The Godless One

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

  1. Shiranui_Shukumei

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    Chapter 20: Jing He's resolution.



    Jing He opened her eyes after the rolling stopped and surveyed her surroundings. She noticed that she was no longer in the arms of Huang Ying, but a few meters away from him. Upon seeing him lying on the ground a few meters away, she really wanted to cry. While he was running he held her close to his body, preventing her from seeing his injuries, but now that she was no longer in his arms she could see them in their entirety.



    There was a burn mark almost going in a circle around his entire head, both his shoulders were pierced through by several spikes made of ice, his entire backside was lacerated and mangled. There were chunks of flesh missing from his legs, and there was a large ice spike going straight through his abdomen. He was littered in injuries and blood, while Jing He was covered in blood but else completely unharmed.



    “Brot...Brother Ying? Are you awake? Brother Ying?” Her first instincts upon seeing him were to try and gently shake him, but all she received was the sound of his shallow breathing.



    “Brother Ying, you can't die! You can't leave me.... I don't want to be alone again...” Seeing him not respond and barely breathing, Jing He couldn't hold back her tears and started sobbing while clutching onto his arms.



    As she was crying, she seemed to suddenly think of something as she quickly looked around, making sure that no one was around.



    “It... it should be fine if it's just a little, they won't find me if it's just a little.” As if to reaffirm her determination, she clenched her hands and vigorously nodded her head.



    Grabbing Huang Ying's interspatial ring, she quickly pulled out several herbs, a wooden bowl, and a small dagger. She placed the herbs in the bowl and used the handle of the dagger to crush them into a rough paste before using the dagger to make a small cut on her palm and dripping the blood into the bowl.



    As the blood appeared and dripped down into the bowl, the temperature of the surrounding area plummeted, almost reaching below zero, but at the same time a pleasant, sweet and fruity fragrance spread through the area. She quickly mixed the blood with the rough paste, giving it a more liquid consistency before pouring it into her mouth and transferring it to Huang Ying using the mouth to mouth method.



    Her mother had warned her that she must take care to never spill any of her blood, otherwise they would be able to easily locate her and would probably come for her again, but at this time she couldn't care about those warnings. She simply didn't want the boy before her to die.



    He always wore a cold and indifferent expression and spoke bluntly, even going as far as flicking her forehead and chopping her on the head when she was annoying or talked too much. But none of that could mask the care and warmth he gave her. Taking care of her, catering to her selfish and unreasonable demands, always making sure she wasn't sad. They had only been traveling together for around a month, but that single month allowed her to feel as if she had returned to the time she spent with her family and had nothing to worry about. Especially as they were fleeing and he protected her with his own body, not allowing her to come to harm. To her, that moment felt like being back in her mother's embrace, she truly didn't want to lose that warmth.



    As the mixture entered Huang Ying's body, the ice spikes still stuck in him slowly got pushed out and the burned skin fell off, giving way to new skin as his wounds slowly closed and the lost flesh slowly grew back, even his Qi lake started filling up again.



    His wounds had healed and his breathing had returned to a steady rhythm, but Huang Ying was still unconscious so Jing he grabbed him by the shoulders and started to slowly drag him deeper into the forest, looking for a place where they could set up camp and rest.



    After dragging Huang Ying through the forest for a few hours, Jing He finally found a small, empty cave that they could rest in and figure out their next move. Jing He dragged him into the cave and propped him up against the wall before taking a quick trip out of the cave to find some firewood before making up a small fire. Since they both had ice Qi, the cold was no problem to them, even if they were unconscious, but after spending several hours dragging him, night was just about to fall and not having a light source then would be a problem.



    After lighting the fire and making sure that it would keep burning for a little while, Jing He sat down next to Huang Ying and leaned up against his shoulder, enjoying the momentary rest. Hours of trudging through the forest had covered her clothes in mud and dirt her hair was in disarray and even her face had gotten dirty.



    Jing He suddenly woke up with a start, she didn't know when she had fallen asleep, but the fire had already gone out and the first rays of sunlight shone into the cave. The sunlight wasn't what woke her up, rather it was a low growling she heard from outside the cave. Rummaging through Huang Ying's interspatial ring once more, she pulled out a silver colored longsword that was half as long as she was. Grabbing the sword that was half as long as her made her seem rather comical, but also gave her a slightly heroic air.



    “Don't worry brother Ying, you protected me, so it's only right that I protect you.” She grabbed the sword with both hands and left the cave.



    Outside the cave she came face to face with a small group of wolves. About six wolves had grouped together outside the cave, the biggest one was only slightly higher than one meter and only around two meters long. They all had black eyes and grey fur, but they all looked emaciated, to the point where one could almost count the ribs on their chest.



    Raising the sword with both hands, Jing He stood in front of the cave, blocking the entrance. “I won't let you hurt brother Ying!”



    After about half an hour, the sound of fighting outside the cave stopped and Jing He slowly walked back in with a limp. Her robe was torn and cut in several places with blood slowly oozing out, her left arm was hanging powerlessly at her side. She dropped the sword next to the unconscious Huang Ying before once more sitting down next to him and leaning her head on his shoulder



    “Don't worry brother Ying, I won't let anyone hurt you, so just sleep peacefully.” After finishing her words she slowly fell asleep as her wounds automatically started healing themselves.
     
  2. Shiranui_Shukumei

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    Chapter 21: Powerless Hatred.



    The first thing Huang Ying felt when he woke up wasn't pain, rather than that it was an itching feeling over his entire body, like thousands of ants were crawling around in his skin.



    “Ah, it seems like we made it out alive in the end.” He didn't know where he was, but just the fact that he could still feel something meant that he was alive.



    He tried to move his limbs, but a soreness spread throughout his entire body, replacing the itching feeling. He opened his eyes, but for the first few seconds all he saw was darkness. After his eyes got used to the dark and he managed to see a bit more, he noticed that he was in a cave, propped up against a wall. The cave seemed like someone had just dug it out off a mountain quickly. It went barely three meters in and could barely fit two people standing shoulder to shoulder.



    The walls were made of compressed dirt, it was impossible to stand as the cave ceiling was about one meter from the ground. In front of him were the burned down remains of a bonfire, there was no light shining in through the cave entrance so he assumed that it must be night outside, how long he had been unconscious for he had no idea.



    He tried moving his body again and just as he managed to move his arms, he felt something stir on his left arm. Looking down he saw Jing He cling to his left arm and staring at him with teary eyes.



    “Brother Ying! You finally woke up! I was so worried you wouldn't wake up again.....thank god you're fine....” Jing He buried her head in his shoulder while crying, she shouted her first words, but her voice gave way to silent sobs towards the end of her sentence.



    Seeing her crying into his shoulder, with tears and dirt all over her robe, and noticing that all his wounds were healed, Huang Ying's heart couldn't help but ache a bit.



    “Ah, I made worried didn't I? I also made you work hard, sorry Little He.” He raised his arm and pat her on the head before wiping her tears and giving her a gentle smile.



    “It's no problem, it's all fine as long as you are okay.” Jing He rested her face in his hand, relishing in the warmth while giving a smile.



    “Right, I forgot to give it to you since we left town in a hurry, but I guess better late than never.” Huang Ying rubbed his interspatial ring and took out a small hairpin in the shape of a yellow lotus flower before fastening it in her hair on the opposite side of her plum flower hairpin. “There we go, that looks better.”



    “Thank you brother Ying!” Jing He played with the hairpin while giving Huang Ying a brilliant smile.



    “How long have I been out? And do you know where we are?” Huang Ying shifted the discussion over to more pressing matters, even though they managed to escape from their pursuer, being in The wilderness was just as dangerous.



    The Wilderness was just as old as civilization itself on this continent, and even to this day it has never been fully explored. It is filled with dangerous Demonic beasts and there are even legends that say that some Desolate and Celestial beasts have made this forest their home. Running into any of those beasts would leave them with no chance to survive.



    Once a Demonic beast reaches a certain level of power, it can evolve and go one step further, becoming either an evil Desolate beast or a lone and neutral Celestial beast. Legend has it that they can even evolve further after reaching this stage, but no such beasts have been recorded on the Green Willows continent.



    “You have been unconscious for a little over 3 days, this is a small cave about five hours from where we entered the forest. There is a little lake a little walk away from here if you want to take a bath.” Jing He counted on her fingers for a bit before speaking and pointing to the outside of the cave, subtly implying that he didn't smell too good.



    “Alright alright, I get it. Here, you should put on some new clothes while i'm gone.” Huang Ying nodded his head before rummaging through his interspatial ring and fishing out a new pink robe that they had bought in Yellow Winds Town.



    After leaving the cave and walking straight ahead for a few minutes Huang Ying found the little lake and quickly threw away his tattered clothes before hoping into the water and cleaning away all the dirt and blood that had accumulated on his body. The sky was dark, but the little lake was lit up by a mixture of moonlight and fireflies. A young boy with a slim body, but well defined muscles bathing in a lake lit up by moonlight and fireflies made for a picturesque scene, but Huang Ying didn't dare lower his guard one bit. No matter how good the place looked, it was still located in The Wilderness, so it was hard to tell when he would ambushed and attacked by beasts.



    After finishing a quick bath he put on a new azure robe and took a deep breath, enjoying the clean feeling for a second before making his way back to the cave. After returning to the cave, he made up a small fire and took out some of the food they had stocked up on in Yellow Winds Town and had a small meal before starting to think about what their next course of action would be.



    “Ah, young lady, finally we found you. Young master Qiao will be so happy once you come back.” Just as they were about to discuss what to do, an aged voice rang out from outside the cave.



    Huang Ying was shocked that someone managed to get so close to the cave and find them without them noticing, but he was still quick to react. Noticing that whoever was out there didn't emit any killing intent, he stored his sword in his interspatial ring and slowly made his way out of the cave with the now pale Jing He.



    Outside the cave were two swarthy old men, faces covered in wrinkles and a head that only had a few tufts of white hair left, they looked almost identical, the only thing distinguishing them from one another was that one of them had a large scar that looked like a centipede across his entire face. Upon seeing Jing He the two old men started beaming with smiles, apparently overjoyed.



    “Can I help you two seniors?” Huang Ying spoke politely, he couldn't feel any energy fluctuations from the two old men, but he didn't believe that two men who could locate them and even sneak up on them like that were normal, so he reasoned that he simply couldn't feel any energy from them because they were much stronger than him.



    “Oh? I don't believe I gave you the right to talk did I?” The old man with the scar spoke and next thing Huang Ying knew he felt like someone had hit him in the chest with a sledgehammer as he stumbled back several steps before vomiting out a mouthful of fresh blood.



    “Brother Ying!” Jing He worriedly ran over to her, but was stopped halfway by the other old man.



    “Oh? Such a strong body despite only being 14? You seem to have rather decent talent don't you?” The scarred old man spoke with a snicker.



    “Let's go little miss, Young master Qiao has been worried sick about you.” The other old man spoke as he grabbed Jing He's arm.



    “No, uncle Wen, please don't make me go back, I don't want to go back.” Jing He spoke in panic and tried to struggle free.



    “Im sorry little miss, but you know I can't do that, I have to bring you back to the Jing clan, young master Qiao has missed you terribly.” The old man spoke what sounded like an apology, but his voice was completely emotionless.



    “Oy, fuckface, didn't you hear her? She doesn't want to go.” Huang Ying swallowed down some blood and brought out his sword from his interspatial ring while glaring at the old man.



    “No, brother Ying don't...” Before Jing He managed to finish her sentence the scarred old man interrupted her.



    “Truly, a newborn calf doesn't fear the tiger. Who do you think you are to interfere in the business of my Jing clan?” The scarred old man waved his hand and Huang Ying felt his entire chest cave in as an invisible force hit him square in the chest and on his right arm, breaking most of his ribs and bending his right arm into an unnatural curve.



    Huang Ying flew backwards through the air before falling face first down onto the ground vomiting blood and dry heaving.



    “No! Stop. I'll go with you uncle Wen and uncle Feng, so please, just let him go.” Jing He begged the two old men with tears in her eyes.



    “Hear that little boy, since the little miss has already begged us on your behalf, we will let you go so be thankful.” The scarred old man spoke to Huang Ying with a sneer before turning away and heading over to the other old man.



    “Im sorry brother Ying, I have to go, but don't worry, little He will never forget your kindness, so you can't forget little He.” Jing He smiled at Huang Ying while crying. After a bit of thought she took the plum flower hairpin out from her hair and tossed it at Huang Ying. “You can keep that so that you won't forget little He. Goodbye brother Ying.”



    Huang Ying could do nothing but lay there and watch as the two men grabbed Jing He and started soaring into the sky before disappearing.



    “Jing. Clan!” Huang Ying spoke the words through gritted teeth, feeling a burning fire in his chest, all he felt right now was hatred for the Jing clan, hatred so high it made him want to eat their flesh and drink their blood. But at the same time he also felt powerlessness, he truly felt powerless. Even if the entire Jing clan was in front of him now, there would be nothing he could do. He was weak, far too weak to do anything, not even his own life was in his hands. He had never felt this powerless before, not even during those six years in the dungeon or while being chased out off Yellow Winds Town did he feel this powerless. This was also the first time he truly craved power, he felt a bottomless thirst for power right now. He thirsted for power, power to control his own life, power to not be stepped upon by others and protect that warmth. With that thirst in his stomach and the fires of rage in his heart he cast his gaze into the depths of The Wilderness as he gritted his teeth.
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  3. Shiranui_Shukumei

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    Chapter 22: The Grand Feast Begins.



    Huang Ying gritted his teeth as he picked up his sword and stood up, before he started walking stumblingly towards the depths of the forest, a mad glint in his eyes.



    He was covered in blood and could barely walk but his mind was frightfully clear. He knew that he was weak, he might be invincible in a tiny town like Azure Springs, but even in a medium town like Yellow Winds there were several people stronger than him. He needed to become stronger, stronger than anyone, and he had to do it faster than anyone else as well. Normal cultivation required years of accumulation, slowly increasing the amount of Qi that the body could handle, before slowly increasing the amount stored.



    But that was too slow, Huang Ying couldn't allow himself to move that slow, so he had to use other means than the standard slow accumulation, means available only to him, Devouring Qi.



    This was The Wilderness, a place filled with wild beasts and Demonic beasts, there was no better place on this continent for him to quickly accumulate strength, if he was lucky he might even be able to find beasts containing traces of Ancient beast blood or blood of a higher grade, allowing himself to strengthen his own bloodline or the bloodline of the white tiger flowing in his veins.



    He had a mad thirst for power right now, but he hadn't lost all reason, he still knew exactly where the limits of his power lay, he would at most be able to handle a Demonic beast of the 6th grade, 7th grade if it was a weaker one.



    Demonic beasts were graded much like cultivators, a demonic beast of the 6th grade would be about as strong as a cultivator at the 6th heaven if it was a normal beast, 7th heaven if it was a stronger beast. If it had a special bloodline it might even be a match for a cultivator of an even higher stage.



    Huang Ying dragged his half broken body through the forest for a short while before he came back to the little lake where he cleaned himself and found a pair of wolves drinking from it. Seeing the two wolves a mad grin crept up on Huang Ying's face, the first step to increasing his strength was to repair his body, and these wolves were just what he needed.



    He staggered towards the wolves as he brandished his sword, the Tear Of Ice. The two wolves, smelling the scent of blood and noticing that someone was approaching turned around and found a young boy covered in blood staggering towards them. Thinking they had found an easy meal they both lunged forward with open maws.



    Huang Ying simply raised his left arm, allowing the first wolf to clamp down on it while simultaneously raising the sword in his right hand and delivering a swift stab straight into the maw of the other wolf, killing it in one strike. Before the other wolf could let go of his left arm, he pulled out the sword and swiftly cut of the head biting down on his arm.



    With both the wolves dead, Huang Ying proceeded to absorb everything but their fur and skin, leaving behind two empty skins. Giving his newly repaired body a few stretches to make sure there was nothing wrong, he proceeded to head deeper into the forest.



    The outer perimeter of The Wilderness, due to the thinness of natural energy, was the home of normal beasts, but this are was only 300 km in depth, deeper than this and Demonic beasts would start appearing and the thickness of the natural energy would increase.



    Huang Ying quickly made his way through the outer perimeter, since there were only normal beasts, he didn't even bother devouring them if he didn't need to repair his body, there was simply no point.



    Standing at the edge of the area he assumed to be the entrance to the middle perimeter, Huang Ying took a quick break to bring his condition back to the peak. He planned to travel through the middle perimeter slowly, finding places to rest while scouring the area for Demonic beasts, only moving on if the area was devoid of Demonic beasts or the Demonic beasts were too weak to give him any proper increase in strength.



    Walking deeper into the middle perimeter, the first thing Huang Ying did was find a place he could use as a temporary camp. After searching around for about an hour he managed to find a suitably large hill where he could carve out a small cave. After carving out a small cave and clearing out any normal beasts in the area, he lit a small fire and had a small meal. Looking at the suns position, he reasoned that it should still be rather early in the afternoon, so he decided to simply start hunting immediately.



    After wandering the area around the cave for about two hours and not stumbling on any Demonic beasts, Huang Ying started wondering if he had made a mistake and not actually entered the middle perimeter yet. His thoughts quickly changed as he spotted something a small distance away from him. From where he stood, it looked like a long red line, but upon focusing on it, Huang Ying found that it was a line of Blood Ants, making him pleasantly surprised.



    Blood Ants were large ants, reaching almost half a meter in length and covered in a crimson carapace, giving them the name Blood Ants. A Blood Ant was barely a 1st grade Demonic beast, so if it was just one Huang Ying might have just ignored it. But Blood Ants always traveled in large groups, they even lived in large hives. A normal hive might contain up to 1000 1st grade Blood Ants, led by a 3rd Grade Blood Ant Queen who is protected by 2nd grade Blood Ant Knights.



    A sinister grin formed on Huang Ying's face as he dashed towards the Blood Ants, attracting their attention and prompting them to charge at him. Facing over 100 Blood Ants, even though they were just at the 1st grade, Huang Ying dared not show any negligence, he manifested his Baku immediately and allowed the three meter long black serpent to join him in his massacre.



    After a short tens of minutes, the Blood Ants were massacred and Huang Ying drenched in their bodily fluids with a grin on his face. This was truly a nice harvest he thought. Even though the Blood Ants were just 1st grade Demonic beasts, since there was over 100 of them gathered here, it allowed the Qi lake in his dantian to grow by five kilometers, bringing it up to a sizable lake at 54 kilometers across.



    Another benefit he had gotten was that he had searched through what little memories the Blood Ants had to discover the location of their hive, it was located a mere 15 kilometers from where he was standing. It was also the reason why there were no other Demonic beast in the area around the cave, Demonic beasts were often very territorial, especially the stronger ones.



    Shifting his gaze towards the location of the Blood Ant nest, the grin on Huang Ying's face slowly got wider. Even though the Blood Ants he had killed were too low in intelligence to remember much, all Demonic beasts like to harvest and stockpile herbs and other treasures, so the Blood Ant hive would be a treasure chest to him. With this in mind he started making his way towards the hive.
     
  4. Shiranui_Shukumei

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    Chapter 23: Blood Ant Hive.



    From the outside, the entrance to the Blood Ant hive simply looked like a cave leading into the depths of a hill, but Huang Ying knew that the inside would be a veritable maze of tunnels and passages.



    Huang Ying tightened his grip on his sword and headed into the entrance, going deeper into the Blood Ant hive. He had a rough grasp on how the tunnels leading from the entrance to the main cave were placed, but being on full alert would never hurt.



