Chapter 14 – Shenyuan

I would like to dedicate this chapter to Oni_Ghost, my first patron on Patreon.

Please enjoy the chapter!

The rest of the lesson went by at a snail’s pace as Teacher Li Yuan spent an extended amount of time to explain all the superior Qi Cultivation Methods that The Royal Academy provided. This information was mandatory for every teacher to teach new student as all the commoners had learned one of the standard Qi Cultivation Method within the Martial Art School.

The Royal Academy was obviously much more prestigious than the Martial Art Schools and they were capable of providing more detailed cultivation methods, however the commoners had never been taught about the differences in the methods before, as that was considered unnecessary information since the Martial Art Schools did not have multiple methods to choose between.

Hui Yue spent the time in deep thought, constantly contemplating the risks of selling a high ranked martial art skill. He tried to come up with other ways to earn money, but no matter what he came up with, none of the solutions would provide a significant income.

Hui Yue sighed deeply, unable to completely ignore the uncomfortable feeling he had whenever he thought of Deng Wu suddenly mastering a high ranked martial art skill and he decided to stop worrying about it for now. Instead he allowed his gaze to sweep across the other students.

Most of the commoners were paying attention to every word that Teacher Li Yuan said, while the nobles were busy doing other things. Some of them were chatting together with low voices while others were clearly mocking the commoners. A few were fiercely glaring at Hui Yue as they noticed his gaze, and once again Hui Yue looked at Wang Ju Long.

Wang Ju Long was another reason he had to be careful. Deng Wu was terrifying because of his knowledge; however, Hui Yue had heard that he was not an outstanding genius. The likelihood of him being able to activate the skills were incredibly limited.

Wang Ju Long on the other hand had a high quality of qi and at the same time he already processed enough skill for Hui Yue to be unable to beat him. If he had another high ranked skill, then it would be certain that Hui Yue could not win with the skills he had available for now.

Teacher Li Yuan finally finished his speech about Qi Cultivation Methods before he went on to the Academy rules about duelling.

Hui Yue had already heard all the rules from Rong Ming and Ma Kong before he engaged in the duel against Wang Ju Long, so he decided not to pay attention to the speech and instead found the low student ranked, non-combat martial art skill Fire Spark which he focused on completely.

Lan Feng was about to complain about the choice of Martial Art Skill once again, but he noticed a slight change within Hui Yue’s soul, a sense of expectation, as if he had noticed something hidden within this Skill roll, and the blue phoenix decided to stay quiet and wait instead.

Wang Ju Long narrowed his eyes as he noticed that the white-haired boy had started studying, and since he had sworn to defeat Hui Yue soon, he closed his eyes and started to meditate, slowly sucking in the essence from within the room and refining it into qi.

Everyone in the room noticed the movement of the essence and looked at the cultivating Wang Ju Long. The sight shocked most commoners as they had never expected anyone to be so bold as to clearly ignore their teacher who was still speaking and instead started to meditate.

However, when looking at Wang Ju Long, everyone would also look at Hui Yue as somehow to compare the two geniuses to each other, and when looking at this child, the students felt even more shocked upon noticing that he was not focusing on the teacher either. He was instead sitting still, reading what appeared to be a martial art skill.

The commoners felt amazed from deep within while looking at these two boys. They were all clearly the same age, however those two individuals felt as if they were in a completely different world from them. Their indifferent attitude and stoic expressions clearly allowed the rest to know what it meant to be a true genius.

Teacher Li Yuan could do nothing else than sighing gently while looking at those two children. Competition was a great thing, especially since it could push them to improve much quicker than if they had no one to compete against, however Teacher Li Yuan could not help but feel slightly helpless as both boys clearly ignored him, not paying attention to his lecture.

Instead he cleared his throat and continued his explanation of the rules of duelling, about the arenas that were open for everyone and about the student emblem that would record wins and losses.

When Teacher Li Yuan reached the part where he explained about the rewards of defeating an opponent, the chance of getting the higher ranked courtyards, and even the possibility of mountain top courtyards the students could no longer contain their excitement. Greed and expectation started to shine within their eyes, and the students were speaking with their sideman, discussing the possibilities about getting a mountain top courtyard.

Unfortunately, the excitement was quickly dimmed when Teacher Li Yuan continued the speech and published the two students who currently lived within those courtyards, Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long.

Although the mountain top courtyards were incredibly tempting, they were not so tempting as to give the students the illusion that they could defeat either of the two.

“However,” Teacher Li Yuan said, “there is another way to gain the rights to reside within a mountain top courtyard.” The comment caused the students to hold their breath, hoping to hear something that sounded much more possible.

“At the end of every semester will the Riluo City’s branch of the Royal Academy hold a tournament. The academy encourages all students to participate as anyone who participates are rewarded with an extra medicinal pill.”

Hui Yue slowly lifted his eyes from the scroll in his hands and looked at the teacher with curiosity. He had heard about the tournament before, but he had only heard that the mountain top courtyards were the prizes.

A pleased expression appeared on teacher Li Yuan’s face as he noticed how Hui Yue suddenly paid attention to him, and he quickly continued, “The higher the student is ranked the better the reward they will get. The rewards vary from the right to live within a mountain top courtyard, high grade medicinal pills or even permission to enter the high ranked martial art skill room within the skill hall!”

These additional prices were definitely of value for both Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long. Although they already lived within the mountain top Courtyards they could always use extra strong martial art skills. Hui Yue knew that he could rely on Lan Feng to provide martial art skills, however Hui Yue was also perfectly aware that Lan Feng did not have all the martial art skills created, so adding more to their collection could never hurt.

When looking at the rewards it was obviously the medicinal pills that were the most entrancing to Hui Yue. Especially the ones who were considered high grade. Currently Hui Yue was not aware how much money the martial art skills would sell for, nor was he aware how much medicinal pills would cost him, so he could not help but consider the possibility that even while selling the skills, he would still lack money to buy medicinal pills.

Teacher Li Yuan ended the lesson after the information about the Royal Academy Tournament, and just as the lesson ended the loud sound of a bell ringing could be heard all throughout the mountains, showing that the canteens were starting to serve lunch.

Some of the students instantly rushed out from the Qi Theory Lesson’s Hall and towards the canteens, while others gathered in groups and conversed about the subject that had been touched throughout their first lesson.

Teacher Li Yuan did not stayed within the classroom for a short while, seeing if any students had questions for him, but as none of them paid him any attention, he swiftly strode out the door.

Hui Yue stayed at his seat in the back of the room, observing one group of students leave after another. There were no more lessons this day, but Hui Yue still had some things he wished to get planned out.

He slowly rose from his seat and although he was one of the last students to leave the room, Wang Ju Long and his followers were still seated within. Wang Ju Long was in meditation, most likely refining the essence he had absorbed earlier, and the other noble children waited patiently for him to finish.

Hui Yue could not help but smile as he walked past them. Every single one of the children were glaring at him fiercely while reaching out their arms to protect Wang Ju Long as if they expected Hui Yue to suddenly attack him while the other was not paying attention.

As Hui Yue left the hall he did not walk towards the residential area where the canteens were placed, instead he moved further into the mountains that contained the different school buildings, causing a slight panic in his soul caused by Lan Feng.

‘No food?’ he asked, and sounded as if the world was ending causing Hui Yue to chuckle slightly.

‘Don’t worry,’ Hui Yue assured the blue feathered boy. “We will eat soon, but there is something we need to check up on first.’

Lan Feng felt puzzled. Although he and Hui Yue shared a soul, all they could feel was the other’s emotions. Whatever it was Hui Yue intended was completely hidden from the other. It was therefore with great curiosity that Lan Feng observed as Hui Yue moved towards the Library.

Hui Yue had to walk through three mountains to reach the library, and as he looked at the building he could not help but feel astonished. All the other academy buildings were built on top of the mountain sides, however this library was built from the mountain itself. Towers had been carved out from the mountain side while the inside had been turned into a giant hall connected with tunnels leading towards smaller rooms used for studying.

To enter the library, Hui Yue had to walk through two big stone gates and he felt goose bumps appear on his skin as he got closer to the building, the temperature was dropping as the mountain top covered the sun.

A small breeze of warm air exited the building and swept across Hui Yue, making him smile slightly as he hurried inside.

Although the library had taken the space of a whole mountain it was much less crowded than anywhere else, only a few elders were noticed here and there, spread out across the multiple bookshelves.

Hui Yue paused his steps while looking around, slightly uncertain as to where he could find the object he was searching for.

“Hello junior.” An aged voice sounded from the side, and Hui Yue quickly faced the elder who was walking towards him. The elder had a gentle smile upon his face, and gave of a feeling of serenity. The elder was wearing a grey robe that slithered across the ground without making a sound, causing Hui Yue to feel slight alert, however he quickly noticed that the elder was an ordinary librarian.

“Can I assist you with anything?” the elder said with his melodious voice that held the secrets of a long life, and in general gave Hui Yue a pleasant feeling about this man, however Hui Yue had also seen a flash of interest within the elder’s eyes, and he stayed alert as he politely greeted the elder.

“I am in need of a map of the continent, I was wondering if elder could help me find it?” Hui Yue asked with a slight smile on his face as he felt a sudden bubbling of excitement rising from within his soul.

The elder assumed that the smile was meant to be a politeness, however what Hui Yue felt was Lan Feng’s feelings that were overflowing.

Lan Feng was not completely dumb. The blue phoenix did lack social skills and morals, however his intellect was far above what Hui Yue had ever seen before, and the word ‘map’ instantly explained what it was that Hui Yue was intending.

Hui Yue followed the elder with great respect, and while nothing was noticeable on the outside, Hui Yue was smiling widely on the inside as he could feel the excitement and happiness bubbling in his soul, spreading towards every part of his body, this was one thing that meant a lot to Lan Feng.

The library was much bigger than first assumed. Although it was not located in different levels, the mountain hall was spread out across hundreds of metres where the only thing visible was bookshelves upon bookshelves.

The elder led Hui Yue all the way towards one of the walls. The mountain walls were filled with doors that lead to small rooms that had been carved further into the mountain itself. The room that the elder had brought Hui Yue to had not been opened in countless of years as a thick layer of dust was evident upon the door handle, and the elder needed to use his entire strength to pry it open.

A heavy bang sounded as the mechanisms finally started working, followed by a loud creaking noise that rung through the entire library. As soon as the door opened a stale air escaped the room and assaulted Hui Yue’s nostrils, making him wrinkle his nose slightly.

The elder clapped his hands and a dimmed light lit up within four crystals that were placed upon the walls, shining through the room. The room was considerably small, in the middle was a round table that took up the majority of the space. It was made from stone, carved out from the mountain itself, giving the entire room a rustic and slightly chilled feeling as no heat had entered in all the time the room had been sealed.

The walls were covered with stone shelves, and scroll upon scroll was placed upon. Hui Yue gently picked up one scroll and moved towards the round table in the middle. He observed the elder from the corner of his eye, wondering why he still stayed to observe him, however even if the elder noticed Hui Yue pay attention to maps, it was not possible for him to know why he needed these maps.

As soon as Hui Yue opened the first school the smell of soil appeared and the map started decomposing in his hands. Hui Yue could not help but wonder why the maps had been stored in a room like this, however it did nothing to help him find an answer, and instead he picked up a few more scrolls.

At first he took the smaller scrolls, however he quickly found out that those contained maps of cities throughout the Three Allied Countries and he then moved on to the larger maps. The search took a lot longer than what Hui Yue had expected as he needed to be incredibly careful with the old maps to keep them from disintegrating, but finally the map he needed had been found.

A big smile spread across his face as he moved the large map towards the stone table to observe the full view and gain more understanding of the new country he had lived within for ten years.

The elder had been watching him the entire time, and he narrowed his eyes when he noticed that Hui Yue had indeed looked for a map of the continent. Most students who looked for maps would come with an excuse like this, however they were truly searching for maps leading to treasures within Magical Beast territories.

A whistle escaped Hui Yue’s lips as his gaze swept across the map in front of him. Lan Feng had previously told him that the four divine beasts had created the continent and then split it evenly between them, and now he understood just how correct that sentence had been.

The continent itself was in an almost rectangular shape. A few places had gotten dents where the sea had swallowed up some of the land, or even created peninsulas throughout the many years the continent had existed, however it was obvious that the land had originally been split into four equal sizes as the middle of the continent had been split into four even countries by a cross shaped mountain range.

Hui Yue knew that they were currently in the Taiyang Kingdom, and located it quickly at the bottom left side of the map. Above Taiyang Kingdom was the elusive Shenyuan landscape located. The Siban Empire was the neighbour to Shenyuan, and beneath the Siban Empire and next to the Taiyang Kingdom was the Yueliang Province.

When looking at the map, the three allied countries were all drawn in astonishing detail. Mountains, cities, rivers and forests were mapped accurately, however in sharp contrast to the three detailed countries was Shenyuan. The map had only managed to map out the edges of the country, and even the seaside was not completely finished with the map and instead had straight lines. It was obvious that no one had any idea as to what was locked within that area of the continent.

‘This is odd,’ Lan Feng commented after observing the map for quite a while, ‘Taiyang Kingdom is placed upon the Azure Dragon’s Kingdom, but who would have thought that my home has turned into a cursed land.’

Hearing this made Hui Yue curious. It was four thousand years since Lan Feng had been sealed and banished from this world. It was obvious that a great fight had occurred but everything was shrouded in mystery, and now the mysteries were tied with Lan Feng in one way or another.

Hui Yue and Lan Feng both observed the map for a little longer while their desire to leave Riluo City and travel to Shenyuan struggled within, however, after a few more minutes Hui Yue finally managed to supress his desires and packed down the map before he moved towards the elder with a smile.

“Thank you for assisting me,” Hui Yue said politely and bowed slightly towards the elder before he turned around and moved towards the library entrance. Truthfully Hui Yue was curious about the many books within the library, and he was quite certain that some answers to his questions could be found within, however right now was not the time to focus on reading about the world history.

Firstly, it was obvious that Hui Yue needed to cultivate to at least the Master rank before it was possible for him to leave Riluo City. Secondly, Hui Yue was not comfortable having the elder observing his every move, and he decided to return another day.

The elder watched Hui Yue leave the library from within the warmth of the mountain hall. A curious expression had appeared within his eyes. As a librarian this elder spend every day reading books from within this library and could easily be considered the most intelligent person within Riluo City, however even he had been unable to understand the martial art skills he had seen Hui Yue use during the fight against Shen Ping.

The elder had watched the recording a few times, but he quickly gave up on seeing through the skill. Instead he started looking through all the noble families from within the Three Allied Countries, however so far he had only found one minor family with the surname of Hui. It was a noble family from within the Yueliang Province, and it was obvious that this Hue Yue was not from there. A sigh escaped the elder’s lips as he saw the white-haired boy disappear in the distance.

Hui Yue left the library mountain and as walked through the academy buildings he ran into Rong Ming and Rong Xing who exited the Martial Art Skill Hall, and their faces lit up in gentle smiles upon seeing Hui Yue who instantly moved towards them.

Hui Yue had promised Lan Feng that he would go get some food, and as the Rong twins had not eaten yet, the three of them moved together to a canteen where they could talk about their first day back at the academy.

Rong Ming laughed loudly upon hearing what happened with Shen Ping while Rong Xing just shook her head. The Rong twins started discussing which Martial Art Skill they were going to buy, and Hui Yue observed them with fondness in his heart, but at the same time a slight feeling of guilt.

Hui Yue were going to sell a high ranked Martial Art Skill within the Riluo City, and it was likely to cause trouble for the Rong family. They might spend an incredible amount of money on buying a useless skill, or they might end up worrying about their opponents who has gained a high ranked skill.

Although Hui Yue feels guilty towards the Rong twins, he is very well aware that he has no other option than to act this way. It is true that the Rong family has been treading Hui Yue favourably the last many years, however Hui Yue was still unsure about Lord Rong Liang’s reasons for behaving this kindly.

Even if the Rong family were positive towards Hui Yue, it was obvious that they would suddenly become alert if he was capable of pulling out strong martial art skills as they were aware that Hui Yue came from a poor village with no cultivators, and this left Hui Yue with the only option of selling the Martial Art Skills on the Black Market Auction while hoping that no one could activate them.

“What are your plans for the first day off from the Academy?” Rong Ming suddenly asked Hui Yue, and turned towards the white-haired boy who had been completely absorbed within his thoughts,

“Uh,” Hui Yue returned to the present and looked at Rong Ming before continuing, “I need to go to Riluo City to look for something,” he said slowly, hoping to avoid the subject as to what he needed to look for.

“We will be visiting father,” Rong Xing explained, “We can give you a lift.” Hui Yue nodded gratefully as it was definitely quicker than having to walk.

“What do you need to do?” Rong Xing continued curiously. She knew that Hui Yue was of poor origin and she could only come up with one reason as to why he would go to Riluo City the day after Pill Distribution Day.

Hui Yue smiled upon seeing the look of apprehension on Rong Xing’s face and quickly waved his hand, “Don’t worry,” he assured her, “I am going to do some investment that will allow me to gain more than one medicinal pill.”

Although Rong Xing had her doubts she was still a noble lady and she felt no reason to discuss anything that Hui Yue had already decided upon. It was his own medicinal pill after all.

The conversation quickly returned to a cheerful and uncaring manner before Hui Yue finally rose from his seat and moved towards his courtyard under the excuse of needing to cultivate. What he truly needed was to plan out the sale of the Martial Art Skill, so that he once again could feel enough inner peace to cultivate.

Lan Feng could sense the worry from within Hui Yue about their current idea, so he decided to explain which martial art skills he had planned on using.

‘I do have quite a few Master and Grand Master ranked Martial Art Skills. They might be the lowest ranked skills I have, however I do not think we should sell those,’ Lan Feng started, ‘They are low ranked compared to my other skills, but they do not have high requirement and all of them are really well made. If we sell those we will definitely be inviting trouble.’

Hui Yue frowned upon hearing this and nodded, ‘what do you have in mind?’ he asked instead as Lan Feng was the one who knew which skills he had at their disposal.

‘I suggest that when we go to Riluo City we spend the coins we get from the medicinal pill to buy a memory stone. If we have enough coins to buy two stones, then we buy two stones as I have two skills I am considering.’

Hui Yue nodded, currently neither he nor the blue phoenix knew exactly how much money they would be able to get from their medicinal pill, so it was best to assume that they could only purchase one memory stone as of now.

‘The skills I suggest are both middle King ranked. One is a Martial Art Skill while the other is a Spiritual Art Skill.’ Hui Yue was quiet upon hearing the high ranking, and Lan Feng could understand this worry. If by any chance there was someone who could actually activate this skill, then they would be in quite some trouble.

‘Although it is a high ranked skill, it is the one I have which is the hardest to use. These skills were created by an expert that wished to check his most powerful Qi attack and Spiritual attack after opening his higher dantian. They are both tailored to him as a person so it is the one who has quite some insane requirements from the cultivator,’ Lan Feng explained.

‘The Martial Art Skill is called Qi Burst and its purpose is to release the cultivator’s full qi force with one kick. To be able to activate this skill, a cultivator needs to have a purer qi than the expert who created the skill, and he also need to have the same amount of Qi as the cultivator has, if not more. Currently we only know of Lord Rong Liang and Bu Huang who might be able to use it. But even if they can, then it is a Qi attack, and they are quite useless compared to the attacks they can use after unlocking the higher dantian.’

Hui Yue nodded. This Martial Art Skill was actually not as dangerous as he had expected as it could only be used by real experts, and real experts rarely had to rely on Qi.

‘The Spiritual Art Skill is the exact same,’ Lan Feng continued, ‘it is tailor-made to the expert and it has even higher requirements. The cultivator needs to have the same elemental affinity as the expert which is affinity for water, and then they will release the entire spiritual power in the form of a tsunami.’

Suddenly a thought struck Hui Yue, ‘wait, if they cannot use the skills why would they buy them?’ he asked dumbfounded but Lan Feng snorted a reply,

‘They do not know if they can use it before they get the skill in their hands. A requirement such as purer qi than the creator is too vague to know just upon seeing the skill within the memory stone. Most families will definitely gamble on it, and if they have no cultivators who can use it now, there is no one who can say if they get any in the future.’

Hui Yue nodded slightly, it did seem possible. A slight calm appeared within his soul as it seemed as if Lan Feng had actually thought it through. The calm was a sign that Hui Yue once again could focus on his training and he instantly activated Qi Guard which he trained until his qi vortex was completely empty before he sat down and meditated, absorbing and refining essence at an incredible pace.

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Chapter 13 – Erased

This is the guaranteed chapter that should have been released Saturday

Chapter 13 – Erased

Hui Yue looked at the unconscious Shan Ping, and something within his head silently accepted that the older boy might have died as a result of the decisive attack from before.

What shocked Hui Yue the most was not the fact that he might have killed a person for the first time in his double life, nor was it his lack of emotions. Instead he was surprised how effective the attack had been while being executed against Shan Ping compared to how useless they were against Wang Ju Long.

For the first time in ten years did Hui Yue really understand exactly Lan Feng had meant when he said that the foundation was incredibly important, and he felt gratitude towards the feathered boy inside of him for teaching him a cultivation method that allowed such a strong foundation.

‘Well about time that you start to appreciate me,’ Lan Feng said with a dry voice from within, ‘but don’t kill off that fat boy just yet. He is alive, although he is pretty banged up.’

‘Is that so?’ Hui Yue asked, but he did not really care too much about the answer. Hui Yue had no intention of becoming a mass-murderer, however he had long since understood that it was impossible to get through this life without killing other people, and as a result he had made a few rules for himself.

Anyone who went at him, he would fight with no mercy. Hui Yue would only fight those who went for him, or in some way interfered with his goals. He had no intention of destroying families or innocent people exerting revenge just because they shared the same family line. Should any family members return for revenge, then Hui Yue would ensure that they died just as the ones before them.

Hui Yue’s snapped back to the present and looked around with a lazy expression on his face. A low murmur was spreading throughout the hall and the students were staring at Hui Yue with terrified eyes, as if he was a demon that had descended from the heavens.

Those who previously doubted the rumour of Hui Yue beating Wang Ju Long in a duel were now certain that it was true, and before they had looked at Hui Yue as being astonishing for matching up to Wang Ju Long, while now they considered it to be the other way around. Wang Ju Long had to be outstanding to survive a fight against Hui Yue who could knock out Shan Ping in one hit.

