun had sent them a short message telling them that he was fine, but he would still spend a few more days in the Cloud Wilderness.

    Yao Min and the others would surely have Life Jade's located in the Golden Moon Yao branch, so they would quickly find out that they had died. Yao Jun had only sent the message to his parents so that they would not worry about him, thinking that he was badly injured somewhere. If he was only badly injured, it would explain why the others Life Jade's had broken, but not his.

    After Yao Jun finished with his business, he brought Little Thunder and returned to the cave. The interior of the cave was pitch black, making it almost impossible for normal people to see inside it. But Yao Jun had already absorbed the eyesight of the Mist Eagle and the Lightning Tiger, allowing him to easily see within the darkness.

    The cave was just a simple tunnel into the hill, Yao Jun could see marks on the walls that indicated that the cave was dug out using tools, so it was most likely dug out by humans who needed shelter from the weather in the Cloud Wilderness. It was impossible to determine just how long ago that was just from looking at the marks. The cave only continued inwards for a short 100 meters before it turned into a large circular room.

    Yao Jun could not help but be disappointed when he saw that the only thing in this circular room was a large amount of gray feathers and some scattered pools of blood. It was obvious that there was nothing in this cave, and that it had only been used by the Mist Eagle as a respite where it could heal from it's injuries, not a permanent residence where it would store some of it's treasures.

    “Tch, guess i'm not lucky enough to just stumble on some free stuff huh?”

    Yao Jun clicked his tongue and couldn't help but give a self mocking comment, what was he expecting from a small cave on the outskirts of the Cloud Wilderness? Yao Jun took Little Thunder and left the cave, since there was nothing there, there was no need to waste any time here.

    When they left the cave, Yao Jun was slightly startled to see that at the spot where Yao Min and the others had fought the Mist Eagle, something that seemed like a horned raccoon was licking up the remaining blood.

    The creature was less than half a meter long, it's body was plump and it's fur was a mixture of gray and black. It's head was shaped like a raccoon's, with black rings around it's eyes, two curved horns stuck out from it's temples. Seeing this little creature, Yao Jun came up with an idea and started to walk towards it.

    The horned raccoon quickly noticed Yao Jun walking towards it and started hissing as a warning. The horned raccoon was small and plump, but it's personality was irritable and fierce, it would not allow anyone to disturb it's meal. It raised it's head to glare at Yao Jun, but what met it where two eyes that seemed to burn with a ghostly gray fire.

    “Now now, don't worry. There is nothing to fear. Come over here.”

    Yao Jun spoke with a calm and soothing voice, beckoning the horned raccoon to come to him. The horned raccoon seemed to have seen something wonderful as it gave a loud and happy squeak, before charging over to Yao Jun, rubbing up against his leg.

    “It seems to work even better than I expected.”

    Yao Jun rubbed his chin as he thought about what he just did. He had used the Mental Energy he got from the Mist Eagle to delve into the horned raccoon's mind, dredging up it's most cherished memories and overlapping them with Yao Jun's appearance. The horned raccoon thought that it saw the things from it's most cherished memories, when all it really saw was Yao Jun.

    “Okay, Little Thunder. You can start with this one.”

    Yao Jun turned his head towards Little Thunder, who was still behind him, and waved his hand. Little Thunder hopped forward and bit down on the horned raccoon's head, completely crushing it's head, even the horns on the side were crushed. Little Thunder happily ate the horned raccoon as Yao Jun cast his glance around the clearing, it was time to head further into the Cloud Wilderness.
  20. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

    Sep 30, 2017
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    Chapter 19: Twisted Space.

    Yao Jun slowly made his way through the Cloud Wilderness. Including the time he had spent traveling with Yao Min and the others, he had already spent two weeks traveling deeper and deeper into the Cloud Wilderness. Despite spending so much time traveling deeper and deeper, he was still only considered to be at the very edge of the Cloud Wilderness.

    The strongest Demonic beast he had met so far was hadn't even reached the 1st level. The only reason they had stumbled upon the Mist Eagle so close to the edge of the Cloud Wilderness was because it had been injured during the most recent Surge and sought a safe place to recover.

    Yao Jun spent some more time familiarizing himself with the Mental Energy, experimenting on the Demonic Beasts they encountered. After experimenting for a few days he found that as long as the enemy was weaker than him, he could instantly make them lose all fighting capability.

    If they were at his level of strength, he would have to spend more energy while simultaneously looking for weak spots in their mind to exploit. If the enemy was stronger than him, he could at best make them see some small illusions that would distract them, completely enthralling them would be impossible.

    Next to Yao Jun were Little Thunder and Little Gray. After being absorbed by his Garden of Eden, all of Little Gray's injuries ended up recovering after about half a day. They had eaten a few Demonic beasts each these last few days, but there were no large changes in their appearance or strength.

    The most noteworthy change was on Little Thunder and on Yao Jun's gate. Little Thunder had gotten a tiny black growth on both sides of his head, it seemed like he would grow two black horns if he kept growing.

    The previously amethyst light shining in the nine indents on his gate had grown murkier, turning from a purple light, to a purple-grayish light. He had also ended up lighting up more of the lights, reaching the 8th level, almost the 9th.

    Yao Jun spent the days traversing and hunting in the Cloud Wilderness, plucking any special herbs that he came across. During the nights, he made a small camp and entered the Garden of Eden. He found that after he had absorbed the Mist Eagle, the Garden of Eden had grown slightly, reaching seven kilometers in all direction. A small chain of mountains had sprouted in one of the corners of his Garden of Eden, so it had changed from being just a forest.