    He quickly made his way through the tunnels, killing any Blood Ant that he came across, but not going out of his way to hunt them down. Blood ants were Demonic beasts with low intelligence, even the Blood Ant Queen had limited intelligence. He knew that once he started the massacre in the main cave, the Queen would send out a signal, calling all Blood Ants to the main cave, saving him the trouble of hunting them all down.



    After walking through interweaving tunnels for almost an hour, Huang Ying came to a large cave. The walls of the cave were lined with smaller chambers filled with large amounts of round and white sacs, Blood Ant eggs. There were almost a hundred of these side chambers, each chamber filled with what seemed to be close to 50 egg sacs.



    The main cave itself was almost 3000 meters in width, 1000 meters in length and height, almost seemingly like an inverted mountain. At the far end of the cave was a massive indent in the cave wall, almost seeming like a massive room. In the room was a Blood Ant that was much larger than the rest, almost reaching five meters in length, with a massive meat sac attached to it's rear end that made up almost 1/3 of it's length, the Blood Ant Queen.



    Standing in front of the Queen were slightly smaller Blood Ants, reaching two meters in length, with thick, sturdy carapaces and large jagged jaws, almost reaching a meter in size, Blood Ant Knights.



    Other than these higher tier Blood Ants, the cave itself was filled with almost 300 Blood Ants, some delivering food, some taking care of the eggs or young ones, the rest of the Blood Ants were most likely either outside the hive or spread throughout the tunnel. Tigthly gripping his sword Huang Ying licked his lips as he strode into the cave, his Baku slithering next to him.



    Normal cultivators, unless they were overwhelmingly confident in their own power would dread going up against large groups of enemies like these, even if they were weaker. This was simply because even if you were much stronger than your enemies, if they came at you in large numbers, wounds would slowly add up and mix together with your exhaustion, slowly weakening you.



    Huang Ying had no fear of this as he could simply refill his energy and repair his wounds using the energy he devours from his enemies, group fights could even be called his forte. If he wanted to take it slower he wouldn't even need to move himself, none of these Blood Ants, not even the Queen exceeded the 3rd grade, they were simply too weak. His Baku alone would be enough to kill every Blood Ant in this hive, all he would have to do was guard the exit and let no one escape. The only reason he decided to join in the fray was because as he was fighting the first group of Blood Ants he found that he had quite a liking for a fight like that.



    Brandishing his sword with a mad grin, Huang Ying threw himself into the group of Blood Ants, letting his Baku devour freely at the same time. Just like he had expected, the Queen quickly sounded the signal to gather all the Blood Ants and Blood Ants started to quickly swarm into the cave, piling on top of each other. Huang Ying slashed his sword around in a frenzy, letting his Devouring Qi flow with it, devouring and absorbing the Blood Ants the moment they touched the blade, not even leaving behind a body.



    Qi constantly coursed through his body, repairing wounded parts and filling up his Qi lake. The Blood Ant Knights quickly joined in on the fray, trying to use their large pincers to slice of his limbs, but they simply met the same end as the normal Blood Ants, death by devouring.



    After over an hour of reckless fighting, the cave was devoid of any Blood Ants, not even the Queen managed to escape. Huang Ying swept his gaze around the room for a little while before sending his Baku to devour all the white egg sacs. Each egg sac was filled with natural energy to incubate the young ones, there was no way Huang Ying would let all this energy go to waste.



    After giving his Baku the order, Huang Ying himself headed towards a small side cave located in the back of the room that belonged to the Queen, he could smell the scent of herbs coming from it, so he assumed it to be the Queen's treasure chamber.



    Arriving in the chamber proved Huang Ying correct, it was indeed the Queen's treasure chamber, but seeing the assortment of treasure Huang Ying couldn't help but be a little disappointed. The chamber was almost barren, save for a few weapons and herbs.



    The herbs were something that looked like a large piece of bamboo and a type of red mushroom, both emitting low amounts of energy, so Huang Ying stored them in his interspatial ring. Most herbs were poisonous in their natural state and needed to be processed before being consumed to be safe. Huang Ying could simply absorb them using his devouring power to simply get the energy, but he would rather save them for the future, he could then either learn to concoct pills himself or give them to an alchemist to turn into pills, at that point they would have differing and most likely better effects for him.



    The weapons were mostly some rusted armor and different types of spears, swords, and sabers, but their conditions were so bad that it would simply be pointless to bring them along. The only weapon he found that was usable was a longbow. The bow was made out of a strange type of green metal that gave of a slight warmth, making it pleasant to the touch. The body of the bow was engraved with strange runes and patterns that resembled a bird of prey in flight and the bowstring was made from the tendon of some creature. Besides the runes and patterns the body of the bow was undercoated and simply in design. Next to the bow were what seemed to be the remains of a quiver and a couple of arrows, but since the arrows were made of normal materials, most of them had rusted or otherwise deteriorated, leaving only six arrows that were useable.



    Storing the bow and the arrows into his interspatial ring, Huang Ying spotted a strange ore lying on the ground not far away. The ore was completely round and looked like a stone with a large crack going around it. What caught Huang Ying's attention was that a purplish-white light reflected out from the crack when the light of the cave hit it. Picking up the ore Huang Ying found that it was strangely cool to the touch. The inside of the ore was filled with a cluster of purplish-white crystals that reflected the light of the cave. Feeling the strangeness of the ore, Huang Ying decided to store it as well to save for future use.



    Leaving the Blood Ant Hive with two new herbs, a strange ore, a new bow and a Qi lake that had reached 73 kilometers across put Huang Ying in a good mood, now it was time to return to the cave and rest for the night before moving deeper into The Wilderness. This entire area around the cave was under the control of this Blood Ant hive, so there would not be any other Demonic beast in the near area, so his best choice was simply to move on.
     
  5. Shiranui_Shukumei

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    Chapter 24: Heaven's Eye Mushroom.



    Huang Ying was crouched on a branch, concealing his body in the leaves. His once azure robe was now completely torn and dirtied, revealing his toned muscles. His hair was disheveled and dirty, hanging over his face. In his hand was a simple green longbow, nocked with an arrow.



    Huang Ying had already been in The Wilderness for almost a month, slowly making his way through the middle perimeter. The constant fighting and vigilance, coupled with his torn clothes and disheveled hair had removed the scholarly air and elegance he once portrayed, leaving him looking more like a barbarian.



    All his focus was placed on the bow and arrow in his hands, Ice Qi flowing from his hand and into the arrow, reinforcing and empowering it. As Huang Ying started hunting in the deeper parts of the middle perimeter, he could no longer just run in and slaughter anything he found, he had to be more patient and careful.



    The transferring of Ice Qi into the arrow was something he started practicing after entering the area in the middle perimeter where 4th grade Demonic beasts were lurking. To break through to the 8th heaven from the 7th heaven didn't require one to gather more Qi into the body, it only required one to let their Qi leave their body and interact with the Natural Energy around them.



    This was usually done by letting the Qi leave the meridians and slowly circulate it through ones flesh and blood, slowly strengthening it so that it would not burst when you circulated large amounts of Qi through it. After your body had reached a sufficient level of power, you would let your Qi flow out through your skin and have it take control of the surrounding Natural Energy, manifesting your element in the surrounding environment.



    Thanks to Huang Ying using his Devouring Qi to absorb the bodies of countless Demonic beasts, humans, and even an old white tiger, his flesh and blood was stronger than his Qi, so he would not have to worry about his flesh bursting from large amounts of Qi circulating through it. If he managed to grasp how to let his Qi leave his body and interact with the world around him now, he could immediately break through to the 8th heaven once he reached the 7th heaven.



    Huang Ying held his breath as he focused his eyes and steadied the bow in his hands. The nocked arrow had absorb so much Ice Qi that it had turned a crystalline blue, looking like an arrow of ice. He silently counted to three in his heart before letting go of the bowstring. The crystalline arrow flew out like an icy meteor. The moment the arrow left the bow, Huang Ying stored the bow back into his interspatial ring and pulled out his sword, before gathering strength in his legs and shooting out from behind the leaves like a blur.



    The arrow flew downwards towards a cave opening located on the foot of a small, barren mountain and Huang Ying followed closely behind it, gaining in speed as gravity took hold of his body. Just as the arrow reached the top of the cave entrance, a massive head came out of the cave entrance.



    The head alone was almost five meters long and as wide as a grown man was tall. The head was covered in brown scales and adorned by a single spiraling horn placed right between the eyes. The mouth of the beast wasn't filled with teeth, rather it was like it's entire maw was simply two large teeth, designed to crush it's food into paste before swallowing it. As it opened it's mouth and sent out it's tongue, one could see that the tip of the bright green tongue was in the shape of a serpent's head.



    Before the beast had time to react, the crystalline arrow hit it square on the head and exploded in a shower of ice crystals and frozen chunks of flesh and blood. The beast released a roar that sounded like the bellow of an angry ox, but before it managed to raise it's head to check who had attacked it, Huang Ying landed right next to the wound that the arrow had blasted. He gripped his sword with both hands and circulated his Devouring Qi at max speed into the sword before driving it into the beasts head through the wound and straight into the beasts head, ravaging it's brain with the Devouring Qi.



    The beast let out one last bellow before it's eyes dimmed and lost all focus and the beast fell to forward the ground, making the ground around it tremble. As the beast fell forward, the rest of it's body came out of the cave as well. The massive head was attached to a long serpentine neck which connected the head to a large and bulky body covered in a turtle shell, making the beast look like a massive brown turtle.



    This particular beast was a Demonic beast Huang Ying had been following for the past few days, it was merely at the peak of the 5th grade, but it had a cowardly nature, so whenever it met an enemy stronger than it, it would hide within it's shell, giving Huang Ying no chance at injuring it. Since this beast was the leader and also the strongest beast in this part of the 5th grade beast are, the entire area surrounding it's cave was devoid of other Demonic beasts, allowing Huang Ying to quietly stalk it for a few days to learn it's most common habits and find the best moment to strike.



    Huang Ying hopped down from the beasts head before storing away the blade and allowing his Devouring Qi to run rampant through it's body, only leaving behind it's scales and shell.



    Looking at the shattered remains of the arrow, Huang Ying couldn't help but let a sigh escape his mouth. When he first found the bow, he had only found six useable arrows alongside it, but as the strength of the Demonic beasts increased, so did the amount of Qi he needed to insert into the arrow to penetrate their defenses, which would quickly make the arrows explode due to a Qi overload. As it stood now, he only had two arrows left he could use, and only one of those hadn't had any Qi inserted into it yet.



    After he finished devouring the energy in the large turtle he checked on his Qi lake and a faint smile appeared on his lips. After slaughtering his way through the middle perimeter, killing every Demonic beast he could find from the 1st grade to the 5th grade. Along with the supplement of some herbs that he had found in the Demonic beasts lairs, his Qi lake had already turned into a Qi ocean spanning over 21 thousand kilometers across. The 1st grade Demonic beasts could barely let him increase the size, but once he started to devour 4th and 5th grade Demonic beasts, the speed at which it grew increased drastically.



    The next thing Huang Ying was planning to do was empty out the lair of this Demonic beast before heading into the area where the 6th grade Demonic beasts resided. Once there he would let his Qi ocean grow slightly larger, before taking on the leader of that area, a Cloud Tiger he had seen roam through the area of the 5th grade Demonic beasts. Then he would form his Qi crystal and break into the 7th heaven before swiftly breaking into the 8th heaven.



    After that it would be time to return to Yellow Winds Town. He didn't know how the people from the Jing clan found him and Jing He, but he was certain that it must have had something to do with the city lord and the patriarchs. And Huang Ying was not content with letting such a resentment lie, he would settled it as soon as he was able to.



    Heading into the cave that belonged to the turtle Demonic beast, Huang Ying followed a route he had already mapped out. He had been stalking this turtle beast for several days already, and had even been in it's treasure chamber already. The only reason he didn't empty it out back then was because he didn't want to make the turtle beast grow suspicious.



    Entering the treasure chamber, Huang Ying simply swept his gaze across the room once to make sure that there was nothing new or missing before storing it all in his interspatial ring. There was only one item he didn't store into his ring, a strange mushroom. The mushroom was entirely blue in color, except for on the top where there was a strange white circle with a black dot in the center.



    This appearance had given the mushroom the name, Heaven's Eye Mushroom and it was also one of the most well known supplements on the continent. It was one of the most well known herbs, but also one of the most difficult to find. Not only was it rare, it also only grew in places that had thick Natural Energy and was filled with corpses that contained thick Qi. Due to this it only grew on certain battlegrounds, burial grounds or in natural forests filled with Demonic beasts.



    The mushroom couldn't be made into a pill, it had to be eaten whole, and it had only one effect. Once eaten, the energy in the mushroom would rush straight to the eyes, filling them with it's energy, increasing their vision and giving them the ability to see the flow of energy in the surroundings. If one continued to increase the strength of ones eyes, it is also said that one would be able to see the energy in other peoples bodies.



    Being able to see the flow of the Natural Energy in the surroundings would make it easier to judge other peoples power, find natural treasures in the wild, and even help find Demonic beasts by using the energy they naturally emitted.



    Huang Ying grabbed the mushroom and ate it in a few bites, resisting the urge to vomit from the bad taste. What followed was a warm flow of energy flowing from his stomach up through his body and into his eyes. Once the warm energy reached his eyes, it turned scorching, making it seem like someone had stabbed him in the eyes with a red hot needle.



    Gritting his teeth through the pain, the pain continued for almost an entire minute before black blood started flowing from the corners of Huang Ying's eyes. After the black blood flowed out of his eyes, the world in front of him quickly became clearer. Accompanying the normal colors of the world were streams of energy that looked like colored strings of silk flowing along with the wind, this was the Natural Energy in the world, each color was a different element.



    Seeing that the mushroom had indeed improved his vision and allowed him to see the flowing Energy in the surroundings, Huang Ying couldn't help but grin for a second before leaving the cave. It was time to head into the 6th grade Demonic beast area and finish his grand feast.
     
  6. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 25: 6th grade Cloud Tiger.



    The part of the middle perimeter that belonged to the 6th grade Demonic beasts, was slightly different from the other parts in the middle perimeter. This area was divided into three further areas.



    The outer area was the area with where most of the other 6th grade Demonic beasts resided. The middle area was the home of tiger based Demonic beasts that shared blood ties with the Cloud Tiger. The inner area only held a single Demonic beast, the Cloud Tiger itself.



    Huang Ying would first have to make his way through the outer are before he could enter the middle area to start the search for the Cloud Tiger.



    The Cloud Tiger was a very territorial Demonic beast, so it would not allow any other Demonic beasts to reside in the inner area, not even it's own children and their mothers could reside there.



    Therefore, a territorial Demonic beast like the Cloud Tiger would often leave it's own home to head to the areas containing it's children and the other females in it's flock.



    The 6th grade Demonic beasts area differed from the earlier parts of the middle perimeter. While the earlier areas of the middle perimeter were either barren or mountainous, resembling a stone forest. This part of the middle perimeter was a forest like region where the tree crowns blotted out almost all the light from the sun.



    Huang Ying slowly made his way through the area by utilizing the densely packed tree tops for cover. 6th grade Demonic beasts were different from 4th and 5th grade Demonic beasts. Huang Ying's Qi ocean may be larger than usual, but Demonic beasts of the 6th grade were still Demonic beasts whose grade were the same as his.



    His bodily strength was approaching the realm of Demonic beasts, but this was after all still only 'approaching', it was still not quite as strong, so he held no advantage over them.



    Huang Ying didn't dare to recklessly start a fight or wander randomly in this area, so he had to make sure to keep his Energy vision active at all times while also using his Breeze Steps to remove his presence. If he accidentally got into a prolonged fight in this area, there was no telling how many 6th grade Demonic beasts would be attracted to it.



    He could devour Demonic beasts to strengthen himself, humans could use the flesh and cores of Demonic beasts in alchemy or crafting to strengthen themselves, and Demonic beasts could likewise consume human cultivators to shorten their own training time.



    The forest was dark but in Huang Ying's energy vision, the darkness was broken through by a rainbow of colored silk, flowing freely through all things, even the trees couldn't stop the silk from flowing through it.



    Huang Ying had spent almost a month rushing through the five earlier areas of the middle perimeter, slaughtering countless Demonic beasts. But after entering the 6th grade area, he had only killed four Demonic beasts, and he was still only halfway through the middle area of the 6th grade area. If he wasn't sure that he could kill the Demonic beast within one minute, he would simply give up and ignore the Demonic beast.



    One minute was approximately the time it would take for the other Demonic beasts to notice that something was going on, it would then take them anything from half a minute to three minutes to reach the area, depending on their distance and max speed.



    Huang Ying had no interest in gambling on the idea that he could finish absorbing, retreat, and hide himself within the time it took for the first other Demonic beast to arrive. He only had one life, and he had no interest in losing it in such a pointless fashion.



    Using his energy vision as he made his way through the middle area, he found an energy signature he hadn't seen yet, a silver thread of energy dancing in the wind. Seeing the energy signature, Huang Ying was now certain that he was on the right track, silver colored energy was the mark of low-grade ice energy, and the Cloud Tiger was a Demonic beast that used low-grade Ice Qi.



    After slowly following the energy signature for almost fifteen minutes, he finally came upon the the Cloud Tiger lumbering deeper into the forest, towards the inner area.



    The Cloud Tiger was two meters in height and close to four meters in length, smaller than even the head of the massive turtle he had fought two weeks prior, but Huang Ying could see the explosive power hidden in the Cloud Tiger's muscles. Cloud Tigers were famed for their explosive bursts of speed and strength and were dreaded by caravans and traveling cultivators who were trying to rest at night.



    Cloud Tigers are pitch black in color, their fur seemingly absorbing light. Instead of stripes, a Cloud Tiger had silver clouds imprinted on their fur, their color growing clearer and stronger with every evolution. These clouds were the only way to see Cloud Tigers in the dark, even the Cloud Tigers eyes and claws were dark in color, their eyes brown and their claws black.



    Huang Ying reduced his breathing to it's lowest, and furiously circulated his Breeze Steps, there was no room for mistakes at this point, if he got discovered before the Cloud Tiger made it to the inner area, he would get swarmed by Demonic beasts, and at that point escape would be close to impossible.



    The silent stalking continued for close to a day before the Cloud Tiger finally entered the inner area. Huang Ying continued to closely follow it, but he had already fished out his last two arrows from his interspatial ring. The inner area was different from the thick forest of the middle and outer area.



    In the inner area, the trees were packed more sparsely, giving the Cloud Tiger more room for movement. In the middle of the inner area, at the place where the Cloud Tiger had made it's home, was a crystal clear lake with a large weeping willow right next to it. The lack of other Demonic beasts gave the area a charming silence, making it seem like an immortal paradise.



    Huang Ying was sitting in a tree not far from the lake and watched as the Cloud Tiger walked up to the lake and drank a bit before lying down, seemingly resting. Huang Ying grabbed the two arrows and started infusing them with his Devouring Qi. The Cloud Tiger before him was a Demonic beast that used the Ice element, even though his own Ice Qi was of a higher tier, it's effect would still be limited. He also couldn't contest with it's explosive bursts of power, so Huang Ying had already made up a battle plan. He would rely on his Devouring Qi to drain it's strength with each clash, keeping himself at full power while slowly weakening the Cloud Tiger, minimizing the risk of it escaping.



    He finished charging the two arrows with Devouring Qi, making them look like solidified black smoke. He silently raised the bow and loaded the arrow, keeping the second one in his other hand, ready to be fired immediately afterwards. Cloud Tigers had excellent instincts for danger, so it would most likely notice not long after he fired the arrow, so he had to be quick about it.