All the students who were standing at the same side as Hui Yue quickly moved to the other side as if they feared for their safety. Hui Yue sighed while looking at them, but he made no move to change their opinion about him. Although the gossip and the glares were annoying, they were still much better than having students hanging around him constantly, possibly disturbing his training.

Throughout the entire exchange Wang Ju Long had stood behind with his arms crossed on his chest, looking at both Hui Yue and Shan Ping with disdain. Wang Ju Long was aware of his strength. He usually practiced against the disciple ranked guard trainees at his family home, and he had felt fairly insulted as a nine-star student ranked boy assumed that he could beat someone Wang Ju Long had tied against.

Although Wang Ju Long hated Hui Yue, he hated him for the fact that they had tied previously. As a genius from the Wang family he did not care what the commoners gossiped about, nor did he care about their feelings as all of them were trash that he could get rid of with a wave of his hand. Only weak cultivators such as his older brother would care about the public opinion, and his gaze had never once left Hui Yue.

Shan Ping had insulted him which was why Wang Ju Long did nothing to warn him, instead he sacrificed him to once again observe the high ranked martial art skill that Hui Yue had practiced, and now that Shan Ping was unconscious on the floor, he stepped past him and moved towards a calm area within the hall, an area fairly close to Hui Yue as all the commoners had fled. Here he waited for the teacher to arrive, not noticing the chatter that was going on from within the hall.

They did not have to wait for long before a teacher appeared at the door. At first he had a great smile upon his face, but it quickly vanished as his eyes rested on the body that was sprawled upon the floor.

This teacher knew Shan Ping well. He had been teaching the first year students for the last ten years, and Shan Ping had redone his classes twice. He knew that Shan Ping was two years above the rest of the students, and currently, his cultivation was ranked the highest. Only two students should be capable of beating him and they were Wang Ju Long and Hui Yue.

The teacher furrowed his brows as he looked at the two students in question. Neither looked as if they had been in a fight, and both had a bored expression on their face while observing the teacher.

The teacher sighed deeply before he picked up his Teachers Emblem and lifted it into the air. Every student emblem from within the room lit up with the same silvery light that Hui Yue had seen before, and he could not help but raise an eyebrow in surprise of the new development.

As soon as the student emblems had gathered enough light, a beam shot from the emblems towards the Teacher’s Emblem where they disappeared within, and the student emblems returned to their usual appearance.

The teacher lifted the Teacher’s Emblem towards his forehead and closed his eyes before the silvery light once again appeared on the emblem, seemingly shooting rays of light into the head of the teacher.

A few minutes passed in silence while all students were observing the teacher with great interest. It was obvious that currently he was watching a recording of what had transpired, and as he opened his eyes slowly, traces of the silvery light was still evident within.

The teacher sighed heavily and looked at the unconscious Shan Ping before he send a small thread of qi into the Teacher’s Emblem and informed the Royal Academy Infirmary about a patient.

Hui Yue had been observing the whole scene with great interest. He knew that it was possible that the teacher would blame him for his actions, but he himself was quite certain that he had broken no rules, and he was completely calm when his eyes met with the teacher’s.

Annoyance was clear within the teacher’s eyes, but below the annoyance was a certain degree of fear. Hui Yue was a student that he had never heard about before. He had arrived out of nowhere together with the Rong twins and his talent had allowed him to get a top Courtyard even though he was only at the fifth-star student rank. If anything he had just made the cut, but something had to be hidden within.

The recording had shown that his qi was without a doubt the purest that this teacher had ever seen before, and the movement martial art skill was unlike anything he had ever heard about.

“You,” he said while pointing a finger at Hui Yue, “student Hui Yue, do you realise your mistake?” he asked with great anger. Shan Ping would only have caused problems for Hui Yue in case he had done something to disregard Wang Ju Long.

“I have done nothing wrong, teacher,” Hui Yue said seriously while looking at the teacher with big and innocent eyes as if he was a naïve child who was being wrongly accused.

“You look at Shan Ping,” the teacher insisted, “he did not fall to the ground on his own.”

“That is true,” Hui Yue mused, “but you saw the recording, all I did was defending myself.”

“It was far too fierce to be considered defending oneself,” the teacher insisted. Although Shan Ping obviously was the one at fault, it had been one for the sake of Wang Ju Long, and Wang Ju Long was the genius from the Wang family. Anyone who insulted him would have great troubles in the future as elder Wang would never let them rest while being at the Academy. That included the teachers.

“Teacher, you must have seen that all I used was a low ranked martial art skill. I am only a five start student ranked cultivator while classmate Shan Ping is a nine star student ranked cultivator. How was I to know that he could not take one hit of my weakest martial attack skill? When I duelled against Wang Ju Long previously I was unable to even leave a mark on his skin.” Hui Yue insisted with his big eyes and naïve face, completely contradicting the words he was saying.

The teacher sucked in a deep breath. At first he was certain that he had heard wrongly, but unfortunately the reality was clearly pointing towards what Hui Yue said was the truth. The Royal Academy had only been open for a few days however Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long had already clashed against each other. It seemed that this year would not allow the teacher any rest.

However, even if he wished to blame this incident on Hui Yue, everything the white-haired boy had said was correct. It was indeed the lower practitioner ranked martial art skill Raging Strike that Hui Yue had been using, and it should not have been possible to deal that amount of damage to the opponent who was four stars above him in strength.

A sigh escaped his lips before he looked at the door and a woman entered. She was dressed in a white robe and in her hand was a small bag. She hurried towards Shan Ping on the ground and kneeled down next to him while quickly observing him. She paid absolutely no attention to anyone else within the room, not even the teacher.

After a quick examination she opened her bag and a variety of scents quickly spread within the hall. A small pill got picked out and she quickly crushed it within her hand before the dust got spread all over Shan Ping’s unconscious body. As the dust landed on the body, it slowly started levitating, and when he was levitating a metre above the ground, the woman swiftly pushed him out the hall.

‘That was your first time seeing a medicinal pill,’ Lan Feng told the gaping Hui Yue, and Hui Yue quickly regained his senses, smoothing his facial expression back to one of indifference.

‘Does it heal him?’ Hui Yue asked curiously as he still gazed towards the doorway where the woman had pushed Shan Ping away.

‘No, that pill was obviously created for the sake of allowing someone to levitate. I think it will allow the user to fly for a brief amount of time if they were to eat it, but since he is unconscious this was the only way to apply it.’ Lan Feng explained, and Hui Yue nodded his head before he returned his gaze to the teacher who had been looking at the woman and Shan Ping as well.

“In accordance to the rules, Hui Yue is allowed to defend himself. Shan Ping will not be punished further as his injuries enough to keep him at the infirmary the next month.”

With this the teacher turned around and entered a room before gesturing the students to enter. The room was shaped as an amphitheatre with seats located in a circle around a scene in the middle where the teacher was sitting with a small table.

The teacher used the time to report the fight to all the other teachers at the Riluo City Royal Academy through the Teacher’s Emblem.

Usually a recording such as this was not something they would share with each other, however the teacher was worried after seeing the pure quality of qi that Hui Yue possessed together with the high ranked martial art movement skill.

He wished to use this recording to see if any of the other teachers were able to explain anything about this unknown person who had appeared out of nowhere, and although all the teachers were incredibly interested, none of them were able to find any information.

When they tried to pry into Hui Yue’s personal papers all they found was a decree written by Lord Rong Liang saying that his past was erased and that he currently belonged to the Rong family.

Having an erased past meant that it was illegal to investigating, and those who did so would be sent to court where they would be judged by the laws of the kingdom. An erased past was a privilege that the royal family had given every City Lord in a way to recruit experts who wished for a new start. As long as the expert was not wanted by the government, then anyone could become an expert with an erased past, that was if one could convince the City Lord that one was worth it.

“Today will focus on the guidelines that we follow here at Riluo City’s Royal Academy,” the teacher said at first, quickly causing every student to calm down and quietly listen to his words, “my name is Li Yuan, and I will be the one who will be in charge of your class.”

Teacher Li Yuan could already feel how his heart grew heavy thinking that this year he had to look after both Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long. Usually any teacher would feel thrilled after being informed that they had two geniuses in their class, however it was something else when those two geniuses had sharpened their blades and just waited for an opportunity to remove the other.

A sigh escaped teacher Li Yuan’s lips and he looked at the two young boys before continuing, “The school year is split into two semesters. Each semester you will study one subject. The lesson tomorrow will focus on the different subjects you can chose between, however some subjects are only open for those who has the talent to attend them.”

Hui Yue felt some curiosity towards these different subjects. He liked the idea of focusing on one specific class at a time, but for now he could do nothing about his curiosity as the subjects would not be revealed before the following day.

“This Royal Academy is sponsored by the Royal Family, and they wish to provide the country’s young generation of cultivators with the best possibilities. This includes the Martial Art Skills that we have gathered in the Martial Art Skill Hall. Together with providing Martial Art Skills and Qi Cultivation Methods we have the Pill Distribution Day once a month.”

The mention of Pill Distribution Day caused almost all students within the class to hold their breath and look at teacher Li Yuan with glistening eyes. Even Lan Feng and Hui Yue felt excitement within their shared soul as they looked towards their teacher.

Teacher Li Yuan felt a brief feeling of satisfaction upon seeing the expressions of all the students, especially when he noticed that both Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long showed attention to his speech. Although both came from noble backgrounds, medicinal pills were usually the reason as to why the noble sons would be sent to the Royal Academy to study.

“The pill outlet will hand out a medicinal pill to the student cultivators at our Royal Academy each full moon. The strength of the medicinal pill depends on the rank of the cultivator, and sometimes specific cultivators might get granted an extra pill as reward for impressive progress. The Medicinal Pill Outlet will open after the next distribution day and it is possible to buy extra pills there at any time.” Hui Yue looked at teacher Li Yuan and slightly narrowed his eyes. The next full moon was three days away, so it was not too long before he would gain his first medicinal pill.

The teacher was quiet for quite some time, allowing the students to chat amongst themselves. He was completely aware of how tempting the medicinal pills were, as he himself relied worked here for the sake of the medicinal pills he was rewarded.

Hui Yue was sitting further back than the rest of the student, and he heard small breaks of conversations. It seems that many of the poorer families had to rely on their sons or daughters selling their medicinal pill every month and then give the money to their family afterwards. Having children who made it into the Royal Academy could be considered another way to gain an income. Although cultivation would be fairly slow without the medicinal pills, it was still not impossible for them to keep a decent cultivation speed.

As the students finally calmed down a little, teacher Li Yuan continued, “Students at Riluo City’s Royal Academy are allowed to leave the Academy whenever they feel like it, there is no rules that say that you cannot visit your family to gain extra cultivation resources or martial art skills.”

Although some students such as Wang Ju Long would most likely use the trips to gain extra resources, the majority of the students would travel to Riluo City to sell their pills and give the money to their families. The Royal Academy were perfectly aware of this, however considering the amount of cultivators who joined The Royal Army after graduating, they considered the medicinal pills to be an acceptable investment.

“Once a year we encourage our students to leave the academy to engage in field training,” teacher Li Yuan continued while looking around, “Some will follow their families into the Magical Forests, while other will work together with their family guards for a period of time. Those without suitable placement for field practice will be offered a spot in the Royal Army.”

Hui Yue nodded, he had heard about this a long time ago when he first met Rong Ming, so he knew that the Academy put a lot of value into the student’s outside practice, so he had expected this. He could not help but feel a slight admiration towards the Royal Family for reeling in cultivators at such a young age, although the majority of these students were thanks to Lord Rong Liang’s Martial Art Schools within the city.

Teacher Li Yuan kept talking about the specific rules of the school and which buildings were used for what purpose which was completely uninteresting for Hui Yue, and instead he slipped into deep thought.

Hui Yue knew that the Rong twins would most likely offer him to follow them into the Magical Forest the next year, however for now he was not certain how much he should accept from the Rong family. They had been treating him specially for quite some time. Hui Yue knew that Rong Xing and Rong Ming held no hostility towards him, however Lord Rong Liang was a City Lord. It was obvious that he was used to scheming and reeling in people, so Hui Yue would not accept too much from him, as he had no knowledge of what Lord Rong Liang expected to get in return.

Although Hui Yue had no wish to rely on Lord Rong Liang for his future, he also knew that his family was unable to help him with his cultivation. None of them had cultivated above the student rank, and their economy was already incredibly bad, asking them to purchase medicinal pills would be the same as asking them to sell their land, which was something that Hui Yue would never do.

In the end, Hui Yue decided that all he had to rely on was himself and Lan Feng. They would gain strength together without having to owe anything to neither their family nor their friends.

However, Hui Yue knew that one thing was to say that they would rely on themselves, another thing was to actually go through with it, and the most important thing to have was money. It did not matter if it was in this world or his old world, money was the thing that made the impossible turn possible. Hui Yue needed a way to earn money.

The first thing that flashed into Hui Yue’s mind was the looks of greed and desire that had appeared on Gao Yan, Deng Wu and Ma Kong’s faces when they heard about the martial art skills he had found within the Magical Forest. It seemed that Martial Art Skills would be a very good way to earn money, however selling those high ranked martial art skills had some downsides that caused Hui Yue to become unsure.

Having fought Wang Ju Long, Hui Yue was now aware of how important and powerful those high ranked martial art skills that Lan Feng had given him was, and if he were to sell skills of that ranking he could not control who were to buy them. If they ended up in the hands of the Wang family or the Deng family, he would most likely be creating more trouble for himself.

‘Why don’t you just ask me?’ Lan Feng’s smug voice appeared within Hui Yue’s concentrated mind, causing the white-haired boy to be slightly startled.

‘Do you have a solution?’ he asked curiously, and sighed internally when he noticed how Lan Feng puffed up his feathers and looked very self-assured.

‘I am Lan Feng, the legendary Blue Phoenix! Of course I have a solution,’ He said with his usual haughty attitude. Hui Yue did not ask anything, and just observed the feathered boy, waiting for him to continue.

‘I have a wide array of Martial Art Skills and even Spiritual Art Skills. I even have some skills you don’t even know what is, but those I will not share with anyone. Of my limitless supply of martial and spiritual art skills, some of them are really quite useless. They might have very high rank, and their potential are almost unlimited, however some of them has been tailor-made to the creator so no one else is capable of activating them, others were created so quickly that they have become unstable. The cultivators within this City will not be able to see whether or not they are useful, and they will buy them as they will believe that some of their cultivators might be able to actually activate it one day.’

Hui Yue furrowed his brows after hearing this, although it seemed promising, they were relying on the fact that the families did not happen to have anyone who would be able to activate the skills.

‘Don’t worry,’ Lan Feng said quietly, ‘even if they do manage to learn the skill, they will need years upon years to actually perfect it, and by then you will be gone from here.’

Hui Yue snorted upon hearing this. Lan Feng was definitely such a person that only cared about himself and a very few specific amount of people, everyone else could die for all he cared.

Although this plan had some loose ends, Hui Yue knew that this was the best possibility they had to earn money quickly. Hopefully there were no one around who knew how to activate the said skills.

‘Okay,’ he finally agreed with a sigh, ‘after this class lets go to the library. I need to check a few things before we start planning how to do this.’

Chapter 12 – Infamy

Hui Yue woke up in his new home and allowed himself a few minutes more resting. The bed at this small house was obviously stuffed with feathers, and the softness of the mattress was unlike anything Hui Yue had ever experienced before. The blankets were soft and knitted from the finest yarn, unlike the old sack that was both coarse and kept scratching his skin.

After a few more moments of rest, Hui Yue sighed deeply and forced himself to leave the warmth of his bed. Today was an important day, it was the first day of lessons, and Hui Yue was curious as to whether or not the teachers were better than Lan Feng at explaining, or whether or not the there had been found something new about the art of cultivating. After all, everything that Hui Yue relied on was more than four thousand years old.

Hui Yue quickly washed his face and dressed in yet another set of worn out clothes before he slowly made his way towards the closest canteen. Each mountaintop had a number of canteens located in between of the courtyards so that there was enough space for all students to eat at once. The canteens were always serving the same menus, but since there was more than one canteen, they were never filled with people.

It was early morning and Hui Yue did not expect anyone to be at the canteen already, however he was surprised when he noticed that there was already some groups of students eating their breakfast.

This was the first time that Hui Yue was eating alone as he had usually been picked up early morning by his friends and forced to eat with them, and as soon as the white-haired boy entered the canteen, the groups of students broke out into conversation.

Most of the students were openly staring at Hui Yue, and not hiding the fact that they started a conversation about him. These were commoner students who were excited about starting their first day at the Royal Academy and had been unable to sleep, or students who were used to waking up early due habit from their previous lives, Hui Yue was not the only one who felt as if this was a new beginning.

Hui Yue was used to being stared upon from his previous life, but the eyes which looked at him was no longer lovestruck girls but children who seemed to think he was some kind of a monster.

“I heard he duelled Wang Ju Long because he got mad when he was called girly,” one guy said, just loud enough for Hui Yue to hear, and all he could do was sigh as he heard the rest of the group reply with comments about his appearance, and that they had to be sure never to insult him.

Hui Yue quickly passed the group and noticed their expressions change into fear as his gaze swept across their table, however, as soon as he reached the next group of people even more gossip reached his ears, although this time it was of another caliber,

“It is the first time I’ve seen him in person,” one of the students said with reverence, and another pushed out his chest while proudly saying, “I’ve seen him before when he walked around with Gao Yan and his group. I heard that he beat Wang Ju Long, so he is definitely worthy of being in Gao Yan’s group,” this student said while looking at Hui Yue as if he was a hero of some sorts.

Hui Yue increased his speed to get past the other students as quickly as possible and ordered a standard breakfast before he sat down in one end of the canteen with no other students.

Hui Yue noticed that while he was eating his food, although he could no longer hear what the other students were saying, he still noticed the obvious glances that was sent his way.

‘Great,’ Hui Yue thought with a sigh, ‘I’m like a monkey in a zoo.’

Although Hui Yue was not expecting an answer Lan Feng was quick to jump in, ‘Get used to it,’ he said with a smug face, ‘for starters you look way too different from anyone else, and you will have to keep impressing them one time after another for us to be able to actually achieve our goals.’

‘Shut up,’ Hui Yue sneered at Lan Feng, his appearance had changed because of the soul contract with the damned bird, and the soul contract was currently a taboo subject for Hui Yue, ‘If you mention it once more,’ Hui Yue threatened, ‘then I refuse to eat any sweets and will live of chicken for the next three years.’

Lan Feng gasped shocked and quickly retreated back into the dantian cave. Sharing a body with Hui Yue also meant that Lan Feng felt every single thing that Hui Yue felt, he tasted every piece of food that Hui Yue tasted and he experienced the same physical challenges that Hui Yue had to go through.

Throughout the years, Lan Feng had developed a sweet tooth and enjoyed eating cakes and sweets as the Rong twins usually brought sweets every time they visited. The canteens at this academy also provided cakes, and Lan Feng had felt great happiness when he saw the unlimited amounts of cakes. If he was in control of their body, it was obvious that they would be gaining a noticeable amount of weight.

Hui Yue smirked happily as Lan Feng had retreated back to the cave, and picked up a cake to eat on the go, as he returned to his courtyard to pick up a few things that he would need for his first day at lectures before he quickly made his way towards the mountain tops where the school buildings were erected.

Hui Yue took out his student emblem and inserted a certain amount of qi into it. During the last couple of days, Hui Yue had noticed that this emblem had many hidden features, and one of them was a personally tailored schedule. Although the schedules were personalised, all first year students would have the same lessons at the first couple of weeks before they got split into groups based on either talents or interests.

The Royal Academy did not force the students to participate in the lectures, however the students who did not participate would usually end up unable to advance to the next year. Although no specific rank was necessary to advance, it was important that the student had shown some sort of  progress throughout the year to be promoted with the rest of the class.

Hui Yue made it towards the first mountain containing the school buildings and started looking around. It was still a few hours until the lesson was supposed to start, so he decided to move through the different buildings, familiarizing himself with different locations and also determining which buildings would be useful and which would not.

The first building that came into view was the ‘Qi Theory Lessons’ building where the first lecture was supposed to be held, and although a few students were already gathering at the entrance and inside, Hui Yue saw no reason to wait for a few hours when he could explore instead.

The next building was the ‘Cultivation Methods’ which held no interest for Hui Yue, Although Lan Feng was incredibly annoying and cunning, he had still provided Hui Yue with an incredibly strong cultivation method, that he was certain this school could not replace. Instead he quickly moved further away.

The next building was ‘Martial Art Skill Hall’ and looking at this building definitely peaked Hui Yue’s curiosity. The hall was open to students all day and Hui Yue gently pushed the door open and looked inside.

The first thing that hit him was the stale air and dim light. Although the Skill Hall was a place that students frequently visited, all students showed the utmost respect while entering, and to protect the many scrolls inside, the door was always closed.

As soon as Hui Yue entered, and had closed the door behind him, light suddenly started to light up within the room. These were crystals similar to those he had in his courtyard, and the dim room was quickly lit up with a gentle light.

‘Do you really have to waste time here?’ Lan Feng complained as he looked around with disdain, ‘I’ve told you before that the Martial Art Skills you can gain from these places are really lacking in quality.’

Hui Yue, however, chose to completely ignore Lan Feng and looked at the many shelves within the room. Hui Yue picked up one of the scrolls and slowly opened it. The scrolls were similar to those he had been given by Rong Ming previously, and this particular scroll was about igniting a small flame on top of a candle by using qi to create strong enough friction. After a quick walk through he noticed the system in which the skills were displayed.

At the front of the room were all the student ranked martial art skills, in the middle was the disciple ranked and at the back was the practitioner ranked skills. Each of the ranks was then split into attack skills, defense skills and non-combat skills.

Hui Yue took his time and walked past the different shelves before he eventually picked up a few skills he decided to bring back with him. One of the skills was the low student ranked Fire Spark skill that he had seen at first.

The student emblem would automatically record which martial art skills a student had brought with them outside of the Skill Hall, which was why the hall could be open all the time without any elders having to watch over it. If a student tried to open the door without bringing their student emblem, they would find that no matter how much they pushed, the door would not bulge.