    Yao Jun theorized that this change most likely occurred because the Mist Eagle could not live it's entire life in a forest. He wasn't sure if his theory was true, but he figured that he would find out next time he absorbed a new Demonic beast. He decided that the next Demonic beast he absorbs would have to be a Demonic beast with one of the five elements.

    Absorbing a Demonic beast with a different element would give him access to more options during a fight, if he only had his control over lightning, it would quickly get countered by the other elements that could solidify themselves. His newfound Mental Energy remedied some of this weakness, but Yao Jun also wanted to find a proper solution. After all, if his enemy was stronger than him, his Mental Energy would do next to nothing.

    Yao Jun also found that if he found herbs and natural treasures, he could bring them with him into the Garden of Eden and plant them. After absorbing the Mist Eagle, the Garden of Eden started to contain small amounts of Raw Qi. Planting the herbs would slowly gather more and more Raw Qi, slowly turning his Garden of Eden into a garden of both herbs and monsters.

    He had experimented with cultivating in the Garden of Eden during the nights. He could cultivate in the Garden of Eden, but there was less Raw Qi in the Garden of Eden than there was in the Cloud Wilderness, so it ended up being less effective.

    Yao Jun was slightly confused as to why he could bring herbs into the Garden of Eden, even going as far as being able to cultivate while in it. He spent some time thinking about it and came up with two theories that he thought sounded most reasonable.

    The first theory was that it was not just an incarnation of himself that entered the Garden of Eden, but instead his entire body. The only way he would be able to prove this theory was if he got someone to keep watch over him while he entered the Garden of Eden. If his body did not disappear from where he sat, it meant that it was just an incarnation that entered the Garden of Eden.

    The second theory was that the Garden of Eden was in fact a real location that the gate either lead to or created. To prove this theory would end up being a lot harder than proving the first theory, as Yao Jun wasn't even sure where to begin with proving this one. Yao Jun decided to set aside proving the theories for now, the only ones he could trust to watch over his body were his parents, but since he was unsure when he would end up returning to Golden Moon, it was pointless to think about it now.

    Yao Jun was seated on the back of Little Thunder while Little Gray was flying a bit above them. Little Gray's main responsibility was to scout ahead and find Demonic beasts, while also using it's illusions to confuse them during fights. Yao Jun and Little Thunder would be the ones fighting the Demonic beasts. Yao Jun was slightly disappointed when he found out that Little Gray had been weakened after being absorbed by the Garden of Eden. When he absorbed it, it was at the 4th level of the 1st grade, but after being absorbed, it had fallen to being at the 8th level of the 0th grade, just like Yao Jun and Little Thunder.

    They were travelling at a high speed right now, Little Thunder running at full speed. The sun was getting closer to the horizon as the night was approaching, but Yao Jun did not give the order to stop the pursuit. They were currently pursuing a Shade Monkey, a monkey type Demonic beast with jet black fur. The Shade Monkey was a darkness type Demonic beast that they had been pursuing for the entire day.

    It had reached the 9th level, so it was slightly stronger than Yao Jun and Little Gray, so their illusions were not enough to stop it, all they could do was chase it until it ran out of stamina and could run no more. If they ended up not being able to catch it before nightfall, it would be impossible to catch it. Since it was a darkness type Demonic beast, the night was it's domain, so it would be able to completely vanish.

    The Shade Monkey had already been wounded by Yao Jun when they ambushed it during the morning, so Yao Jun had several times already sighed in awe at it's persistence. It had managed to flee from them the entire day despite being wounded and bleeding. Such persistence and tenaciousness was truly admirable.

    Little Gray gave a low screech, informing Yao Jun of the terrain ahead. Yao Jun may have gotten the eyesight of the Mist Eagle, but he was stuck on the ground, so there was a limit to how much he could see. Little Gray on the other hand was capable of flight, allowing it to see the terrain much more clearly.

    Yao Jun's mouth curved up into a smile when he got the information from Little Gray. Up ahead was a hole in the ground that was concealed by several thick trees. The hole was not too deep, looking like it was a small crater, only around ten meters across and a few meters deep. But it was deep enough to stop the Shade Monkey for a short while. That short while would be enough for Yao Jun and the others to catch up to it.

    Just as Yao Jun thought, once the Shade Monkey got past the trees, it was too preoccupied with Yao Jun to notice the crater, falling directly into it with a surprised howl. Yao Jun and the others were right behind it and immediately charged after it into the crater.

    Yao Jun was shocked to see that the crater was completely empty, no sign of the Shade Monkey. Before he managed to look around to see if he had simply missed it, he felt the space around him congeal. Little Thunder and Little Gray gave shocked exclaims when they felt the space thicken and twist. Yao Jun's expression on the other hand was grim.

    With a quick thought, he returned Little Gray and Little Thunder to the Garden of Eden. The twisting of space around him quickly worsened as Yao Jun braced himself. He knew what this was, it was a so called natural Spatial node. A natural Spatial node was much like a Spatial Array, except that a Spatial node moved around at random. One day it could appear in Golden Moon and lead to Golden Cloud, the next day it could appear in Flying Fish Town and lead to a completely different province.

    Trapped by the congealed space, Yao Jun could only lament his own bad luck and hope that the Spatial Node didn't connect to the deeper parts of the Cloud Wilderness. With these thoughts in mind, Yao Jun's figure started blurring, before quickly disappearing from the spot.

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