    Huang Ying narrowed his eyes as he took aim and quietly fired the first arrow, before quickly following up with the second. The arrows flew through the air like indistinct black blurs and Huang Ying charged out from cover right after them, blade in hand.



    Just as he expected, the Cloud Tiger noticed the arrows almost immediately, and even though it was surprised that something would dare attack it, it still reacted quickly and hurriedly jumped to the side. It managed to dodge the first arrow, but the second arrow had a slight deviation in it's path, hitting the Cloud Tiger in the upper part of it's hind leg, next to it's tail.



    The arrow didn't explode like the arrows charged with Ice Qi, the Devouring Qi simply drained off of the arrow and into the wound, turning into a small black Baku that simply sat there and slowly but continuously drained the Cloud Tiger's strength.



    The Cloud Tiger stared at Huang Ying with rage in it's eyes, a mere human savage had dared enter it's territory and even sneak attack it? When had it ever suffered such humiliation?



    The Cloud Tiger let loose a furious roar as it slightly bent it's legs, before shooting at Huang Ying like a cannonball.



    Huang Ying had been prepared for the explosive speed that the Cloud Tiger possessed, but seeing it shooting at him, he couldn't help but think that he had still underestimated it.



    Putting all his strength into his legs, Huang Ying shot of to the side like a blur while circulating his Devouring Qi into the blade in his right hand and slashing out. He managed to dodge the Cloud Tigers front claws and even left behind a wound on it's stomach, but even then the Cloud Tiger's hind claws still managed to cut open his left shoulder, leaving behind three deep gashes.



    The Devouring Qi festering inside the Cloud Tiger's wounds kept sending it's energy to Huang Ying, but even then it would still take time to heal the wounds. Using the energy to stop the bleeding was already the best he could do at the moment.



    Huang Ying stared at the Cloud Tiger that had landed a bit away from him, it was currently looking at the small wound on it's stomach, apparently shocked that it would get hurt by this human savage once more.



    The shock quickly gave way to anger as the Cloud Tiger felt humiliated, this human savage before it didn't even seem to cultivate, yet it could harm it twice and even dodge it's attack, was this not a humiliation?



    The Cloud Tiger roared in rage, and following it's roar, the temperature in the area started dropping as the water surface of the lake next to them started to slowly freeze over.



    The Cloud Tiger charged at Huang Ying again, but this time it was obviously slower than last time, it had to charge it's Qi for a little while before it could release it's explosive speed again.



    It tried to swipe at Huang Ying with it's claws, but as long as it's attacks didn't reach it's earlier speed, Huang Ying was confident that he could dodge the most dangerous parts of the attacks.



    Instead of dodging backwards, Huang Ying stepped forward, stabbing his blade towards the throat of the Cloud Tiger. The Cloud Tiger was enraged, but it still had it's limited intelligence, it knew that if that blade hit it's throat, death would follow shortly after. Shifting it's entire body to the side, it managed to make the blade miss it's throat, lodging itself into it's shoulder instead. By shifting it's entire body sideways, it also managed to hit Huang Ying with it's swipe, it just didn't manage to hit him with it's claws.



    His shoulder getting hit by the swipe, even though he managed to dodge the claws and force the Cloud Tiger to expend energy on shifting it's entire body, Huang Ying still felt that his shoulder just barely managed to withstand that blow, sending him soaring sideways through the air, blade still stuck in the Cloud Tiger's shoulder.

    The Cloud Tiger now had three wounds that were festering with Devouring Qi, sending an increasingly large amount of energy from it's body to Huang Ying. Feeling the energy leaving it's body and seeing Huang Ying stand up even after getting hit by it's swipe, the Cloud Tiger stopped roaring in rage, but rather gave a low growl instead. It had to accept that the enemy before it was capable of hurting and maybe even killing it.



    Looking at the Cloud Tiger staring him down in rage, Huang Ying felt an unprecedented will to fight growing in his heart, like it was yearning for a proper fight. Every fight he had before this was either him getting trampled on or him trampling on someone. He had never had a proper hearty fight against someone at his level of strength, it gave him an almost euphoric feeling.



    Just as he gave the Cloud Tiger a grin, he noticed that the silver color from the cloud patterns on it's body started spreading across it's body, dying it's fur a shade of silver.



    “Oh? What's this?” Seeing the strange phenomena, Huang Ying couldn't help but exclaim.
     
  7. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 26: Bloodline limit.



    Seeing the silver color spread across the Cloud Tiger's fur, Huang Ying couldn't help but be taken aback. What's this? He had never seen something like this happen in any of the Demonic beasts he had slain so far.



    The blood red color spreading through the Cloud Tiger's eyes showed that it was infuriated, but Huang Ying had seen plenty of enraged Demonic beasts earlier, and none of them had manifested something like this before.



    Huang Ying gave the Cloud Tiger a grin and licked his lips, no matter what sort of strange phenomena it manifested he had already decided to have a hearty fight with it and kill it.



    The now silver Cloud Tiger gave a loud roar that echoed through the area. As the sound of it's roar faded, it charged at Huang Ying again, swiping it's claws at him.



    Huang Ying was just about to dodge the claws and step inwards to grab his blade out of it's shoulder when his expression suddenly changed and he started retreating at max speed.



    Right after his foot left the ground and he dodged backwards, the ground where he previously stood exploded, large spikes of ice shooting out of the ground and into the air, hovering in front of the Cloud Tiger.



    Huang Ying had a grave expression as he activated his energy vision, and just as he feared, the previously rainbow colored strands of silk representing the surrounding Natural Energy had at some point started turning a dull silver.



    Turning the surrounding Natural Energy into one's own element and controlling it was an ability that only cultivators at the 8th heaven or Demonic beasts of the 8th grade should have. No matter how he looked at it, this Cloud Tiger was only a Demonic beast of the 6th grade, so it was not supposed to possess that ability yet.



    The only explanation Huang Ying could come up with was that it had something to do with the change the Cloud Tiger went through as it became silver.



    “Seems like you have a lot of secrets. Guess I have something else to look forward to later on as I go through your memories.” Even though the Cloud Tiger's ability to manifest it's element in the outside world like that shocked Huang Ying, he had noticed that ever since it turned silver, the amount of energy it was expanding sky rocketed. If he managed to hold out long enough, the Cloud Tiger should enter a weakened state, at that point there would be nothing it could do.



    Huang Ying kept his energy vision active, it would be easier to know where it's unseen attacks would come from if he knew where the Natural Energy gathered, and charged towards the Cloud Tiger. Retrieving his sword would be his current objective, harming the Cloud Tiger without it would be close to impossible.



    Seeing Huang Ying charge at it, the Cloud Tiger let loose a low growl and the hovering ice spikes seemed to have gotten an order as they straightened themselves out and charged at Huang Ying.



    Gathering his own Ice Qi in the palms of his hands, Huang Ying dodged the first two ice spikes by shifting his body sideways, allowing them to brush past his chest. Pushing out with his two hands, he deflected the last two ice spikes to the sides and quickly ducked his entire body downwards into an almost crouching position, dodging the Cloud Tiger's swipe.



    Gathering all the Ice Qi at the soles of his feet, he braced for impact and just as a new ice spike broke through the ground beneath him, he used it as a springboard to gain momentum, jumping off it as it broke through the ground and flying past the head of the Cloud Tiger. He grabbed the handle of the sword and pulled it out of the Cloud Tiger's shoulder, leaving behind a large cut on it's back at the same time, but the ice spike had pierced through one of his feet, leaving behind a bleeding hole in it and reducing his own agility.



    After landing on the ground and correcting his stance, Huang Ying looked at the Cloud Tiger with blazing eyes. He had no idea a proper fight could be this fun!



    He could feel his blood rushing through his veins and his heart beating like a war drum. His shoulders were aching, his foot was in excruciating pain, but at the same time he felt so alive!



    The Cloud Tiger was staring at him, it's eyes now fully blood red. His Devouring Qi was flowing through it's body from it's wound, like a festering parasite, constantly sapping it's strength and repairing Huang Ying's body.



    The Cloud Tiger roared and mindlessly charged at Huang Ying with it's open maw, directing the ice spikes to shoot straight at him.



    Seeing the crazed appearance of the Cloud Tiger, an idea popped into Huang Ying's mind as he quickly stored his sword back into his interspatial ring and charged barehanded at the Cloud Tiger.



    The ice spikes were the first ones to arrive in front of Huang Ying, but the Cloud Tiger could only give them simple commands, so Huang Ying had no trouble in dodging those he could and deflecting those he couldn't dodge.



    The swipe was the next to arrive, but Huang Ying had already dodged the same swipe twice before, so how could he let the third one hit him? Lowering his body to the point where he slid beneath the swipe, he quickly stood up and came face to face with the Cloud Tiger.



    Raising his right arm and inserting it into the open maw of the Cloud Tiger, the Cloud Tiger gave him a disdainful glance. Did this human really not want his arm any more? It put all it's power into it's jaws as it bit down, but didn't see Huang Ying flash a victorious smile.



    Letting his finger run across his interspatial ring, he brought out his sword in the Cloud Tiger's maw before pulling his arm out of it's closing maw, leaving behind the sword inside it's maw.



    As the Cloud Tiger bit down, the sword dug it's way through the Cloud Tiger's head and lodged itself into the Cloud Tiger's brain before the bottom part of the sword broke as the Cloud Tiger's jaws smashed close.



    The Cloud Tiger didn't even have time to give Huang Ying a glance, it simply fell over as all life drained out of it's eyes and the silver color on it's fur receded back into the cloud pattern.



    “You fought well, now rest.” Looking at the collapsed Cloud Tiger, Huang Ying gave it a small nod before placing his hand on it's head and circulating his Devouring Qi through it's entire body.



    After absorbing the Cloud Tiger and going through it's memories, he found the reason behind it's sudden power-up. This Cloud Tiger had a trace of Blue Tiger bloodline in it. Igniting the bloodline and activating it's potential allowed it's strength to soar for a short while before entering a weakened state. Igniting a bloodline was something human cultivators who had gotten a bloodline transferred into their bodies could also do, but they simply called it Bloodline Limit.



    The Blue Tiger this Cloud Tiger got it's bloodline from was a variant White Tiger. Once a beast managed to train to a high enough level, it could take on a human form or even become a god, much like a cultivator. A Blue Tiger is a Tiger type Demonic beast that has the bloodline of the White Tiger, but ended up mutating as it evolved, changing it's element and even bloodline, becoming a new bloodline of it's own.



    Demonic beasts have existed for as long as humans, if not even longer, so the amount of different variant Demonic beasts and bloodlines that existed are uncountable, there are even humans who are half Demonic beast, half human. Born between a human and a Demonic beast that could take human form.



    After absorbing all the energy in the Cloud Tiger and even the bloodline of the Blue Tiger, melding it into his own White Tiger bloodline, Huang Ying sat down cross-legged next to the lake, it was time for him to break through to the next heaven.



    Turning his vision inward and overlooking his Qi ocean, Huang Ying was very pleased. He had only killed five 6th grade Demonic beast, including the Cloud Tiger, but just these Demonic beasts alone allowed his Qi ocean to grow to almost 100 thousand kilometers across, seemingly endless. His next task was to condense this entire ocean into a small crystal, allowing his body to have almost the same explosive power as the Cloud Tiger.



    This wasn't the first time Huang Ying had condensed Qi before, and he also had Li Jun's explanation on how to most easily breakthrough, so breaking through was a smooth process for him. He simply gathered the entire Qi ocean into a massive ball before slowly putting it under more and more pressure, decreasing it's size, but increasing it's mass.



    After spending almost three days slowly condensing the entire Qi ocean, all that was left in Huang Ying's dantian was a black and white colored marble the size of a child's fist, slowly rotating. The marble was the size of a child's fist, but contained so much mass that the space around the marble was distorting.



    Pleased with how smoothly it went, Huang Ying proceeded to extract a sliver of white Ice Qi from the marble and letting it circulate through his meridians for a few circulations. Not noticing anything wrong, Huang Ying proceeded to let the sliver of Qi rotate around through his flesh and blood, allowing it to make several circulations through his entire body.



    After ascertaining that his body was strong enough to handle the Qi and couldn't be strengthened further by the Qi, Huang Ying led the Qi to his skin before letting it seep through his skin and into the Natural Energy around him.



    As his Ice Qi came in contact with the Natural Energy in the air, all the Natural Energy in the area swiftly turned into Ice Energy under Huang Ying's control, before condensing into a fist sized ice spike.



    Pleased at the results, Huang Ying looked around and decided that he might as well stay here to allow his control over the Natural Energy turn more fluid, before returning to Yellow Winds Town.
     
  8. Shiranui_Shukumei

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    Chapter 27: Azure Springs Conspiracy.



    The sun had just risen as Huang Ying walked through the gates of Yellow Winds Town. His robes were tattered and dirty, his hair disheveled and his face dirty, he looked no different from a common beggar.



    He knew that the city lord and the four other clans probably had put out wanted orders for him, but he wasn't too worried about them. After spending almost two months in The Wilderness, he was so dirty that he didn't look anything like he did when he first entered the town.



    He wasn't worried about the tracking mark from the life jades either, he had already been gone for two months, even the best of tracking marks would lose it's effectiveness after just one month, much less two.



    As Huang Ying walked through the streets, the other people walking past him gave him plenty of space, keeping their distance because of a mixture of the smell and dirt.



    Huang Ying simply ignored the looks of pity and scorn and headed towards the nearest clothing store. As he entered the store, the manager initially wanted to simply throw him out, but after Huang Ying placed a platinum coin on the counter, the manager became more than happy to accommodate him.



    The currency humans used were based on the concept that 9 returns to 1. 10 copper were 1 silver, 10 silver were 1 gold and 10 gold were 1 platinum.



    The platinum coin Huang Ying gave him was also the only platinum coin he had after emptying the bandit hideout, but he wasn't too worried about using it. After he had made some preparations, he would head to the Tao clan and turn the clans in this town on their head. The clans had a longer history than the bandit's so he was certain that their treasuries would be much more appealing.



    Placing down the platinum coin and telling the manager to prepare several robes for him, Huang Ying took the liberty to head upstairs to the managers living quarters and borrow his shower to clean himself, an act the manager happily let him do.



    While cleaning himself, Huang Ying also let loose his perception to check out the surrounding area. After breaking through to the 8th heaven and increasing his control over his power, Huang Ying also learned how to release his perception out of his body, allowing him to see the surrounding area clearly.



    How far a cultivators perception could go wasn't limited by their cultivation, but rather by how strong their souls were. To strengthen ones soul, one could either ingest a type of heavenly treasure, simply let it grow stronger as you aged, or let it naturally grow stronger as you broke through cultivation levels.



    Huang Ying's perception was currently only strong enough to let him cover a distance of around five kilometers, but for the moment it was enough for him. He had already activated his Energy vision when he neared the town, and used it to check on the five clans.



    The five clans had stationed people close to the city entrance to guard the city and promote their own clan, so using his Energy vision to take a look at what elements they specialized in was no problem. Just as he had suspected, the Tao clan specialized in water arts, the Yuan clan in earth arts, the Shen and Mo clan in fire arts and the Zhong clan in lightning arts.



    Retrieving his perception before quickly drying himself, Huang Ying threw his gaze toward a building located close to the town center, Misty Moon House. Misty Moon was a merchant corporation that dealt in the purchasing and selling of everything below the heavens and had stores in all the slightly larger towns on the continent, it is also one of the richest existences on all of Green Willows.



    Coming to Yellow Winds Town in the first place was mainly because he had something he needed to check with one of the men working for this specific Misty Moon house.



    After cleaning himself, Huang Ying found the azure robes he had ordered folded neatly outside of the washing room. Changing into a fresh azure robe, tying up his black hair into a long ponytail and fastening it with the plum blossom hairpin he got from Jing He, Huang Ying felt like a new man.



    Looking at himself in the mirror and seeing the azure robe, Huang Ying was once more reminded of the time he spent in Azure Springs and how he himself once had azure hair.



    Reminiscing about the time when he was still young and just ran around and played made a faint smile curve up on Huang Ying's face, but as he tried to reminisce more, his temples started to throb as a terrible headache threatened to split his head. The headache left as abruptly as it came, disappearing just as Huang Ying was wondering why he suddenly got such a massive headache.



    Shaking his head a bit to clear it after the headache, Huang Ying decided to ignore it, he couldn't think of a reason as to why he would get a sudden headache, so he simply decided to no longer think about it.



    Leaving the clothing store, Huang Ying headed directly to the Misty Moon House, not hiding his presence in the slightest. It was nearly impossible for a cultivator to keep their perception outside of their body for extended periods of time, so he wasn't worried about the patriarchs or city lord finding him. And even if they did, he wouldn't be too worried, he came here to kill them, so them coming to him would just save him the trouble of coming to them.



    The insignia of the Misty Moon House was shaped like a waning moon covered by a thin veil of mist hanging high above all. The building was three stories tall and painted a shining shade of gold, the insignia was held high by two large pillars standing by the entrance, making it look like a majestic palace.



    The inside was divided into three sections, the first floor was where one could buy or sell merchandise, the second floor was where one could buy and sell favors, whilst the third floor was the VIP floor, where all the larger deals went down.



    The inside had simple furniture, a few counters to sell simple items, a few tables and chairs where one could sit and discuss prices and items, and several doors that led to private rooms if one wanted a touch of secrecy.



    Huang Ying headed straight to the second floor, which was furnished much like the first floor, only exception being that it had several more private rooms.



    Huang Ying headed straight for a counter specialized in selling private favors, behind the counter was an honest looking middle aged man with a perpetual fawning smile on his face.



    “Give me private room number five, call over Kong Zemin, tell him that Qian Hong is here.” Huang Ying wasted no time, knocking his knuckles against the counter four times in quick succession and giving the order, before heading straight to the private room and entering, not even waiting for the man behind the counter to respond.



    Knocking on the counter four times in quick succession was a signal that one wanted to buy an illegal favor, often an assassination. This particular piece of information, and even the names he used were things Huang Ying learned from the memories of the Wolf-Crag Bandits leader, he was the one named Qian Hong. He had been in contact with Kong Zemin before the attack on Azure Springs and the reason they attacked was because Kong Zemin had told him that the mayor of Azure Springs had been assassinated and someone paid him to deliver the news to them.



    The private room was also furnished sparsely, only containing two couches divided by a table. The only light in the room came from a small lamp hanging from the ceiling



    Huang Ying didn't have to wait for long. After a few minutes of waiting, a yellow robed man walked in. The man had a normal face, but his eyes constantly darted all over the place, making him look like a nervous person.



    The man had just walked in and closed the door and was just about to speak, but once he turned around and saw Huang Ying, the words caught in his throat.



    “You aren't Qian Hong...” The man just managed to squeeze out the words when a hand landed on his throat, blocking him from talking further.



    “No need to talk too much, i'll just take what I need and leave.” Huang Ying gave the man a slight smile as he spoke. This man didn't do any cultivation, so there was no way that he could resist Huang Ying, he couldn't even see how he moved.



    Black gas started seeping out from Huang Ying's hand and started making it's way into Kong Zemin's head through his eyes and nose, digging it's way into his brain. Huang Ying allowed his Devouring Qi to slowly sift through his memories, before it finally found all the information related to the assassination on Azure Springs mayor.



    After unceremoniously removing all his memories about the assassination and then even the memories of this encounter, Huang Ying knocked him unconscious and laid him down on the couch. Huang Ying didn't dare wantonly kill people that belonged to such a mysterious and all-encompassing organization.