Inside the hall was another room, however that room was sealed shut, and Hui Yue was unable to enter. He had heard about the room from Rong Ming previously and all the stronger martial art skills that the academy owned were all placed within. The only way to enter was to be invited by a teacher after having done something that would show an outstanding cultivation, and even the Rong twins and Gao Yan had only entered once within the last five years.

After a final look around the hall, Hui Yue quickly exited the Skill Hall and noticed how his student emblem shone with a silvery light before once again returning to its usual appearance.

Hui Yue could not help but being deeply impressed by the student emblem as it looked very ordinary, however one new feature after another kept appearing, proving that it was really nothing like expected.

‘Stop gaping over a useless memory stone,’ Lan Feng complained from within the qi cave, ‘we don’t have much time left before the lesson starts, so hurry up and find the Medicinal Pill hall!’ Although Lan Feng had been feeling some pressure from the previous threat, he was not capable of keeping quiet for long, and he was very excited about the possibility of snatching some medicinal pills to help increase their rank without a long time being spent on refining essence into qi.

Hui Yue sighed. He knew that it was possible to once again scold Lan Feng, however he himself was quite curious about these medicinal pills. His father from this world had spent his days hunting low grade medicinal plants from the edge of the Magical Forest, and from everything he had heard, medicinal pills were capable of producing miracles.

That being said, Hui Yue had no actual knowledge about medicinal pills. He could guess that they were concocted by mixing medicinal plants, but how it was done was unknown, and he started to scan his surroundings for anything that could lead him towards the pill hall that Lan Feng had mentioned.

Finally, Hui Yue found a building which was easily the same size as the Martial Art Skill Hall, and over the entrance was the sign that said ‘Medicinal Pill Outlet’. Hui Yue felt his heartbeat increase and a silly grin spreading across his face. It was exciting to increase his knowledge about these magical pills, however his smile quickly froze as he reached the pill outlet’s door.

‘Will open after the first monthly pill distribution day of the new semester.’ A note said, and obviously the pill outlet was currently closed. The disappointment that Hui Yue felt was quickly enhanced by the disappointment Lan Feng felt, and both of them were suddenly rather annoyed.

‘When is the pill distribution day?’ Lan Feng mused while sighing, and Hui Yue just shrugged his shoulders, ‘who knows,’ he said, not in the mood to make trouble for the depressed phoenix, ‘maybe we will get told during the first lesson today,’ he said, and both of them were seriously hoping that that would be the case.

‘Is it possible for anyone to make medicinal pills?’ Hui Yue suddenly asked. It seemed that medicinal pills were incredibly popular, but at the same time quite the hassle to get, so it would be ideal if he learned how to create them. Unfortunately, right now he had no knowledge about how to concoct pills, and the medicinal plants that his father and the villagers had gathered in the Magical Forest seemed to have limited effects on their own.

‘Only alchemists can make pills, but since it has some requirements to become an alchemist they always end up as stuck up and arrogant people,’ Lan Feng snorted with clear annoyance in his voice, causing Hui Yue to smirk.

‘You didn’t qualify to become an alchemist?’ He asked, his voice slightly mocking as it required a lot to be even more arrogant than this feathered boy was.

‘Shut up,’ was all the answer Lan Feng gave before he pouted his lips and hid himself deep within the qi cave, ignoring any question that Hui Yue asked.

‘Come on,’ Hui Yue finally got annoyed after being ignored for most of the trip back to the Qi Theory Lessons building, ‘at least I have not tricked you into merging your soul with a lying bird.’ His voice was slightly judging, and the comment did cause Lan Feng to reemerge, a slightly guilty feeling appeared from within their shared soul.

‘To become an alchemist you need to have a dual elemental affinity, but not just any dual elemental affinity works,’ he started the explanation, ‘The first one of the affinities need is fire. Fire is needed to be able to refine the materials needed for the pills and to control the strength of the flames while concocting the pills. If you do not control fire you  cannot control the flame precisely enough.’ Hui Yue nodded, this did indeed make sense.

‘The other element is wood. Wood is the element that grants the cultivator a detailed understanding of the plants of this world. It is the element that grants life and harvest, and from this life springs the power to create. Obviously there are some limits as to what you can create, but medicinal pills are definitely amongst them.’ Lan Feng paused slightly to allow the information to sink into Hui Yue’s mind before continuing.

‘Getting dual elemental affinity is in itself hard, but I managed to get it,’ Lan Feng said proudly,’ Unfortunately the elements that I control are Fire, I am pretty sure I told you before, and Earth. I can’t become an alchemist.’ At this point a slight dissapointment had appeared within Lan Feng’s voice, and Hui Yue noticed a bit of longing in their soul.

‘Since alchemists need to have succeeded in unlocking their middle dantian to discover their elemental affinity it makes it decreases the amount of alchemists even more. Within a city as big as this Riluo City I would bet that there are no more than one or two alchemists.’

Hui Yue sighed slightly and suddenly understood why medicinal pills were valued so highly. He had always thought that the hardest part had to be to find the medicinal plants, but now he learned that the profession itself was where the trouble laid. It would be great if he could become an alchemist, but it was something so far ahead that he did not have the luxury of dreaming about it, instead he needed to figure out a way to get his hands on these lucrative pills.

During the conversation Hui Yue and Lan Feng had once again reached the Qi Theory Lessons building. Previously some students had been waiting outside, but the doors were now open and groups of students were waiting inside of the hall while others were waiting outside the building. What all of the students had together was an appearance of both excitement and worry while they had gathered in groups and nervously awaited the teacher’s arrival.

Hui Yue sighed as he noticed some of the students which he had seen this morning, and his arrival once again sparked discussions about his earlier duel against Wang Ju Long, his appearance and assumed hate for being called feminine or even whether or not he was suitable to walk around with Gao Yan.

Hui Yue could do nothing but sigh, and he moved into the hall while ignoring the staring students around him. Usually a duel like this would never have had these reactions, however Wang Ju Long had been known as a genius since a young age, and the commoners had been told that he was unbeatable. To beat the unbeatable was indeed something that caused shock amongst the other students.

Inside the hall Hui Yue moved to one side where he leaned against one of the chilled walls and narrowed his eyes while observing the rest of the students. Although some of them gave off nervous expressions, others were clearly much more comfortable and while some were discussing with smiles on their faces, others were just observing much like Hui Yue himself. Some of the students seemed their age and their youthful faces were filled with childish innocence while others seemed more mature.

Suddenly Hui Yue fixed his eyes at the entrance, and at the same time all the conversation stilled as Wang Ju Long and his followers stepped through the door.

Wang Ju Long himself seemed as if no one apart from him existed, that all these commoners were so far below him that they were not even visible. The followers however all glared at the students, intimidating all of them and almost taunting them to continue their conversations.

Hui Yue narrowed his eyes as some of the followers seemed to be above ten years old while others were the same age as Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long. As soon as the latter saw Hui Yue his eyes were suddenly turned red and it was easy for anyone present to notice the hate that was contained within.

Wang Ju Long’s entourage quickly noticed Hui Yue, and although some of them had never seen Hui Yue before, they could easily guess that it was him.

All these children were obviously of noble heritage, and their haughtiness and arrogance far exceeded Lan Feng. Each and every one of the students were glaring daggers at Hui Yue, but so far none of them had the courage to do anything else.

The nobles were speaking together in a low voice and suddenly one of the older boys stepped forward.

‘tsk,’ Lan Feng snorted at the young man who stepped forward, ‘he is twelve years old and at the ninth star of the student level,’ he said as the person moved towards Hui Yue.

This boy was a lot larger than any of the other children. He had a large build and he had definitely started his growth with at least one and a half head taller than Hui Yue.

His name was Shan Ping and although he was twelve years old, he was supposed to be taught together with the first year students. His family was one of the older noble families who currently got by on their name alone, and they had supported the Wang family since long ago. Unfortunately the family had no assets and their cultivators had not gained an incredibly high cultivation, causing them to have very little influence at all, and they therefore gained almost no favour from the Wang family.

When the Shan family noticed that Wang Ju Long were to start at the Royal Academy they signed up their youngest son and each year that the class promotions they had kept him back, not allowing him to be promoted into another year so that he could follow Wang Ju Long as a pawn and hopefully carry favour that way. For now the boy was definitely much stronger than his peers. That was if Hui Yue looked at cultivation rank alone.

Shan Ping knew that Wang Ju Long was at the eight star student rank, and although he himself was only one star higher, he hoped that he had a bigger chance of winning. One star was after all quite a high amount of qi needed. Even if he failed he would be seen as a brave soldier who would sacrifice himself for the sake of his master, and his only order while being at the academy was to improve his relationship with Wang Ju Long.

However, what Shan Ping had forgotten to consider was that although Wang Ju Long was only at the eight star, he was considered the number one genius from the Wang family, and his actual strength was far above the ninth star.

The main thing that had increased Wang Ju Long’s strength was his pure qi. It was refined much better than that of his peers, and added with that, it had allowed him to practice the Qi Lightening martial art skill.

This was also the case for Hui Yue, but Hui Yue had even purer Qi and more than one high ranked martial art skill which had allowed him to tie with Wang Ju Long earlier. These two children were both much younger than Shan Ping and their strength were recorded as below his, however there were no questions as to which were the stronger.

Hui Yue had obviously noticed the hostility, and as soon as Lan Feng had told him about the older boys cultivation, and the glances he sent towards Wang Ju Long, clearly hoping to be praised made the white-haired boy sigh deeply. Hui Yue was not dumb and he clearly understood what was happening as he had seen group bullying before, however he had never tried being targeted.

Hui Yue straightened up his back and slowly activated Velocity Flow before awaiting Shen Ping making his first move. Fighting was prohibited outside the arenas, however defending was fine. Once again the student badges were capable of recording the actions, making it easy to determine the cause of a fight and punish accordingly.

Hui Yue did not have to wait for long before a qi-covered fist moved towards his head at what could be considered fast for his rank. This was clearly some kind of martial art skill, however it was a skill that had been picked up at the low ranked part of the Martial Art Skill Hall, resulting in being completely useless against Hui Yue.

The qi that was covering Shan Ping’s hand was not pearl white as Hui Yue’s, nor was it milky white as Wang Ju Lang’s, instead it was a light shade of grey, showing Hui Yue that the quality was far below his.

Hui Yue let out yet another sigh before he finally moved. His figure disappeared with a flick, leaving no mirror image behind this time. Instead he moved behind Shan Ping, and the students that were present all gasped in surprise upon seeing the execution of a high ranked martial art skill.

As soon as Hui Yue arrived behind Shan Ping he decisively activated his Raging Strike martial art skill and slammed the side of his hand against the other’s temple, causing Shan Ping to instantly collapse on the floor.

Hui Yue looked surprised at the unconscious Shen Ping. He had expected that the older boy would stumble back and leave him alone, however instead he was now laying lifeless on the ground and a small stream of blood trickled out from the corner of his mouth.

Everyone within the Qi Theory Lessons Hall was completely silent.

Chapter 11 – You Tricked Me?!

ANNOUNCEMENT

Changes to Release Schedule: From this week onwards I will be releasing the two guaranteed chapters on Tuesday and Friday evening (GMT + 1).

Sponsored chapters will be released throughout the week, however only one chapter a day as I am physically unable to keep the quality if I try to write more than one chapter a day.

This week will have an extra guaranteed chapter Wednesday evening as I was one behind from last week. It was planned to have been released Saturday, however my daughter got sick, and as a single mum I prioritize my daughter’s health over writing, sorry about that.

Looking for an Editor / Proofreader: I would like to take my story to the next level, but to do so I need to have an outside view helping me with each chapter before they get published. The help would be both grammatical and to comment on the story, whether or not there are parts which needs more explanation, whether or not I have been making too much of an info-dump or just comments on whether or not the chapter is up to the required quality.

If you are interested, then you can contact me either on PM or send an email to Tinalynge[at]Hotmail[dot]com.

Please enjoy the chapter!

Chapter 11 – You tricked me?

Sponsored by Andrew Schaub

Every person present was able to see that although the results were recorded as a draw, Hui Yue had been having the upper hand as they had ended. Not only was he able to both avoid and block Wang Ju Long’s most potent attack, he had also managed to break two ribs of the opponent, while he himself only had received a numb shoulder.

Even though no unrelated students had been present at the arena for the fight, it was quickly known throughout the whole academy that the two geniuses from the new year had fought each other, and although it had ended in a draw, Hui Yue would be mentioned as the actual winner.

This was definitely due to Gao Yan and his commoners spreading the word and causing the duel to be well known. Although he was unable to directly take revenge upon the Wang family, he did not shy away from abusing his friends to get vengeance in another way. Nobles cared too much about face, so making them lose face was strangely satisfying.

The first couple of days were free from classes as the students were supposed to get used to their new surroundings, and Hui Yue spent the time to sit down with the group of people he now belonged to. Hui Yue decided that it was now time for him to behave a bit more mature. Although he had been hiding his real personality for quite some time, he could not keep hiding forever.

“I need some help,” Hui Yue said with a serious voice as he looked at the five seniors that were sitting in his new home.

“I am not a noble person, which I am sure you have already guessed,” he started, “so I am not used to all these internal battles. I understand that the Rong family and the Wang family doesn’t like each other, but what is actually going on?”

At first the house was silent while the older kids looked at Hui Yue with complicated expressions. None of them felt as if the subject was something they should talk about with such a young child, however he had asked for the knowledge himself and he was looking at them with eyes that was completely clear and showed a knowledge that did not suit his age.

“The Wang family used to be the ones to control Riluo City,” Deng Wu finally said, and then looked at the others, “we might as well tell him what is going on. I think we should not underestimate him. I have a feeling that he is hiding a monster within those innocent blue eyes,” he said while looking straight at Hui Yue, and his words caused the latter to feel his veins freeze over.

The way he had chosen to phrase the sentence clearly showed Hui Yue that Deng Wu knew. Deng Wu knew about Lan Feng, or at least had a very good idea about him. Although Hui Yue could feel how his body was frozen from the shock and even Lan Feng was keeping quiet, he knew that Deng Wu was observing him, so Hui Yue forced himself to stay calm and not allow any of the emotional turmoil from within to surface on his eyes that stayed as clear and calm as a cloudless summer sky.

Deng Wu was impressed by the display of control that Hui Yue showed, and he smiled happily, “The Wang family has a long history, and they were put in charge of Riluo City right after the Black Age. Unfortunately, they were quite bad at managing the economy and eventually they went bankrupt having to stand down. They went from being the leading power to becoming a secondary power of the city and they have a hard time accepting it.”

“After regaining their economy they are trying to get back the position as the City Lord, but Lord Rong Liang and his family has always done a great job, so it is not as easy as they might have been hoping for,” Ma Kong took over, “the nobles has been split into two factions. One is the Great Hundred Names families and their followers, and the others are Lord Rong Liang and his followers.”

Hui Yue threw a quick glance towards Deng Wu upon hearing this. The young man got more and more mysterious, and Hui Yue was unable to trust him the same way he did the others.

He decided to not touch the subject any longer, and try to pry some information out of the other’s later on.

“But Hui Yue di-di,” Rong Xing finally asked, and it was obvious that she had wanted to ask something for quite a long time, “how did you get such strong martial art skills?” the subject obviously interested everyone present and they looked at Hui Yue with big eyes, hoping that there was some incredible story behind it.

Hui Yue was aware that this question would be asked, and he had spent some time planning a reasonable explanation together with Lan Feng.

“I was helping my dad with looking for medicinal herbs and got lost. On the way I found a pretty blue gemstone, and when I touched it some white fog shot into my head and suddenly I knew about the skills and how to practice them, but after the fog disappeared, the stone turned to dust,” Hui Yue explained according to the story that Lan Feng had fabricated.

“I never really mentioned it to anyone before because I don’t understand what happened, I have no idea what that blue gemstone was, and now it is gone.” Hui Yue shook his head apologetic, and the looks at the other youngsters turned tender,

“That is some amazing luck,” Gao Yan said after quite some time, “you must have lived at a rather unique location.”

“I lived within the Magical Forest, but I promised never to disclose the exact location to anyone,” Hui Yue answered with a serious voice, and the others nodded solemnly.

Living within the Magical Forest was supposed to be impossible, and although few villages were known to survive they were very remote and shrouded in mystery. Only the strongest cultivators would be able to survive growing up within the Magical Forest. A sudden feeling of respect suddenly appeared in the other’s eyes.

Although nothing that Hui Yue had said was a lie, it was far from the terrifying impressions that the other young people had of him growing up within the wilderness, fighting magical beasts from the cradle and stumbling upon treasure and medicinal herbs on the way.

Only the Rong twins were aware of the truth, but neither of them could think of any other possibility than Hui Yue really being incredibly lucky while walking through the thin parts of the Magical Forest and stumbling upon such powerful relics.

Hui Yue was not aware how his explanation rose interest within Deng Wu’s heart. Although Hui Yue had a saint ranked divine beast locked within, he was not strong enough to have captured this beast himself, therefore Deng Wu theorised that Hui Yue had come across a treasure throve left behind by an ultimate expert from the Dark Age.

Deng Wu definitely wanted the location as more treasures were likely to still be hidden there, just waiting for someone to come and pick them up. However, it seemed that not only Deng Wu was thinking like this, as both Ma Kong and Gao Yan’s eyes were glittering with an unspoken desire.

“Younger brother Hui Yue,” Ma Kong said while urging slightly, “do you remember the location where you picked up this blue gemstone?” Gao Yan nodded in reply, trying to show Hui Yue that it was okay to answer these big brothers of his. While Ma Kong and Deng Wu were curious about the place so that they could pick up supreme martial art skills for themselves, Gao Yan saw a way to earn some money for his family.

However, Hui Yue shook his head with a depressed expression upon his face, “I am really sorry,” he said, “but I did not leave the village that often and everything looked the same outside. It was pretty deep within the forest, I think, and there was a cave next to a lake. I found the stone just outside the cave, but I was too scared to enter, since it might have been the home of some strong magical beast.” The other’s nodded with regret. They should have known that it was not that easy to get the location of a treasure left behind by a supreme expert. However, every single one of them imprinted the information within their hearts, and promised themselves to disclose this information to their family leaders so that all the families could send out some of their cultivators to look for the cave. Strong Martial Art Skills or old relics could change the fate of any strong noble family.

Hui Yue breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing the different reactions. Lan Feng had told him earlier that the prospects of a treasure would definitely steer their interest away from him, and he seemed to be right. Ma Kong suddenly had to go and borrow a book at the library while Rong Xing and Rong Ming remembered an issue they needed to discuss with the teacher and finally Gao Yan needed to go visit some of his followers to hear what had happened with the rumours he had been spreading about Wang Ju Long’s and Hui Yue’s fight.

The only one who stayed behind was Deng Wu who still stood leaning against the courtyard wall with a lazy expression on his face and a small smile adorned his face.

Hui Yue’s ice-blue eyes were locked into Deng Wu’s obsidian-black eyes, neither of them saying a word, patiently waiting for every sound to disappear, ensuring that there were no hidden listeners.

Deng Wu flicked his hand and a small figure suddenly appeared within his palm. The figure was crafted from a big azure scale of unknown origin, and it was cut into the shape of a laughing mask. The shadows were playing upon it, making it seem as if the mouth was moving, and a slight light showed within the eyes. Deng Wu observed it for a moment, before it disappeared with yet another flick of his hand. A comfortable smile spread across his face as he observed Hui Yue.

‘That item had a familiar feel to it,’ Lan Feng said with a wondering voice, ‘but I can’t remember where I felt it before.’ Hui Yue sighed, the feathered soul inside of him was not very useful in situations like these. As a matter of fact, he had caused Hui Yue so much worry already, that if his hair had not turned white from the Soul Contract, it would definitely have turned white from worrying.

“Seen enough?” Hui Yue asked tentatively, all his muscles tensed up and Velocity Flow activated in case he needed to escape.

Deng Wu was already aware that he would have no way of catching Hui Yue if he used his movement skill, and for now he had no intention of scaring the younger boy away, so he kept calm and answered gently,

“Don’t worry, I don’t plan on telling anyone about your secret,” he said leisurely and Hui Yue narrowed his eyes a little.

“Which secret are you talking about?” he asked. Although Deng Wu knew about Lan Feng, it was questionable whether or not he knew about Hui Yue had been brought here from another plane through reincarnation.

Deng Wu was not dumb, he instantly knew that Hui Yue was trying to get him to explain his knowledge, and currently he would not benefit from holding anything back, so he shrugged his shoulders,

“When you found that blue stone containing martial art skills you also stumbled across the soul of a saint ranked divine beast.” This was mainly Deng Wu’s theory, and from the information Hui Yue had given it would be the most fitting explanation.

“What do you plan on doing about it?” Hui Yue asked with tensed muscles and his whole body alert, his qi was rushing through his meridians in certain specified patterns, increasing Velocity Flow and focusing all the strength within his feet, allowing him to escape as soon as he heard the answer, however, Deng Wu surprised him when he once again shrugged his shoulders,

“Oh, don’t worry” he said camly, “to get the divine spirit out someone would have to kill you to dig it out of your body. Such a tragedy would make Rong Xing sad, so I wouldn’t want for that to happen. I shall keep your secret…” Den Wu’s voice trailed off, as if some words were missing. Hui Yue gaped at Den Wu. Despite the calm voice a serious glint was in the black teens eyes. It seemed that Rong Xing may be the only reason for this youth to keep his secret.

“Well, be careful no one else notices,” Deng Wu warned while still smiling. He turned and was about to leave the courtyard before continuing, “I can guarantee that no other cultivators will be able to ignore the temptation of a divine beast soul.” With that he left and disappeared into the dark evening, leaving Hui Yue with a furrowed brow and a lot of questions.

‘Lan Feng,’ he asked, ‘how come they say that it is possible for them to dig out your soul after I die? You said earlier that if I die then you die as well.’ Lan Feng slowly allowed his soul to float out of Hui Yue’s body and sat down on the courtyard ground.

‘Well, usually a cultivator and a beast soul wouldn’t make a soul contract,’ he stated while observing the surroundings, not showing any intention of continuing the conversation, but although he was dismissive, Hui Yue could feel an eagerness hidden within almost yelling for Hui Yue to ask why.

‘Why?’ Hui Yue asked with a sigh. He could clearly feel that Lan Feng was hiding something. Secrets were impossible to keep considering that they were sharing a body now and their souls were connected. But he could also feel that Lan Feng wished to tell Hui Yue about it, but would not do so, unless asked.

‘Well,’ Lan Feng said slowly, ‘a soul contract makes us even and combines our souls together, but when a cultivator manages to consume a magical beast soul or a divine beast soul they be considered their masters. Usually they would be using the beast’s power one way or another’ Hui Yue glared at Lan Feng after hearing this,

‘Does that mean that I gave up being your master and instead turned into your student?’ he asked with a disbelieving face,

‘Yeah, pretty much,’ Lan Feng answered with a smug grin on his face, giving Hui Yue an incredible urge to punch the transparent feathered boy in the face,

‘You tricked me?!’ he yelled with his eyes spilled open and an annoyed feeling within. First Lan Feng murdered him, then he tricked him. How was it possible to ever believe him after this?

‘You would definitely have done the same if you were in my position,’ Lan Feng said calmly as the soul contract could only be cancelled when both of them had achieved their goals, and his smug behaviour caused Hui Yue to shoot one murderous glare after another towards the damned bird,

‘Now calm down,’ Lan Feng finally said, ‘It isn’t bad. If you had decided to dominate my soul, I would definitely not have been helpful at all and only followed your orders. Would that have been useful for you?’ Hui Yue shot yet another glare at the feathered boy before grumbling a reply, ‘well you would obviously be as mad as me, if you had been the one who was tricked!’ he said before moving inside the house and slammed the door after him, rushing towards his bedroom and sat down on the bed to cultivate.

Running away from Lan Feng was impossible as the two were connected, and after a short while Lan Feng once again sat on the ground looking at Hui Yue with a smug grin, feeling very pleased with finally having let Hui Yue know how ingenious his previous trickery was.

‘You better give me a real good attack style martial art skill to make up for this,’ Hui Yue sneered with his eyes closed while cultivating. The smug grin on Lan Feng’s face was so clear that Hui Yue could feel it within the very core of his own soul.

The following day Lan Feng promised to give Hui Yue the strongest attack skill he had when Qi Guard was perfected, and although Lan Feng had tricked Hui Yue before, Hui Yue was aware that there was no possibility of tricking him anymore as their souls were now combined. That being said, he did swear that he would somehow get revenge later on, ensuring that this smug and annoying bird would wish he had never tricked Hui Yue in the first place.

Hui Yue spent his days of relaxation to pick up gossip from around the city. The Ma family had gained its rank of nobility from being the richest family within the city. They were the owners of a variety of shops, but the majority of their wealth came from a black market auction house where they would sell anything from stolen goods to high quality items gained from within the Magical Forest or families who tried to sell their treasures to gain money.

Ma Kong was the youngest son, and although his older brother was supposed to be the heir, both brothers had a great relationship, giving Ma Kong much more power than what younger brothers usually had.

The information about Gao Yan was not as outstanding as Ma Kong, however the power that he controlled was not weak either. Gao Yan came from the poorer part of Riluo City and had from a young age gone to the Martial Art Schools that Lord Rong Liang had opened.

Gao Yan had a big dream about bringing his family out of poverty and into nobility, which at first had made the other commoners laugh at him, however after his talent had been noticed and he had become friends with the Rong twins, the other commoners started hoping that they too had a possibility of changing their future. The majority of all students that had studied at the Martial Art Schools were following any orders given by Gao Yan.

Not all the students from the Martial Art Schools had high enough cultivation to join the Royal Academy, and those who did not qualify had started working as normal citizens within the city, but even so, they still followed Gao Yan, giving him an incredible information network that was spread everywhere across the city. Some were working as maids within the noble houses, others were working as carpenters or farmers, but one thing was for certain, all the information they gathered went straight to Gao Yan.

Deng Wu was known throughout the Academy as a player who enjoyed to fool around. He was rarely seen as a serious person, but he was liked by pretty much everyone who saw him. Deng Wu was highly valued by the Deng family, which caused Hui Yue to feel that he had even more secrets than what he had first assumed. If Deng Wu had an incredible cultivation then it would make sense as to why the family valued him so highly, however the cultivation he had shown at the Academy was just above average. It was obvious that this cunning personality was someone that Hui Yue could not afford to underestimate.

Rong Ming was considered the centre of this small group of people. He was the next City Lord and he tried his best to live up to this responsibility. He had an incredibly good reputation at the Royal Academy as he would not allow any bullying nor would he approve of the nobles looking down on the commoners, however this had caused some of the nobles to oppose the young lord and resulted in a group of young nobles who would use their powers within the school to go against Rong Ming.

Rong Xing was the practical person. She would keep track of all the information given by Gao Yan and consider which parts were important and which weren’t, she was the reason that Deng Wu had decided to stick with this group rather than the other nobles, and she knew how to utilize all the pawns at her disposal. To Hui Yue, Rong Xing seemed to be the most powerful individual within their group – as long as he did not consider Deng Wu.

The group of noble children who opposed Rong Ming was led by Deng Lau who was a cousin of Deng Wu. Although the two were in opposing groups and that they would clash quite often, Deng Lau never once insulted Deng Wu.

Fortunately enough, Riluo City was considered a quiet city. Although different factions were gathering within, none of them had shown any signs of rebelling against the current City Lord, and even though the children had a few clashes, they were after all just clashes between students at the Royal Academy which was to be expected.

Hui Yue released a deep sigh of relief the last night before the classes were about to start. It had required all his skills in acting to get the information he had needed, but he was finally satisfied with the result. Looking out at the starry night Hui Yue couldn’t help but thinking about how much his life had changed, but this new life was much more exciting than anything he had ever experienced before.

‘Let’s find the location of the medicinal pills tomorrow,’ Lan Feng said with a cheeky grin on his face, ‘we need to start speeding up your cultivation or I won’t get my revenge as my opponent will die from old age.’

Chapter 10 – Qi Lightning

This chapter is sponsored by Cole Hausner, so join me in a big round of applause for him ~ 

Hui Yue had followed his seniors towards the arena area that he had seen when he first entered the Academy grounds. The area was idyllic and fairly remote. There were five different arenas placed on this mountain top that was the furthest away from the Academy Office Building.

Currently there were no other students present than the two groups who had come here, but according to Gao Yan, it would be one of the most frequented places as students would come here to solve grudges or train for the tournament.

There were four mountain tops dedicated to the arenas, and the first two of the mountain tops were surrounded by seats, clearly those were for promoted matches, however these last two mountains each had smaller arenas that the students were able to use as they saw fit.

Wang Jingshen was looking at Hui Yue with a slightly apprehensive look as he noticed that the younger kid instantly accepted the challenge, but he quickly calmed himself as he was certain that the child had misunderstood what an exchange of pointers actually implied.

He had later heard that Hui Yue was a child of unknown origin and that he was personally being looked after by the Rong Twins, so it was likely that he was some spoiled young child who had been treated gently all through his life. However, no matter what background the child had, it was nothing compared to his Great Hundred Names family, so he was thrilled when his younger brother had agreed to the challenge, and to show Hui Yue just who was superior.

“You need to be careful,” Rong Xing warned with a worried face, “Wang Ju Long is known as a great talent within the Wang family, and he is already at the eight-star student rank. Losing to him will not be a disgrace.”

“Wang Ju Long already lives at the top of the mountain like you, so he doesn’t gain anything from winning. More importantly, make sure to give up before he seriously injures you” Ma Kong said from the side, while giving Hui Yue a gentle pat on the shoulder.

“I am going to fucking kill Wang Jingshen,” Gao Yan growled while shooting one fierce glare after another towards the other group of people,

“He is a cunt. It was his own fault for not seeing that Hui Yue is a guy, making a challenge like this is pointless. I will definitely make sure to pay him back,” Rong Ming agreed with rage burning within his chest. He understood how embarrassing it was to mistake the gender more than anyone else, but to react this way was despicable.

“Don’t worry,” Gao Yan said while placing a hand on Hui Yue’s other shoulder, “we will make sure that Wang Jingshen and his followers pays dearly for this.”

The only one who stayed quiet was Deng Wu. He was standing to the side with a slight smile curling on his lips and his black eyes dancing playfully while observing Hui Yue. When the black eyes and the blue eyes locked together, Hui Yue felt a shiver go through his body as he feared that the older boy could see right through him and had noticed Lan Feng, but he was aware that it was impossible as his cultivation had not even reached the middle dantian.

Still, something about Deng Wu made Hui Yue alert and worried, and he knew that Deng Wu was aware of this, and that it entertained him.

‘We can’t worry too much about him right now,’ Lan Feng warned, ‘you will need your entire focus on the opponent in front of you, but we will look into this Deng Wu and the rest of the City situation later on.’

Hui Yue forced his eyes to leave Deng Wu and he slowly moved towards the middle of the arena in front of him. Wang Ju Long had moved there already and was waiting for Hui Yue to arrive.

Both the two children had changed their clothes before they started engaging in the spar, as their long robes were incredibly beautiful, but also quite unpractical while the body needed to move around. Both were now wearing tunics and pants. The tunics were fitted on the upper bodies, allowing the wearer comfort while moving around or striking out. The pants were fitted around the small waists and provided a certain amount of protection with the thick fabric. They were slightly baggy, and ended around the middle of the thighs where they were bound to the legs, to ensure that the feet would never get disturbed by the clothing while fighting.

Although the style of clothes was the exact same, the quality was as far away as heaven and earth. Wang Ju Long was wearing clothes created from the finest silken material that was smooth and clearly incredibly comfortable, while Hui Yue was wearing clothes that had obviously been worn for a very long time. The clothes were comfortable, but they had gotten so through multiple years of wear unlike the others, and they were created from a hemp-like plant material.

Hui Yue’s clothes had caused the Wang group to snort with disdain and laugh at him while constantly yelling one insult after another as they would to the commoner students. The clothes had not surprised Rong Ming nor Rong Xing as both of them knew about Hui Yue’s background, but Ma Kong could not help but being slightly surprised as he still knew nothing. Gao Yan suddenly felt even more kinship towards this young boy and swore within his heart that he would get revenge later on.

Deng Wu had had no reaction once again, but the lack of reaction had just caused Hui Yue more worry.

The two boys stood in front of each other in the middle of the field, while waiting to hear who was decided to be the judge. Wang Ju Long was sneering as he looked at Hui Yue and his aloof expression.

Wang Ju Long was supposed to be the only genius this year who was entitled to get a top mountain courtyard. He had grown up knowing that he was supposed to be the only child within his family who could compete against the Rong twins when it came to innate talent, and his entry into the Royal Academy should have been grand.

However, when he arrived today, things were nothing like he had expected. None of the other noble families had paid him much attention as they were curious about the origin of this beautiful young child that was being escorted by the City Lord’s children.

He had entered the Academy much quicker than Hui Yue had, and rushed up the stairs to get his top mountain courtyard and let the other students understand just how important he was, and there was quite some satisfaction as he was sitting within his courtyard and started to cultivate.

Unfortunately, his cultivation had been interrupted by his older brother who had arrived with his usual group of dim-witted thugs, complaining to Wang Ju Long about a new student who was too outrageous. Wang Jingshen would definitely have challenged him if they had been within the same rank, however only student ranked could challenge other student ranked cultivators, unless it was the weaker student that challenged the stronger.

At first Wang Ju Long had absolutely no interest in getting revenge for his brother, however after hearing that it was a certain white-haired boy he agreed to help.

As Wang Ju Long was about to leave with the others, he noticed that a courtyard close by suddenly lit up with a sharp light, the light that explained that the courtyard had found his owner, and Wang Ju Long almost vomited blood when he saw the name Hui Yue was written on the nameplate.

Wang Ju Long was a proud child who had grown up while being told that he was the future of his family. It was obvious that he could not stand the person in front of him who had taken away some of his well-deserved attention and the only way to satisfy his raging hate was to utterly defeat this trash and let the world know which one of the two was the superior cultivator.

While Wang Ju Long was thinking these malicious thoughts, Hui Yue was standing in front of him with a face as calm as a forest lake and a gentle smile upon his lips, but at a closer inspection it was clear that the smile did not reach the blue eyes that contained a coldness unsuitable for a child at the age of ten.

‘You are on your own,’ Lan Feng warned slightly, ‘I won’t help you unless it seems like he will seriously injure you or cripple your cultivation. You need to learn for yourself.’ With that, Lan Feng slowly drifted down into the qi cave where he focused his attention towards the fight that was about to break out.

Hui Yue let out a slight breath and felt grateful towards Lan Feng. It had been far too long since he last tried fighting, but he was fairly confident whenever he thought about the martial art skills that he had spent the last years practicing to perfection.

“The rules are simple,” Deng Wu said, as he took the job as a judge. He was one of the Great Hundred Names, and although he might be slightly bias towards Hui Yue, he was definitely less bias than Wang Jingshen.

“You are not allowed to kill your opponent. This is an exchange of pointers, and injuries are to be expected, however if you are too overbearing then I will personally ensure that the Academy Chief knows of it.”

Having said that, he nodded to the two youngsters before moving to the edge of the arena. The edge where Rong Xing was standing, and he was obviously looking to be praised for being serious. Hui Yue had narrowed his eyes and was observing the black-haired young man as he felt Deng Wu was a bigger threat than Wang Ju Long.

Hui Yue did not have the chance to keep his focus on Deng Wu for long, as he suddenly felt an incredible pressure appear opposite him and gather at Wang Ju Long’s hand. At first a small breeze was moving towards him, but it quickly grew in strength until it had gathered into a huge tempest that was swirling around on top of Wang Ju Long’s open palm. The tempest was constantly growing in size, going far into the sky and the wind would pick up, trying to drag anything close by into the vortex.

Hui Yue narrowed his eyes as he noticed that within the tempest were flashes of light. The light was small lightning bolts that were created by qi, and he could not help but shutter involuntarily.  Although the qi was not as white as Hui Yue’s, it was definitely of a superior quality. Not only was the quality great, Wang Ju Long clearly had more refined qi than Hui Yue did.

“He is using the Qi Lightning skill from the start?” Rong Xing whispered with big eyes and slightly trembling voice, as she looked at the scene in front of her. It was obvious that the others were as worried as they were mumbling indistinctly to one another,

“Deng Wu, you have to stop it!” Rong Xing said with a scared voice as she looked towards the black-haired youth, however to her surprise he just smiled back at her,

“Don’t worry yet. Let’s trust younger brother Hui Yue and see if he can perform miracles.”

Deng Wu was not dumb, he knew exactly how dangerous Qi lightning was. It was a low duke ranked attack martial art, and the Wang family considered it one of their greatest treasures. The skill did not only have a high rank and fierce attack power, it also required the cultivator to have very pure qi to be able to utilize it, and Deng Wu himself was slightly surprised to see that Wang Ju Long had qualified to use it.

Deng Wu smiled as he returned his gaze towards the young white-haired boy in front of him. He understood why the others were worried. Clearly they had not noticed anything wrong with Hui Yue, nor would they be able to notice anything for a long time, however, he had seen it from the start.

Five years ago when he was about to enter the Royal Academy he had been gifted a family heirloom as a reward. This heirloom had many uses, one of them was to disguise his own cultivation. Another was to see through any disguise, and as soon as he had seen Hui Yue, he had noticed the saint ranked divine beast that was hiding within his qi cave. He was aware of how important this information was, but Deng Wu was more curious as to how a ten-year-old child had managed to capture such a strong beast, and for now he had no intention of telling anyone about this rarity and instead enjoy the show. His smile grew larger while looking at Hui Yue, and his eyes were glistening with a mysterious light that Rong Xing had never seen before.

Hui Yue grit his teeth and understood that he had underestimated Wang Ju Long. It was obvious that he was using a high ranked martial art skill, and that the rank was not that different from his own Velocity Flow and Qi Guard, however Hui Yue was betting that Wang Ju Long had not perfected his use of the skill yet, and he quickly activated his lower duke ranked, defensive martial art skill Qi Guard.

As soon as he called out the skill, he created a few hand seals and thin strands of qi quickly started to flow out from the qi cave and through specific patterns within the meridians before Hui Yue’s entire skin was glowing faintly with a pearl white lustre.

Together with Qi Guard, Hui Yue also activated Velocity Flow and focused on moving behind Wang Ju Long. Hui Yue left behind an afterimage and kept moving quickly while being behind Wang Ju Long, so that he would not materialize and make his current plan fail.

Hui Yue did not have to wait for long. Wang Ju Long’s wind tempest with qi lightning had grown to the largest size that he could control, and he looked at the boy in front of him with disdain. He could not help but think that the kid was too naïve to be standing there, waiting for one of his hits to land.

“Don’t blame me for any injury you will suffer!” Wang Ju Long roared as he launched three qi lightning bolts out of the vortex. They shot out much quicker than what Hui Yue had expected, even Velocity Flow would have some problems escaping every one of the bolts. This could turn into a bigger problem than he had first anticipated.

The three bolts of qi lightning all slammed into the small boy, and smoke started to rise from the area where the impact had happened. At first the side where Wang Jingshen and his thugs were standing had been full of cheers and laughter, but it quickly stilled and was replaced with disbelief. Everyone present was filled with shock, and even Deng Wu was narrowing his eyes as he had never seen any martial art skill like this before.

Rong Xing and Rong Ming were both completely stunned. They were aware of Hui Yue’s background and both knew that he had no way of gaining a high ranked martial art skill, however it was obvious that he was currently using one. They could not help but feel curious as to how he had gotten it.

Hui Yue was not planning on taking it easy on Wang Ju Long, and attacked as soon as the qi lightning slammed into his afterimage. He quickly activated his low practitioner ranked attack martial art skill, Raging Strike, that he had been given by Rong Ming and his fist was suddenly covered by a pure white lustre, the qi covering his fist was filled with an oppressive force.

Although Wang Ju Long was full of himself, he had been trained from a very young age, and his family had often made him spar against their family guards, giving him a certain amount of live combat practice, and he felt the overbearing feeling coming from Hui Yue’s perfect qi. He quickly turned around and his white qi gathered around his forearm as he blocked the strike.

Hui Yue had been relying on the Velocity Flow’s insane movement to increase the power of Raging Strike, however raging strike was after all a low tier skill, and it was not able to break through Wang Ju Long’s defence.

Without a second thought, Hui Yue activated his high disciple ranked attack, Shattering Kick, and swung his leg hard against Wang Ju Long’s waist.

Wang Ju Long had shown quite the skill by being able to block the previous blow with his qi, however the qi he was using was not a defensive martial art skill, and he was unable to cover his whole body at once, causing him to be flung away by the kick.

Hui Yue felt a certain amount of satisfaction when he felt how his kick went through and a few ribs were broken in the process, however he did not have time to celebrate the slight victory as another four qi lightning bolts shot towards him with incredible speed.

Cursing, Hui Yue tried to gain momentum by using the Velocity Flow skill, but he was unable to avoid all the lightning bolts, and had to take one of them head-on.

Wang Ju Long had landed on the ground and a sinister expression was visible on his face as he saw how one of the bolts struck Hui Yue at the shoulder. He knew how devastating the damage was from even one lightning bolt, and a smirk was appearing on his face, together with loud cheers and insults that erupted from Wang Jingshen’s thugs.

Differently from Wang Jingshen’s side, Rong Xing and Rong Ming were incredibly worried. Although Hui Yue had shocked them once with Velocity Flow, they had never expected the small child to have other secrets, but they were surprised yet again as they completely focused their eyes upon Hui Yue.

As soon as the qi lightning bolt hit Hui Yue’s shoulder, the faint white glow that had been covering his body all fight suddenly condensed and became much thicker, much like an armour made from white pearl. It managed to defend against the lightning bolt, before it returned into the faint glow from before.

Although the Qi Guard had managed to protect Hui Yue from serious injury he was still sent flying and his shoulder turned numb. Hui Yue let out a relieved sigh, however he quickly noticed that the Qi Guard had needed an incredible amount of qi to block that attack. With his current amount of qi he would only be able to block about two more at most.

Wang Ju Long was unaware of this fact. All he saw was that his most potent attack had no effect on Hui Yue, and his insides were turning with rage. He quickly stood up and once again focused on the vortex in his hand before he shot another four qi lightning bolts towards Hui Yue.

The distance between the two was far greater this time as both had been knocked away, and Hui Yue could utilize Velocity Flow enough to narrowly escape and close the gap between them. He decided to go all out, and invested more of his sparse qi into creating a copy that attacked together with him, while activating the shattering kick once again.

Wang Ju Long used yet another set of qi lightning bolts, to attack the two bodies that were rapidly gaining on him, and as soon as one hit the copy it vanished, giving him enough time to block the shattering kick.

Hui Yue on the other hand, used the opportunity to retreat, ensuring that he would not get hit by yet another qi lightning bolt, as he realised that his qi would be running out quickly if he did.

After the exchange both boys were standing in the arena with a certain distance between. Wang Ju Long’s tempest had been reduced by half, and the amount of qi lightning strikes left had also halved from the original number, while Hui Yue could feel that he had spent a little more than half of his qi. The Qi Guard alone had used a third of his total qi to defend against that one qi lightning bolt, which showed just how damaging it was.

Wang Ju Long was filled with hate. There was nothing he wanted more than killing this unknown child in front of him, however so far, his Qi Lightning technique had not had any real effect, instead he had been exhausting his qi pool with repeated attacks.

Hui Yue on the other hand was on the defensive. He had a smaller qi pool than Wang Ju Long and the previous attack had shown him just how dangerous it would be if he relaxed only a little. Both were standing still, staring at each other and none of them felt like giving in when suddenly they heard clapping.

“Well done!” Deng Wu said with a big smile upon his face, eyes playing mischievously, “you both did incredibly well at this exchange of pointers. Although you both got slight injuries you managed to hold back and not seriously injure the other. That is not seen often!” Deng Wu was praising the both, and made it sound as if this outcome had been intended. Although the comment caused Wang Ju Long to grind his teeth hard against each other and his eyes to flash violently with anger, he was unable to say anything else, as it was against the rules to intentionally injure other students.

Hui Yue somewhat shared those feelings, as he was incredibly disappointed with himself. He was aware that Wang Ju Long was a higher cultivation rank than he himself, however it was only three stars and Hui Yue had to use more martial art skills than Wang Ju Long. Although he had the skills to escape from much stronger opponents it was still very dissatisfying that he could not defeat his opponent.