    After getting the information, Huang Ying left the Misty Moon House and rented a room at a nearby inn. After locking down the door and windows, Huang Ying sat down cross-legged on the bed before sinking his perception into his spiritual sea.



    His spiritual sea seemed just like a vast black expanse, devoid of anything but a hazy white cocoon floating in the air. Huang Ying had a grave expression as he walked up to the cocoon and looked at it with self-deprecating eyes.



    “Really Li Jun, it seems like you hid quite some things from me.” Huang Ying spoke with a grave voice as he looked at the cocoon.



    “It's fine if you don't want to explain yourself, i'll just devour you.” Seeing as there was no response from the cocoon, Huang Ying manifested his Baku.



    “Wait! Wait! I'll explain it.” As the Baku coiled around Huang Ying, a panicked raspy voice rang out from the cocoon as it dissolved and a black fog spread out from it, quickly taking the shape of a blurry human.



    “....You already seem to know? How did you find out?” the blurry Li Jun spoke with some trepidation as he looked at Huang Ying.



    “After all the bandits were devoured and I gained all their memories, I found a memory of the bandit leader talking with that Kong Zemin about the assassination on the mayor. Kong Zemin told him that someone had paid to get the mayor assassinated and then deliver the news to the bandits, urging them to attack the city."

    "That someone would bother assassinating the mayor of such a small town, especially by utilizing such a large organization like Misty Moon, was already suspicious. So once I started thinking about it a little, I figured that I might as well look into who would gain the most from the destruction of the town."

    "After some consideration I remembered that as the bandits were attacking, you were warning me about any bandit who was about to spot me, until one bandit somehow managed to sneak up behind me and stab me. As I thought of that, it struck me. You would not be able to enter the reincarnation cycle unless I died or you took over my body. But since you never took over my body in all those years, it stands to reason that you don't have that strength, meaning that you could only rely on someone else."

    "Of course, I had no proof of any of this, it was merely a speculation I had. So I decided to just go to the source, Kong Zemin. And in his memories, the one who ordered and paid for the assassination and bringing the news to the bandits, while he was indeed covered in a cloak that hid his face, you forgot to change your voice, even the body you used was only conjured up by controlling the Natural Energy, making it take on a semi solid shape."

    "I have talked to you everyday of my life, before I even talked to my parents, I talked to you. There is no way I could mistake your voice. The bandit attack on Azure Springs was planned by you, Li Jun.” Huang Ying's voice slowly turned gloomier as he spoke, he had trusted Li Jun and even thought of him as a friend and senior after spending 14 years together, he truly never expected Li Jun to plan his death.
     
  9. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 28: Placing Bait.



    “It seems like you really thought hard about it..... what will you do now?” Li Jun spoke with a sigh, seemingly already resigned to his fate.



    “Originally I was thinking about simply devouring you, after all, your scheme nearly destroyed all of Azure Springs. No matter how cold and distant the people there were, it is still my home, so killing you for nearly destroying it doesn't seem to far fetched.” Huang Ying spoke with a grave expression.



    “But. I still have some reservations about killing you, seems like you really seeped into my heart after those 14 years. And seeing as how the town got out safe in the end, I have decided to simply ignore it, at least this once. If you ever scheme against me again, I will no longer hesitate and simply devour you.” Huang Ying finished his words by letting his Baku slither closer to the blurry shape that was Li Jun.



    “I see, it seems like you are still quite soft-hearted. Had I been in your shoes I would have immediately killed me.” Seeing that he was safe, Li Jun's mood immediately lifted, even going as far as chuckling and joking around with Huang Ying.



    “True, I guess I am rather soft-hearted to people I consider friends, even if they are bastards like you. I guess that is the difference between you and me.” Huang Ying spoke freely, he wasn't too worried about Li Jun betraying him again.



    One reason was that there was no longer a need, it was simply easier to rely on him to create a new body than to hope for him to die. The other reason was that there was no way for Li Jun to escape. Even when he went to Misty Moon to order the assassination, he could only send a tiny sliver of his perception to control the surrounding Natural Energy, it was impossible for him to send his entire soul, as it would simply dissipate upon leaving Huang Ying's spiritual sea. And as long as he was in Huang Ying's spiritual sea, Huang Ying could devour him whenever he wanted.



    “Hey Huang Ying, my memory is all jumbled after the attack on the town, could you fill me in on what happened after you escaped the prison again?”Huang Ying was just about to leave his spiritual sea when Li Jun's slightly hesitant voice rang out.



    Huang Ying turned around and raised one of his eyebrows at Li Jun, giving him a slightly confused look.



    “Alright? Let's see. We escaped the dungeon thanks to the help from the guard, Xiao Yan. After sneaking through most of the town, since you didn't warn me, I got stabbed.” Speaking up to here, Huang Ying gave Li Jun a slight glare.



    “After that, the blood of Baku awakened, manifesting as a massive serpent. Baku devoured the bandits, but since the power seemed too monstrous, the rest of the townspeople chased me out off the town, forbidding me from ever returning.” As Huang Ying finished speaking, small drops of sweat dripped down from his forehead. He had gotten a headache that seemed to grow increasingly worse the more he talked, luckily it disappeared once he finished talking.



    “I see, I see. Well thank you for refreshing my memories.” Li Jun seemed to have found something funny with what Huang Ying said as he started chuckling to himself as he spoke.



    Huang Ying stared at him for a bit as he went over what he just said. Not seeing what Li Jun found funny he simply withdrew his perception from his spiritual sea, he had to make preparations for fighting the city lord.



    After Huang Ying left his spiritual sea, Li Jun kept chuckling to himself, all the while mumbling to himself. “Seems like it hit the poor kid harder than I thought, he can't even remember it properly anymore. Seems like he'll be in for a shock if he ever tries to return to his 'home'.”



    Huang Ying didn't waste any time as he quickly left the inn and headed to the blacksmith. The bandits treasury was filled with all kinds of different weapons, so he wasn't lacking in a sword he could temporarily use, but there were no arrows that he could use, so he needed to stock up on some arrows for future use.



    Entering the smithy, the first thing that hit Huang Ying was the heat from the forge, which was located not far from the counter, making the shop both sweltering and cramped. Sitting next to the forge was a stout and muscular man with bronze skin, hands wrapped around a massive hammer. He had long and unkempt brown hair hanging in front of his eyes, making him seem like a barbarian.



    “Well there sonny, what can I do for ya?” Noticing that someone had entered the store, the stout man stepped away from the forge and spoke in a deep voice.



    “I need arrows, the best ones you have. 20 should do. I also want to know what this is.” Huang Ying spoke as he brought out a few gold coins to pay for the arrows and the strange purplish-white ore he found in The Wilderness.



    “Alright, we have no lack of good arrows. Oy, little Mao, bring me 20 blacksteel arrows!” The stout man took the gold after a quick counting and shouted to the back of the shop.



    After waiting for around a minute, a child, looking no more than nine, came out from the back of the shop. In his hands he was holding a bundle of 20 black arrows. The arrows looked like they were made entirely out of black steel, fletched with bright red feathers and a simple, sharp tip, the arrows looked top quality.



    Inspecting the arrows and making sure that there was nothing wrong with them, Huang Ying stored them into his interspatial ring, before handing over the strange ore to the stout man.



    The stout man inspected the ore for a bit, looking at it from all angles, even going as far as using a smaller hammer to check the sturdiness of the crystals.



    “I can tell ya what it is, but I cam't make nothing with it, shop's not well enough equipped. Ya would have better luck in the capital, but it'll cost ya a pretty penny to forge it into something useful.” The stout man handed the ore back to Huang Ying, who immediately stored it back into his interspatial ring.



    “What ya got there is a piece of an ore we call Lightning Ore. Simply said, it's a piece of ore that has absorbed the power of lightning. If ya find yerself a better blacksmith, they can forge it into a weapon, allowing it to exhibit the power of lightning if ya fuel it with yer Qi.”



    After the stout man finished talking, Huang Ying bid him farewell and left the blacksmith. His preparations were complete, so it was time to go pay a visit to the Tao clan.



    Huang Ying stood outside the gates of the Tao clan, looking up at the massive building that looked more like a palace than it did a clan headquarter. A faint smile appeared on his lips as he thought about how much riches a clan like this must have gathered up.



    “Kid, here I thought you were a soft-hearted boy, but aren't you just as rotten as me?” Li Jun, having figured out what Huang Ying was intending, voiced out his thoughts with a chuckle.



    “I said I was soft-hearted to those I consider my friends, why should I be soft-hearted to those who want my life?” Huang Ying gave him an indifferent reply before heading towards the massive entrance.



    Outside the entrance stood two guards, seeing someone walk over, especially upon noticing that there were no energy fluctuations around him, swaggered over to stop him.



    “No need to bother, i'm here to cause trouble.” Before they even managed to reach him, Huang Ying's cold voice rang in their ears as everything before their eyes turned dark and they fainted. The guards weren't even at the 3rd heaven, so simply using a bit of Qi to knock them unconscious was easy.



    Stepping in front of the entrance, Huang Ying used both arms to push it open before stepping into the courtyard of the Tao clan. The courtyard was a large square area with few trees growing, it was obviously used more as a practice area.



    Behind the courtyard where three large buildings. The buildings on the right and left were only two stories high and looked rather normal, but the building in the middle looked more like an imperial palace and functioned as both the headquarter of the Tao clan, and the home of the city lord.



    “Come now City lord Tao! Last time I was here I killed your useless son, now i'm here to kill you!” Huang Ying used his Qi to transmit his voice outward, making it resound across the entire Tao clan.



    “YOU!” After his voice resounded, a furious roar rang out from the main building as the doors were violently flung open and a slim middle aged man with blonde hair walked out. The middle aged man's face was red from fury as he stared daggers at Huang Ying. Behind him followed a group of old men, looking at Huang Ying with an indifferent gaze. From the building to the right of the main palace swathes of young people dressed in the same ocean blue robes started swarming to the courtyard, attracted to the commotion.



    “Good, good, good. I was worried you would die in that accursed Wilderness, I truly never expected you to dare come to my house after you had to escape so pathetically last time. It seems like you have come to give me your head.” The city lord was so enraged he spat out the word good three times in succession.



    “To give you my head? No no, I have come to use you as bait.” Huang Ying spoke in a sarcastic tone and gave the city lord a disdainful look, ever since he broke through to the 8th heaven, he truly didn't fear these second-rate 9th heaven cultivators. Using his energy vision, he saw that the energy fluctuations of the city lord and the old men behind him were even weaker than the ones the Cloud Tiger had once it used it's Bloodline Limit.



    After finishing his words, Huang Ying folded his hands behind his back as he spread out his perception, he had thrown out the net and the bait, now he just needed to wait for the fish to come to him.
     
  10. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 29: Tao Yazhu's unease.



    Tao Yazhu furiously glared at the boy not far from him. Almost two months ago, this boy had killed his son and then he even managed to flee from his hands. Worse yet, the boy was even pursued by the four other clan patriarchs at the same time, yet still slipped out of their hands.



    Tao Yazhu wanted nothing more than to dash forward and rip this hateful brat apart, but while he was mad, he hadn't lost all his sanity. The boy didn't emit any energy fluctuations, so going by reason, he should just be a normal person who didn't even cultivate. Yet just two months ago, the boy escaped their pursuit, running at speeds impossible for normal people to reach.



    The boy even escaped into The Wilderness, the gathering place for Demonic beasts. If Tao Yazhu or any of the other patriarchs set fot into that massive forest, the Demonic beasts would immediately sense their energy fluctuations and charge at them in a frenzied horde.



    Looking closely at the boy Tao Yazhu noticed that while the boy didn't emit any energy fluctuations, the area around him was completely devoid of Natural Energy. As the boy stood there, he almost seemed like a black hole, devouring all the energy around him. If Tao Yazhu wasn't looking at him, he wouldn't even know that there was anyone there.



    Tao Yazhu already had an uneasy feeling in his stomach when he first heard the shout, so he immediately signaled the four other clans, alerting the patriarchs. Now, looking at the boy standing in front of him, cold eyes and disdainful smile, Tao Yazhu couldn't help but feel like he had made the right choice.



    The boy had walked right up to his house, entered through the front entrance and then even shouted out to get his attention. Facing the power and pressure of someone at the 9th heaven, he didn't seem to feel any discomfort, he even went as far as too call him, Tao Yazhu, noting more than bait.



    The more Tao Yazhu looked at him, the more uneasy he felt. On one hand, he wanted to rush forward and kill him, quelling this unease right away. But on the other hand, what if this boy really had some way to kill him? Tao Yazhu feared the unknown.



    “You little brat! You were given a road to heaven, but instead chose to head into hell, seems like you are dumber than I gave you credit for!” As Tao Yazhu was leaning back and forth between the idea of attacking, a powerful voice rang out.



    Looking towards the entrance, Tao Yazhu saw a large group of people walking in. At the forefront of the group were three middle aged men and a seductive woman. The one who just spoke was Yuan Gengxin, a large and burly man wearing an earthy robe. Behind him were several youths clad in the same earthy robes, most likely the more promising disciples of his clan, come to watch their patriarch show his power.



    The people next to him were Shen Fan, a muscular man with fiery red hair wearing a crimson armor. Mo Yijun, a slim man wearing loose orange robes. His face was plastered with a pleasant smile and a burn mark going from his mouth all the way down to his neck. And Zhong Sun, a slim and seductive woman with large snowy mounds. Clad in a tight fitting, deep purple robe that matched her purple hair, she drew the attention of every man around her.



    Following them were youths of all ages dressed in outfits that matched one of the four leaders, signifying which clan they came from.



    Seeing the four other patriarchs appear, Tao Yazhu was immediately relieved of his worry and quickly turned his head towards the boy again. He was just about to curse at the boy like Yuan Gengxin had done, trying to redeem himself from the shame of having been uneasy because of a child.



    The words got stuck in his throat as he looked at the boy. The other patriarchs may not be able to see it since they were behind him, but Tao Yazhu was in front of him and could clearly see that devilish grin on the boy's face.



    Seeing that grin, Tao Yazhu couldn't help but feel uneasy again, and just as he was about to say something, the boy opened his mouth and his mocking voice rang out.



    “I must say city lord Tao, you are much better bait than I expected. I only just got here and shouted a few words and after just waiting a few short minutes, you have already gathered everyone else. Truly efficient, I was really worried I would have to chase down the others.”



    the boy chuckled coldly after speaking and shifted his stance, allowing him to look at all the patriarchs by simply twisting his head a little, before speaking up once more.



    “I must say though, aren't you shitty leaders? It's fine that you all come out to die, but you even drag all the disciples into it? Are you not scared of the entire clan being wiped out?”



    The boy's mocking voice rang out like the laughter of a demon, stabbing at the hearts of everyone present. What arrogance!



    “One should be careful with ones words little boy. A word once spoken can't be taken back.” Zhong Sun spoke in a seductive voice, but her narrowed eyes flashed with lightning, showing her rage.



    “Oh? Why should I be careful with my words? You want to kill me and I want to kill you. We have already reached a point where flowered words are pointless.” Facing the rage of Zhong Sun, the boy simply responded with a calm smile as his eyes flashed with disdain.



    “The boy is right, words are pointless. We should just attack.” Shen Fan spoke in a loud voice as wisps of fire started floating around him like ghosts.



    “Indeed Shen patriarch, you should just attack, otherwise you might never get the chance. I'll just give you a warning to be nice, you should pull back your disciples, otherwise I won't be held accountable for their lives.” The boy gave a grin at Shen Fan as he spoke arrogantly and his entire body started radiating an insane will to fight.



    “humph, impudent!” Yuan Gengxin gave a cold snort as his voice rang out again and an earthen light started emitting from his hands and he started making his way towards the boy alongside the other patriarchs.



    The disciples wore enraged expressions as they followed closely behind their respective patriarchs, gleefully looking forward to seeing this arrogant child beaten down.



    “Oh well, I gave you a warning, so don't blame me.” The boy simply shrugged his shoulders and gave an indifferent response.



    As the patriarchs got closer from one side, Tao Yazhu slowly made his way forward, seeing the mad grin on the boy's face, he still had an uneasy feeling in his stomach.



    Just as they had crossed over half the distance, the boy clapped his hands lightly. Following the clap, the uneasy feeling in Tao Yazhu's stomach reached reached it's apex. Just as Tao Yazhu was considering retreating, he heard a loud exclamation from one of the disciples closest to the courtyard entrance.



    Looking towards the entrance, Tao Yazhu saw a large, pitch black serpent with cold silver spikes along it's entire backside, curled up in front of the entrance, preventing anyone from leaving. The serpent was almost 15 meters long and covered the entire entrance, it's cold yellow eyes staring disdainfully at everyone.



    Just as the patriarchs and Tao Yazhu were about to exclaim, a change happened in the boy. His long black hair quickly changed color, turning a pure white. At the same time, his hands were covered in white fur and his fingernails turned into sharp pitch black claws. His pupils turned into slits as he stared coldly at everyone present.



    “Now then, do try to hold on long enough to let me properly test this.” His cold voice rang out in the ears of everyone present, sending a chill up their spines.
     
  11. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 30: Power of a bloodline.



    Huang Ying looked at his hands, the white fur had spread from his hands and up his arms, stopping only after it reached his shoulders. After the fur had started growing, his muscles started bulging, increasing in size and ripping his robe.



    His hair turning white and the sudden growth of fur was a sign that he had activated his Bloodline limit, something he thought of after killing the Cloud Tiger in The Wilderness.



    Activating his Bloodline limit not only increased his physical power and body defense, it also heightened his senses, affinity with the surrounding Natural Energy, and boosted the amount of Qi available to him.



    When he didn't use his Bloodline limit, the range of Natural Energy he could control was very limited, only allowing him to control the Natural Energy in a 100 meter area. Activating his Bloodline limit allowed him to control the Natural Energy in a 200 meter area, effectively doubling the range of his attacks.



    Huang Ying's mouth curled into a smile as he felt the surging power coursing through his body, right now he truly felt invincible. As the thought appeared in Huang Ying's mind, he quickly curbed it. He had seen people whose strength were far greater than his, now was not a time to grow complacent. He still had a long struggle ahead of him.



    Lifting his head, Huang Ying turned his eyes towards the patriarchs approaching him as he spoke out.



    “Now then, do try to hold on long enough to let me properly test this.” before he even finished speaking, Huang Ying stepped out towards the four patriarchs.



    Putting all the power into his leg, he shot out towards the Zhong matriarch, a gust of freezing air following in his wake. He had increased his power and didn't fear the five patriarchs, but it was always best to err on the side of caution.



    The patriarch of the Tao clan, the Mo clan, and the Shen would be restrained by the purity of his Ice Qi, so they would not be a large problem. The patriarch of the Yuan clan used Earth Qi and was famed for his strong defense but slow speed, so he could also be disregarded for the moment. But the matriarch of the Zhong clan used Lightning Qi, giving her excellent speed and piercing power, so taking care of her first was a must.



    Huang Ying shot towards the Zhong matriarch like a bullet, the Natural Energy around him seethed and surged under his command. His Ice Qi was of a much higher purity than the element of anyone present, so if anyone present tried to wrest control of the Natural Energy away from him they were doomed to fail.



    The Natural Energy surrounding Huang Ying swiftly turned into Ice energy under his control. Before the Zhong matriarch had time to react, the Ice Energy sank into the ground around her. Solidifying and turning into thick walls of ice that limited her movement, cutting her off from the other patriarchs and forcing her into a frontal confrontation with Huang Ying.