“Young Lord Wang Ju Long, thank you so much for this exchange of pointers. It has really taught me a lot,” Hui Yue said with a gentle smile upon his face and a grateful expression in his eyes, however inside he swore to train endlessly to increase his rank and to perfect the Qi Guard so that Lan Feng would teach him an attack style martial art skill.

‘Let’s see how the next fight will go,’ he thought determined and coldness once again flashed within his sky blue eyes, causing the smile on Deng Wu’s face to increase slightly.

Chapter 9 – Courtyard 1009

Sponsored by Jago Spencer – a great thanks to him!

Hui Yue narrowed his eyes as he observed the young man who was running towards them, yelling Rong Ming’s name, however his tense muscles quickly softened as he noticed the biggest smile he had ever seen was plastered upon the youth’s face. It was obvious that there was no hostility between the two.

“Hey Gao Yan,” Rong Ming said happily as the shouting youngster reached them, and Hui Yue used the opportunity to hide slightly behind Rong Xing, observing the boy. According to the information given earlier, Gao Yan was as talented as Rong Ming and Rong Xing, however he was born from an incredibly poor family, and the only reason his talent had been discovered was due to one of the Martial Art Schools that Lord Rong Liang had opened all over Riluo City.

At first Gao Yan had only seen Rong Ming, as the two of them were good friends, but he quickly noticed the white-haired boy hiding behind Rong Xing. Gao Yan opened his mouth, and was about to say something, when he was interrupted by a dramatic voice,

“He is a boy, you commoner,” it said, and although the voice was slightly arrogant, the way he said commoner was more caring that unfavourable.

Hui Yue looked at the newcomer and noticed that this was indeed a beautiful young man. He was the same age as the others, but he seemed slightly more mature. He was the tallest of the group, and his body was lean with strong muscles playing underneath the white skin.

His long hair was black as charcoal and his eyes were like two beautiful obsidian gemstones. Within those eyes were small stars of happiness dancing around, mischievously observing the world around him with a certain arrogance. His body was clothed in simple black clothes, but although the robe was simple, it was obviously of the best quality. This man was a young master.

The young master slowly strode towards the group and handed a flower to Rong Xing, before he fell onto one knee “Oh Lady of my heart, the long summer has left me thirsting for the sight of you, as a poor man thirsts for water within the scorching desert. The only thing that kept me going was my hope of seeing your beautiful face which grants me the energy to keep living my lowly life as a slave of your heart.”

Hui Yue was staring at the newcomer with open mouth. The words that had been said were so outrageous that Hui Yue were incapable of finding anyone who could take this man serious. The most amazing thing was how serious this youngster had looked while declaring his never ending love to Rong Xing.

Coupled with Hui Yue’s shock was Lan Feng’s laughter. The phoenix was laughing uncontrollably as even he had never seen such a dramatic person before.

‘This is great,’ He cried while looking at the youngster in front, ‘We need to stay here, the people are amazing.’ Hui Yue was about to say that they were not here for entertainment but for the sake of increasing their cultivation, but he quickly shut up as he noticed the youngster turn towards Hui Yue with glistening eyes.

“My name is Deng Wu,” he said with a slight bow, “why don’t you call me big brother? You should spend some time with me,” he continued while winking at the younger Hui Yue. Rong Xing reacted quickly to the wink and her arms defensively drew Hui Yue into a protective embrace while glaring towards the flirting Deng Wu,

“Didn’t you just say that he’s a boy? You actually swing that way?” Gao Yan asked puzzled while looking at Deng Wu as if he was uncertain about his own feelings towards the handsome youngster’s sudden change in interests.

“My heart belongs to Rong Xing and only Rong Xing,” Deng Wu said with great pride, “but who would I be if I did not appreciate beauty and wish to conquer it?”

Rong Xing opened her mouth and was about to retort, but her expression quickly changed from indignation to happiness as yet another young man was walking towards them all, waving a hand lazily.

Hui Yue was not dumb, and he quickly guessed that the youngster was Ma Kong. His hair was fairly short compared to the others, and it was a fiery red. His eyes were hazel brown and calm, reminding Hui Yue of a sturdy tree that would stand strong through any storm.

“What a cute kid,” Ma Kong said while arriving at the group and patted Hui Yue’s head as if he was some sort of a pet, before he greeted everyone else present.

Hui Yue looked at every one present. He already trusted Rong Xing and Rong Ming. Both had proved to genuinely care about him through the past years, and it seemed that their friends were quite reliable as well.

The three additions to the group were incredibly different, but at the same time complimented each other. Ma Kong was the calm anchor of the group, most likely the one who could think of practical points together with Rong Xing. Gao Yan was the energetic and talented person who would instantly act without considering the consequences, he was in a way much like Rong Ming, and then Deng Wu was the overly dramatic and playful person. However, Hui Yue could feel that within those laughing obsidian eyes was an intelligence that should not be underestimated.

“I think it is time for an introduction of our new beauty,” Deng Wu said after everyone had grouped up, and looked at Hui Yue once again. Rong Ming could not help but smile slightly while shaking his head.

“His name is Hui Yue. He is a friend of our family, and we have known him for five years now. He only came to this academy because of us, so we will be looking after him in the future,” he introduced calmly, without explaining anything specific. Both Deng Wu and Ma Kong noticed that some details were ignored, but neither of them asked any questions and Gao Yan didn’t seem to really care about a person’s background.

“Well then younger brother Hui Yue,” Deng Wu said with his drawling voice, “My courtyard is numbered 3007, if you ever need help you are more than welcome to visit me. Especially at night time,” he finished off with a grin, but Rong Xing once again shot a fierce glare towards the black clothed youth and hissed at him,

“If you touch Xiao Yue di-di then I will never forgive you and personally ensure that you can never touch another person again,” she said with a frozen glare while cuddling the younger boy in her arms, as if she was cuddling a small animal. The look caused the boys to raise an eyebrow or show other expressions of surprise as the usually quiet Rong Xing was expressing herself so clearly.

“I see,” Deng Wu said with a theatrical voice and shook his head with distress, “my dear beautiful Yue Er, I will not be able to let our forbidden romance flourish. The wife has forbidden me to do so, and who am I to upset my wife?” Hui Yue couldn’t help but grinning slightly, and the others also grinned at the usual display of love from Deng Wu towards Rong Xing.

“Oh my,” an arrogant voice suddenly sounded out behind them, “look who we got here. You have still not realised that nobility is not allowed to lower themselves to play with commoners?”

Hui Yue narrowed his eyes while looking at the speaker. The man was pretty but not overly beautiful. He seemed to be above average when it came to his cultivation, but his mouth was curled into an arrogant smirk and his eyes were filled with hatred as he looked at Gao Yan and Ma Kong. It was obvious that he did not accept new nobility nor commoners. Behind him was a group of ten youngsters of different ages, however some of them seemed to be closer to twenty than the fifteen years of age that Rong Ming and his group had.

After he had been looking at the two with disdain, his eyes swept across Rong Xing and the young Hui Yue who was currently being held by the hand of the older girl. A lewd light suddenly shone within his eyes.

“Young miss,” he said with a gentler voice while walking towards Hui Yue, “do not spend your time together with these people. They will only corrupt your beauty. Instead, come with me. I am Wang Jingshen from one of the Great Hundred Names. I can ensure that you get a comfortable stay here at the academy.” The young man who called himself Wang Jingshen licked his lips hungrily while reaching out his hand, trying to grab Hui Yue by the arm.

“Hahahaha,” Gao Yan started laughing, and even the four others were grinning slightly, causing Wang Jingshen to furrow his brows and growl at the laughing boy, “what are you laughing at you trash?” his eyes were narrowed and a sneer had appeared on his face as he felt disgraced by the mocking laughter,

“It’s nothing, really,” Gao Yan answered while removing a tear from his eye, “It’s just, your lordship, you are a noble person from the Great Hundred Names, yet you cannot see that younger brother Hui Yue is a boy. How can you not notice this? Or perhaps you did notice, but takes fancy in young beautiful boys?” Gao Yan’s words were definitely taunting, however he was keeping every etiquette required when a commoner was conversing with a noble.

Every word had for some reason caused Rong Ming’s face to redden slightly, and Rong Xing had to cover her small mouth with a hand to disguise her giggles.

Wang Jingshen’s face was constantly switching between beet red and ashen pale as he could say nothing. Instead he glared fiercely at Hui Yue, as if it was his fault that Wang Jingshen had lost face. Eventually he turned around and gestured for his followers to leave, which they all did after sneering at Hui Yue and the others.

“Don’t worry about them,” Ma Kong said with a smile, while placing a gentle hand on Hui Yue’s shoulder. “He might be very loud, but in the end he can’t do anything against you as long as you are with us. True his family is one of the Great Hundred Names, but so is Deng Wu’s, and don’t forget the Rong twins here. Not to mention me. Although my family received nobility quite recently, we do have the power to back up our rank. And never underestimate Gao Yan and his connections within Riluo City.”

Hui Yue nodded gratefully after hearing the red-haired youth, but inside he was curious. The Ma family did not seem as simple as he had expected at first. Not to mention Gao Yan’s connections.

‘Seems like your instincts are improving,’ Lan Feng commented satisfied, ‘we need to look into the different power struggles within Riluo City. We already belong to the Rong Family Faction, so it would be ignorant to think that this has nothing to do with us. We need to be prepared for the future.’

Hui Yue completely agreed with the blue phoenix. It was important for the two of them to know what powers were on each side, and if there were any actual struggles for power, or if it was just smaller families complaining to each other. Hui Yue’s eyes grew determined as he decided to sit down and have a talk with the others later on so that he could get to actually understand the situation.

“Go in there,” Rong Xing said gently while pushing Hui Yue into a closed room at the Academy office building. Within the closed room was an elderly man who was sitting behind a desk. Behind him was shelves upon shelves filled with thick and dusty books.

Upon entering the room Hui Yue had to take a deep breath. This person was without a doubt the strongest person within the academy as a first-star King ranked expert. Hui Yue quickly guessed that he was the Academy Chief.

Fortunately enough, the Academy Chief had no interest in inspecting Hui Yue, instead his whole attention was focused on the book in front of him. Looking at the book, Hui Yue noticed that each page was incredibly thick. The pages were filled with numbers, and next to the numbers were small marks that Hui Yue could not see what was meant for.

The elderly man never lifted his eyes from the book, instead he raised his finger and made a beckoning gesture, causing the student emblem to instantly respond and fly from Hui Yue’s hand towards the book.

It placed itself on one of the small unknown marks within that Hui Yue had seen earlier, and to Hui Yue it looked incredibly random. The elder however furrowed his brows and started grumbling. He poked the emblem a few times, but it did not change position, nor did it even move an inch. In the end the elderly man threw a glance towards Hui Yue before he stood up and turned around.

He grabbed yet another book from one of the shelves behind, and once again beckoned the student emblem to move onto the next book. It quickly settled on a specific position, and the elder eventually sighed before sitting down.

“You will be living at courtyard 1009,” the elderly man said with an annoyed voice, and as he mentioned the number, the emblem lit up with a stunning light.

“Your emblem will work as a key. Bind it with your qi so that no one steals it. If you lose it, even if it has been stolen, we won’t give you a new one. There is a place you can retrieve your bound key if it is stolen though, but ask the other students about that.” Finally, the elderly man focused his gaze upon the book once again and started mumbling something unrecognizable, making Hui Yue understand that it was now time to leave.

Outside Rong Ming, Rong Xing, Gao Yan, Deng Wu and Ma Kong were all waiting for him patiently while conversing about their summer vacations. They all focused their attention upon the white-haired boy as soon as they saw him exit the Academy Office Building.

“So, which courtyard did you get?” Gao Yan asked quickly, clearly cutting in before Rong Ming, and all of them looked quite curious.

Hui Yue frowned for a bit, not understanding why it mattered, before he answered, “Courtyard 1009 apparently.”

The answer caused some surprise to become evident on the faces of all five youngsters, and Hui Yue could not help but getting slight confused,

“Is there anything wrong with that place?” he asked, as he remembered the elder’s grumbling when he saw the room.

“Nothing wrong no,” Rong Xing explained, “Each mountain top has its own numbers. The first mountain, all their numbers starts with zero, the next starts with one and the following with two and so on. The courtyards on the mountain tops are numbered 1-10, so your courtyard is on the top of the second mountain top from here. Everyone wants the top courtyards since they have much thicker essence energy to refine into better quality qi than the rest of the courtyards. Usually only a few geniuses are given the right to live there from the start, and then five is given as a reward in the Academy Tournaments.”

“We all live at the top on mount three, but we had to work to get the right to live there,” Gao Yan said, “you need to be careful now. Don’t let anyone know that you have gotten one of the top places.” He continued.

“Why?” Hui Yue asked curiously,

“If you have a top courtyard you need to be accepting any challenge from a cultivator within the same rank as yourself. If you lose you have to switch home with the winner. A lot of the nine-star students will definitely challenge you.” Gao Yan explained, “the Rong Twins got their rooms for their talents, and so did I, but Deng Wu and Ma Kong both had to challenge the previous owners to get their room next to ours.”

‘This is good,’ Fan Leng’s voice sounded within Hui Yue’s heart, ‘you definitely need some combat training, but you are too weak to take on magical beasts. Playing with the student-ranked cultivators should be great help. It might even help speed up your cultivation.’

The five young people quickly brought Hui Yue towards his new home, and on the way Gao Yan was busy telling Hui Yue about all the duels he had won in the arena, including explaining each and every one of his martial art skills.

The bridges were all well build and around ten metres wide. Students were constantly moving to and from the residential area, and it was obvious that this place was the home for thousands of people.

They quickly passed the first mountain, and although it looked enormous, Hui Yue could not understand just how big those mountains were before they entered the second mountain where he was supposed to live for the next many years.

Roads where carved into the mountain side, and one courtyard after another was placed next to the road with tall walls, allowing the students some privacy. Each courtyard had a small garden to allow the students to cultivate outside without having to be disturbed by others.

The road continued on and on, and as Hui Yue moved further up the mountain he felt just how thick the essence energies were around his body. Finally, they were almost at the top, and Hui Yue felt how the essence energy was entering his body by itself and was starting to rush through his meridians, being refined by impulse. At first he was worried whether or not the quality was sufficient, but he quickly relaxed as he noticed the controlling qi within his qi cave had taken over and kept refining the essence until it had the same pearly lustre as the qi personally refined by Hui Yue.

‘Oh my,’ Lan Feng’s voice sounded pleasant as they reached the mountain top, ‘It seems like you have your first challenger.’

Right in front of them was Wang Jingshen and the same group of people he had been with earlier. They were standing outside of the small courtyard that was numbered 1009, and a sly grin was plastered upon their faces.

“This is my younger brother Wang Ju Long.” Wang Jingshen introduced while moving to the side, allowing a young boy to be visible behind him. He looked like a miniature version of Wang Jingshen, but his eyes were even more arrogant than his older brother, “He is a new student just as you yourself. He is one of the greatest geniuses in our family, and he was excited when he noticed that he would get a neighbour on this mountain top, so why don’t the two of you exchange pointers?” Wang Jingshen asked with a malicious grin spreading on his face, causing all his followers to grin like monkeys.

‘He is an eight-star student ranked expert,’ Lan Feng said calmly within Hui Yue’s heart, ‘You should definitely fight him. You need some practice. The worst that can happen is that he beats you, but don’t worry, I will make sure that you won’t get crippled.’

Hui Yue could not help but snort at the friendly help that Lan Feng offered him, however he was not a person who enjoyed bullying, and he would have accepted the challenge either way to prove this to the Wang family. At the same time, he was incredibly curious about just how well his Velocity Flow skill was working together with his current understanding of the Qi Guard.

A big smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face as he walked forward, offering his hand to Wang Ju Long as a greeting. The appearance of Hui Yue could convince anyone that he was as pure and kind as a fairy.

“Young Lord Wang, it would be my greatest honour to exchange pointers with you,” he said with glistening eyes and sugar-coated words.

Chapter 8 – Admission Test

The sun was rising, colouring the sky with beautiful shades, promising to bring a day with bright weather. Hui Yue was looking out the window and enjoying the breath-taking scenery while feeling happiness within. No matter where he was, a sunrise would always be beautiful.

He was in a city for the first time in ten years. However, this city was nothing like his old multicultural and technological world, so for him, everything was new. Looking at the sunset made him think about the previous day where they had arrived.

The Rong entourage had arrived the previous day, and moved through the city. On the way Hui Yue had seen a number of shops and stalls all around, and even market places that seemed to be owned by the different noble families within the city.

However, Hui Yue did not manage to have a good look at anything as they travelled rather quickly, everyone within the city made space on the populated roads to allow for the City Lord’s guards and the Rong Twins to pass through undisturbed.

Arriving at the City Lord’s mansion shocked Hui Yue quite a bit. His mansion was styled very much like a Chinese palace.

It was big with multiple buildings, where some were surrounded by walls, others by moats. Some of the buildings were one storage, while others were towers and even four pagodas could be seen within the outer wall.

As soon as they passed through the gate, Hui Yue noticed that each of the buildings had their own courtyard. Some of them seemed to be small businesses while others were residential areas. Between these different kinds of buildings were beautiful gardens and elaborate statues.

In the middle of the palace was a big building that was erected on a hill with hundreds of steps leading up to the entrance. It looked incredibly similar to the Hall of Supreme Harmony that Hui Yue had seen in the Forbidden City. The few differences were that this building had been erected on a hill at least double as tall as the Hall of Supreme Harmony, but the building itself was not as big.

“That is the City Office,” Bu Huang explained, “it is the place where everything that has to do with the city is decided.”

Hui Yue nodded, it was obvious that a city had an insane amount of land under its protection, and it would definitely need quite a large hall to house every scholar and government official that worked for the city.

Bu Huang, Rong Ming and Rong Xing were heading for another gate, they called it the Donghua gate, and it was heavily guarded by Duke ranked experts.

Behind this gate was the City Lord’s personal living quarters, but even so, it was bigger than what Hui Yue could ever have expected.

The city guards that had followed the entourage on the trip were left outside the Donghua gate, and headed towards the barracks where they had been given a few days of rest.

Bu Huang, Rong Ming, Rong Xing and Hui Yue continued forward together, moving to a corner of the residence where the City Lord’s stables were erected. On the way there, Hui Yue was placed on the ground and told to stay behind so that he did not shock the other magical animals within the stables, and he did as he was told, while admiring the beautiful surroundings. He felt as if he had been travelling back in time.

‘this style has been in this world for thousands of years’ Lan Feng said with a silent voice, only daring to speak now that they were alone, ‘The reason it has become popular in your world is most likely because an expert visited this plane and returned home with the designs or the other way around.’

‘You can travel between the worlds?’ Hui Yue asked shocked, this would definitely be amazing.

‘Yeah,’ Lan Feng answered as if it was common knowledge, ‘if you are strong enough, then you can create your own path between the different planes. Because of that you will see a lot of different styles and cultures all over the different planes. Everyone steals their ideas from other places.’

Hui Yue nodded, he knew how every part of Earth itself had different designs and styles depending on where they went.

‘When you become an expert your lifespan increases. The stronger you get the longer you can live. When you become a god you can live for an eternity if that is what you want.’ Lan Feng continued, ‘Imagine living out eternity in one place. That is really no fun, after a couple of thousand years you ought to have seen every little stone of your home plane. Then most experts will travel to other planes.’

Hui Yue furrowed his brows. ‘Earlier you said that there were only four gods, the four divine beasts, how can there have been other gods then?’ he asked questioningly

‘I have only seen four gods,’ Lan Feng explained, ‘and while I lived on this plane only four gods had ever existed here. But there are so many planes in the world and gods are able to create planes if they wish for it to happen. This plane is considered a very young plane and it is around the same age as the one you came from.’ This knowledge shocked Hui Yue, as he did not consider millions of years to be young, but before he commented Lan Feng continued, ‘it is obvious that so many planes will create an insane amount of experts. Not even I know how many gods there are or where they live. If I were to travel around outside of this place, I would be considered a weakling, even though I am a saint.’

Hui Yue could not help but gulp as he was shocked by the knowledge he had been provided with.

‘Don’t worry too much about it,’ Lan Feng sighed while quickly slipping back into the qi cave as he saw Bu Huang and the twins come closer, ‘when you reach God rank we will go grab your girlfriend’s soul and you two can go tour the different planes as much as you want.’ His voice became quieter and quieter as he descended into the dantian and hid himself once again.

The Rong twins were both much older now than they had been when they first met each other, and their maturity had changed greatly, but even those two youths were grinning shamelessly and laughing while dragging the young Hui Yue around, showing their favourite places within the gardens to him.

It was long past dinnertime before they finally reached the main house where Lord Rong Liang himself resided and hurried into the dining room where an extravagant feast was ready for the three youngsters.

Lord Rong Liang was waiting for them and quickly greeted the three children before he and Bu Huang moved into another room where they had some issues that needed counselling.

Hui Yue looked at the table and saw so many different foods that he had never seen before, some were shellfish, while others were meat of unknown origin. There were salads and sauces, vegetables and stews. Different types of soups and breads. It was the biggest feast that Hui Yue had ever seen.

“Don’t be too nervous about tomorrow,” Rong Ming said while waving around something that looked a lot like a chicken drumstick.

“Your cultivation is high enough for you to join the academy, and we will go with you to make sure that everything is fair,” he continued with a smile, before tearing half of the meat off the bone, and chewing it with delight.

“I hope it is not Elder Wang that is dealing with the admission test,” Rong Xing said with a quiet voice, and Hui Yue looked at her questioningly, “he does not like commoners,” she explained, “so he sometimes cheats a little on the test to make sure that they don’t get into the academy.”

“But don’t worry!” Rong Ming assured, while still gobbling on his food, “We will make sure that no one cheats when it is your turn.” Rong Xing gave a determined nod, showing that she too agreed upon this.

“When you get accepted just stick to us at the start,” Rong Ming continued, “we will make sure you get to your classes at the right time and the right place. And with us around no one will even think about bullying you,” he had a big smile on his face, and quickly grabbed something that looked like mashed vegetables and handed it to Hui Yue, “Try this, it tastes really good!” he said with a mouthful of food.

The three children spent the rest of the evening eating the food on the table, but no matter how hard they tried, it was impossible to eat it all. Eventually it had turned completely black outside and Rong Xing led Hui Yue towards a small two storey house with a personal courtyard that was placed close to the wall surrounding the residential area of the City Lord.

“Stay here tonight,” she said with a smile and clapped her hands, causing crystals to light up all over the building, both inside and outside, “we will come and pick you up tomorrow,” she said before wishing Hui Yue a good night and turned around, walking towards her own home.

Although Hui Yue had tried to fall asleep it had been impossible as he kept worrying about what was going to happen the following day. The admission test was incredibly important for him as he needed the extra help from the academy to quickly get past the student rank, however if anyone from the academy noticed Lan Feng, then he would be in trouble.

‘Bu Huang is a five-star King ranked expert and Rong Liang is nine-star King ranked. They both know that you hide something but they have been very considerate so far. Don’t expect to find other considerate people.’ Lan Feng warned, and Hui Yue nodded at the warning,

‘If we see anyone else who has unlocked the upper dantian then we need to scram,’ the blue phoenix continued, and in the end the two of them ended up spending the night planning a number of escape plans in case they were noticed. Before they realised, they saw that the sunrise was painting the beautiful sky in a warm light.

Had he still been in the village, then he would already be on the hillside by now, looking after the goats, but although it was only two days since he had last done his chores, it already felt as if it had been a completely different world.

Being in Riluo City was like moving within a dream. Everything he looked at was so familiar, but at the same time so foreign. He had seen chickens, which made him feel familiarity, but as soon as he looked closer he noticed a horn on their heads and a scaled tail behind. Even if things seemed familiar, there was always something else hidden beneath.

Hui Yue spent the morning cultivating while listening to the tranquil sounds. Hui Yue had expected the city to be bursting with sounds, however the City Mansion was so big, and the City Lord’s residence was located so far away from the busy city that the sounds couldn’t reach them.

At first, the only thing that Hui Yue did hear, was the sound of guards that would casually talk together while switching from one shift to another, but slowly the mansion woke up. Servants were rushing back and forth to ensure that everyone had their breakfast and necessities ready for yet another morning.

Scholars was soon running around picking up scripts and scrolls for their teachers to be ready for another busy day at an office, and suddenly the whole Mansion was filled with life and energy, much like any other day would have been.

A servant arrived at Hui Yue’s courtyard and brought an invitation to eat breakfast together with the Rong family, which Hui Yue quickly accepted, however as soon as he entered the dining room, he halted slightly as he noticed that Rong Liang and Bu Huang both were present.

The young white-haired boy quickly cupped his hands and did a slight bow towards the two adult men, which both responded with a gentle nod, before they engaged in conversation once again.

The Rong twins and Hui Yue ate a hearty breakfast filled with fruits and yoghourt, cured meat and bread together with some kind of milk and fresh pressed juice. Hui Yue could not help but be shocked upon seeing the insane amount of food that was created for each meal.

“Don’t worry, the leftovers from the buffet always goes to the martial art schools that dad manages,” Rong Ming said proudly, upon noticing Hui Yue’s judging look, “all kids below ten years old can go to the martial art school and learn how to cultivate and then they get a meal every time they show up,” Rong Xing explained, “dad wants to help them learn how to cultivate so they can help their family earn money instead of being poor.”

“But Elder Wang hates the martial art school,” Rong Ming whispered, “there is a lot of the poor commoners who gets the right to join the Royal Academy because of them, and he thinks it is stupid to teach martial art to commoners instead of ruling over them.”

Hui Yue understood that this was not a subject to talk about while at school, but he instantly felt more positive towards the daunting Lord Rong Liang.

“It is because Elder Wang’s family is a part of The Great Hundred Names,” Rong Ming complained, however he still kept his voice low enough for the two discussing adults to not hear what was said, at least he was convinced of that.

Rong Xing sighed. Her twin brother kept saying things which Hui Yue had no idea of understanding, so she once again took the role of the translator, “The Great Hundred Names are one hundred families who can follow their ancestry all the way back to The Dark Age. It is only hundred noble families that survived whatever happened back then. They are in all three allied countries, so it is quite astonishing to be from one of the Great Hundred Names families.”

Hui Yue nodded. It meant that their family history was at least four thousand years old, it was indeed quite a history for any noble family, and he imprinted the name Wang in his heart, ensuring that he needed much more caution whenever he was going to deal with those people.

The meal was quickly eaten while Rong Ming was busy telling Hui Yue about some of his friends at the Royal Academy.

Hui Yue had worn some of his usual clothes today, and although it was worn out, it was incredibly comfortable, however a maid quickly brought his new white set of clothes to him. It had been cleaned during the night, and the Rong twins both wanted him to wear the white clothes. They wanted to show off their friend’s beauty.

With a sigh, Hui Yue followed their suggestions and quickly changed into his most beautiful piece of clothing. Hopefully they could convince the notorious Elder Wang that Hui Yue was a person fit to study at the Royal Academy.

Outside the City Lord’s Mansion was a carriage waiting for them. It was being pulled by four Kirins. They were related to Qilins, however they were much more elegant. Where the Qilin was like a horse and dragon mixed together, the Kirin was more a deer mixed with a dragon. It was gracious and elegant while the lean muscles were bulging underneath the scaled skin.

“The Royal Academy is located on a mountain range behind the city,” Rong Xing explained, “It is not too far away, but we are expected to ride a carriage when we travel from the City to the Academy.”

The travel through Riluo City was much like the previous day where Hui Yue did not have the time to see anything in detail, but he comforted himself with the fact that he had no money to entertain himself with. Cities were only fun for the rich people.

The travel to the Royal Academy really did not take long. As soon as the carriage exited the city walls they gained in speed and almost flew towards a distant mountain. With the Kirins pulling the carriage it only took them half an hour to reach the destination.

The carriage stopped right at the foot of the mountain where large fields were filled with young children and their entourages. Some of the children had come in groups and looked poor, which caused Hui Yue to assume that they were the commoners that Elder Wang was supposed to dislike, while other children were bringing a wide array of experts and servants with them to the examination.

There were seven elderly figures apart from these children and their entourages, and they were positioned in a straight line in front of the mountain entrance. There was exactly three metres between each of the elders, and in front of them were a small table.

On the table was a book, a pen and a white stone slab. In front of the elders were a queue of around ten children. One child at a time went towards the elder and stated their name and age, then the elder ordered them to lay their hand upon the stone slab, before they themselves inserted some of their qi to activate the slab, making it write down the child’s real age and cultivation rank.

Hui Yue furrowed his brows slightly, as the highest ranked of those Elders was a four-star duke, where the others were nine star Grand Masters. None of these elders would be capable of detecting Lan Feng.

‘Their skilled experts must be hiding within the academy,’ Lan Feng said with slight relief visible in the voice.

“Oh no,” whispered Rong Ming next to Hui Yue, who had been busy worrying about being noticed, “Elder Wang is here. Let’s go queue up over here,” he continued and grabbed Hui Yue’s arm while dragging him towards one of the elders all the way to the side.

Hui Yue was confused. Elder Wang was supposed to have a high standing within this academy, however none of the experts here were any real threat to Hui Yue and Lan Feng. Suddenly a thought hit Hui Yue, and he narrowed his eyes slightly while asking, “What rank are the teachers at the academy?”

“Hmm, most of them are Grand Masters. A few are Masters and we have a couple of Duke ranked experts,” Rong Xing answered after thinking for a bit. Hui Yue felt relief washing over him, as he had realised why. This was after all only the outer disciples. The students here all depended on the lower dantian to train, while the students who had already opened the middle dantian would be moved to the main Royal Academy within the Capital City.

It made perfect sense that any instructor or teacher with a higher cultivation would teach the higher ranked students. For now, it did not seem as if Lan Feng and Hui Yue would have any problems while moving around at the academy.

Hui Yue was in a great mood when he stood in the queue, waiting for his turn to be tested. The Rong twins were standing next to him, and although they were already students and allowed to enter the Royal Academy already, they would not go before Hui Yue had been accepted.

The two children of the City Lord who stood next to the unknown beautiful kid did cause quite a commotion and many noble families started guessing as to what the heritage of this unknown child could be.

Neither Hui Yue, nor the twins had any interest in the gossip that was going around, as all three knew that his origin was to be kept a secret, and as soon as it was their turn, Hui Yue strode towards the elder with a calm radiating from within that was unlikely anyone his age.

“What is your name?” the elder asked with a friendly voice. This child was after all being guided by two students of high profile.

“Hui Yue,” was the clear answer,

“Place your hand on the stone slab,” the elder ordered, and Hui Yue did as he was told. A second later, the elder placed a finger on the same stone slab and allowed some of his qi to pull out a bit of Hui Yue’s qi from within his body. Suddenly letters appeared on the surface and Hui Yue removed his hand.

“five-star student rank. Boy age ten.” The elder said with a mumbling voice while recording the result within the book on the table. He opened a bag and pulled out an emblem. The emblem was small and shaped as a pentagon. Printed on the emblem was five flower petals that surrounded a sun in the middle.

“Here you go,” the elder said while handing the emblem to the child in front of him, “Keep this for the years you study at our academy. Make sure to keep it safe.” With a wave of his hand, the elder moved his attention towards the next child in line for the admission test and Hui Yue quickly moved forward, following the Rong twins towards the entrance leading up the mountain.

The entrance was simple. The three children moved through a stone pavilion, and Hui Yue noticed how his student emblem started shining as soon as he entered, but nothing else happened, and as soon as they had walked through, the weird shine had vanished.

“It is a key,” Rong Xing explained, “only the ones who has an emblem that belongs to the Royal Academy can enter the Academy grounds.” The Rong twins found their own emblems, both looked identical to Hui Yue’s.

“A golden one shows that you are an inner disciple from the Royal Academy in the capital. The teachers and instructors all have white symbols,” Rong Xing continued to explain.

“This is the worst part of the academy,” Rong Ming said with a sigh, while looking in front of him, and Hui Yue moved his gaze towards the front, only to see endless stone steps leading towards the mountain top.

The three children smiled to each other before they slowly started moving up, one step at a time. It has to be said that they were all cultivators so it required quite a bit for those three children to be tired, but Rong Ming was often bored, and he had had enough after half an hour of climbing the stairs.

“We got a lot of friends at the academy, and I am sure that they will like you too,” he started while looking disapproving at the many steps in front of him. “Quite a few of them are commoners, but your family background does not matter if you are strong, that is what father always taught us.”

“I usually hang around with Gao Yan, Ma Kong and Deng Wu.” He continued while the three climbed one step after another, “Gao Yan’s family is really poor, but his talent is as good as mine and Xing Er’s. Dad asked us to look after him at the start, and he is a really good guy. Most of the commoners at the academy look up to him. Ma Kong is from the Ma family, they are nobles, but they gained nobility quite recently so most of the other nobles looks down upon them, and then Deng Wu. He is a weirdo. The Deng Family is one of the Great Hundred Names, but Deng Wu is such a skirt chaser. He followed us from the start because he fell for Xing Er,”

After getting a quick explanation of the different friends’ family backgrounds they had arrived at the top of the stair and Hui Yue sucked in a deep breath.

This was supposed to be a mountain top, but instead it was a city buzzling with youngsters everywhere. Every mountain top had been connected with long bridges and there were flying magical beasts hovering around, waiting for their masters.

Four of the mountain tops were filled with small houses, counting at least a thousand on each, which Rong Xing explained to be dormitories. Each student had their own room. There was also a canteen placed on each mountain top that would offer food three times a day free of charge.

These four mountain tops were all to the left from the staircase while the right side was filled with tall buildings. Each building had different nameplates pasted upon. One said ‘Martial Art Skill Hall’, while another said ‘Qi theory lessons’, yet another said ‘Cultivation methods’.

Several mountain tops had been completely flattened and changed into training grounds and yet again others were changed into fighting arenas.

Right in front of Hui Yue was a big pagoda which was the Royal Academy main building. It housed the most important martial art skills and all the instructors and teachers lived within.

Everywhere Hui Yue looked he saw students. Some were young and scared, while moving around in groups, while others were older and much more comfortable while traveling with a certain feel of belonging.

This was the new place for Hui Yue to live, and he could feel joy bubbling inside. A whole new world was waiting for him, just waiting to be explored.

“Rong Ming!” a voice called from the side, and Hui Yue turned around to see a youngster rushing towards them.

Chapter 7 – Three Years Later

Xia Lang, the village elder’s grandson, ended up looking after the goats for the rest of the month, as the Rong twins insisted that Hui Yue went to their campsite every day. The reason they gave the elder, was that Hui Yue had the talent to become a cultivator and they would spend the month helping him improve his cultivation method and teach him martial art skills.

Lan Feng didn’t care about Hui Yue learning the martial art skills that the Rong twins were bringing. The proud phoenix would not even bother with learning the names of the three skills that Hui Yue had been given.

When Hui Yue told Lan Feng that he was too arrogant, the phoenix answered that he did not care about the low ranked skills as he was certain that he would be capable of providing Hui Yue with much better skills whenever the latter had perfected Velocity Flow.

Such an answer obviously stunned Hui Yue, but he had no way to retort, as he knew that Lan Feng was not bragging, but merely stating the truth.

Hui Yue spent the rest of the month together with the Rong Twins and Bu Huang. Bu Huang quickly stopped scrutinizing Hui Yue, which allowed Lan Feng to stop hiding and instead participate in whatever was happening, although only Hui Yue noticed him.

Learning martial art skills from scrolls were very different from the mind transfer that Lan Feng had used previously with Velocity Flow. The body instantly knew how to use the Velocity Flow skill, and the pattern needed to make the qi flow within the meridians was also mapped out within the body, while now, although the skill was explained and the qi flow pattern within the meridians was mapped out in the scroll, the user needed to be perceptive to apply the written skill into the body.

Hui Yue was greatly helped by his previous experience with Velocity Flow and his old occupation as a university student while trying to understand and imprint the lower ranked martial art skills, and Hui Yue had to admit that the only reason that he could succeed was due to the simplicity of the low ranked skills.

The month flashed by much quicker than usual while Hui Yue was practicing martial art skills and cultivating together with the Rong twins. Rong Ming left three martial art skills for Hui Yue to start learning, and the goal was to perfect those three by the time Hui Yue turned ten years old.

The village was proud upon hearing that Hui Yue was skilled enough to become a cultivator, and they would assist the Hui family even more than before. The village elder had even offered that Xia Lang could take over the chores of looking after the goats permanently so that Hui Yue could focus on cultivating.

At first Hui Yue had been slightly annoyed by the extra attention that everyone had paid him, and he quickly rejected the offer of having Xia Lang taking over his chores, as he needed the daily visit to the hills to practice his martial arts and get some privacy.

Fortunately, it did not take long before the village returned to its usual calm self as everyone were busy with their own work, so that they could survive in this poverty stricken village.

One month took another and Hui Yue spent the time practicing his Velocity Flow skill together with the three skills he had been given by Rong Ming. They were called Raging Strike, Shattering Kick and Stone Fist.

The Rong entourage would visit the village after a year had passed, and Hui Yue would take a month break from looking after the goats while sparing with Rong Ming and getting pointers on how to improve the three martial art skills he had been given the year earlier.

One year took another while Hui Yue and Lan Feng trained martial art skills and refined high quality qi, but for once the time felt as if it was rushing by, as the two of them were trying their best to reach the five-star student level needed to grant them entry into the Royal Academy.

Soon the three years had vanished and Hui Yue had turned ten years old. He had managed to reach the fifth star half a year ago during the cold winter, and he had perfected the three lower ranked martial art skills along with Velocity Flow.

Velocity Flow had been perfected a year ago after years of intensive training, and Lan Feng had kept his promise of giving him another high ranked skill.

The new skill was a Lower Duke ranked defensive skill called Qi Guard. An unknown cultivator had created this skill as a qi version of the spiritual energy shield that was gained after opening the middle dantian.

While this guard was not as strong as the spiritual energy shield, it was still the strongest defensive skill that a practitioner below Master Rank could get. Hui Yue had hoped that Lan Feng would have given him a strong attack style martial art, however the phoenix had pouted and complained that since Hui Yue got three attack skills from Rong Ming, he did not need to get one from Lan Feng just yet.

Hui Yue was standing at the village square where he was saying goodbye to his parents and everyone else who had gathered to wish him well in the future.

The Rong entourage had been to the Magical Forest, but this time they would not go straight back to Riluo city but rather revisit the village to pick up Hui Yue.

Both Hui Yue and Lan Feng were incredibly excited as it was finally time for them to leave this place that had been their home for the first ten years of their life in this new world. Although Lan Feng originated from this plane, he was unable to tell if he was in his old kingdom or what had changed since his last visit.

Both boy and phoenix were aware that they were taking a risk upon entering the Royal Academy. Lan Feng was capable of hiding himself almost perfectly within Hui Yue’s body, however there were some variables that they needed to consider.

Lan Feng was hiding himself while using his Saint ranked soul, but if he were to meet another saint ranked expert then he would be able to recognize his presence. Also King and Emperor ranked experts would be able to notice that something was hiding within Hui Yue’s body, however they would be unable to break through the layers of defence that Lan Feng had erected around his usual home in the qi cave.

Another problem was that although Lan Feng had hidden himself within Hui Yue, it was impossible for him to completely conceal his aura, which caused some of it to seep out, scaring any magical beast that came close to him.

However, both Hui Yue and Lan Feng had decided that even if it was dangerous, they still needed to take the chance and attend the Admission Ceremony at the Royal Academy.

Joining the Royal Academy could be a great help to Hui Yue’s cultivation. Lan Feng had promised that refining qi would get much easier upon reaching the disciple rank, however to reach that point, he needed to rely on cultivation rooms that had more natural essence or even medicinal pills that could directly increase his qi. Otherwise Lan Feng and Hui Yue would be stuck as students for a very long time as each star required more refined qi, and the requirements to break through to a higher star would soar now that he was at the fifth star rank.

The village was also very pleased by knowing that they had produced a person who could qualify to study at the Royal Academy, and the whole village had saved up enough money to buy him a new set of clothes.

Hui Yue was wearing the clothes while waiting for the Rong entourage to pick him up. It was a white robe with blue embroidery and blue ribbons to close it around his waist. The fabric was much more luxurious than anything Hui Yue had ever owned in this world before, and he was quite touched as the price had to have been incredibly high for this poor village.

The women had also spent time on patching up all the rest of his clothes and washing them so that they were in their best condition when Hui Yue reached the Academy.

Hui Yue was very well aware that his family were unable to pay anything for him when he went to study in town. Fortunately enough, the Royal Academy had no tuition fee and both boarding and food expenses were paid by the Royal Family. It was obvious that the Academies spread across the country was used to discover geniuses and rope them in, or at least giving them a feeling of belonging to the Royal Academy, and therefore also the Royal Family.

Hui Yue forced his thoughts back to the present and looked down upon the gravel road leading out of the Village. He was wearing his white clothes and had a small bundle hanging on his back which contained his spare clothes and the few personal belongings he had.

They had been waiting since early morning, but Hui Yue did not know when the Rong twins and their family guards would arrive to pick him up. The sun had broken through the sky long ago and it was now past noon, but Hui Yue was still patiently waiting.

The villagers had decided only to do the absolute necessary chores today so that they could send their promising young boy off with flair. Every villager was coming up to Hui Yue and had wished him the best of luck in the future, or told him to come visit them every now and then or even asked him to become someone great, who could bring fame to their unknown village.

Hui Lifen and Hui Guang were both standing on either side of their son, and their faces were filled with contrasting feelings as both were incredibly proud of Hui Yue, but at the same time overwhelmed by their parental worries of letting their son into the world at the age of ten. The reason they had dared to let him go was because they knew that the Rong family would support him.

Every second felt like an eternity as both Lan Feng and Hui Yue were itching to move on to a big city. They were both tired of their life in the village. Although Hui Lifen and Hui Guang had given all their love and care to the white-haired boy, he had never needed to mature the way an infant usually would, and all he remembered were the last ten years where he had cultivated together with Lan Feng and once a year spent time with the Rong twins. It was time to move on to a bigger stage.

“I promise to come home and visit often,” Hui Yue promised his parents with a smile, “I am not going far away, just going to start in a school,” he reassured his parents once again so that they did not need to feel worried about his actions just yet.

‘this is going to be exiting,’ Hui Yue continued to Lan Feng, and he could feel the phoenix nodding in agreement,

‘It is four thousand years since I last travelled around this plane. I am really curious to see how the world has changed.’

Lan Feng was even more impatient than Hui Yue. The four kingdoms had changed from being the property of the descendants of the Four Divine Beast, and now he had no way of knowing if he was even in his old country or not.

The history from more than four thousand years ago was considered a Dark Age, and only the strong knew of what had happened back then. Anyone else was prohibited from knowing the past of the countries, even the Rong twins were not allowed to know. This rule had roused some curiosity within Hui Yue and Lan Feng. Knowing that it was a taboo subject made them even more curious, however neither Rong Ming nor Rong Xing seemed to show any interest in the matter, as they had grown up with being told about the taboo.

Lan Feng would easily be able to answer which country they were currently residing in as soon as they got their hands on a map. It was possible to change the names of the countries and remove the history, however it was not possible to move the four mountain ranges that the Four Divine Beasts had created to separate the countries.

Knowledge of the Dark Age however, would not be as easy to gain access of, but as long as Hui Yue got stronger, the mystery would eventually get unravelled.

It was another three hours that went by second by second before Lan Feng suddenly woke up, ‘I can hear someone!’ he said hurriedly with a voice as eager as a little child waiting to open their Christmas presents. Hui Yue could not help but allowing a grin to spread across his face. He too was incredibly excited now that they were finally arriving.

The few minutes it took before the magical beasts and their riders arrived in the horizon felt like a whole year. Rong Ming, Rong Xing and Bu Huang were riding at the front on their qilins, and Rong Ming was grinning widely, while Rong Xing’s eyes were shining like stars with excitement.

“How do we do this?” Bu Huang asked with his usually furrowed brows as he looked at Hui Yue. The plan had been to let the white-haired boy ride on one of the magical horses, however, the horses would rear up on their hind legs or try to kick their handlers to escape from the innocently looking boy.

“What about he rides with me?” Rong Ming asked, but he quickly noticed that it was no good, as his young qilin was uncomfortable about the young child too. Rong Xing then tried to see if she could help, but her qilin reacted the same way.