    Huang Ying arrived in front of the Zhong matriarch just as the walls sprouted out and threw out his hand, aiming it straight at her abdomen. Aiming for her head or chest would allow her to utilize her Lightning Qi to swiftly move away.



    Aiming at her abdomen ensured that she would have to move her entire body if she wanted to completely dodge the attack, but with the ice walls forcing her to only move forwards, a complete escape was impossible.



    The Zhong matriarch grit her teeth as she silently cursed her bad luck, channeling all her Lightning Qi into her abdomen, producing a shimmering web of lightning as a shield.



    Seeing the shield, Huang Ying simply gave her a mocking smile as he formed his hand into a spear hand and charged it with Ice and Devouring Qi. His hand passed right through the lightning web, ignoring the searing pain and smell of burnt flesh and hair. Huang Ying drove his hand straight into the Zhong matriarchs abdomen and frenziedly circulated his Ice and Devouring Qi into her body.



    The Zhong matriarch only managed to let out a low grunt before her eyes dimmed and her body froze where it stood, turning into a stiff ice statue. She arrived in a grandiose fashion to take revenge for her son, but before she even managed to do anything, she was killed without even getting to showcase her speed.



    Huang Ying pulled his hand out of her stomach. There were still parts where the fur had been burnt and the skin melted, giving way to bloody flesh. He never intended to make this a flawless victory, he didn't mind trading injuries. His body was stronger than theirs, he even had the Devouring Qi to help slightly mend his injuries.



    For every attack he made, small amounts of Devouring Qi would enter his opponents, draining their energy and sending it to him. Of course, if he was hit by the attack of an enemy, hoping to use this small amount to heal his injuries was nothing short of retardation. First he would have to use some of the energy to force out the opponents Qi from the wounds.



    Huang Ying turned to the ice walls separating him from the rest of the patriarchs, succeeding with a surprise attack like this would be hard now that they were ready. Now he would have to rely more on his quick thinking and some schemes he had already set in motion.



    Smashing his fist into one of the ice walls, the ice walls turned into palm sized shrapnel with razor sharp edges that shot out towards the other patriarchs. Huang Ying attached a small amount of his own Qi to each of the shrapnel shards to allow him to control their movements, giving himself a greater range of tactics.



    Seeing the frozen body of the Zhong matriarch, the expressions of the other patriarchs slowly turned grave. This boy didn't seem to have any energy fluctuations at first but when he attacked, while his body didn't give off any fluctuations, they could sense his Qi in those ice walls, and it was clearly the Qi of someone at the 8th heaven.



    Normally they wouldn't fear anyone at the 8th heaven, but this boy seemed to have a Demonic beast bloodline, making him stronger than normal 8th heaven cultivators. He had even already killed the Zhong matriarch in such a short duration, so he was obviously able to threaten them.



    The disciples of the Zhong clan, upon seeing their matriarch slain, flew into a frenzy and some of them even started charging at Huang Ying.



    Facing these people, Huang Ying only gave them a cold glance before sending an order to his Baku. Since these people wanted to kill him, there was no need to show them any mercy. Upon receiving the order, the black serpent that guarded the only exit, sprung into action, diving headfirst into the group of people that charged at Huang Ying.



    Huang Ying spared them no second thought, simply enjoying the warm feeling of the new Qi that was provided to him from the Baku's massacre. Huang Ying had only given the Baku a simple order to kill anyone that tried to attack him, if they simply stood back or tried to leave, the Baku would completely ignore them.



    Ignoring the screams from the disciples watching, Huang Ying charged toward the Shen patriarch. The Shen patriarch was the one closest to him, and at first glance he also looked the most threatening, being the one with the largest amount of energy fluctuations around him.



    The Shen patriarch obviously noticed what Huang Ying was planning as most of the shrapnel was flying towards him. The Shen patriarch quickly pulled a halberd out of his interspatial ring and surrounded himself in flames, trying to melt the shrapnel flying at him.



    To his horror, the Shen patriarch noticed that instead of his flames melting the shrapnel, it was his fire that vanished wherever the shrapnel went. The Shen patriarch quickly put up a wall of fire in front of himself, limiting Huang Ying's vision, not allowing him to perfectly control the shrapnel.



    The Shen patriarch started brandishing his halberd in a defensive stance, deflecting the shrapnel headed towards him and re-directing it towards the Mo patriarch, forcing him to put even more effort into his own defense. The Shen patriarch managed to deflect a large portion of the now uncontrolled shrapnel, but there were still several pieces that lodged themselves into his body, sending Huang Ying's Ice Qi into his body.



    The most prominent piece of shrapnel that hit him was a large piece the size of two palms that had lodged itself into his right chest, piercing through his armor like mud and puncturing his lung.



    Just as he was about to breathe a slight sigh of relief, he saw Huang Ying charge through his wall of fire with an insane grin, completely ignoring the burning pain coming from his skin.



    Huang Ying grabbed the arm holding the halberd, and before the Shen patriarch had time to pull away, Huang Ying raised one of his legs, before bringing it down on the Shen patriarch's right knee with all his might.



    The stomp landed with a thunderous sound, nearly twisting off the Shen patriarch's entire leg. As the Shen patriarch let loose an agonized howl, Huang Ying wrested the halberd out of his hands and gave the Shen patriarch's neck a heavy slash, separating his head from his shoulders and silencing his agonized howl.



    Huang Ying quickly put his palm on the Shen patriarch's chest, devouring all the Qi in his body before it dissipated, at the same time he also absorbed the flesh and blood he needed to repair most of his injuries.



    As the body of the Shen patriarch fell over, the crowd looked on in horror. The five leaders of Yellow Winds Town had come in full force to attack and kill a single boy, but after a short period of not even ten breaths, two of the five patriarchs were killed. And the boy even looked like he was still completely fine!



    Lifting his head and looking at the Mo patriarch who was panting lightly and bleeding from the arms after having been forced to defend against the shrapnel of both himself and the Shen patriarch, Huang Ying gave him a faint smile.



    “Now then, I believe you should be next?”
     
  12. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 31: The fall of the patriarchs.



    The disciples of the Shen clan were furious upon seeing the headless corpse of their patriarch, that demon hadn't even left him with a whole body! But while they were furious, the ones disregarding everything and charging at Huang Ying were only a minority.



    They had seen how the disciples from the Zhong clan that charged out were slaughtered, the only thing left of those disciples were their clothes, it was like they had simply vanished.



    Watching their fellow disciples charge out, the ones staying behind wanted to say something, but before they even got that chance, the massive black serpent move once again. The disciples that charged out didn't even get a chance to scream, they simply vanished into the maw of the serpent.



    The serpent coiled itself in front of the disciples, staring coldly at them, it's large yellow eyes devoid of all emotions.



    “Boy, leave the young ones out of this! There is no need to kill children like them!” The Yuan patriarch shouted at Huang Ying. He didn't care much about the disciples of the other clans, but if the disciples of his own clan ended up getting the same fate, that would simply be tragic.



    Huang Ying slightly turned his head before looking at the Yuan patriarch like he was looking at an idiot.



    “Leave the young ones out of this? No need to kill children? Fuck off, most of if not all of those people are older than me, I haven't even turned 15 yet. Did any of that stop you from trying to kill me? Besides, all they have to do is stay back like good little children, if they do, nothing will happen to them.”



    The Yuan patriarch was slightly stunned at Huang Ying's reply, he truly hadn't thought about it as they were fighting, but the one killing them was only a child, not even 15 yet. What a frightening child. The Yuan patriarch was sure that he could not let this child live, otherwise he would most certainly be a disaster for the Yuan clan.



    But as he thought about it a bit more, was there even anything he could do to this child? Two of the patriarchs had already died at his hands, he even seemed to still be at full power, even a bit more energetic. Could he really kill this child? Did he have enough power to do so?



    “Indeed, we didn't think about it. Child, my Yuan clan is willing to forget all our past grievances. I am even willing to forgive you for killing my son, all I ask is that you let us leave here.” Alas, the Yuan patriarch truly wasn't confident in his chances of killing the child in front of him, so he could only reluctantly pull back for now.



    “Heh, now you want to leave? You come in full force to kill me, but think that you can just leave once things look bad for you? Do I really look that easy to bully? You came to kill me, I came to kill you. If I was weaker, you wouldn't even waste time trying to talk to me.”



    little did he expect the mocking voice of the boy to sound out, loudly proclaiming his intent to take his life.



    As the sound of Huang Ying's voice faded, Huang Ying had already started his attack on the Mo patriarch. Crimson halberd in hand, Huang Ying looked like a war god with his white hair swaying in the wind, surrounded by flying pieces of ice.



    Huang Ying attacked the Mo patriarch with everything he had, every attack filled with every ounce of his strength. While activating his Bloodline limit would greatly increase his power, it also drained him heavily, had it not been for the energy he got from his Baku, whether or not he could keep it active for this long was uncertain. Luckily, the world did not lack for suicidal fools.



    “How dare you talk to our patriarch like that!”



    “You should respect your elders! He was even willing to give you a way out, but you were too stupid to see what was good for you!”



    “Follow me junior brothers and sisters, how can we call ourselves people of the Yuan clan if we allow just anyone to insult our patriarch!”



    The disciples of the Yuan clan were completely enraged at the disrespectful way Huang Ying was talking to their patriarch and charged at him in a frenzy. Before the Yuan patriarch had time to say anything, the disciples had already charged into the range of the black serpent. The serpent did not hesitate as it charged into the fray, decimating and massacring the disciples of the Yuan sect.



    Using the surge of energy coming to him from the bodies of the Yuan disciples, Huang Ying slammed the tip of the halberd straight through the Mo patriarch's chest, piercing his heart and reaping his life with a single strike.



    Huang Ying pulled out the halberd from the Mo patriarch's chest, dragging with it parts of his inner organs, letting the Mo patriarch fall to the ground. Placing his palm on the chest of the Mo patriarch, Huang Ying stared coldly at the disciples of the Mo clan, letting them know exactly what would happen if they dared attack.



    “Really now, aren't you being a bit ruthless with your actions little Ying? Mass murder? Maybe you are more suited to be a cultivator than I thought.” Li Jun's voice rang out in Huang Ying's mind with a chuckle.



    “Why should I bother sparing people who want me dead? Anyone who wants me dead, as long as they live, I will never be able to truly have a good rest, nor will I or anyone I care about be safe. So it is simply best to kill them as quickly as I can. If you come with the intent to kill, you must also be prepared to be killed.” Huang Ying spoke in a matter-of-fact tone before ignoring Li Jun's chuckle.



    In the end, none of the Mo clan disciples dared take that step forward, instead choosing to flee at their fastest speed. Huang Ying simply ignored them as he turned to the Yuan patriarch, whose entire face had been drained off all color. He had brought with him almost 60 disciples, all of them were his clan's brightest hopes. Now they were all dead, and he was the one who brought them with him to their depths.



    Looking at the cold eyes of the boy in front of him, the Yuan patriarch already knew that there was no way he was going to be able to escape today. The boy in front of him simply seemed more like a Demonic beast than a human, reaping lives with every step he took, a calamity in the shape of a child.



    “Hehe, it seems like there really is no way to escape death today, and here I thought my life would be a beautiful symphony.” The Yuan patriarch looked at Huang Ying as he spoke with a self deprecating laugh.



    “No matter how beautifull the symphony, one wrong note and the entire symphony will fall apart. Failing to kill me back then was your wrong note.” Huang Ying spoke in calm voice as he looked at the Yuan patriarch.



    A surprised exclamation, followed by the sound of flesh being pierced rang out behind Huang Ying. Slightly turning his head, Huang Ying saw the Tao patriarch leaned over the body of the Zhong matriarch, hand on her interspatial ring. A large spike of ice had grown out from the ground beneath the Zhong patriarch, piercing through her body and into the Tao patriarch's chest.



    Blood gurgled out from the Tao patriarch's mouth as he stiffly twisted his head towards Huang Ying and gave him a disbelieving look, before his eyes lost all light and his body fell over, leaning on the ice spike.



    “Really, such a petty man, even gave up on fighting to steal some loot instead. How did someone like you become a patriarch.” Huang Ying merely shook his head at the sight before turning back to the Yuan patriarch, who was now the last enemy.



    Ever since the fighting began, Huang Ying had circulated portions of his Qi towards his feet, leaving behind small amounts of it wherever he stepped. This would allow him to activate the Ice Qi stored in the ground to work as traps whenever someone walked by them. Since he was going to be fighting 1v5, there was no point in fighting completely fair, traps and schemes were fair game.



    Lifting the crimson halberd in his hand and pointing it straight at the Yuan patriarch, Huang Ying spoke.



    “Now you are the last one left, and you will not be able to win.”



    Huang Ying spoke with an indifferent voice and slowly walked towards the Yuan patriarch, gathering up energy with every step, an imposing air slowly spreading from him as he gathered more and more momentum.



    The Yuan patriarch gathered up all his Qi, making it flourish as an earthen yellow shield of light covering his entire body. Taking on a horse stance, he stared straight at Huang Ying and shouted in a deep voice. “COME THEN!”



    Huang Ying arrived in front of him and transferred all the gathered energy into the head of the halberd, covering it in a layer of deep black ice, a fusion of his Ice and Devouring Qi. Grabbing the handle of the halberd with both arms, Huang Ying swung the halberd with all his might, the edge of the blade slicing through the Yuan patriarch's defense like mud, separating his head from his shoulders.



    Placing his palm on the chest of the Yuan patriarch and circulating his Devouring Qi, Huang Ying finished what he returned to Yellow Winds Town for.



    Glancing at everyone still in the courtyard, Huang Ying opened his mouth and spoke in a cold voice.



    “Now then, i'll be taking everything that you have in your treasuries. This is not a suggestion or me asking you, I am ordering you. Give me everything or die.”



    Hearing his words, the people present were wishing that they could give him their belongings even one second faster, just so that this fiend would leave their town a second faster.
     
  13. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 32: Willow's Heart.



    Contrary to what the people of the clans hoped, Huang Ying didn't leave Yellow Winds Town immediately. Instead, he returned to the room he had rented and locked himself up inside, not leaving the room for almost an entire week.



    Whilst the people of the clans assumed that he had locked himself away to organize all the items he had pillaged from their treasuries, the truth was that Huang Ying had locked himself away in the room to recuperate.



    Activating the Bloodline limit placed a massive strain on both his physical body as well as his Qi. The entire week Huang Ying spent in the room, was spent in bed, devoid of all forms of energy.



    After spending almost an entire week in bed, Huang Ying had finally regained control over his body, allowing him to move normally again.



    Clenching his hands and making sure that there was no sequelae left behind, Huang Ying gave a satisfied smile. While the Bloodline limit placed a large strain on him, the increase it gave in power was definitely worth it.



    “So Li Jun, how do I go about breaking into the 9th heaven? In the information you gave me at the start it simply stated 'wait'?” Huang Ying spoke out a question that had been on his mind for a little while.



    “There is no way to 'go about' breaking into the 9th heaven. Waiting is all you can do. Cultivation is an act that goes against the heavens, so at some point, the heavens will send a heavenly tribulation after you. The first heavenly tribulation for cultivators occurs at some point after they have reached the 8th heaven. At that point, the heavens will recognize that you are attempting to go against their rules, resulting in a heavenly tribulation.”



    “You will have to direct the energy from that tribulation into your Qi crystal, shattering it and allowing it to form into a world seed. You will naturally know when the heavenly tribulation arrives, so for now, all you can do is wait.”



    Ever since Li Jun's schemes had been unveiled by Huang Ying, he had become more cooperative, willingly sharing most of his information and experiences. Whether this was due to the fact that he realized that it would be easier to have Huang Ying help him with the creation of a new body if he was friendlier, or due to the fact that his life was in the hands of Huang Ying, only Li Jun knew.



    After Huang Ying spent some time organizing and sorting all the things he had acquired from the treasuries, he ended up with several interspatial rings filled with goods. Some were filled with herbs, some with weapons, food, water, and other miscellaneous objects.



    Huang Ying decided to pick the cheapest and smallest of the interspatial rings to wear, and stored all the other rings in that one. If the ring he wore looked cheap and common, the odds of getting attacked and robbed because of his wealth would lower drastically.



    While Huang Ying wasn't afraid of getting attacked by normal robbers, once someone stronger came for his wealth, or the amount of times people tried to rob him added up, it would quickly become a bother.



    Leaving the inn not long after breakfast the next morning, Huang Ying started his journey towards the capital. The path from Yellow Winds Town to the capital, could almost be called a straight road, going directly from Yellow Winds to the capital, only having one other small town along the way.



    The capital of Green Willows was called Willow's Heart and was located at the center of the continent and was also the home of Green Willows emperor, Yang Wei. Green Willows called itself a continent, but it was only a little bigger than a normal country. The only reason the emperor could call it a continent was because The Wilderness separated Green Willows from the rest of the continent, giving it a corner of the continent to itself.



    Standing outside the entrance to Willow's Heart, even though Huang Ying had seen it in some of the memories he devoured, he was still shocked at the size of it. The emperor had never been pleased with Green Willows being just a tiny, inconsequential place in the world. To make himself feel more important, the first emperor of Green Willows had made sure that the capital was massive in size. Each consecutive emperor after him improved on parts of the capital, slowly making it larger and larger.



    The current Willow's Heart holds a population of almost one million people, almost five times as many as the second largest city on Green Willows. Most of the buildings in the city were colored in an earthen yellow or other earthy colors, only buildings that got a special permit from the royal family could be a different color. A portion of the buildings in the city were emerald green in color, only buildings that had ties to the royal family could be colored emerald green as it was the color of the royal family and their guardian beast.



    In the middle of the city, a massive palace loomed over the entire city, visible from almost every corner of the city. The palace was deep green in color and surrounded by large towers and even a small forest. This was the imperial palace, the Yang palace. The legends state that the forest surrounding the capital is the home of the companion pet of the first emperor, a forest Qilin that still guards the imperial family.



    Huang Ying paid the toll to enter the city before quickly finding an inn to rest and collect his thoughts. Willow's Heart is the only city in Green Willows that holds a spatial array connected to the world beyond The Wilderness. The spatial array was in the hands of the imperial family, so if one wanted to use the spatial array to leave Green Willows, one needed either a special permit from the imperial family or be a student of the city's largest academy, Willow's Hope.



    Willow's Hope was established by a cultivator who originated from Green Willows, but ended up leaving. He returned once to establish Willow's Hope in an attempt to help the people of Green Willows to reach greater heights. The current principal of Willow's Hope is a descendant of that very man, and his words are almost worth as much as the emperor's.



    The main reason his words are worth so much are a mixture of the amount of people that graduated from Willow's Hope and went on to leave Green Willows and become powerful in their own right. Another reason is because no one knows if the original founder is still alive or not, if it turns out that he is still alive and they end up offending Willow's Hope, it could spell doom for the entire imperial family.



    While being a student at Willow's Hope could allow you to use the spatial array, that was only under the condition that you showed enough promise to be worth activating the spatial array or that the academy was going on a trip to visit the other academies beyond The Wilderness.



    After Huang Ying arrived at the inn, he only stopped for a short while before leaving again. Willow's Hope wouldn't start accepting new students before the end of the month, so Huang Ying still had almost two weeks of time. Rather than simply waste this time in the inn, he decided that since cultivating wouldn't do much at the moment, he might as well spend his time in the public library, gathering as much knowledge as he could before the entrance exams.



    He had already planned a little about what he would study. Knowing the history of Green Willows would be of no use, for cultivation knowledge he had Li Jun and the academy. After factoring in what he already knew after going through the memories he had devoured, he decided to focus his studies on the process of alchemy and forging. Getting more knowledge in these would also allow him to start attempting and experimenting with them once he entered the academy.



    If the academy got in someone who could not only forge, but also do alchemy, and had a high cultivation level for his age, there was no way they wouldn't send him out of Green Willows. With these thoughts in mind, Huang Ying started spending his days either in the library or checking out some of the alchemy shops and forges around town, waiting for the day of the entrance exam.
     
  14. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 33: Willow's Hope (1)



    The sun rose over the capital, dying the sky a burning shade of pink. In the capital, there was none of the usual morning tiredness. The streets were lively and people were scuttling around.



    Most of the traffic in the streets was flowing in one direction, towards Willow's Hope. The gates of the academy were closed and gave off an imposing air, standing just outside the gate were five people standing in a line, one in front of the other, each holding a smooth azure mirror surrounded by baubles.



    The academy itself was painted a bright orange and was almost as large as the imperial palace, taking up almost 50 kilometers with all it's buildings and training areas. The entire premise was surrounded by a tall iron fence, blocking people from entering, but not from looking in.



    the inside of the academy looked like a slice of paradise, there were small patches of forest, lakes and even a mountain, all interweaved by buildings that seemed like immortal palaces.



    Outside the gate, a small bit away from the five people holding the mirrors stood a large group of people. The group of people was divided into two parts, at the front stood a large group of children, the youngest looking no older than 10 and the oldest looking almost 18. A small distance behind these youths stood an even larger group of adults, looking at the kids with either pride or encouragement.



    Huang Ying stood amidst the group of children, occupying a small spot alone, the cold air and energy fluctuations radiating from him making the youths not dare step closer to him.



    Huang Ying had already thought about it earlier, and even talked about it with Li Jun. His purpose in coming to the academy was to use it to get permission to use the spatial array. The only way to get permission to do so, was to either show that he had enough potential to warrant using the spatial array, or do participate in the tournament between academies taking place on the main continent in another three months.



    No matter which one of these he wanted to achieve, it meant that he had to stand out amongst everyone. He couldn't use his Devouring Qi, as that would attract too much attention which would lead to unforeseen consequences, he couldn't show off the Qi he could produce by merging his Ice Qi with his Devouring Qi, so the only thing he could use was his Ice Qi and strong physical body.



    One of the five men, the one standing first in line shouted out an order and the group of youths started making their way towards him. After getting the youths to stand in line, the man in front started slowly going through them. Getting them to place their hand on the mirror. For some, the baubles on the mirror would light up, while for others they would stay dark.



    If the baubles lit up, the youth would stand to the side and wait, if it didn't all the youths could do was leave with a dejected face, greeted only by the stiff smiles of their family. Willow's Hope had no requirements to birthplace or status, all it cared about were age, cultivation, and talent.



    The first mirror checked a person's bone age, if the age of the person's bones was over 18 years, that person would have passed his most valuable cultivation time and would thus be rejected by the academy. The line of children was unusually quiet, even the children who were under 18 looked nervous, only a few of the youths still had calm looks on their faces.



    It didn't take long before it was Huang Ying's turn. The examiner, a normal looking youth who looked no older than 20, raised his eyebrows a little upon noticing the cold air surrounding Huang Ying, but he still gave him an indifferent order. Seeing that there was no problem with Huang Ying's bone age, only being a bit short of 15 years, the examiner gave Huang Ying a deep glance before waving him to the side of the other youths.



    The rest of the youths didn't take long to examine, a large majority of them having to retreat with dejected faces. Some even came back with their parents in tow, trying to bribe, beg, or even threaten the examiner to accept them, but all they met with was a cold snort and a turned back.



    The examiner stored the mirror before leading the youths who had passed so far to the next examiner. From the large group of youths at the start, almost 60% of them had already been rejected at the first test.



    The next test was a test of element and purity, one circulated their elemental Qi in their palm and placed the palm on the mirror. The surface of the mirror would show the elemental mark while the baubles would light up with a light. Depending on the color and luminosity of the light, it was possible to examine the element's purity. If the baubles didn't light up, it meant that the purity of the element wasn't high enough, or that the element itself was un-pure. Such people would also be rejected as their future potential was limited unless they had some lucky chances.



    Since there were now fewer youths being tested, it went slightly faster this time around. After waiting for about 15 minutes, Huang Ying, who stood furthest at the back was up. Another 30% of the group had been rejected, having to leave like the ones before them, but even then, there were still several hundred youths standing at the side, waiting to go to the next test.



    The best result anyone had gotten so far was gotten by a handsome, scholarly looking youth that was holding a green jade fan. He wore a luxurious robe and wore an arrogant expression. His result had been a purity level 3 fire element. Purity was divided into levels, much like the Nine Heavens or Demonic beasts. Most people started at purity level 0, and only after their bodies had become completely accustomed to their element would the purity rise to it's actual level, often around level 1-2.



    the only way to raise ones elemental purity afterwards was using certain treasures or by training in places that contained Natural Energy that was not just of your element, but that was also of a higher purity than yours.



    Huang Ying stepped in front of the mirror and without saying any pointless words, he placed his hand on the mirror as he circulated his Ice Qi. The surface of the mirror slowly started accumulating frost as a snowflake mark appeared on the mirror, indicating that the element used was the ice element.



    Alongside this mark came an almost blinding white light from the baubles, drowning out the light from the sky. After keeping his hand on the mirror for a short while, Huang Ying retracted his hand, small particles of ice still dancing around his fingers.



    “Ho? Ice element with purity of the 6th level?” The examiner of the first test gave a surprised remark before glancing at the man who had the second best result, the boy with fire element of the 3rd level. The boy was rather well known as someone who was arrogant since he had a better starting point than others, he also hated being worse than others. Just like the examiner thought, the boy's current face was gloomy, staring at Huang Ying, trying to remember if he had ever heard of this boy before.



    The examiner took his eyes of the boy, whatever happened inside the academy was none of his concern, he simply gave Huang Ying another glance before bringing those who passed towards the next test.



    The third test checked a person's bodily strength, getting rejected at this test was hard, as the body naturally grew stronger after it got accustomed to the element, but it was still possible if one used large quantities of medical herbs, making their foundation unsteady.



    Huang Ying was the last one to head up again, but even he was rather surprised to see that the one who got the best result before him was a tall and elegant lady with light yellow hair and green eyes. He found it hard to imagine that such a soft looking body could contain such explosive force.



    The third test was slightly different from the two first, instead of using your palm, you had to drop a bit of your blood on the mirror. The mirror would then absorb the blood and examine the amount of power and vitality lurking in the blood.



    Making a small cut in his thumb, Huang Ying dripped a drop of blood onto the mirror. The drop swiftly sank into the mirror and the baubles lit up with a bright yellow light, looking like the eyes of a divine dragon. The brighter and clearer the light of the baubles, the stronger the blood was.



    “Seems like a little monster is going to be joining us, the Academy Selection this year seems like it is going to get rather fun.” Seeing the baubles light up, the examiner couldn't help but mumble to himself as the scholarly looking youth got even gloomier.



    First he had lost to that girl and now to this kid again, when had he ever gotten put down like this? He made up his mind that once he got into the academy he would get his servants to check up where this kid came from. If the kid didn't have any background, antagonizing him a bit was no problem, but if the kid had a strong backer, it was best just to back away.



    The fourth test was a test of cultivation, it simply tested what stage you were at and how steady your foundation was. If one was below the 4th heaven, one would be rejected. In the backwards corners like Azure Springs, being at the 5th heaven was good enough to lord over a small town, but in the capital there were many times the resources of Azure Springs, so breaking through the earlier heavens was also much easier.



    The girl with the yellow hair had reached the 5th heaven and had the second highest cultivation, the highest before Huang Ying walked up was the scholarly looking youth who was at the 7th heaven.



    The youths left in the group looked at the scholarly looking youth with some admiration, he was no older than 17, but already at the 7th heaven. The girl with yellow hair was also 17, but only at the 5th heaven. The others there were all below that, most of them at the 4th heaven. Some of them were even older than the scholarly looking boy.



    The scholarly looking boy enjoyed the looks of admiration from the crow. He was just about to give an elegant smile and take the chance to have a chat with some of the youths when a bright light flared up behind him. Ignoring the unease he felt, he turned around and the smile that was growing on his lips froze.



    Huang Ying stood in front of the mirror, his palm lightly touching it's smooth surface as eight of the baubles surrounding the mirror lit up, indicating that he was already at the 8th heaven.



    The corner of the scholarly looking youth's mouth twitched as he looked at those eight shining points. He himself had only gotten to the 7th heaven at his age because his clan had invested a large amounts of resources in him, yet this brat who was two years younger than him had a cultivation level that was one step higher than his? Who exactly was this brat?



    Seeing the eight points of light, the examiner who brought them through the tests wasn't too shocked, the moment he saw this kid he had a feeling that he wasn't normal. Upon trying to scan his cultivation level with his perception, he was shocked to discover that whenever his perception got within five meters of the youth, it simply froze and dissipated. The youth even seemed to notice him at that time as he cast a glance at him. This was also the main reason he decided to follow the group of youths through the tests, he wanted to see what level this kid had reached.



    The group of youths looked at him, some with shock, some gloomy, and some with interest, but Huang Ying simply ignored them and proceeded to head to the next, and last test.



    The last test was a test of talent, the mirror would send a minor probe of energy through your body and use a mixture of the purity of your Qi, bone age, cultivation level, bodily strength, and even if you had a bloodline to decided what your talent and future potential was. Upon coming to a decision on your talent, the mirror would light up with words, indicating what level your talent was. There were six talent rankings, starting from lowest: Guard, Knight, General, King, Emperor, Immortal.



    At this point in time, there were only around 15 people left in the testing. Over 1000 people had been rejected to reach this point, showing just how high Willow's Hope's standards were.



    The most noteworthy ones among the other youths were the girl with the yellow hair that got a talent rating of Knight, and the scholarly looking boy who got a talent rating of General. Huang Ying initially thought that these ratings were rather poor, but upon seeing how elated the girl and the scholarly boy were at their rating, it seemed like it was him who didn't know enough about the rating system.



    Stepping up to the mirror, all eyes converged on Huang Ying, but he seemed to not even notice as he leisurely placed his hand on the mirror. A warm stream of energy entered his body through the mirror, running through his body. As the energy had gone through most of his body, the words 'King' slowly started appearing on the mirror, prompting surprised exclamations from the small group of youths.



    Huang Ying was just about to remove his hand from the mirror when the warm stream of energy entered his dantian and even made contact with the black and white Qi crystal revolving in his dantian. Half of the warm energy instantly disappeared before the energy even had the time to think about retreating.



    The energy seemed to have sensed it's natural energy as it swiftly retreated, rushing back into the mirror. As it rushed back into the mirror, the word 'king' swiftly disappeared, what replaced it was the world 'immortal'. The surrounding group of youths was stunned into silence, even the scholarly youth had a shocked look. 'king' level talent was one thing, the academy would probably see one every five years, but someone with 'immortal' level talent was rarely seen even every 1000 years, and they would almost always have truly shocking backgrounds. Thinking about this, the scholarly youth was even more determined to find out this kid's background.



    The examiner was also stunned into silence, but he quickly regained himself. Quickly storing the mirror, he brought the group of youths who passed into the academy, someone with this level of talent and strength would definitely need to be reported to one of the head teachers.
     
  15. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 34: Willow's Hope (2)



    Entering the academy seemed to isolate them from the rest of the world. As they entered the gate, all sound from the crowd outside the gate simply vanished, what replaced it was a pleasant silence that calmed the mind. After stepping through the gate, they were on a long pathway that continued winding on deeper into the academy.



    Following this path seemed to take them along the scenic route, winding around several of the lakes and even a mountain, before taking them to a large completely square shaped building surrounded by large jade pillars engraved with the shapes of different animals.



    The first examiner took them past the pillars and through a large iron gate, bringing them into a large room. The room was furnished in a way that made it seem like it was divided into two halves.



    One side was the side where they entered, and there was no furniture except for some potted plants and torches on the walls. On the other side, the room was furnished with several tables and chairs, but the furniture stopped at the halfway point of the room.



    The group of youths entered into the empty part of the room, and opposite of them, in the furnished part, sat several people. The people were of all ages and shapes. There were some women, some men, some young, some old.



    The people sat spread around at all the tables and chairs, but there was one white haired old man who sat with his eyes closed and seemed to be seated directly in the middle of all the people.



    Huang Ying swept his gaze past all the people sitting in front of them. Using his energy vision, he could see the energy fluctuations and even element of almost all the people sitting in front of him. He could see their energy, but he had no way of seeing their actual cultivation level.



    Noticing this, Huang Ying was tempted to scold Li Jun and ask him just how old his information was, the old bastard had told him that a cultivation of the 9th heaven was someone with a big deal on this tiny continent, but seeing these people, that statement seemed like an absolute joke.



    Huang Ying's gaze ended up on the old man sitting with his eyes closed and his eyes faintly narrowed. Not even when he was using his energy vision could he see any energy fluctuations from this old man. This could either mean that the man was a normal mortal, his cultivation level was much too high for Huang Ying to see it, or that he had enough control over his Qi to completely detain it in his body, not letting any of it leak.



    Huang Ying wasn't stupid enough to believe that a normal mortal could sit in the midst of all these cultivators, so it could only be one of the other reasons, but no matter which one it was, it meant that the strength of this old man was currently unfathomable to Huang Ying.



    After the group of youths lined up, the people sitting let their gazes roam around the youths, measuring and evaluating them. After looking at the youths in silence for a few minutes, a middle aged woman with brown hair and wearing a simple purple linen robe spoke up.



    “Ma Wu, would you be willing to join my Morning Sparrow class?” The woman rested her eyes upon the tall girl with the yellow hair.



    “This little one would be honored to join Teacher Han's class.” The girl with the yellow hair, Ma Wu, gave a bow before walking over and standing behind the middle aged woman, Teacher Han.



    In Willow's Hope, while they did indeed have different classes for people at different ages, and with different elements, if one's performance during the entrance tests was good enough, it was possible to be moved to different classes.



    Huang Ying didn't know too much about the different classes or even how things were done at Willow's Hope, all he knew were things he had either overheard others talk about, or things he felt like he needed to know, so he asked others about it.



    The next one to speak up was an elegant middle aged man clad in a refined green robe, he had soft features and long black hair that reached down to his hips. His eyes landed on the scholarly looking boy and his mouth formed a proud smile.



    “Yang Ning, would you be willing to join my Verdant Qilin class?” The elegant man spoke with a melodious voice, calming down anyone who listened to it.



    “This little one would be honored to join Uncle Teacher Yang's class.” The scholarly looking boy, Yang Ning, gave a small bow before walking over and standing behind the elegant man, a slight arrogance visible between his eyebrows.



    Huang Ying was slightly surprised at the names of these two. In the capital, only people who belonged to the imperial family were allowed to use the surname Yang. Even people who came from different parts of Green Willows continent would have to use a different surname upon entering the capital, so these two were clearly part of the imperial clan.



    Thinking of this Huang Ying couldn't help but give a cold snort in his heart, no wonder this youth had looked so arrogant all along, he was relying on his family. The quiet selection process continued, until most of the people seated had each chosen a single student each. The few that hadn't chosen any students simply sat there with bored expressions, seemingly not interested in choosing any.



    The last one standing in the line was Huang Ying, but none of the teachers chose him, instead looking at him with slightly confused expressions. Some of the teachers who hadn't chosen any students yet looked like they wanted to open their mouths a few times, but always stopped before saying anything. The silence persisted for a little while before they simultaneously turned to look at the old man who still had his eyes closed.



    In response to their looks, the old man opened his eyes and his gaze landed on Huang Ying. Huang Ying felt an uncomfortable sensation run through his body, like a pair of eyes were scanning his everything. When the sensation moved through his dantian, Huang Ying's tension rose to a max as he put up his guard, he was uncertain if this old man was capable of sensing the Devouring Qi.



    Luckily, he didn't seem to notice anything as his scan quickly ended. The old man gave Huang Ying another quick one over before opening his mouth.



    “Little child, what is your name? And where are you from, I don't believe I have ever heard about you in the capital before.” The old man spoke slowly, his voice dripping with the vicissitude of time.



    Huang Ying was slightly taken aback, was this the reason no one had spoken to him yet? Because they didn't know his name? Huang Ying quickly threw this idea out of his mind, if that truly was the reason, these people were simply too awkward.



    “My name is Huang Ying, I come From Azure Springs.” Huang Ying gave a small nod as he spoke to the old man, acting neither overbearing nor servile.



    “Azure Springs....Azure Springs.... Ah, that little village hidden away at the edge of Green Willows, now I remember. It seems like you have traveled far my child. Would you be interested in joining my Endless Journey class?” The old man's eyes revealed a touch of surprise as he mentioned Azure Springs, evidently not expecting that someone from that small village could reach such a level at such a tender age.



    The other people around the old man revealed shocked expressions as he asked Huang Ying to join his class, some of them were even thinking to themselves. 'He has a class of his own? But he has never taken in any students! How could he be a teacher?'



    As Huang Ying was thinking about the old man's offer and the shocked expressions of the other people, the old man's voice rang out by his ears, but this time it had a mischievous tone to it.



    “Hehe, little boy if you want to get permission to use the spatial array, that permission has to come from me. If I refuse to give the permission, you will have to find a different way to use the spatial array. So you best accept my offer.”



    As the voice rang out in his ears, Huang Ying was shocked, but he still maintained a calm appearance as he raised his head. Looking at the expressions of the people around the old man, it seemed like they couldn't hear his words.



    Huang Ying locked eyes with the old man, and seeing the triumphant expression in his eyes, like a child who had succeeded at a prank, Huang Ying could only give a wry smile.



    “Fine, I accept.” After he finished speaking, he walked over and stood behind the old man. Ignoring the gazes boring into him as he stood there, he couldn't help but think to himself. 'Seems like this old man has a much higher position than any of the other people here, they even react so strongly to someone speaking to him without groveling.'



    After Huang Ying was selected by the old man, all the teachers took the students they had chosen and went their separate ways, heading to different buildings. Huang Ying followed the old man to a small wooden cabin located next to a small lake filled with fish.



    The interior of the cabin was simple, consisting of simply a small kitchen corner, a bed, a table and two chairs. Sitting down at the table, the old man filled two cups with tea and beckoned over Huang Ying.



    “My name is Xu Yin, I can be considered the headmaster of Willow's Hope. You are probably wondering how I knew what you came here for.” The old man spoke as Huang Ying was sitting down. The old man looked like a calm and refined grandfather as he drank the tea, but his voice was tinged with a sense of amusement and accomplishment.



    “I can't say that i'm not interested.” Huang Ying spoke bluntly as he grabbed the tea cup, since he was already discovered, what was the point in pretending.



    “Hehe, are you ready for this little boy?” Xu Yin stopped after asking, seemingly attempting to raise the expectations.



    “I guessed.” Xu Yin finished his sentence and started laughing upon seeing Huang Ying's expression that seemed to have been completely deflated.



    “I tried to think of various reasons as to why a little kid like you would have not just a strong body, but also a high cultivation and elemental purity. Upon hearing you say that you were from that tiny little village, I truly couldn't think of anything. So I ventured a guess that you were probably picked up by a traveling cultivator who wanted you to leave Green Willows, so he sent you here.” Xu Yin chuckled as he explained. He had truly only guessed, but seeing Huang Ying's reaction when he mentioned the spatial array, he knew that his guess was right.