Bu Huang sighed. The child was definitely hiding a great secret. Currently it was obvious that a look of despair was seeping into Hui Yue’s face as he was worried whether or not he would be able to actually leave the village if all the magical beasts would run away from him.

None of the present people knew that Hui Yue were swearing at Lan Feng within his heart.

“We have no choice, you will have to ride with me,” Bu Huang finally said with his stern voice. Although his qilin was uncomfortable around the young child, it was still of a higher cultivation than any of the other magical beasts, and therefore it had a higher level of intelligence. This qilin had been reared by Bu Huang since he was a foal and their long standing relationship was enough to create a bond of trust.

Happiness filled Hui Yue’s eyes as he grabbed Bu Huang’s hand and allowed the stronger man to grab him up in front of him. The young boy waved goodbye to his family and the villagers who were still present, before the Rong entourage once again sat out from the small unknown village.

Hui Yue had never actually left the village before. He had gone to different hillsides around the village itself, but it did not take more than ten minutes of riding on the magical beasts before he had reached further away than ever before.

The landscape was beautiful. It did not take long before they had left the hillside surroundings and instead they entered a thin forest. Upon riding through the forest it seemed as if it was placed on a slope, and that they were moving downwards.

“Your village is located within a valley,” Bu Huang explained, “generally speaking, your village is actually located within the Magical Forest, but it is at the edge so it is relatively safe.” Hearing this made Hui Yue slightly surprised.

The Magical Forest was a very dangerous place from what Hui Yue had heard, both from the villagers and from the Rong Twins, however the villagers all had a very low cultivation base so they would not be able to defend themselves against magical beasts.

Also the Magical Forest would usually have groups of mercenaries or cultivators travelling within to hunt for medicinal herbs or magical beasts for their beast cores, but Hui Yue had never seen any visitors in the village apart from this Rong family.

Bu Huang seemed to be able to understand the younger boy’s train of thoughts as he chuckled slightly before continuing, “your village is hidden very well within a valley where people will not usually enter. When reaching this part of the forest it looks as if you exit it again, however what seems like an exit is actually the only entrance towards your village. Not many would be willing to go there.”

Hearing this did answer some of Hui Yue’s questions, and he once again focused on his surroundings. It was obvious that they were about to leave the outskirts of the Magical Forest and enter the outside world. Hui Yue’s heartbeat increased as his eyes grew larger.

What he saw in front of him was a road that cut its way through plenty of fields. There was a village not far from their current location, but this village was many times bigger than the one they had just left. There was a wooden barricade around the village and two guardsmen were located at the entrance.

Both Guardsmen greeted Bu Huang and the Rong twins with deep respect before allowing them to ride through the village.

The houses were much bigger than what Hui Yue was used to, but he also noticed arenas created for sparing matches, training dummies and an area where a group of children were cultivating next to a stone that was shining with a strange light.

Hui Yue was staring and moving his head around, trying to look at everything at once. He noticed a big building where villagers of all ages were moving in and out with different scrolls.

“The villages here are different from yours,” Rong Ming said cheerfully while riding next to Hui Yue and enjoying the expression of shock that was visible on his friend’s young face.

“We will pass through quite a few villages on the way back to Riluo City, but these villages are better known as families.” Hui Yue looked at Rong Ming with a quizzical expression on his face, causing the older boy to laugh,

“The village is own by a family, like this village is the property of the Hei family. The Hei family gains their money from agriculture and sell their harvest in Riluo City each year.”

“But they seem to put a lot of focus on cultivating?” Hui Yue pointed out while looking at the many training facilities,

“Yes,” Rong Xing said quietly from the other side, “They need to have strong cultivators to be able to keep their land,” Hui Yue were quiet and looked at Rong Xing, urging her to continue.

“Every child below ten years old will be cultivating. The children that reach the five-star student rank by the age of ten is sent to the Royal Academy where they will study while the rest will be working in the fields for the rest of their lives.”

“Every village does it like this,” Rong Ming took over the explanation, “the village, or family, head has to be a strong person and he need to have a group of experts by his side so that they can defend themselves against the other villagers. If a village loses their experts, then they will lose their land. The stronger villagers will take it.”

Although it was incredibly unfair, Hui Yue could not do anything else than tighten his fists and nod his head, this was definitely different from the village he came from. This world was definitely different from the world he came from.

“Your village is special,” Bu Huang suddenly said, “not many villages would be able to survive the way they do, so it is important that you don’t tell anyone about the location of your village. It is likely that these families would go there and take it by force.”

Hui Yue nodded yet again as he understood just how important it was for him to keep quiet. Now it made sense why his village did not even have a name.

The landscape changed every now and then from fields with crops to fields where livestock was eating and walking around. The entourage would travel through quite a few villages just as Rong Ming had said, and Hui Yue noticed how every village had equipment made for cultivating. Each and every one of these villages were showing the utmost respect towards the Rong family’s party.

The Riluo City was closer than what Hui Yue had expected, and the party had been travelling for most of the afternoon when the young boy saw towers starting to appear in the distance. The closer they got, the more of the city was revealed.

The city had a striking resemblance to the ancient cities that Hui Yue had studied back in his old world. The whole city was surrounded by a twenty metres tall wall build with black stone. The wall seemed to be quite thick, and guards were stationed at the top of the wall. A four metres wide and eight metres tall gate was open at the end of the road, and it was heavily guarded by guards who were wearing the Riluo City’s emblem on their chest.

Big buildings within the city seemed to be built in the same style as the Chinese architecture from the Tang dynasty. Hui Yue could see a couple of great Pagodas raised above the tall walls together with multiple yellow roof tiles.

The closer they got to the city, the harder it was to see the buildings that was hidden behind the massive wall, but Hui Yue felt in his element. The architecture was so familiar but at the same time everything was different from what Hui Yue knew.

The trip to Riluo City had taken less than a day while riding on the magical beasts, however the same trip took Hui Guang and the other men two days to travel by foot.

A feeling of reverence appeared in Hui Yue’s heart as he looked at the city in front of him. This place would be the actual start of the new life of Hui Yue and Lan Feng.

Suddenly a loud shout pierced through the air and dragged the young boy from his inspiring thoughts,

“The young master is back!” a guard yelled from above the city wall. Bu Huang, Rong Xing and Rong Ming nodded towards the guards, and slowed their qilins while riding through the seven metres thick city gate before entering the buzzling streets.

Hui Yue’s eyes once again grew large as he finally returned to civilisation for the first time in ten years.

“We will host a feast tonight,” Rong Ming said with a smile as he noticed Hui Yue’s excited eyes, “tomorrow we will go to the Royal Academy and have you take the admission test.”

Chapter 6 – Younger Brother

It was early morning when Hui Yue woke up. Usually he would be up and about within a few minutes, however today was fairly different and he had to force his young body to leave the comfortable safety of his worn out blanket.

The white haired boy left the shack, but today he did not walk towards the village pen to pick up the goats, instead he walked towards the cottage belonging to the village elder.

Hui Yue walked on the silent streets and his whole body was enveloped by the thick morning mist. The sun had yet to break through the sky, and the temperature had dropped low during the night, making the small body shiver from the cold.

A slight feeling of relief appeared in Hui Yue’s eyes when he saw light within the village elder’s cottage, and he quietly knocked on the door, which was almost instantly opened by the village elder’s daughter.

“Hui Yue,” she said with a surprised voice, “do you need to see father?” she asked after a bit. This young child was known to be very mature, so the woman treated him as an equal, although he was only seven years of age.

Hui Yue nodded, and slowly entered the warm home. To feel the heat from the hearth was a luxury that they did not have in his parent’s shack, so the young boy had to fight temptation to just stand in front of the gentle flame and allow it to heat him up. Usually Lan Feng would assist him in managing his internal temperature, however Lan Feng enjoyed sleeping in the mornings, so Hui Yue was on his own.

The woman gave Hui Yue a gentle smile upon noticing his eyes that were glancing towards the hearth. “Just wait next to the fire and I’ll get father out here,” she said with a cheerful voice as she moved into the inner quarters.

It did not take long before the village elder stepped into the heated room, and he looked at Hui Yue with a slight confusion. It was not that rare for the village children to visit him during the morning if they were to skip out from their chores, however this hardworking child had never done it before.

“Village elder,” Hui Yue said respectfully while cupping his hands together and giving a slight bow, “I need to ask for a replacement to take care of my chores today,” he said depressed. Hui Yue hated leaving his work to others, but right now he had no choice. Dealing with the Rong twins was definitely much more important than the goats.

The Village elder looked at him with furrowed brows. Hui Yue was clearly not sick, nor had he ever been sick so it was a big question as to why he needed the day off. However, the village elder decided that since Hui Yue had been looking after the goats for so many years with no breaks, it was not his place to question the boy. Instead he just nodded his old head and walked towards yet another room in the cottage.

“Lang er,” he said with a fairly loud voice, and rustling could be heard from within the chamber, “you will look after the goats today, Hui Yue has business to attend to,” he said to the boy who had just been woken up, and a grunt could be heard as a reply.

Hui Yue was grateful that he was not asked any questions and he quickly bowed towards the elder once more before he left the heat from the cottage.

The mist had gotten thicker as the heat had increased, but the sun still had to break past the mountain rage towards the east. It was a calm morning and the village was slowly waking up, ready to welcome yet another day just like the previous.

At least it was a normal day to every other villager. Hui Yue knew that today was different for him, and he was aware that if he made one mistake, it was likely that the calm village could be erased.

His mind once again returned to what had happened the previous evening, and he gritted his teeth as he had understood why Rong Ming had been treating him so specially. Although Rong Xing was reacting as if it was a good joke, Rong Ming was the one who might feel as if he had been made a fool.

Hui Yue reached the edge of the campsite and quietly sat down below a tree as he waited for the young master to wake up. He could not help but feel slightly nervous. The current problem was obviously caused by a misunderstanding, and although it could be argued that it was Rong Ming’s fault for assuming that Hui Yue was a girl, it could also be argued that Hui Yue should have noticed and cleared up the misunderstanding rather than leading the young master on for multiple years.

If Rong Ming wished to punish the village, it was very easy to put all the blame on Hui Yue, or even the rest of the village, saying that they had ordered the small child to act in order to gain favour from the young lord of Rilou City.

Hui Yue sighed deeply. He did not see Rong Ming as such a petty person, however this world was so different from his old one, and he had understood just how important honour and dignity was. If Rong Ming really did feel dishonoured, then he would likely get very mad.

The young white-haired boy gritted his teeth once again and forced himself to stop the negative thoughts, instead he emptied his mind and allowed his consciousness to enter his dantian cave where he sat down and started absorbing essence and refining qi. This trance was capable of calming his uneasy heart and also allowed him to improve his strength.

The sun quietly rose while Hui Yue was busy cultivating, and the campsite got quite busy as the soldiers woke up. All of them glanced towards the small child at least once, but they all knew that he was a personal friend of their young master, so none of them saw him as a potential threat and allowed him to cultivate in peace.

Hui Yue was about to finish refining the last qi thread and finally allowed his senses to return to his body, when he noticed that Rong Ming was sitting next to him, smiling.

“I am glad to see you cultivate as I told you to,” Rong Ming said cheerfully while grabbing the younger boy’s hands and dragged him towards the main tent in the middle of the camp.

The reason that Hui Yue dared cultivating this close to others was that his cultivation base rose so slowly that it would seem as if he had not cultivated for more than a year’s time with the most popular cultivation method, also they looked similar from outside, as Hui Yue now left his body in a meditation stance before submerging his consciousness within his dantian cave to refine qi.

As Rong Ming dragged him closer to the tent, Hui Yue felt how his worries decreased for each step he took. He knew that Lan Feng would be of no use to him right now, as both of them had agreed the previous day to go here and clear up the misunderstanding.

Even if Rong Liang was not present, Bu Huang was, and Lan Feng said, that he was not much weaker than Rong Liang himself. It was obvious that he too could notice Lan Feng if the phoenix did not use his full focus on concealing himself.

But Hui Yue felt calm, even when he considered all the risks he was taking to straighten up this misunderstanding. His aim was to become the strongest person in this world, to become the fifth creature to reach the rank of a god. If he was getting scared from something like this, then he had lost all his right to strive towards greatness.

Rong Ming was stronger than Hui Yue yes. His entourage could erase the whole village, which was also correct, but Hui Yue instantly understood that this was only the first time he was facing against a large force of overpowering opponents. Hui Yue would definitely encounter this again in the future, and by then he would be in a much worse position, as right now he had the leverage of being Rong Ming’s friend through the past many years.

The two children entered the central tent while Hui Yue was thinking all of this, and Rong Ming lead the white-haired boy towards a table to the side.

“Come sit down!” he said excitedly, “let us share breakfast. You did not eat breakfast?”

Hui Yue shook his head and was about to open his mouth, when Rong Ming stopped him, “you should be out guarding goats today, so I did not think I’d get to see you. Tell me, why did you come here?” the voice was friendly but it was easy to hear that the older boy was serious with a hint of worry. He too had understood Hui Yue’s personality and knew that the younger boy would never skip out on his chores unless he had something important to speak with Rong Ming about.

Hui Yue looked at the older boy with conflicting feelings evident in his face. It was obvious that the misunderstanding needed to be cleared up, however it had a high possibility of ending the one friendship that Hui Yue had gained in this new world, and it did cause a slight pain to the young boy’s heart. However, Hui Yue steeled his heart and determined raised his head, looking straight at Rong Ming.

“I met Lady Rong Xing yesterday,” Hui Yue started, “and she seemed shocked when we ran into each other at my bathing spot,” he continued. The voice was not rushed nor was it slow, Hui Yue had completely controlled his emotions as he was getting ready to reveal what would most likely shock Rong Ming quite a bit. “She was quite shocked when she noticed that I am a boy.” Hui Yue finished off, and a slight blush appeared in his face as he said the final sentence. It was the first time in his double life that anyone had mistaken him for a girl and the conversation was genuinely quite embarrassing.

Hui Yue did not look at Rong Ming, instead he stared at the ground in front of him, and gave off the impression of being scared of the older boy, fearing that he was mad at him. Hui Yue was well aware that he could not rely on strength to get through this, instead he would rely on his acting skills.

Hui Yue quickly glanced towards Rong Ming who was staring at the younger boy in front of him with a completely blank expression on his face. Rong Ming opened and closed his mouth a few times as if he did not know what to say, however, before he had the time to decide on his words, two people strode through the tent door.

Both Hui Yue and Rong Ming turned their heads and noticed Rong Xing and Bu Huang entering the tent, talking cheerfully to each other before both came to a stop when seeing Hui Yu and Rong Ming.

A slightly confused expression appeared on the face of Bu Huang but it was quickly masked by a stern look.

Rong Xing was instantly aware of what was happening, and Hui Yue managed to pick up a quick flash of playful disappointment in her beautiful ink-black eyes before a smile lit up her face, and she moved next to the younger boy, grabbing one of his small pale hands in her own.

Rong Ming had quickly returned his gaze to Hui Yue, and Hui Yue’s face was turning a deeper shade of crimson as he was the subject for such an intense gaze.

“I…” Rong Ming finally managed to push out a word, while still staring shocked at Hui Yue, who still appeared to be frightened to death, and dared not utter even the slightest sound, “I… Hahaha,” Suddenly a helpless laughter escaped Rong Ming’s shocked lips, and surprised everyone present. At first Hui Yue was rigid while listening to the laughter, but he soon realised that there was not even the slightest trace of rage, if anything it sounded quite self-mockingly.

“You… Are you really a boy?” Rong Ming asked again with a disbelieving smile on his face, and his clear eyes focused on Hui Yue who silently nodded, his cheeks scarlet red from embarrassment. He had to admit, that this was without a doubt the most embarrassing situation he had ever been in, in both lives combined. It was even more embarrassing than the one time his mother walked in on him while he was having fun with a girlfriend.

Rong Ming walked closer to the embarrassed boy and slowly circled around him while rubbing his chin, deep in thought.

“How can a boy be this beautiful?” he asked shocked. No matter how many times he looked at the young white-haired child, he could not help but think that he was simply too pretty to be male.

“It’s true,” Hui Yue finally squeezed the words out with an uncomfortable voice, and Rong Xing’s eyes flashed in an interesting way as she nodded.

“I can say for sure that he is a boy,” she said with a cheerful and clear voice. A comfortable smile was placed on her face, but she did not feel the slightest bit of embarrassment while thinking back to the scene she witnessed last night.

Bu Huang however, had a shocked expression on his face, and could not help but cough violently as he realized what that sentence implied. Rong Ming too seemed quite surprised, but he quickly regained his composure.

“This sucks,” he said with a slightly sullen voice and complicated expressions spread across his face, switching between depressed, entertained and shocked.

Rong Ming sighed as he looked at Hui Yue, but he quickly noticed that the younger boy seemed worried about the whole situation so he sent him a gentle and reassuring smile,

“It’s not your fault,” he said gently to Hui Yue, “I could not expect that the most beautiful person I ever met turned out to be a boy.” He looked closer once more and frowned, “we should cut your hair. Your long hair and pure white skin is so misleading.”

Hui Yue instantly nodded, he did not care about his hair length after all, and he was quite satisfied when he realised that Rong Ming was still treating him with the same kindness he had shown prior to the conversation.

“Ah well,” Rong Ming finally sighed with yet another glance towards Hui Yue, “since you can’t be my wife, you can be my younger brother,” he said decisively, and the sentence did cause Hui Yue to feel a bit of relief. Those twins were the closest Hui Yue had to friends apart from Lan Feng.

Lan Feng had hidden himself completely within the qi cave, and he had absolutely no intention of even commenting on what was happening outside. Both Lan Feng and Hui Yue did not dare underestimate Bu Huang, but even then, Hui Yue could still feel the chuckles that proved that the phoenix was still attentive to what was happening, and the situation was clearly entertaining him.

“Younger brother Hui Yue,” Rong Ming said with a complicated expression that soon turned into a genuine smile, “Hui Yue di-di is so beautiful that he will attract a lot of beautiful women later on. I am sure you can introduce me to someone pretty so I can get a beautiful wife later on.”

Hui Yue was slightly stunned upon hearing the twelve-year-old boy speak about a wife at this age. Hui Yue had been more than ten years older than this boy before his premature death, but even back then, he had never thought about getting married.

This subject caught Hui Yue completely off guard. He had understood Rong Ming’s intention of pursuing a pretty woman, he himself had done that multiple times, but pursuing a woman and intending a marriage was something completely unrelated to Hui Yue.

Rong Xing quickly noticed the stunned expression on Hui Yue’s face, and although she blamed the shock on his young age and poor upbringing, she quickly stepped in to help him in the awkward situation. Rong Xing grasped Hui Yue’s pale hand and lead him towards the table that was standing to one side in the tent.

This table was clearly the table used to dine at, as there was no paper scrolls or maps spread across it like all the others.

“We should all eat breakfast together. Do Hui Yue di-di have any chores today?” she asked with a gentle smile while looking at Hui Yue who shook his head in reply, quite grateful that Rong Xing had come to his aid.

“That is great, let’s all spend the day together then,” she continued with another gentle and uncaring smile while setting the table with various foods Hui Yue had never seen before.

Hui Yue threw a glance at Rong Xing. She was an outstanding young woman. Hui Yue only saw her once during the first year that Lord Rong Liang led the entourage to their village, and she had usually stayed within the camp to cultivate the other times they had visited, so Hui Yue never had the time to really evaluate her.

At first Hui Yue had just assumed that she was the typical shy and noble girl with an above average innate talent for cultivating, but these two days he had noticed a maturity around her that could rival the women he usually hung out with in his old life.

Rong Xing seemed calm and collected, and the only time Hui Yue had seen her slightly flustered was when she had stumbled upon him in his birthday suit the previous night.

Hui Yue had to admit that Rong Xing was mysterious. Not only was she much more mature than what you would expect, she also seemed to enjoy stirring trouble. It was obvious that she knew of her brother’s misunderstanding, however she had not commented upon it before Hui Yue himself brought up the subject.

Hui Yue even remembered the slight flash of disappointment he had noticed in her eyes when she realised that the misunderstanding was being cleared up.

It was obvious that Rong Xing was a girl that enjoyed watching others struggle in one way or another while comfortably watching at the side-line, however Hui Yue could not feel any hostility towards her as she was swift in supporting him, when she thought that Hui Yue was overwhelmed with the situation.

All in all, Hui Yue had a very good impression of the two twins. Rong Ming was straight forward and cheerful while Rong Xing was mysterious and gentle. Both of them had proved reliable and caring.

The four of them where quietly eating their breakfast together while talking gently about what had happened during the last year at the academy and the village respectively. Bu Huang couldn’t help but feeling slightly awkward next to the three children, who had caused such a scene early in the morning, so he ate in silence while observing the white haired child that had been the cause.

Lord Rong Liang had previously informed him that there was something different about the child that even Lord Rong Liang was unable to explain. He had, however, previously confirmed that Hui Yue was a human and not a divine beast in the shape of a human, but even if the body belonged to a human, there was something about his aura that could scare magical beasts, even those of a fairly high rank.

Although Lord Rong Liang was curious about this child, he was still reasonable and since it had been confirmed that he was human, he had no intention of troubling the young child. Lord Rong Liang had however asked Bu Huang to have a look at him if they were to meet, and Bu Huang decided to use this opportunity to do so.

As Bu Huang looked at the younger boy he furrowed his brows slightly,

“You cultivate?” he asked the young boy with a neutral voice, and Hui Yue looked at him with big eyes,

“yes lord Bu Huang,” Hui Yue said fearfully, “The young master taught me some methods last year and I have tried my best to follow them while looking after the goats,” he said faintly, the more he said the quieter his voice became. He was the personification of a scared child, and if Lan Feng did not have to hide, then he would definitely have commented on the brilliant acting.

“Uncle Bu,” Rong Ming asked with shining eyes, “what is his cultivation like? Is it any good?” Rong Ming and Rong Xing were still not strong enough to recognize another person’s cultivation, so they were relying on the elder to help them,

Bu Huang looked at Hui Yue for a moment, and the latter could feel his heartbeat increase rapidly. Hopefully Lan Feng was hiding really good, or the two of them would have quite some problems.

Bu Huang could feel that Hui Yue’s body was hiding something, but he was incapable of seeing through what it was. Lord Rong Liang himself had decided not to spend too much time on analysing this mystery as of now, so Bu Huang did not feel like he needed to look into it either, and instead focused on the cultivation base and raised an eyebrow in surprise.

“He is a third star student. It is not bad for a year,” the older man said appraisingly. For a seven-year-old to have reached the third star was not bad, especially not if he had started to cultivate by the age of six.

“His talent does not seem to be as high as the two of you, but it is definitely not bad,” Bu Huang continued. With this speed it was certain that Hui Yue would reach the required five stars by the age of ten to be considered above average.

Hui Yue had to agree with Bu Huang. He would most likely reach the five-star student rank by the age of ten, but the reason his speed was this slow was due to his cultivation method.

Hearing this caused both Rong Ming and Rong Xing to smile happily as that would make it possible for the three of them to be together at the Royal Academy.

Rong Ming instantly shot up from his chair and yelled “stay there!” before rushing out of the tent. The three people who were left behind in the tent could hear the commotion that was caused by the little lord rushing through the busy campsite.

Hui Yue looked blankly after the running young boy and the amount of guards who were being pushed aside on the way towards a smaller tent where he ducked below the entrance flap. The tent-wall was being pushed randomly and weird sounds were emitted from the inside of the tent, before Rong Ming once again ducked back outside and ran back to the central tent with his arms filled with unknown scrolls that he quickly dumped on a clean part of the table.

“These are martial art skills,” Rong Ming said with his eyes shining with excitement, “they are all quite low level, the highest is practitioner low rank. They are just copies of some skills we have at home.”

Hui Yue looked at the pile of scrolls with shining eyes, and although he was slightly conflicted due to the promise he made with Lan Feng, he could not help but feel some curiosity towards the skill rolls in front of him.

“We will try and explain to you what martial art skills are within this month,” Rong Xing said with her melodious voice, “and then you can try training them before we return next year.” Hui Yue nodded with no voice, although he was not certain whether or not he would actually get to use these scrolls, he was still overwhelmed with the amount of care the twins showed him.

Chapter 5 – You are a boy?

The village returned to usual as soon as Lord Rong Liang let his entourage away, and although the villagers would proud themselves upon the noble visit, they were very well aware that their feelings would not fill their stomachs.

While most villagers missed the excitement of the visitors Hui Yue could not help but feel happy when things returned to normal. The last month had been the first break the pair had taken from cultivation but Hui Yue did not enjoy the forced break. He was filled with excitement upon remembering Lan Feng’s promise about a martial art skill, and this morning he hurried out to pick up the goats even earlier than usual.

Upon reaching a fairly close hillside, Hui Yue sat down impatiently and waited for Lan Feng to understand his hint. He wanted to be able to use the qi he had painstakingly gathered throughout the years.

‘Do you even know what a martial art skill is?’ Lan Feng asked slightly overbearing as he disliked it whenever anyone tried to rush him.

‘I expected you to explain it to me,’ Hui Yue said with the sweetest smile on his face and a naivety in his eyes that made Lan Feng snort with disdain.

‘I’ll explain. But only because I need you to be strong,’ Lan Feng said arrogantly, ‘don’t think I will fall for your stupid acting.’ Hui Yue had nothing to say in return, Lan Feng was as usually correct, and in the end he would gain the knowledge needed.

‘Martial Art skills are split into the same ranks as cultivator bases, that is student, disciple, practitioner and so on and so on. Each rank is split into low, medium and high level.’ Hui Yue nodded, it made sense.

‘The cultivation base of a martial art skill has nothing to do with what rank you are at, it is only to rank the potential strength of the skill. Martial art skills have no actual rank restrictions, it all depends on your amount of qi and it will grow together with your strength until they reach their own cultivation base. You understand that the cultivation base is the rank where you can max out their potential power right?’ Lan Feng explained, once again incredibly overbearing. Hui Yue was slightly annoyed by the tone of voice, but he had no intention to comment on it as he knew Lan Feng would start a discussion rather than continuing on with the martial arts explanation.

‘That being said there are quite a lot of the higher ranked skills that you can’t use before you reach a certain rank since you don’t have a sufficient qi to activate it.’ Hearing that made a lot of sense to Hui Yue and he nodded again with great interest.

‘Also although I told you that you can have ten ranks of martial art skills, it is not like you can find ten ranks just like that. To create a martial art skill, you need to have the same cultivation as the skill you are creating. When cultivators open up the middle and upper dantians they no longer need to spend a lot of time on martial art skills since they get spirit powers and Wu Wei.’ Hearing this made Hui Yue grumble slightly as he was getting quite a depressing premonition.

‘Therefore you will have a lot of student, disciple and practitioner level martial art skills. You will have a decent amount of master ranked as they are still trying to create spirit energy, but grand master and duke ranked martial skills start to get rare. King, Emperor and saint level martial art skills are extremely rare. At least they were back when I lived here. I have never even heard about god ranked martial art skills.’

‘Are you telling me this because you are going to give me some useless martial art skill?’ Hui Yue said worried, but he was met by indignation, ‘did I ever give you anything useless?’ Lan Feng asked insulted, and Hui Yue had to admit that Lan Feng was doing his utmost to ensure that Hui Yue would become strong.

‘I am going to give you a movement martial art skill,’ Lan Feng said with a determined satisfaction, however Hui Yue could not help but feel slightly disappointed.

‘A movement martial art?’ he asked downcast, ‘what use is that for me?’

‘You really are useless,’ Lan Feng answered impatiently, ‘Firstly you need a movement martial art skill to be able to run away. Even if you do know any fighting skills, your cultivation base is simply too low. It is better to teach you how to run away so that you can stay alive. I don’t care about honour or dignity. All we need is to stay alive until we reach our goals, and this skill is needed for you and me to stay alive.’ Although Hui Yue had been slightly depressed, he could not help but acknowledge what Lan Feng had said.

‘A movement martial art skill also has other uses,’ Lan Feng continued, he did after all want to prove his extensive knowledge to the younger Hui Yue, ‘You can use a movement martial art skill to quicker attack or quicker defend. Also when you manage to perfect it you will be able to leave behind a mirage while moving or even create some optical illusion causing the opponent to waste some skills on nothing.’ Lan Feng sounded fairly smug and Hui Yue understood why. The movement skill was definitely much better than what he had expected at first.

‘What rank is it?’ Hui Yue asked curiously. It would be quite good if it was a master ranked skill.

‘It is a high king rank,’ Lan Feng said indifferently, causing Hui Yue to doubt his hearing,

‘High king rank?! Didn’t you just say that they were incredibly rare?’ he said shocked, and his reaction clearly pleased Lan Feng.

‘I would not be this confident in myself if I did not at least have a vast amount of high ranked skills,’ Lan Feng said with his self-satisfied voice, and Hui Yue was quite relieved knowing that he had a library of skills for when he should need it.

‘However,’ Lan Feng continued, as he understood what Hui Yue was thinking, ‘I have no intention of giving you any more skills no matter how easy they are, before you have perfected this one.’ Lan Feng was as stern with the martial art skills as he had been with the quality of qi refining, and although Hui Yue were tempted to ask for more he managed to hold back as he fully understood Lan Feng’s decision.

Lan Feng ordered Hui Yue to sit down in a meditation stance and slowly guide his consciousness into the dantian cave where the phoenix was waiting for him.

Lan Feng instantly ordered the adult consciousness of Hui Yue into yet another meditation stance with his hands once again placed in the bird hand seal and closing his eyes.

Lan Feng moved slowly, lifting his finger towards his own forehead and pressed it between his eyes where his upper dantian was located. A sharp ice blue light instantly lit up the entire dantian cave. Lan Feng extended his index finger and a small pearl appeared at the tip, which quickly sucked in the shining blue light. Lan Feng quietly observed the pearl sucking in the light, and gave a satisfied nod as the final speck of light had disappeared. He looked at the pearl in his hand which had gone from transparent to a lustrous ice blue.

Lan Feng moved towards the meditating Hui Yue and pressed the blue pearl against the former’s forehead. The pearl unexpectedly slipped into Hui Yue’s head and illuminated the consciousness from within.

The unnatural light that was breaking out from within Hui Yue was the only thing that indicated that something different was happening from the usual qi refining.

Lan Feng was exhausted upon retracting the martial art from within and slumped down against the cave wall while observing his focused friend.

The blue Phoenix could not help but feel a slight bit of relief upon looking at his hard working student. Hui Yue did not have any incredible talent when it came to cultivating, nor did he have any pills or elixirs to help speed up the process, but he had been continuing his refinement for year after year to ensure that the quality of his qi was as good as possible.

Lan Feng would never admit it, but even he himself would have given up the painstakingly slow cultivating that they were doing now, so he could not help but have a strange feeling of gratefulness towards Hui Yue.

While Lan Feng was exhaustedly inspecting his feelings, Hui Yue was swallowed by a sea of information. As soon as the pearl had entered his head it dissolved into rays of light that spread throughout the body, teaching Hui Yue the martial art skill known as Velocity Flow.

To use a martial art skill, the cultivator would have to practice it. The information he was given was which routes he would have to direct his qi to flow through his meridians to allow certain actions including two seals he would need to create within his Qi cave.

The rays of light were shooting through the meridians and giving Hui Yue examples of where and how to apply his qi, and he quickly remembered the paths, the combinations and the different seals needed to practice the martial art skill. Although it was only one skill it had multiple ways of being used, and each usage had its own qi flow combination, to be able to perform the individual abilities, each and every one of them needed practice.

Slowly the light disappeared and Hui Yue opened his blue eyes which were glistening with excitement upon gaining this new knowledge. He could not wait to try it out, and he returned to controlling his body rather than his consciousness.

Hui Yue remembered every combination, and quickly lead his qi towards his legs, allowing it to flow in the combination that he had learned, but his brows quickly furrowed as he felt that something was wrong.

Although he felt as if he had gained a slight speed, it was definitely far inferior to what it should have been, not only that, the speed was very uneven and impossible to control.

Hui Yue frowned at first, but the frown quickly turned into a brilliant smile as he knew what the skill would be capable of doing upon perfection. All he needed to do was training, and training was definitely something that Hui Yue did not fear.

After learning the martial art skill Hui Yue had to change his schedule slightly. Prior to this he would have spent his whole day cultivating, however now it was obvious that he needed time to practice his martial art skill, so he ended up spending the morning and early noon at practicing and then the afternoon and evening on cultivating.

Another year passed while Hui Yue followed this schedule, working harder than before but also felt a great sense of happiness every time he gained more qi or could feel that his control over the Velocity Flow skill improved.

It was a day like any other when Hui Yue was guarding the goats on the hillside and training in Velocity Flow.

Lan Feng had allowed his consciousness to leave the safety of Hui Yue’s body as there was no danger around and a smile suddenly appeared on his face as he looked towards the village,

‘Hui Yue,’ he called with an excited voice, ‘there is a pleasant surprise waiting for you when we return home tonight!’

Although Lan Feng had allowed his consciousness to roam around on the grassy fields, their conversation was still held within their minds. Hui Yue looked at Lan Feng with a quizzical expression on his face, but he did not ask any questions. Even something as simple as a new dish created by his mother was enough to excite Lan Feng.

Sharing a body with Hui Yue had its benefits. Lan Feng naturally felt everything that Hui Yue felt, however he had no way of taking over the body, so he only sat back and enjoyed the experiences.

Hui Yue smiled at the phoenix who had changed slightly over the years. Back when they first met, Hui Yue had been sure that Lan Feng was the haughtiest creature in the world, however after years of conversations it was easier to look at Lan Feng as a spoiled boy with an extensive amount of power and knowledge in odd subjects.

Lan Feng still would act arrogant from time to time, however he was easy to coax into a good mood and friendly behaviour. Especially since Hui Yue started practicing his martial art skill and would make use of it to hunt down critters in the forest and bring home for dinner.

Lan Feng was definitely a beast, and the easiest way to tame a beast was to feed it. Hui Yue could not help but smirk while thinking back upon the way he usually convinced Lan Feng to behave.

Hui Yue decided it was time to return to the village and have a look at the great surprise that was waiting for him, so he hoisted two birds and a hare onto his shoulder while gathering the goats and moved down the hillside towards the village.

However, just before Hui Yue entered the village he noticed something out of the ordinary. There were a large number of tents erected on an empty lot next to the village, and the tents looked uncomfortably similar to those that had been there a year before.

‘Lan Feng,’ Hui Yue had a premonition that someone would be waiting for him, ‘do you think Rong Ming was serious when he said that he would return for me?’ he asked in a worried voice, but the only answer he got was a snickering grin.

Hui Yue could not help but let out a sigh before he slipped into a personality that would fit a six-year-old child who saw visitors in their quiet town.

“Hui Yue!” a voice called out, and with an internal sigh Hui Yue turned towards the voice with a shocked and excited expression on his face,

“Young master!” he said, with a smile beaming on his face, “Hui Yue did not expect to see you here!” he continued, while he actually wanted to say something along the lines of ‘please do not take another month away from my cultivation. It is already slow enough as it is.’ However, Rong Ming quickly took Hui Yue’s hand in his and after safely returning the goats to their pen, he dragged the white haired boy towards the campsite.

Hui Yue felt a surge of uneasiness arise within. He was currently still a second star student, however even a second star was not something that most six-year-old children achieved.

Both Hui Yue and Lan Feng knew that they would not be able to hide their cultivation base from Rong Ming’s father, there was even a chance that they would be unable to hide the presence of Lan Feng.

Fortunately enough, Rong Ming did not bring Hui Yue to meet his father, instead he brought him to meet his sister. Rong Xing was a beautiful young girl with a gentle temper. She quickly greeted Hui Yue but apart from that she just sat there with a smile on her face while Rong Ming was talking, telling Hui Yue about the past year.

“I really did miss you a lot,” Rong Ming said multiple times during the conversation, “oh and we are doing very good at the academy. We are here for more real practice you see. Do you want to cultivate too?”

Rong Ming spend the following month on once again following Hui Yue around. He would teach Hui Yue different cultivation methods, and promised that he would definitely take Hui Yue with him to the academy when he turned ten years old.

Hui Yue could only sigh, but deep inside it was impossible for him to hate the other boy, as his feelings were genuine. As to why Hui Yue received these genuine feelings was a mystery to Hui Yue himself, and although Lan Feng claimed to know, he refused to tell.

After yet another farewell, Hui Yue guessed that Rong Ming would return to the village next year, but he did not have any intention of wasting time worrying about that now, instead he returned to his usual schedule of cultivating and practicing of his martial art skills.

‘I don’t understand’ Hui Yue complained slightly. It had been almost a year since Rong Ming and his entourage had camped at the village last time, and Hui Yue was now a seven-year-old child. He was still as breathtakingly beautiful as ever, and his figure was depressingly short.

‘I am definitely using the Velocity Flow skill perfectly, but even when I execute it right my fists are still not able to deal any severe damage and instead I often get injured instead.’ Hui Yue continued while rubbing his head, wondering where he went wrong.

Lan Feng snorted, which usually happened whenever Hui Yue said something incredibly stupid.

‘It is a high king ranked movement skill. MOVEMENT SKILL dumbass.’ He said with a sigh, ‘it allows you to move your body with great speed and accuracy, but it is your body it moves. It’s not the skills fault you are weak.’ Hui Yue could only grumble in reply. What Lan Feng said make perfect sense, and he should have understood it himself without needing Lan Feng’s explanation.

Hui Yue could not help but feel grateful that he had Lan Feng to explain things to him. There was so many things that Hui Yue had a hard time understanding, even now, seven years after entering this new world.

Hui Yue had reached the rank of a third star student and he had perfected the movement aspect of his Velocity Flow skill. He was capable of producing a mirror image at a previous location, and he was currently practicing the final aspect of the high ranked skill, the optical illusion.

Hui Yue did not have sufficient qi to create more than one optical illusion, but upon perfecting the one illusion now, it would automatically increase later on together with his qi levels rising.

‘Oh,’ Lan Feng said smilingly, ‘Your friends are arriving early this year.’

Hui Yue had expected that Rong Ming would appear fairly soon so he was not greatly shocked upon hearing the information. Instead he was slightly surprised to find himself not hating the idea of having a friend to talk with.

Although there were many children in the village, none of them could be considered a playmate as all of them had their own chores to do throughout the day, and it was always far away from Hui Yue’s hillsides.

Hui Yue gathered the goats and led them back to the village. He wondered what had happened the last year, but when he reached the village he noticed that things seemed slightly different from the previous years.

Firstly, there was no Lord Rong Liang present, and although this did calm Hui Yue down slightly, he could not help but worry as to what the reason could be.

“Are you Hui Yue?” A voice suddenly rang from behind, and Hui Yue spun around. In front of him was a burly man with a kind face. He was wearing a Rilou city guard uniform and had no feeling of danger around.

Hui Yue nodded.

“Please follow me, the young master has requested that you are brought to him as soon as you returned.” He explained, and politely lead the way towards the tent in the centre of the camp.

Hui Yue was greatly surprised to see where he was taken, but he dared not say anything. Lan Feng too was incredibly silent, hiding away in the qi cave and hoped to not being noticed by any of the exceptional experts that were present in the camp.

“Hui Yue!” a familiar voice rang out the moment the young boy stepped into the tent, and Hui Yue looked upon Rong Ming with confused eyes.

Rong Ming was now twelve years old. He was sitting behind a desk in the middle of a tent and had an elderly man next to him. They seemed to be discussing something about the magical forest, as a map was spread across the desk and multiple flags were placed randomly on top of it.

“I am sorry that I could not come pick you up this time,” he said with an apology evident in his voice, and while he spoke, Hui Yue noticed that the middle aged man at his side was clearly measuring Hui Yue. A slight fear crept into Hui Yue’s heart. This man was definitely no weaker than Lord Rong Liang was.

However, the man quickly retracted his gaze and returned to looking at different paper scrolls on the table, and Hui Yue breathed a sigh of relief.

“I am in control of this year’s beast hunt.” Rong Ming explained proudly, “Father had some things that he needed to deal with in town, and he decided that it was time for me to learn something about managing a party of soldiers. This is Bu Huang. He is father’s councillor and he is assisting me on this trip,” Rong Ming explained while making a gesture towards the middle aged man.

Hui Yue quickly clasped his hands together and made a deep bow before saying in a fearful voice, “Hui Yue greets Lord Councillor.”

His actions seemed to cause some approval in Bu Huang’s face, and he nodded as a reply.

“But,” Rong Ming continued, this time with a slightly depressed expression in his face, “I have a lot of things that I need to do. Because of this I won’t be able to entertain you that much this month.” Hui Yue nodded before answering

“This lowly one is but a poor child, young master should focus on his responsibilities.” The look of approval within Bu Huang’s eyes grew stronger, and Rong Ming himself sent Hui Yue a sad smile before nodding.

“At least have dinner with us tonight!” Rong Ming exclaimed suddenly, and Bu Huang nodded. Hui Yue had no choice but to agree, and a feast was served for the three of them.

Rong Ming was speaking constantly during the meal. He spoke about the past year and how he had reached the second star disciple rank. Rong Xing had reached the third star, but she had an incredible innate talent. Hui Yue sensed no jealousy towards the sister, rather Rong Ming was proud after realising the latter’s talent.

Hui Yue did enjoy the evening and the food. Even more so when he realised that Rong Ming would be incapable of interrupting his training for the next month, and he happily went towards a small lake at the edge of the forest.

It was summer and the heat was both hot and humid. Hui Yue had been training all day, and although it was late, he really wanted to take a bath before going home.

The still water was chilled, and every drop of it caused Hui Yue to feel refreshed when he washed the old sweat and dirt of his skin. His long white hair was glistening in the moonlight and his blue eyes shone with a feeling of being content. Hui Yue was as stunning as an immortal fairy.

‘someone is observing you’ Lan Feng quietly commented, and Hui Yue turned to look at whomever it was. At first he had been worried, but upon noticing the person, a smile appeared on his face.

“Lady Rong Xing,” he said with his childish voice that bubbled with happiness. He quickly stepped out of the water and walked towards his clothes, clearly noticing a shocked expression appear on Rong Xing’s adorable face.

“Is there anything wrong?” he asked worriedly. Perhaps she had noticed something? He thought while being slightly scared.

“You… You are a boy?” she asked while her usually perfectly white skin had turned crimson with embarrassment. Hui Yue looked at her with a puzzled expression on his face, which caused Rong Xing to become even more shocked.

“Yes?” He answered confused. He had assumed that it was obvious. However, while thinking about it, he always said Hui Yue rather than I and they had never discussed his gender.

‘Lan Feng,’ he thought with a dreadful voice, ‘don’t tell me that Rong Ming thinks that I am a girl?’

Before Lan Feng had the chance to answer a bright laughter suddenly rang out from within the trees and Hui Yue looked at Rong Xing who was laughing so much that tears were streaming down her cheeks.

“This is perfect,” she giggled while trying to contain her laughter, “I’ll come visit you tomorrow at the hillside,” Rong Xing laughed while she turned around and returned to the campsite leaving Hui Yue and Lan Feng behind.

‘That Rong family is really quite messed up,’ Lan Feng finally said, before the two of them returned to their home.

Rong Xing walked into the central tent and saw how Rong Ming and Bu Huang were discussing the list of magical beast cores they were expected to produce from this trip, before she giggled slightly

Her giggle made Rong Ming look at her.

“Where have you been?” he asked curiously as Rong Xing rarely left the campsite whenever they were here.

“I met with Hui Yue,” she answered with a voice brimming with happiness. Rong Ming’s face suddenly changed and he grinned towards his twin sister.

“Do you like Hui Yue?” he asked with a slightly nervous voice, and his eyes were fixed at Rong Xing’s face. A feeling of relief flooded Rong Ming when he saw his sister nodding.

“Hui Yue is definitely an interesting person,” she said, her eyes shone with a light that was hard to explain.

“Would you like if Hui Yue became your sister in law?” Rong Ming asked seriously, but his serious expression quickly changed into a frown as his usually quiet sister started laughing uncontrollably. Although it was an uncontrollable laughter, it was still pleasant to the ear and it was hard to stay mad at her.

“Oh my dear brother,” Rong Xing said with a great smile on her face, “I would definitely love for that to happen, however I do not think that it is very likely.” Rong Ming furrowed his brows upon hearing her reply, but he was a stubborn young boy.

“We will see,” was his only answer before he once again returned to work out the list of magical beasts they needed to slay.