    “So, I don't assume you accepted me and told me all this just to kindly hand over the permission immediately right? What do you gain from this?” Huang Ying put down the tea cup after silently cursing this old bastard in his heart. 'Guessing? And he was even right? You're supposed to be a headmaster right? Well fucking act like it, shameless old goat.'



    Xu Yin finished chuckling and looked at Huang Ying with some appreciation. “Truly, negotiations move along much faster when you aren't talking with idiots. I'll make it simple, in three months we will have to send a batch of students through the spatial array to participate in the Academy Battle.”



    “As it stands right now, we have no one in your age group who has good enough strength to get any decent results. You join us, participate in the Academy Battle, get a good result, and I will set up a place for you over there after the Academy Battle.”



    “We get to win some honor back at the Academy Battle and you get to leave Green Willows and experience the world. We both win, and lose nothing.”



    Xu Yin finished talking and looked at Huang Ying who was currently digesting the information. Mistaking it, thinking that Huang Ying was still hesitating, Xu Yin spoke up again.



    “I will of course let you keep any rewards that you win at the Academy Battle.”



    Huang Ying finished digesting the information and raised his head to look at Xu Yin. Thinking that participating in a tournament like this would surely let him fight a few good fights, allowing him to test out some of the techniques he found in some memories, Huang Ying gave a ferocious smile.



    “Deal.”
     
  16. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 35: Willow's Hope (3)



    Xu Yin gave a slight chuckle at Huang Ying's approval and started explaining the facilities of the school. He thought about explaining how the Academy Battle would be done, but there was no point as it could just be explained when they were heading towards it.



    After listening to Xu Yin explain the facilities and how the school was set up for almost an entire hour, Huang Ying took his leave and left the small cottage. Outside the small cottage was a small path that weaved through the forest. Following this small path led Huang Ying to another small cottage a few short minutes away from Xu Yin's cottage.



    Entering the cottage revealed that the interior was just as simple as Xu Yin's, consisting of only a bed, a small kitchen area, a table and two chairs. The only difference between the two cottages was that in Huang Ying's, the floor was inscribed with several different interconnecting lines and symbols, forming a gathering array.



    A gathering array was considered a type of training array, it attracted the Natural Energy from a set range towards a focal point, the gathering array, allowing whoever sat in the center of the array to absorb the Natural Energy easier and faster.



    Huang Ying didn't stay in the cottage for long, only giving it a quick look over before leaving. He only had a short three months before the Academy Battle began, so they would leave the academy in at most two and a half months to start the journey.



    There wasn't much he could do to increase his strength massively in that short time period, nothing he could do openly at least, so he elected to make use of the school's facilities to practice his alchemy skills instead. He would leave the academy right after the Academy Battle, so he saw no use in trying to get to know any of the other students, and odds were that it would be hard to meet them even in the academy.



    The academy focused mostly on self study. Every week there would be a seminar where one of the teachers talked about the basics of cultivation. Other than that, there were also seminars every day where various teachers talked about their own experiences. To attend these seminars one would have to be the right age group and element. Some seminars were only for children that were around 12 years old and had certain elements, other people would either not understand anything of the seminar if they were too young, or already know everything if they were too old, so the seminars were specialized for people at certain age groups.



    Other than that the school had a large library that had books pertaining to most of the different aspects of cultivation, as well as some different ways to circulate your Qi to get a better, more efficient effect. The school had a small arena where students could spar and exchange pointers, a cafeteria that provided the food free of charge, and some facilities to allow the students to experiment with various occupations.



    Most students would listen to the seminars they felt were useful, then go and silently cultivate in their rooms, trying to increase their Qi and understanding of their own element. Once they encountered bottlenecks or things they didn't understand, they would either head to the arena to grow through combat, or talk to the teacher that had accepted them when they entered the school.



    Huang Ying went straight to the alchemy workshop and signed in, signifying that the workshop was occupied and that no one was to enter. The inside of the workshop was very simple, containing only a room to wash yourself, a large cauldron placed above a pit, a bench to place items on, and a formation to control the cauldron fire.



    Huang Ying sat down at the center of the formation, right in front of the cauldron, and inserted his Qi. If one had Qi of the fire element, a formation like this was useless, but to others, this formation allowed them to temporarily turn their Qi into fire element Qi, allowing them to practice alchemy.



    The practice of alchemy consisted of four main steps, these four main steps were: extracting the essence, purifying the essence, merging the essence, and solidifying the pill.



    Huang Ying decided to take it slow, throwing a small herb into the cauldron. Inserting his Qi into the formation, a small fire was lit up in the cauldron, slowly burning the herb. After burning the herb for a little while, most of the herb had turned to ash, what was left behind was only a light green liquid that was the size of a thumbnail.



    Huang Ying released a small breath as he looked at the small amount of liquid. Controlling the formation to control the heat and intensity of the flame was much harder than he expected, draining his mental energy and slowly tiring him out. Looking at the liquid and comparing it with what he had seen in the memories also revealed that he had been careless in his control, turning almost half the essence into ash along with the herb.



    Huang Ying put more Qi into the formation, increasing the intensity of the flame. The second step to alchemy was purifying the essence, letting the flame slowly roast it until all the impurities were removed.



    After roasting the essence for almost ten minutes, it had halved in size again, removing all the impurities. But Huang Ying was still not too pleased, he noticed that he had once again roasted away a portion of the pure essence, making it smaller than it was supposed to be.



    If a trained alchemist could read his thoughts, they would surely curse at him. Most alchemists spent a few months just to get used to the first step, extracting the essence, and even then they would often fail, yet he did this for the first time and was already able to complete the second step? Does he even want to let them live?



    After purifying the essence and taking it out of the cauldron, placing it into a small flask. Huang Ying continued practicing the first two steps with some of the smaller herbs he had taken from the patriarchs of Yellow Winds Town, slowly improving his control over the flame.



    Once he had extracted and purified the essence of different herbs over the span of a few days, his control had increased immensely, he still wasn't able to get all the essence out and not waste any, but he was getting closer.



    The only thing he had done in the past few days was extract the essence, purify it, then get some sleep. Upon waking up he would eat a little food before immediately delving back into the extracting process.



    After looking over all the vials of essence he had, he decided that today he would start practicing the next steps, merging the essence, and solidifying the pill. Placing the contents from a few of the vials into the cauldron, Huang Ying slowly put his Qi into the formation, allowing the flame to gently rise.



    Merging the essence was mainly about using the strength of his Qi to push the different essences towards and into each other, forcing them to merge. Slowly pushing the essences towards each other was even more mentally draining than it was to extract the essence, as the merging required him to focus his mind on all the different essences at once, preventing anything from happening.



    After slowly guiding the essences for almost half an hour, most of them had merged into a strange bluish paste that floated in the cauldron. Next to the paste were several smaller globs of differently colored liquid, this was the essence that Huang Ying was unable to merge into the paste, making it a waste. He wasn't too pleased with having so much waste, but he was okay with it as he managed to merge most of it.



    The essences that he didn't manage to merge slowly turned to ash under the grilling of the flame as Huang Ying moved on to the last step, solidifying the pill. To solidify the pill, one used a mixture of the heat from the flame, as well as the strength of one's Qi. You used the Qi to force the paste into a round shape, and the heat of the flame to solidify the exterior.



    The solidifying process was a slow and arduous task that required complete concentration, if you used too much heat, the entire pill would solidify, wasting the essence. If you used too much Qi to push it together, the entire thing would go out of balance and explode.



    Huang Ying wasn't too worried about this pill exploding as it didn't even have a grade, it was simply a tiny Qi Regeneration pill. But once the ingredients one used got better, it would also require stronger Qi and a stronger flame. There were also books about alchemy in the capital's library mentioning that once a pill or an ingredient reached a high enough level, they would gain a consciousness. Some would even be able to take on a human shape, forcing the alchemist to search even harder, or even fight with the ingredient before extracting the essence, or fighting the pill once it was done.



    Huang Ying poured all his concentration into the solidifying process, but since his mind was still slightly tired from the merging process, his concentration slipped for a small second. The slip resulted in the balance between his Qi and the flame breaking, scattering the entire pill and making the scattered paste shoot out of the cauldron, dirtying the walls and Huang Ying.



    Huang Ying exhaled and gave a sigh, seemed like he would have to take a small rest before trying again. He got up from the formation and headed into the washroom to clean himself quickly. Standing in front of the mirror, Huang Ying studied his face as he cleaned it. Looking at his pitch black hair and eyes always reminded Huang Ying of his old life in Azure Springs town and how much he had changed since then. Whenever he started thinking about Azure Springs, a headache would creep up on him and make his temples throb, so he quickly moved his eyes away.



    As he moved his eyes away, a purple glint caught his eyes. Looking at the glint, Huang Ying saw the plum blossom shaped hairpin fastened to his hair and was reminded of Jing He. Thinking about her, he couldn't help but sigh, he wasn't sure what he felt for Jing He.



    When she was next to him it felt like he could put away his cold and indifferent exterior, like he returned to those peaceful days at Azure Springs and become a proper person again. When she was taken away, he was filled with rage, he felt like her being taken away was like the heavens telling him that he had no right to be a normal person.



    At that time he cursed his own weakness, cursed that he was so weak that not only the heavens, but even other people could decide how his life would be, he felt powerless. That feeling of powerlessness was what turned into his greatest motivation. As long as he was stronger, no one, not even the heavens would be able to deny him anything, if he wanted to, he could be a normal person.



    Removing his eyes from the hairpin after re-affirming his determination, Huang Ying left the washroom and continued his arduous alchemy training, spending the days before the Academy Battle locked in the workshop.
     
  17. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 36: Leaving Green Willows.



    Before anyone had noticed, the two and a half months were up and the time to head to the Academy Battle had dawned. Xu Yin personally headed to the alchemy workshop, he had already gotten the news that Huang Ying had stayed in the workshop ever since he arrived at the academy, so finding him was not hard.



    “Oy, you little brat, are you intending to stay in here til the Academy Battle is over? Get your ass in gear, we will be leaving in three short hours.” Xu Yin spoke loudly as he simply walked into the workshop without knocking.



    “Fucking hell geezer, would it kill you to knock first?” Since Xu Yin simply walked in without knocking, he ended up giving Huang Ying a slight shock, ruining the purifying process he was working on.



    “Tch, cheeky little brat, this is my academy, I don't need to do what you say.” Xu Yin clicked his tongue at Huang Ying and threw him a vial of pills.



    “This is?” Huang Ying played with the vial of pills, but without actually smelling or making the pills himself, it would be hard to know exactly what type of pills they were.



    “Just some simple Qi recovery pellets, the academy provides them so that the students who participate in the Academy Battle won't suddenly run out between fights.” Xu Yin cast a glance around the room as he spoke. “Quickly go wash yourself, i'll get someone else to clean here.”



    “Yeah Yeah, don't worry, it's not like I can skip out on this Academy Battle.” Huang Ying threw his hands up in the air in exasperation as he went to the washroom to quickly clean himself and change into a new robe.



    After putting on a fresh robe, Huang Ying and the others that would participate in the Academy Battle gathered up at the entrance of the academy. Including Huang Ying, there were 16 youths there. Xu Yin explained to Huang Ying that each academy would bring 16 participants. Four that were 15 years old, four that were 16, four that were 17, and four that were 18.



    the tournament would be fought using a standard format. They would start with four brackets, one for each age group. The academies would decide on the order in which the age groups would fight, but usually it ended up with being the oldest first and the youngest last.



    After that, each group will be divided into two, and the academies pull their two opponents at random. This way, each academy will have two groups of two students facing two groups of two students from two of the opposing academies. The losers of any fight would be eliminated, while the winners would go on to the next fight.



    After all the winners and losers were decided, the remaining participants would be put into one large group and start getting assigned opponents at random. Losers were disqualified, winners get to stay in the competition.



    Once all the participants from one academy were eliminated, that academy would be assigned it's ranking and get a prize based on it's ranking. Even once all the other academies were eliminated, as long as there were still two contestants left standing, the tournament would go on, even if the contestants are from the same academy.



    The reason it was like this was because while the winning academy would get the prize for being the first ranked academy, only the last remaining contestant would be given the champion's prize. The champion's prize was different every year, and had to be put forth by the academy that won the year before.



    As Huang Ying and Xu Yin were walking towards the entrance, Huang Ying had already asked about the rankings and the participating academies. There were four participating academies, Willow's Hope, Empyrean Phoenix, Yellow Springs, and Winter's Grasp.



    Of the four academies, Empyrean Phoenix usually took the first spot, Yellow Springs and Winter's Grasp often switched the second and third place between each other while Willow's Hope took last place most of the time.



    Seeing Xu Yin's embarrassed smile, Huang Ying knew he had been conned by this old man. Being promised that he got to keep any rewards he won, but only the champion got a prize? Thinking about this Huang Ying could only curse that this old man.



    By the entrance stood 15 other youths, but Huang Ying only knew two of them, Ma Wu and Yang Ning. Huang Ying was slightly perplexed about why they would bring three people who had just entered the academy with them, but he quickly stopped bothering with it. Using his energy vision on the people present, the students ranged from the 6th heaven to the 9th heaven, just a step away from Xiantian. Even Ma Wu had managed to break through to the 6th heaven.



    Along with the students were also two teachers, one of them was Teacher Yang, the other one was a sturdy man who had an honest face and with a bare chest that bulged with muscles. Xu Yin, who had brought along Huang Ying would also be following them to the tournament.



    “Is everything ready little Shao?” Xu Yin spoke as he turned his voice towards the burly man.



    “Everything is ready headmaster, we can leave at any time.” The burly man called Shao beat his chest as he spoke, acting very respectfully.



    “Good, then let's leave immediately, i'd rather we get there before that scumbag Deng get's there.” Xu Yin spoke with a grunt and moved towards the imperial palace.



    After arriving at the imperial palace, Xu Yin waved around a jade slip and they passed by every check without problem, arriving before the spatial array. The spatial array was a very simple array that utilized a natural spatial node, a spatial tunnel that connected two points, to travel between the capital of Green Willow's and the capital of Cloud's Reach, the continent that was located past The Wilderness.



    The spatial array itself was in the shape of a crystal in the shape of a pyramid, covered in strange symbols drawn in blood. The imperial family called it a spatial array, but the only thing it actually did was prevent access to the spatial node. As long as one didn't get permission from the imperial family, they could seal this crystal, not allowing anyone to use the spatial node.



    After stepping into the crystal, the only thing that showed them that there was a spatial node in front of them was a slight distortion in the surrounding space.



    “Alright brats, in you go.” Xu Yin simply started pushing the students into the spatial node.



    As Huang Ying entered the spatial node, space around him started to distort, flooding his vision with a multitude of colors, and sending a nauseating dizziness rampaging through his head. After enduring this dizziness for a short while, the distortion around him came to a halt and the colors drained from his vision.



    Opening his eyes, Huang Ying was standing in a crystal pyramid similar to the one in Willow's Heart, but through the crystal he could see that he was standing in a massive plaza. The other students from Willow's Hope were standing around him, gawking at the scenery.



    “Alright you brats, follow me, for the next few days you will all be cultivating without stop.” Xu Yin left the pyramid with large strides, forcing the students to follow him to an inn not far from the plaza. After a bit of explaining, they found out that this plaza was also where the tournament itself would take place.



    Reaching the inn, Xu Yin quickly ordered a few rooms and divided the students based on gender. After that he ordered the students to start cultivating and to replace sleep with even more cultivating, since anything else would be a waste of time.



    The students wanted to complain, but seeing the serious face of Xu Yin they could only suck up their complaints and silently curse as they started cultivating.
     
  18. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 37: Start of the tournament.



    Huang Ying couldn't be bothered to spend his entire day cultivating, so he only spent a portion of the day cultivating while spending the rest of the day going around the capital, which he found out was named Cloud's End. Being the capital of an entire continent, Cloud's End was a massive city that contained everything one could wish for, as long as one had the money to pay for it at least.



    On the first few trips around the capital, Huang Ying spent his entire day in the library, absorbing as much about the continent's locations and history as he could. After spending a few days in the library, Huang Ying left the library late at night. The library was the best place to learn about the continent's history, but if he wanted to learn about the places in the capital, he had a much easier way to learn about them.



    Leaving the library late at night, Huang Ying masked all his energy fluctuations with the Devouring Qi and started wandering around in the streets and back alleys, acting like a new visitor would.



    He didn't have to wander for too long before he noticed someone following him. Huang Ying didn't even glance at the pursuer as he headed into an isolated back alley, but a faint smile crept up onto his lips, it had been unexpectedly easy to lure one in.



    the pursuer nonchalantly headed into the same back alley, but before he even got to say anything, a hand had already landed on his throat, and the last thing he saw was a faint smile in the darkness.



    Huang Ying nonchalantly left the back alley, but there was a small frown on his face. He had gotten some useful information, but not enough of it, nor was it very specific.



    Huang Ying spent the next few days repeating this pattern, cultivating in the morning, reading in the library during the afternoon and evening, and then walking the streets like a tourist during the night and attracting thieves and robbers.



    After doing this all the way until the day of the tournament had arrived, Huang Ying had built up a lot of knowledge about the capital's underworld. There were still some places where he wished that he had more knowledge, but unless he started acting against people who had higher ranks in the underworld, getting this knowledge would be hard, so he put it on hold for the moment.



    The day of the tournament rolled around and the students of Green Willow's had already gathered at the plaza. The plaza had been reconstructed, a large arena occupying a part of it now.



    The arena was shaped like a coliseum, a large square in the middle, surrounded by a number of benches and seats. The Academy Battle could be considered a rather large occasion for people of the capital. None of the four academies that took part were part of the five largest academies on the continent, but the Empyrean Phoenix Academy was located in the capital, so many people who had ties to it came to watch.



    “I don't see Huang Ying? Didn't you tell him to show up today headmaster?” Teacher Yang spoke to the headmaster as he had a slightly uneasy face.



    In front of them stood three groups of youth with arrogant faces. These were the contestants of the other academies, and Teacher Yang had to admit that they were indeed of a higher caliber than most of their own students, the advantage given to them for being born in a better place.



    “Don't worry, that little brat is on his way. The tournament won't start for another half hour, so he can't be considered late.” Xu Yin had a calm face as he simply waved his hand.



    The moment they left Willow's Heart, he had placed a tiny mark on Huang Ying's body, allowing him to know exactly where Huang Ying was at all times. He knew where Huang Ying was, but he was to wary to send out his perception to look at what he was doing. This was the capital of a much larger continent than Green Willows, if he accidentally offended anyone here, it could easily be the end of his life.



    Just as he had said, after waiting for ten minutes, Huang Ying came walking, moving straight past the three other groups of contestants before standing behind Xu Yin.



    “Little brat, you really like to make people nervous.” Xu Yin looked him up and down with a glance, seeing that the Qi in his body had gotten even denser than it was when they left, he gave a satisfied nod. The brat had been walking around a lot, but at least he didn't waste time.



    “It's fine, i'm not late after all, not like the tournament would start earlier if I showed up earlier.” Huang Ying had a calm face as he spoke, but his eyes constantly examined the other contestants.



    Seeing their cultivation level's he gave a small smile, he found no one that had reached the Xiantian, just a few that were close to it. As long as there wasn't any Xiantian cultivators, he was certain that he had the advantage and could even take the champion's spot. Of course, this was only if he showed off most of his power, but since he had no reason to do so, Huang Ying couldn't be bothered with trying to take the first place.



    While he was examining the opposing contestants, they were also examining him. A few of the contestants had grave faces as they looked at him, he should only be 15 years old so his cultivation couldn't be too high, but the cold aura around him prevented them from seeing his cultivation level.



    “Hoho, this should be your last contestant and your trump card, right old Xu? It truly is rare to find someone so young who is also at the 8th heaven, seems like you pulled out everything this time around.” A slightly aged man who was standing behind the group of students dressed in crimson robes with the mark of a phoenix spoke with a smile.



    The aged man had short brown hair, sharp eyebrows, and a dignified face and atmosphere. Clad in a crimson phoenix robe he looked like a mortal emperor. Looking at the man, how he talked to Xu Yin, and his clothing, it didn't take too much guessing from Huang Ying to know that he was the headmaster of Empyrean Phoenix Academy, Deng Rong.



    “Cut the crap, let's just start the tournament.” A mature woman clad in a tight-fitting ice blue robe interjected with a cold voice.



    The woman had skin as white as snow, a youthful and smooth face, and hair that went all the way down to her ankles. She had a buxom chest and a curve at her hips that would draw most men's attention, but she had a cold face that slightly diminished her charm. She stood behind a group of students clad in blue robes marked with a snowflake. She was the headmaster of Winter's Grasp Academy, Liao Yawen.



    “If that's what Miss Liao wants, then my Yellow Springs Academy are more than happy to comply.” The last one to speak was an old man with a peaceful atmosphere, white hair, and a bent back.



    Clad in a light yellow robe with the mark of a long flowing river and standing in behind a group of students in the same robes, this man was obviously the headmaster of Yellow Springs Academy, Tan Long.



    The four headmasters looked at each other for a short glance before collectively heading towards and up onto the arena along with their teachers and students. The seats and benches around the arena were already full of people, only allowing one to see a sea of heads staring at the arena.



    The headmasters agreed on using the old rules, starting with having the older students fighting first, before ending it with having the youngest students fighting. The students were divided into groups of two and the academies proceeded to draw their opponents.



    The first bracket ended up being Willow's Hope's two groups against a group from Yellow Springs and a group from Winter's Grasp, Which meant that Empyrean Phoenix's two groups were against the last group from Yellow Springs and Winter's Grasp. The students who were younger and wouldn't be fighting followed their leaders and went to their preassigned seating.



    Huang Ying sat next to Xu Yin, but he was only using half of his attention to look at the ongoing fights. Ever since he had arrived at the arena, he had felt like someone was watching him, but no matter how much he looked, he found nothing, so all he could do was raise his guard and keep an eye on the area around him.



    Seeing that Huang Ying wasn't really paying attention to the fights made Xu Yin slightly irritated, he was after all the one who got Huang Ying to participate in hopes of getting a good result.



    “You should watch the fights closely, if you do well you might have to fight against these people in the later stages of the fights.” Xu Yin gave Huang Ying an annoyed glance as he spoke.



    “I'll probably just surrender if I do, no need to fight them, not like i'm going to gain anything, I might go a few rounds with them just for fun though.” Huang Ying simply replied to him with an indifferent glance.



    “Not even the champion's prize is appealing to you?” Xu Yin refused to believe that not even the prospect of that prize couldn't get this boy interested in fighting with his all.



    “First off: you sure do have a lot of faith in me, hoping that i'll take first place. Secondly: you haven't even told me what the champion's prize is, so why should it appeal to me.” Huang Ying gave Xu Yin a glance as he spoke, he truly had never mentioned what the prize actually was. Huang Ying only came to this tournament to leave Green Willows and maybe have a good fight.



    “Hehe....did I never mention it? The prize this year is the right to spectate the next Dragon Meeting, the meeting where all the great clans send their youths to decide their ranking for the next 10 years, that will be a true great tournament.” Xu Yin had an embarrased smile, but spoke passionately, he truly couldn't imagine what a tournament like that would be like.



    “Why would I be interested in just going to watch something like that?” Hearing the prize Huang Ying truly couldn't understand why a prize like that would appeal to anyone.



    It was just watching, if the prize was to get the right to participate, he might have considered it, but if it's just watching there was no point. This was what Huang Ying thought, but Xu Yin's next words truly gave him a start.



    “Why would you be interested? All the stars from the large clans will participate, it will be the best chance to see how large the world truly is. It is also a great chance to build some connections if you are lucky, I have gotten the news that this Dragon Meeting will take place in the Jing clan of the western frontier, last time the meeting was held there was already 100 years ago!” Xu Yin gave a wistful sigh as he talked about seeing how large the world truly was, if he had left Green Willows when he was young, perhaps he could have gotten better results than the ones he had now.



    “Jing clan? The Jing for crystal?” Contrary to what Xu Yin thought, Huang Ying responded with a question.



    “Yes, how did you know?” Xu Yin was truly surprised that Huang Ying knew what the Jing clan's name stood for.



    “Tch, you win this one old geezer. I'll get you that stupid first place.” Huang Ying clicked his tongue before sighing. If it truly was the Jing clan he was thinking of, then there was no way he couldn't not go to that meeting,



    “Oh? I'll be waiting for it then you boasting little brat.” Xu Yin had his suspicions about why Huang Ying changed his mind, but he decided that he would probably not get an answer even if he asked, so he simply decided to drop it.



    The first bracket quickly ended, with only one of Willows Hope's participants getting a win and moving on. The next bracket, the bracket with the 17 year old's, had a better result, three of the participants moving on. These participants included Ma Wu and Yang Ning.



    The tournament would end at this point for the day, the next two brackets fighting the day after. After that there would be a day of rest, allowing the participants to rest for a day before the last part of the tournament began.
     
  19. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 38: Don't Waste My Time.



    The next day quickly arrived, and the arena was just as full as it was the day before. The people who had lost their fights the day before could no longer sit in the participants seating area, so they were forced to show up even earlier just to get a seat on the normal benches.



    The first bracket was the bracket for the 16 year olds. Huang Ying was paying close attention to all the fights at this point, even keeping his energy vision active at all times. The champion's prize was truly something that Huang Ying desired.



    There was no guarantee that it was the right Jing clan, but it would at least give Huang Ying a lead, something to search for. If it ended up being the right Jing clan, Huang Ying wasn't stupid enough to think that he could do anything with his minimal strength, but it would give him a goal. He could use the Dragon Meeting to measure the strength of the large clans, allowing him to know how strong he himself needed to be.



    The fights quickly ended, except for people belonging to the older age groups, no one but Huang Ying had reached the 8th heaven among the younger participants, so every fight was mostly a fistfight with no flair.



    This bracket was the most disastrous one for Willows Hope so far, with not a single one of their participants moving on, meaning that Willows Hope only had four contestants that would move on so far.



    What was even worse was that one of the contestants had been injured badly, the opponents Fire Qi invading his body, scorching and deforming his meridians. His future prospects were affected heavily by this. The people from Willows Hope had grim faces, but no one spoke up against the one who had struck so hard.





    “Attacking like that is not against the rules?”



    Seeing that even the usually aggressive Xu Yin was silent, Huang Ying was slightly surprised and spoke out.



    “What can we do, the cultivation world follows the law of the jungle, the strong are always in the right, so we try to emulate that during tournaments. The only thing not allowed is intentional murder. Although most contestants usually pull their punches a little, not going as far as crippling their opponents. This is obviously Empyrean Phoenix Academy slapping our face, but we can't say anything against it otherwise we would seem petty.”



    Xu Yin spoke slowly as he lowered his head and heaved a heavy sigh. This wasn't the first tournament where someone from the other academies had attacked so heavy-handedly, but there was nothing he could do, their Willows Hope Academy was simply too weak.



    The last bracket rolled around and Huang Ying drew their opponents, Yellow Springs and Empyrean Phoenix. Huang Ying could be considered to have some luck, he was put in the group that was against Yellow Springs Academy.



    The two who were fighting against the Empyrean Phoenix group decided against forfeiting right away, electing to at least try their best to fight well, but they were still defeated within ten exchanges and had to leave with red faces.



    Huang Ying's group was the last group to fight. After this fight, all the participants for the last part of the tournament would have been decided. They would then get a day to rest and raise their conditions to their best possible state before the last part of the tournament.



    The last part of the tournament would be done in one day, the 32 participants drawing their opponents at random, the loser leaving while the winner moved on. This would go on until there was only one person left, the champion.



    Huang Ying was the last to fight. The person from Willows Hope that went up before him slightly surprised Huang Ying. He was only at the early stages of the 6th heaven, but he had obviously only reached that level after quickly consuming a large amount of pills, so his foundation was very weak and shallow.



    But while his foundation was weak and shallow, he had excellent Qi control and instincts. When he fought he wasted no Qi and managed to dodge most attacks by a hairs width, eking out a victory after a drawn out fight.



    After he left the stage and returned to the participants seating area, Huang Ying entered the stage. As he entered the stage, he felt a multitude of eyes land on him. He was clad in an azure robe, had long, pitch black hair and black eyes that shone like a star field. His aura was slightly cold, but it also contained an elegant, almost regal feel to it. He looked like a handsome mortal scholar, drawing the eyes of some of the younger spectators.



    He threw a quick glance around, the sea of spectators were all looking at him, but these weren't the gazes that he took note of. He noticed that nearly all the contestants who had moved on were looking at him, measuring him with their eyes.



    Other than these gazes he also felt a gaze that locked onto him from behind, from the Willows Hope area. He knew that it was not likely that it was Xu Yin looking at him, because this gaze contained a slightly chilling intent, sending a shiver up Huang Ying's spine.



    His opponent from Yellow Springs entered the arena, but he was clearly nervous, cold sweat dripping from his forehead. His steps were slightly unsteady as he moved closer to Huang Ying, taking up a fighting stance around 25 meters away from Huang Ying. At this short distance, the Yellow Springs disciple was certain that he could reach Huang Ying in less than three seconds.



    “You should just forfeit, this is pointless.”



    Contrary to what the Yellow Springs disciple expected, Huang Ying was the first to speak, his indifferent voice reverberating through the area.



    “Oh, but I would like to exchange some moves with you and see if I can't learn something new.”



    The Yellow Springs disciple spoke out as he narrowed his eyes, Huang Ying's words were no doubt a great humiliation towards him, but thinking it over, he was obviously right. If he hadn't been ordered by his teacher, he would have already surrendered. He silently cursed his bad luck in his heart, but at the same time, he hardened his resolve.



    Huang Ying gave the Yellow Springs disciple an odd look, like he was looking at a fool. But giving the other contestants that were watching a quick glance, a small smile appeared on his lips as he understood.



    “I see, I see. So that's your role. Poor guy, forced to be a guinea pig to test my strength. Seems like you think rather highly of me.”



    The last part of his sentence was spoken towards the seating area where the people from Yellow Springs were sitting.



    Hearing his words, the teachers had grim faces. Forcing one of their own disciples to be a guinea pig to test an opponents strength was not an honorable matter, and now he had gone and announced it out loud for everyone to hear.



    The Yellow Springs disciple also had an ugly face, seeing Huang Ying turn his eyes towards the Yellow Springs seating area, he decided to take the chance, kicking off the ground with his food, dashing towards Huang Ying at his max speed.



    This Yellow Springs disciple had a Wind Qi, granting him excellent speed and agility, it would indeed take him less than three seconds to reach Huang Ying. As he approached Huang Ying, he frenziedly circulated his Wind Qi towards his left hand and formed his palm into a spear hand, hoping to use it and the sharpness of the Wind Qi to slice open Huang Ying's chest.



    He dashed toward Huang Ying, and just as he was right in front of him, he stabbed out with his left arm, aiming right for Huang Ying's heart. He knew that he was a guinea pig, he was fine with being used like that, but having his opponent mock him for it was not something he would accept.



    Sadly, before his hand even made contact with Huang Ying's chest, he felt an icy sensation around his wrist, and his hand immediately stopped moving, in fact, he could no longer feel his left hand. He didn't even need to look to know that the icy sensation was Huang Ying's hand, tightly holding onto his wrist.



    Cold sweat appeared on his back, he had Wind Qi and was rather proud of his speed, at least among people of his age there were very few that could match him. Yet he hadn't even see Huang Ying move his arm, it was like his hand had always been on his wrist.



    “Oh well, let's just end this stupid charade.” Huang Ying's cold voice resounded and the next thing the Yellow Springs disciple felt was Huang Ying's knee hitting his stomach, lifting his legs off of the ground and into the air.



    As the Yellow Springs disciple was raised off the ground, Huang Ying was still holding onto his wrist. Exerting some strength through his body, Huang Ying moved his body and threw the disciple directly off the arena and into the Yellow Springs seating area.



    “Don't waste my time next time, i'm here to get the champion's spot, not play with your weaklings.”



    As he spoke, Huang Ying left the arena, he hadn't even looked properly at his opponent since he entered the arena. With those words, the first part of the tournament also came to an end, Willows Hope having six contestants participating in the final part of the tournament.
     
  20. Shiranui_Shukumei

    Shiranui_Shukumei Member

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    Chapter 39: The Waning Moon



    Tan Long and the other contestants had ugly expressions as Huang Ying left the stage. The simple humiliation that his disregard brough them was already bad enough, but the disciple he had thrown at them was also badly injured. That one kick broke most of his ribs and even displaced some of his organs, he would require months of recuperation just to go back to normal.



    Huang Ying leisurely walked down from the arena and headed towards the exit. Since the last fight was over, there was obviously no point in staying there any longer, there were other things that required his attention now.



    «I'll be heading out into town old man Xu, i'll be here again in the morning the day after tomorrow for the last part of the tournament.»



    Huang Ying waved his hand without turning back, his body disappearing out the arena gates. After leaving the arena, Huang Ying went to the library again, occupying a small corner before he started reading.



    He continued his incessant reading until night had fallen and the streets were almost empty. Looking out the window and seeing the darkness outside, Huang Ying put down the book he was reading and left the library.



    «Should be about time now, it doesn't seem like he is interested in following me all day.»



    Huang Ying silently mused to himself as he fondled his chin. The reason he had left the arena so quickly and headed to the library instead of returning to the inn was because he as he kicked the disciple from Yellow Springs, he had found the origins of that chilling stare that had locked onto him ever since they entered Cloud's End.



    He was rather surprised when he located the person who had locked onto him, but at the same time his vigilance also reached new heights. The person who had locked onto him was Yang Xinyi, Teacher Yang.



    Huang Ying was uncertain why Yang Xinyi would look at him with such a chilling intent, but it didn't require much thought from Huang Ying to know that Yang Xinyi didn't have any good plans for him. Once Huang Ying thought of this, there was only one possible outcome. There was no way Huang Ying would let someone who wanted to most likely kill him live, especially since that person was currently stronger than him.



    Since Huang Ying couldn't personally kill him, he could only get someone else to do it, and Huang Ying knew just where to go. Leaving the library and following the winding road, Huang Ying came before a shoddy looking tavern called The Waning Moon.



    Huang Ying fished a mask out of his interspatial ring and put it on. The mask was a simple mask made out of a smooth black material that only had two slits for the eyes and nothing more. This mask was something Huang Ying had obtained after robbing the clans in Yellow Winds Town. The mask seemed fragile and normal, but Huang Ying had discovered that his perception was unable to penetrate the material that the mask was made of, making it perfect for hiding one's face.



    Huang Ying entered the tavern and walked directly to the counter. Behind the counter stood a man who looked more like a ball than he did a man, being nearly as wide as he was tall. The man was polishing some glasses and had a hearty smile on his face as he overlooked the tavern.



    «What can I get for you then sir?»



    The round man spoke with a large smile as he looked at Huang Ying, completely ignoring the mask he was wearing, in his line of business, the fewer questions he asked, the better.



    «Give me that which hides behind the clouds»



    Huang Ying slightly changed his voice, making it sound hoarse and rasp as he spoke a line he had dug up from the memories of one of the people he had killed after entering the capital.



    «I'm afraid that drink can only be found in the storehouse, so if you would follow me, i'll take you directly there.»



    The round man still spoke with a hearty smile and lead Huang Ying into a room located behind the counter. The room looked completely normal, containing just a bookshelf, three chairs placed around a small round table, and a few torches hanging from the walls. The round man walked up to one of the torches and put his hand directly into the fire, but instead of his flesh being scorched, the flames started flickering before turning illusory. The man fiddled with something in the torch before a small door opened in the floor across the room.



    «Right down there, just follow pathway until you reach the room, someone will meet you.»



    The round man spoke as he left for the counter again, no longer looking at Huang Ying. Huang Ying entered the small door and followed a flight of narrow stairs downwards into the darkness. At the bottom of the stairs was a dark hallway lit up by a few torches placed at even intervals. At the end of the hallway Huang Ying could see a bronze door.



    Following the hallway and entering the bronze door, Huang Ying entered a small room. The small room was lit up by a floating ball of light and was furnished with only a small round table and two chairs. At the other end of the room was another bronze door.



    There was already someone sitting at the table, but they were clad in a large black robe that covered their features. Huang Ying calmly walked toward the table and sat down across the cloaked figure.



    «Who is the target?»



    The cloaked figure spoke in an ethereal voice that seemed to change with every word, making it almost impossible to figure out anything about the cloaked figure based on the voice.



    «Yang Xinyi, teacher from Willows Hope who came to preside over the Academy Battle. I want him crippled and delivered to me, the time frame is from now til same time tomorrow.»



    Huang Ying's hoarse voice rang out in the room. The Waning Moon tavern was only a cover for this organization, The Waning Moon assassins. The Waning Moon had locations all over the continent and was the leading assassination organization. Even Green Willows had some branches, even Misty Moon House was a subsidiary organization to them. They would assassinate anyone, for a certain price of course.



    «That man is at the late stages of the Xiantian Builder so it won't be too hard, but since the time frame is so short, and it is not a normal assassination, the price will be doubled.»



    The ethereal voice rang out emotionlessly, putting a price on Yang Xinyi's life as if it was a commodity.



    «That is fine. I will come pick him up in around three days.»



    Huang Ying gave a small nod before rubbing his interspatial ring, taking out another interspatial ring and sliding it across the table. The cloaked figure picked up the ring and gave it's content a quick look over before nodding.



    «The deal has been finalized, he will be completely crippled and stored in the tavern.»



    The ethereal voice rang out as the cloaked figure stood up and headed for the bronze door located at the back of the room. Huang Ying also stood up and left through the same way he came.



    «Hehe, so now you have even ended up interacting with The Waning Moon, one truly cannot tell how some people change with time.»



    As Huang Ying was leaving, Li Jun's voice rang out in his mind. He had been looking at the ways Huang Ying had changed ever since the incident in Azure Springs, and the more he saw, the happier he became. He found that Huang Ying started to resemble how he was when he was younger more and more. Perhaps one day, he would even have to give over his Dark King title to him.



    «Since Yang Xinyi wants my life, i obviously can't keep him alive. If i let him leave Cloud's End, there is no telling when he will suddenly appear before me to do something, i'm not willing to let a risk like that run free. But it would be a waste if he were to just be killed, so i might as well get some benefits from him.»



    Huang Ying spoke indifferently, he had only been in Willow's Hope for around three months, so even if the entire academy was destroyed he wouldn't bat an eye, much less if it was just one teacher.



    Before he left the tavern, he reserved one of the rooms in the tavern, specifying that no one was to enter it until he showed up again. The round man was obviously not a fool, so he found the room that was located the furthest away from others and locked it off, giving Huang Ying his insurance that no one would disturb it.



    Finishing what he had to do, Huang Ying left the tavern and returned to the library. Since the contract was finalized, all he had to do now was focus on winning the tournament and get the invitation to the Dragon Meeting, Yang Xinyi had already been completely removed from his mind.

    (Li Jun litereally means Dark King, so Li Jun is his title, not his name)
     

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